Management Development Programme: The Rookie Challenge

28th July 2017

Sarah Haffenden

– by Samantha Higgins

The second Management Development Programme (MDP) for 2017 rolled out its first day with a surprise challenge called ‘The Rookie’ – the key feature of the Strategic Marketing Management Module. Delegates not yet acquainted were grouped into teams and had nothing more than a team coloured T-shirt to help form initial bonds and potential business strategy. Each team was given R250 to create a ‘business’, selling any product or service of their choice, on Howard College campus. The objective was to make R750 profit over and above the repayment of the R250 interest free loan, all by 3pm that day. Feeling the pressure of the time constraint, teams instantly engaged and bounced product ideas around. These included mobile data, massages, food and sweets.

At the end of the challenge one of the delegates stated that reality set in when initial ‘great ideas’ only translated into minimal profit margins. The additional obstacle of such a low budget meant ideas had to be modified. The benefit of instant feedback from customers (students wisely know where to get the cheapest lunch and snacks in and around campus) helped his team to change tactics and introduce competitive pricing to meet demand. This challenge helped shift the delegate’s focus from a manufacturing viewpoint to that of marketing and sales principles and how these are applied in practical terms. Other delegates found critical criteria to be the customer’s point of view and confidence in product presentation.

At the end of the challenge money was calculated and the pink team came out on top, having sold biscuits and chips – it seems an instant product sold at a competitive price worked well. Overall the teams brought in R1899 which will be donated to a charity of their choice.

The MDP Course is run for 3 days (Thursday to Saturday) every month over a 6 month period. Apart from Strategic Marketing Management the other modules include: Management and Leadership, Strategic HR Management, Management Strategy, Operations and Supply Chain Management, Financial Management and Management Accounting, Technology and Business and Personal Coaching.

The next intake for MDP is the 18th October 2017. For more information please click here.