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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Real Situation Learning in a Chocolate Theatre

Zurich GEMBA Class Discovers Zotter Shanghai

June 6, 2018. Shanghai – CEIBS Global EMBA Zurich participants who are now in Shanghai for their China module on “Doing Business in China”, are benefitting from CEIBS’ Real Situation Learning (RSL) method, which combines a case study with a visit to the company being discussed. Associate Professor of International Business and Strategy Shameen Prashantham took them to the Zotter Chocolate Theatre in Shanghai, the subject of a case he wrote with CEIBS case writer Dr. Zhao Liman.

Instead of the typical classroom, he gave his lecture from the theater’s auditorium, explaining how the Austrian family business successfully expanded into China. The students also had a tour of the chocolate theatre, complete with videos that introduced the facility and explained how Zotter carefully sources organically produced coffee beans, overseeing every aspect of the chocolate producing process, from “bean to bar”. After the tour, Amy Fang, a CEIBS alumna, shared her experiences from the perspective of being Zotter’s local partner and fielded questions from the students. Prof. Prashantham observed that the Zotter China case has relevance to all three countries where CEIBS has a presence – Switzerland, which is famous for chocolate; Ghana, which is a major cocoa producer; and China which is the market that Zotter is addressing through its theatre in Shanghai.

“The RSL is a wonderful teaching tool, and using it was a fantastic experience for me, and I am sure the students enjoyed it too. What better way to learn than in a chocolate theatre!” said Prof. Prashantham. “I believe the Zurich GEMBAs now have a more concrete idea about doing business in China.”