Team RD – Florianopolis Brazil

Written by the IBD Team RD, Perrie Briskin, Jamil Bashir, Emily Brechlin, Yenkai Huang, and Michael Kochevar

“Oh, that’s why he wasn’t talking to me,” the Brazilian man exclaimed loudly with laughter. “I thought he was a mute!”

This was the statement of a friendly Brazilian man when he encountered one of our teammates during breakfast in our hotel. Our teammate smiled and gestured to the man to go first for coffee. When the man thanked our teammate, it was met with another smile and a nod. The man only realized that our teammate spoke English when another teammate gave a heartfelt “good morning!”

This encounter sums up much of our International Business Development (IBD) experience. We were all excited for IBD, eagerly anticipating those sorts of miscommunications and disconnects. Needless to say, we were not disappointed. 

Our team of five spent a few weeks in Florianópolis Brazil (known as Floripa) with a marketing automation company. There was an inherent disconnect from the beginning, far before we set off for Floripa. While we think of ourselves as studious MBAs with diverse professional backgrounds, none of us knew much about tech, let alone marketing automation. We quickly dove in to get an understanding of our client’s operations and how they’ve come to dominate the Brazilian market. 

Although we quickly figured out the industry and our client, there remained minor disconnects around the scope of our project. Just when we thought we had it figured out, we would learn something new that would steer us in a slightly different direction. Those small redirects added up to countless hours of healthy debate and multiple white-boarding sessions. Fortunately, we remained nimble and kept in close contact with our client. It was much easier to collaborate with our client when we were finally in Floripa. Key learning – while remote collaboration can be helpful, sometimes a face-to-face meeting is necessary! (read: boss, I think I need to go to [name your favorite city] to really make this project work)  

RD Team white boarding

In Brazil, we quickly learned that English is not widely spoken. It would be a lie if we said it was easy to navigate – just ask the mute if you need proof. But, Google Translate was our friend. The few years of high school Spanish many of us took also proved surprisingly useful. When all else fails, smile and nod. 

RD Team enjoying cake

Our team of 5 had numerous internal disconnects. We had different schedules, varying preferences and unique goals. We embraced the time in Brazil to bond with one another – sharing our “life stories” as a way to get to know one another on a deeper level. We connected over Brazilian barbecue, food trucks and a 3-hour long dinner with our client (small aside – we forgot to place the order for our food…). Karaoke and juggling (our team leader brought a set of juggling balls!) during sunrise on a Floripa beach eliminated any divide that may have remained within our team. Team RD on the beach

This is IBD, it’s all about learning – it’s about stretching ourselves. Working internationally is not easy, but in the challenge lies great learning and fun! 

In the end, we ask – is there a disconnect that cannot be overcome with a bit of hard work, compromise and fun?

 

Building Bridges: The Story of How Two Asians, Two South Americans, and a North Carolinian Found Each Other in Germany

Written by Team SAP Ariba: Jennifer Nixon, Antonio Ciudad Casafranca, Ka Wing Lo, Rodrigo Morelli and Boyu Zhang

More than just data integration… 

SAP’s CEOs’ words marked us from the beginning when we got to SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany. SAP’s core business is more than just data integration; it is about creating “bridges” within an organization so that communication can flow freely, and thus, better decisions are made. 

Experiencing this project with IBD consulting eyes resulted in a similar realization to each of us. From visiting the offices in Palo Alto, to the headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, to the Apphaus in Heidelberg, we were able to see first hand what makes this giant tech company tick. It was not just that we had not seen so many bridges, literally connecting all buildings in the headquarters like a giant above- and below-ground maze. These bridges weren’t just to shield employees from the harsh German winters. The concept of bridges was embedded in this company’s DNA. The key to success for them was collaboration, which led to the best possible solution for the client. We knew that this was what this big tech company did differently. 

The purpose of our project itself was to create a concept and strategy for a new product in Northern Europe. And for that reason, we had not only to understand our potential Northern European client, but also get a better understanding of one another. 

Coming from 5 different regions in the world: Brazil, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Peru and the US, the “data integration” had to start with us. One morning, as we entered the SAP headquarters building, a symbol struck us from an SAP sign welcoming a distinguished Chinese client delegation. The symbol depicted below means team – the

The Chinese symbol for team

inner symbol means talent, and the outside 4 walls mean group, which we saw as a great representation of the four nations from which we came. We realized that this symbol represented what we have become: a talented, multifaceted group that came together as one team, on the other side of the world, to solve a complex problem.

Our Journey to the Bridges:

Living in Heidelberg for three weeks, we were exposed to the oldest university city in Europe. Being surrounded by centuries of pursuit of knowledge, exemplified by the willingness of SAP people to talk to us and share their experiences with us, helped to open our eyes to a new understanding of the client, but most importantly to the company integration project that we had to help accomplish.

SAP Ariba is itself in an undergoing process to integrate with SAP, and our proposal had to take those aspects into consideration. 

We were also able to explore Germany, and understand centuries of division, but also reunification and integration of a new Germany. This nation does not forget its past, but builds “bridges” to connect its future.

It is about abandoning the silos and understanding our client’s client, our client, and each other. The pain points of one were not the pain points for everyone, so we had to bridge the gap to find a common ground, and work from there to find a comprehensive solution. 

It has been a journey to create bridges around the world and between us. After this experience, it is safe to say that we will always search for ways to connect people, build trust, and team up! 

Greetings from Middle Caye in Glover’s Reef Atoll!

Written by IBD Team WCS,  Banu Nagasundaram, Lindsay Zhang, Mark Parker, Maureen Klarich, and Pathak Pankaj

Glover's Reef Marine ReserveWe are Team WCS.  Our project this summer is to work in partnership with the Belize organization of the Wildlife Conservation Society to recommend effective management practices for Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, a World Heritage site that also serves as one of the nine designated marine protected areas in Belize.  

During our five weeks at Berkeley, we began understanding marine protected areas and started navigating the complex network that involves marine protection management within Belize.  From fishermen to government to landowners to conservationists, there are many whose livelihoods are impacted by decisions made within these marine protected areas. Each week, we met with the WCS Belize management team from Berkeley to begin building relationships and ultimately the direction in which we would take this project.

Upon arriving to Belize City, we spent a day in the WCS Belize office before heading out to the Middle Caye island which is owned by WCS.  This was truly a once in a lifetime experience, exploring and understanding the realities of marine protection management 35 miles off the coast of Dangriga, Belize. 

Follow us for a day in the life of a Berkeley Haas IBD consultant on Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve:

6AM – 9AM

Sunrise Glover's Reef Marine Reserve

Early to bed, early to rise!  Along with the WCS and Belizean Fisheries and Coast Guard staff on the reserve, we started our days with the sun. Breakfast, delivered by the cooks Ms. Annette and Ms. Brenda, began promptly at 7AM.  Fried jacks (a Belizean specialty best described by our group as “fried dough”) and coffee were essential to the start of our day along with in-depth conversations with the WCS team and their visiting guests from the St. Louis Zoo. We spent a lot of time on the dock of Middle Caye, learning about the experiences of the WCS staff – many of whom have worked for and amongst the various stakeholders throughout their careers. What valuable conversations and a beautiful environment to hold these!

Dock at Glover's Reef Marine Reserve

9AM – 11AM

Taking in the nature of Belize. Along with the guests from St. Louis, we had the opportunity to explore the reserve each morning – learning about and understanding the marine ecosystem within the reserve and clearly understanding the need for conservation of this beautiful protected area. The team had the opportunity to partake in snorkeling the reef – a big shout out to our teammate, Banu, for diving right in and exploring the open seas for the first time!  She went from joining boat rides to swimming on her own in the reserve within four days.

11AM – 12PM

We took each morning to check in with the WCS Operations Manager, Ken. We really valued this time to talk through some of our observations and understand his perspective on the region. These sessions took place in the Research Lab where we were able to get a break from the strong sun.

12PM – 2PM

Ms. Annette and Ms. Brenda were back in action for lunch, hosting for over 40 guests – the WCS staff, the St Louis visiting guests, the Fisheries staff and Coast Guard staff on-site at Middle Caye, and ourselves.  Each meal gave us an opportunity to interact with stakeholders, learning their personal histories, their path to Glover’s Reef, and their thoughts and ideas surrounding conservation of this beautiful area.

2PM – 6PM

The afternoons were spent with more snorkeling and exploration of the Glover’s Reef atoll and the islands outside of Middle Caye.  Throughout the week, we had the opportunity to visit and meet with key stakeholders in the region who sit on the Advisory Committee of Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve.  These included Jim and Kendra who own a resort in Glover’s Reef. Living in Belize for 25 years, they have a vested interest in protecting the ecosystem of the reef for their guests and sustainability of their livelihood on this atoll.  We also had a chance to speak with Warren, another landowner who was born in Glover’s Reef and continues to be an active participant in the community. One evening, our boat captain Bok took us out to meet fishers who had just come in for the day.  Hearing their perspectives and efforts to teach the younger generations of fishers about the needs for sustainability was encouraging and inspiring.

Fisher boat

7PM – 9PM

Dinners were served to the entire group – complete with rice and beans, chicken stew, and local desserts and fruits. Again, the opportunity to engage with the stakeholders on the island over meals and card games following dinner gave us the ability to build relationships and get to know the team better.

Throughout the day

Sun and mosquito protection were essential! The island’s mosquitos were no joke, and some group members survived the mosquito bites better than others. We also learned that any walk on the island needs to be accompanied with long sleeve t-shirts, long pants, and bug spray applied to any open skin.  Wish we had bought some stock in mosquito repellent and sunscreen approved sunscreen brands!

2019 IBD Team WCS Belize

2019 IBD Team WCS Belize

As we’ve headed back to Belize City, we are looking forward to the continued learning in our 2nd week – meeting with other Marine Protected Areas to discuss best practices and exploring the best of Belize.  Look out for another update in the next week! 

 

Team Sega Sammy: Tokyo 2019 #samuraibd

Written by Sega Sammy Team Member, Mina Matsumoto, ’20 MBA Candidate 

When people think of Sega Sammy, most picture Sonic the Hedgehog. However, Sega Sammy Holdings is more than a cartoon- it’s a multi-billion dollar conglomerate that merged Japan’s biggest pachinko manufacturer with one of the leading arcade and video game makers. They invited a Haas team to help them create a sustainable investment strategy for their corporate venture capital team. As a mature company, they want to invest in the future. 

Team IBD Sega Sammy

Day 1 – VR 

Mina: Holding a laser gun, I stood on the edge of a high tower. I shot a grappling hook through the air, jerked the gun back, and flew through the air to another tower. My teammates were across the field, shooting at the opposing team. This was Tower Tag, a multi-player VR game in the Sega Arcade in Shinjuku. 

Next to us, there were other VR games where you can ride a horse through a western, or fight off a ghost (I didn’t dare try that one). To a passerby, all of the sudden movements wouldn’t make any sense. But until the staff comes to help you out of your headgear, you’re in another world. What a way to end our first day of work- by the end, we were ready for a traditional izakaya dinner with the clients. 

Fearless Team Lead, Julian Florez, along with team members Andrew Blute and Aanchal Kawatra, take their shot in Tower Tag

Fearless Team Lead, Julian Florez, along with team members Andrew Blute and Aanchal Kawatra, take their shot in Tower Tag

Day 5 – COO

Upon entering a large circular boardroom, with memorabilia of Sonic the Hedgehog and gaming history along the walls, we were greeted by President and CEO Haruki Satomi wearing a Haas jacket. Mr. Satomi (EWMBA ‘12) has been in leadership roles at Sega Sammy for over a decade, and has been president and CEO since 2017. It was a great opportunity to chat with a fellow Haasie about his experiences as CEO, and about the futures of corporate venture capital and gaming. How to use new technology in their current business, and how to source good talent that can partner with the business units to identify promising startups earlier are both key priorities. 

Haruki Satomi (MBA 2012), President, Sega Sammy Holdings; CEO, Sega Holdings; President, Sammy Corporation.

Haruki Satomi (MBA 2012), President, Sega Sammy Holdings; CEO, Sega Holdings; President, Sammy Corporation

Day 9 – Pitch Night

In Tunnel Tokyo, the area of the office we worked out of, startup events happen multiple times per week. We were invited to attend a Startup Pitch Night, where five early stage startups presented their ideas. 

Startup Pitch Night with screen of game

Day 10 – Baseball Game 

A different kind of pitch: to kick off our final weekend, we caught a Giants game (yeah, different black-and-orange Giants) at the Tokyo Dome. Japanese baseball games are quite a bit more intense than MLB games; we enjoyed watching the passionate fans sing chants for each of their players, and cheer wildly on their feet. 

Giants game at the Tokyo Dome

Giants game at the Tokyo Dome

Final Presentation

Following our final presentation to the executive committee, we celebrated an amazing trip AND Andrew’s birthday with the clients out in Tokyo. かんぱい!

IBD Team Sega Sammy

 

Berkeley Haas Travels to Nepal for Eye Care Nonprofit

Written by IBD Team Seva; Alix Slosberg, Elinor Chang, Lauren Greenwood, Ryan Overcash and Ryan Adams

*Haas team’s travel in Nepal

*Haas team’s travel in Nepal

Five current Berkeley Haas MBA students partnered with Seva, a global nonprofit, to support its mission to preserve and restore sight for communities around the world for the 2019 International Business Development (IBD) course.  The Haas team started working in Kathmandu, but quickly traveled around Nepal to see the famed Lumbini Eye Institute and settled in Tansen, Nepal, where the team focused its IBD work for the Palpa Lions Lacoul Eye Hospital (PLLEH).

The Haas team spent three weeks in-country exploring how PLLEH could increase cataract surgery patient volume to drive revenue growth to become financially self-sustaining in the long-term.

A Day in the Life

*Tansen, Nepal

*Tansen, Nepal

While in Tansen, the Haas team ingrained itself with PLLEH’s eye care staff and operations. The team met with the other Tansen medical care facilities that also serve the broader Palpa district, which includes Tansen and has a population of 270,000.

In total, the Haas team conducted 24 stakeholder interviews and 5 hospital tours while in Nepal.

One of the most memorable days was when the Haas team worked with the Seva Nepal contact, Parami Dhakhwa, and the PLLEH staff to set up a full day of patient interviews at the hospital.

The Haas team wanted to learn about PLLEH’s patient journey through patients that came for cataract surgery, those that were just diagnosed with cataracts, and those that came for a general checkup.

*Elinor Chang & Alix Slosberg work with the translator and patients

*Elinor Chang & Alix Slosberg work with the translator and patients

The hospital opened at 10am and already had a line of people waiting to be seen. As the morning progressed, the hospital became more crowded since people had traveled hours by foot and bus and wanted to receive care in time to return home before the last bus left Tansen.

*Buffalo, common farm animal

*Buffalo, common farm animal

There was added excitement on this particular interview day. An ophthalmologist from the Lumbini Eye Institute was visiting PLLEH for one day to perform cataract surgeries since PLLEH was temporarily operating without an ophthalmologist.

The Haas team prepared standard interview questions for patients and worked with two translators to dive into patients’ experiences at PLLEH.

The Nepali patients were kind, forthcoming, and supportive of the Haas team’s work. The patients also made clear that PLLEH’s brand was highly regarded and they trusted the quality of care received at PLLEH.

*Interviewed PLLEH Patients

*Interviewed PLLEH Patients

The interviewed patients were mostly farmers in the region and many of them brought up concerns about leaving their crops and animals in order to receive care at PLLEH.

The Haas team also gained insights into the decision making process for patients that decided to receive cataract surgery and the team’s hypotheses were further refined. An interesting development was that finding a guardian or caretaker for cataract surgery is likely not as much of a barrier to surgery as the team previously thought. At PLLEH, grandchildren, daughters-in-law, and spouses still appeared available and willing to assist family members with cataracts.

*PLLEH staff & Haas team

*PLLEH staff & Haas team

Through days like this interview day, surveys written by the Haas team, and the incredible support from Seva and PLLEH staff, the IBD project came alive. The Haas team used the data and primary research to think through eye care patients’ needs and wants and provided dynamic recommendations to PLLEH. Seva will continue to engage the Haas team over the coming year and Haas wishes PLLEH the best in making additional outreach and operational efforts to better position the hospital to care for more patients.

OPTION A:

*Diagram of PLLEH Hospital

OPTION B:

*Diagram of PLLEH Hospital

*Diagram of PLLEH Hospital

Haas in the World: IBD Students are currently in-country

Team Embraer in São José dos Campos at Embraer Headquarters

Team Embraer in São José dos Campos at Embraer Headquarters

“Our Embraer IBD team had an excellent first week in Brazil! After enjoying the beauty of Iguazu Falls, we’ve been well taken care of in São Jose dos Campos by Embraer, our client and the third largest aerospace manufacturer in the world. From a tour of the executive jet assembly floor on day one to numerous daily working sessions with company leaders mapping the existing situation for the company’s innovation work, the company has been deeply engaged in the project. We’ve even met some Embraer Vice Presidents and Directors! It’s a fascinating project, and a critical one for the company’s future ability to innovate and grow in a competitive industry. We’re excited to be working with Embraer, and looking forward to an exciting remaining two weeks, including an interactive multi-day workshop with senior leadership to map the future innovation strategy of the company.”  – Team Lead Brian Bell

Team Ananda

Team Ananda

“We’ve had a great time meeting with our client counterparts. Everyone on the team can agree that this past week and a half has been an incredible learning experience. We have learned so much about working in a foreign business environment, something we could not have achieved without the IBD program and actually being in-country with our clients and their stakeholders.”  – Team Lead Fay Yu

Team Seva in Nepal

Team Seva in Nepal

Berkeley Haas MBA students Alix Slosberg, Elinor Chang, Lauren Greenwood, Ryan Overcash and Ryan Adams represent one of 16 IBD teams working with IBD clients in-country for three weeks.  Alix, Elinor, Lauren, Ryan and Ryan are working with the Seva Foundation and its partner, Palpa Lions Lakaul Eye Hospital in Nepal.

Enjoy more photos from IBD teams working around the world:

 

IBD Welcomes Arman Zand to the Summer 2019 EWMBA IBD Program

Arman Zand is a very busy person. On his LinkedIn profile, he lists four positions that he currently holds: Head of Finance at Farmstead, Advisor at Eyelevel.ai, Advisor at SkyDeck, and Lecturer at the Haas School of Business.  Arman is also a father of a three year old, and he has just been named as the summer 2019 Evening & Weekend (EWMBA) IBD program Faculty Director.  As a Berkeley Haas EWMBA alumnus and former IBD project client, Arman brings with him first hand knowledge as to what makes IBD a success for both MBA students and project clients.  He also has extensive international experience, having lived and worked in China, India, Africa, Latin America, and EMEA. Recently we interviewed Arman and discussed his new role as EWMBA IBD program Faculty Director.  Please see the results of our interview with Arman below.

Question:   What was your motivation for taking on the Faculty Director role for the summer 2019 Evening & Weekend MBA IBD program?

Arman:  I hosted IBD in China for two consecutive years when I lived there. I believe international experience is an important part of the MBA program and I wanted to help IBD continue its great success.  

2019 EWMBA SIB China class in Shanghai

2019 EWMBA SIB China class in Shanghai

Question:  What do you hope to get out of the position?  What skills or experience do you hope to bring to the position and your students?

Arman: I hope to help our students deliver great projects for IBD clients while helping provide an environment where our students can have a great experience. I bring 18 years of international business development having lived/worked in China, India, Africa, LatAm, and EMEA. I’m also a life-long student of leadership and entrepreneurship. I aim to to bring my personal experience to the class.

Question:  How will your former role as an IBD client shape you in this new role?

Arman: As a two-time IBD client, I was able to help the teams define the scope to a project that can be successful. This was proved to be very important as the project progressed and our business requirements changed mid-project. Furthermore, expectation setting can be crucial in good project management and we did that well in the projects I hosted.

Question:  You have a very busy life. How do you manage all of these priorities?

Arman: Great question. I’m also a father to a 3-year old with whom I really enjoy spending my free time. I’m not known to be super organized. But I’m really good at compartmentalizing. I’ve trained myself to multi-task and prioritize really well. I have very little time for hobbies (no TV in our house). But I truly enjoy my work.

Featured is the Haas Alumni News: Ted Hartnell, MBA 99, Arman Zand, MBA 09, and Ann Hsu, MBA 98, in a Kazakh yurt while visiting uibek Dairy Products in Xinjiang

Featured is the Haas Alumni News: Ted Hartnell, MBA 99, Arman Zand, MBA 09, and Ann Hsu, MBA 98, in a Kazakh yurt while visiting uibek Dairy Products in Xinjiang

Question:  What do you want your students to know about you?

Arman: I’m super passionate about my work and I don’t hold back. I’m very transparent and I speak my mind. I’m super committed to my class and I sacrifice a lot to be present both physically and mentally. I expect the same from students.  

Question:  You also lead Seminar in Business (SIB) trips for Berkeley Haas.  How are these experiences different or similar in your mind?

Arman: SIB is a great class but it’s very intense. We only have 3-4 hour classes at Haas and then a week on the ground. That leaves very little time for content but a lot of time for the immersed experience. IBD has more class time and the immersion is less intense. But the workload is a lot more demanding.  (Editor’s note: the current EWMBA IBD program includes two weeks of in-country teamwork and the presentation of a final deliverable to the project client.)

Question:  As a Berkeley Haas MBA alumnus, do you take your experience as a student into your teaching philosophy?

Arman: Absolutely. I’ve made it well known that I didn’t have a great SIB experience as

Arman Zand Skiing

a student (11 years ago) so I have a good sense for what to avoid and what to focus on. I also know that many of our students are working full-time and have families. I try to be as flexible as possible while being fair to everyone.

Question:  What is your favorite country to visit and what country is on your bucket list?

Arman: My favorite country to visit is Japan.  I can never eat enough Omakase. My bucket list is Cuba.  

Question:  What do you do for fun outside of work?

Arman:  I try to exercise when I have free time. As a teacher, I also like being a student. I  have a tennis coach, a basketball coach, and a ski instructor. I learn quickly and I’m very coachable.