Islamic Finance

Written on October 31, 2014 by IMBA News in News

From October 12 – 16, IMBA students embarked on a unique and once in a lifetime cultural journey in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. IE Business School students together with students from Kingabdulaziz University took an intensive course on Islamic Finance.  Through theory and experiences from practitioners at the Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Economic Development Company and Islamic Research & Training Institute, students were able to compare Islamic Finance to traditional Finance and have an open debate about its benefits, challenges and uses in countries other than the Middle East.

When taking a break from Shariah law and practices, students were able to experience first-hand Saudi culture from our national hosts as well as see life in Saudi from the eyes of the expats.  The trip would not be complete without a visit to the past and future at the local mall and Old Town and of course a day at the desert for a complete Arabian experience.

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IE Story – Kyle Fraser

Written on October 24, 2014 by IMBA News in News

Kyle lives a passionate life. He built satellites at Boeing, explored Africa on wheels and runs a smoothie business now in Brazil. Kyle said IE changed his life in a surprisingly pleasant way. He met his Brazilian business partner at the MBA class, explored the idea at IE Venture Lab and felt empowered to follow his heart to Brazil. Now every day he makes fresh smoothies in the kitchen, rides bicycle to work and occasionally enjoys a sunny break at the beach. The business name Santa Hora encourages people to relax and enjoy simple pleasures in life.

By Wang Lin


A cool breeze

Lin: What brought you to the MBA program?

Kyle: I love experimenting with my life. In the past 415415 Over five years at Boeing, I optimized satellite code, facilitated communication between developers and management and 415415 for the US government.

However, as one of the over 5000 people at Boeing, I felt like a small gadget fixed in a huge machine. The prospect of growing old doing the same work terrified me. I wanted to do the MBA to explore new possibilities and live a more creative life.

Lin: Why did you prefer IE over business schools in the US?

Kyle: In US business schools, Americans tend to be the majority on campus. The charm of IE lies in the neat percentage of people coming from everywhere. Since there is no dominant group on campus, there is no pressure to fit in. We just enjoy more freedom to be ourselves!

What’s more, most people left familiar circles and came to Madrid alone. Their burning desire to make friends makes IE social life so much easier and fun!

Lin: What are your secrets to enjoy your IE MBA life?

Kyle: Just dive into the flow, experience the fun and chaos and see where it takes you. If you want to free yourself from the hustle and bustle of IE, club activity can be your oasis. At 415Many of them tried soccer for the first time and their joy was infectious.

If you want to truly embrace Madrid, step out of the IE bubble. Within IE everyone speaks English. If you go out to eat, drink and have fun, you will encounter more locals and absorb more of the Spanish culture.

Last but not least, don’t worry about the bell curve. Grades will fade but friendship will accompany you long after your IE life.

Lin: How was your graduation adventure to Africa?

Kyle: In August 2013 I ventured to Africa with my crazy friends. We encountered lions in the safari, hiked to the top of the Mount Kilimanjaro and enjoyed snorkeling in the crystal blue water of Tanzania.

The highlight was our bizarre bus ride. From the moment we got on the bus, everything started rolling downhill. It was jaw-dropping to witness an old man coming naked to his seat and calmly reading a book. Then the bus pulled off for the toilet break. We got off only to discover two bushes by the roadside. When we realized it was the last minute to switch the bus, we ran to jump on the other bus and squeezed ourselves between old ladies and crying babies. Along the way, the local music blew to our ears and made us more confused in this alien land.

Lin: Why did you move to Brazil after MBA?

Kyle: New country, new business, new adventure! I met my Brazilian friend Marianna Peretti at the MBA class. She loves recharging herself with fresh smoothies, yet in Brazil she found only small bottles of juice or frozen smoothies in the supermarket. So we explored the idea of selling fresh and tasty smoothies in Brazil at IE Venture Lab with other classmates. Curitiba, a vibrant city in Southern Brazil. Why not? MBA empowers me to follow my heart. Everything I learnt at IE influences my smoothie business today in Brazil.”


A real delight

Lin: Why did you name the business Santa Hora?

Kyle: 415

After trying different recipes and hearing feedback from people, we are proud to present our first two flavors: strawberry with banana and mango with passion fruit. You can find our smoothies in coffee shops, gyms and cafeterias around Curitiba.

Lin: How different is running Santa Hora from working a normal job?

Kyle: I feel like a happy free kid. Every day I can wear whatever I feel comfortable with and happily grow my business. I don’t have to wrap myself with suit and tie and get bored in the office. 415

However, running a smoothie business in Brazil is not always rosy. Every day I resolve a different issue, from dealing with supplier and retailers to studying tax and legal policies here. The responsibility is high when it is my own business. But I am upbeat and hopeful. If life throws a lemon at me, I will make it a smoothie!

Lin: How do you feel about living in Brazil?

Kyle: I ride my bicycle daily, travel to the beach whenever I can and grow my knowledge about Brazil day by day. Whether it is buying fruits at local market or watching football with new friends, everyday little happenings bring my heart closer to Brazil.


Last week IE hosted an intensive one-week exchange for MBA students from SMU (Singapore Management University). Students had the chance to attend one elective of their choice with the November ’13 IMBA intake and they also took part in several social and cultural activities, such as a Networking Cocktail with other exchange students as well as alumni, a guided tour of Madrid, a live Flamenco show and acompany visit to Telefónica.

Amongst the opportunity to study at a top-ranked institution such as IE and the quality of faculty, students also highlighted the added networking opportunities that came with being in class with regular IMBA students.

Overall it was a very intense and productive experience for everyone involved.

Next March it will be the turn of the IMBA students to pay a visit to their SMU counterparts in another short-exchange which is offered to our students.




Why MBA: IE Business School – Spain

Written on October 18, 2014 by IMBA News in News








Before starting an MBA program, Sokho Trinh worked for the global retail giant Carrefour in Europe and in Asia, as head of internet marketing and new media. He helped the business reach annual sales of €100 million, a year-on-year increase of 35%.

After graduating from Spain’s IE Business School, he co-founded an online start-up – deparz.com – with three co-founders in 2011. He ran the business, a marketplace that connected mobility advisors with people who needed help moving and settling down in London, for more than three years.

But he left to work at Aimia, a publically traded company which helps businesses launch and run loyalty programs, focused on the retail sector in EMEA and APAC.

He has just moved into a business development role in analytics and research at Genpact, a global IT services company that is listed on the NYSE.

Sokho, who is French-born Cambodian Chinese, says that his MBA gave him the confidence to take on global challenges, and has helped him land jobs ever since.

Why did you decide to begin an MBA program?

I felt like I needed to take my career to the next level, or to do something completely different such as launching my own company which I have always wanted to do. In both cases, I wanted to improve myself and move forward.

What made IE Business School, and Spain, attractive?

I wanted an MBA from a top-10 [business school], which would not take more than a year because of the investment and the opportunity cost of not working, and [a school] located in an attractive city – Madrid is a stunning place, I speak Spanish and who doesn’t love tapas?

You took an exchange to ESSEC Business School – did you benefit?

Yes – it increased my network, and it is helping me when I want to do business with French clients. ESSEC is a really well-regarded business school in France and in Europe. It is also a global reference when it comes to luxury management.

What value do you now place in your MBA?

Above all, this MBA at IE gave me more faith in myself to accomplish big things in a global, complex, and constantly changing environment. I learned a lot in finance, entrepreneurship [and] strategy, among other courses. In addition, I leveraged my network internationally.

It may have [also] contributed in the selection process to join Genpact – I have been told that they knew the value of an MBA from IE Business School.

You rose through the ranks at Carrefour to head of internet marketing and new media – how much of an impact did those areas have on the business?

I worked in the financial services and insurance division at Carrefour which accounted for about a fifth of the company’s profitability. Heading the internet and new media sales channel was a big responsibility, and represented a major part of the company, with massive growth potential.

Why did you leave to found Deparz in 2011? What success did you have with the business?

I was granted educational leave to study my MBA which I accepted with the idea to potentially get back to Carrefour [in] a more senior, international role.

However, I was surrounded by many entrepreneurial spirits [on the MBA] and eventually realised that I wanted to give it a try, and therefore I co-launched Deparz.

Even though it has not reached its full potential, I sense that this start-up experience has been the best thing that could have happened. I will try again in the future.

You then joined Aimia and have now joined Genpact – how influential was an MBA in securing these roles?

I would say that my MBA has had a [hand] in securing my roles at Aimia and at Genpact.

The MBA was a “cherry on the cake”. It gave confidence to my employers. Because they knew that IE had a top-tier international MBA, it gave them even more confidence to recruit me.

What are the main challenges that the retail industry currently faces?

The retail industry currently faces several hot issues: first, the vast amount of data which companies don’t really know how to deal with.

Second, in many countries, omni-channel [retailing] is becoming a reality and retailers need to understand how to cope with it.

Finally, we are witnessing the arrival of innovative concepts which retailers need to understand, digest, and learn to adapt [to] – for example, virtual shops.

What difficulties have you faced in expanding in EMEA and APAC at Aimia?

To define the right market entry strategy is the toughest exercise. Also, the nature of my role requires long and complex sales cycles with multiple senior stakeholders, which increases the complexity of the expansion in EMEA and APAC when you are based in one location only.

Once you have signed a contract with a client, to find and place the right people to work for [or] with our clients abroad is a real challenge.

Do you feel the MBA is beneficial in your day-to-day work life at Aimia and at Genpact?

Yes – I still use some of the things I learned during the MBA such as finance and strategy. Also, I can tap into my global network to access market information.

During my business trips there is nothing better than feeling [at] home – no matter where I go I end up having a drink with an alumnus of IE Business School.



You never know too much

Written on October 14, 2014 by IMBA News in News

Finance professor Francisco López-Lubián is as passionate about finance as he is about the cinema. By the way, he’s not only a finance professor, he’s actually the head of the finance area at IE Business School. He’s also worked for the finance industry for quite some time. But most of all he just loves films.
That’s why we decided to cast him as the main character in a finance crime movie entitled “You Never Know Too Much,” as you can see in this trailer for the film. Don´t miss his references to films like The Godfather, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, or Amores Perros, not to mention The man who knew too much… Enjoy.
P.S. For a finance bio of Prof. López-Lubian please click here




Ugo Ogwo is currently the Head of Demand Forecasting for West Africa at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer. In this role, she ensures Supply meets Demand for all product portfolios across all markets in West Africa. She has improved forecast accuracy from averages of 60s to very high 70s. She also acts as the hinge for new product launches and new market entries. Ugo received her Bachelor’s from the University of Nigeria Nsukka in Electrical Engineering and a Master in Telecommunications Engineering from the same university.

After her 7+ years career in the Telecommunication Industry, Ugo decided it was time for a change of Industry and enrolled in the International MBA program at IE Business School as a platform to initiate the switch and to broaden her business acumen with international perspective.

In addition to learning at IE, Ugo was actively involved with the IE Africa Club and was eventually elected the president of the club. During her tenure as president, she hosted the first Africa business event at IE which brought together Africa diplomatic community in Madrid as well as different stakeholders with business interest in Africa.

Her time at IE (April 2010 – May 2011)  was life transforming; to put it in her own words ‘‘IE changed my life; the ‘me’ that went to IE is different from me that returned’’. The experiences at IE including her Consulting Intern experience with Legal Resources Centre Johannesburg in South Africa were very instrumental in securing a place at GSK and have been of immense benefit as she settles and grows in the Fast Moving Consumer Health Care Industry.




Todays’ Companies: Grupo SanJose, Qualitas Auto, Lidl, P&G, Everis, UNFPA, Source, Syngenta, Novartis, Sandhills East, BTS, Nestlé, Cumbria, FSC, Vodafone, Altadis – Imperial Tobacco, Accenture, PwC, Strategy&, Gas Natural Fenosa, Avon.

Besides their presence at the Career Fair stands, the following companies will also have on campus presentations: British Petroleum, L’Oréal, Novartis, ALTADIS – Imperial Tobacco Group, Syngenta and Lidl.

Visit us @ Serrano 99!





Key Dates to Remember for the IMBA April 2015 Intake

Written on October 7, 2014 by IMBA News in News

Please take out your agendas, personal planners and calendars to update the key dates for the International MBA Program that starts in April 2015:

  • Opening Ceremony: April 28th 2015
  • LAUNCH: April 29th until May 8th 2015
  • Term 1: May 11th until July 27 2015
  • Term 2: August 26th until November 13th 2015
  • Electives: January 7th until April 15th 2016
  • Integrative Final Exercise: April 18th until April 28th 2016
  • Graduation: April 29th 2016

Please remember that IE has a rolling admissions process which means that there are no explicit application deadlines. 


Preparad vuestras agendas personales o calendarios para actualizar las fechas claves del International MBA Program que empieza en abril 2015:

  • Ceremonia de Apertura: 28 de abril 2015
  • LAUNCH: 29 de abril al 8 bde mayo 2015
  • Term 1: 11 de mayo al 27 de julio 2015
  • Term 2: 26 de agosto al 13 de noviembre 2015
  • Electivas: 7 de enero al 15 de abril 2016
  • Integrative Final Exercise: del 18 al 28 de abril 2016
  • Graduación: 29 de abril 2016

No olvides que nuestro proceso de admisión es continuo, es decir, no tenemos fecha límite de solicitud para ninguna de las dos convocatorias anuales.


Q1. What did you do before the IE IMBA program?

I have varied experiences in different domains such as Production & Industrial, IT, Telecom research, Analysis, trading and Entrepreneurship (Construction). During my Engineering course, I designed and fabricated a Super-Mileage vehicle for a competition held in USA, and garnered finance for the project. My team won two awards for our country. In appreciation for my good performance in the project, I was selected to undergo training in Rolls Royce for the Six Sigma program. Despite having no knowledge of Information Technology, I joined Infosys and got a CGPA of 4.5 on the scale of 5. I joined Evalueserve.com as an Analyst and was staffed into an analysis project right away. I performed exceptionally well in the project. The project won the “The best Analysis Award”.1ee8cab

In order to gain hands on entrepreneurship experience I joined my uncle’s plastic raw material trading business, which my uncle was trying to establish in Ghaziabad. Due to my experience in analysis, I was able to correctly gauge the possible reasons of his firm’s non-performance in the  area. In addition to working in the capacity of Marketing Head (Ghaziabad), I devised an account maintenance system and took care of all the accounts myself. The revenue was shot up from nearly 0 to USD 1.5 million in 15 months. Encouraged by this experience, I formed my own real estate firm  and within two years my company completed two projects in two different states with an annual sales turnover of USD 1.8 million.

Dorothy Height once said, “Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well    as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.”  Engaging in socially responsible activities has added greater relevance to    my existence.

Having learned about the dire need to save water from my father who works for Delhi Jal Board (Water Board), I have made concerted effort to do so at the personal level. Moreover, I joined the India Water Foundation and Pratham Memorial Trust and participated in various projects run by these privately run agencies to educate people about saving water. In a bid to save the environment from further degradation, I carried out a project as a Consultant in DHI Group. The project entailed building a green and smart city in Delhi/NCR region.

To educate people in rural areas, I associated myself with an Engineering College in Gajrola, U.P. I thoroughly enjoy my post of Executive member as it provides me a chance to interact with the college students. I share their experiences, queries, problems, and goals and try to help them in whichever way I can. I am also planning to introduce scholarship programs for financially poor students. I welcomed the opportunity to teach Math at an institute where I spent two fulfilling years teaching my favorite subject and in turn assimilating the fresh ideas of my students.      

I did all this while without neglecting my study, work or family; my mental strength made it all possible. By doing my bit, I have developed strength of character. I never lose faith in myself because I feel that  only if you have faith in yourself, can others have faith in you.

The learning curve developed through this exposure has invested me with the ability to distinguish myself in the experiential rigor of a world-class business school such as IE.

Q2. What made you decide to choose the IE IMBA program?

In order for me to look for greener pastures and enhance my knowledge base I decided to scour for world-class MBA programs. Initially I short-listed five B-schools but in the end chose IE’s IMBA program since it was a perfect fit between my expectations and an MBA’s offerings. According to me, IE IMBA program fosters creativity and promotes learning by ensuring culturally and functionally diverse class to enhance skills pertaining to decision-making, creativity, problem solving, and other leadership attributes.

Q3. What is your favorite part of IE’s IMBA program and/or club activity?

My favorite part of IE’s MBA program is the assortment of candidates from different regions, functions, qualifications and personalities. This unique amalgamation of students provides a unique opportunity for students who aspire to garner as much knowledge as possible during one year. The different perspective that one gets is imperative for a professional to hone his skills and become a complete manager. The other resplendent part of IE is its ability to congregate and encourage students to form clubs and manage them as per their discretion. The club meetings mean serious business when it comes to organizing important events such as IE Consulting day, IE Cricket tournament in MBAT etc. These events are managed and organized by students under the aegis of IE. 

The two traits mentioned above have the potential to elevate a student’s confidence by biblical proportions and enhance his personality to fight the daily rigors of a business environment.

Q4. What has your experience been so far?

My experience so far has been more than what I had expected before joining IE. I have made some long life friends, networked a lot, worked on different business ideas, explored many options for a career, learned a lot from students who have worked in different functions such as consulting, physiotherapy, CFA, pharmacy, marketing, supply chain, operations et al. The learning garnered has been stupendous and unparalleled. I have seen vagaries of life in Madrid. With friends, I have laughed at my miseries, cried at my achievements, hung out across Madrid, ate tapas and did so many unforgettable things. I will miss this experience once I step again into corporate world.

Q5. What are your future plans after IMBA?

As mentioned in my previous answers, I explored so many options during IMBA program. Initially I wanted to return to my business but now I have decided to start a new venture in Madrid with my friends. I am not at liberty to disclose the business venture details but can provide you with a heads-up that it is related with the growing obesity in people. We are targeting the health sector since people are becoming more and more health conscious every day. It is a very lucrative sector and the our belief has recently been reinforced by Apple’s launch of iPhone 6 and Apple watch that primarily focuses on health. I am hopeful that our venture will kick off with a boom.




Written on September 30, 2014 by IMBA News in News

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