During the Global Consulting Project, MBAs form teams to consult with blue-chip multinational corporations or international organisations on a particular aspect of their business. We asked a selection of the GCP teams to send us a snapshot of their week’s activities. Come back for next week’s installment.
CLIENT: MERCK CONSUMER HEALTH
Team members: Veena Adityan, Bhawna Arora, Benjamin Rhodes, Sham Shamia, Ashlee Spinoso
On Tuesday, we kicked-off the project with the Merck team in high spirits. With a touch of digital marketing expertise – across different industries – we five set out to transform the digital strategy of a top healthcare player.
After thorough discussions, the project scope has been narrowed to focus on Merck’s top prenatal vitamin brand, Femibion, within the German geography. We have now reached consensus on project objectives and laid out a detailed plan to be followed over the next 3 weeks. Besides the final presentation, we have agreed for a status update on the last working day of every week. We have also setup weekly calls with our project mentor at back at the business school. Ben has been designated by the team as the project manager. This week, we began by learning about the Femibion brand in Germany through existing knowledge at Merck, in-depth interviews with brand management and extensive secondary research. While today, we delivered a comprehensive analysis of the brand’s current digital state and competitor’s activities in the digital space. Our quick grasp of Femibion was well received which was followed by a discussion around the vision of this product locally and globally. Even though only Ben and Ashlee were able to work from Merck’s HQ this week, we ensured that the visa delays and cross-office setup didn’t affect the team productivity. Overall, a successful week to begin a challenging, yet exciting journey that lies ahead for us.
Team members: Yuki Cheung, Ru Hao, Rui Huang, Ghim Lee and Ian (Wenyi) Yin
Lent-term final exams had barely ended when each of our team members ran home to pack for our month-long trip to Shenzhen, China for the Global Consulting Project. Our client is Kingdee, the #1 business software provider in the SMB segment in China.
After many hours of flights, buses and taxis, we presented ourselves at the client HQ in our best suits for our project kick-off.
Prior to our departure, we had conducted a couple of calls with our client to confirm the goal and scope of the project. Due to our limited understanding of the company, we had to make a number of assumptions when drafting out our Project Initiation Document, a document that listed out project details including our methodology and deliverables. This document will serve as our guideline for the project as well as for the project assessment by the faculty at the end of the project.
Our first few days on-site were spent finalising this document with the client. The biggest difficulty of the task was to design a plan that would align our personal strengths and skills, the resources we hold as Cambridge MBA students and the clients’ needs in order to achieve the biggest impact for the company. Throughout this process, we were impressed by the amount of independence and flexibility given to us. The Cambridge brand definitely commands a high level of trust in China, with corresponding expectations for us to fulfill. The challenge is on!
Team members: David Wang, Dan Ginanjar, Kazuhiro Mizuta and Yoshiki Tsukamoto
With no time to reflect on the Lent term, we have boarded the plane to Belo Horizonte – the third largest city in Brazil, a country that none of our team of four Asian boys has ever been to. The client has kindly arranged everything, from accommodation to transportation, with even some pocket money and all they ask for in return is a market entry strategy from four talented Cambridge brains!
We start to approach the problem by using frameworks from the Lent term. Five Forces industry analysis has become the Cambridge-style Seven Forces. Our strategic marketing planning process is carefully drawn on the whiteboard. After defining the problem statement, we have started interviewing the key technical players in the project. From the interviews with the COO we get to know his preference is on business development and to make capacity changes. We now have to find the industries that the we should be targeting. All our hard-work is not in vain – the management seems happy with the slides we have prepared. Now we have a plan, next weeks’ focus is to monetise and validate our hypothesis.
Team members: Michael Kushner, Sarah Broderick, Pedro Cristi Silva, Raúl López Petisco and Martin Sonntag
Prior to the start of GCP, the Iberdrola team met on various occasions resulting in a defined project scope and ideas of how to tackle the project. Come Monday, we hit the ground running with a morning meeting at Jesus College however, withdrawals from the caffeine-fuelled exam week required a venue change – Clowns Cafe.
The majority of the team’s time has been focused on two fronts: data gathering and reaching out to contacts. As of Friday, the team has exhausted nearly all of our contacts in attempts to meet with corporate venture capital employees in the energy industry. In addition to the primary list of CVCs, the team has broadened the search to include venture capitalists and educational institutions that promote an entrepreneurial spirit. Over the next weeks we plan to continue interviews with many CVCs in order to address the issues presented by Iberdrola.