Release Date: April 25, 2018
BUFFALO, N.Y. — University at Buffalo School of Management MBA students dominated the winner’s circle at this year’s Whitman Case Competition, finishing first, second and fourth against teams from universities around the country.
The students’ strong showing marks the second consecutive year UB teams have captured the top two spots in the competition, hosted by the Syracuse University Martin J. Whitman School of Management on April 20-21. UB MBAs have won the prestigious competition five of the past eight years.
The winning team, which shared a $5,000 prize, was made up of Mugdha Patil, MBA ’18, Ashish Poojari, MBA ’18, and Vaishnavi Ravichandran, a master’s student in econometrics and quantitative economics.
“Case competitions are among the most formative experiences in the MBA program, encapsulating everything we’ve learned into a single event,” Poojari says. “The Whitman competition helped us focus on our personal competencies, like trusting your teammates, handling situational pressure and being detail-oriented, confident and well prepared.”
For this year’s case, teams analyzed Vehicare, a company that uses data from tractor-trailers on fuel, maintenance and repairs to reduce costs for fleet owners. As the firm prepares to launch a new predictive analytics service, students analyzed the potential target market, developed a pricing strategy and considered how the company could protect its innovation and scale up in the future.
During the final round, teams presented their recommendations to a judging panel that included executives from Vehicare and its parent company, Clarke Power Services.
Sean Deacon, MBA ’18, Jonathan Percy, MBA ’19, Taylor Speer, MBA ’18, and Mark Wilson, MBA ’18, made up the second-place team and split a $2,500 prize.
Coming in fourth were first-year UB MBAs Mike Kleinfelder, Ankit Mishra and Aditya Palnitkar. They shared a $1,000 prize.
The UB School of Management teams bested squads from MBA programs at Northwestern University, Syracuse University, University of Connecticut, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Utica College and William & Mary.
Registration and travel expenses were provided in part through gifts from Joseph Curatolo, BS ’76, president and owner of Georgetown Capital, and Steven C. Verney, BS ’80, MBA ’81, chief financial officer at National Auto Care and former executive vice president and chief risk officer at Allstate Insurance Co., along with a matching grant from Allstate.