The winner of the first-ever international investment challenge run by Oxford Business Group (OBG) has identified infrastructure in neighbouring Indonesia as the sector offering the most promising opportunity for foreign direct investment (FDI).
Jofer Princesa, an MBA Regis student at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business (AGSB), emerged the champion from a hotly contested competition that was open to all students at the prestigious school. For the duration of the five-week challenge, registered students were given free access to the research terminal of OBG, a leading provider of business intelligence and advisory services on emerging markets.
Participants were required to use the group’s online research tools to answer the question: “Assuming you possessed the required resources, of all the markets covered by OBG reports, in which country and sector do you identify the most promising opportunity for FDI to generate sustainable and lucrative ROI over the next 10 years?”
The investment challenge was designed to encourage the Philippines’ next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders to think globally and seek out lucrative opportunities for investment beyond their own country. In particular, it aimed to help them identify challenges and opportunities that are common across what OBG terms “the yellow slice of the global pie”, their portfolio of small and mid-size economies (including the Philippines) growing as fast as the original BRIC states (Brazil, Russia, India and China.
After much deliberation, Princesa’s entry was unanimously voted the winner by a judging panel comprised of OBG’s London-based Chairman Michael Benson-Colpi, AGSB’s Chair of the Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, Ana Bess Pingol, and OBG’s Regional Editor for Asia, Patrick Cooke.
Princesa’s proposal was praised by judges for identifying a promising opportunity – toll roads in Indonesia – and presenting clear arguments for how to mitigate risks and ensure profitable long-term returns.
Second place was awarded to Cebu-based Shannen Tan for her lucid entry showcasing the huge opportunity open to develop business process outsourcing (BPO) in Vietnam, where the sector is currently just one-seventh its size here in the Philippines.
Third place was awarded to Daniel Roswell Ng, who chose the construction and real estate industry, also in Vietnam.
A special ‘social impact’ award was presented to Cebu-based Danilo Dillo, who argued that a major scholarship programme should be introduced to equip millennials in Thailand with an agricultural mindset based on leading global thinking applied to local agricultural situations.
“It was interesting to note that many of the entries focused on Southeast Asia, with agriculture a particularly popular choice,” Cooke said. “As the region works towards the full implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community blueprint, this demonstrates a clear appetite among the next generation of Philippine investors and entrepreneurs to take advantage of opportunities in neighbouring countries and apply their innovative business ideas to common development challenges in the region.”
The winners took home prizes that included OBG subscriptions, tuition rebates and free parking. Princesa will also feature in a podcast interview on the OBG website.
Following the success of this pilot student investment challenge, OBG plans to partner with more leading business schools and universities across its coverage countries, encouraging the next generation to practice their capital allocation skills in taking that bigger bite of the yellow slice of the pie. (Press Release)