Three teams of the CIIM MSc Business Management students successfully completed a ‘live’ case project to help develop a marketing strategy for a new painkiller made by Medochemie, the Limassol-based pharmaceutical giant that has disproved the often-heard excuse that Cyprus is too small to manufacture and export products to the global market. Our sincere congratulations to the winning team: Leana El Daccache, George Kakourides, Sara Demetriou and Ioannis Yianni!
The latest FT Business Education issue on Masters in Management Ranking 2018 emphasizes the growing importance of hands-on experience and other ways to make learning truly engaging and stimulating. The opening editorial article by Helen Barrett, the FT’s Work and Careers Editor, reflects on the fact that business schools begin to deal with the totally new generation of students – so-called generation Z – who have grown up in the Google era, in other words with unlimited access to information. These students are “curious, connected and fast – but their attention spans are alarmingly short,” notes Ms Barrett. Successful learning by such students is achieved not as they are given more ‘facts’ but when they are given help to focus, to organise the information, and to apply the theory in a relevant practical setting.
Leading European business schools – where the Masters in Management programmes thrive (while MBA programmes proliferate in the USA) – increasingly include real-life company projects into their academic curriculum to enrich the experience of their Master-level students and thus prepare them for a successful career in the challenging and dynamic business environment of today. Partnerships between corporations and business schools are of multipurpose nature and are highly beneficial to both sides.
CIIM’s Master of Science in Business Management (MBM), which targets the 23-27-year olds, the generation Z, has been running since 2011 as a very successful addition to the CIIM’s portfolio of master degrees. The MBM Programme has built several successful corporate partnership relationships – which are now used to the mutual benefit of the partners. One example of such a collaboration is a joint Live Case Project 2018 between CIIM MSc Business Management programme and Medochemie, the leading pharmaceutical company in Cyprus.
Medochemie is truly a role model for other companies and would-be entrepreneurs. Starting with just 8 employees and 3 machines in 1976, Medochemie developed itself into a mighty manufacturer of quality pharmaceuticals for the global market that has received numerous awards from the Cyprus government and from the European Union for outstanding performance. This company and its enterprising founder and Chairman Dr Andreas Pittas have disproved the often heard excuse that Cyprus is too small and too isolated and costly to manufacture and export products to the world market.
The Live Case Project 2018 was organised in cooperation with the Marketing department of Medochemie. Charis Theocleous, the Group Product Manager, introduced this Project to the selected MBM students in early May 2018. Commenting on the company’s motivation, Mr Theocleous noted: “Medochemie is a firm believer in standards and actions that promote the younger generation which has the enthusiasm, passion and innovation to progress and succeed in our ever-demanding era.”
It was a challenging practical experience to test the knowledge and skills gained during the MSc studies at CIIM. Three competing teams of selected master students worked over the period of May – September 2018 on a ‘live’ project: developing a 3-year marketing strategy for a new over-the-counter painkiller of Medochemie, Algofen Duofast. Each team’s tasks included primary field research, situation analysis, market segmentation, marketing action plan within a certain budget, and sales forecast. As Programme Director of the MBM, I worked with each team as their academic mentor in this project. The final presentations took place on September 14th, 2018, at one of the Medochemie’s facilities in Limassol.
The Case Project has turned out as highly beneficial for both sides. The company issued recommendation letters to express appreciation of the active participation by all three teams, and each participant individually:
Team 1: Andreas Michail, Evita Sizopoulou and Maria Pampaka
Team 2: Irene Andreou, Azadeh Ashari and Alma Suarez
Team 3: Leana El Daccache, George Kakourides, Sara Demetriou and Ioannis Yianni
The company has selected team 3 as the winner of this competition. We are happy to give our congratulations to the students of the winning team. Here is what they said about their experience during this project: “This project was indeed a very valuable experience for us. We come from very different backgrounds – architecture, events marketing, retail and sports, – and this project gave us an opportunity to learn about an industry we were never really exposed to. Working on a ‘live’ project, being able to share our own ideas with the Medochemie team, having to deal with the real-life budget limitations and at the same time searching for truly innovative ideas – this was a unique experience which made us much stronger as a team. We believe it was our team effort that allowed us to come first, and we are all so happy with this success!! A ‘live’ project like this is certainly a great way to motivate the students!”
CIIM would like to use the opportunity of this article to express sincere appreciation of the Medochemie’s active collaboration to support the business education process, which took many different forms, including in the past other projects such as the Live Case Project 2016 as well as the company visits which have been organized for the CIIM MBM students by the company’s HR department on a regular basis in the last seven years.
About the Author
Dr Olga Kandinskaia
Assistant Professor of Finance and Director of the MBM – MSc in Business Management
CIIM – Cyprus International Institute of Management