PwC Trust Builders Challenge 2023

Challenge highlights

On 23 September 2023, seven finalist teams came together in a race to the top spot at the PwC Trust Builders Challenge 2023 Finals.

This year marked a slight departure from the previous years. While five teams attended the finals in person, two teams joined remotely.

After dedicating weeks to meticulous crafting, honing and validating their solutions, the teams were in high spirits, propelling them through the day with unyielding momentum. 

Part of PwC Malaysia’s Building Trust programme, the Trust Builders Challenge engages students in solving real-world trust crises in business. It fosters the development of a perspective on trust among these young minds, shaping them into our future leaders. 

The problem statement

This year, students from across the country formed teams to assist a fictional retail company embroiled in a trust crisis. The company faced backlash when a video of a staff member mocking a differently-abled colleague went viral. To make matters worse, revelations surfaced that the management exhibits similar behaviours at work. 

On top of that, the company had planned to launch its first adaptive clothing line before the incident took place. The Trust Builders’ mission? They are to devise solutions that not only address the issue, but also to rebuild trust with employees of the company.

In their journey to the finals, the finalist teams received support from their assigned mentors—an experienced PwC professional and an industry expert who lent their wisdom to navigate the challenges.

What do the judges say?

The teams presented their final solutions for a panel of judges, which were:

  • Dr Tricia Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS)

  • Kartina Abdul Latif, Workforce Leader at PwC Malaysia

  • Kenneth Koh, Chief Operating Officer of Naluri

  • Taariq Murad, Tax Partner, Public Sector Leader and Inclusion & Diversity Leader at PwC Malaysia

The judges acknowledged the extensive research and effort that the teams had put into developing their solutions to address the challenge. It was a close race and the judges faced a challenging task in selecting the winning solutions. 

'I was really impressed by the breadth and the depth of what the contestants put together in their pitches,' Dr Tricia said, adding that there were a great variety of solutions presented by the seven finalist teams. Kenneth echoed similar sentiments, highlighting the participants’ maturity in addressing the problem statement and coming up with solutions. 

When asked about the attributes they looked for in their ultimate Trust Builders, both Taariq and Dr Tricia emphasised the vital role of practicality in the judging process. Taariq highlighted that, in crafting solutions, it is crucial that they are practical to implement and wield a meaningful impact on the final outcome.


'Trust is fundamental to the genuine success of any kind—be it at a personal relationship level or at the business level. It is important to look at the key pillars of building trust, which are transparency and commitment.'

Kartina Abdul Latif, Workforce Leader at PwC Malaysia

'This generation, today, is holding their seniors to account, a lot more than my generation do to some extent. I believe that holding businesses to higher standards of trust ultimately brings better results for the businesses itself and also for society as a whole.'

Kenneth Koh, Chief Operating Officer of Naluri

Meet the winners

Indeed, the judges were in for a tough deliberation. Ultimately, Team Chocc from Sunway College emerged as the winning team. AvengHERs, with members from the Universiti Malaya and the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu came in second and Mind Benders from Sunway College rounded up the top three. 

For the first time since the inception of the Trust Builders Challenge, the judges spotlighted two best presenters this year: Vathennie a/p Vasudevan from Team Chocc and Chin Sam Lea from AvengHERs.

Team Chocc

Hailing from Sunway College, Team Chocc was crowned the winning team with their meticulous strategy in addressing the trust crisis. Notably, they were the sole team to insist on the launch of the adaptive clothing line.

The team shared their realisation that the concept of trust takes on different nuances for each stakeholder. They emphasised the challenge of translating this understanding into practicality in the real world and ensuring that every stakeholder’s needs are met.


Coming in second place, AvengHERs managed to impress the judges with their enthusiasm despite participating remotely. They came up with the 4Cs—Clarity, Caring, Competence and Consistency—as part of their campaign to rebuild trust and to emphasise the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion policies. We caught up with the team after the challenge for their thoughts. 

Reflecting on the insights they learned about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), the team remarked the importance of maintaining continual awareness and deliberate inclusivity when engaging with individuals from diverse backgrounds and those with different abilities.

'It’s about recognising and respecting the uniqueness of every individual and ensuring that everyone is valued and included in every aspect of our life.'


On trust in business, the team said, 'No matter how many promises a business makes or how well-crafted their visions or mission statements are, it all amounts to nothing if they don’t follow through on this commitment. It’s a blank promise.' They added that trust is not a phenomenon that materialises overnight; instead trust-building is a protracted process, requiring years of effort, yet to destroy trust, it can occur in mere seconds.

Mind Benders

Drawing inspiration from an existing company’s efforts, Mind Benders from Sunway College shaped their strategies to address a similar controversy. They assert that there is greater attention on what businesses offer to the community in contemporary societies, hence trust-building stands out as a crucial imperative for every company.

Contact us

PwC Malaysia

Trust Builders Team, PwC Malaysia

Tel: +60 (3) 2173 1188

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