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International Challengers begin Grand Finals of Maybank Go Ahead Challenge 2014

11 August 2014

4 min read

For the first time the Grand Finals is held in two cities, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur

KUALA LUMPUR, 11th August 2014: Excitement ignited today as the International Grand Finals of the Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge 2014 roared into life. The 60 finalists from 141 countries across the world were unveiled at Menara Maybank in Kuala Lumpur this morning, before racing off to begin an intensive five days of challenges and tasks that will test their abilities to the limit.

Living up to the Challenge’s tradition of ‘expecting the unexpected’, for the first time, the Grand Finals are held in two cities, namely Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. In Jakarta, the Challengers will be spending two days, one night to gain exposure of Maybank’s international operations in Indonesia, namely BII Maybank. They will then return to Kuala Lumpur to complete the Challenge.

The Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge is Maybank’s unique talent recruitment scheme designed to find the brightest and best young minds from the regions where Maybank operates as well as worldwide. The most prestigious value proposition of the Challenge is a fast track invitation to the prestigious Global Maybank Apprentice Programme, Maybank’s bespoke two-year international mentorship scheme. The top honours namely the Champion team and the Ultimate GO Ahead. Challenger is greatly sought after as the winners will get to attend an interaction session of Maybank’s Premium Leadership Programme comprising the top 50 most influential leaders of Maybank in Shanghai, China.

This year’s Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge received a 100% surge in submissions over the previous year. The 60 finalists are the best-performing selected from more than 10,000 applicants who applied to join this year’s competition. Applications were open to recent graduates and final-year university students in Malaysia and 13 other countries worldwide in which Maybank has a significant presence. Applicants went through a rigorous selection process culminating in National Qualifier Levels held in each of the contributing countries, with the very best meeting to battle it out for the coveted International Grand Final spots.

Speaking at the Official Grand Finals launch ceremony at Menara Maybank today, Nora Abd Manaf, Group Chief Human Capital Officer Maybank, outlined the importance of the Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge.

“This unique international business case study competition has proven to be an effective avenue to successfully unearth talented individuals from around the world, who have the intelligence, tenacity and business acumen to build Maybank and the banking industry, further.”

“At the same time, the Challenge was built on a desire to contribute to a larger picture – that is the human capital development not only here in Malaysia, but to the wider footprint – the region where Maybank has a presence in 20 countries worldwide. This is to ensure, that we are continuously well prepared in seizing opportunities presented by the expanding global marketplace right here in our backyard. As you are aware, the Future is Asia and we are committed to play our part in nurturing future leaders to contribute to the growth of Asia,” said Nora.

Over the next five days, the finalists will be put through their paces in an intensive, action-packed programme of challenges and tasks. The activity began at the time the participants arrived in Kuala Lumpur. The core activities kicked off immediately after the Flag-Off ceremony with the Challengers following sets of cryptic clues through the streets of Kuala Lumpur to eventually discover their next Challenge’s destination.

Part of the excitement and surprise included the trail blazing into a different frontier which is very much part of our footprint and presence. The trail leads them to none other than Jakarta, Indonesia where the finalist will begin the groundwork of their business case. “Apart from showcasing on how the challenge has evolved over the years, the experience in Jakarta gives them a flavour of the international presence that we have, where each and every country and part of our operations are closely weaved together for business success. It teaches them the necessity to be globally literate and understand the global marketplace to be successful future leaders. This is also a testament that the Challenge is truly international in nature and how we emphasise the significance of cross-cultural appreciation,” added Nora.

After Jakarta, they will complete the rest of the Challenge in Kuala Lumpur. Among the challenges lined up are conducting negotiations, pitching for capital and managing resources. They will be competing head-to-head in a sales challenge with the proceeds from the sales donated to charity. They will be various ‘roadblocks’ set up in their path, aimed at testing their resourcefulness and ability to operate under extreme pressure.

In addition to the mental and physical tasks they will face throughout the week, one day of the Challenge will allow the finalists to participate in a Maybank corporate responsibility initiative to experience the Bank’s mission of humanising financial services. The finalists will spend the day helping to build homes for a community in Malaysia.

The finalists will be marked on their performance during the week’s challenges, both individually and as teams. The winners will be revealed at a Gala Dinner event on Saturday 16th August, with the top-placed team winning the grand prize of USD40,000. The second-placed team will receive USD20,000, with third-place winning USD10,000. In addition, the overall best-performing individual finalist will be crowned the ‘ Ultimate GO Ahead Challenger’, and will win a cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to New York, where they will have the opportunity to work at Maybank’s New York office.

To find out more about the Maybank GO Ahead. Challenge 2014, the Global Maybank Apprentice Programme, and this year’s challengers, visit