Leaders do not create followers – they create new leaders

WHY IS THE BELGRADE BUSINESS INTERNATIONA CASE COMPETITION (BBICC) AMONG TOP 10 IN THE WORLD?

Belgrade became very bright and exciting last month in April, as it hosted 20 teams from 13 countries for the the BBICC, the top 10 global case study competition: USA, Australia, Canada, Russia, Switzerland, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Germany, the Netherlands, Croatia, Portugal and Serbia. Each team that entered the BBICC consisted of four students and a mentor. “Encouraging Top Talent Ideas“ was the competition’s tagline, and it hosted the world’s leading universities so that global students and faculty can familiarize themselves with Serbia’s business environemtna and the challeges of leading companies in the region. The event was organised by the best FOS students.

Vesna Damnjanović, Founder and Director of the world case study competition, BBICC, with Faculty of Organizational Sciences (FOS) students, and leaders of the BBICC 2019 event: Ana Jaćimović, Bogdan Radenković and Nina Đelić

What does it mean to be the best student? In order to aswer this quesiton, you have to familiarize yourself with the story of three wonderful young people, Ana, Nina and Bogdan. This amazing trio spent the past ten months voluteering, waking up early, sometimes skipping sleep, managing a team of 47 students: 27 from the organisational team and 20 ambassadors.

This is a story about youth, energy, commitment, and the desire to learn and improve with every day.

The seventh BBICC was took place from 7th to 13th of April, 2019. As the event was rated highly last year, the organizers decided to focus exceeding expectations even further. The event was evaluated by mentors from the world’s universities and ranked against similar competitions worldwide. To be at the top means to have a team of brilliant people. If you do not have people who can work in a complementary manner and to whom you can delegate tasks, success is not possible in the long run. All three students: Ana, Nina and Bogdan became members of the Case Study Club, the leading management-consulting organisation at FOS, and from their first year of study began to put in extra time after their regular lectures, to compete at local and elimination levels in case study competions. As the most experienced, senior Ana had an opportunity to lead the event as president of the organisational team; this was her fourth year on the BBICC project. In her first year she was a member of the logistics team, the following year she served as ambassador to the national team from FOS, whereas last year she worked as member of the team responsible for event organisation. This year Ana was in charge of external relations coordination team and took an active part in the case study team where her task was to write case studies, together with her team of students, for three companies: TeleGroup, Coca-Cola Company and Saga New Frontier Group; she was also engaged in presenting student case study solutions to the expert jury. Ana was born in Kragujevac, she is good-tempered and patient, always willing to listen and help. In her grammar school days she played the piano. Together with her colleague Bogdan and with Aleksandra Džinčić she won the first place last year at the regional finals in Zagreb, at the L’Oreal Brandstorm 2018 competition and represented FOS at the world finals in Paris. Ana is the person who always says to her team:“Everything will be all right“ and she helped everyone reach the top position.

Bogdan is from Bor. He is an inquisitive character, enthusiastic about marketing and social network management. This year he was Co-Chair for the marketing and the information technology teams. In previous years he was in charge of the marketing team at the BBICC, while propr to that he was engaged as ambassador to the Portugese team. In February, he entered a prestigeous competition in Copenhagen, the CBS Case Competition, where he developed new ideas about how to improve the scene and the finals of the BBICC 2019 with visuals, lights and teamwork with colleagues Ana and Nina, together with whom he conducted the finals. Bogdan has alwas been a creative guru on the team and in his frequent appearences on television and media announcements with his team, helped garner publicity for the BBICC 2019. In addition, the brilliant work of the IT team enabled a perfect coordination throughout the event as well as the livestream broadcast during the finals. It should also be noted that thanks to Bogdan, the organisational team promoted the event on billboards, unlike in previous years.

Nina is from Belgrade. Even before she entered FOS, she won a case study competition as a secondary school student. For years been a skiing champion and her persistence and powerful intellect are character features that qualify her as a superior strategic leader. Nina has authority among students and is always there to keep teams on track and to ensure that everything should flow smoothly. She started as a volunteer at the BBICC competition and last year she led the international relations team, in charge of relations with universities, mentors, the team of ambassadors working with universities and the Radisson Collection hotel where the competition took place. This year she was a Co-Chair and led the international relations team as well as the event organisation team, all of which she accomplished excellently. In addition, Nina simultaneously led the FOS student team: Isidora Perović, Dunja Paunović and Luka Delić with whom she won the national competition “Ensure Knowledge“ in March 2019. The team had the honour to present the case study solution at the Kopaonik Business Forum. Furthermore, with this same team she entered the top 20 teams in the world at the CBS Global Competition among over 300 teams from the whole world. Nina is a person who always gives maximum effort and is a role model for all young people who plan to participate in case study competition and work on the BBICC project in the future.

Organisation team of the FOS students at the BBICC 2019 event

Besides the students there are colleagues from the FOS who participated as members of Executive Board and who also contributed to putting this event on the top list of such events globally. This year these there Ema Gligorijević, Milan Okanović, Miloš Milosavljević, Slavica Cicvarić-Kostić, Jovana Rakićević, as well as two students who were masters of ceremonies at the BBICC 2018, Nataša Vladisavljević and Marko Damjanović. Of course, there is also the management of the FOS presided by the Dean, Prof Dr Milija Suknović and the President of the Council of the FOS, Milan Martić. My thanks, as usual, always go to my mentor, Prof Dr Vinka Filipović who believed in me, encouraged me saying: “Go for it, Veka!“

The BBICC has become a success thanks to partners, managers of leading companies in Serbia as well as alumni members of the FOS who are always happy to return and help by investing into talents. A positive energy present among the members of the jury the number of whom this year amounted to 64 was amazing. This is because informal meetings of the managers who make the BBICC community and the students – event leaders are held throughout the year. Last year the managers presented me with a summer holiday in the Seychelles. I remained speechless.

The BBICC is a success because of people who take part in it, because of positive energy, investment into the best people Serbia has. It is a success because it is a meeting place of the leading universities worldwide: Berkly from the USA, St Gallen from Switzerland, and the Hong Kong University from Hong Kong.

The comments of two mentors offer the best feedback we received after the BBICC 2019 was concluded in April: “As a first time participant, I was very impressed with the event. The cases were first rate (my compliments to the case writers), the judges strong, and the participants a diverse and welcome group of new friends.” Joel Rudi, Indiana University. “To Vesna, I give my gratitude to both you and your team for orchestrating this well put-together event. From the passion exhibited by the organizing committee, to the challenging case studies and competitors – it is easy to see why BBICC is regarded as one of the top 10 case competitions worldwide. Congratulations on a successful BBICC and thanks again for the excellent hospitality.” Michael Luu, Toronto University.

Winners of BBICC 2019: Wilfrid Laurier University from Canada with Branislav Vujović, president of the Saga New Frontier Group

Vesna Damnjanovic
About Vesna Damnjanovic 1 Article
I am ex professional swimmer, professor, mentor, coach, leader, strategist, a team player and motivator with goal to support and encourage students, top talents and managers to improve their people and performance skills. I visited 45 countries and create excellent network, teach business case study at different university and won global case competitions with top students all around the world. I connect my academic knowledge with practice and help people to develop business problem solving approach. I am happy to share positive energy and experience!

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