The Business Simulation Blog

Students Without Borders – A Week of International Cooperation and Competition

Posted by The Cesim Elite Team on Monday, June 28, 2021 | Reading time: 7 min.

The Cesim Elite 2021 final wrapped up last Sunday after a rollercoaster of suspense, surprise, self-reflection, and ultimately tears of joy. An intense and intensive week competition saw 18 teams from 16 universities battle it out to become the inaugural world champions.

Congratulations to the worthy winners!
Nankai University logo

1st place
Team "The One"
Nankai University

TAPMI lndia logo

2nd place
Team "Endzone Mercenaries"
T. A. Pai Institute of Management

Sabana logo

3rd place
Team "Sabana Gamechanger"
Universidad de la Sabana


This blog post was originally published in The Cesim Elite blog. Follow the link below to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the tournament.

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Just getting to the final was a mammoth task, with a qualifying pool of 8000 students taking part in 8 regional competitions around the world. Our expectations were high considering we had the cream of the crop, but the finalists still managed to astound us with their work ethic, their creativity, and their business skills.
We congratulate them all.

18 teams

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78 students

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12+ nationalities

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16 institutions

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6 days

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600+ hours

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5 rounds

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1 case

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The final was judged on two separate tasks, each with an equal weighting. Teams competed in Cesim’s international business simulation Global Challenge, with our fresh-from-the-oven ESG decision module adding a whole new dimension to the game.

At the same time, they had to create a five minute video presenting their solution to a business case question. Here they were asked how to transform a high-volume, fast fashion company into one that provides higher quality, sustainable clothing with a circular economy business model.

The teams were given daily deadlines for the simulation, had only a few days to plan and produce their videos, and faced the added challenge of team members often being in different places and even time zones. And yet they produced high-quality creative solutions with remarkable production value.

The videos were evaluated by a panel of four judges from business and academia, and you can take a peek at some of their favourite entries below.

Team "EndZone Mercenaries" from TAPMI Manipal in India
Charan Makkina, Avirup Das, Tathagat Agarwal, Priya Shekhar, Eranki Raghavendra Sai Praphul

Team "The One" from Nankai University in China
Li Mingze, Jia Xiaochen, Jiang Shan, Song Siwen


Team "FENOK" from the University of Bradford in the UK
Fatimah Valli, Marcell Nimfuehr, Okwuchukwu Udeh, Raphael Uzor, ML Yang

With the students working so hard, we felt it was only right that their faculty mentors also put their grey cells to the test. On Saturday we ran an instructor workshop on effective coaching in the context of a student team in a business competition, and also on the use of business simulations in higher education. The workshop was ably led by Professor Oleg Konovalov from the University of La Sabana in Colombia, and we thank him for sharing his insight and experience during what was a lively and illuminating event.

On Sunday we kicked off the closing ceremony with a fascinating talk by leadership coach and podcast host Nick Vertigans, who has a wealth of experience in both leading and coaching high-performance teams around the world. Nick took us all on a journey of self-reflection, within the context of how high-performing team members ‘show up’, effectively communicate, and give useful feedback.


With everyone already in a thoughtful mood, it’s no surprise that there was real emotion on display once the winners were announced. I don’t think anyone present will soon forget the wonderful reaction from the four winning students representing Nankai University. And we hope they enjoyed the heartfelt congratulations they immediately received from their competitors.

It’s hardly necessary these days to point out an event that took place entirely online, but this one really did. And we would like to finish by thanking the students, mentors and institutions involved who made it so much fun it didn’t matter that we were framed boxes on each other’s screens. A big thank you also to the judges and speakers who gave their time and expertise for the benefit of their favourite charities.

So farewell Cesim Elite 2021. We can’t wait to do it all over again next year!

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