portraits of success 2010

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International, creative, innovators: Bocconians at work

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  • 1. Portraitsof Success2010International, creative,innovators: Bocconiansat work

2. Contents*Vikram Has a Full Plate of Ideas 3by Tomaso EridaniAn MBA Students Blog5by Tomaso EridaniA Visiting Professor Jogging Down the Naviglio 7by Fabio TodescoThanos, a Serial Entrepreneur and Professor9by Fabio TodescoGiancarlo, a Serial Volcano at the EMIT11by Fabio TodescoTexting for Serena 13by Tomaso EridaniWounded Chile by Edoardo Moruzzi 15by Davide Ripamonti24 Hours with Tanja, Massimiliano and Alberto17by Fabio TodescoTwo Bocconians Develop the Capello Index 19by Fabio Todesco______________________________________* Portraits of Success is a selection of articles previously published in the Bocconi Newsletter. Articles are available on the webon ViaSarfatti25.eu, the Bocconi online newsmagazine, at the following address: www.viasarfatti25.eu.Translations by Office of International Communication. 3. Aldo and Riccardo, Representing Bocconi at the National University Tennis Championships 21by Davide RipamontiA Bocconi Government in Vancouver 23by Tomaso EridaniA Golden Apple at Bocconi 25by Susanna Della VedovaFabio, a Legal Studies Graduate Backstage at La Scala 27by Fabio TodescoAndrea and Barbara in Bangladesh with an IDEA 29by Andrea CelauroElenas Decisions 31by Davide RipamontiCuocolo: On the Web with Il Ricostituente 33by Davide RipamontiMy Africa 35by Tomaso Eridani 4. People2010 5. PeopleVikram Has a Full Plate of Ideasby Tomaso EridaniA Bocconi student, Vikram Kandula has developed andmarketed a line of ecological dishware, based on a localIndian tradition that uses fallen leaves. He predicts productsales of 1.5 million in 2010Creating a profitable business with a good product that is produced sustainably and used responsibly. Withthese good intentions, Vikram Kandula, a 27-year old Bocconi student from India, founded his own business,Hampi Products. The company holds dear to a practice held in rural Indian, and produces disposabledishware for catering which sport a stylish design and a very low environmental impact.After graduating in engineering in Delhi, Vikram already showed the first signs of an entrepreneurial spirit at 24when he opened his own business in clothing manufacturing company. The business was going well, butVikram understood that he needed to learn some more skills in order to better develop his ideas.I needed to learn more about business and I knew Bocconi had a good reputation for teaching a wide arrayof management skills, explains Vikram. And I also liked the idea of living in Italy for a few years and getting toknow the culture.But while he was thinking about making a landing at Bocconi, Vikram already had his next initiative in mind. Alight bulb went on when he went to a wedding in a rural part of India with a Dutch friend, Frederic Sanders,whom he had met in Mumbai while Sanders was doing an internship in the Sustainability Department at ABNAMRO. The two friends were struck by the disposable plates used for the wedding feast of over 1,000 guests.They used plates made from the leaves of a local palm tree. The leaves fall naturally all year long and theplates are made by local producers without chemical or toxic products so production is sustainable andresponsible, says Vikram. They are perfectly ecological and biodegradable. These are all factors whichtodays market values. The only thing left to do was to refine the plates design and think about how toproduce them on a larger scale.3 6. PeopleVikram and Frederic went to work, in collaboration with the local producers, and after a few months they hadput together and tweaked a line of products and were ready to begin exporting. Summer was approachingand they decided to try to sell their product to seaside clubs in Bloemendall on the Dutch coast. Theyreceived good feedback, with the fifth club owner they spoke to immediately ordering 5,000, and the businesstook off.Frederic has an aesthetic eye and is good with emotions, while I have a good business sense and am goodwith costs. We argue a lot, but theres a good balance between our skills, says Vikram.Meanwhile, with a Merit Award under his belt (the Bocconi scholarship for international students assigned onthe basis of academic merit), in September Vikram arrived in Milan to begin work on his Master of Science inInternational Management. The hard work in class is intense for someone like Vikram who continues to work onhis ecological dishware project. A Dutch designer is broadening the range and increasing the number ofproducers in India who, continuing to use entirely handmade practices, are being trained with newtechnologies and processes.With Frederic working full time and Vikram working one week a month, the pair was able to sign agreementswith several distributors in France for the catering industry and make contacts with other distributors in Italy.Estimates for sales in 2010? 1.5 million items. Its a commitment that will require a factory to be built in southernIndia to keep up with production of enough plates to cover requests.Pursuing this business alongside my studies is a big job, but having my own business has always been a dreamof mine, explains Vikram. And everything Im learning in the classroom, marketing for example, can beapplied right away. Professors like Markus Venzin and Robert Grant have helped me immensely in theiradvising. From Bocconi Newsletter no. 81/20104 7. PeopleAn MBA Students Blogby Tomaso EridaniSeda Saracer keeps an animated online diary on the FinancialTimes website of her experience at SDA Bocconi. She and theother international bloggers at FT provide an insiders view thatrounds out official information about MBA progams in variouscountries.Born in Istanbul in 1984, Seda graduated with a degree in International Commerce and then worked inmarketing at a multinational company in the varnish sector for three years. During that period, she becameaware of the need for a turning point in her career path.I chose an MBA because at university I learned simply through reading books, but then I wanted to learn newbusiness skills along with other people who had work experience, who I could exchange ideas with and learnfrom as well, explains Seda. And I chose SDA because it has a great reputation and it offers a specializationin marketing that interested me.Just before the program began in October, the proposal to write a blog on the website of the Financial Timescame to her through SDA. Sedas outgoing and curious personality encouraged her to accept the proposaland so she found herself with eleven other bloggers, including a student from Kenyan who studies at INSEAD,an Indian student in Chicago and an American at Cambridge.I was familiar with Facebook and Twitter but I didnt think of myself as a potential blogger. But I was curiousabout the proposal and now Im really into it! says Seda. I started with the goal of offering a real view ofwhat it means to complete an MBA. Often, in fact, only official information about MBAs can be found, whilewhat I want to do is to describe what really goes on behind the scenes, personalizing my story as much aspossible.In her various posts (an average of two per week) Seda has in fact talked about the intensity of the program,the importance of networking, and job prospects at the end of the program, but also about the recreationalmoments among students such as parties and soccer tournaments. 5 8. PeopleAt the beginning it was a big effort, partly because I tried to plan my posts. Now I can be more spontaneouswhen I write, it comes easier and its almost a relaxing break from the frenzy of the program, says Seda.Between the program, the blog and clubs (Seda is a member of both the MBA SDAs Marketing Club and theWomen in Business Club), Sedas commitments keep her from spending time on her greatest passion, oilpainting. So, at least for now, her dream of painting the Duomo of Milan will have to wait. From Bocconi Newsletter no. 82/20106 9. PeopleA Visiting Professor Jogging Down the Naviglioby Fabio TodescoLast semester Tomer Broude held the first compulsory course inEnglish in Law at Bocconi and ran the Venice marathon. Histraining was along Milans canals.Milan for teaching, Venice for running. Thanks to Tomer Broude, 40, a Visiting Professor from Hebrew Universityin Jerusalem, last semester students in the second year of Law at Bocconi participated in the first compulsoryclass held entirely in English: a course in International Law. Broude took advantage of his time away fromhome to train along the Naviglio Grande and participated in one of the most difficult Italian marathons, heldin Venice, on 25 October.One of the subjects Broude is most interested in is the WTO (the World Trade Organization), where GiorgioSacerdoti, Full Professor in International Law at Bocconi, served as European justice for eight years, untilNovember 2009. Thats why it was natural for Broude to think about Bocconi for the last semester of his yearand a half sabbatical leave, part of which was spent at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.At first the students seemed a little intimidated, maybe because of the new experience of having to interactin English, or maybe because they were used to classes that are more traditional than mine, explains Broude,thinking about his experience in Milan. After awhile, however, they loosened up and, thanks in part to theirexcellent English skills, they proved to be very good students. They were also very competitive, which iscertainly positive on one hand, but which also poses the risk losing sight of the real goal of study, which is not agrade but knowledge. The experience was especially interesting for the professor and students when a Mootcourt, a simulation of a trail in front of an international court and based on a hypothetical case, was heldduring class.According to Broude, a marathon can be an antidote to short-term planning. Both in training, which has tofollow a schedule, and in

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