Bayer is a 150-year-old German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company with core competencies in healthcare and agriculture. Today’s Japanese farmers face growing challenges of labor shortage from population aging, where approximately 83,000 workers retreat every year from the farming sector with an average age of 70 years-old. Bayer CropScience business in Japan has begun the use of drones, robots and digital technologies to combat labor shortage as well as increase solution value and stickiness.
TEMG4950 series of experiential-learning courses use real-world challenges faced by leading companies to teach consultative problem-solving methods to students. The case challenge we brought to the students at this Corporate Project was how might we help Bayer CropScience improve the effectiveness and efficiency of field services to match the changing needs of Japanese farmers, partners and consumers while protecting the environment. 24 students were divided into 4 teams with focus on either "Rice" or "Plantect" for greenhouse crops. Each team had at least 3 mentors from Bayer, 1 HKUST faculty advisor and 1 IBM design-consultant as mentors.
The mixed-mode final presentation was held on 10 May, 2021. 4 teams of student consultants presented their proposals to a panel of judges including Mr. Jens HARTMANN, Head of Commercial Operations, Mr. Kohei SAKATA, Head of Digital Incubator for Asia Pacific, Dr. Harald PRINTZ, Country Division Head, Japan, from Bayer CropScience and Mr. Barry CHAN, Managing Partner from IBM GBS Consulting Group.
The judges were satisfied with the exceptional quality of proposals and particularly impressed by the professional presentation and the responses to tough questions by even the younger students.