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The Mousetrap 2012 Simulation FAQs

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Mousetrap 2012

Copyright 2012 Tycoon Systems Ltd

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The Mousetrap 2012 Simulation FAQs General FAQs


1. Do I need to install any software to play the simulation? No. You can play the simulation on your internet browser. Hence there is no need to install any software. However, please ensure that you have Adobe Flashplayer 9.0 plugin in your browser, as some graphics elements in the simulation require it to be displayed. 2. How will teams participate in the simulation? There will be 5 slots of one hour each during the preparation as well as prelims. For the finals, there will two slots of 2 hours each. Teams can start logging on to the simulation server 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the slot and can do so till the beginning of the slot. Teams that fail to login during this 15 minute window will not be able to compete in that slot. Given below are the timings of the slots on all event days, with their login window. Please note that all times given below are IST. Date 17 Nov 17 Nov 17 Nov 17 Nov 17 Nov 18 Nov- 19 Nov 18 Nov- 19 Nov 18 Nov- 19 Nov 18 Nov- 19 Nov 18 Nov- 19 Nov 20 Nov- 21 Nov *Next Day 3. Is there any upper limit on number of teams per slot? Yes. A maximum of 50 teams can play in a slot at a time. Teams will be allotted to a slot on a first come first serve basis as they start logging onto the simulation server during the 15 minute login window. 4. Can I play more than once on a single day? No. One team (that is login) can participate in just one of the rounds on a particular day. This is applicable to all of preparation, prelim and final rounds. 5. Is it mandatory to participate in the preparation round? No. Teams can choose to skip the preparation round. But, it is recommended that you participate in them so that you get a feel of how the simulation works. 6. Is it mandatory to participate on all days during the prelims and finals? No. However, given the way scoring happens, it is in the interest of the teams to participate on all days of the prelims and finals. Historically, teams that have participated on all days of the prelims and finals have gone on to win Mousetrap, probably because they become more adept at playing it with each day. Slot Trial Slot 1 Trial Slot 2 Trial Slot 3 Trial Slot 4 Trial Slot 5 Prelims Slot 1 Prelims Slot 2 Prelims Slot 3 Prelims Slot 4 Prelims Slot 5 Pre Finals Start Time 18:00 19:30 21:00 22:30 00:00* 18:00 19:30 21:00 22:30 00:00* TBA End Time 19:00 20:30 22:00 23:30 01:00* 19:00 20:30 22:00 23:30 01:00* TBA Login Window 17:45 to 18:00 19:15 to 19:30 20:45 to 21:00 22:15 to 22:30 23:45 to 00:00* 17:45 to 18:00 19:15 to 19:30 20:45 to 21:00 22:15 to 22:30 23:45 to 00:00* TBA

Copyright 2012 Tycoon S ystems Ltd

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The Mousetrap 2012 Simulation FAQs


7. How will the rankings be decided? The registered teams have been divided into 2 groups of at most 250 teams each for the prelims. The market caps of the teams at the end of each days participation in a given round will be added up to determine the total score of the team for that round. The teams will be ranked on the basis of their total scores; the top 50 teams from each group in the prelims will be eligible to participate in the finals. For example, If a team participates on both days of the prelims and its market cap is 360 and 480 at the end of each of the 2 days, then its cumulative market cap in the prelims will be (360+480) = 840. The top 50 teams by cumulative market cap will qualify for the finals from each group this adds up to 100 finalists from both groups taken together. In this context, please note that: Prelim scores are not carried forward to the finals, that is, each team begins with a clean slate in the finals Within a given round (prelims or finals), each slot that the team competes in is independent of the other slots o Example: If a team attains a market cap of 277 at the end of its slot on Day 1 of the prelims, then it will begin its slot on Day 2 with a default market cap preset by the system.

FAQs related to functionality


1. Will all features of the simulation on display in the preparation round? Are there any additional features that we will see in the prelims? Yes, all the features that will be available during the prelims will be on display in the preparation round. The objective of the preparation is to get the teams acquainted with all the available features of the game so that they can plan their strategies and take better informed decisions during the actual competition. However, the finals may have some additional decisions compared to the prelims, a brief on which will be provided to teams that qualify for the finals.

2. Is there a possibility to set production volume? We kept seeing 'Inventory Days = 0', but did not know
how to take action. When you launch a new product, you will see 0 days of inventory in the same quarter that you launched the product. This is because it takes 1 quarter for your manufacturing facility to be operational. So if you launch a new product in quarter 2, you will see 0 days of inventory in quarter 2. However you will have inventory to sell beginning quarter 3. Yes, you can set production volume. Further, production capacity will depend upon the size of your production unit which in the simulation occurs in multiples of a base value. You will have a base production capacity of 'x' units and can later expand to '2x', '3x' and so on. If you sell all the units that you produce, then it is an indication that you are selling all that you produce. If you want to increase days inventory, then increase your selling price which will lead to lesser sales volume and hence increased inventory. Alternatively expand your production capacity (upsize) when the option becomes available.

3. When we see messages like 'Average sales price is xxx' or 'Marketing expense should be at least xxx', are we expected to take immediate action or can these be dealt as warning messages and ignored? The data displayed is drawn either directly from the simulated market as is the case with 'average sales price' or an advice from your respective division heads. You may choose to act as you deem appropriate, that is, either follow the advice or ignore it.
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The Mousetrap 2012 Simulation FAQs


4. Are multiple simultaneous logins from the same username allowed? Yes. Multiple simultaneous accesses per team login are allowed.

5. When is the loan facility available? And how does it work? The simulation determines automatically when it should take on a loan. When you make a capital investment, it will first check if you have enough share capital to fund that investment and will automatically take on the excess amount as a short term loan. To fund working capital needs, the simulation checks if you enough cash from operations to fund them and automatically takes on the additional amount required as a short term loan. 6. What are the trigger points as to when you get the Relaunch/Liquidate/Downsize options? The relaunch option becomes available to you when your product has reached a stage in its life cycle where it has matured or is in decline. When you relaunch your product, your production capacity remains the same; what changes are the intangibles associated with the product like brand, differentiation and the likes. The liquidate and downsize options become available to you under the Expand tab when the market is oversupplied and your product is faring a lot poorer compared to competitors, or when a radical shift in customer demands that will render your production capacity useless is expected to happen. It is advisable to use the downsize option when the economy is going through a temporary downturn, whereas the liquidate option must be used when the nature of the anticipated event is more permanent.

7. We were unable to find where is the button and the screen corresponding to the loan. Even when credit
rating was AAA, the option was not visible on the primary screen. Can you inform us of the procedure to avail of a loan at the launching phase? A team cannot avail of a loan directly. The system avails of a loan on its behalf automatically when the team makes a capital investment. We illustrate this with two examples in different stages of the game. When launching a new product at the beginning of the slot The team decides to use 50M of share capital funding. Their default credit rating is AAA. When they click on a particular sector, they see that they can launch products in certain industries in that sector and in others they cant. The system has automatically decided for them the maximum amount of loan they can avail given their initial share equity and credit rating. If there are 5 products whose launch budgets are 65M, 75M, 85M, 100M and 105M and the team can launch only the 65M and 75M investment products, it means the maximum loan the team can avail of is (75-50)=25M. If the team decides to launch the 65M product, it will have availed a loan of 15M. The lower your credit rating and share capital, the more products become off limits for your team. When launching a new product or upsizing during the slot The CEO has set an investment budget of 45M (visible on the primary screen) at a given point in time. This is the maximum amount you can invest in a new product launch or upsizing, debt and equity taken together. This investment budget rules out all investment options requiring an investment of higher than 45M. The CEO (the simulation system) is using the investment budget as a proxy to limit the amount of debt you can take at a given point in time. Within the 45M limit, the amount of loan that you actually avail of depends on the specific investment you make.

Copyright 2012 Tycoon Systems Ltd

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The Mousetrap 2012 Simulation FAQs


8. Will there be any synergy for selecting same industry in multiple rounds in prelims? No. Each prelim round (day) is independent of the others. So while you will benefit from synergies during a particular slot, these will not be carried over to subsequent slots. Therefore, your choice of an industry across slots should be purely based on the indust ry scenario in that slot , and not on your teams scenario in a previous slot.

9. Can I open the game in two tabs in same PC? If yes, how? Yes. You can open multiple tabs on the same PC in your browser window. 10. It was mentioned yesterday that the market cap would be reset at the beginning of each day and that my performance on each day will be independent of the previous day. Does this imply that I start with a clean slate, as if starting a new company with a completely new portfolio every day? Yes. Each teams market cap will be reset at the beginning of each day, which is akin to starting a new company. You will have to launch new products, make new investments in sustainability and formulate strategies on each day. This independence of situations across days is built in order to ensure that consistent performance will be essential to get through to the finals. It also means that one bad day doesnt eliminate the chances of a team making it to the finals. 11. Is the rate of interest charged for long term and short term debt the same? No. ST Interest Rate = 1.5 * LT interest rate

12. What are the factors that determine the initial amount of short term and long term debt? Each time you take on debt, it is by default short term. You have the option of converting some or all of it into long term, if you wish to.

13. How is the receivable days determined. Is it fixed for a particular industry? Receivable Days is 30 across sectors and participants. 14. What is the impact of changing short term debt to long term debt AND the impact of paying off long term debt? By converting short term debt to long term debt, you are spacing out your interest payments, so that the interest burden on you eases in a quarter where earnings are hard to come by. By paying off long term debt, you are reducing your debt ratio and thereby improving your credit rating. Note that the short term debt is automatically paid off by the simulation when it is due.

15. What is the cost of ST and LT debt driven by? The cost of ST debt is driven by the prevailing market interest rates and the company's credit rating from time to time. The cost of LT will follow the cost of ST such that the equation ST rate = 1.5 * LT rate is always satisfied.

16. When should we spend on additional investments? Additional Investments help to make the business units more competitive. However, the first priority must be to build up a couple of strong business units, so that the additional investments can pay off. For example, if your total product investment is only 40M, it wont pay off to invest another 70M in Process Automation. Also bear in mind that additional investments result in creation of assets which result in the incurring of high depreciation expenses for the first few years after the investments are made. Therefore, if your gross margin (and hence revenue) is not high enough, these depreciation expenses could eat into your EBIT margin.

Copyright 2012 Tycoon Systems Ltd

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The Mousetrap 2012 Simulation FAQs


17. We aren't able to see the '+' option on the financial planning panel, even though we have a sizeable investment budget. Why? + sign enables a team to convert ST debt to LT debt. If the new ST debt for a team at any point in time is zero, + sign will not be visible on their panel, even though they may have a certain amount of LT debt available to them. The amount of LT debt you can avail is not dependent on the teams investment budget at that point in time.

18. Can you explain how interest rate is determined for a company? For any company, the interest rate is determined using the following formula: Interest Rate = Risk Free Rate + Credit Spread Where Risk Free Rate is set by the virtual Central Bank, which factors all the macroeconomic variables And Credit Spread depends on the companys credit rating.
19. How is market cap calculated? For any company, the market cap is calculated as: Market cap = Share price x No. of outstanding shares In any quarter, the share price of the company is calculated as follows: PE RATIO = 12 for all players IF(latest quarter net income > 0), Projected Annual Income x PE Ratio/Number of Shares ELSE, Shareholders Equity/Number of Shares

20. How is the investment budget calculated? The investment budget for any player at any stage during the simulation is calculated as follows: Investment Budget = (Current Cash Min Cash Cumulative Debt) + (Shareholders Equity x 0.8) Current Cash and Min Cash are visible in the Financial Planning panel Shareholders Equity and Cumulative Debt = ST Debt + LT Debt are visible in the Balance Sheet of the latest quarter

Copyright 2012 Tycoon Systems Ltd

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