This year’s Hong Kong Group Project Plenary (for students studying through HKU SPACE) brought together 31 students during 7-8 July 2012. Students studying through HKU SPACE follow a different format for their mandatory face-to-face contact; they attend a series of weekend master classes offered by Royal Holloway staff in Hong Kong throughout their studies. The Group Project then takes the form of a weekend plenary session with activities similar to the on-campus plenary at Royal Holloway. This year, we instituted a new practice whereby the students were given one month ahead of the plenary to work together in groups in order to prepare a Group Report (for submission prior to the start of the plenary). The plenary session itself then focused on the Group Presentation.
This year’s plenary case study was based on the ongoing competitive struggles between Apple, Google and Microsoft in the converging Internet industry. The plenary used a case published by the University of St Gallen on this theme supplemented by a talk by Mr Kenneth Woo, former COO, SAP China. Interestingly the plenary coincided with several new developments in the converging Internet industry with Apple, Microsoft and Google all announcing new products and services to capture market share from each other! The case raised interesting issues in relation to a range of disciplines such as strategy, economics, marketing, operations and supply chains, and technology.
The plenary also included a wine tasting session led by one of Hong Kong’s pioneering female sommeliers, currently GM of the retail division of the Altaya Group, Ms Yvonne Wang, as well as team building exercises and group activities. The plenary ended on Sunday night with dinner and celebrations at a local 'Chiu Chow' restaurant.
The Hong Kong plenary was ably supported by the local HKU SPACE team consisting of Dr Wai Wan, Programme Director, and Mr Samuel Chu, Executive Assistant at the College of Business and Finance, HKU Space.
Dr G. Harindranath
11th July 2012