Grad students win Supply Chains and Operations Management competition

Release date: April 21, 2015 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A team of three graduate students claimed victory in the University at Buffalo School of Management’s first-ever Supply Chains and Operations Management case competition on April 17.

Sagar Shirish Ghare of Nagpur, India; Chunzi Jin of Heilongjiang, China; and Isha Sharma of Gwalior, India, won first place and a $500 prize. All three are master’s students in supply chains and operations management.

Teams served as external consultants, tasked with analyzing and reconfiguring a wireless company’s distribution strategy to reduce costs. The competitors presented their solutions to a judging panel of industry leaders and UB School of Management experts.

“It was a real-life business simulation that prepared us to deliver and quantify our decisions,” says Ghare. “Presenting to experts and receiving their feedback boosts our confidence.”

A team of first-year MBA students won second place and a $250 prize. Aniruddha Sanjay Lakhkar of Pune, India; Rishabh Mathur of Jaipur, India; and Keya Paradkar of Baroda, India, made up the second-place squad.

Coming in third place were first-year MBA students Manmeeth Annepu of Hyderabad, India; Jennifer Francis of Watertown; and Zakary Hites of Fairport, Ohio. They won a $125 prize.

The UB Supply Chain and Operations Management Club hosted the competition, with funding from the Institute for Supply Management, as well as the School of Management’s Graduate Programs Office and Operations Management and Strategy Department.

Serving as judges for the competition were Brandon Jones, president, Institute for Supply Management; Joost Vles, EMBA ’00, northeast district manager, APICS; Preetika Ghai, supply chain manager, customer service and logistics, Rich Products; and Marty Hurley, vice president of planning, customer service and logistics, Rich Products.

Representing the school’s Operations Management and Strategy Department as judges were Nallan Suresh, UB Distinguished Professor and chair; Natalie Simpson, associate professor; Jurriaan de Jong, assistant professor; Jun Ru, assistant professor; Mike Mingcheng Wei, assistant professor; and William Hayden, adjunct assistant professor. In addition, also serving as judges were School of Management staff members Erin O’Brien, assistant dean and director, and Amit Prayag, assistant director of academic services, both of the Graduate Programs Office; and Melissa Ruggiero, senior associate director, Career Resource Center.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB’s nearly 30,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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Matthew Biddle
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School of Management