(l-r): Lauren Boucher; CAVC student Raj Nithiyabalan; Deanna Phillips; Lauren Davies; Daniel Emberlin; Azil Jesani; Courtney Richards

CAVC student Raj a winner in Trading Places

6 January 2015

Cardiff and Vale College student Raj a winner in Trading Places competition

Cardiff and Vale College students have come out top in a national competition aimed at encouraging enterprise and entrepreneurship among young people. CAVC scooped four out of the six team and individual awards at this year’s Trading Places competition. Business Studies student Raj Nithiyabalan won the EE Outstanding Customer Service Award as well as being in the winning team - Giraffe. Jamie O’Brien’s team won the Natwest Best Business Plan Award and the EE Highest Profit Award. 

The Trading Places completion was organised by First Campus at the University of South Wales in partnership with the South East Wales FE Enterprise Hub, EE, Natwest and the Morgan Quarter in Cardiff. After being selected at an internal College selection training day in November, six CAVC finalists, Raj Nithiyabalan, Jamie O’Brien, Courtney Davies, Naomi Noah, Aidan Kant and Oliver Lewis all got to take part in the final Trading Places event.

During the two day competition EE gave each team workshops in customer service and Natwest delivered workshops on pricing, profit and helped the learners write business plans for their stalls. The learners were then invited to have ‘business meetings’ with the local Natwest business advisors to fine tune their business plans.

The final part of the competition was to set up a Pop-Up shop in the Morgan Arcade in Cardiff. They generated nearly £2000 of sales with recognition from the The Morgan Quarter that their stall and selling skills had resulted in a positive increase in foot traffic.

Raj said: “The experience has been great, it has really been a massive boost towards my personal development and my career development. It was a bit strange at first working with new people but we all got on really well and everyone worked really hard which is the element which I believe brought out the best in everyone.

"We worked well individually which created a strong bond within the team which is why I believe we won the award, I think we portrayed great determination and hunger to be the best team! Winning the individual award for best outstanding service was something I didn't really expect, I was really surprised! I worked hard for the team and in the end I guess it paid off for the team and myself. I would love to take part in anymore upcoming events”