International Study Tour: Curtin Mauritius Students in Paris
November 16, 2018
Fourteen of our MBA (Global) students recently embarked on an international Paris tour. The study tour provided students with a once in a life time opportunity to experience business in an international context whilst gaining insights into leading companies and their leaders.
Throughout the immersion, students were encouraged to reflect on the importance of diversity, leadership and globalisation. The study tour focused on understanding the strategies of several best-in-class global companies. The students were tasked with understanding each company’s business model, competitive and operational environment. This resulted in a group project where the students had to conduct an in-depth strategic analysis of the allocated company with the aim of providing recommendations to identified challenges.
Industry visit #1: Bonduelle
The students were welcomed by Mr. Remi Baur, the Export Director of Bonduelle who outlined the company’s strategy and operations. This was followed by a factory tour and braved the freezing cold and went into a 50m high storage room with a temperature of -20 degrees. Bonduelle’s commitment to quality was highly apparent from its zero defect policy to its guarantee of fresh produce. Did you know that Bonduelle is a family business and is currently in its 7th generation of owners?
Industry visit #2: Microsoft Technology Centre
The next stop was Microsoft Technology Centre where Mr. Pierre Olivier Chotard, Manager of the Centre, took them on the “Microsoft Envisioning Tour”. The students were provided with the opportunity to interact with ‘La Vitre’, a virtual communication platform which allows one to chat real time in Scale 1 with people on the other side, augmented reality for training or repairs, to face and emotion recognition,
Industry visit #3: General Mills (Yoplait)
Our students were welcomed by Mr. Paul Soulie, Global Yoplait JV, who is in charge of Yoplait for the whole African Region. It was interesting to note that Yoplait ranks 2nd in the French yoghurt market after Danone. Yoplait’s focus is on creating a “pleasurable yoghurt experience” and they have exciting plans to convert the current packaging into bottled yoghurt. The students also were presented to “Fastshare system” – a collaborative platform aimed at best practice sharing across all Yoplait locations. Mauritius is registered on the platform and very interesting to see Yoplait’s efforts for idea sharing.
Industry visit #4: Imerys S.A
Last but not least, the students discovered Imerys S.A, the world’s leading mineral company specialised in the production and processing of industrial minerals and met with Mr. Greg Huttner, Global Head of Strategy and Customer Excellence. Mr. Huttner outlined the different types of minerals that Imerys sells and their various applications. It was also interesting to learn more about the company’s R&D agenda, which included the identification of new forms of rigid plastic to replace the metal in cars in order for them to be lighter and therefore more fuel-efficient.
Mitchell Tikiwa, Global MBA student from Zimbabwe, shared the following about the study tour experience: “the tour to France was incredible! It was a great opportunity to learn more about the French culture, its history and business practices. We had the opportunity to visit several leading, global companies which operate in different industries such as technology, agriculture, manufacturing and mining. All the companies emphasized the importance of constant innovation and adapting their business model to suite customer needs in different geographical markets.
Furthermore, they highlighted the necessity of operating ethically and having a content and motivated workforce. In essence, this tour helped me to be more open-minded when it comes to business and culture, I grew professionally and it has allowed me to think more globally and contributed to the development of my leadership skills – something I couldn’t have learnt in class”.
Jonathan Sandean, another MBA student, shared his feelings about the trip to Paris: “Personally my experience in Paris was fantastic. The study tour was really well organized and the learning outcomes were priceless. For the first time I was exposed to an international business environment. I had the opportunity to learn the ‘Paris’ culture and the business etiquette of the French people. I was particularly impressed during our meeting at Imerys and the charisma and professionalism a true global manager needs to have. I will make the most of my experience in Paris, particularly during my upcoming assignment for Intercultural communication and interaction”.