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GCP case studies

Below are a few Global Consulting Project case studies.

Cambridge MBA Global Consulting Project: Actis case study

Actis is a leading pan-emerging markets investor.

The host

With US$7.6bn funds under management, Actis has a growing portfolio of c.70 investments across Asia, Africa and Latin America, employing over 114,000 people. 

Applying developed market disciplines to emerging markets, an established team of c. 100 investment professionals in ten countries identify investment opportunities in private equity, energy and real estate. 

Actis is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), an investor initiative developed by the UNEP FI and the UN Global Compact. Actis targets consistent superior returns across asset classes over the long-term, bringing financial and social benefits to investors, consumers and communities. It calls this the positive power of capital.

The project

Actis tasked the Cambridge team with a reassessment of three aspects of their real estate operations: how to maximise the efficacy of the Actis Real Estate Impact Model; ways to boost the positive environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts of selected real estate investments and identifying the link between ESG performance and the financial value of the company's real estate investments.

The team

Carolina Serra

With an MEng in Manufacturing from MIT, Carolina's CV includes roles as an innovation and energy balance specialist with Rome-based ENEL.

Iko Putera

Iko has achieved Chartered Financial Analyst Level 1 and holds a BEng in Industrial Engineering. He has worked for Wellington Capital Advisory and Arghajata Consulting in his native Indonesia. 

Masa Yoshihara

A role as Deputy Director in the Fukushima Office of Reconstruction, Tokyo, followed a BEcon and Master of Public Administration in Energy and Social Enterprise for Masa.

Yvonne Ofosu-Appiah

Yvonne has worked for Barclays, FirstBanC and FirstGroup in her native Ghana. She holds a BComm and is a Chartered Financial Analyst Level 2 candidate.

Zoe Cullen

Zoe has an MSc in Environmental Policy, Planning and Regulation from LSE and worked for Fauna & Flora International as a Programme Manager in the UK and Indonesia from 2006-2014.

The faculty

The project was supervised by Dr Eva Steiner, who is Assistant Professor at University of Cambridge and Fellow and Director of Studies in Land Economy at St John's College, Cambridge. Dr Steiner's research interests are in real estate finance and empirical corporate finance.

The impact

A thorough research process, which included a field trip to one of Actis's sites in Kenya, enabled the Cambridge team to provide robust recommendations to enhance the Actis Real Estate Impact Model (REIM). The team proposed a revised version of the model carefully designed to ensure that each metric is repeatable, defensible and understandable and that all priority issues are addressed. Recommendations to improve the ESG impact of Actis Real Estate developments were also provided.

"The team impressed me with the quality of their work and thinking. They were quick to understand the complexity of private equity real estate investing, and to familiarise themselves with the Actis impact model including three developments in different countries, at various stages of development. They were well organised and their communications with the Actis team throughout the project were very good - we were informed but not inundated. In summary, I would say that the team exceeded our expectations and impressed us with their work ethic, thinking and presentation."

Shami Nissan, Director and Head of Responsible Investment


Cambridge Judge GCP case study: Alsol

A young and fast-growing Brazilian solar energy provider.

The host

Alsol is a solar energy installer part-owned by Brazilian conglomerate Algar, which invested in and incubated the business in readiness for a predicted leap in demand for solar in Brazil.

The project

The solar energy market in Brazil is preparing for a surge in consumer interest driven by falling installation prices, continued drought (which threatens the supply of hydroelectricity) and soaring prices for grid electricity. Alsol asked the Cambridge team to carry out a market assessment and strategy review for the company at this critical time. The students were also required to develop product financing recommendations.

The team

Giulia Seri

An MSc in Electronic Engineering was followed by four years as a Marketing Engineer with Infineon Technologies.

Miriam Noceda

IMiriam has A BBA and has worked for Banco de Crédito del Perú and Ediciones El Nocedal. 

Neil Madden

Neil is a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder and has an MSc in Accounting and Finance from LSE. He worked for Fidelity Investments in London for 12 years from 2002-2014.

Richard Doig

Richard spent 11 years with Accident Compensation Corporation in his native New Zealand, following a BSc Statistics and a BComm Operations Management from the University of Auckland.

Thanawan Wichienkuer

Thanawan has held roles with CIMB bank in Thailand and Malaysia, and has a BBA International Business and is a Chartered Financial Analyst Level 1.

The faculty

The project was supervised by Dr David Reiner, Senior Lecturer in Technology Policy. Dr Reiner's research focuses on national climate change policies; social and political acceptability of low-carbon technologies; public views of the subsurface including fracking and carbon capture and storage technologies, energy demand, international environmental negotiations.

The impact

The team researched key comparable markets abroad, finding a favourable climate for a growth in demand for solar energy from which Alsol can draw valuable lessons. Their analysis of the changing energy market in Brazil and of customer desire for this type of energy revealed what kind of growth Alsol may expect in the next five years and therefore what degree of expansion they should prepare for.

"For us the experience couldn't have been better. The adaptation to our country and culture, understanding of our business and the current situation of the Brazilian PV business, the original idea of finding out what was the best fit of already established PV markets around the world were all exemplary. The focus on analytics and market segmentation were vital for us as was the final proposal of a novel strategy - and all of this was accomplished in four weeks. 

"The GCP team arrived just as our company is preparing for a period of rapid growth, requiring a new business plan. Their work will be the basis for this and is therefore of great value to us. We are already looking forward to working with Cambridge again."

Gustavo Malagoli Buiatti, Director Operations


BNY Mellon One Boston Place building sign

A 230-year-old global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment life cycle. 

The host

With origins stretching back to 1784, BNY Mellon provides investment management and investment services that help individuals and institutions to invest, conduct business and transact in markets all over the world. Operating in 35 countries and more than 100 markets, the company can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. As of 31 March 2015, BNY Mellon had $28.5 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.7 trillion in assets under management.

The project

The team of MBAs were tasked with researching and delivering insights into strategic growth options in the alternative investments space, within the industry context of an intensely competitive market operating under highly restrictive regulation. New approaches beyond traditional acquisition models also formed part of the research brief.

The team

Carolina Serra

With an MEng in Manufacturing from MIT, Carolina's CV includes roles as an innovation and energy balance specialist with Rome-based ENEL.

Chris Millar

Chris has roles with Citibank, Deloitte and Ignis on his CV and holds an LLB from Queen's University.

Evgeny Mlodik

Evgeny has worked for energy supply company Rusenergosbyt in his native Russia and is educated to specialist level in finance and credit.

Siobhan Sweeney

Siobhan holds a Masters of Law from the University of Melbourne and acted as Legal Counsel to steel giant BlueScope for five years.

Will Sterling

Will is a Chartered Financial Analyst Level 1 and holds a BSc Business Administration, Economics and Finance. He has worked as an Investment Consultant for US bank holding company SunTrust.

The faculty

The project was supervised by Pedro Saffi, who is a University Lecturer in Finance. Dr Saffi's research covers topics such as security lending markets; short selling; liquidity risk; and how differences of beliefs affect trading volume. 

The impact

The project provided BNY Mellon with external verification of progress they had already made internally and a useful analysis of strategic options the company had been considering. The Cambridge team also brainstormed strategic options not yet under consideration and proposed a framework for identification and evaluation of BNY Mellon's preferred approach. 

"The students did an excellent job on a tight timeline in which they had to understand our complex business, assimilate a significant amount of information and interview various colleagues in different time zones and prepared a presentation outlining various strategic options available to the business. 

"The value of the project to BNY Mellon was material on several dimensions: the work gave us an external verification of the work we had done; an in-depth analysis of various strategic options we had previously considered and offered some strategic options we had not considered.  The team proposed of a framework we could use to evaluate and identify our preferred approach

"The team did very well within the time the four weeks. We would have benefited from more time with them to further explore specific strategic options they had suggested - but this was beyond the scope and time constraints of the project."

Paul B. Iturrino, Vice President Global Distribution


Global Consulting Project with GlobalFoundries

Globalfoundries is the world's first full-service semiconductor foundry with a truly global footprint.

The host

Launched in March 2009, Globalfoundries has quickly achieved scale as one of the largest foundries in the world, providing a unique combination of advanced technology and manufacturing to more than 250 customers. With operations in Singapore, Germany and the United States, Globalfoundries is the only foundry that offers the flexibility and security of manufacturing centres spanning three continents. The company's 300mm and 200mm fabs provide the full range of process technologies from mainstream to the leading edge. This global manufacturing footprint is supported by major facilities for research, development and design enablement located near hubs of semiconductor activity in the United States, Europe and Asia. 

The project

Globalfoundries tasked the Cambridge MBA team with delivering a deeper understanding of end market price tiers and how Globalfoundries customers manage their margins in the highly competitive Smartphone market. Having a richer data base (especially related to smartphones sales), would be essential to achieve a more robust awareness of potential margin pressures, based on end market value, product demand and selling price.

The team

Alejandro Perez

Alejandro has held corporate, brand development and supply chain roles with Unilever in Chile and Brazil from 2008-2014 and holds a BBA.

Chung Hang Tang

Chung is a Chartered Financial Analyst Level 1 and has a BEng (Hons) Electrical Engineering. He has held several roles with environmental solutions company Hyflux in his native Singapore.

Guoyong Zhang

With a PhD in Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering, Guoyong has worked for Sino Superconductor Technology and Tatfook Technologies in China.

Houssein El Sayed

Houssein worked for the Kuwait Telecommunications Company from 2009-2014 and has a BEng Computer and Communications Engineering.

The faculty

Dr Kishore Sengupta is a Reader in Operations Management at Cambridge Judge Business School. His research, teaching and consulting interests focus on managerial decision making in dynamic environments such as complex projects and high-performance teams, and managing complex organisations. 

The impact

The MBA team successfully analysed the Smartphone market by price tier and developed a complex model to provide key insights into the dynamics of the industry profit pool. They interviewed numerous in-house stakeholders before testing multiple methodologies to come up with a viable model described by Globalfoundries as 'highly efficient with numerous input parameters which will allow us to model many different scenarios for market demand and margin potential in various price tiers'.

"We were impressed at the variety and depth of the students' skillsets and the way they approached the project from different angles. The delivered model exceeded our expectations. The model is highly efficient with numerous input parameters which will allow us to model many different scenarios. The team also articulated a well-organized presentation in front of senior management. We enjoyed working with them."

David Jensen, VP Strategy, Market Research and Analytics 


Cambridge MBA Global Consulting Project: Gulftainer case study

A privately owned ports and logistics company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and operating eight terminals in the Middle East.

The host

Established in 1976 in Sharjah with just four ship-to-shore cranes, Gulftainer now has facilities in Iraq, Brazil, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the USA. Alongside its international port and terminal management offering, Gulftainer operates freight and transport services from inland container depots and runs logistics cities, such as the 140k sqm Sharjah Inland Container Depot. The company pursues joint venture interests across international territories and employs over 4000 people. 

The project

Gulftainer subsidiary, Momentum Logistics, asked the MBA team to carry out an analysis of its freight forwarding operation to provide insight into shaping the future of the division within the context of Gulftainer's core port operations and services.

The team

Claus Buckert

Claus has held roles with Siemens and Procter and Gamble in Germany. He holds a BA in European Business and a BSc in International Management.

Davey Gant

An experienced lawyer, Davey has worked for law firms in his native South Africa and holds an LLB in Law and a BComm in Economics and Law.

Lily Huang

A BSc in Business Administration was followed for Lily by roles with DAVIDsTEA and Ten Ren Tea in Vancouver, Canada.

Stephanie Pyne

Stephanie has worked as an infrastructure analyst, product scheduler and demand/planning manager for BP in Melbourne, Australia. She has a BComm/BA from the University of Melbourne.

Vasilis Paschos

Vasilis has an MSc in Sustainable Energy Systems and a BSc in Chemical Engineering. He has had roles with KPMG, Ricardo-AEA and BUSINESSEUROPE.

The faculty

Dr Othman Cole specialises in the study of behavioural finance and capital structure decisions; risk governance; the comparative advantages of oil and gas companies; the link between carbon emissions and economic growth and the effect of hosting international sporting events on the construction and tourism sectors in the BRICs.

The impact

Following in-depth research, which included exploring market trends in freight forwarding, assessing customer requirements and gaining internal stakeholder views, the students were able to present Gulftainer with some key recommendations about the future of their freight forwarding arm.

"The team was highly engaged and motivated to take on the task, and they worked well with all parts of the GT team. The final recommendation was well articulated and relevant. All in all a very good product that will be considered carefully within GT."

Peter Richards, Managing Director 


Global Consulting Project with Merck Consumer Health

Merck Consumer Health, the consumer business of Merck, a leading global player in science and technology.

The host

Merck Consumer Health is a leading consumer health company, developing and producing over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and food supplements for a healthy lifestyle and improved quality of life. Merck Consumer Health's brands such as Seven Seas, Neurobion, Bion, Nasivin, Dolo-Neurobion, and Femibion are innovative leaders in key markets, backed by science and trusted by consumers. In 2014, Merck Consumer Health generated about $1bn annual total sales in over 40 markets with 2,700 employees. 

The project

The Cambridge GCP team worked on the digital strategy for one of Merck Consumer Health's leading brands. Based on market research, the students identified key touch points in the consumer journey and developed a road map with clear priorities for digital marketing elements in line with the brand strategy.  

The team

Ashlee Spinoso

Ashlee has six years' experience in digital, media and marketing and worked as a marketing manager at Focus Financial Partners in New York. Ashlee has a BSc in Communications and Journalism from New York University.

Benjamin Rhodes

Benjamin was previously the Associate General Secretary for Communications and Development at the United Methodist Church, New York. He holds a BA in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs.

Bhawna Arora

Bhawna has an MTech/BTech in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology and has worked in various consulting roles, including has Senior Analyst for Norvartis Healthcare.

Mohammed Shamia

Mohammed has previously worked in a number of roles including as a manager and consultant for EY. He holds a Bachelors in Computer Engineering.

Veena Adityan

Veena has held various roles at Amazon, Engineering Lead and Software Development Manager. She has an MSc in Computer Science

The faculty

The project was supervised by Dr Dominque Lauga, Senior Lecturer in Marketing. Dr Lauga's research interests are in strategy; innovation and product development; advertising; behavioural industrial organisation; and experimental economics. Marketing strategy; innovation and product development; advertising; behavioural industrial organisation; experimental economics. 

The impact

The team developed a number of innovative ideas to help shape the digital strategy for Merck Consumer Health in a very short time. Their recommendations and ideas were a great input for refining the digital strategy of one of their leading brands. Key aspects of the students' proposal are currently being implemented.

"Especially when it comes to the fast moving digital world, a fresh external perspective from digital natives can make a big difference for a company like us. The GCP team's final deliverable far exceeded our expectations."

Gottfried Wastlbauer, Head of Strategy Merck Consumer Health


IKEA building

IKEA Group: global market leader in home furnishings.

The host

IKEA was founded in 1943. It has grown from a small Swedish furniture company to a multinational corporation with a presence in 48 countries and nearly one billion store visits annually. IKEA has an unusual structure and financial philosophy which shapes its decision making. It is not a publicly traded company, and profits are either reinvested, or donated to charity. Use of debt financing is anathema - IKEA uses only its own resources for growth. This has two key implications: IKEA is free to experiment with new business opportunities and take a long-term view of return on investment without the short-term pressures created by shareholders.

The project

Sustainability is integral to IKEA's identity and is one of the four pillars in the company's 2020 business strategy. 

The Sustainability Innovation team at IKEA identifies opportunities to achieve both sustainability and business goals. Given that IKEA may soon become a net positive producer of renewable energy, the team wanted to explore how it could leverage this surplus to make clean energy accessible and affordable for its customers. In doing so, IKEA will not only enable customers to live a more sustainable life at home, but also create a new business opportunity. 

This became the goal of the Cambridge GCP. The GCP team was asked to investigate and identify a viable and profitable clean energy offering for IKEA, as well as a high-level business model, risk assessment and go-to-market strategy for its implementation. 

The team

Michelle Avelena

Michelle has a BEng in Architectural Environment Engineering. She co-founded a business based in Jakarta called PT Multi Energi Selaras and has worked for the London School of Commerce. 

Julia Nelson

Julia has previously worked at the Business for Social Responsibility in San Francisco. She has also worked for the Barrick Gold Corporation as a Manager. She holds a BA in Anthropological Sciences and a Graduate Certificate in Community Relations in the Resource Sector. 

Igor Perzel

Fluent in seven languages, Igor has an MA in International Relations and European Studies as well as an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy. He has worked as a Senior Trader for REPOWER and as an Energy Trader for Ezpada AG.

Zamir Zulkefli

Zamir holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and an MSc in Aerospace Engineering. He was a Senior Lecturer at the Universiti Putra Malaysia, and has previously worked at Transvibro and the Center for Space Nuclear Research.

The faculty

Professor of Marketing at Cambridge Judge, Jaideep Prabhu supervised the IKEA GCP.  His research interests span international business, marketing, strategy and innovation. He is the author of Frugal Innovation: How to do More with Less, and Jugaad Innovation: Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth.

The impact

Understanding the industry context was crucial to providing viable recommendations. Electricity retailing is undergoing profound change: the traditional utility model is disintegrating, competition is increasing, and renewable energy sources (RES) are changing the landscape of the industry, particularly in the EU. The GCP team examined customers' needs and preferences and identified seven potential business models for increasing the availability of renewable energy to IKEA customers were identified. 

Three models were prioritised for further analysis in consultation with the client. The team evaluated each model against a set of criteria; these addressed the competitiveness, impact on customer relations and fit of the model with IKEA's culture and capabilities, as well as profitability and ease of implementation. Resource requirements, risks and success factors were also identified. 

The team provided a go-to-market model, providing a marketing strategy, market selection criteria, and illustrative financial returns. A framework was also provided for IKEA to assess the model's sustainability impact. 

"The IKEA GCP team undertook and delivered a strong and thoughtful piece of work in a very short time frame that has helped evolve our thinking with regards to potential go-to-market strategies around home energy. The team was dedicated, capable of learning rapidly and always professional. We found the project to be very valuable and would be pleased to host future GCP teams."

Matt Stanley and Alex Castro, The Sustainability Innovation team


Forest landscape and hills

Fauna and Flora International (FFI): creating economic opportunities and conservation benefits through enterprise development in Indonesian Borneo.

The host

FFI is the world's first international conservation organisation, committed to the conservation of threatened species and ecosystems in partnership with local people. FFI is a proven conservation innovator that continues to make a lasting impact on global biodiversity. FFI works in over 40 (mainly developing) countries to achieve the mission of conserving threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, based on sound science, and that take into account human needs.

The project

The goal of FFI in this project was to support the development of early stage enterprises that have the potential to significantly enhance the livelihoods of marginalised, rural communities in a globally important forest landscape. To this end, a Cambridge GCP team worked with two communities in a remote part of Kapuas Hulu, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. The objective was to analyse forest honey and illipe nut (tengkawang) enterprise activities undertaken by the villagers; to assess the viability of current operations, providing a baseline assessment of their needs, identifying key constraints and operational weaknesses; and develop a series of recommendations to address these. 

A team of four MBA students spent two weeks in the region developing the initial analysis of the honey and illipe value chains, and the roles of the people within them. Applying the learnings of the MBA programme, and using the concepts of participatory market systems development (PMSD) the team proposed a strategy to increase producers' access to market and increase the value add of the two products.  Their work included detailed analyses of the current structure and relationships within the value chains of the two products, and identification of opportunities to enhance or facilitate new relationships.  A key component included analysis of the working capital constraints faced by the producer associations, and how tackling these could transform the ability of these associations to function as viable market actors, as aggregators and intermediaries to international buyers. The team also made numerous recommendations on improvements to operations, focused on achieving both cost efficiencies and quality improvements.  

The team

Chris Covey

With an MEng in Manufacturing from MIT, Carolina's CV includes roles as an innovation and energy balance specialist with Rome-based ENEL.

Ian Nagle

A professional rugby player, Ian has played in the Irish Rugby Union for a number of years. He has a BComm in Management and Marketing from the University of Cork. 

Xiaojie Zhou

Xiaojie has a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Washington, St Louis, USA. Her background is in finance, and she has worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a Senior Analyst. 

Seon Woo Ahn

With a background in finance, Sean has worked for the Import-Export Bank of Korea as a Senior Research Officer. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Management. 

The faculty

Dr Neil Stott is Executive Director of the Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge. His research interests include social innovation, organisational socialisation, organisation and institutions, and social entrepreneurship. Dr Stott was Chief Executive of Keystone Development Trust until April 2015; Keystone is one of the largest development trusts in the country delivering community development, social enterprises and property development. 

The impact

The team performed the task with an open mind and with the confidence to apply their previous experience and MBA learning in what was a new context for all members of the team. FFI were extremely impressed with the team's approach to working with partners in Indonesia. The team gathered significant amounts of relevant data, and established the trust and willingness of community members and other partners to share information about their activities in considerable detail. It was clear that the team were great ambassadors during their fieldwork, adapting readily to staying in the villages and engaging positively with whatever was thrown at them, whilst also staying focused on the task at hand.

"The team brought a fresh perspective to the analysis of the status quo of the two enterprises and developed a series of insightful recommendations that challenge a number of assumptions about the current set-up of the finances and operations of these enterprises.  Their findings will play an important role in guiding next steps in the development of these enterprises. The quality of the presentation was excellent.  The team and their deliverables exceeded our expectations."

Zoë Quiroz Cullen, Head of Conservation Finance and Enterprise


World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO): branch of the United Nations dedicated to global public health.

The host

The main role of WHO is to direct and coordinate international health within the UN system, helping countries achieve their national health objectives and promoting universal access to health care and well-being.

The project

WHO, along with its partner the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ITU), have been implementing the joint Be He@lthy, Be Mobile (BHBM) programme for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). BHBM uses mobile technology to improve the prevention and treatment of NCDs. As NCDs are largely preventable if common risk factors are avoided or tackled with care, this partnership aims to contribute to global and national efforts to save lives, minimise illness and disability, and reduce the social and economic burden that NCDs create. 

BHBM has been running successfully for four years. Now WHO-ITU are looking to scale-up the programme along WHO's long-term goal to ensure that all national programmes are financially self-sustainable.  

With this aim in mind, WHO tasked a team of five Cambridge MBAs to explore potential partnerships and business structures which the WHO-ITU initiative could consider pursuing to achieve long-term financial sustainability and subsequently allowing it to scale-up BHBM over the coming years.

The team

Allegra Markson

Allegra has extensive business experience working for the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. She has a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, USA.

Hui Lynn Tan

Hui Lynn has an LLB from Cardiff University and was called to the Bar of England and Wales as a barrister-at-law. She has previously worked as a Senior Associate for Zaid Ibrahim & Co in Malaysia.

Ling Yok Lee

Ling Yok has a BA in Finance, Accounting and Management from the University of Nottingham. She has previously worked at Deloitte Corporate Solution and KPMG Management & Risk Consulting in Mayasia.

Nidchaya Srisontisuk

Nid has a BA in Economics and Psychology from the University of Mitchigan. She has previously worked for Pricewaterhouse Consulting in Thailand.

Ciro Borriello

Ciro has an MSc in Aerospace Engineering and has previously worked as a Project Manager at Airbus Defence and Space.

The faculty

Paul Tracey is Professor of Innovation and Organisation at Cambridge Judge Business School. His research interests are entrepreneurship; institutions and institutional change; regional innovation; social innovation. Paul serves on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, and Strategic Organization. He is a member of the Cambridge Corporate Governance Network (CCGN).

The impact

The GCP team worked remotely from Cambridge with two short visits to meet the team in Geneva. 

The team set out to propose three business models that would not only capitalise on the public private partnerships that BHBM is able to enter into through ITU, but also include new, innovative partnerships and business model options beyond the current funding mechanisms of the United Nations (UN). This goal, in turn, aligned directly with the UN's sustainable development goals of 2015, which include a focus on innovative partnerships among UN agencies and beyond.

"The team were an absolute pleasure to work with from the start. We were impressed by their internal team dynamics. The report they produced was extremely well-received by the audience here and will be presented at a senior management meeting as part of the future strategy on sustainability for the initiative. This reflects the high-quality thought and preparation which has clearly gone into the final output. The team also fielded questions from the floor extremely competently during the final presentation of results in Geneva."

Gini Arnold, Project Manager at WHO


Cambridge MBA Global Consulting Project case study: Willis Towers Watson

Willis and Towers Watson: a global multinational, risk management, insurance brokerage and human capital advisory company.

The host

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) was formed with the recent merger of Willis Group Holdings and Towers Watson & Co which became effective 5 January 2016. Concurrently, WTW is also awaiting regulatory approval to take a shareholding in Almondz Insurance Brokers, their correspondent in India.

The project

As a result of the merger and the intended acquisition, it is expected that the combined WTW/Almondz footprint in India will grow as the respective teams work more closely together to bring a broader set of solutions to Indian companies. Taking into account the size and growth potential of the Indian market, WTW/Almondz was keen to identify where the best opportunities exist and how to go about exploiting these.

The GCP project aimed to map the services and products provided by WTW and Almondz, quantifying the market size for their combined service and product offering and combined market penetration. 

The GCP team developed their views on the way forward to best capture synergy opportunities and recommended a joint approach to develop market share in India.

The team

Emmanuel Vandenbergh

Emmanuel has an MSC in Applied Economic Sciences from LeuvenHogeschool in Brussels. He has previously worked for Citigroup Global Markets in London and Auriga Global Investors in Madrid.

Kapil Daga

Kapil has previously worked for AQUA Management Consulting Group in Mumbai and Essex Lake Group in New York. He holds an MSc in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Shivani Jaswal

In addition to an MBA, Shivani also holds an MFin from Cambridge Judge Business School. She has previously worked for Lloyds of London as an Exposure Management and Reassurance Account Executive and for Corporate Warranties in New Delhi.

Matt Kamisher-Koch

With a BA in international Affairs and Geography, Matt has worked as a Senior Analyst for CEB and as an Associate at Cicero Consulting.

The faculty

The project was supervised by Yasemin Kor, the Beckwith Professor of Management Studies. Professor Kor's research interests include CEO and executive team competencies (human and social capital); board governance effectiveness (board capital and CEO-board interactions); development and renewal of a firm's dominant logic and core competencies.

The impact

The GCP team was based in India for the duration of the GCP. They adapted very quickly to the new and very different environment and engaged effectively with the project stakeholders. The market data the team put together was gathered from interviews with industry experts.

"Our team enjoyed working with the Cambridge Judge Business School students. We were impressed with each of the team members. The output they delivered from the project was very valuable and enabled us to assess the prioritisation we place on parts of our business. The findings were very conclusive in terms of where our focus needs to move to. The team gave us some very interesting insights into the effectiveness of our cross-selling and social media selling.  The presentation was excellent and the questions were dealt with confidence and supported with data."

Alex Thoms, Large Clients Leader, Willis Towers Watson Asia


The Cambridge MBA Global Consulting Project case study: L'Oreal

L'Oreal (UK & Ireland): the world's largest cosmetics company.

The host

L'Oréal is the only cosmetics group that is present in every distribution channel: mass market, hair salons, department stores and pharmacies. Their current ambition is to win over a billion new consumers in the coming decade. The strategy to win these new consumers can be summed up as "universalisation". Unlike globalisation, which consists of marketing standardised products around the world, universalisation is aimed at offering tailor-made beauty by creating products that are adapted to the differing lifestyles, beauty habits and purchasing powers of different populations.

The project

The L'Oréal GCP team was commissioned to understand how to effectively reach a new market for one of its facial products. 

A team of five MBA students worked mostly independently, meeting the L'Oreal team weekly to ensure the team remained on track. The team leveraged a combination of primary and secondary research that included market analysis, nationwide consumer surveys, interviews, and focus groups with relevant target audiences. From this research, the team was able to compile a consumer profile that would be the right fit and they generated targeted recommendations for L'Oreal on how to access this audience of early adopters. The research also uncovered patterns of purchase drivers and behaviours that L'Oréal team could use to reach their target audience.

The team

Cindy Zhang

Cindy holds a MEd in Educational Policy and Management as well as a BS in Human and Organisational Development. She has previously worked as an Assistant Project Manager for TEFL International, and as an Assistant Manager for Ranken Railway Construction Group Company.

Dipika Sawhney

Having gained a BEng in Computer Science, Dipika has worked for as Chief Creative Officer, as a Strategy and Operations Manager, and for the Times of India in Business Development. 

Joao Moraes

Joao has previously worked as a Financial Director for Cristovao Restaurante e Eventos and as an Account Manager for Ana Couto Branding. He holds a BA in Law.

Margaret Scadden

Founded and was the Executive Director of Ponte Corporation from 2014-2015. Margaret also has experience as Program and Business Development Specialist for Creative Associates International. She holds a BA in International Affairs.

Melissa Adams

Melissa has worked for Operative Media, both in the UK and the US as an Implementation Manager as a Senior Product Manager. She holds a BA in Business Administration from the University of Washington.

The faculty

Dr Dominique Lauga is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Cambridge Judge Business School. Dr Lauga's key research interest are marketing strategy, innovation and product development, advertising, behavioural industrial organisation, and experimental economics.

The impact

The L'Oréal CMO team was impressed that the GCP team had such a great understanding of the problem and an appreciation for the brand and the company. The team had great passion and motivation to work on a business case project. The presentation was professional, and the detail that they included was exceptional considering the quick turnaround of the project.

"The presentation included a perfect mix of theory, strategy and practical application of marketing techniques. They were very quick at taking feedback on board and responding. Overall, the result of this project was extremely valuable for us and we will definitely be incorporating their recommendations in our strategy."

Vasileios Kourakis, Senior Consumer Analytics Manager, (UK office)


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It was a good opportunity for us to apply a lot of the concepts we had learned during Management Praxis, especially around teamwork and how to manage client expectations.
Swalti Kalra, Actis, 2018