August 20, 2012 5:23 pm

MBA Challenge Q&A – Team Vision

Friedemann Schulze-Fielitz PFEATURES

Friedemann Schulze-Fielitz, MBA student at HEC Paris

Team Vision is one of six teams short-listed for our MBA Challenge. In an FT interview, team members explain their motivation.

Why did you enter the challenge?

Friedmann: I identified with the challenge as I have needed glasses since I was a little boy. Learning to write a business plan will be helpful for the future. And there is also the opportunity to compete at an international level with other teams. Within my MBA programme, we are 28 [students], you get to know everyone very well and learn, but aside from that it is good to see where you stand.

Rahul: The project presented a great opportunity to work with a multinational team for an organisation that has been doing a fabulous job in terms of helping people with visual impairment live a dignified life. Sightsavers also has a huge operation base in India which was another big motivation. I have worked for a social enterprise in Rajasthan and written for The Better India, a portal promoting work being done by non-profit organisations throughout India.

Why do you think your business plan should be chosen?

Friedmann: We take a realistic approach [and] do not try to re-invent the wheel. I think it is important to rely on Sightsavers’ local partners and expertise. The use of celebrities will be a hookline for the media.

Malik: We knew we were lacking some creativity but felt that initially [a realistic approach] would top fancy ideas. We are now working on being more creative.

How have you found the experience of working with students in other regions?

Friedmann: Different points of view lead to strong brainstorming as team members possess different knowledge, expertise and problem-solving approaches. I have two Indian team mates so they [provide] the best cultural approach on infrastructures, for example.

Rahul: The variety of different ideas is a breath of fresh air [though] sometimes the solutions tend to be a bit far-fetched and it can be difficult to take them all in to form a well-defined strategy.

How do you feel your MBA has helped you with the challenge?

Friedmann: Knowing how to work in a team is essential for both the MBA and the challenge.

Rahul: A non-profit organisation is quite similar to any other organisation, especially in terms of a marketing and communications perspective so I am using the marketing strategy learnt on my MBA programme.

Compiled by Charlotte Clarke

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