Qualified for ITech Challenge National Finals!

With two of my friends at the Budapest University of Technology we’ve entered the ITech Challenge management competiton (our chosen team name is Drunk Puppies :) ). This competiton is about managing an IT firm and making most profits possible; this year each team had to manage a telecommunications company. I would actually say that the competiton is actually 90% management and 10% IT (some basic knowledge was required on how the phone/cable/internet infrastructure works and depends on each other).

Every year there are about 200 teams competing in the country, 20 of which can make it to the finals. We’ve taken part one of the qualifiers yesterday where the top 3 teams of the participating 32 were to advance. We came in at 2nd place meaning we’ve qualified ourselves to the national finals! Woo!

In the competiton we’ve managed an telco company for a year, making business decisions every quarter. All teams were in a market of 5 or 6 teams, initially starting out with equal market share on the phone, cable TV and internet markets. In each quarter about 20 smaller decisions had to be made like pricing packages, marketing budgets, employee salaries and investing in architecture. After all teams on the market made the decisions (there was usually an hour to do this) these decisions were fed into the simulation system which then returned the new market shares and financial data.

On our market we were competing with 4 other teams. Unfortunaltely right in the first quarter one of the teams decided to agressively break down prices in all segments to gain market share and other teams followed the 2nd quarter. Now falling prices aren’t really good for profits… luckily however we’ve put together an Excel spreadsheet with which we were able to identify the sub-markets with the highest profit rates and focused our marketing on those while keeping the price high for an extra profit. The other companies on the market either didn’t notice these extra rewarding segments – so while our market share slowly, but constantly shrinked, our profits steadily increased.

Before the final round it was final that we are going to win our market. However only the top 3 market leaders advanced of the 6 groups… luckily we came in as 2nd! Next stop are the national finals!!