Posts con el tag ‘experiences’

The challenge of investing in India

“On our EMBA study tour, we visited the Indian school of business. I must say that I was very pleased with the quality of the classes. They were all tailored to give us a general view of India’s current situation regarding foreign investment. After four days of intensive learning, I found myself wondering if I would I invest and how I should do it?

India is a pool of untapped opportunities, however doing business in India is not easy. When selling to the emerging middle class, prices should be affordable – hence low – while still managing high margins. It makes it tough to obtain an acceptable return on investment. I found interesting how the teacher mentioned that for a product to succeed in the Indian market it would have to succeed first at the bottom of the pyramid. Then it should be adapted to higher segments therefore making innovation a key reason for success in India.”


Read Naïma M. Zodros’ (EMBA ‘16) whole experience in this article

Be a changer, Business Project, Career Opportunities, EMBA monthly, Enterpreunership, Experiences during the program, Field visits, Former students, International weeks, Leadership, Networking | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Leave a comment Permalink

The importance of believing in your idea: the Bulldog Gin story

“Nobody will believe more in you and your product than you. You have to have a vision of your company and carry it out”, said Anshuman Vohra, founder of Bulldog Gin, at the 2nd session of the ESADE EMBA Update & Connections cycle, held on the 7th of July.
Anshuman Vohra was sure that gin had a lot of market potential and that he would do his utmost to make sure the beverage reached bars and households around the world.

His father made the young Anshuman his first Gin & Tonic. Anshuman loved the taste and years later he was irked when he discovered that nobody asked for gin in bars. By contrast, the shelves of bars brimmed with over twenty brands of vodka. He simply could not understand why customers did not drink gin in bars and restaurants.
After several years of working in a merchant bank, Vohra decided the moment had come to set up his own company. Gin and Tonic was a remarkable drink, it only remained to convince the rest of the world. “My generation saw gin as the spirit of a bygone age. It was vodka that was the ‘in’ drink. ”. He began organising blind tastings of vodka and discovered that people could not distinguish between brands — all vodkas tasted more or less the same. Yet when he asked drinkers what their favourite brand of vodka was, people had very strong views. Everyone had one or two brands that they considered better than all the rest and that they would not change for anything. The key lay in the emotional link consumers had forged with brands. By contrast, gin did have a distinctive taste: each brand’s mixture of ingredients made it unique. If Anshuman could create a great-tasting gin and forge an emotional bond between consumers and the brand, he would score a great hit. He was convinced he could pull it off.

It was then that Vohra began his arduous quest for the perfect product. He spoke with entrepreneurs for hours and was fascinated by their energy. All of them had one thing in common: they were passionate about their ideas and were ready to back them up to the hilt because they were utterly convinced that they would work. After an endless search, he finally found a London distillery that was capable of creating the gin of his dreams but that was not to be found in the market — a perfect combination of cereals, cardamon and spices.

At last in 2006, what had started as an idea at last became a product. He had managed to create a gin for the new world, breaking down the barriers of those who saw gin as ‘old-fashioned’ and a tipple for their grandparents. Vohra knew that not everyone would like Bulldog Gin but those that did would become true fans.
“The best idea in the world is worthless if it is carried out badly”, concluded Anshuman Vohra at the end of the session. The talk was part of the EMBA Update & Connections cycle, which provides valuable lessons for today’s business on key subjects and gives all Executive MBA cohorts the chance to pool their experience.

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A unique experience for Latin American executives

Discover the stories of Ignacio and Santiago (Argentina), María Luisa (Colombia) and Santiago (Peru) regarding the professional and personal changes that the programme made to their lives. They are all executives who decided to take their careers to the next level and came to Spain to undertake the ESADE Executive MBA.

Be a changer, Career Opportunities, Former students, Manager Development | , , Leave a comment Permalink

International changes seen from a GoPro

Do you want to see what EMBA participants’ experience at first hand?  Watch GoPro videos of the exchanges.


ESADE Executive MBA - international week Rio de Janeiro








ESADE Executive MBA - international week Washington









ESADE Executive MBA - international week París








The international exchange offered as part of the Executive MBA gives participants an unrivalled opportunity to develop their careers and to become leaders with global business vision, and to learn about the diversity of cultures and business models.

With this aim in mind, the programme includes three training exchanges, each lasting a week, at some of the best business schools in Europe, Asia, and America.

ESADE Executive MBA: semanas internacionales

Experiences during the program, Field visits, International weeks, Internationalization | , , , Leave a comment Permalink

What kind of society are we living in?

This is the question Alberto Gimeno, Professor of the Department of General Management and Strategy at ESADE, asked those attending the Executive MBA Open Day. The event was held in Barcelona on the 28th of May.

During the “Connecting the Dots” Master Class, various answers were suggested, including “The Information Society” and “The Knowledge Society”. Prof. Gimeno argued that neither of these were correct. According to Gimeno, “We live in a data society”.


An ever-changing world creates the data that contextualise these changes. Gimeno asked, “What differentiates change now from that which we went through at the beginning of the 21st Century? If we had been told ten years in advance of the changes that would occur before the appearance of Internet, 90% of them would have seemed beyond belief.”

For Gimeno, the advances we have seen are the result of the context. Examples such as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, or more recently, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson, bear this idea out. If any of them had lived a hundred years earlier or later, they would have made very different contributions to society.

All four are examples of ‘disruptive leaders’ who broke the mould and changed their sectors forever. “Companies in 2030 will demand leaders who break with tradition. We will need to find them and judge their true worth”, said Gimeno.

Open Day — an opportunity to discover the Executive MBA experience
Before the Master Class, Esteve Mogas, Programme Director and Associate Director of the Department of General Management and Strategy, presented the Executive MBA to those attending the event.

Under the title  “A Day for Change”, Mogas explained that the EMBA programme meant betting on change and on one’s professional projection. This was because the programme was transformational in nature and put participants in charge of their careers.

Among other things, Mogas also stressed ESADE’s values as an institution and its performance in the latest rankings (which put the business school among the leaders in the Executive Education field).

Three EMBA alumni spoke of their experience of the programme and how it changed the personal and professional lives of all those who took it.

More information at

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¨What, only two months?”

Yes indeed, the quickening pace of the programme over the last few weeks makes it seem like ages since we began it. Yet a look at the calendar reveals the shocking truth, it all began just two months ago! It is hard to believe.

We feel we are building something that will underpin our knowledge. At the same time, we are enjoying the truths that emerge as if by magic from each Master Class. These truths span everything from leadership and geo-politics to entrepreneurship, complex supply chains, and common-sense marketing. This was all inter-linked to form an intrinsic part of our business judgment.

At the same time, we were also engaged in ‘de-construction’, learning to ‘unlearn’ and reverse engineer pre-established concepts to create a 360-degree approach to reasoning that was linked to one’s emotions. Our quest revealed the nature of the unknown.

Investment in knowledge pays the best interest” (Abraham Lincoln)

Jordi J. Lorente, EMBA 2015

Barcelona Campus, EMBA biweekly, EMBA monthly, EMBA weekly, Enterpreunership, Innovation, International weeks, Madrid Campus, Networking, Teamwork | , , , , , , , Leave a comment Permalink


Most people would not rate attending a gathering at ESADE´s Sant Cugat campus as the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Yet they would have been wrong in the case of this Saturday gathering of EMBA students from ESADE Madrid and Barcelona. I for one was glad I went.

I was lucky enough to see ¨Building and Bringing Down Human Towers¨ (‘human towers’ are built by people balancing on the shoulders of others to reach a height of two dozen feet or more).

It just went to show that where there is a will, there is a way. When one tells people why a project is important, every one rallies round. ¨There is a lot we can learn from those who build human towers.

After a much-needed coffee break, we plunged into the session titled ‘Atmosphere Management’.

I guessed that it must be about managers creating a work atmosphere in which people are willing to give their all.

In fact it was this and a great deal more.

It proved to be one of the most enriching classroom debates I have heard. The participants made me ask myself many questions and greatly enriched my knowledge. It made me realise something that we should all be aware of, namely: ¨Knowledge stems from the class, it does not lie with the teacher¨.

You should know that the future of entrepreneurship lies in your hands. Tell stories through transmedia and with drivers who spur engagement.

I am deeply grateful for such an awesome Saturday afternoon.

Norbert Monfort

Academic Associate, Human Resources Department

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Gatherings with entrepreneurs — a unique opportunity to pool experience

The EMBA Class of 2013-14 (fortnightly programme in Barcelona) began an initiative to bring together programme participants and entrepreneurs with a view to pooling experience and fostering an entrepreneurial spirit.

Those behind the project were Javier Peso, Founder and CEO of PAY TOUCH, Adolfo Santa Olalla, CEO of GLOBAL AQUATIC TECHNOLOGIES, Joel Vergés, Founder of SMARTBOX Mexico, and Axel Yidiz, Founder of the ALTALEX Law Firm.

At the November gathering, the speakers included Lluís Serra, founder of, who explained the transformation of a traditional ironmonger´s into a successful e-commerce project.

¨Having time to think”

The founder of stressed the importance of spending time on reflection, strategy and the search for new ideas: “I make myself to go to the office each day between six and eight in the morning when there is nobody there and I have nothing else to do except think¨.

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Thanks HEC Paris!

This week, EMBA participants took the ´Competitive Strategy´ module during their stay at HEC Paris, where they pooled experience with managers from leading sectors in France such as wine-making and luxury goods.

This was one of the three international exchanges in the programme, whose aim is to give EMBA participants a view of the global economy by experiencing other countries and their companies in situ.

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Key Learnings from an International week (2013, June) by Federica Zanelli ESADE EMBA 2013

The win-win approach for a customer-oriented culture

One of the main concepts we have been exploring in our trip to Austin is the win-win approach, as one of the main key for understanding the American customer-oriented culture. It is based on (i) the continuous seeking of solutions leading to satisfaction for both customers and suppliers, and (ii) on the strong desire of matching demand expectations with a services-focused approach. These pillars are immediately perceivable in all aspects of the American system, and are especially developed in Texas. As a matter of fact we had the opportunity of directly observing their impacts from different points of view: not only during lectures, but also in the daily or business life. The entire American system is actually designed in order to enhance entrepreneurship and foster personal initiative, as it rewards effort and results-achievement orientation. We could appreciate it from a 360 degrees perspective.

The Texas fiscal program is a clear example of how the State is focused on both attracting big investments and enhancing local economy, in order to successfully heading the end of a recession period that has been recently depressing US. Houston is strongly pushing on the oil industry, San Antonio logistics business is taking advantage of its favorable closeness with Mexico, Austin is turning to be the very next frontier for IT: it’s creating the proper conditions for acting as an incubator hub and for attracting start-up and innovative companies from Silicon Valley. That’s how Texas is currently leveraging on local assets for competing (winning) a wider war. The increasing of the population growth rate and the booming of infrastructure and services industries are both indicators of a strong wide effort, directly aimed at getting the State ready for the new competitive landscape.

This optimistic view for building up a positive and incentivizing loop was also perceivable during all the lectures we took: all of them were inspiring and led us thinking to principles of successfully contributing to the social system. What I actually liked the most is that optimism was not presented in a naive way: professors provided evidences (combining theory and real, updated examples) of how opportunities may really come from where one could aspect they are even less likely to happen. The key is to be able to see farer and get ready for the further step, in order to turn one’s weaknesses into winning weapons. We saw how challenges in the very next future may either come from an evolution of the geopolitical landscape (due to the emerging of new markets or business systems), or from innovation in products or services (being the IT industry the main driver that may actually leverage this). We have been given a full range of examples of how creative or innovative solutions, eventually combining these factors all together, may really make the difference. In particular we saw how challenges may be turned into opportunities through concrete management decisions (such us the optimization of time-to-market within the product life-cycle) and how to secure that those choices are kept in line with the overall corporate strategy.

Lectures were very well complemented by Company visits, as we could directly appreciate how a business opportunity may be either captured (such as the service center of Dell, taking advantages of the Company intuition over It developments) or generated from scratch (as in the unique route-to-market model of Whole Food). The visits showed us what we had previously observed during the lectures: any business idea that arises from creativity or innovation has to be followed by insightful planning and deep market validation during the intense start-up phase. Moreover, even the most disruptive idea has to be validated by strict testing and continuous feedback and fine tuning during the implementation moments. This process drives to maintaining a strong customer orientation and a direct connection with the market: it constitutes the main ground for effectively achieving results not only in a start-up phase but also in the long term. Altogether, all these elements may assure the full consistency between the organization and its strategic targets, and may also determine the highest achievements in terms of sustainability and competitiveness.

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