From Asia to Africa?

Some African countries are among the fastest growing countries in the world. It is no wonder that many Asian businesses are looking into investment opportunities and some IE graduates from Asia are doing the same. The IE Africa Club organized recently the first IE Africa Day to inform interested students at IE about investment and…

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Leaders in innovation: the battle between Samsung and Apple

IE Focus | By Ricardo Perez, Professor at IE Business School

Only a couple of years ago Apple was the indisputable leader in consumer electronics, but it hasn’t kept up the momentum and now Samsung has it in its sights.

Just two years ago Apple was the undisputed leader in innovation in consumer electronics. Its telephone was unparalleled in features and applications ecosystem. The iPad was sweeping the decks in sales worldwide and it made us learn to work and play in ways that we never imagined, while its competitors tried to copy its products as fast as they could. But the latest products launched by Apple have lost a little of their wow factor. They are merely reinterpretations in different sizes with better features than their previous versions.

Samsung is in total counterphase. After many years of trying to reach Apple’s levels of functionality and ecosystem, it would appear that it is now managing to close the gap. Its telephones are selling at the same price, the company is experimenting with different form factors and they have at least the same technological and software capacities as Apple’s phones. Obviously the war that is being unleashed is not just one of company against company, like Nokia and Motorola years ago, for example. Today these companies are competing in three major fields: technology, ecosystem and integration.

In the field of technology, namely what handsets are able to do, the two firms are very different. Apple has never tried to be the most innovative in this respect. It doesn’t develop its own technology which means it depends on advances made by its suppliers. Its strength in the market is what now keeps it ahead of the rest. Samsung also produces screens and the chips that make telephones work. It invests thousands of millions in research in these areas. It uses these advances for its other electronic divisions, including televisions. That’s where Samsung’s advantage lies.

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38 Flowers

Contrary to what you might think, this video isn’t about hippies with flowers in their hair, but rather a different type of flower power in the form of Bach flower therapy, explained to us here by microfinance marketing professor Maria Lopez-Escorial. Prof. Lopez-Escorial is committed to making this world a better place. In order to achieve this…

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No easy feat, but it’s done!

When the IE Brown Executive MBA March 2012 intake began we interviewed a few of the participants to understand why they chose the program and what they expected to get out of the experience.  Gregorie Perez, Executive Director at Gifts and Graces in Manila, was one of the participants we interviewed (see the original interview here). …

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The Cook

One of my all-time favorite films is The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover by Peter Greenaway. It’s a great story and the cinematography is excellent. I would’ve loved to have been able to render my own small homage to this film, but unfortunately there are no thieves I can think of around here…

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Tyba wins TNW Startup Rally

Tyba, a project from IE University BBA program, wins the Public Vote Award of this year The Next Web Europe Conference. Tyba, created by Eiso Kant (22), Jorge Schnura (22) and Philip Von Have (24), all final-year students of IE University’s Bachelor in Business Administration, is an online recruitment tool that permits students and recent graduates…

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LAUNCH is just the start…

Some weeks back the April 2013 intake of the International MBA started. Basil Alrayes from Saudi Arabia talks about his first impressions and especially his experiences during the LAUNCH week. Last week I participated in the LAUNCH program, which consisted of a week full of activities designed to prepare the students for the upcoming year.…

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Relocation, another opportunity for SMEs?

IE Focus | By Gamaliel Martinez, Professor at IE Business School

The tide is turning. After twenty years of delocation fever among Spanish firms, some of them are now bringing their manufacturing back to Spain. It is a particularly good option for SMEs. After twenty years of delocation fever it would appear that the trend is now reversing, as some companies start to bring their production plants back home, while many more are considering it.

Labour costs have risen in China. The increase in the price of a barrel of oil has impacted the cost of logistics, and some of the hidden costs, such as expatriation, were not calculated properly. Distance has constrained flexibility. Some companies have lost control over their know-how. Quality is uneven. Although manufacturing in Asia (or other places) seemed like such an interesting option only a few years ago, this often turned out not to be the case. According to Fedecon 15% of delocated textil companies have returned to Spain or to countries nearby, and we already have examples in the toy sector, such as Juguettos and Injusa. These are two sectors in which it was supposed that production costs were everything.

Labor costs are going down in Spain resulting in an improvement in levels of competitiveness in the international market. Bringing production  back to Spain is now a real option which would improve quality, response time, and enable greater control over processes, all this at a very similar cost. Coming back seems to be a simple choice, given that in the majority of cases, and particularly in the case of SMEs, the companies in question did not make enormous investments in production plants, preferring to subcontract production, to the detriment of local plants. Nevertheless it is entirely possible that those businesses that decided to delocate at the time have lost all or part of their know-how and may even have closed down their factories, making it very expensive for them to return to Spain.

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IE and MIT expand partnership in Malaysia

IE Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have been collaborating in both the US and Spain for some time now, primarily through the offering of a Dual Degree option for the International MBA, our 1-year full time MBA program.  Until now, graduates of the Dual Degree could go on to complete a…

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A flair of Spain: Indian Leaders Program

During a period of 1 week, several top journalists from major Indian media vehicles made several stops at major Spanish organizations, including: IE Business School; Indian Embassy to Spain; the Zarzuela Palace for a private audience with HRH Prince Felipe; Spanish Minister of State for External Affairs; Real Madrid FC; as well as top companies…

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The wealth of experience: Global Executive MBA

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.

 

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

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How to reinvent your company

Professor 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…

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Take me way up

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…

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Beijing Opera

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…

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