CEIBS MBAs Collaborate with Alum at Henkel China on Big Data Project

April 21, 2017. Shanghai – A group of CEIBS MBA 2018 students are combining their marketing and technology expertise to help German multinational Henkel devise a strategy for growing its sales using big data. Their efforts are part of the MBA Programme’s Integrated China Strategy Project (ICSP), which gives students hands-on experience working with a company to address important strategic challenges.

“Essentially the goal for us in ICSP is to figure out how to utilize big data and transform it into business insights to grow sales.  Originally the scope was limited to Henkel’s cosmetics business unit, but following three visits, several conference calls and participation in their digitalization workshop, we have been given the chance to understand various data management challenges across all business units,” explains MBA student Caroline Zhu, who is the team leader for the project. Her ICSP project team includes her classmates Alex Wu, Danny Peng, Guanshi Wang and Lisa Li. Besides beauty care, Henkel has industrial and consumer business units covering adhesive technology and home care.

Coordinating the project from within Henkel is CEIBS MBA 2015 Shuqing Wang, who did an ICSP project at Dupont while a student. “The biggest takeaway for me was the impact it had on my job search, giving me plenty of ammunition to discuss during interviews,” said Wang, who is Transformation APAC Manager at Henkel (China).

Zhu said the ICSP project is helping to support her industry switch away from B2B marketing to explore other career avenues. “The most challenging aspect to date has been to develop a deep understanding of Henkel’s unique organizational structure within a short time frame,” she said. “Thankfully a series of workshops with management has helped to get the team up to speed.”

Under the mentorship of CEIBS Professor of Strategy and International Business Klaus E. Meyer, the Henkel ICSP team is now focusing their efforts on benchmarking competitors and exploring data management technologies before making their final presentation in May.

This year’s Integrated China Strategy Projects are organized around the theme “The Digital Economy and Other Market Disruptions”. The projects currently underway explore topics such as Internet of Things, sustainability, smart logistics and virtual reality. Each project takes about two and a half months for the students to complete.