Citi Financial Quiz Competition 2007
Might of the young minds
The Asian Tigers of the 90s may have shown what they are made of in the global economic scene, but if there has ever been any sign for us, then it is now: Bangladesh's time under the sun has arrived. With remittance clocking record growth, and a robust service and manufacturing sector diversifying in as many avenues as imaginable, we are poised to leap into a whole new league. Leading us into this 'brave new world' are the business pioneers and entrepreneurial mavericks that Bangladesh is producing. So, who will these future whiz kids be?
Star Campus found these finance and business wunderkinds, at home, in the latest and a rather unique setup: the Citi Financial Quiz Competition 2007. Well, as a quiz competition organized by the veritable financial services company in the world, Citigroup, this first-of-its-kind competition naturally pulled in, under one roof, the best minds in finance, management, commerce, and other subjects pertaining to the ever-growing and sought-after Business School fraternity. And the Grand Finale of the Competition is going be aired today (Sunday, September 02, 2007) at 5:15pm, Live on Channel i from the Bangladesh-China Friendship Convention Centre with the honorable adviser for the ministries of Finance, Planning, Commerce, Post and Telecommunications, Dr. AB Mirza Md. Azizul Islam attending as Chief Guest and giving away the grand prizes.
This June, the world's largest financial services company, Citigroup, which also was crowned the largest company in the world in the Forbes 2000 largest companies' list published in March, 2007, with a whopping US$2.2 trillion dollars in assets announced in Bangladesh that its philanthropic arm Citi Foundation would be funding a new financial quiz competition garnered to the rising business school students at undergraduate level. Organized by Citi's banking arm, Citibank, N.A. Bangladesh, the Quiz Competition would have a grand prize of US$3000 and a Runner Up prize of US$1500. As the first and pioneering private university, with one of the most prestigious business schools in the country, North South University joined hands to launch the Citi Financial Quiz Competition 2007 back in June. As Partners in Progress from the media, Channel i and Radio Foorti joined hands too.
As they say, the rest has been history. With a distinguished Advisory Council comprised of the nation's most famous names in the field of academia, business, commerce and finance, the Citi Financial Quiz Competition generated tremendous response from the leading public and private universities in the country. With participation by invitation format for the first year, 12 public and private universities eventually were to take part in the mother of all battles for business school students. The participating universities: Jahangirnagar University, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Rajshahi University, Chittagong University, University of Development Alternatives, Stamford University, Daffodil International University, American International University Bangladesh, Independent University Bangladesh, BRAC University, East West University and North South University.
Commenting on the Citi Financial Quiz Competition 2007, Vice Chancellor of North South University, Dr. Hafiz G.A. Siddiqi said, “It is a pleasure for NSU to have collaborated with Citibank and introduce this first-of-its-kind quiz show to address the need for financial education of business school students. Our main goal is to promote financial education amongst the future leaders of the country and create a single platform for many young talents to stand out and get a wider exposure.”
A lot of interest in the competition was generated by the stellar Advisory Council formed for this competition. Their names are must mention: Dr. Hafiz G.A. Siddiqi, Vice Chancellor, North South University, who was also the Chairperson of the Advisory Council; Dr. Mohammed Farashuddin, Professor & Chairperson, Department of Economics, East West University, Prof. Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University, Ibrahim Khalid, former Deputy Governor, Bangladesh Bank and Director - Kochi Kachar Mela, Masih Ul Karim, Managing Director, Berger Paints Bangladesh Limited and President, Foreign Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), Waliur Rahman Bhuiyan, Managing Director, BOC Bangladesh Limited, Shykh Seraj, Director and Head of News, Channel i, Adeeb H. Khan, Partner, Rahman Rahman Huq, Chartered Accountants, Salahuddin Ahmed Khan, CEO, Dhaka Stock Exchange, Barrister Nihad Kabir, Senior Partner, Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed and Associates, Dr. ANM Meshquat Uddin, Professor and Director, MBA Program, North South University, Mamun Rashid, Managing Director & Citigroup Country Officer, Bangladesh and Khd. Rashed Maqsood, Director and Head of Global Transaction Services, Citibank, N.A. Bangladesh. Also guiding the questions, and moderating the whole contest were a separate,, independent Jury Board comprised of the most trusted and famous names in various professional sectors
The Advisory Council had some valuable opinion on the role of this competition. Former Bangladesh Bank Governor, Dr. Mohammed Farashuddin said, "Being a student of economics, I feel that this will be a level playing ground for many business school students to compete against each other and enhance their knowledge base. We want the students to develop a prudent and practical attitude towards knowledge in finance and the economy.”
Representing the leading foreign business conglomerates in the country, the President of FICCI, Masih Ul Karim added, “Through this contest, we are hoping to foster a proper understanding and practical knowledge to create future business managers and contribute to the country's economic growth.”
Divided into three rounds, each Quiz had multiple-choice, open-ended and visual questions. The questions ranged between finance, commerce, banking, trade, capital market and all fortés in the diverse world of business. With the preliminary rounds kicking off with 3 universities in each group, eight quarter-finalist teams soon came out from stiff competition. And the knock-out rounds began. Eight teams outwitted and out-prompted the other and it came down to the final four.
As if to make the Quiz as appealing as possible, Channel i telecast all the Quizzes every Friday at 6pm and every Saturday at 6:20pm. And Radio Foorti showcased the teams and the upcoming quizzes everyday in between their shows. All in all, by the time the Semi Finals were about to start the Citi Financial Quiz Competition 2007 had become the buzz among the best minds in the Business School fraternity. On August 25, 2007, the Citi Financial Quiz Competition 2007 finally reached the Semi Final stage. That Saturday, Jahangirnagar University faced Stamford University in a nail-biting Semi Final. After three neck-to-neck rounds of competition, it still ended up in a tie between the two teams. Eventually, a tie-breaker round decided the winning team: Jahangirnagar University.
It was again the same nerve-racking competition in the second Semi Final between North South University and Chittagong University. From the very beginning, both teams had proved to be formidable opponents. Chittagong University had shown their brilliance in the academic field of finance coming up with answers to some of the toughest questions in the entire Competition. Lagging behind till the last round, it was North South University that showed the true mettle of a winner by scooping up almost all points in the third round. In the end, it was North South University that nudged Chittagong University out to clinch a place in the Final where they will face Jahangirnagar University today. The grand prize US$3000, and even the Runner Up team will win US$1500. But the prestige of being crowned the best minds to come out of our Business Schools surely will throttle these students to higher pursuits. Star Campus will bring the Winners to your pages next week.
While the Citi Financial Quiz Competition 2007 has been the first of its kind for Business School students, and it has also generated interest among the general viewers regarding financial education and business practices as a whole. Exploring this idea, Managing Director and Citigroup Country Officer Mamun Rashid said, " We trust this quiz contest will benefit not only the business school students but through airing of each round of competition in Channel i it will benefit a much larger population alike in terms of increasing their interest and awareness of financial education in Bangladesh."
All in all, Bangladesh as a country is poised to become the next big boom. With veritable institutions such as Goldman Sachs and ADB all touting Bangladesh as the emerging economy in Asia, if not the world, grooming the right business leaders to get that job done is the call of the hour. And with the world's largest company, and financial services company, Citibank, N.A. putting its might in grooming and promoting them, Bangladesh's Business School students can only expect the best.
(R) thedailystar.net 2007