Third day. Business case
For the IEO contestants, McKinsey prepared a case study dedicated to the possible project of a Hyperloop in Russia.
A business case study is a document describing the operations, goals, challenges, and opportunities of a company. As an educational tool, case studies offer a practical way to understand how a firm works. In the case round, students are expected to propose solutions to the challenges experienced by the company, and to present that solution in a structured form.

This year, case round was presented by one of the top strategic consulting firms in the world – McKinsey.McKinsey transforms organizations in the ways that matter most to their clients. This means embedding digital, analytics, and design into core processes and mind-sets; building capabilities that help organizations and people to thrive in an ever-changing context; and developing excellence in execution to ensure that actions translate into outcomes, quickly and sustainably. With exceptional people in 65 countries, the consulting firm combines global expertise and local insight to help you create the change that truly matters.
For the IEO contestants, McKinsey prepared a case study dedicated to the possible project of a Hyperloop in Russia. Hyperloop is an Elon Mask's concept of a proposed mode of passenger and freight transportation, first used to describe an open-source vactrain. The contestants of the IEO should propose a business model of the project or give convincing arguments for the unprofitability of the project.

Before the third round started, our participants had had a lecture about successful case studying and work in general. And here are some comments and tips from Danil Fedorovykh, the President of the IEO:

What was the last year's case?

Students were proposed to develop a strategy of promotion for a commercial bank. The target group was young people who were just starting to use the banking system. In addition, participants had data on financial statistics of the company and customer reviews.

Why was this format chosen for a third round?

As IEO is a team competition, contestants should be able to work not only individually but also in teams. Firstly, case solving is suitable for the theme of our Olympiad – economics. Secondly, this is an opportunity for every student to show the strengths he or she possesses: developing a financial model, preparing presentation slides and presenting the final solution.

Which difficulties did the students experience when preparing for the round? What were the most common mistakes?

Some countries were not familiar with this type of assignment, and it was the biggest challenge for them. Others had some difficulties with understanding criteria and distributing forces among different parts of the task.

What do participants need to know about the round to pass it successfully?

Participants need to understand how a firm works. Also, students who know at least the basics of corporate finance and management have a significant advantage.

What helped the last year's winners most?

Last year, Kazakhstan and Malaysiareached the final level. Malaysia won this round because of their ability to combine good financial model with impressive presentation.