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Smart Deal M&A Challenge Winner 2022


Why did you decide to attend Smart Deal Challenge last year?

Since Smart deal is the only way how to get into Penta and the last challenge before was in 2018, I did not hesitate for a minute. In addition, appeared to be a nice way how to test my skills against other students from the same field.

What was the biggest challenge on this contest for you?

Without a doubt the case study in the second round. Since we were given a topic I had no prior exposure to, it took quite long period of time to get to know the industry and come up with meaningful and realistic business plan and value creation model that I would be confident to justify in front of the jury.

You mentioned that the case study in the second round was the most significant challenge for you. Can you share a bit more about the topic of the case study and the specific steps you took to familiarize yourself with the industry and develop a compelling business plan?

We were supposed to prepare valuation model of a hospital (that Penta acquired couple months before SmartDeal), which would reflect our proposed investment thesis (value creation) and synergies with existing assets/operations of Penta Hospitals, presentation summarizing our outcomes and assumptions behind the value creation and synergies, and then justify those in front of jury. I spent quite lot of time with regulation on reimbursement of healthcare services and how it works, what the revenue structure of the hospital is, what hospitals does Penta have in the vicinity, what services do they offer.

If you would have a chance to participate in Smart Deal Challenge again, what would you do differently?

I would probably spend a bit less time with the excel model and more on the presentation and the way how to deliver the ideas behind the model in a comprehensive way. Given the lack of information about the deal, it is not the ultimate goal to guess the value or purchase price correctly. Retrospectively, I perceive as more important to show the thought processes that led you to the conclusion, ability to come up with realistic ideas that could be implemented in order to create value and bit of a “big-picture thinking”.

What tips would you give other students thinking of entering the competition?

It is worth the effort. The first round is more of a fun; a combination of logical, numerical, and basic knowledge tests and does not require any prior preparation. Anyway, if you make it to the second round, be prepared to the entire time you would be given in order to prepare all required materials in decent quality.

What do you do in Penta now?

I am currently working as an Analyst in Bratislava. At the beginning, I got a chance to participate on one real estate project and quite shortly after, at the end of the year, I become a member of project teams for DrMax and Slovalco. In the meantime, I also managed to get some exposure to Healthcare projects within Penta Hospitals.

What do you like most about your job and culture in Penta?

The opportunity to get very deep insight into the industries in which Penta operates and the experience learnt from senior management I am in regular contact with. Overall, it might be hard to get into the pace and prove that you might be given the responsibility at the beginning (since no one will tell you what to do and it is entirely up to you how active in searching for work you will be and to which project you will get an exposure to), but once you make it, the nature of the work will be constantly changing so that you never know what to expect next week and that is exactly the point where the work starts to become increasingly interesting.

Sign up for the M&A challenge or RE Business development challenge and prove your excellence