“Does Marketing Run through your veins?” This was the slogan for this year’s Novartis Masterminds Challenge, a marketing competition sponsored by the leading farmaceutical company with the objective to search for professionals with management skills and passion to demonstrate their talent, lead and execute a marketing plan in the healthcare sector.
Our Master in Management students Kelly Fung (Master in International Management Oct09), Leen Rimawi (Master in International Management Oct09) and Patr Bhalakula (Master in Telecom and Digital Business Oct09) won 2nd prize in this important and challenging competition, and received a cash prize of 4000 Euros. The wining team was from LBS and 3rd prize was awarded to IESE.

It was a two-step Pharmaceutical Marketing Constest in which five Business Schools took part of: IE, IESE, Insead, ESADE and LBS. In the first phase there were over fifty teams composed of three students each that submitted the application. In this step, students had to create a Marketing Plan for the Zelisar brand and design the strategy for managing the Novartis cardiovascular portfolio. Six teams were selected among the fifty to continue with the second phase: the best team of each Business School and the second best team among all. Representing IE were Kelly, Leen and Patr, also the only non-MBA students. The challenge now was to creat the strategy to convert Zelisar (an hypertensive product) into a first line treatment and provide recommendations to improve the health care industry.

The final presentation was held on Jan 29th, in the Headquarters of Novartis in Barcelona, the jury was conformed by some of the members of the PEC (Pharma Excecutive Committee) and Professors from IESE.

“We decided to name the team The Challenger because for us it was a real challenge from the beginning and even until the end…specially because we were the youngest participants and competing with MBA profile students from other recognized universities” said Kelly Fung. The Committee found the proposal from IE´s Master in Management students very fresh, innovative and different from the others and were impressed of finding such young talent.