In the first of our “GCP Despatches from the Field” series, students Firas and Swalti give us a first glimpse into what they’ve been up to in Amsterdam with Uber EMEA, and in London with Actis.

Uber EMEA (Amsterdam and Cambridge)
Firas Marafie

Week one of our Global Consulting Project was a good reminder of what makes Cambridge MBAs shine: critical thinking, an incredible work-ethic, and a collaborative nature.

We kicked off our GCP for Uber with a sharp dive into research and idea generation.  After almost six months of intense learning in the MBA program, jumping back into practical work is an exciting opportunity to test and put to use a lot of the concepts and strategies we have learned in the classroom.  It is also great to be working with a new team, under a new context and dynamics of the curriculum.

Our team started by trying to decide the angle from which we wanted to tackle our project scope, which was quite broad.  Given Uber’s wide scale and market coverage, we wanted to make sure that our starting assumptions would create a solid foundation for us to build our research, studies, and recommendations on.  We also wanted to leave some space for idea generation, as we were asked by our client to come in with a fresh lens for problem solving.

Although the GCP only requires one final presentation, we designed ours so that we would have an interim presentation with the client.  This gives us the capacity to test our initial assumptions and gain feedback around the middle of the project, allowing us to pivot or make adjustments to ensure that our approach and process are optimised and aligned with the client’s expectations.

Our group are facing an interesting challenge: the question of how to find a balance between research and idea proposal.  As consultants, part of our job is to provide strong support for the recommendations we make; yet we also want to maximise the opportunity we have to share creative recommendations based on our own findings and insights.  Mapping out possible outcomes and using a risk/reward spectrum may be an interesting way for these to be presented.

Thinking as I go, the fast pace and exposure of the GCP is adding another valuable element to my MBA experience, and it is exciting to be learning and interacting in a new way.  I look forward to the rest of the project and to hopefully delivering solid findings to Uber.

Actis (London and Cambridge)
Swati Kalra

We began our GCP journey in our client’s Actis office in London on Monday 10 March, with the most gorgeous Tower Bridge view and surprisingly sunny day. The primary scope of our project involves coming up with an impact measurement framework across emerging markets for Healthcare, Education and Financial Services sector.

Our first day was spent speaking to the Head of Responsible Investment as well as the Strategy team to understand Actis’s current portfolio investments, impact strategy and road map, giving us better clarity on the scope of the project. The rest of the week was spent in exploring the various actors (GIIN, IRS) and industry recommendations and coming up with key measurement indicators.

The week ended with a productive brainstorming session with our mentor, Paul Tracey, on how to best develop innovative and well-reasoned framework, aligned with the risks and recommendations to provide real value-add to Actis.

More reports from around the world to follow…