The wealth of experience: Global Executive MBA

Written on June 4, 2013 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

In order to join the Global Executive MBA candidates should have more than 10 years of work experience averaging 13-14 years. Participants are coming from a broad variety of cultures, industries, functions and scopes of job. All of them are managing teams, budgets and other resources for more than 3 years. You can imagine the wealth of experience accumulated in this group….

Watch the following videos to learn how participants learn from each other and enjoy the richness of experiences.

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Enjoy as well some individuals comments from participants from the last intakes:  Read more…


How to reinvent your company

Written on May 30, 2013 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

Zhijian CuiProfessor Zhijian Cui will be travelling through Asia in June to talk about “How to reinvent your company”. He will address questions like: Do companies lose their innovation drive? Why are start-ups more innovative than multinational companies? Can innovation be structured and institutionalized?

Cui’s highlights the importance of innovating business models and developing a framework on guiding firms on how to innovate their business model from both the demand and supply side. Through comparing several successful and non-successful business stories, you will learn about several key roadmaps of business model innovation, the recreation or reinvention of an existing business.

Have a look and register at our IE Event Page for the details of the events in Taipei (June 4), Hong Kong, (June 5), Shanghai (June 6) and Beijing (June 8). In the meanwhile, enjoy the short interview to know him better:

How did you come to IE?

I joined IE as a full-time faculty in 2011 right after the graduation from INSEAD. Before that, I visited Madrid as a tourist for several times and was quite impressed by the city. I know that I will like this city as well as the life in Spain. When I went to the academic job market at the end of 2010, IE naturally became one of the top choices on my list. Clearly, IE Business School is a great school with high international reputation and a promising environment providing opportunities for faculties. Therefore, I declined several offers from other schools and decided to join IE.

What is your background?

I was an engineering student before. In 1995, I left my hometown and went to Tsinghua University in Beijing. After spending five years in Tsinghua, I joined Siemens and became an engineer. In 2001, I went to France and got my first Master in Management degree from Euromed Marseille School of Management. Then, I spent four year in US, including one-year study at Pepperdine University to get an MBA degree and three-year full-time work as a plant manager supervising 300 workers in California. In 206, I returned to France and continued my study for PhD. After five years full-time study, I graduated from INSEAD with PhD in Operations Management in 2011.

Why are you so passionate about what you teach?

At this moment, I am offering several courses at IE Business School, including Operations and Supply Chain Management core course, Strategic New Product Development elective for MBA and Master of Management programs, as well as Principals of Operations Management for PhD program. I am quite passionate about the topics I am teaching due to two reasons. First, as an academia, I believe that the topics of Operations Management and New Product Development are extremely important for the success of a business and are probably one of the foundations of all know-how in business school. Operations Management helps firms achieve efficiency and reduce cost, while New Product Development helps firm distinguish it from the competitors. I strongly believe that this knowledge will bring value for the business. Second, as a former practitioner, I was excited to see how change could truly happen in a business by implementing the knowledge of Operations Management. I am passionate about the implacability of everything I teach in classroom and the possibility to do good things for the business and the society.

What do you learn from IE students?

IE students come from different countries with quite different background. From them, I on one hand get a lot of specific managerial examples from different industries. This will for sure enrich my teaching and research materials. On the other hand, I, as a faculty, see and experience the challenge of managing a highly international, diverse pool of people. By talking with them, I learn how to communicate with different type of people.

Professor Cui Zhijian is also featured on The Other Side, a blog about IE faculty.


Take me way up

Written on May 29, 2013 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

I’ve known Entrepreneurship Professor Max Oliva for some years now, and he’s always struck me as someone who stands out from the rest for one reason or another. When I first knew him it was because I thought he was insultingly young for what he was doing and saying. My mistake, of course, because he always gave due and intelligent consideration to everything and knew exactly what he was talking about. More recently, it was because when I proposed to him that we shoot this video he immediately said that he would like it to be about skydiving.

Well, as you know, parachuting, or skydiving, is the action sport that involves exiting an aircraft and initially letting gravity take its course as you plummet towards earth, and then using a parachute to slow down the latter part of the descent. Well, the older I get the more I enjoy more earthly pleasures, so I confess that I didn’t have the guts to jump with him. I did, however, get to share in the excitement all the way.

Enjoy his beloved Mexico, the impressive skydiving shots, and everything he has to say about skydiving and entrepreneurship.

Viva Mexico!!!

If you wish to see Professor Max Oliva in action, feel free to join his Workshop Innovate through Design Thinking in Bangkok (June 3, 2013) and Manila (June 4, 2013). Register online at www.ie.edu/events.

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First published on The Other Side | By Felix Valdivieso


Beijing Opera

Written on May 27, 2013 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

Although this video runs for just three minutes, it actually took six months to shoot from the moment Operations Management professor Cui Zhijian and I first talked about it. It wasn’t because I thought it was necessary for Prof. Cui Zhijian to go to Beijing to do it, or that we needed support of other actors or an orchestra…It was because I knew that he was going to need the right make-up artist. As you know, the masks they use in Chinese opera add a great deal of drama and meaning to the proceedings, but finding a make-up artist that could do the job properly was no easy task. He asked among his connections in the Chinese community in Madrid, and I did the same with my Chinese professor and friends, but to no avail.

It was only by chance that I met make-up artist Eli Serrano García, who appears briefly in the video. A colleague of hers came to IE to do the make-up for another video, and when asked if she would be able to do it she replied that she couldn’t but that she knew someone that might. Mission accomplished!!!

On another note, the images of Beijing you’ll see were shot when I went to Beijing this April with IE Dean, Santiago Iñiguez. Unfortunately there was no way Prof. Cui Zhijian could join us. You can’t have it all.

P.S. Prof. Cui Zhijian is a Beijinger who has also lived in Paris and Canada. Ich bin auch ein Beijinger!!! It’s a real pleasure to listen to him talk about operations and the Beijing Opera. By the way, the second opera he sings is Ba Wang Bie Ji, which was turned into the film “Farewell My Concubine”. The film won the Cannes Palme d´Or. Excellent!!!

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First published on The Other Side | By Felix Valdivieso


IE Entrepreneur Stories: Stocard

Written on May 23, 2013 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

Moritz Heck, Dual Degree IMBA-MIAF

Moritz is a passionate entrepreneur with a strong drive to revolutionize the offline shopping experience through the stocard App. After graduating from IE Business School, Moritz has been working on his business venture and is currently holding the position of Business Development/CFO of Stocard, Germany.

Here is his entrepreneurial story:

Are you tired of the mess in your wallet overfilled with loyalty cards and coupons? – The free Stocard app collects all loyalty cards on your smartphone and is now available on the Spanish app store. Providing users with personalized offers and coupons, Stocard creates a unique communication channel, through which offline retailers can reach young mobile customers. Moritz Heck has joint Stocard after completing his dual degree at IE Business School last December. He is convinced that the Stocard app has the potential to change the offline shopping experience. Working as CFO & Head of Business Development he can put the entrepreneurial knowledge into practice, which he acquired during his MBA and Master in Finance at IE Business School.

The Stocard app has already replaced about four million plastic loyalty cards for more than one million users in several countries. Now it also puts Spanish customers’ wallets on a diet. Stocard currently ranks 1st in the Spanish app store – just a few days after its launch. “Smartphones are the future. They can completely replace all loyalty cards with the free Stocard app for iPhone and Android”, says David Handlos, CEO and founder of Stocard.

Stocard is very easy to use: Simply scan your loyalty card with your smartphone’s camera. The app then creates a digital version of the card on your phone. Stocard already supports 100 default loyalty cards – from Club Vips, over El Corte Ingles to Shell Clubsmart. If a rare card is not on the list, you can type in the store’s name by hand and easily add the desired card. Whenever you want to use your loyalty card, just show your phone with the digital copy and receive discounts and rewards, just as you would with the plastic card.

In May, Moritz will be able to put his IE experience into action, when he will pitch Stocard at the biannual IE Venture Days in Madrid. Stocard has been announced as one of the ten finalists presenting in front of VCs from across the globe. This will be an excellent opportunity to find potential international partners for Stocard’s future expansion in Europe and beyond.

First published on Finance Masters Blog.


IE Venture Day in Shanghai

Written on May 20, 2013 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

IE celebrated this week its 3rd Venture Day in Shanghai. The program was made up of 12 IE startup projects from the Global Executive MBA and Executive MBA+ programs presenting to a Jury of 10 local and international investors, including James Tan from Beijing, Casey Wahl from Tokyo and several local Chinese investors and venture capitalists. The winner of the morning session was a “Curly” (Global Executive MBA), a new hair salon business model (see picture of winners Normen & Stephanie with Paris de L’Etraz).

In the afternoon the top three IE projects competed against 6 local Chinese startups. The winner in the afternoon was also an IE project, Aphelion Energy (Global Executive MBA) which develops renewable energy solutions in Africa for small villages. Over 200 people attended the event at China’s top Accelerator, Innovation Works in Shanghai.


Economics Journalism in Asia: IE Competition

Written on May 17, 2013 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

IE Business School has announced the fifteen finalists of the first edition of its Prize for Economic Journalism in Asia. Entries for the competition comprised 130 articles, reports, interviews and other media formats from more than 60 media organizations in the region. The competition is sponsored by CAF- Development Bank of Latin America.

The entries that have made it through to the finals of this first edition of the competition were published by media from China, the Philippines, Thailand, India, Pakistan and Singapore, where the business press is continuously exploring issues related not only to the global economy, but also the economies of Spain and Latin America. The overriding aim of the competition is to increase the flow of economic information between Asia and the Latin America region in order to forge closer economic links and interests.

Prize giving ceremony – June 20, Casa de América
The judges’ panel that will select the winning entries is comprised mainly of journalists from América Economía, El País, CNN Expansión and International Herald Tribune, along with business experts from IE Business School and CAF – Development bank of Latin America. Further members of the panel include organizations like International Enterprise Singapore, other companies operating in the region like Brightstar and Finnair, and Saudi Arabia’s Effat University.

The prize giving ceremony will take place on June 20 at the Casa de América building in Madrid. The event will also include the presentation of the prizes for the second edition of the IE Business School Prize for Economic Journalism in Latin America.


  1. Tehelka (India) “Our BRIC mindset will ruin us”   Karan Mehrishi
  2. Dawn (Pakistan) “Democratisation of capital” Aftshan Subohi
  3. Forbes (India) “Bric countries hit a wall” Shisihr Prasad, Dinesh Narayanan and Pravin Palande
  4. The Straits Times (Singapore)  “Latin America beckons for Singapore firms” Himaya Quasem
  5. Business World (Philippines)  “Philippines told to invest” Diane Claire J. Jiao
  6. SME Times (India) “Export diversification: where we are lacking”  Bikky Khosla
  7. SME Times (India) “High taxes for the “super-rich” a poor idea”  Bikky Khosla
  8. China Daily (China) “Deeper sino-latin American trade cooperation urged” Li Jiabao
  9. The Strait times  (Singapore) “Singaporeans wanted in Latin America” Melissa Tan
  10. Berita Harian  (Singapore) “More executives to be trained for the Latin American market” Oleh Norhaiza
  11. Business Times (Singapore) “Manpower push for firms expanding in Latin America”   Malminderjit Singh
  12. Live Mint (India) “India needs a restart”  V. Anantha Nageswaran
  13. Strait Times (Singapore)  “Mexico means opportunity, says President Calderon” Himaya Quasem
  14. The Economic Times (India) “Corporate chiefs on how they survived their greatest crisis”  Dibeyendu Ganguly
  15. Bangkok Post. (Thailand) “Good soil or good fertilizer? Nanchanok Wongsamuth



Striving for Change through Social Entrepreneurship

Written on May 16, 2013 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

footer-okAre you an entrepreneur? Are you planning to set-up your business with a strong social commitment? Then have a closer look to the IE University Social Entrepreneurship Summer School… Oh! You are not High School student? Sorry…

IE University would like to offer high school students a unique experience of taking part in the Social Entrepreneurship Summer School. If you see opportunities where others only see empty buildings, unemployable people and unvalued resources, this is the event for you.

During the week of July 15 till 19, you will be working alongside other students from around the world on creating a social entrepreneurship project using The Design Thinking Methodology, an idea generating methodology, a protocol for solving problems and discovering new opportunities. By implementing the six steps of the Design Thinking Process, you will be forced to think out-of-the-box every step of the way, to use your imagination, to come up with innovative solutions, to overcome challenges and to seek opportunities.

Using this methodology, you will develop within a Global Action Team a grass-root social entrepreneurship project, centered on different topics, such as culture, ecology, sports, social justice and other. Interact with other students and social entrepreneurs who share your concern about our society’s most pressing problems and put an innovative battle plan into action. The program combines interactive and motivational lectures by renowned social entrepreneurs with hands-on Global Action Teams sessions. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in cultural, social, and outdoor activities that will allow you to get to know your fellow participants better and learn from their experiences.

The conference will be hosted in IE Universities’ beautiful historic campus in Segovia, Spain. Housed in a 15th century convent, this perfect setting will inspire you in your quest for new ideas to achieve social change. You’ll also be able to explore the surrounding areas, and enjoy and absorb all the history and culture that Spain has to offer.

We look forward to seeing you in Segovia! Sign-up here!


Wabi Sabi and Luxury

Written on April 25, 2013 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

There’s a Japanese proverb that says that the person who makes poor quality goods is worse than a thief, because he makes things that neither last nor provide true satisfaction, while a thief at least redistributes wealth in society. Well, when it comes to quality Prof. María Eugenia Girón knows everything there is to know.

Here she speaks about luxury and perfection, while touching on the ancient and intriguing Japanese Wabi Sabi concept of beauty, which is about seeking beauty in the imperfections found in all objects. As you might know, the aesthetic values of Wabi Sabi have inspired a great many aspects of Japanese culture, including the tea ceremony, flower arranging, haiku, garden design, and noh theater.

Prof. Girón has many sides and talents. She holds a degree in industrial engineering and is a Harvard MBA graduate. She has also studied art, worked as CEO of Carrera & Carrera, is a member of a large number of boards, including that of Oceana, and also she is the Executive Director of the Premium & Prestige Business Observatory etc. etc. But most of all she is just a really nice person. What else can I say?

P.S. Prof. Girón is the author of the book “Inside Luxury”.

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First published in The Other Side, the blog about the other side of IE Faculty


Get the insights into the IE Campus Life

Written on April 21, 2013 by Dirk Hopfl in IE News

IE Campus LifeIt is difficult to get a sense on how students spend their non-lecture time at IE. For potential candidate this piece of information however is important as a Master degree in a foreign country should not just only be about academics and learning. Immersing into culture, learning Spanish and build up the personal and professional network are as critical to the overall experience.

It is a reality that students spend long hours working in teams preparing presentations, discuss projects and find solutions to the problems highlighted in each case. It is also true that on top you have to spend several hours prior to your team meetings to read all those case studies and technical notes.

However, there seems to be also time for the other “more exciting student life” meaning joining student clubs, networking and partying. Check the web of the IE Campus Life and their facebook page to really learn which student clubs are doing what.

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