CEP at Stelton – The Danish Design Connection

Today’s guest entry is by Louis Lozouet, who is sharing his thoughts on his company engagement project in Denmark

If one day someone would have told me that I would no longer be a lawyer and that I would be assessing the Brazilian market for a Danish Design company, I would have never believed that person. But, that is exactly what happened in the last 5 weeks during my Company Engagement Project (CEP). This is what I call the IMD magic!

Indeed, the CEP gave me the opportunity to try something completely different from my previous work as an Intellectual Property Lawyer back in Rio de Janeiro. Additionally, my interest in design, especially Scandinavian/Danish design, pushed me to talk to my classmate and friend Mads Ring Damgaard who, after the MBA, will be working at Stelton – an innovative, trend setting design brand house based on the Scandinavian design philosophy. The two of us met during our assessment day in September 2016 and have been sharing our common interest in design since then. Thanks to him and Michael Ring (CEO, owner of Stelton and an IMD MBA alumnus), I had an incredible time in Denmark. Beginning of July, there I was heading to Copenhagen to, what I did not know at that moment, a life-changing experience.

After studying the company’s business model together with Mads and getting an understanding of the design business environment in Denmark, I worked on my personal project. The objective was to look into the Brazilian market, more specifically the opportunity for Stelton to expand to that region, which is very promising, but very difficult to enter. By working on this project, I also had the opportunity to study the Brazilian design market and its main players.

Apart from my personal project, Mads and I were able to follow the conception of one of Stelton’s new product lines, designed by the renowned architect and designer Norman Foster. To see the products come to life through the inhouse 3D-printer was an extremely interesting experience. I am grateful to Michael with whom I had very insightful conversations about the design business and learned a lot in a short period of time.

louis1

I also took some time to visit Copenhagen. Mads showed the best of his city and the northern part of the main island “Sjaelland” where he lives. I discovered how sophisticated and vibrant the city is. I am impressed by the number of excellent cafes, restaurants and focus on the new Nordic cuisine, as well as how the city lives and breathes design at every corner. For those who like design, this is paradise.

Danish people are very eco-friendly. They love nature and being outside doing some physical activity. Relationships are based on trust, which is assumed in Denmark. They like making their home beautiful and keep their spirits up, especially during winter, by getting “hygge”, i.e. “the complete absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming. Taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things” (Helen Russel – The Year of Living Danishly). They are specialists on work-life balance and embrace law and rules. Having a minimalist, orderly approach to life also contributes to the high level of happiness and content Danes are known for.

As you may have guessed, the CEP was an extremely pleasant experience. Now that it is coming to an end, I am already looking forward to the International Consulting Project (ICP), which will be a whole new experience at Stelton, this time with two other classmates. I am very enthusiastic about coming back to Denmark in a couple of months.

Until then, see you back in Lausanne in a few days.

Louis

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