Coca Cola launches Global Management Challenge Program in Nigeria

Global Management Challenge is an innovative way to develop the knowledge and skills of our employees It is also an opportunity to discover management potential among young talents.

The Coca-Cola Company is passionate about youth empowerment. That’s why we are always looking out for opportunities that can help empower the youth. For us, one of the surest ways of reducing unemployment levels is youth entrepreneurship, people building their entrepreneurial skills, lots of youths leave schools and saying there are no jobs, want to create entrepreneurial skills in our young ones so that apart from looking for jobs they can as well become employers of labour.

The Global Management challenge is the largest strategy and management competition in the world based on business simulation where more than 900,000 participants from over 40 countries have participated since 1980. It’s a global initiative to encourage youths explore their entrepreneurial capabilities. This year’s edition of the competition which was sponsored by Coca-Cola is the maiden edition of the challenge in Nigeria and featured a total of 80 students from the University of Lagos competing for the first place at the National level. The emerged winners benefitted from an all-expense-paid trip to Dubai courtesy of The Coca-Cola Company, to represent Nigeria at the International finale in April.

This is a pilot, we started with the University of Lagos. The school authorities really welcomed it especially because right now we have a lot of youths who after passing through the walls of the University needs to get exposed to business in terms of practical aspect but it was not targeted at any department and we focused on getting students with high GPA so we worked with the school authorities on getting selections but our benchmark was GPA of 4.5 and above

Despite academia being the foundation for successful professional practice, practical hands-on knowledge of the trade is the ingredient that unlocks success. The human resource required for businesses to remain relevant and competitive requires more than a four or six-year education in a tertiary institution. This must be followed by constant training and retraining of oneself to stay relevant in a constantly evolving world. We also try in building the gaps between academy and business knowledge so by exposing them to what happens in the business world they can be able to compete in the global space in terms of the work environment. To further enhance the ability of these students to keep up with the evolving technology for the business sector, Coca-Cola Nigeria sponsored the Global Management Challenge (GMC) competition.

At national levels we had 80 students and divided into groups, each team where given a virtual company, initially identical to every other company in the competition. They were then asked to develop their own company by making a series of decisions relating to every aspect of the business. The challenge ran for six weeks during which the teams met twice a week to take managerial decisions on their virtually owned business. These decisions were fed weekly onto the GMC database program and the effects of such actions on the businesses outcome were in turn populated after a few days.

At the end, the team with the most innovative business solutions with good return on investment to shareholders funds came tops in the competition. Like a real-life business with effect of things that happen in the boardroom. The winners represented Nigeria for the first time at the international finale in Dubai along with other 20 participating countries on an all-expense paid trip. They also received cash rewards of N500, 000, N300, 000 and N200, 000 respectively. Each participant received a minimum of N10, 000 rewards upwards depending on the stage they were evicted from the competition, and they also got a good reward of Coca-Cola products. For me, the knowledge and experience are invaluable rewards that should last each participant a lifetime.

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