Students from India, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines comprised the winning teams in the 16th annual FedEx Express/JA International Trade Challenge (ITC) finals.The finalists presented their ideas to a panel of regional business leaders following three days of intense competition held virtually from August 9 to 11. The FedEx Express / JA International Trade Challenge program is jointly organized by FedEx Express and JA Asia Pacific, a member of JA Worldwide.
The winning team was J Cubed, comprised of Jakecob M. Jacob from the Philippines and Yau Li Ting Jamie from Singapore. Their idea was a sustainable beer called ‘Loaf’ that is brewed from surplus bread to address food waste and promote sustainability as well as German culture.
Sultans of Sales, comprised of Simar Singh from India and Tatsuru Taguchi from Japan were named first runners-up for their idea of a nutritious, eco-friendly range of drinks called ‘Das Bubble’ made from herbal tea, purified algae, and seaweed from the Baltic Sea.
Magna Victoriam, comprised of Supaseth Julerttrakul from Thailand and Ilangovan Harishiga from Singapore were named second runners-up. Their idea tackled the 200,000 tons of waste produced each year from conventional feminine hygiene products. They conceptualized ‘Cura’ as a compostable alternative to conventional sanitary napkins made from water hyacinth.
In all over 4,800 participants representing 10 AMEA markets – India, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam – competed for the top spots with 60 students making it to this year’s regional AMEA finals. This year, the student teams were tasked with creating a market entry strategy for a physical product that places ‘sustainability’ at its core, and Germany was the target market. The project was particularly timely due to consumers increasingly focusing on the environmental impact of products and the escalating discussion on what role businesses should play to help tackle climate change.
“We chose to center this year’s theme on sustainability as it is such a prescient issue for FedEx, the business community, and everyone on our planet. The knowledge and ideas these young entrepreneurs demonstrated throughout the competition on these real-world challenges was truly inspiring,” said Salil Chari, senior vice president, Marketing and Customer Experience, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region, FedEx Express. “These young participants are our future leaders, creators, and innovators. We’re incredibly proud of our continuing collaboration with JA and look forward to helping fuel the pipeline of entrepreneurship in the years ahead.”