FedEx Supports Students at the Asia Innovation Challenge, a Business Idea Contest for Solutions to Social Issues in Asia
TOKYO, March 27, 2017 – FedEx Express (FedEx) a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), announced the winning team at the final stage of the Asia Innovation Challenge (AIC), jointly organized with Junior Achievement Japan, on March 26.
During the competition, high school students devised and presented business models for tackling social issues in Asia. The winners of the Asia Innovation Challenge are a team comprised of two students from Japan (Hirotaka Okada and Takuen Li and two students from Singapore (Kwon Ha Jeong and Cheng Kah Chun Kelvin). The team proposed a business to build a cultivation and sales network for safe-to-eat organic vegetables in Vietnam, where food poisoning and work safety are regarded as social problems.
Fourteen team members from FedEx Japan took part in the program as mentors and advisors to the team of students in Japan and Singapore. The FedEx team members advised participants on basic business skills such as business etiquette and effective communication, and responded to questions from the students.
In its third year, the business idea contest saw 80 high school students from Japan and Singapore participate. Two students from each country paired up in groups of four and worked with each other via email and social networking sites. Each group was responsible for selecting a target country, researching the social issues affecting that country, choosing an issue, considering what kind of business could help tackle the issue, and drawing up a concrete plan.
“FedEx fosters the next generation of leaders in Asia,” said Masamichi Ujiie, regional vice president, North Pacific, FedEx Express. “I hope that through this experience the students in Japan learned how to overcome diversity and differences in language and culture, and collaborate with their teammates in Singapore to achieve a common goal. In an increasingly globalized economy, teamwork is critical, and this program is designed to provide them with the interpersonal skills required to maneuver the international business environment.”
One of the students from the winning team commented, “In working with students from a different country on this joint project, I needed to deal with different values and felt confused. It was a good experience for me to learn that it is important to accept these differences and understand them for better communication.”
Another student noted his impressions, commenting, “Up until now the meaning of “international cooperation” was vague, but through participation in this program I now have a clear understanding”.
FedEx and Junior Achievement Japan have been working together to support a variety of educational programs for students since 2006. The AIC aims to make students aware of the important qualities required of today’s globally active workforce and increase their desire to learn more about such matters in the future.
Asia Innovation Challenge Overview
Choose one country from among the ASEAN member nations of Vietnam, Thailand, as well as Bhutan, identify a social issue in that country, and develop a business model proposing a product or service that can contribute to solving or improving that issue.
|Nov 2016:||Teams formed, including FedEx employees as mentors/ advisors|
|Nov – Dec 2016:||Teams decide on the country and issue to be tackled|
|Jan 2017:||Teams produce a business model and presentation materials (justification for the country and issue, explanation of product/ service, target customers, cost management, sales strategy, etc.)|
|Tues, Jan 31:||Final materials submitted
Seven shortlisted teams announced following evaluation by judges
|Sun, Mar 26:||Final presentation via online broadcast between Japan and Singapore FedEx offices
Winning team announced