Our client was a serial entrepreneur who was looking for suggestions on a new business channel for his big idea. Right from our introductory meet he had been extremely generous with time and information. I could not help but think how much more enriching an experience it would have been if the world were still ‘doing normal’: we would have been in Lisbon, sipping meia de leite while we exchanged ideas.
Working from our homes in these pandemic times has taken away a lot in terms of in-person experience. In return though, it has provided a window to metaphorically “stand and stare”, to quote William H. Davies. This is the first time since 2011 that I have been home for such a long period of time at a stretch.
We started our International Consulting Project on the Monday the 2nd of June. In a discussion around how to make the offering customer-centric, the perspectives that came from my team opened avenues of exploration from angles that I would not have approached from. This is purely down to the diverse cohort that the FT MBA class of 2020 is. I had a team of MBA students with backgrounds in medicine, music, operations, technology, and consulting having a crack (also craic!) at a flow design problem.
After three days of intense work and daily meetings with our stakeholders, we had come up with what we believed was the right way to design the product for the new channel. This was based on market research conducted through surveys, statistics from the market, and academic literature. The data provided by the client on usage in the existing channel also helped us formulate our solution and provide substance to our suggestions.
The highlight was the client agreeing to think on our recommendations and even implementing some of our proposals in the final product to be released in August.
The plan was ready. Three of us would present, then Peter, Sachin, and Sahil would take questions that came our way from the audience. All the effort that the team had put into the International Consulting Project was to be showcased within the next 15 minutes.
“You go first, Satyaki,” said Grace and Eamonn. My heart pumping…
—Satyaki Ganguly, Full-time MBA Class of 2020