Canteen mobile app proposal wins RP business competition

It is a common grouse among students during break time: The queue at the canteen is so long that by the time you get your food, the bell rings and you have no time to eat.

A team of students from Hai Sing Catholic School has proposed a solution for this common grouse. They have proposed a mobile application which will allow students to order food via the application and save time queuing.

The team’s idea was based on their personal encounters at the school canteen. “My school had this problem where the canteen queues would take so long,” said Hai Sing Catholic School student Atiq Athirah Md Shafel. “I queued for food but didn’t have enough time to eat. That’s when I thought, I have to do something about this.”

The team emerged champions at the Marketing Innovation Challenge organised by RP. Held on November 4 2017, the annual competition is aimed at promoting consumer insights as a basis for strategic business thinking and design creativity among Secondary school students.

STEPPING OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE: Besides developing their ideas, the students from the 20 teams had to present their proposals to a panel of judges. (PHOTO BY LEE QUANTA)

The theme for this year’s competition was “My School. My Innovation. My Smart Nation”, which was aimed at introducing Singapore’s push towards a technologically savvy society to the 20 participating teams.

For Atiq and her Hai Sing Catholic School team, they felt their proposal was fitting given how society has become more reliant on technology. “Most things now use technology, so we tried to develop something more technology based and less old-fashioned,” she said.

Mr Shawn Tay, the lecturer in charge of organising the competition, said the Challenge aimed to sharpen the participants’ senses to be sensitive to the needs of individuals. “Through the workshops and finals at Marketing Innovation Challenge, students will be taught practical knowledge and skillsets like Design Thinking, Market Research and Marketing,” he said.

After the workshops, participants had to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. This allowed some students to step out of their comfort zone.

Westwood Secondary School student Gelasia Chan said her main challenge was speaking in front of a crowd. “It was also difficult to get people to come to our booth,” she said. However, Gelasia and her teammates encouraged each other. They would often approach people as a team as they found strength in numbers.

Mr Tay hopes the ideas behind the winning projects could be implemented in the future. “However, we have yet to receive any update from teams that they are working with any company, government agency, or vendors to develop their ideas as of now,” he said.