Airwallex – MAT Midnight Magic (3rd place USBCC 2023)

Rotterdam International Case Academy>Airwallex – MAT Midnight Magic (3rd place USBCC 2023)

While most of the students are enjoying a well-deserved fall break, MAT Consulting is attending the University of Sydney Business School Case Competition. This online event, held between 19 and 20 October, is renowned for solving challenges for big, innovative companies and a strong competitor field. With institutions competing from Hong Kong, Thailand, Canada, USA, Australia & Hungary, it is truly an international event. Rotterdam is represented by Erasmus University and ‘our own’ University of Applied Sciences.
It is a typical dark and stormy autumn evening when Alisa Poliakova (IB), Dana van der Meer (ORM), Dennis Wietsma (Bedrijfskunde) en Eva de Boer (Bedrijfskunde) gather in a cosy, but welcoming, student house here in Kralingen. The team is more than eager to perform, as they missed out on the RICCB (Rotterdam International Case Competition Bootcamp) -finals by only a point. The past weeks were focused on fine-tuning their solving process and mastering time-management to solve a 10-hour case.
From midnight to 10 in the morning, MAT Consulting will be grinding their gears for the challenges that Airwallex faces. This multi-billion-dollar valuated fin-tech company, founded only in 2015, has proven to be very successful. With 30.000 customers worldwide and multiple funding rounds accumulating to 900 million dollars, the future looks bright. But what should the future look like for this fast-growing organization aiming to remove national barriers in the world of payments? They ask ‘our’ students to help with their challenge: Which Industry/ies should Airwallex target for their next stages of growth? What is the total addressable market in that industry? What is their right to win? What is the go-to market strategy they should use? Big questions to solve…
The next evening, at midnight, MAT Consulting enters the online stage as the first team to present. They need to set the tone for the other teams if they want to make it to the finals. And that tone is being set by Alisa, who draws the attention of the audience by creating an analogy in shipping terms.
MAT Consulting for Airwallex, opening slide
“Today, we will help Airwallex navigate through the blue oceans ahead”. The idea is to enter the international, but sometimes conservative shipping industry with their products. Dennis takes over with an in-depth analysis of the possible markets to enter and outlines the needs from the ideal customer, being a need for a cheap, convenient, and fast solution.
ConsultingEva de BoerDana van der MeerAlisaPoliakovaDennisWietsma or
Alisa explains that, based on carefully selected criteria like the competitive landscape and total addressable market, the logistics market has the most positive outlook and biggest chance for success. The 3-pillar strategy that follows is circled around penetrating the freight forwarding industry.
Dana carefully explains the strategy to gain a foothold in this market by explaining what benefits Airwallex can offer to their potential new clients. The team found out that the conservative industry is heavily relying on traditional currency exchange methods, being very costly in a market that is based on efficiency and cost-leadership operating on razor-thin margins. This is the gap where Airwallex should tap in to. Now that Airwallex knows how to reach their customers and where to start, Eva presents a plan to implement internal changes to make this happen. All in all, it is a concise and very concrete plan. But is it enough? The team heads out to the last bar in town that is still open to de-brief… Wat if we make it to the finals? What can we finetune? How can we better deliver our message. The barman lets MAT know that he wants to close. The team has to go home and at 3AM, they will know more…
The team is exploding when they read that they made it. Dana is jumping around, waking up everybody. The energy can be felt. At 04:30, it is their time to shine. This time to different judges. The Director Australia & New Zealand and Head of Revenue will be watching their presentation now. One last shot…
10 minutes later, a proud coach is carefully listening to Alisa summarizing what was an exceptional presentation. With joy, humor, confidence and pride, MAT Consulting clearly took the stage to shine. When the time for questions was up, the judges start thanking MAT Consulting. “This was a one-in-a-million presentation, thank you so much for this very comprehensive story”. What better compliment can we get from the Director Australia & New Zealand working for a multi-billion-dollar company?
It is 05:30 in the morning when everyone sits at the edge of their seat. First, a separate award is given to the best speaker at the event. And the winner is… OUR Alisa Poliakova! Now, we feel that there might be more to this. The organization starts with announcing the 3rd place… Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences! The team jumps up and really felt that they exceeded themselves. Now it is time to sleep, later that evening the next case competition starts. A 6-day pre-arrival case for the BMCC, held next week in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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