Experiential learning on Entrepreneurship with CoatChecker

When we look at the past two months of our IMD MBA, the start-up engagement project has been a unique learning experience. The IMD MBA provides an unmatched emphasis on learning about the reality of entrepreneurship by letting us engage directly with an early stage start-up and work with them to provide tangible results.

We work with Joris Storskogen (CEO and co-founder) and Nusret Salihi (CTO and co-founder) of CoatChecker Gmbh Continue reading “Experiential learning on Entrepreneurship with CoatChecker”

Nicolas – diverse and active

My name is Nicolas Berczely, and I was born 33 years ago in the sunny city of Buenos Aires. I’m the fifth of 6 children, and we all attended a German school. After high school I studied Industrial Engineering, which provided me with the required knowledge to work in very different industries, and I’ve always based the decision for my next career step on the search for a new challenge and knowledge. Continue reading “Nicolas – diverse and active”

Real Impact


Featured image: All smiles from Group 8 (Hans, Kshitij, Paula, Ana, Gerardo and I) after conquering the dreaded integrative exercise. 

We finally got to the integrative exercises last week. A tradition at IMD, the integrative exercises or the end of module exercises are 48 hour long and are designed to test the participants’ understanding of various aspects of business knowledge in solving a real world business problem. More importantly they are designed to test the working cohesiveness of the study groups that we formed early in the year. The idea was simple. We were given an ambiguous business problem and a potential business proposal and were asked to present our recommendations to the board, twice in 2 days. Though the concept has been part of the IMD tradition for many years, its effects on the quality of learning and eventually on team bonding has been an integral part of the MBA.

My team had an incredible integrative exercise experience. We had been continuously working on our group dynamics for many class exercises and as a result  were able to confidently analyze and recommend a solid strategy to the board. This result was a culmination of our miniature experimentations of several working strategies and delivering the result felt like a small achievement of our efforts to come together as a group for the past two months. It felt like only yesterday when the leadership lab showed us our main weaknesses and forced us to rectify them to come out on top. Although we will still be together working on our startup project but we will no longer be together as a study group. It was a privilege to be part of this impressive mix of people and get to learn and experiment on how to approach and solve problems.


Group 8 in the dungeons

All the other groups went through some kind of trial in their quest to solve this gargantuan task. At one point we were so deep into getting our slide decks out on the last night that a simple rendition of Oasis’ Wonderwall evoked many emotions in the dungeons.

At the end of the exercise, although we were mentally and physically exhausted but the whole class had bonded over this unique rite of passage. Genuine smiles and expressions of relief were evident on our faces as we headed off to well deserved celebration to mark the end of the module. Real impact. Check. IMD, good one!!


Stories from other groups:


Group 10 (Sakshi, Alberto, Mathieu, Fabi, Ignacio and Anish)

“I would say that the ultimate reward of this experience was giving the group the opportunity to celebrate quick wins . We were much more connected after realizing that we could deliver a great job together”- Fabiana Souza


Group 7/ Team TWINE: Søren, Pierre, Veronika, Phil, Ramiro and Sonia

Veronika Raszler puts it aptly: “Team TWINE, it’s time to shine! Søren, Veronika, Pierre, Sonia, Phil and Ramiro basking in the sun after an exhausting but satisfying first round of presentations”

The journey has just started!

Coming from a family of railway officers, I have always been fascinated by trains. My name is Kshitij, and I spent my early years travelling across the length and breadth of India on numerous train journeys. While the last stop was important, it was always the thrill and experiences of the journey which left lasting impressions in my mind. I believe the same has been true for the rest of my life as well, where I’ve learnt to enjoy and imbibe from the journey itself rather than the destination. The end goal was never a problem, but to take the road less travelled and to enjoy the journey made the difference! Continue reading “The journey has just started!”

Stretching the Limits of Electronics

Constant innovation is arguably the most important key success factor in the consumer electronics industry. Through the IMD MBA Start-up Project, my classmates and I have had the privilege of partnering with Feeltronix, a Geneva-based start-up that has developed technology that has the potential to drive the next wave of innovation in wearable electronics. Continue reading “Stretching the Limits of Electronics”

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary

Mountains have their own special magnetism. When we gaze at them, we instantly feel inspired and possessed by deep curiosity. It seems as if they are calling us, we desire to peer from the top, to explore their vastness, then the need to challenge ourselves follows and we find ourselves energized with great passion. Continue reading ““It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves””

Real Learning

The very intense learning style in the past two months has brought us to this week where we’ve seen an amalgamation of different topics. Streams such as Marketing, Operations, Finance, Strategy, Organizational behavior etc are blending in seamlessly into the group work and case studies and we as students are looking at each problem from a combination of these very different perspectives.

The Entrepreneurship stream saw a session from Patrick Hoffman who is the CEO of OtradaGen, a pig farming startup from Russia. We saw a passionate and hands-on entrepreneur talking about how technology and changing regulations helped OtradaGen in becoming one of the top pig farming companies in Russia. Pig farming is traditionally a male-dominated industry, and Russia is often perceived as a male dominated place. Patrick, as a newcomer to the industry, tried many things, one of which was to change the male-dominant workplace by giving most key positions to women.

The Finance stream especially has been an efficient and uncluttered learning experience. From the basics of valuing investments to evaluating large scale projects in corporations, the evolution has been seamless. We had our last Finance class with Prof. Salvatore Cantale last week from this module. It was an absolute privilege to learn basic corporate finance through his engaging style infused with funny skiing stories.


The Operations classes have been packed with a multitude of information from various aspects of supply chain management taught through case studies, group exercises, in-class simulations and presentations from the participants with operations experience. We learned about efficient supply chain systems and turnarounds through guest speakers from the industry and concluded the Operations class last week with an interesting session on sustainable sourcing.  Again, it was a pleasure to learn from Prof. Ralf Seifert who is continually pushing the experience with his teaching methods.


To celebrate International Women’s day on the 8th of March, we had a wonderful speech from Hanne de Mora who talked about her most consistent themes of leadership- Entrepreneurship, problem solving and independence. She took all our eager questions on diversity and impact in organizations with ease and inspired us with her energy and enthusiasm.

We are now almost at the end of Module 1. The integrative exercises begin in a couple of days where we get a chance to test our group dynamics and understanding of the business concepts and apply them to real world situations. Until then, the weather in Lausanne has improved quite a bit and has given us a chance to go out and explore more of the city.



Featured image of a Lausanne Sunset from Veronika Raszler, MBA candidate class of 2018