Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Data-driven corporate strategy

That title could pretty well summarize the previous session we had in school. It was a three-day weekend packed with classes and events. In the New Product Development class, we went into the details of conjoint analysis and how that can help derive insights about consumer interests in product choices. In the Competitive Strategy class, through case discussions around experience curves in the semiconductor industry, financial analysis for a new entrant in the carbonated soft drink market and profitability analysis of the airline industry, we delved into the depths of how useful data and analysis can drive good corporate strategy.

In our first exposure to International Corporate Finance, we learnt what a pain spot rates and forward contracts and "American  terms" and "European terms" are, and why its best to just stay domestic - well, maybe that wasn't the lecture, but that's how it felt :). Prof. Bodnar seems to be a great combination of Prof. Smetters' irreverence with Prof. Abel's dry wit and cerebral humor - all for the best. Looking forward to a lot of laughs in this class. Looks like Wharton Finance department does seem to have humor as a requirement for qualification, maybe to keep the subject matter more interesting.

The weekend was pretty eventful outside of classes as well. We had the CFO of Nordstrom, Mike Koppel visit us and talk to us about Nordstrom and their vision for the future. We barely let him get through the first half of his slides with all of our questions about  the company and their plans. Moreover, the class itself seemed to have several loyal customers. We also had Bain and Company present to the class about opportunities at Bain. Two Wharton alums and  current Bain employees, Unmesh and Amit were present as well.

The three-day weekend also gave me two nights at the Pub to chat with my new classmates and get to know some of them better. It was pretty amazing to see the number of folks with years of experience and interest in nonprofits in this class. So it was with entrepreneurship and class 37ers that have decided to start their own companies. Maybe these merit more detailed posts at a future date.

For now, we're bracing ourselves for the first busy weekend of this term - one midterm, class project, two homework assignments, one case report, three case readings and several other assigned reading chapters - all due in a short two-day session. Lets see how that goes!


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  2. Every each module and person will have their own strategy as how to do the things and get done. Nice post and thanks for sharing.