In addition to the normal lectures and seminars, the chair regularly organises special events like guest lectures or excursions. These highlights are presented below.
Guest lecture by Armina Jazvin, Key Account Manager & Francesco Capozza, Regional Key Account Manager, Nestlé Waters Switzerland
In October 2019, the Chair for International Management had the pleasure to welcome Ms. Armina Jazvin, Key Account Manager and alumnus of the University of Fribourg as well as Mr. Francesco Capozza, Regional Key Account Manager at Nestlé Waters Switzerland, as guest speakers to the lecture “European Marketing”. Their presentation gave students practical insights into key account management at Switzerland’s largest seller of bottled water. The speakers placed an emphasis on describing how the Swiss sales organization is set up and highlighted some of the particularities of the local market. Besides presenting key facts and figures about the company as well as some insights into work processes, Ms. Jazvin and Mr. Capozza also shared some anecdotes and challenges which they have encountered in their roles, providing a comprehensive picture of the industry. The presentation ended with a lively Q&A session in which students had the opportunity to ask the experts all of their questions.
Guest presentation by Aurelius Wespi, Head of Migros Engineering Solutions
In May 2019, the Chair for International Management welcomed Mr. Aurelius Wespi, Head of Migros Engineering Solutions, as a guest speaker to the lecture “Digital Commerce in B2C and B2B Markets”. Mr. Wespi began by introducing Migros and presenting some key KPIs of the company. He highlighted Migros’ integrated and verticalized supply chain which differentiates it from its competitors. Going into details, Mr. Wespi gave students a comprehensive view of Migros’ supply chain and logistics operation with the application of advanced technologies like close-to-real-time information flow from stores to the headquarters and distribution centers, forecasting systems based on weather data, self-learning algorithms for better replenishing, and automated distribution centers. The challenges of international sourcing, shopping tourism, and changing consumer behaviors from brick-and-mortar to online shopping as well as Migros’ strategies to attain its logistic goals with minimal costs and a lower environmental footprint, were also discussed. The presentation ended with an insightful Q&A session and the opportunity for students to speak to the guest in private to ask further detailed questions.
Guest presentation by Alexandra Schaer-Schiller,
Head of Strategic Projects at Switzerland – Global Enterprise (S-GE)
In May 2019, as a part of the events planned for the annual “Europe Day” celebrations at the University of Fribourg, the Chair for International Management and the Centre for European Studies welcomed Ms. Alexandra Schaer-Schiller, Head of Strategic Projects at Switzerland – Global Enterprise (S-GE), as a guest speaker. Ms. Schaer-Schiller began the presentation with a brief introduction of S-GE and her role in the organization. As a strategic management consultant, she stressed the importance of digital commerce for B2B transactions for internationally active Swiss SMEs. With the rise of B2B marketplaces which changes market mechanisms to the core, digital commerce is a must-have, even for the most traditional sectors. To illustrate her point, Ms. Schaer-Schiller drew comparisons between a very traditional and static webpage of a company manufacturing steel products and a website of another company adopting digital commerce approach. The former looked nice but had limited functions with only superficial information on it, whereas the latter was highly dynamic and immediately allowed potential B2B customers to interact with the company by having easy access to technical specifications of their products or by being able to chat with sales engineers. The challenges, opportunities as well as strategies for Swiss SMEs active in the B2B business to cope with the emergence of digital commerce were then discussed in depth. The presentation ended with an insightful Q&A session.
Guest lecture by Patrick Kessler, President of VSV - Swiss E-Commerce Association
In April 2019, the Chair for International Management had the pleasure to welcome Mr. Patrick Kessler, President of VSV - Swiss E-Commerce Association, as a guest speaker to the lecture “Digital Commerce in B2C and B2B Markets”. Mr. Kessler gave students an interesting and insightful presentation on e-commerce. He commenced by emphasizing the importance of e-commerce in today’s business world with interesting statistics for Switzerland. For instance, the online market share of the non-food category made up 16% of the total retail sales in Switzerland in 2018. One third of all home electronics and appliances were already sold online in Switzerland last year. Nevertheless, such developments also present us with enormous challenges. Mr. Kessler, therefore, discussed critical political issues such as import duties or the many millions of low-cost good packages arriving from China which are rising to become an increasingly stronger and significant competitor for Swiss retailers. At the end, students had a lively Q&A session to ask for the expert’s professional opinions on various subjects, particularly his vision of Amazon’s potential entry into Switzerland.
Guest lecture by Joël Müller, Manager Direct-to-Consumer at Nestlé Switzerland
As a part of the lecture “Digital Commerce in B2C and B2B Markets”, the Chair for International Management welcomed Joël Müller, Manager Direct-to-Consumer at Nestlé Switzerland to give students practical insights into the company’s e-commerce activities. He began the presentation with a short quiz to highlight the rising power of e-commerce platforms like Uber, Airbnb and Alibaba in the last decade. Then, he presented an overview of the e-commerce landscape in Switzerland and drew attention to numerous cases of failed online platforms in Switzerland, including one case of Nestlé Switzerland itself. Based on the learnings from these attempts, he showed the current activities of Nestlé in selling online. This helped students understand critical factors for success in food e-commerce in Switzerland. The presentation ended with an outlook towards future e-commerce trends and a lively Q&A session in which students had the opportunity to ask the expert all of their questions.
Field trip to headquarters and logistics centers of Microspot & Interdiscount, coop@home, and Swiss Post
On March 20, 2019, as a part of the lecture “Digital Commerce in B2C and B2B Markets”, the Chair for International organized a field trip to take students out of the classroom to experience real-life e-commerce business and to facilitate connections between theory and practice. Firstly, students were taken to Interdiscount-Microspot’s logistics facility in Jegenstorf. It was an eye-opening experience to all the students to see the company’s highly automated facility. This distribution hub was recently expanded and upgraded as an integrated cross-channel solution to cope with ever-expanding online retail demand. Before the tour, several managers of Interdiscount/Microspot gave an overview on the company's business and concepts. After the tour, students had the opportunity to meet Mr. Pierre Wenger, Managing Director of the company. He answered questions about the strategy, about the current expansion of the assortment and the strategic considerations behind the decision to built on Microspot as future nonfood platform.
The trip continued in Spreitenbach where the group visited coop@home’s offices and distribution center. Mr. Philippe Huwyler, Managing Director, gave an insightful and interesting presentation about the company’s strategy and its market position in the online grocery industry in Switzerland. Focusing on providing the finest and most convenient online grocery shopping experience, coop@home delivers to customers’ doorsteps everything from fresh groceries to wines and household essentials. Ensuring and maintaining a high quality delivery is one the most difficult challenges facing the company, but also provides them with an opportunity to differentiate itself from competitors. After the presentation, students were given a tour of the distribution facility. In contrast to the highly-automated facility of Interdiscount-Microspot they had just visited, at coop@home the food is picked manually with great care to ensure the finest quality and then packed for a speedy delivery to consumers by truck.
The day finished in Härkingen, where students had the opportunity to visit the Swiss Post’s Post Parcel Center. A brief presentation on parcel processing and the service offer of the Swiss Post was given at the beginning. Then, students were taken on a guided tour to see the complete process of handling a parcel, from the moment a parcel arrives at the facility until it is delivered on time at the right address. It was fascinating to look at the enormous amount of parcels being smoothly processed by Swiss Post’s state-of-the-art system and infrastructure. The tour wrapped up with a short de-brief over drinks and snacks, courtesy of the Swiss Post.
Guest lecture by Jan Jenisch, Group CEO of LafargeHolcim
On March 18, 2019, the Chair of Management (Prof. Rudolf Grünig) and the Chair for International Management jointly had the honor of welcoming Mr. Jan Jenisch, present CEO of LafargeHolcim and alumnus of the University of Fribourg. Mr. Jenisch gave a compelling and passionate presentation that inspired everyone present. He commenced by introducing the company. As a global leader in building materials which was formed out of a recent merger, it faces enormous challenges such as fierce market competition, new disruptive technologies, finding the perfect management team and integrating the two companies which used to have completely different corporate cultures. Then, Mr. Jenisch presented the company’s key principles and success factors. He stressed the importance of speed in business rather than perfect plans to stay at the top in today’s fast-changing market environment. Finally yet importantly, he shared his personal success advice and his leadership principles with all the students. After the presentation, students had a stimulating Q&A session to ask for the top manager’s professional opinions on varied topics, ranging from pressing sustainability issues to coping with a millennial workforce and strategic investment as well as divestment decisions. Mr. Jenisch explained the rationale behind each strategic decision using management theories and models developed by academia. This proved to be a brilliant demonstration for students to understand how the academic concepts taught in their lectures, are indeed used in practice to manage large multinational companies like LafargeHolcim.
Guest lecture by Jérôme Meyer, Managing Director, Aldi Suisse Region Domdidier
On March 11, 2019, the Chair for International Management had the pleasure to welcome Jérôme Meyer, Managing Director, Aldi Suisse Region Domdidier, for a presentation about the strategy and concept of Aldi Suisse. He began the presentation by briefly introducing Aldi and presented the development of the company from a small family business back in 1913 to a leading grocery store chain and a top competitor in the global retail food industry nowadays. He emphasized that Switzerland is not an easy market and explained how Aldi Suisse maintains low-cost operations and manages to be successful in the country while assuring best quality at best prices. He also presented the international e-commerce projects Aldi currently has and discussed the prospect for the future. Finally, the presentation ended with interesting career opportunities at Aldi, which was followed by an active and insightful Q&A session and individual conversations with students.
Dr. Veit Wagner, Vice Chairman of REHAU, Béatrice Lombard-Martin, Co-President of the Swiss Russian Forum, and Francis Maechling, DG of Liebherr Mining Equipment, speak about “Emerging Markets”
In the course of the conference “Success in Emerging Markets” that the Chair for International Management organised jointly with the Chair of Management (Prof. Rudolf Grünig) on May 18, 2018, three top speakers visited the University and shared their knowledge with the audience, composed of students of the chair as well as managers.
First, Veit Wagner gave an overview on the broad product portfolio of REHAU, a leading systems and service provider for polymer-based solutions in construction, automotive and industry. Then, he used several examples of activities of REHAU in Emerging Markets to illustrate how the company approaches these markets, establishes a local footprint and adapts to the diverse challenges in these markets. Among his learnings that he shared with the participants, he emphasised that it is crucial for the success to have the right people in the right place at the right time.
With a focus on Russia, Béatrice Lombard-Martin helped the audience to understand the Russian soul. In her presentation, she not only gave insights into the long-lasting relationships between Switzerland and Russia and success factors for doing business in Russia but she tried to make clear to the audience how Russians think and how they do business with their foreign partners.
Francis Maechling, DG of Liebherr Mining Equipment and CFO of Liebherr Mining, gave a very open account of the activities of Liebherr Mining that sells the huge machinery to its customers that are distributed around the globe and in particular, obviously, in the resource-rich countries that are often Emerging Markets. He emphasized the global configuration of Liebherr Mining’s activities, from R&D over manufacturing, service, etc. and what the particular challenges in Emerging Markets are. Francis Maechling emphasised the corporate values of Liebherr and their relevance for successful management in Emerging Markets and – similar to the other speakers that it is highly relevant in Emerging Markets to find and train good people.
At the end of the conference, the three guest speakers, together with Prof. Dirk Morschett who gave an introductory speech at the conference, discussed in a panel that was moderated by Prof. Rudolf Grünig.
Guest Lecture by Michael Kühn, Senior Consultant at Swiss Global Enterprise
As part of the annual “Europe Day” at the University of Fribourg, the Chair for International Management welcomed Michael Kühn, Senior Consultant at Swiss Global Enterprise, as a guest speaker to its lecture “Managerial Aspects of European and Global Integration” in May 2018. Students enjoyed an interesting and highly practical presentation on "Business Opportunities for Swiss Companies in Russia". The significance of the Swiss-Russian trade relationship was highlighted, for instance that 75% of all oil exported from Russia is traded via Switzerland. Mr. Kühn explained the implications of the sanctions placed on Russia for business, but also discussed current opportunities in the country. He also provided insights into Russian business customs, knowledge which will surely be helpful to students who enter the field of international business after their studies.
Guest lecture by Klaas Neubert, Senior Manager at Accenture Strategy
In April 2018, the Chair for International Management had the pleasure to welcome Mr. Klaas Neubert, Senior Manager at Accenture Strategy. The focus of his presentation was on leveraging analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to manage multinational conglomerates more effectively. Mr. Neubert introduced the topic by showing some facts about the digital disruption. He then explained that the race for AI has already begun, and listed IT, financial services, retail and healthcare as industries that are leaders in the adoption of the technology. After defining the relevant terms, he presented a selection of cases to show how and where analytics and AI can be used. Mr. Neubert’s examples included deploying analytics to identify capacity bottlenecks of IT infrastructure, for HR planning and talent acquisition, or to monitor employee behaviour. He ended his presentation with a brief outlook on the influence of AI for managing multinational conglomerates more effectively. After the presentation, students discussed their questions with Mr. Neubert during a lively Q&A session. Then, in the more informal setting of an apéro, Klaas Neubert was available to the students to approach them with questions about Artificial Intelligence and about career opportunities at Accenture strategy.
Visit of the EXTRAMET plant in Plaffeien
In November 2017, a group of students visited EXTRAMET, a specialist manufacturer in tungsten carbide tooling components in Plaffeien. There were welcomed by Hans-Jörg Mihm, CEO of EXTRAMET, and his team. EXTRAMET has been founded in 1980, starting with 3 employees, and has now developed into a 220 employee company in the heartland of Fribourg. It recently announced the next expansion step with a million francs investment in an extension of its facilities.
EXTRAMET serves customers in different industries, e.g. the aircraft industry, the automotive industry, the watchmaking industry and the food industry. In all those industries, new challenges for toolings emerge. For example, new, lighter complex composite materials are being used in the aircraft industry, and new treatments such as minimally invasive surgery emerge in medical technology. To master those challenges, tooling manufacturers rely on excellent tungsten carbide semi-finished toolings and on innovative new problem solutions from EXTRAMET as their supplier. More and more, EXTRAMET develops into a solution partner for its customers.
Most of its production is exported to Germany, France and the USA, where sophisticated customers demand high quality products. But since a few years, the so called SPIRIT markets (Singapore, Poland, Indonesia, Russia, India, Turkey) also grow as attractive markets.
After an in-depth insight in the company strategy, given by the CEO himself, our students were shown around in small groups following the production process from the initial powders (tungsten carbide powder, cobalt powder, etc.) to the final tungsten carbide semi-finished toolings which are then delivered to customers world-wide.
Guest lecture by experts from Philip Morris International
In November 2017, we had the pleasure to welcome Melanie Jotterand, Brand Manager, and Isabelle Falconnet Garcia, Manager Swiss Talent Acquisition Project, of Philip Morris International in our European Marketing lecture. In the first part of the presentation, they introduced their company, Philip Morris, gave an overview over the different brands that the company distributes, and presented the tobacco and cigarette market, which is, primarily driven by the revolution of the e-cigarette, going through very important changes. They also gave a very interesting insight into the peculiarities of doing marketing in this, from an advertising point of view, heavily regulated product category. The second part of the presentation was dedicated to the career opportunities at Philipp Morris. The presentation ended with a fruitful Q&A session and both Ms Jotterand and Ms Falconnet Garcia gave some career advices to students in individual conversations.
Presentation of the Cailler relaunch by Alessandro Rigoni
Alessandro Rigoni, Business Executive Officer Confectionery at Nestlé Suisse, presented the Cailler brand in our European Marketing lecture in November 2017. We had the honor to be the first external audience to see behind the scenes of the marketing relaunch of the chocolate brand Cailler, which took place only 2 months prior to his presentation. It was very interesting and instructive to hear this case first hand from the person in charge of this relaunch and to see and understand the advertisement mix that Cailler used to change and modernize the positioning of its brand – especially the viral marketing, in which the company sent thousands of chocolate bars to Swiss households. Eventually, we were all very happy to be able to try some very tasty Cailler chocolate. The presentation ended with an interesting discussion.
Keynote speech by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jean-Claude Usunier
Highly relevant and interesting for the students of the European Marketing course, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jean-Claude Usunier, held his presentation: "Product Ethnicity: How Consumers associate Products with Countries", on the eve of the Dies Academicus of the University of Fribourg, when he was awarded the Doctor Honoris Causa of our university. Professor Usunier, a pioneer in international and intercultural marketing, gave a very interesting lecture about the importance of product origins for the buying behavior of customers, also called the “country-of-origin effect”. He linked this to his research on product ethnicity which has had a high impact on researchers in the last decade. His knowlege in this field complemented and deepened the insights that the students already had from their lecture in European Marketing.
Guest lecture by Oliver Staerkle, Senior Brand Manager Granini at Nestlé Waters SA
As part of the lecture in European Marketing, the Chair for International Management invited Mr. Oliver Staerkle, Senior Brand Manager Granini at Nestlé Waters SA and a former student of the University of Fribourg, to give the students a practical example of brand positioning. On October 31, 2017, Mr. Staerkle gave an overview on the fruit juice market in Switzerland and an in-depth explanation of the positioning of the brand Granini. He led us through the successes as well as through the challenges for Granini. The presentation was followed by a very lively Q&A session with the students.
Visit of Duncan Scholtz, General Manager of Alcon Pharmaceuticals Ltd., and other representatives of Alcon
On Monday, October 30, 2017, we had the pleasure to welcome Mr Duncan Scholtz, General Manager of Alcon Pharmaceuticals Ltd (APL). For this presentation, our students were joined by the students in the controlling course of Prof. Michael Burkert.
Mr Scholtz stressed the importance of APL’s operations in Fribourg for the company and addressed the two main activities of APL in
Fribourg, the coordination of the supply chain and the financial services. He carefully explained the internationalization process of Alcon. In all of these aspects, our students had the opportunity to see how the content of their lectures is applied in practice. Duncan Scholtz, who was accompanied by Catherine Laverty, Head of Communication, and by Yannick Wittner, a student of our faculty who is currently an intern at Alcon, shared his views and thoughts about career paths and the attitudes and decisions that influence a successful and balanced career. After the presentation, many students approached the trio to continue the discussion.
Guest lecture by Nhu-Lan Muster-Lam, CEE Area Marketing Manager at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
On Monday, October 24, 2017, we had the honor of welcoming Ms Nhu-Lan Muster-Lam, former student in European Business at the University of Fribourg and now CEE Area Marketing Manager at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. Ms Muster-Lam shared with us some interesting insights into the international marketing strategy of GSK and explained us her role as a bridge between the global marketing team and the marketing teams in the target markets of the CEE region. Finally yet importantly, she also mentioned the chances and challenges of an international career – not at least from a private perspective. The presentation was closed with a Q&A Session.
Guest lecture by Michael Monney, Global Commercial and Sales Director at Laurastar
On Tuesday, October 10, 2017, we had a guest presentation by Mr Michael Monney, Global Commercial and Sales Director at Laurastar. The company, based in the village of Châtel-St-Denis (FR), produces ironing systems and steam stations and sells its products in over forty countries, achieving a global leader position in professional ironing systems for domestic use. Mr Monney thoroughly explained how the company was able to build a very strong “Swiss” brand. He also explained us how digitalization is strongly influencing the market of ironing systems – on the marketing level but also on the product level. We were very happy to enjoy his very interesting presentation.
Study Trip to Mumbai and Bengaluru (India)
In a two-week study-trip to Mumbai and Bengaluru in July 2017 that was organized by SLX (Swiss Learning Exchange), a Fribourg-based organisation that promotes lifelong learning and that is extremely well connected to business leaders in India, a group of our students met with start-up companies in Fintech and other technologies, venture capital companies, Hotstar, the largest Indian video-on-demand service, and Nishith Desai, whose law firm was ranked as the most innovative law firm in Asia Pacific by the Financial Times. Visits to Novartis and Liebherr Machine Tools, to Infosys in Bengaluru, to ISRA, the official Indian space agency, and to Team Indus, a private company that participates in the Google Lunar X prize and that wants to land a spacecraft on the moon in the next months for this competition, were only some of the highlights of this study trip.
We were emotionally touched by the many social initiatives in India. For example, the group got the opportunity to visit kindergartens and community schools for underprivileged children in a slum, to learn directly from Dr. Devi Shetty, a famous Indian cardiac surgeon who provides affordable healthcare to the poor in more than 20 health centres across India, and to spend half a day at Azim Premji Foundation, financed by the founder of Wipro, a not-for profit organisation that has been working for almost 20 years to improve the elementary education system in rural government schools.
To better understand the Indian culture and history, visits to museums, to temples, to the Ashram of the Art of Living foundation, a Yoga lesson, a visit to a Ghandi museum and even a Bollywood class were included in the trip. Some reflections on the trip are shown in this video that has been produced by SLX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsIWgTutzTc.
Guest lecture by Dr. Peter Figge, CEO and Co-Owner of “Jung Von Matt”,
together with Alumni SES
In cooperation with Alumni SES, we had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Peter Figge, CEO and Co-Owner of “Jung von Matt” and former student of the University of Fribourg, on March 20, 2017. “Jung von Matt”, an advertising agency headquartered in Hamburg, with many affiliates all over Europe, including Eastern Europe, is one of the most creative and influential advertising agencies in Europe. It works for some of the world’s and Switzerland’s most prominent brands, e.g. BMW, Sixt, Porsche, Zalando, Cailler, and Migros. Dr. Peter Figge gave us a deep insight into the challenges of communication and advertising in an international context and explained the importance of different brand positioning around the world. He underlined his explanations by showing widely known commercials realized by his agency and explained how they differ from country to country. In his presentation, Dr. Peter Figge emphasized that the digital transformation comes with many new challenges for marketing and communication but that it also provides great opportunities. The presentation was followed by a Q&A session with the students.
Eight Managers and Experts on Emerging Markets share their knowledge in the first conference on "Success in Emerging Markets"
In March 2017, the Chair of Management (Prof.Dr. Rudolf Grünig) and the Chair for International Management (Prof.Dr. Dirk Morschett) have jointlyorganised a conference on "Success in Emerging Markets".
After opening words of Prof. Astrid Epiney, the rector of the University of Fribourg, and an overview on relevance of and research on emerging markets by Prof. Rudolf Grünig, Jan Jenisch, CEO of Sika, showed how Sika proceeds to achieve nearly 40% of their turnover in emerging markets, a strategy that he has strongly shaped when he came into office. Albert Baehny, Chairman of Geberit, explained the strategy of his company which differs from that of Sika because the premium products of Geberit require a higher level of development of a country, including the distribution structures. Dr. Michael Bolliger from UBS Switzerland AG, took a macroeconomic perspective and showed the financial and economic development of the emerging markets and where future growth opportunities can be identified. In a lively panel discussion, moderated by Prof. Dirk Morschett, the three speakers exchanged their views and responded to questions from the audience.
Gastvorlesung von Daniel Röthlin, Geschäftsführer der Ex Libris
Daniel Röthlin, Geschäftsführer der Ex Libris, hat uns am 19. Dezember 2016 einen tiefen Einblick in sein Unternehmen gegeben. Ex Libris musste in den letzten Jahren vor allem bedingt durch die digitale Transformation um seine Position auf dem Markt kämpfen. Um gegen neu aufkommende, grosse Konkurrenten bestehen zu können, musste sich der Detailhändler ein grosses Know-How im Online-Geschäft aneignen. Heute bietet Ex Libris dem Kunden mit seiner ausgereiften Cross-Channel Strategie ein grenzenloses Einkaufserlebnis über verschiedenste Kanäle hinweg und integriert somit den online- und den stationären Handel optimal. Diese Strategie bringt nicht nur auf logistischer Ebene grosse Herausforderungen mit sich, sondern hat auch die Unternehmenskultur auf die Probe gestellt. Das Unternehmen hat es jedoch verstanden, durch geschicktes Change Management eine flexible und dynamische Unternehmenskultur aufzubauen. Dies ermöglicht eine grössere Flexibilität und schnelle Reaktionen auf Veränderungen im Markt. Herr Röthlin hat den Studenten auch erklärt, wie teuer Online-Werbung ist und wie diese Kosten durch gutes Content-Management auf ein akzeptables Niveau reduziert werden können. Die sehr spannende und lehrreiche Gastvorlesung endete mit persen Fragen aus dem Publikum, welche Herr Röthlin gerne und mit grosser Offenheit beantwortete.
Guest lecture by Frederic Brunier, Managing Director Accenture Strategy
On November 28th 2016, the Chair for International Management had the pleasure to welcome Mr. Frederic Brunier, Managing Director of Accenture Strategy, for a presentation about the influence of technological mega-trends on international companies. The focus of this guest lecture was set on how the new technologies impact the management of international companies. Mr. Brunier emphasized that digital trends can help to decline transaction costs considerably. He also explained that with an increasing number of technologies, the organizational forms of firms become more and more perse.
Besides this, a former student of the University of Fribourg, now working for Accenture Strategy, provided the students insight into his gained experience. After the presentation, students discussed their questions with Mr. Brunier during a lively Q&A session. Then, in the more informal setting of an apéro, Frederic Brunier and Klaas Neubert from Accenture Strategy were available to the students to approach them with questions about technology and, even more important, about career opportunities at Accenture strategy.
Guest lecture by Thomas Roth, trafficking.ch - Trafficked Victim Unit
Thomas Roth, member of the Trafficked Victim Unit, was invited in November 2016 to give our students a brief introduction into human trafficking in global business, highlighting the associated risks. The Trafficked Victim Unit is a non-profit-organization that counts plenty of members with international management experience. Thomas Roth clarified that human trafficking is conducted for the purpose of modern slavery and that it is still ever-present in many markets around the globe. He emphasized that it is important to know the chain as, in various countries, the executive management is personally liable for offences concerning the criminal code. After the presentation, the students had the opportunity to ask Mr. Roth questions about this highly important and often neglected topic.
Guest lecture by Alexander Koch, Corporate Communication Manager of Fifa,
together with Alumni SES
In cooperation with Alumni SES, we had the pleasure to welcome Alexander Koch, Corporate Communication Manager of FIFA and former student of the University of Fribourg, on November 23th, 2016. First, Mr Koch gave an overview of FIFA’s reputation, emphasizing the high brand awareness of FIFA but also mentioning the often named scandals. In a second part of the presentation, Mr Koch explained the structure of the company and how the organization has developed in the last years. Mr. Koch gave an outline of FIFA 2.0 and of their future strategy. He is aware that the future will be filled with many challenges but also with tremendous opportunities. This event represented a good opportunity to ask questions about FIFA for gaining another perspective about the company. The presentation ended with a intensive discussion with the students. The students had also the possibility to address Mr. Koch inpidually during the following apéro.
Gastvorlesung von Dr. Christoph Wildhaber, Geschäftsführer des Schweizer Franchise-Verbands
Am 21. November 2016 durften wir Dr. Christoph Wildhaber, Geschäftsführer des Schweizerischen Franchise-Verbands, zu einem Gastvortrag im Rahmen des Kurses Internationales Handelsmanagement begrüssen. Als Einstieg in das Thema hat Dr. Wildhaber zunächst die aktuellen Herausforderungen des heutigen modernen Vertriebs aufgezeigt und erklärt, welche Faktoren die Wahl der Vertriebsform beeinflussen. Das Konzept Franchising hat er den Studenten aus verschiedenen Perspektiven gezeigt und ist sowohl auf die Entwicklung als auch auf die Herausforderungen für diese wachsende aber manchmal auch kritisierte Vertriebsform eingegangen. Ausserdem hat er auf die Schwierigkeiten im internationalen Kontext verdeutlicht. In einer Fallstudie konnten die Studenten das neu erworbene Wissen direkt anwenden.
Study Trip to India in Summer 2016
India counts as one of the most promising emerging markets for the future. The study trip to Mumbai, Bangalore, and Mysore offered students the opportunity to learn about doing business (in Tier l, Tier ll and Tier lll cities) on this fascinating market both from an Indian and foreign perspective. They obtained insights into the strategies and practices of established players on the Indian markets and also learn about local start-ups. Moreover, the trip offered “deep dives” into the infrastructure, manufacturing and services sectors of the economy.&
Guest lecture by Dr. Rodin Lederle, Head of Business Management NI & MOD, Schindler, together with Alumni SES
In a joint event with the alumni organization of the faculty, “Alumni SES”, under its president Prof. Hans Lichtsteiner, we had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Rodin Lederle, Head of Business Management of New Installations and Modernization at Schindler and former student of the University of Fribourg, to give us an insight into Schindler’s international strategy and its success factors on May 5, 2016.
After giving an overview of Schindler’s products and showing some reference installations worldwide, Dr. Lederle showed the global presence of the company, pointing out China as the world’s biggest market for elevators and escalators. He then gave an outline of Schindler’s innovations and emphasized the focus of the company on safety. He explained that customers, employees, processes and products would, through Schindler’s “Digital Business Transformation”, gain more value and achieve a higher efficiency. Dr. Lederle completed his presentation with a fruitful Q&A session.
Visit to coop@home and Swiss Post Parcel Center
On April 28th 2016 a group of students from the Chair for International Management had the privilege of visiting coop@home’s distribution center in Spreitenbach. Philippe Huwyler, Managing Director, gave the group an insightful and engaging presentation about the world of online food distribution in Switzerland. In addition to outlining elements of coop@home’s strategy and current market position, Mr Huwyler also gave the group at look at some of the key challenges and opportunities that exist for coop@home in the future. The group was then taken on a tour of the distribution facility, where they had a detailed look at how a modern food distribution center works, touching every food category from fresh produce to frozen products. Mr Huwyler continually emphasized coop @home’s commitment to service and quality as ways of distinguishing their service offering from that of other online grocery retailers. The tour finished with a Q & A session.
The group then continued their trip to Härkingen and had the opportunity to view the Swiss Post’s Post Parcel Center. The group was taken on a guided tour of the center, after being given a short introduction to the world of the Swiss Post, and the important role it plays on the Swiss market not only from the perspective of a mail and parcel delivery service, but also as a logistics and financial services provider, and as one of the largest employers in the country. They were shown exactly how the parcel center operates, from the moment a parcel arrives at the depot, how they are processed within the center, what happens when address labels are incorrect or incomplete, and finally how parcels are dispatched to other distribution centers, and to the end customer. The evening wrapped up with a short de-brief over coffee and light snacks, courtesy of the Swiss Post.
Guest lecture by Kai Gramke, BAK Basel
As part of Europe Day 2016, the University of Fribourg had the pleasure of welcoming Mr Kai Gramke from the Swiss-based economic research and consultancy firm BAK Basel Economics. He was able to distill the most pertinent points about the applicability of the bilateral agreements for Swiss companies during his interactive and engaging presentation. In order to set the stage for the presentation, Mr Gramke gave an overview of the world economy and its relation to the economic balance of power over time, and discussed the importance of trade liberalization, where Switzerland comes out on top. He then discussed many important elements about the current state of the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU. He was able to paint a very interesting picture about the true cost of cancelling the bilateral agreements, and how that will affect businesses in Switzerland. The presentation concluded with a series of thoughtful and engaging questions from faculty and students.
Guest lecture by Erwin Kaelin, Head of Developing Markets at Geberit International
On December 14th 2015 Mr Erwin Kaelin, Head of Developing Markets at Geberit International, gave a guest lecture to students in the European Marketing, Fundamentals of International Management, and Management in Emerging Countries courses on "Market Development at Geberit". The lecture focused on Geberit’s emerging markets strategy. Mr. Kaelin detailed the company’s competitive strength which is their unique ability to deliver smart, innovative and integrated solutions to their clients by leveraging a unique composition of Swiss Know-How. Mr Kaelin also introduced students to the concepts of push and pull marketing and their implication on market development at Geberit, which was nicely tied together during a very active and engaging discussion session at the end of the lecture.
Guest lecture by Dimitrios Karampis, HR Manager at Philip Morris SA
Mr Dimitrios Karampis, HR Manager at Philip Morris SA, accepted an invitation by the Chair for International Management to give a guest lecture on “Human Resources Management at Philip Morris SA". This lecture took place on December 7th, 2015, for students in the course Fundamentals of International Management. After giving an overview of the company, Mr. Karampis took students on a journey through the world of HRM by introducing them to various aspects of the field, such as Talent Acquisition, Compensation & Benefits, Learning & Technology, while reinforcing the importance of Persity & Inclusion in the business world today. He stressed the significance of Human Resource Management by emphasizing the idea that businesses are ultimately built by people. After the presentation, students had the opportunity to ask Mr. Karampis questions related to HRM at Philip Morris SA during a lively Q&A session.
Guest lecture by Thomas Truttmann, VP Marketing, Communications, Public Affairs & Supply Chain at McDonald’s
Mr Thomas Truttmann, former student at the University of Fribourg, and VP Marketing, Communications, Public Affairs & Supply Chain at McDonald’s Switzerland, was invited, for a joint event with the Alumni SES association, to give a guest lecture to students on the Story of McDonald’s in Switzerland in Fall 2015. After giving an overview of the company and its worldwide evolution over the years, Mr. Truttmann introduced students to the particular aspects of McDonald’s operation in Switzerland, from menu items and local sourcing, to the importance of people at McDonald’s, and the increasing relevance of technology and innovation to the company. Throughout the lecture students were encouraged to participate and ask questions, which ensured an active, engaging and extremely informative presentation.
Guest lecture by Lukas Bucheli, Group Product Manager, Savencia Fromage & Dairy Deutschland
Mr Lukas Bucheli, former student at the University of Fribourg and Group Product Manager at Savencia Fromage & Dairy Deutschland (formerly Bongrain Deutschland), was invited by the Chair for International Management in Fall 2015 to give a guest lecture to students in the European Marketing course on “Consumer Insights at Savencia”. After giving a brief overview of the company, Mr. Bucheli introduced students to the main principles of consumer insights, and explained how those insights are used to support Savencia’s marketing strategy by enabling the company to get closer to their customers. Through a case study, the main principles of consumer insights were then applied, in a very practical way, to one of Savencia’s main products. Mr. Bucheli showed how insights played a key role in the successful positioning the product in multiple European markets, ultimately leading to an increase in market share. The presentation concluded with an active discussion, where students had the opportunity to ask more detailed questions about the group’s use of consumer insights.
Guest lecture by Dr. Krisztina Franko, Assistant Professor at the University of Debrecen/Hungary
In the lecture on Managerial Aspects of European and Global Integration, the Chair for International Management invited Assistant Professor Dr. Krisztina Franko from the University of Debrecen / Hungary in January 2015. Dr. Franko gave an insightful presentation on Hungary and its relation to the European Union. After a short introduction, enriched with general information about Hungary, Dr. Franko talked about the main economic factors and drivers in Hungary and its general importance for the country. This was followed by an overview on the Hungarian integration until its membership in the European Union. Then, Dr. Franko examined in detail the impact of the integration in the EU for Hungary. In doing so, the focus was set on the impact of the membership on foreign investment in different industry sectors, on the Hungarian healthcare system and on agriculture. The presentation was complemented with a lively Q&A session with the audience.
Presentation by Kurt Haerri, Head of Global Marketing and Sales, Schindler
In December 2014, the students of Fundamentals of International Management and Doing Business in China lectures enjoyed a very enthusiastic and passionate presentation from Mr Haerri on Schindler’s Business Strategy in China. In his presentation Mr Haerri gave a brief historical overview of the company and shortly introduced Schindler’s product portfolio to the students. He then explained the remarkable growth of China (and Asia) providing examples of the Chinese urbanization and infrastructure development in the last years. Using figures and examples from construction, Mr. Haerri showed that the mere “dimension” of China in comparison with any other country, in terms of population, demand, speed, etc. is enormous and requires the full attention of companies from other countries. Kurt Haerri spoke about the past and current challenges of Schindler illustrating them with numerous examples, stories and hard figures. Based on the gathered experience he also provided insights of how to do business in China, going far beyond the usual superficial statements and into very insightful recommendations. The presentation was followed by a Q&A session with the students.
Presentation by Oliver Staerkle, Key Account Manager for Henniez, Nestlé Waters Switzerland
In the lecture on Distribution Strategies and Retailing in Europe, the Chair for International Management invited Oliver Staerkle, a former student in the MA in European Business and now Key Account for Manager Nestlé Waters Switzerland in December 2014. Mr Staerkle gave an interesting and informative presentation, starting with an overview on the Swiss retail landscape and ist particularities. This was followed by insights, how Nestlé Waters cooperates with its retail clients. Furthermore, Oliver Staerkle explained the strategic tasks of key account management and brand management who jointly create the success for a company, KAM with a stronger focus on the retail customer, brand managagement with a stronger focus on the consumer pull. This was complemented by a description and detailed explanation of the specific role of the key account manager. The presentation was concluded through a practical case and followed by a vivid fruitful discussion with the audience.
Presentation by Stefan Heissler, Managing Director, Liebherr
In the Fundamentals of International Management lecture, in December 2014, Mr Heissler, gave an interesting and informative presentation on the International Management at Liebherr. He first introduced the company with a short historical overview and the current businesses and he showed its impressive growth in the last 60 years. Mr Heissler explained that Liebherr has changed the organisational structure from the country devisions to product divisions which are led by divisional controlling companies. The focal point of the presentation dealt with the key success factors of Liebherr. Among others, Mr Heissler mentioned the importance of diversification (Liebherr operates in 11 product disions ranging from refrigerators and freezers to maritime cranes and mobile cranes), organic growth (which allows avoidance of integration problems and ensuring the integration of each unit into the overall corporate culture), customer proximity (which is especially relevant in B2B markets), de-centralisation as well as the family ownership. The presentation concluded with the lively discussion with the audience.
Presentation by Roland Frefel, Head of Category Management Fresh Products/Gastronomy, Coop
In the lecture on Distribution Strategies and Retailing in Europe, the Chair for International Management invited in December 2014 Roland Frefel, Head of Category Management Fresh Products/Gastronomy at Coop. Mr Frefel gave an interesting presentation on the Coop group, the category management at Coop as well as sustainability initiatives within the Coop group. First, the sales and specialist formats, the online formats of Coop as well as Coop’s manufacturing companies were presented. This was followed by explaining the competitive position in the Swiss retail market and deeper insights of the category management process at Coop. Hereby, the philosophy, definition, organisational structure as well as the goals of Coop’s category management were in focus. Finally, the sustainability strategy of Coop was visualised. The presentation was complemented by a fruitful discussion between Mr Frefel and the audience.
Presentation by Werner Dirks, General Manager Schweiz, La Prairie Group
Werner Dirks, General Manager Switzerland at La Prairie Group, was invited in November 2014 by the Chair for International Management in collaboration with the Institute for Value-based Enterprise (IVE). The highly interesting presentation in front of a large audience focused on Management and Distribution at La Prairie as well as on leadership. After introducing the company, Mr. Dirks gave interesting insights about the luxury cosmetic brand La Prairie. This was followed by explanations of the distribution structure and developments in distribution, enriched by outstanding examples from Switzerland. Finally, Mr Dirks gave fruitful implications concerning leadership and management issues and was very open to answer the many questions from a vivid discussion with the students.
Presentation by Dr. Rolf Soiron, Chairman of Lonza
In cooperation with the IVE – The Institute for Value-based Enterprise, the Chair for International Management invited Dr. Rolf Soiron, Chairman of Lonza and former president of the board of directors of Holcim, in October 2014. Dr. Soiron gave an interesting presentation on ”Leadership vs. Management” at Lonza. After defining, what management is and what constitutes a good manager by transforming resources into customer value, Dr. Soiron highlighted the biggest misunderstandings on management in general. He emphasized the role of management which modern leadership literature sometimes tends to downplay. Moreover, core principles as well as important tasks and tools for managers were investigated and discussed with the audience. Dr. Soiron also emphasized what constitutes leadership and the need of active learning for being a successful leader, enriched with fruitful examples based on his own work experience.
Presentation by Valentin Wepfer, Director of Collaborative Supply-Chains and Deputy CEO of GS1 Switzerland
Valentin Wepfer, Director of Collaborative Supply-Chains and Deputy CEO at GS1 Switzerland, gave in May 2013 an interesting presentation on collaborations, how collaborations can be achieved and collaboration platforms for companies. After introducing this highly relevant topic, Mr. Wepfer illustrated necessary preconditions for collaborations, as well as influence factors, drivers, opportunities and barriers and discussed them with the students. Instead of merely focusing on the operative issues of collaboration, Mr Wepfer emphasized the relevance of the right attitude towards collaboration in order to make it work. In the second part, Valentin Wepfer highlighted topics of ECR, presented national ECR Initiatives in Europe, the global ECR Network as well as the role of GS1 Switzerland in it. Moreover, the successful organisation of collaboration platforms was explained. GS1 Switzerland is the professional association for sustainable value creation networks.
Round-table debate with Christiane Arndt, OECD, and Philippe Allard, European Banking Authority, together with SNIS
Together with the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS), the Chair for International Management organised a round-table debate on governance on March 10, 2014. In particular the link between public governance and corporate governance was highlighted in the debate in which the issue of why regulation is necessary and which effects regulation has, was debated. Christiane Arndt from OECD opened the event with an introductory presentation on the measurement of regulatory policy and governance. She explained how the impact of regulation can be measured and is measured by national and European-level authorities. Here, she also presented some OECD recommendations on this issue. Furthermore, she pointed out that one has to be careful to interpret the indicators in the correct way, e.g. when trying to evaluate a specific foreign country by the means of governance indicators. It is important not to only rely on top-level indicators but to understand of which dimensions an indicator is composed of. Philippe Allard focused on the regulation in a specific sector, i.e. banks. He explained why banks need to be supervised and he explained the main frameworks and tools for banking regulation and banking supervision. After the introductory statements, both experts were discussing the questions from the audience in a long and in-depth debate. The interesting discussion was continued after the official part of the debate in the context of an apéro to which the experts and the students were invited by the organizers.
Presentation by Markus Vogt, Head Of Sales And Marketing, Ricola
In December 2013, Mr Vogt, Head of Sales and Marketing at Ricola, gave an interesting presentation on the marketing in the mid-sized, family owned Swiss company, which is present in over 50 markets worldwide. The highlights of the presentation included the introduction of the new marketing campaign of Ricola "Chrüterchraft".
Mr Vogt explained campaigns' global design with the possibility of local modifications in the form of voice overs and parts of the spot that can be exchanged (following a glocal strategy). He then gave an overview of diverse marketing instruments used by the company (promotion, product, price and place) as well as the challenges the Ricola encounters in different markets. Very interesting was also the presentation of some coordination mechanisms that the company uses to implement the international strategy in an aligned way in the different countries. The presentation ended with many questions from the audience and a lively discussion.
Presentation by Robin Barraclough, Chief Marketing Officer, Emmi
In November 2013, Mr Barraclough, Chief Marketing Officer at Emmi, gave an interesting presentation for the students in European Marketing class entitled: "Making Milk Marketing Matter Multinationally".
Mr Barraclough introduced the well-known Swiss company and gave an overview of the competitors of Emmi. He then spoke about marketing activities, philosophy of the company and the importance of innovation in the area of fast moving consumer goods. He emphasized the crucial role that thinking globally but winning locally (following the glocal strategy) plays for Emmi. He also explained the required marketing spending to establish and maintain a brand, even in a rather small market like Switzerland. Based on this, he described how Emmi has been reducing its brand portfolio in order to focus on a few power brands globally. These are structures in Emmi's "house of brands". In order to better illustrate these concepts, Mr Barraclough used practical examples and emphasized the key message that particular brands portray. Last, but not least, he showed the opportunities that Emmi offers as an employer for the present students. The presentation ended with questions from the audience and an active discussion.
Presentation by Andreas Baud, International Marketing Director, Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrance
In a European Marketing lecture in November 2013, Andreas Baud, International Marketing Director for Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrance, gave an interesting presentation on the company, its products, the challenges and international marketing activities.
Mr Baud introduced the company and showed the portfolio of products that the company offers on the market – ranging from the famous Swiss Army Knife, watches, fashion, travel gear, and, recently added, fragrances. He spoke to the students about the challenges that Victorinox is facing - one of which is the modification of the Swissness regulation, which commands the amount of Swiss components and percentage of work done in the country in order for the products to be labelled "made in Switzerland" and carry the Swiss cross. While this is the case for the knives and the fragrances, the situation is different for travel gear which is sold under a licensing agreement with a US company. Furthermore, Mr. Baud emphasized the challenge to create a uniform brand positioning for the wide product range of its products and to coordinate the international activities which are partly carried out by own subsidiaries in foreign markets but partly also by independent distributors. The presentation ended with examples of the possible solutions the company could apply and an interesting and lively discussion with the students.
Presentation by Jan Jenisch, CEO, Sika Group
In November 2013, Jan Jenisch, CEO of the Sika Group and alumni of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of our university, gave exciting insights into Sika's global expansion strategy. Sika is a specialty chemicals company supplying the building and construction industry as well as manufacturing industries, in particular automotive manufacturers. After a short introduction in Sika's product portfolio, Mr Jenisch presented the target markets, e.g. roofing, flooring, waterproofing, and then, extensively the growth model of the company. The presentation was well linked to the international business theories that are taught in the lectures and Mr Jenisch categorized Sika as a transnational organisation by discussing the specific characteristics of this organisational model. The focus of the presentation was on the companies' engagement in emerging markets in which Sika by now achieves almost 40% of its global turnover, with substantial growth rates. Furthermore, Jan Jenisch pointed out key success factors for the international business of Sika.
As usual, the presentation was followed by an intense discussion with the students who also welcomed the opportunity to discuss not only with the CEO of Sika but also with Robert Urban, Head of Corporate HR, who accompanied Mr Jenisch at his visit of our university.
Presentation by Erland Brügger, CEO, Rivella
In a European Marketing lecture in October 2013, Erland Brügger, CEO of Rivella, presented the company and the internationalization of Rivella to the students in the MA in European Business.
Mr Brügger shortly presented the history of Rivella and its very strong position in the Swiss softdrinks market as well as the international activities of the company in a few European markets. Mr Brügger spoke very openly to the students about the challenges that the company faces as well the past attempts of conquering the German market. He presented successful and less successful examples of campaigns and activities in Germany. In particular, he presented the future approach of Rivella for this large market, which was the core topic in the discussion with the students after the presentation.
Presentation by Lukas Schulthess, Senior Brand Manager, NIVEA for Men
In a lecture on European Marketing in October 2013, Lukas Schulthess, Senior Brand Manager for the Beiersdorf brand NIVEA for Men, gave an interesting speech on European Marketing at Beiersdorf.
Mr Schulthess presented the history of the NIVEA brand as well as organizational aspects of the company such as the brand portfolio. In the focus of his presentation was the question of local marketing versus global marketing of Beiersdorf. L. Schulthess presented insights and detailed examples of which marketing measures for NIVEA for Men are defined on an international level and which marketing measures are locally adapted to the particular market conditions in Switzerland. The presentation was very well received by the students and it was followed by a lively discussion with the speaker.
Furthermore, Lukas Schulthess presented career opportunities for management students at Beiersdorf. He himself has graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of our university only a few years ago.
Study Trip to Bangkok in June 2013
In June 2013, the Chair for International Management has organised, for the third time, a summer school in Bangkok in cooperation with a leading local university, the College of Management of the Mahidol University. Professors from Mahidol University gave the students insights into different aspects of Management in South-East Asia, e.g. in cultural particularities, negotiation styles, technology management, branding and other fields of management and marketing. We are very grateful that executives from (mostly Western) companies that are active in Thailand gave presentations to the Fribourg students at the university, including DKSH and Garant Möbel. An attorney-at-law from a German-Thai law firm explained the legal framework for direct investment in Thailand.
Two companies, Swarovski and Liebherr, even allowed the students to visits their factories in Thailand. While both factories are, obviously, strongly different, both companies gave the students unique insights into their production processes and the particularities of business activities in Thailand. Last, but not least, in the evenings and on the weekend, social and cultural events, such as visits to the Grand Palace, a cooking school or a bike tour through Bangkok in the evening, were organised that gave the students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge about the Thai culture.
Presentation by Christoph Rief, Managing Director, and Jérôme Meyer, Director Operations, Aldi Suisse Domdidier
In May 2013, Christoph Rief and Jérôme Meyer from Aldi Suisse presented the marketing and sales strategy at Aldi. In Switzerland, Aldi operates three distribution centers in Domdidier, Schwarzenbach, and Dagmarsellen to serve more than 160 stores. Besides the company history, also the business model, organisational structures and the conviction of the company were shown. Furthermore, Mr Rief and Mr Meyer presented career opportunities and perspectives at Aldi Suisse and were open for discussion and answered questions.
Presentation by Alessandro Rigoni, Commercial Director, Nestlé Suisse
Also in May 2013, Alessandro Rigoni, Commercial Director at Nestlé Suisse, one of the world biggest food and beverage companies, located near Lausanne at Lac Léman, talked to the students in the course of Distribution Strategies and Retailing in Europe. The aim of Mr Rigoni’s speech was to provide further insights on the Nestlé Group, the Swiss market and its particularities as well as issues and opportunities from a retailer and manufacturer point of view.
Presentation by Laurent Vonmoos, Director Sales Switzerland,
Philip Morris S.A.
Laurent Vonmoos, Director Sales Switzerland at Philip Morris S.A. gave, also in May 2013, another interesting presentation about the distribution strategy of Philip Morris in Switzerland. After introducing Philip Morris from an international point of view, combined with a market analysis of the tobacco market, the distribution strategy in Switzerland was presented. Furthermore, the strategy of Margot & Cie S.A., a specialised Swiss tobacco wholesaler, was presented. After the presentation, Mr Vonmoos and a colleague, who recently started as a trainee at PMI, as well as Claude Denti, Director of Margot, were available for answering questions.
Presentation by Oliver Bertschinger, Regional Director Europe of OSEC Business Network Switzerland...
On the invitation of Prof Dirk Morschett, Oliver Bertschinger explained in May 2012 to the students from the University of Fribourg the internationalisation capabilities of Swiss companies and the framework requirements in different European markets. He pointed out the main success factors of the Swiss export economy, which is continuously growing in several sectors despite financial crisis and strong appreciation of the Swiss Franc. He also brought students attention to the problems which resulted from the currency movements.
...and Miguel Fonollosa, Leader Swiss Business Hub Poland (OSEC)
On the same occasion, Mr Miguel Fonollosa reported on an excellent progress in Poland and high economic growth, as compared to other European countries during the last few years. He concluded that Polish market offers attractive prospects for Swiss companies.
Excursion to the Coop National Distribution Centre...
In April 2012 students of the Chair for International Management had the opportunity to visit logistic centres and observe how the logistics concepts are integrated in practice. During a visit to the national distribution centre of Coop in Wangen near Olten, René Christ, an expert in the field, explained the logistic strategy of the company and the most important logistic processes. Together with a colleague he guided the group though the huge warehouse. Students were showed detailed flow of goods, including the goods receiving processes, the stockpiling, the consignment and the goods issuing to the different regional warehouses.
The concept of an online grocery shop was illustrated to a group of students during their visit at coop@home in Spreitenbach. The managing director Philippe Huwyler, the marketing manager Ellen Brasse and the logistic manager Thomas Rossel explained to the students the business model and the marketing concept of an online food delivery service. Managers gave students a tour around the distribution centre and were at students’ disposal for question and answer session. While food online shops in Germany barely exist, coop@home has been successful in Switzerland for many years.
Presentation by Reto Aeschbacher Head of Marketing, Scott Sports
In December 2011, Reto Aeschbacher, Head of Marketing, Scott Sports, a company that is a global leader in the development, manufacturing, sales and marketing of high end performance products intended for biking, wintersport, motosport and other sports, and which is located in Fribourg, talked to the students in the course on European Marketing and presented the international marketing strategy of the company.
Presentation by Carles Brand, Head of Marketing, Tetrapak
Also in December 2011, another interesting presentation took place at the University of Fribourg. Charles Brand, Vice President Marketing and Product Management of Tetrapak International, explained to the students marketing processes of the global, leading producer in packaging. Mr Brand started working in the head office of Tetrapak, after he made a career in Great Britain, United States and in Taiwan. In the presentation he explained the new product development process at Tetrapak cooperation process between the headquarters, the company and market organisations in the host country.
Presentation by Georges Kern, CEO of the luxury watch brand IWC
In November 2011, Georges Kern, CEO of the luxury watch brand International Watch Company IWC gave a lecture on the global marketing of IWC at the University of Fribourg. He presented the positioning aspects of different watch models (for instance Pilot, Portuguese, and Portofino). He also illustrated on the example of an extensive case study, how the campaign for the Portofino model was developed.
Presentation by Annette Heimlicher,
Director of Corporate Development, Contrinex
Also in November 2011, Annette Heimlicher, Director of Corporate Development, Contrinex, presented the internationalisation strategy of this company to the students in the Master in European Business. Contrinex is a world leading manufacturer of inductive and photoelectric sensors. Since its foundation in 1972, Contrinex has grown from a one-man concern into a small multi-national Group employing over 500 people worldwide. However, it still concentrates exclusively on the development, manufacturing and sales of sensing equipment for industrial applications. Annette Heimlicher explained in detail, using cases from specific countries, how Contrinex enters a foreign market and also discussed how to coordinate foreign subsidiaries.
Presentation by Lukas Bucheli, Brand Manager at Nivea Schweiz
In October 2011 Lukas Bucheli, Brand Manager at Nivea Schweiz, gave a presentation on the International Marketing of the company. Using an example of a new product development- a shower gel, he illustrated how Nivea launches such products on the international markets. Furthermore he explained different organisational aspects. Since Thomas Bucheli completed his master degree in Fribourg University only few years ago, the presentation was also highly interesting for the students from the point of career entry and career with an international company.
Study Trip to Bangkok in July 2009 and in July 2011
In July 2009 and July 2011, the Chair for International Management has organised a summer school in Bangkok in cooperation with a leading local university, the CMMU.
With a mix of lecturer from academics, presentations of practitioners and company visits, e.g. at Colgate and Liebherr, students had the unique opportunity to collect own experience in this country.
Presentation by Günter Verheugen, Former Vice-president of the European Commission and responsible Commissioner for Industry and Corporation
On the occasion of Day of Europe in May 2011, Günter Verheugen, Former Vice-president of the European Commission and responsible Commissioner for Industry and Corporation, gave a talk on the chances and challenges in connection with the expansion of the European Union. Mr. Verheugen, held an office in the European Commission between 1999 and 2004 and was responsible for the political expansion of the EU. He had a significant influence on shaping of the European Union’s politics.
Presentation by Paul Fries, member of supervisory board and shareholder at SeaKing
In April 2011, Dr. Paul Fries, member of supervisory board and shareholder at SeaKing, gave a presentation on international value-added processes in the company. SeaKing is the world market leader for gastronomic facilities (such as large-scale catering establishments) for the cruise liners. Many company activities, such as selling, are handled by the Swiss headquarters. Finland is responsible for most of the engineering services. Construction is carried out in a wholly owned subsidiary in Poland. Finally kitchen facilities for the cruise liners are installed in different European shipyards. The coordination of those complex international processes were emphasised in the presentation by Mr Fries.
Presentation by Michel Grandchamps, Head of New Business at T-Systems Switzerland
Also in April 2011, on the invitation of the Chair for International Management, Michel Grandchamps, Head of New Business at T-Systems Switzerland gave a talk entitled “Nearshoring at T-Systems”, at the University of Fribourg. He spoke to the students about different IT-services which T-Systems offers to its customers. Mr Grandchamps also explained the international pision of work in the company, in order to put those IT services at clients disposal. Furthermore, two of his colleagues from T-Systems, who recently graduated from Fribourg University, briefly described career opportunities in this company, which can be found in subsidiaries exist all over the world.
Presentation by Alessandro Rigoni, Nestlé
In December 2010, Alessandro Rigoni, Commercial Director at Nestlé Switzerland, a close business partner of Coop, talked to the students about the particularities of the Swiss distribution landscape and how the global market leader in consumer goods – Nestlé – adapts to the local market conditions. The developments in the retail market, e.g. concerning the development of brands and store brands, were discussed with the students and the strategies of Nestlé to cope with those developments.
Executive Talk by Roland Frefel, Coop
In November 2010, Roland Frefel, responsible for the Category Management of Basic Foods and Beverages at Coop, explained the complex business of Switzerland’s largest retail company. He discussed the different distribution channels and their development with the students. In particular, the developments in the merchandise mix (e.g. the strategies with regard to store brands) were treated as well as the category management process.
Presentation by Erwin Kälin, Geberit,
on the International Distribution of the Company
The first executive talk of the fall semester 2010 was given by Erwin Kälin, Area Sales Manager of Geberit for the markets of the Near East and Africa. In November 2010, he explained to our students – using the example of South Africa – how Geberit enters foreign markets, how the company establishes pull- and push-activities in these markets and how it adapts its activities to the specific national conditions. In this business, it is crucial to train the middleman about the product usage and Geberits helps its national distributors in this task. Furthermore, Mr Kälin pointed to the high relevance of large projects (e.g. building hotels, soccer stadiums, etc.) as one major pillar of Geberits business in many foreign countries. In South Africa, the FIFA world cup in 2010 lead to many of these projects being developed in the previous years.
Presentation by Jean-Marie Ayer, Dartfish,
on the International Management of the Company
Dartfish is a company in the field of digital imaging technology. The company that started in 1998 quickly grew and became well known for its innovative digital image enhancements in the sports broadcast world. Today, its technologies and know-how are widely recognised for exclusive televised broadcast footage and breakthrough training applications for sports, education, healthcare and more. Dartfish has its headquarters in Fribourg and offices in Atlanta, USA, Sophia-Antipolis (France), Sydney, Tokyo, and Seoul. Jean-Marie Ayer, co- founder and a member of the board, explained the student the challenges and pitfalls in the fast internationalisation process of thecompany and the management of the international company network.
Focus on Chinese Business
Chinese business is of crucial importance for European companies: First, China is a very important market and production location for European companies. But furthermore, Chinese companies have started their internationalisation process and it is very likely that Chinese MNCs will become important actors in European Business as well.
Therefore, we invited Prof. Aoyu WEI as visiting lecturer to give a block course on Business in China. Prof. Wei is Chinese and he received his PhD from the renowned Fudan University in Shanghai. Since the mid-1990s he lives in France. He is teaching cross-cultural management at the HEC in Paris and he consults companies like EDF and PSA Peugeot-Citroën concerning their activities in China. Thus, he knows the particularities of Chinese business from an academic and a practical experience. Topics like the Chinese culture, the legal environment, human resource management, Marketing, business negotiations in China as well as mergers & acquisition activities of Chinese companies were described and analysed in the course.
In addition, Prof. Marc Fetscherin, an expert from an American university, gave a presentation on the globalisation of Chinese brands within that lecture, focussing on examples like Haier or Lenovo.
Visit to the Headquarters of Richemont in Geneva
In April 2010, a group of 40 students from the MA in European Business were invited to visit the HQ of Richemont in Bellevue, Geneva.
The Group HR Director, Mr Thomas Lindemann, welcomed the group and gave them intensive and detailed insights into the luxury business. In a very interactive manner, the basics of this business were discussed but also recent developments such as different developments in international markets or the changes in the distribution strategies. The discussion was continued in the course of a business lunch on invitation of Richemont.
Presentation by Dr. Heribert Knittlmayer and Roger Schaerer,
Swiss Export Risk Insurance SERV
In May 2010, two experts from the Swiss Export Risk Insurance SERV, an institution of the Swiss Confederation, gave the students an overview on exports risks in general and detailed insights intothe possibilities for companies to manage export risks. In particular, the different instruments that SERV provides were explained.
Presentation by Ralf Balzer, European Patent Office
The European Patent Organisation is an intergovernmental organisation which currently has 38 member states, including Switzerland. It provides a uniform application procedure for inpidual inventors and companies seeking patent protection across Europe.
In May 2010, Ralf Balzer from the European Patent Office talked to the students about “Patents as a Mean to Protect Intellectual Propoerty”. He explained the relevance of patents for the economy in general, the European Patent System and the different ways for inventors to apply for a patent in a specific nation or across Europe.
Presentation by Ulrike Spang-Lessnow,
Deputy Retail Manager, IKEA Switzerland
In May 2009, the deputy retail manager of IKEA Switzerland gave us insights into the international management and coordination of a highly successful multinational company – IKEA. She explained the pision of labour and decisions between the headquarters (or, in this case, the different superordinate units) and the local subsidiary in Switzerland.
Presentation by Thomas Pletscher, Member of the Executive Board, Economiesuisse
In April 2009, one of the members of the executive board of economiesuisse, gave a speech on parallel imports into Switzerland the application of the Cassis de Dijon principle – a highly topical issue for Swiss companies. economiesuisse is the largest umbrella organisation representing the Swiss economy. It has the support of more than 30,000 businesses of all sizes, employing a total of 1.5 million people in Switzerland.
Excursion European Business to Brussels and Rotterdam
In spring semester 2009 (as already in spring semester 2008), the chair has organised an excursion to Brussels and Rotterdam for 4 days.
The group visited the EU commission and the Swiss Mission to the EU. We then had the opportunity to meed with the Director General of the JAMA (Japanese Automobile Manu facturers’ Association) in Brussel.
After driving to Rotterdam, the group visited the logistic service provider Broekman Group that manages the Rotterdam Car Terminal. Another full day was dedicated to the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest logistic and industrial hub. Additional information can be found here.
Day Trip to Logistic Centres and Production Sites
In May 2009, the Chair for International Management has organised a day trip with visits to some of the most sophisticated logistic centres in Switzerland. Students of the MA in European Business, in addition to a group of students from the Europa-Institut, Saarbrücken, Germany, have participated.
After an early morning departure by bus, the programme started with a visit of the Bell Production and Logistics Centre in Oensingen. There, Bell produces directly for McDonald’s and both logistics sites are directly co-located (in a concept called “foodtown”).
After a presentation by McDonald’s on the sustainability strategy and from HAVI Logistics (the third party logistics service provider that takes over all logistics activities for McDonald’s in Switzerland, the McDonald’s Logistics Centre was visited. In the afternoon, the group went to Wangen, were the national distribution centre of Coop is located. From there, Coop coordinated the logistics for its nonfood products. Again, a comprehensive visit to the distribution center was supplemented with intensive presentations on the concept.
Day Trip to Aldi Suisse and WAGO
In November 2009, we visited the distribution center of ALDI in Domdidier where the managing director Beat Pahud gave us a tour and explained the main principles of the discounter and of the logistics concept.
ALDI SUISSE has entered the market in 2005 and has about 100 outlets now. The new and up-to-date distribution centre in Domdidier receives and distributes the articles for a major part of that store network.
After a lunch break in Avenches, we visited the Production Site of WAGO in Domdidier. After an introductory presentation, a guided tour through the facilities offered us insights into the production of the electrical connecting system products.
Wago, with its headquarter in Minden, Germany, is a world-wide operating company with subsidiaries or agencies on every continent and production sites in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, China, India, the USA and in Japan. It is a leading company in innovative connecting technology.
Presentation by Bruno Wiederkehr, Sales Director, Warner Bros. Home Video
Warner Bros. is a fully integrated entertainment company and a global leader in all forms of entertainment and their related businesses. With distribution in 90 international territories Warner Home Video commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Internationally, Warner is the No. 1 studio with 16% world market share.
In December 2009, Bruno Wiederkehr gave a comprehensive presentation on the implementation of Warner Bros.’ global marketing and sales strategy in the Swiss market.
Presentation by Katalin Dreher, Consultant, OSEC Business Network Switzerland
OSEC Business Network Switzerland is working on behalf of the Swiss government. One of its main tasks is the support of Swiss companies in their export activities.
In November 2009, Katalin Dreher shared insights into the Swiss foreign trade in general, the forms of internationalization and the mandate of OSEC, in particular explaining the « step-by-step » concept to exporting which it provides to Swiss firms. A strong focus was on the market opportunities in Eastern European countries.
Presentation by Beat Pahud, Managing Director, Aldi Suisse Domdidier
Also in November 2009, Beat Pahud explained the international management activities within the Aldi group as well as the relationship between Aldi Suisse and its parent company in Germany.
Aldi is the World’s largest harddiscounter. In 2005, Aldi has entered the Swiss market, a very particular retail market. The presentation gave the students insights into the necessary activities when entering a new country market.
Presentation by Dr. Beat Brechbühl,
Partner, Kellerhals Attorneys at Law on M & A in Europe
In November 2009, Dr. Beat Brechbühl gave a detailed and comprehensive presentation on Mergers & Acquisitions in Europe. He explained the necessary steps in preparing and executing a buy-side M&A process and highlighted his explanations by presenting a specific case study of a recent M&A case which his company supported with its legal expertise.