International Study Tour to Africa’s Best Schools

30 March 2018

SE MBA class 2018 is back from the South Africa where they participated in the two-week study tour provided by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), MIM’s partners. The tour is aimed at learning more about doing business in dynamic and culturally diverse markets impacted by the political instability.

The study tour program consisted of two parts Johannesburg based and Cape Town based. During the first leg of the tour the class listened to the lectures of Prof. Nick Binedell, GIBS Senior Faculty and the founding dean and Abdullah Verachia, CEO, The Strategists, GIBS Faculty. Both GIBS quintessential lectures introduced the overall market situation, its dynamics and development drivers. The in-class activities were complemented by the visits to the companies representing Gauteng area core businesses. In particular, the founders, CEOs and c-level executives of the Premier Foods, Accenture, Zetta Solutions, and Woolworths Distribution Centre participated in the meetings. In the evening Mr. Tshepo Phakathi, the rock star of entrepreneur gave a talk and discussed doing business with the class.

The Cape Town leg hosted by the USB featured the school’s prominent faculty and businesses. Classes by Prof. Andre Roux, Dr. Jako Volschenk, Mr. Gavin Cowley, etc. presented the business and academic challenges the South Africa economy is facing. Owners and executives of the leading agricultural companies (Two-a-Day, Fairview, etc.), logistics and media business (On the Dot, etc.), and multinational businesses (Elizabeth Arden/Revlon, etc.) hosted their companies visits.

The SAR economy is a developing one, it is suffering from the consequences of apartheid it is struggling with the problems similar to the Ukrainian ones rather than with those of Western Europe and the US. Such situation is favorable to sharing the experiences, honing the skills necessary to operate in those markets and cope with the challenges businesses are facing in the fast-changing environments. “South Africa is the country which crushes any stereotype you may have,” Dr. Vadym Saveliev, MIM faculty and academic coordinator of the program said. “The tour is helpful in seeing the different perspective, and the most important in breaking the geographical borders. After the trip, we think of the whole world as our playground.”