Written on August 27, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics

j0438951.jpgBy Miguel Hernández, Director of the Advanced Programme in Real Estate Business Management at IE Business School. Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

At times of uncertainty, such as the present, it is of fundamental importance to consider the basic principles and concepts on which real estate is based. We have had such frenetic years that daily routine has taken away our mid-term vision and perspective. I also remember where we have come from. Accordingly, I consider five questions and offer one thought on the current situation.

What is understood by the â??real estate sectorâ??
In recent years, the sector has become so sophisticated that the activity related to real estate has very different focuses when seen from the viewpoints of product, location, operators, capitals and demand.

What may be a crisis for developers is an opportunity for demand and, what is seen as the contraction of finance opens up the door to higher profitability for own resources. There are areas in the world where cycles come to an end and there are others where they begin. There are product segments that run out and others that offer better investment possibilities.

In short, we can speak of a residential crisis in Spain for developers and banks, but there are also high levels of profitability to be gained from investments in Russia or Turkey in the development of low-geared shopping centres.

Can we speak of only one â??real estate sectorâ??
Does an apartment developer, a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) trader or a listed company analyst speak about real estate? Of course they do, but the part of the sector in which each one is interested is completely different. Everything is related, but there is a â??level of technologyâ? that is so specific for all the operators in the sector that it is almost impossible for the information on each area to be consistent. Indeed, work is carried out independently.

This graph shows investment outlooks by asset type and reveals the numerous alternatives by product, geographical location and investment format. Read more…


Did you know? – Facts about Madrid I

Written on August 25, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

ES Madrid - Itâ??s Madrid! Monthly MagazineApart from many arguments to come to study at IE Business School, one you will repeatedly hear is MADRID, Europe’s second largest city and definitely one of the most vibrant ones!

IE is located right in the heart of Madrid in the famous Salamanca district, being the most prominent residential areas surrounded by Embassies (the US and the Japanese Embassies are in broad terms our neighbours) and right along the Salamanca Street which is the equivalent to Champs-Elysées in Paris, 5th Ave in New York or Orchard Road in Singapore.

Madrid city has a currently population of about 3.2 million inhabitants which grows until roughly 6 million if you consider the Madrid Community. In a European perspective this makes Madrid the third largest metropolitan concentration after Ã?le-de-France (Paris) and Greater London. In terms of size Madrid city doubles the population of Barcelona, it’s sentimental rival not only in Football.

The GDP per capita in Madrid Community is around 32.000 Euros, or around US$ 48.000 at current exchange rates, which makes it similar to that one in Singapore and surpassing most of the GDP per capita in the world.

Madrid is the political and financial capital of Spain. The biggest business concentration of Spain (500,000 companies) is to be found in Madrid. One out of five companies set up in Spain have headquarters in the city of Madrid. Furthermore, 72% of the 2,000 biggest Spanish companies, have their main office located in Madrid and roughly 4% of the Latin-American GDP is originated by Spanish companies.

More facts are to come…


Students must think out of the box: IE Dean Iniguez

Written on August 21, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

Interior of IE Business School facilities in MadridThis article was written by May George and published at South China Morning Post on August 16.

Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degrees exist in abundance worldwide. They are there to help business executives and entrepreneurs learn the rudiments of finance, accounting and management. But the dean of the IE Business School in Madrid, Santiago Iniguez de Ozono, feels that business schools, while teaching management skills, are neglecting to teach their students creativity.

One distinctive feature of our MBA programme is entrepreneurship,” said Professor Iniguez. “It is not just us who talks about this but also recruiters and students, who talk about this entrepreneurial verve in our graduates, regardless whether they work for a large corporation, a family business or create their own company. This is something very distinctive. We ask core participants to create their own businesses. We also have a venture lab. We also tell them about the many opportunities on the web and what opportunities the new technological environment will bring them.”
Professor Iniguez feels that business schools should take more responsibility in ensuring their students learn more creativity in their studies; out-of-the-box thinking that adds value to the set subjects that every other business school teaches.

In Hong Kong, Kevin Au Yuk-fai, associate professor at the Department of Management and associate director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Chinese University, agrees. He said that one of the distinctive features of the Faculty of Business Administration’s MBA course was entrepreneurship, allowing students to think for themselves and create business scenarios while sometimes working in a multidisciplinary team.

“I tend to agree with [Mr Iniguez]…

It’s quite difficult for a lot of the business students to be creative. Thereâ??s been a long debate in business schools on whether business schools should be professional schools or a research school. In recent years, it looks like the research school side has been dominant. To a certain extent the schools are looking for ranking and research is something that the ranking system will look into.” Read more…


How critical are GMAT scores for the application?

Written on August 20, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

gmat.jpgThis is one of the most asked questions when applying to business schools. To be frank, it is a very good question and very difficult to answer as the GMAT score is an indicator on how you tackle difficult situations under stress – and during a Master degree program at IE Business School you will experience plenty of these situations.

In some occasions candidates leave the GMAT test center with a very unsatisfied feeling as they thought they could perform much better and some external factors had influenced too much their concentration on the actual test: the aircon was too strong or too loud, too many people were around, heavy workload at the job, bad food on the day before – or just too many nerves while doing the test. So, are all chances gone to enter into the desired top business school?

Certainly not! The GMAT is a relevant factor to take into account while reviewing applications at the IE Admissiosns Committee but there are much more factors than just the GMAT. The IE Master Degrees underlying principles are based on individual academic performance but also in an important part on the exchange of experiences, on the class discussions, and in general on the interaction between the class members. In consequence, we value during the admissions process much more things than just only test scores and academic results. Of course, those are important as they provide a feedback on individual features like academic performance, steady learning capabilities and analytical skills. However, they do not provide information on the ability to lead a team, to communicate, to express the ideas clearly and coherent, to work in teams. There might be candidates with impressive resumes and academic / GMAT results, nonetheless they are not able to integrate well in teams as they prefer to work on their own or they struggle to structure well their thoughts and arguments in public.

For this reason, the GMAT is of course critical to your application and the better your score, the better it is – but we are looking much more into a balanced application and for candidates who excel as a well-rounded persons in which some features of the application might compensate others. So, a GMAT of 800 does not guarantee at all the admission to any of the IE programs. In contrast, a candidate with a GMAT within the 80% range with suitable professional experience and well developed soft skills, might have much more chances.


Javier Quintana, Dean of IE’s School of Architecture, explains the rationales behind the structure of new BA & MA in Architecture at IE University. More detailed information you can find here.


How flexible are online Masters?

Written on August 14, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Go for IE

Prof. Nestor Miranda teaching onlineWhat is the first thing which comes up to your mind when you think about online MBA or online Master programs?

Definitely it’s about flexibility. You’re not in a packed classroom at 8 or 9 am in the morning awaiting anxiously the professor. Will he ask for a quiz or will he ask me to do the presentation of today’s case, I really had no time to prepare because of the birthday party last night at a friend’s home?

You can decide when you connect to the online platform to join your team in preparation of the next presentation or to discuss in the forums with the professors the latest case on CSR in a MNC.  You are free to start the quiz which suddenly pops-up on your screen within the next  24 hours. But, of course, within limits!

An online Masters program at IE Business School, either the MBA programs International Executive MBA or the Global MBA or the specialized programs in Biotechnology Management, Sports Management, Digital Marketing or Supply Chain Management,  provides you with such flexibility but you also need to expect academic rigor and you’re expected to bring in a lot of self-discipline.

All of our online programs share a common platform where you can use blackboard, discussion forums,  virtual library for your team and class discussions. The access is 24/7 and as participants are coming literally from all around the world you most likely will find somebody online to discuss the cases. Yes, we follow the case study methodology as medium of instruction as well as we do it in our face-to-face classes. To make this methodology work we split the classes into teams who discuss the case during a couple of days before taking their conclusions to the class discussion with the professor and the other teams. As you will have team members from different regions in the world, you discuss with them asynchronous, i.e., you post your comments whenever you have time to do so and your team mates will do the same. The team leader of each case will coordinate the consensus before getting into the class discussion. In the class discussion you work under the same scheme but individually discussing with the whole class about the topics suggested by the professor.

Of course, everything is done within a certain time frame (one week per case and you might have up to 3 cases in parallel per week) but taking into account this time frame, you’re flexible to connect and post comments at any time. Within a week you have enough time to review your technical notes (provided with each case) and make your own research on Internet adapting this dedication to your professional and personal commitments.

In the Global MBA we also added live video conferences each Saturday as this program has less stipulated face-to-face periods. It certainly goes against the flexibility of the program, but it is a perfect way to be in touch with your classmates and interacting in real-time with the professor and your class. Also you might be the person to run the presentation through your web cam. Ever done that?

As mentioned previously, self-discipline is another important character of online programs – and, to be frank with yourself, most likely the factor which makes it more difficult to step headfirst into this exciting new learning experience. You have to be constant and very few excuses are valid not connect on a daily basis to the online platform to at least follow the discussions of the cases. However the appealing and intense exchanges on the cases and the continuous contact with your class mates, nearly makes forget you that you’re in an online program.


Innoversity: Innovation and diversity in enterprise

Written on August 13, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics


June 2008 | By Yanire Braña, Director of the MET Program at IE Business School

Forget established patterns of behaviors. Innovation plays a key role in growing a business and making it profitable. But companies also have to remember to include diversity in the equation.

In an age where attracting talent and brand power are fundamental, many companies have been forced to cultivate their uniqueness, looking for new ways of developing the values and factors that enable them to do just that. Accordingly, they turn to innovation as the only way to maintain or create a new competitive edge that can be sustained over time.

The most innovative enterprises are aware that innovating is not simply creating or modifying products and services, but rather it is sometimes important to create an infrastructure of people and processes that allows them to respond to all their current and future needs.

The need to grow their business and making it profitable makes companies occasionally focus exclusively on their competitors, customers and employees, but what happens with other factors? Business reality tells us that customer retention and loyalty strategies are often designed but that they do not always include employees and often overlook an important potential market: non-customers and non-employees. Then there are the difficulties involved in learning about this particular segment, which is the result of massive demographic, economic and sociocultural change and often fails to present the kind of segmentation criteria that makes for in-depth knowledge. New technologies make it easy for enterprises to see beyond their traditional sources of advantage, but sometimes this is not enough to actually innovate or the renew competitive advantage. In order to maximize all the options, companies also need to invest in discovering the differences among their customers and employees that can take them beyond existing demand and open up the door to a new mass of customers and employees that did not exist until now. Read more…


What happens at IE in summer?

Written on August 11, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Live IE

dsc01818.JPGAll candidates who know a little bit the structure of our programs at IE Business School, noticed that IE is closed in August. First of all, our faculty needs a break – from the students, just kidding – but also we are using this break in order to renovate, recreate and update our installations.

Currently, IE is managing in the heart of Madrid around 19 different locations out of them 9 are teaching facilities with class rooms, team rooms and other meeting areas with access to the online campus. As per year around 1500 students and executives use these facilities once in a year they will need a renovation, especially paintings, seats, carpets etc.

Also, as you can see in the picture, entire areas will be totally recreated and adapted to the latest technology but also design trends – so that, not only the programs are top ranked but also our facilities!


This article was published last month in the Independent, and certainly is catches your attention as it describes many undiscovered attributes of Spanish life: Food, Fashion, Architecture, Society, Cultural Heritage, Travel Destination!

Sunday night’s triumph in Vienna was a moment of pride, unity and joy for this nation â?? and a mark of how far it’s come. Elizabeth Nash reports from Madrid

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Spain is enjoying a moment of glory. Last night’s triumphal homecoming of Euro 2008′s conquering heroes revealed everything that is good about Spaniards today, their spontaneity, their gregarious sociability, their unbridled â?? sometimes excessive â?? lust for partying.

The celebrations have shown something else: that Spain is enjoying a new confidence, a relaxed sense of national pride, a self-esteem it has rarely if ever experienced before, divested of old complexes. One of the commonest comments made by those celebrating Sunday’s victory was “I’m proud to be Spanish” and “I’ve never felt more Spanish”. And they said it without the defiance you used to hear, but naturally, with joy in their faces. They were not trying to convince you of their superiority. They were having fun.

And the reason for their new-found ease was that the old braggadocio that compensated for feeling small, dark, isolated from Europe, hopeless at languages, a failure at the game they loved, was replaced by the serene confidence they absorbed from their youthful footballers. No fake heroics, no swaggering, no assumed “Latin” passion, just the pride of a nation of small, dark blokes of humble origins who ran rings around the blond, cultured man-mountains of Europe’s mightiest footballing nation. Read more…


India: Third Ranked World Economy

Written on August 7, 2008 by Dirk Hopfl in Academics

rev102_economia.jpgBy Rafael Pampillón published in IDEAS, IE Business School alumni magazine

After Vietnam, India is the world economy that will enjoy the highest growth, with a forecasted yearly average growth rate of 8.5%.

Almost everyone agrees that the country in the starring role during the first half of the 21st century is China. But no one has any doubt that the second half of the 21st century will also feature India as a protagonist. The largest populations in the world â?? for some years now both countries have been implementing reforms enabling change of their economic model, from high-intervention to market economies. These reforms have consisted of ambitious economic policy strategies that have meant greater internal deregulation, and opening to the exterior, that have produced high economic growth rates. This growth process has been accompanied by reductions in poverty levels in both China and India, although, unfortunately, social and regional inequality has increased. All this means that the governments of both countries continue to prioritize the adoption of measures for maintaining or even increasing economic growth, to raise the populationâ??s level of per capita income, and to generate a higher level of wellbeing to allow sustainable development.Economic structure
As a consequence of the economic reforms, Indiaâ??s productive structure has undergone notable changes over the last 15 years. Transformations in the production system led the services sector in 2006 to generate 55% of the GDP, industry 27%, and agriculture 18% (see table 1). Services use 27% of the working population, and also represent the sector with the highest growth rate. In the Services sector as a whole, special mention must be made of the information and communications technologies (ICT) sector which is expanding in a sustained manner and growing at a yearly rate of 25%. The success of the ICT sector in India has had a significant impact on the countryâ??s economic productivity. The arrival of the digital age, and the new workforce with a high level of education and the ability to speak English, has gradually transformed the country into an important destination for international companies looking for technological support. Read more…

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