8 Dec 2014

Fibre Tibet: Using Fashion to Create an Effective, Sustainable Enterprise

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GarryAs Founder and CEO of The Bridge Fund (1996), Monica Garry has devoted her career to supporting philanthropic and integrated development programs in Tibetan regions of China. Yet after mobilizing over $40 million in support for rural, underserved communities, it was time, as Monica puts it, “to revisit the development model and focus more on providing communities with long term support to develop social enterprises that meet financial, cultural and environmental bottom lines in a sustainable way.” To do this, Monica wanted to pursue further graduate education.  For her, the TRIUM program was a natural fit.

Monica had a clear picture of the type of MBA program that would meet her long term goals. As she states, “I became more and more interested in social enterprise as a tool to alleviate poverty. I was at this point in my life where I needed more management skills but I was not interested in traditional MBA programs. TRIUM was perfect for me in terms of all the core MBA skills, but its capstone process also provided me a unique niche to test a social enterprise project.  For me, capstone was an incredibly important element of the TRIUM EMBA.”

A Social Enterprise Capstone Endeavour

TRIUM provided Monica the opportunity to test her ideas, through her Equity Himalaya Capstone project.  The Capstone idea was based on a social benefit corporation that produced a collection of knitwear and textiles from Tibetan cashmere and yak wool.  Planning and a trial collection had already been completed to test the market, however, financial, marketing and business plan to put it on a path to success was needed.

Led by Monica with a talented team of fellow students (Sonja Van Vliet, Jan Morath, Paul Quinn and Kristina Sawala), the project included site visits to Katmandu and Tibet for research.  The project’s success was due largely to the diverse expertise and experience of the group’s members. Their industrial expertise (banking, the luxury industry, academia, IT, retail, non-profit and infrastructure) and their geography (Stockholm, Amman, Johannesburg, Paris, Ottawa and Washington, DC) varied widely.

In addition to the support of her team members, Monica also profited from advice and guidance within the larger TRIUM community. Following graduation, Monica was keen to see how her Capstone project could become a live entity. As she explains, “I kept working on it after graduation, and I kept plugging – went back to the business plan – really felt confident and pitched it to a few people.  In a short period of time, TRIUM gives you the tools and skills, and all the incredible discussions and exchanges that help you formulate an idea and think it through.  It has been incredibly valuable.”

Launching Fibre Tibet

Fibre Tibet grew out of the case study for the development of Equity Himalaya social impact fund that supports entrepreneurs and enterprises in China, Myanmar/Burma, Nepal and Bhutan. By working directly with 42 nomad families in Tibet and with the company’s atelier in Kathmandu, Fibre Tibet primarily employs over 150 Nepalese, Newaris and Tibetan weavers and workers (primarily women) to weave, knit and embroider knitwear and woven textiles. The Fibre Tibet cashmere is collected by Tibetan nomads in Ngari Tibet, with pieces hand woven by a cooperative in Kathmandu, Nepal. The design process is collaborative with support from Italian designers and Nepalese artisans.

Monica credits much of the success of Fibre Tibet to the guidance and support that she received at TRIUM. ”With TRIUM,” she states, “you have a  global perspective and you have people who come from all sectors and who do understand and are interested in working with social enterprise and the faculty was so supportive. It is wonderful to still be in touch and meet. That is a real strength of the TRIUM program – the experience doesn’t end when you graduate and you get to meet alumni and make connections and network.  I see my colleagues working with people from different classes and making new friends.”

This year, Fibre Tibet received notable publicity by being featured in J. Crew’s In Good Company: a great gift idea, with a social enterprise impact, just in time for the holidays.

 

 

 

24 Nov 2014

Spotlight: LSE Professor Robert Falkner

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Portrait_Falkner

Setting the Stage for Students to Understand Business in the Global Political Economy

On November 18 at the LSE, over 40 students, alumni and friends of TRIUM came to hear Dr. Robert Falkner speak on “Economic Globalization and Authoritarian Capitalism: Friends or Foes?” The lecture offered the audience a preview to the coursework that TRIUM students attend during their Module 1 studies at the LSE.

On a recent afternoon, Dr. Falkner further shared his views on how LSE sets the stage for TRIUM students to better understand business in the global political economy. Highlights from this afternoon conversation are listed below.

“Why do business leaders need to be concerned about long-term political-economic changes at the global level?”

During a coffee break in London recently, Professor Robert Falkner passionately conveyed the urgent relevance of studying the drivers of global change as part of an Executive MBA: “Climate change, for example,” he stated “has been a part of the TRIUM curriculum for many years now. It is one of the core systemic risks that globalization is producing. Although seemingly long-term and slow-moving, global warming is already having a profound and increasingly disruptive impact on business operations and strategies around the world. TRIUM students study climate disruption just as they consider the implications of the global financial crisis and gridlock in the multilateral trade system.”

As the LSE’s Academic Director for TRIUM, the Munich- and Oxford-educated Professor Falkner has the challenging yet exciting task of developing the Module 1 curriculum of TRIUM.   As one of the leading social science universities, LSE has a world-class faculty at the forefront of investigating the changing face of globalization. As such, Falkner is in a unique position to design a program that brings a diversity of social science perspectives to the TRIUM classroom. “At LSE, we have leading experts from International Relations, Economics, Government, Development Studies and Management,” he stated. Moreover, he added,by starting their TRIUM studies at LSE, “students have to step back from their day to day business concerns and reflect on the broader geo-political and economic trends that will shape global markets in the future.”

For this reason, says Falkner, Module 1 at LSE sets the stage for the rest of the students’ learning experience: “We give students the analytical tools to make sense of global power shifts that are remaking the international order. We enable them to examine the international rule-book that governs trade and financial flows, and we identify the business risks that result from global political and social turmoil.”

In addition to designing the Module 1 program of TRIUM, Falkner also teaches the introductory course on ‘The Political Economy of Globalization.’ In his experience, there is no ‘typical’ TRIUM student.  He does believe they do share certain characteristics as “successful senior executives with a global perspective who are dynamic and willing to transform themselves to reach the next stage of their careers”. But beyond that, Falkner finds them quite diverse, with a rich andvaried background, ranging from traditional senior-level executives to business leaders with an entrepreneurial streak. Falkner finds teaching in TRIUM exciting, as the highly engaged cohort is “constantly probing and challenging the ideas and concepts they encounter.”

Both in his new book, ‘The Handbook of Global Climate and Environment Policy’ and in his class on globalization, Falkner clearly illustrates to his students why seemingly remote global trends such as climate change matter to business leaders. But teaching global political economy for TRIUM is not a one-way street: “Much of what happens in the classroom is determined by the student cohort and the experience they bring to sessions,” says Falkner. “The true relevance of climate change as a global challenge and opportunity is reinforced by the engaging class-room interactions and the business scenarios that our TRIUM students inject into the debate.”

10 Nov 2014

Having the Courage to Build your Own Dreams

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Pavlina2Since graduation, TRIUM 2009 Alumna Pavlina Marinova has smoothly and successfully navigated her professional transformation from corporate executive at Oriflame, a worldwide cosmetics company, to founding CEO of Pick N Dazzle, a beauty digital company in the personalized e-commerce space. Having opened its on-line doors to the test market in Romania only on October 14, Pick N Dazzle already boasts 12,000 fans on its Facebook page, 1,000 customer accounts on the site and followers on YouTube and Pinterest.  Pavlina acknowledges her academic preparation at TRIUM, the advice of classmates and faculty, and the resources of TRIUM’s alliance alumni communities with helping her achieve her entrepreneurial dream.

When Pavlina initially considered enrolling in an MBA programme, she knew what she wanted. With over 10 years of executive experience in finance roles in emerging markets, Pavlina was ready to transition into global business development and strategy and broaden her knowledge in the other functional areas. As she states, “The program fit my aims. I had done a great amount of research before applying to TRIUM. The network of three schools with an international senior cohort, a flexible schedule across six modules and the possibility to explore something different via a capstone project were all key deciding points for me to enroll in TRIUM.”

Back to School

During and immediately after her studies, a series of events and experiences placed Pavlina on her journey, which led to her start-up.    Among her fond memories of TRIUM are the courses taught by NYU Professor Sonia Marciano, which gave her a deeper understanding of how companies compete and protect their domains, and Professor Aswath Damodaran’s Corporate Finance class, whose financial summary, she describes as “the most beautiful song that I have ever listened to in a class room.”  Her capstone project, focusing on the intersection of banking and technology, also widened her knowledge. More importantly, the work in the project team led to one of the team members, Wassil Kacha TRIUM 2009, to become a Board member of Pick N Dazzle to support technology development.

After TRIUM, with her new skillsets and business contacts, Pavlina was promoted to VP of Integrated Business Management & Strategic Planning at Oriflame and tasked with working in one of the company’s most troubled markets. In just under a year, she doubled the company’s revenue in this market, applying bold strategies in many of the business domains. As she puts it, “I had just come back from TRIUM with the knowledge, the confidence, a new view and courage. I was ready for the challenge.” The success in the market turn-around and the career track record before that landed her a position in the top Executive suit, working for the group CEO and President. Once at the top, however, Pavlina then realized it was time to branch out on her own. As she felt about the timing in her career, she explained, “If you don’t have the courage to pursue your own dreams, you will be building the dreams of other people.” After reflection, this was the right moment for her to take the leap. In late 2013, Pavlina decided to leave Oriflame and, in a swift time after her amicable departure from the group, she set up her own agency six months later.

The Business Launch   

Pick N Dazzle opened its e-commerce on October 14, operating currently in the test market in Romania, with eventual European roll out within a year.  As the company website states, “We believe that every woman needs a best friend who is a beauty expert to cut through the clutter and find the best products for her. And that’s exactly what Pick N Dazzle does.”

The Pick N Dazzle operating model is simple. The company chooses products for its customers based on their preferences and the firm’s algorithms.  After creating an account on the site, a unique profile is built for each customer based on their inputted information around their preferences, personal features, etc. This information is then used by the search engine to create individually curated “beauty collections”, which are then mailed to customers.

The company is internationally and digitally born. The start-up team consists of seven people from six countries, with registered office in Amsterdam, management team members in UK, product marketing in Poland, e-commerce and operations in Romania, market intelligence and business development in France, and IT platform, creative design and content management in Bulgaria.

Pavlina used the time between her departure from Oriflame and the launch of Pick N Dazzle to gain additional entrepreneurial insights. Through her participation in HEC Ventures Platform, an HEC alumni-led initiative that promotes entrepreneurship via a worldwide networking and fundraising platform, she began investing in and mentoring start-up initiatives and joining the boards of French startups, LuckyLoc.com, Morning Croissant, and Dermance. These experiences, alongside mentoring start-ups in VC incubators, gave her valuable knowledge, which she incorporated into the development strategy for Pick N Dazzle.

In addition to her entrepreneurial endeavors, Pavlina was also keen to leverage social media in a creative way. When planning for the launch of Pick N Dazzle, Pavlina utilized a unique marketing strategy of building social marketing channels before launching the business. Pick N Dazzle created its company’s Facebook presence one year before its official launch, in addition to managing the YouTube channel with company proprietary video production.   She explains her thinking:  “We need to build a social community first and create our fans’ base. Then we can go into our investments.”

Pavlina is also keen to explain her personal vision for Pick N Dazzle. For her, it is not just about the bottom line: “I am prepared for a long journey – it is not the profits that are driving me.  I am inspired to try something new with a customer base that is engaged and loves our brand. Most of all, I care about people. I want to have happy customers, happy investors and a happy team. When people believe in the idea and in the brand, and put their heart in it, the rest follows.”

A quote hangs above Pavlina’s desk at Pick N Dazzle’s offices:  “Be truthful and fearless.” Five years after TRIUM, she is finally living her dream. And the rest will follow.

Press release here.

More information on Pick N Dazzle marketing can be found on its website, Facebook and You Tube videos.

 

 

20 Oct 2014

TRIUM EMBA Ranked #1 Worldwide by the Financial Times

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2014 grad pictureTRIUM Global Executive MBA is ranked #1 worldwide in the Financial Times Executive MBA 2014 ranking, according to the survey released today.

An extraordinary alliance of three world-renowned institutions, New York University Stern School of Business, London School of Economics and Political Science, and HEC Paris School of Management, TRIUM is an exclusive program that offers a transformational learning experience and access to a remarkable group of global business leaders, allowing students to develop lifelong professional and personal connections.

Each year, the Financial Times survey evaluates Executive MBA programs offered by 100 top business schools from all over the world. The study assesses the career progress of alumni three years after program completion, the academic standing of the faculty, as well as the programs’ international scope.

Consistently ranked in the top four of the Financial Times listings, today’s outstanding 1st place achievement is a reflection of the quality of the TRIUM program – its world-class faculty and dedicated staff – and the continued success of its alumni community – over 700 strong in nearly 70 countries around the world.

Distinctive among the competition, TRIUM not only draws from the cutting-edge research and pedagogical expertise of top faculty from NYU Stern, LSE, and HEC Paris, but also brings together a select group of global executives and entrepreneurs with diverse and multiple talents to challenge and confront their ideas and practices in an intellectually stimulating and international environment.

Bold and innovative, TRIUM integrates geopolitical, economic, and social policy issues into the business curriculum, enabling students to tackle global strategic issues with confidence and creativity.

TRIUM believes that the globally responsible leaders of tomorrow must be equipped with an informed understanding of complex concepts in order to find the courage to act in a tolerant, thoughtful, and effective way for the global community.

TRIUM students and alumni continue to prove this year after year by their singular success.

The Financial Times ranking results can be accessed here.

14 Oct 2014

Scaling Olympic Feats, One Step at a Time

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AndreyWhen TRIUM 2013 graduate Andrey Masyuk began to think about applying to graduate school, he had already achieved professional success.  As acting Chief Executive Officer with a background in diverse industries in Russia and the CIS, he was professionally well established, but ready for a change.  As Andrey puts it, “I was sick and tired of the rat race.  I wanted to venture out on my own and use my in-depth knowledge of Russia and the former Soviet Union markets to begin exploring start-up assignments.” Following the launch of his company, Kekker (kekker.com), a B2B business provider in emerging markets, Andrey credits TRIUM’s capstone process and the spirit of the TRIUM community for helping him achieve his goals.

The TRIUM differentiator

In looking at graduate programs, Andrey was attracted to TRIUM’s capstone process, which allows students to leverage TRIUM’s resources, faculty, classmates and alumni to nurture an idea from inception to launch. Andrey emphasizes that “… a catch phrase that we heard throughout the program was that managers should think and act as entrepreneurs.    From the very start, I knew I wanted to create a project that would become a live business upon graduation. It was the unyielding support of the faculty, the open environment of the students, and the access to the breath of the alumni community that truly define the TRIUM spirit.”

While taking his courses and working with classmates, Gulen Bengi, Doga Cagdas, Hema Huisinga, and Thomas O’Connor, Andrey tested his ideas via his group’s initial Capstone project, Emerging Markets Entry. The group was mentored by leading faculty members: Professors Aswath Damodaran, Marc Bertonèche, and Ron McEachern. Following the school project’s success, and despite the classmates’ decision not to go live, Andrey was keen and ready to branch out on his own.

From Incubation to Launch

As Andrey states, “Kekker was born in TRIUM EMBA program with the focus on helping businesses succeed in emerging markets. By offering a new type of B2B service provider, it acts as a single source provider of business services that meets all compliance requirements and delivers unique value.”  Based on a cloud platform enabling direct communication between Customers and over 400+ subcontractors, Kekker’s unique business model gives it a competitive advantage. Currently servicing companies in five countries (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine Georgia and Kazakhstan), Kekker provides needed business services (accounting, legal, infrastructure, travel, HR management) to Multinational enterprises (MNE), subsidiaries of MNEs, and local businesses.

Andrey also makes the point that the student experience offered him a clear advantage by both challenging him and helping him get his idea off the ground.  “Meeting my classmates and professors was a humbling experience,” he says.  “It’s as if you were an advanced tennis player and you spend 17 months with an Olympic team. They pushed me to new limits and encouraged me to explore my ideas.”

Even now, long after graduation, Andrey says he gets a lot of support from the TRIUM community. Recently, he stated, a TRIUM graduate helped him to re-engineer one of his services. Grateful for this  assistance,  Andrey is keen to continue supporting the TRIUM Network, in particular in markets he works in,  such as  Russia and the Ukraine.

In the TRIUM spirit, eager to continue his olympian feats, he took on another challenge upon graduation: to celebrate the launch of Kekker and his graduation from TRIUM, he summited Europe’s highest Mountain, Mount Elbrus (5,642m). (See inset picture.)

16 Sep 2014

LUMIGA: Creating a Sustainable Future through Efficient-Energy Solutions

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Lumiga_logo_white_backWhen TRIUM 2012 graduates Satish Narayanan, Guy Morgan, and Stephan Hagelauer decided to form their Capstone group back in 2010, they had a clear focus. They were brought together because of their common objectives: they wanted to create an energy efficient project that would build on their diverse areas of expertise to be “launched” after graduation. Today, with over $1 million in revenue, LUMIGA (meaning “to illuminate” in Esperanto), has not only met their goals, but clearly has surpassed their expectations.

The Game-Changer Experience

As Satish and Stephan pointed out during our recent conversation, pursuing a TRIUM EMBA provided them with life changing experiences. “During our studies,” Stephen stated, “we were meeting people from all around the world – this international map brought us together.” As Satish further added, “TRIUM for me was a game-changer. It provided me with a valuable platform to share stories and to learn from the real life experiences of classmates.”

After deciding to work on their Capstone project together, all three students brought unique professional expertise to the table: Guy Morgan had founded BlueStar Energy, which grew to be one of the most successful retail energy companies in North America; Stephan Hagelauer had over 17 years’ experience in strategy, innovation, and transforming business models; Satish Narayanan had over 17 years’ experience in public policy and business with a keen focus on emerging markets. Their complimentary professional backgrounds provided the right balance of industry and sector mix, which they leveraged to create their Capstone Project LUMIGA.

A Sustainable Future
As Satish underlines, “LUMIGA is a clean technology company. Our cloud-based solution enables us to provide a personalized, data-driven energy management platform that empowers small and medium businesses to take back control of their energy future. LUMIGA embodies the idea of utilizing innovative technology, market centered solutions, and a dedicated solution design team to tackle an immense challenge to the world – rising energy costs. ”

Stephen further added that, “We wanted to have an impact on energy consumption. Communities around the world can take control of their future today and directly manage their use in real time.”

Their efforts are clearly starting to pay off. In April 2014, the LUMIGA Energy Efficiency Force (LEEF) network of representatives saved American businesses 3,206,990 kWh, $395,325, and 2,768 Tons of Carbon. That’s the equivalent of 466 cars off the road or 4721 new trees planted.

The founders believe that the greatest levels of success happen when the private and public sector collaborate. It would seem that these TRIUMERs’ endeavor is now not only turning out to be a financially profitable company, but also true to its mission of providing “sustainable solutions” that empower businesses to take back control of their energy costs.

LUMIGA would clearly seem to be living up to its name.

 

10 Sep 2014

Congratulations to the TRIUM Class of 2014!

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2014 grad pictureOver 80 TRIUMERs from the class of 2014, representing 36 different nationalities marched at graduation and received their MBA diplomas this past Saturday, September 6, 2014. The ceremony took place at London’s historic Guild Hall. Peter Blair Henry, Dean, Leonard N Stern School of Business, New York University, Craig Calhoun, Director and President, The London School of Economics and Political Science, and Bernard Ramanantsoa, Dean, HEC School of Management, Paris provided remarks during the ceremony. We are excited to welcome the class of 2014 to the TRIUM Alumni Community.

1 Sep 2014

TRIUM Alumnus Believes in Following Your Dreams

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38_asc9290Leaving behind a 20 year career in the Financial Service industry, TRIUM Alumnus Philippe Nacson premieres his work at Paris Design Week

After 20 years in investment banking and private equity, Philippe Nacson (TRIUM 2012) left the comforts of his financial career this past summer to pursue his creative passion full time.  Despite his late start and lack of formal training in design, Philippe credits his TRIUM experience for having given him the tools and the confidence to make the career change.  This experience, coupled with the success of the official launch of the Philippe Nacson Design brand in Milan in April at the Ventura Lambrate Salone del Mobile (Furniture Design Salon), provided him the foundation to finally follow his dreams.

Changing Directions

When deciding to pursue further graduate education back in 2007, Philippe, a French national, knew that he was keen to make a professional change – but was not sure as to what direction to orient his career. At the time, during the era of the Lehman Brothers crisis, he was working in the financial services sector. As Philippe states, “coming to TRIUM provided me a breath of fresh air to explore new paths and opportunities. I was looking for a new direction, and all of the sudden I found myself in an entrepreneurial environment with classmates from around the world from a variety of different sectors.”

Following your Childhood Dreams

Studying at TRIUM also inspired him.  As he points out, “people are here because they want to evolve and do things and go beyond what they have lived, creating a positive atmosphere.” This creative and positive environment, he states, moved him to consider his boyhood drawings to be more than just a hobby.   Philippe recalls that from an early age spent living in Senegal and Israel, he was always drawing.  A chance meeting with an industry professional led to making him consider his childhood passion a potential serious professional reality.  Fast forward; following months of research and experiments with artisans, his first collection of four luxury furniture pieces (the Aunt Lounge Chair, the Crab Chair, the Paper Clip and Staples Console, and the Floating Bookcase) were exhibited at the prestigious Milan Fair, where experts in the field of contemporary design come to witness emerging trends, debut designers, and new talent.

Early success for the budding designer is no easy feat, but TRIUM pushes its students to explore their limits. As Philippe states, following one’s studies at TRIUM, “it is pretty hard to go back to your job – it is like you have been given this big chocolate cake and you want to eat it forever.“

As the work of a debut designer, Philippe’s initial collection is receiving quite a lot of buzz. Following press coverage in contemporary design publications such as Elle Déco, Marie Claire Maison, Stiletto and Oregon Live, this fall, Philippe Nascon Designs will be on display at Paris Design Week (September  6 to 13) and in London at the London Design Festival from September  18 to 21.

By following his dream, it would seem that Philippe can have his cake and eat it too!

11 Jul 2014

Pascal Lamy Shares his Global Viewpoints to a Packed TRIUM Audience in Paris

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220px-Photo_P_Lamy-2Over 100 Triumers (students and alumni) attended a fascinating discussion with Pascal Lamy as an evening highlight event during TRIUM’s Module 4 Study in Paris. The candid discussion, moderated by TRIUM Academic Dean Oliver Gottschalg, touched upon a variety of issues, including the economy, transatlantic relations, and trade.

As highlighted by Dean of HEC Paris Bernard Ramanantsoa, Pascal Lamy’s achievements, “have showed his commitment to the European Union and European integration, have demonstrated his vision on globalization, and have exhibited his keen understanding of the private sector.”

Mr. Lamy’s discussion provided an opportunity for the TRIUM Class of 2015 (comprised of 85 senior level executives from over 30 different nationalities) to hear firsthand viewpoints from “one of the top 50 of the world’s leading thinkers,” according to a recent poll cast by the British magazine Prospect this past April. The evening ended with a cocktail reception at the elegant Hotel Potocki (Paris), providing ample time for students, alumni and distinguished guests to continue debate and networking.

A graduate of the Grande Ecole of HEC Paris in 1969 and a current affiliate professor of HEC Paris, Mr. Lamy served for two consecutive terms as Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). A committed European, he also served as Chief of Staff for the President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors from 1985 to 1994. He then joined the Credit Lyonnais as CEO until 1999, before returning to Brussels as European Trade Commissioner until 2004.  He is currently Honorary President of Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute.

At Module 4 study in Paris, TRIUM students take coursework in Marketing and Corporate Strategy. The TRIUM program is currently comprised of six Module studies spread over 17 months in five different locations (London, New York, Shanghai, Paris, Chennai.)

Noted distinguished guests at the evening event also included Pierre-Antoine Gailly, President, CCI Paris Ile-de-France and  Marina Kundu, Associate Dean, Executive Education, HEC Paris.

For more information on the TRIUM program, visit www.triumemba.org

3 Jul 2014

Leading and Investing in Africa’s Future

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Ecobank_14092012_068As a senior business leader in Africa, Charles Kie undertook his graduate studies with TRIUM at a time when many would say that he had already reached the top in his career. For Charles, the timing couldn’t have been better. The TRIUM Global EMBA program, an alliance with NYU Stern, HEC Paris and LSE, has been a transformative experience for him, strengthening his leadership skills and extending his international network, which he recently remarked, “opened my global perspective.”

An Ivory Coast national, Charles began his TRIUM coursework while CEO of the group Banque Atlantique. He was initially attracted to the alliance of LSE, HEC, and NYU, whose top-ranked programs and faculty represent a wealth of expertise. A key factor for him in choosing to study with TRIUM was the unique LSE component of the programme, as a leading social and economic sciences university in the executive business program alliance.

A Balancing Act

For any senior executive with time constraints, going back to school, while working full time can be an adjustment. As Charles noted, “the initial coursework at Module 1 was quite challenging – learning to balance professional commitments, while managing coursework globally in addition to group work in teams of 6 to 8 students, with varying time zones and differentiating cultural backgrounds. It became a true exercise – and test—of one’s leadership and negotiating skills.”

Reflecting on what this experience taught him, Charles affirms the benefits of study at TRIUM: “TRIUM’s course work taught me how to strengthen my management style by becoming a more effective leader. As GROUP Executive Corporate and Investment Bank  of Ecobank Transnational Inc, I work across  40 countries. Efficient management is key.”
Charles also emphasizes, that learning outside the classroom from peers is just as important as the academic experience: “Given the class diversity, the people I was meeting were unbelievable — PhDs, other CEOs and CFOs – all who provided unique perspectives to see the world.”

TRIUM’s Modules in China and India also had a deep impact on Charles as well. These modules address true 21st century challenges. This includes social business practices and the social responsibilities of corporations, with the objective of   opening the students’ viewpoints to better understand global challenges. Working in South Africa and witnessing the child poverty up close in the sewage ghettos out Johannesburg as well as in quite a number of  large African cities he visited, made Charles more keenly aware of the urgent need to invest in Africa’s future. For this reason, in 2013, he co-founded the Future Africa Foundation, with a mission to address some of the environmental and educational challenges faced by the African continent.

Leading Africa’s Future

Following his graduation from TRIUM, Charles undertook a career change.  Ready for new challenges and well equipped to face new boundaries, he left Banque Atlantique to work as COO of Ecobank Capital , then Group Corporate Bank Head and now Group Executive Corporate and Investment Bank of Ecobank Transnational Inc., the leading independent Pan African banking group , serving wholesale and retail customers, with a customer base close to 11 million.

Post TRIUM, as a responsible CEO working in an emerging market in an ever increasingly globalized world, Charles is well placed to lead and invest in Africa’s future.

For more information about TRIUM, visit www.triumemba.org.