A University of Dubai (UD) team won the global company’s business competition last week. Out of more than 50 teams that applied, two teams from UD made it to the final five and presented their business plan on Rexona, a deodorant made by Unilever, to Unilever upper management on Dec. 15.
UD students Hend Kamali, Hooria Tariq and Urwa Tariq were awarded First Place and won an iPad 2 and a trip to Unilever’s headquarters in London, where they will get the opportunity to meet Unilever’s global Rexona team and learn more about the brand. These three ladies beat teams from American University of Sharjah, American University in Dubai and another UD team that made it to the final five made up of Haneen Al Tal, Hussein Mowafi and Mohammed Hany.
“We are so proud of our students,” UD Head of Student & Alumni Affairs Amina Marzak said. “They worked for almost a year on this project and it is promising to see their hard work paid off.”
The Idea Trophy contest calls on university undergraduates to respond to a real life business case presented by Unilever, a global consumer goods company behind such iconic brands as Lux, Sunsilk, Axe, Dove and Lipton. Unilever has held competitions in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but this is the first edition to take place in the UAE. After the remarkable success of the 2011 edition of the Idea Trophy, Unilever Gulf representatives said the 2012 edition will be announced in the next couple months.
“This was the first time the Idea Trophy competition was held in the region and we are proud to set the benchmark for others,” Urwa said. Unilever will have future discussions about the team’s plan, which focused its marketing on teenagers, especially young males, which the winning team’s market research showed was often overlooked in Unilever’s current advertising model. “It felt like a dream,” Urwa said about winning.
UD President Dr. Omar Hefni congratulated the team on a job well done and said, “You have now set a standard for future competitions in the region.” Dr. Hefni also thanked Unilever for hosting the competition. “It is companies like Unilever that make it possible for our student to take their learning beyond the classroom and experience how successful companies operate. This real-world experience is invaluable to our students and we welcome these kinds of opportunities every chance we get.”
Unilever is a global brand employing over 163,000 people in more than 100 countries. The company’s portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands and reported sales of about 192 billion AED in 2009.