Mumbai team win University of Auckland business case competition

Winners of the University of Auckland’s UN Sustainable Development Goals Business Case Team Competition were announced this week at the NZ High Commission in Delhi.

A team from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Mumbai took first prize with a proposal to promote sustainable farming and conscious living through hydroponic farming. Their initiative focused on developing small-scale greenhouses in residential complexes to take healthy and fresh salad greens to consumers and to the markets on the same day produce was harvested.

In total, 20 teams from universities and colleges across India submitted business cases addressing at least one of the 17 SDGs in their local area, proposing creative, innovative, and feasible solutions to bring about transformative change.

New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India, David Pine, said that as New Zealand had recently reopened its borders to international students post Covid-19 restrictions, it was a very suitable time to be celebrating in person the SDG Business Case Team competition

“I have been impressed by the calibre of this year’s submissions and their innovative approach to addressing some of the biggest challenges of our time, “ he said.

“Our students and future leaders need to be incorporating sustainable development in all of their thinking; there are worldwide implications if that doesn’t start now.”

Members of the three top teams, which also included SRM Institute of Science and Technology in Kattankulathur, Chennai and Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi, were awarded a place in the University of Auckland virtual micro internships programme with a New Zealand business. The winning Narsee Monjee Institute team also each received a NZ$5,500 grant towards a programme of study at the University.

University of Auckland Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Strategic Engagement, Dr Erik Lithander, congratulated the students.

“We salute the commitment of all the student teams for finding creative, innovative, and viable solutions to bring about transformative change in people's lives and the world,” he said.

”This is particularly important area for the University of Auckland, which puts sustainability at the heart of what we do and champions positive social impact through our research, teaching and learning, operating practices, partnerships, and capacity building.”

Winning team (l-r): UoA International Manager Ryan Gamon, NZ High Commissioner in India David Pine and NMIMS Academic Advisor Anushka Dhanwani, with members of the winning team: Naisha Aswani, Tanushka Panjwani and Vedant Agarwal, and UoA Senior Recruitment Advisor for South Asia Vinita Desai.

The University has recently announced an extensive range of new scholarships for Indian students, some worth up to NZ$20,000. More than 200 scholarships, totalling almost NZ$1.5 million, are available for high achieving Indian students in 2023.

The scholarships are awarded biannually, with 115 available twice a year. Each cycle will offer five scholarships up to $20,000, ten up to $10,000 and 100 up to $5,000. Applications for the University of Auckland India High Achievers Scholarship open on 10 October, and both undergraduate and postgraduate students can apply.

Director International, Ainslie Moore, said that this was significant investment for the University of Auckland.

“We believe these scholarships are mutually beneficial, and we look forward to welcoming these top Indian students to Auckland. Our international students add diversity and richness to our campuses and play a major role in research and in the wider New Zealand workforce.”

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