The Chair for International Management at the University of Fribourg/Switzerland has been established in September 2007. It has been made possible by generous donations by the multinational companies Liebherr and Richemont.

The chair is responsible for the "Master of Arts in European Business" (click here for a detailed description of the programme). The chair focuses on research and teaching in the fields of International Management, with a particular focus on European Business.

The holder of the chair is Prof. Dr. Dirk Morschett.

Some Highlights of the Past Years

In addition to the regular lectures, the chair has organised a number of special events, like excursions or guest lectures. Some of them are presented below.

Guest lecture by Dr. Rodin Lederle, Head of Business Management NI & MOD, Schindler, together with Alumni SES

In a joint event with the alumni organization of the faculty, “Alumni SES”, under its president Prof. Hans Lichtsteiner, we had the pleasure to welcome Dr. Rodin Lederle, Head of Business Management of New Installations and Modernization at Schindler and former student of the University of Fribourg, to give us an insight into Schindler’s international strategy and its success factors. After giving an overview of Schindler’s products and showing some reference installations worldwide, Dr. Lederle showed the global presence of the company, pointing out China as the world’s biggest market for elevators and escalators. He then gave an outline of Schindler’s innovations and emphasized the focus of the company on safety. He explained that customers, employees, processes and products would, through Schindler’s “Digital Business Transformation”, gain more value and achieve a higher efficiency. Dr. Lederle completed his presentation with a fruitful Q&A session.

Visit to coop@home and Swiss Post Parcel Center

On April 28th 2016 a group of students from the Chair for International Mana-gement had the privilege of visiting coop@home’s distribution center in Spreitenbach. Philippe Huwyler, Managing Director, gave the group an insightful and engaging presentation about the world of online food distribution in Switzerland. In addition to outlining elements of coop@home’s strategy and current market position, Mr. Huwyler also gave the group at look at some of the key challenges and opportunities that exist for coop@home in the future. The group was then taken on a tour of the distribution facility, where they had a detailed look at how a modern food distribution center works, touching every food category from fresh produce to frozen products. Mr. Huwyler continually emphasized coop @home’s commitment to service and quality as ways of distinguishing  their service offering from that of other online grocery retailers. The tour finished with a Q&A session.
The group then continued their trip to Härkingen and had the opportunity to view the Swiss Post’s Post Parcel Center. The  group was taken on a guided tour of the center, after being given a short introduction to the world of the Swiss Post, and the important role it plays on the Swiss market not only from the perspective of a mail and parcel delivery service, but also as a logistics and financial services provider, and as one of the largest employers in the country. They were shown exactly how the parcel  center operates, from the moment a parcel arrives at the depot, how they are processed within the center, what happens when address labels are incorrect or incomplete, and finally how parcels are dispatched to other distribution centers, and to the end customer. The evening wrapped up with a short de-brief over coffee and light snacks, courtesy of the Swiss Post.

GUEST LECTURE BY BAK BASEl

As part of Europe Day 2016, the University of Fribourg had the pleasure of welcoming Mr. Kai Gramke from the Swiss-based economic research and consultancy firm BAK Basel Economics. He was able to distill the most pertinent points about the applicability of the bilateral agreements for Swiss companies during his interactive and engaging presentation. In order to set the stage for the presentation, Mr. Gramke gave an overview of the world economy and its relation to the economic balance of power over time, and discussed the importance of trade liberalization, where Switzerland comes out on top. He then discussed many important elements about the current state of the bilateral agreements between Switzerland and the EU. He was able to paint a very interesting picture about the true cost of cancelling the bilateral agreements, and how that will affect businesses in Switzerland. The presentation concluded with a series of thoughtful and engaging questions from faculty and students.

Guest lecture by Erwin Kaelin, Head of Developing Markets at Geberit International


On December 14th 2015 Mr. Erwin Kaelin, Head of Developing Markets at Geberit International, gave a guest lecture to students in the European Marketing, Fundamentals of International Management, and Management in Emerging Countries courses on "Market Development at Geberit". The lecture focused on Geberit’s emerging markets strategy. Mr. Kaelin detailed the company’s competitive strength which is their unique ability to deliver smart, innovative and integrated solutions to their clients by leveraging a unique composition of Swiss Know-How. Mr. Kaelin also introduced students to the concepts of push and pull marketing and their implication on market development at Geberit, which was nicely tied together during a very active and engaging discussion session at the end of the lecture.

Guest lecture by Dimitrios Karampis, HR Manager at Philip Morris SA

Mr. Dimitrios Karampis, HR Manager at Philip Morris SA, accepted an invitation by the Chair for International Management to give a guest lecture on “Human Resources Management at Philip Morris SA". This lecture took place on December 7th, 2015, for students in the course Fundamentals of International Management. After giving an overview of the company, Mr. Karampis took students on a journey through the world of HRM by introducing them to various aspects of the field, such as Talent Acquisition, Compensation & Benefits, Learning & Technology, while reinforcing the importance of Diversity & Inclusion in the business world today. He stressed the significance of Human Resource Management by emphasizing the idea that businesses are ultimately built by people. After the presentation, students had the opportunity to ask Mr. Karampis questions related to HRM at Philip Morris SA during a lively Q&A session.

Guest lecture by Thomas Truttmann, VP Marketing, Communications, Public Affairs & Supply Chain at McDonald’s

Mr. Thomas Truttmann, former student at the University of Fribourg, and VP Marketing, Communications, Public Affairs & Supply Chain at McDonald’s Switzerland, was invited, for a joint event with the Alumni SES association, to give a guest lecture to students on the Story of McDonald’s in Switzerland. After giving an overview of the company and its worldwide evolution over the years, Mr. Truttmann introduced students to the particular aspects of McDonald’s operation in Switzerland, from menu items and local sourcing, to the importance of people at McDonald’s, and the increasing relevance of technology and innovation to the company. Throughout the lecture students were encouraged to participate and ask questions, which ensured an active, engaging and extremely informative presentation.

GUEST LECTURE BY lukas bucheli, group product manager, savencia fromage & dairy deutschland

Mr. Lukas Bucheli, former student at the University of Fribourg and Group Product Manager at Savencia Fromage & Dairy Deutschland (formerly Bongrain Deutschland), was invited by the Chair for International Management to give a guest lecture to students in the European Marketing course on “Consumer Insights at Savencia”. After giving a brief overview of the company, Mr. Bucheli introduced students to the main principles of consumer insights, and explained how those insights are used to support Savencia’s marketing strategy by enabling the company to get closer to their customers. Through a case study, the main principles of consumer insights were then applied, in a very practical way, to one of Savencia’s main products. Mr. Bucheli showed how insights played a key role in the successful positioning the product in multiple European markets, ultimately leading to an increase in market share. The presentation concluded with an active discussion, where students had the opportunity to ask more detailed questions about the group’s use of consumer insights.

GUEST LECTURE BY DR. KRISZTINA FRANKO, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF DEBRECEN / HUNGARY

In the lecture on Managerial Aspects of European and Global Integration, the Chair for International Management invited Assistant Professor Dr. KrisztinaFrankofrom the University of Debrecen / Hungary in January 2015. Dr. Franko gave an insightful presentation on Hungary and its relation to the European Union. After a short introduction, enriched with general information about Hungary, Dr. Franko talked about the main economic factors and drivers in Hungary and its general importance for the country. This was followed by an overview on the Hungarian integration until its membership in the European Union. Then, Dr. Franko examined in detail the impact of the integration in the EU for Hungary. In doing so, the focus was set on the impact of the membership on foreign investment in different industry sectors, on the Hungarian healthcare system and on agriculture. The presentation was complemented with a lively Q&A session with the audience.

PRESENTATION BY KURT HAERRI, HEAD Of GLOBAL MARKETING AND SALES, SCHINDLER

On December 10th, the students of Fundamentals of International Management and Doing Business in China lectures enjoyed a very enthusiastic and passionate presentation from Mr. Haerri on Schindler’s Business Strategy in China. Mr. Haerri in his presentation gave a brief historical overview of the company and shortly introduced Schindler’s product portfolio to the students. He then explained the remarkable growth of China (and Asia) providing examples of the Chinese urbanization and infrastructure development in the last years. Using figures and examples from construction, Mr. Haerri showed that the mere “dimension” of China in comparison with any other country, in terms of population, demand, speed, etc. is enormous and requires the full attention of companies from other countries. Kurt Haerri spoke about the past and current challenges of Schindler illustrating them with numerous examples, stories and hard figures. Based on the gathered experience he also provided insights of how to do business in China, going far beyond the usual superficial statements and into very insightful recommendations. The presentation was followed by a Q&A session with the students.

Presentation by Oliver Staerkle, Key Account Manager for Henniez, Nestlé Waters Switzerland

In the lecture on Distribution Strategies and Retailing in Europe, the Chair for International Management invited Oliver Staerkle, a former student in the MA in European Business and now Key Account Manager Nestlé Waters Switzerland in December 2014. Mr. Staerkle gave an interesting and informative presentation, starting with an overview on the Swiss retail landscape and ist particularities. This was followed by insights, how Nestlé Waters cooperates with its retail clients. Furthermore, Oliver Staerkle explained the strategic tasks of key account management and brand management who jointly create the success for a company, KAM with a stronger focus on the retail customer, brand managagement with a stronger focus on the consumer pull. This was complemented by a description and detailed explanation of the specific role of the key account manager. The presentation was concluded through a practical case and followed by a vivid fruitful discussion with the audience.

Presentation by Stefan Heissler, Managing Director, Liebherr

In the Fundamentals of International Management lecture, in December 2014, Mr. Heissler, gave an interesting and informative presentation on the International Management at Liebherr. He first introduced the company with a short historical overview and the current businesses and he showed its impressive growth in the last 60 years. Mr. Heissler explained that Liebherr has changed the organisational structure from the country divisions to product divisions which are led by divisional controlling companies. The focal point of the presentation dealt with the key success factors of Liebherr. Among others, Mr. Heissler mentioned the importance of diversification (Liebherr operates in 11 product divisions ranging from refrigerators and freezers to Maritime cranes and mobile cranes), organic growth (which allows avoidance of integration problems and ensuring the integration of each unit into the overall corporate culture), customer proximity (which is especially relevant in B2B markets), de-centralisation as well as the family ownership. The presentation concluded with the lively discussion with the audience.

Presentation by Roland Frefel, Head of Categoy Management Fresh Products/Gastronomy, Coop

In the lecture on Distribution Strategies and Retailing in Europe, the Chair for International Management invited in December 2014 Roland Frefel, Head of Categoy Management Fresh Products/Gastronomy at Coop. Mr Frefel gave an interesting presentation on the Coop group, the category management at Coop as well as sustainability initiatives within the Coop group. First, the sales and specialist formats as well as the online formats of Coop as well as Coop’s manufacturing companies were presented. This was followed by explaining the competitive position in the Swiss retail market and deeper insights of the category management process at Coop. Hereby, the philosophy, definition, organisational structure as well as the goals of Coop’s category management were in focus. Finally, the sustainability strategy of Coop was visualised. The presentation was complemented by a fruitful discussion between Mr. Frefel and the audience.

Presentation by Werner Dirks, General Manager Schweiz, La Prairie Group

Werner Dirks, General Manager Switzerland at La Prairie Group, was invited in November 2014 by the Chair for International Management in collaboration with the Institute for Value-based Enter-prise (IVE). The highly interesting presentation in front of a large audience focused on Management and Distribution at La Prairie as well as on leadership. After introducing the company, Mr. Dirks gave interesting insights about the luxury cosmetics brand La Prairie. This was followed by explanations of the distribution structure and developments in distribution, enriched by outstanding examples from Switzerland. Finally, Mr. Dirks gave fruitful implications concerning leadership and management issues and was very open to answer the many questions from a vivid discussion with the students.

Presentation by Dr. Rolf Soiron, Chairman at Lonza


In cooperation with the IVE – The Institute for Value-based Enterprise, the Chair for International Management invited Dr. Rolf Soiron, Chairman at Lonza and former president of the board of directors of Holcim, in October 2014. Dr. Soiron gave an interesting presentation on ”Leadership vs. Management” at Lonza. After defining, what management is and what constitutes a good manager by transforming resources into customer value, Dr. Soiron highlighted the biggest misunderstandings on management in general. He emphasized the role of management which modern leadership literature sometimes tends to downplay. Moreover, core principles as well as important tasks and tools for managers were investigated and discussed with the audience. Dr. Soiron also emphasized what constitutes leadership and the need of active learning for being a successful leader, enriched with fruitful examples based on his own work experience.

Presentation by Valentin Wepfer, Director of Collaborative Supply-Chains and Deputy CEO at GS1 Switzerland

Valentin Wepfer, Director of Collaborative Supply-Chains and Deputy CEO at GS1 Switzerland, gave in May 2013 an interesting presentation on collaborations, how collaborations can be achieved and collaboration platforms for companies. After introducing this highly relevant topic, Mr. Wepfer illustrated necessary preconditions for collaborations, as well as influence factors, drivers, opportunities and barriers and discussed them with the students. Instead of merely focusing on the operative issues of collaboration, Mr. Wepfer emphasized the relevance of the right attitude towards collaboration in order to make it work. In the second part, Valentin Wepfer highlighted topics of ECR, presented national ECR Initiatives in Europe, the global ECR Network as well as the role of GS1 Switzerland in it. Moreover, the successful organisation of collaboration platforms was explained. GS1 Switzerland is the professional association for sustainable value creation networks.

Round-table debate with Christiane Arndt, OECD, and Philippe Allard, European Banking Authority, together with SNIS

Together with the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS), the Chair for International Management organized a round-table debate on governance on March 10, 2014. In particular the link between public governance and corporate governance was highlighted in the debate in which the issue of why regulation is necessary and which effects regulation has, was debated. Christiane Arndt from OECD opened the event with an introductory presentation on the measurement of regulatory policy and governance. She explained how the impact of regulation can be measured and is measured by national and European-level authorities. Here, she also presented some OECD recommendations on this issue. Furthermore, she pointed out that one has to be careful to interpret the indicators in the correct way, e.g. when trying to evaluate a specific foreign country by the means of governance indicators. It is important not to only rely on top-level indicators but to understand of which dimensions an indicator is composed of. Philippe Allard focused on the regulation in a specific sector, i.e. banks. He explained why banks need to be supervised and he explained the main frameworks and tools for banking regulation and banking supervision. After the introductory statements, both experts were discussing the questions from the audience in a long and in-depth debate. The interesting discussion was continued after the official part of the debate in the context of an apéro to which the experts and the students were invited by the organizers.
 

PRESENTATION BY MARKUS VOGT, HEAD OF SALES AND MARKETING, RICOLA

In December 2013, Mr. Vogt, Head of Sales and Marketing at Ricola, gave an interesting presentation on the marketing in the mid-sized, family owned Swiss company, which is present in over 50 markets worldwide.The main highlights of the presentation included the introduction of the new marketing campaign of Ricola "Chrüterchraft".

Mr. Vogt explained campaigns' global design with the possibility of local modifications in the form of voice overs and parts of the spot that can be exchanged (following a glocal strategy). He then gave an overview of diverse marketing instruments used by the company (promotion, product, price and place) as well as the challenges the Ricola encounters in different markets. Very interesting was also the presentation of some coordination mechanisms that the company uses to implement the international strategy in an aligned way in the different countries. The presentation ended with many questions from the audience and a lively discussion.
 

Presentation by Robin Barraclough, Chief Marketing Officer, Emmi

In November 2013, Mr. Barraclough, Chief Marketing Officer at Emmi, gave an interesting presentation for the students in European Marketing class entitled: "Making Milk Marketing Matter Multinationally".

Mr. Barraclough introduced the well-known Swiss company and gave an overview of the competitors of Emmi. He then spoke about marketing activities, philosophy of the company and the importance of innovation in the area of fast moving consumer goods. He emphasized the crucial role that thinking globally but winning locally (following the glocal strategy) plays for Emmi. He also explained the required marketing spending to establish and maintain a brand, even in a rather small market like Switzerland. Based on this, he described how Emmi has been reducing its brand portfolio in order to focus on a few power brands globally. These are structures in Emmi's "house of brands". In order to better illustrate these concepts, Mr. Barraclough used practical examples and emphasized the key message that particular brands portray. Last, but not least, he showed the opportunities that Emmi offers as an employer for the present students. The presentation ended with questions from the audience and an active discussion.
 

Presentation By Andreas Baud, International Marketing Director, Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrance

In a European Marketing lecture in November 2013, Andreas Baud, International Marketing Director for Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrance, gave an interesting presentation on the company, its products, the challenges and international marketing activities.

Mr. Baud introduced the company and showed the portfolio of products that the company offers on the market – ranging from the famous Swiss Army Knife, watches, fashion, travel gear, and, recently added, fragrances. He spoke to the students about the challenges that Victorinox is facing- one of which is the modification of the Swisness regulation, which commands the amount of Swiss components and percentage of work done in the country in order for the products to be labelled "made in Switzerland" and carry the red Swiss cross. While this is the case for the knives and the fragrances, the situation is different for travel gear which is sold under a licensing agreement with a US company. Furthermore, Mr. Baud emphasised the challenge to create a uniform brand positioning for the wide product range of its products and to coordinate the international activities which are partially carried out by own subsidiaries in foreign markets but partially also by independent distributors. The presentation ended with examples of the possible solutions the company could apply and an interesting and lively discussion with the students.
 

Presentation by the CEO of the Sika Group

In a speech in the MA in European Business in November 2013, Jan Jenisch, CEO of the Sika Group and alumni of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of our university, gave exciting insights into Sika's global expansion strategy.

Sika is a specialty chemicals company supplying the building and construction industry as well as manufacturing industries, in particular automotive manufacturers. After a short introduction in Sika's product portfolio, Mr. Jenisch presented the target markets, e.g. roofing, flooring, waterproofing, and then, extensively the growth model of the
company. The presentation was well linked to the international business theories that are taught in the lectures and Mr. Jenisch categorized Sika as a transnational organisation by discussing the specific characteristics of this organisational model. The focus of the presentation was on the companies' engagement in emerging markets in which Sika by now achieves almost 40% of its global turnover, with substantial growth rates. Furthermore, Jan Jenisch pointed out key success factors for the international business of Sika.

As usual, the presentation was followed by an intense discussion with the students who also welcomed the opportunity to discuss not only with the CEO of Sika but also with Robert Urban, Head of Corporate HR, who accompanied Mr. Jenisch at his visit of our university.
 

PRESENTATION BY Erland Brügger, CEO, Rivella

In the European Marketing lecture in October 2013, Erland Brügger, CEO of Rivella, presented the company and the internationalization of Rivella to the students in the MA in European Business.
Mr. Brügger shortly presented the history of Rivella and its very strong position in the Swiss softdrinks market as well as the international activities of the company in a few European markets. Mr. Brügger spoke very openly to the students about the challenges that the company faces as well the past attempts of conquering the German market. He presented successful and less successful examples of campaigns and activities in Germany. In particular, he presented the future approach of Rivella for this large market, which was the core topic in the discussion with the students after the presentation.
 

Presentation by Lukas Schulthess, Senior Brand Manager, NIVEA for Men

In the lecture on European Marketing in October 2013, Lukas Schulthess, Senior Brand Manager for the Beiersdorf brand NIVEA for Men, gave an interesting speech on European Marketing at Beiersdorf.
Mr. Schulthess presented the history of the NIVEA brand as well as organizational aspects of the company such as the brand portfolio. In the focus of his presentation was the question of local marketing versus global marketing of Beiersdorf. L. Schulthess presented insights and detailed examples of which marketing measures for NIVEA for Men are defined on an international level and which marketing measures are locally adapted to the particular market conditions in Switzerland. The presentation was very well received by the students and it was followed by a lively discussion with the speaker.
Furthermore, Lukas Schulthess presented career opportunities for management students at Beiersdorf. He himself has graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of our university only a few years ago.

Study Trip to Bangkok in June 2013

In June 2013, the Chair for International Management has organized, for the third time, a summer school in Bangkok in cooperation with a leading local university, the College of Management of the Mahidol University. Professors from Mahidol University gave the students insights into different aspects of Management in South-East Asia, e.g. in cultural particularities, negotiation styles, technology management, branding and other fields of management and marketing. We are very grateful that executives from (mostly Western) companies that are active in Thailand gave presentations to the Fribourg students at the university, including DKSH and Garant Möbel. An attorney-at-law from a German-Thai law firm explained the legal framework for direct investment in Thailand.  
And two companies, Svarowski and Liebherr, even allowed the students to visits their factories in Thailand. While both factories are, obviously, strongly different, both companies gave the students unique insights into their production processes and the particularities of business activities in Thailand. Last, but not least, in the evenings and on the weekend, social and cultural events, such as visits to the Grand Palace, a cooking school or a bike tour through Bangkok in the evening, were organised that gave the students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge about the Thai culture.
 

Presentation by Christoph Rief, Managing Director, and Jérôme Meyer, Director Operations, Aldi Suisse Domdidier

In May 2013, Christoph Rief and Jérôme Meyer from Aldi Suisse presented the marketing and sales strategy at Aldi. In Switzerland, Aldi operates three distribution centers in Domdidier, Schwarzenbach, and Dagmarsellen to serve more than 160 stores. Besides the company history, also the business model, organizational structures and the conviction of the company were shown. Furthermore, Mr. Rief and Mr. Meyer presented career opportunities and perspectives at Aldi Suisse and were open for discussion and answered questions.
 

Presentation by Allessandro Rigoni, Commercial Director, Nestlé Suisse

Also in May 2013, Allessandro Rigoni, Commercial Director at Nestlé Suisse, one of the world biggest food and beverage companies, located near Lausanne at Lac Léman, talked to the students in the course of Distribution Strategies and Retailing in Europe. The aim of Mr. Rigoni’s speech was to provide further insights on the Nestlé Group, the Swiss market and its particularities as well as issues and opportunities from a retailer and manufacturer point of view.
 
 

Presentation by Laurent Vonmoos, Director Sales Switzerland, Philip Morris S.A.

Laurent Vonmoos, Director Sales Switzerland at Philip Morris S.A. gave, also in May 2013, another interesting presentation about the distribution strategy of Philip Morris in Switzerland. After introducing Philip Morris from an international point of view, combined with a market analysis of the tobacco market, the distribution strategy in Switzerland was presented. Furthermore, the strategy of Margot & Cie S.A., a specialized Swiss tobacco wholesaler, was presented. After the presentation, Mr. Vonmoos and a colleague, who recently started as a trainee at PMI, as well as Claude Denti, Director of Margot, were available for answering questions.
 

Presentation by Oliver Bertschinger, Regional Director Europe of OSEC Business Network Switzerland...

In May 2012, on the invitation of Prof Dirk Morschett, Oliver Bertschinger explained to the students from the University of Fribourg the internationalisation capabilities of Swiss companies and the framework requirements in different European markets. He pointed out the main success factors of the Swiss export economy, which is continuously growing in several sectors despite financial crisis and strong appreciation of the Swiss Franc. He also brought students attention, to the problems which resulted from the currency movements.


...and Miguel Fonollosa, Leader Swiss Business Hub Poland (OSEC)


Mr Miguel Fonollosa  reported, on the same occasion, on an excellent progress in Poland and high economic growth, as compared to other European countries during the last few years. He concluded that Polish market offers attractive prospects for Swiss companies.

 

Excursion to Coop national distribution centre...

In April 2012 students of the Chair for International Management had an opportunity to visit logistic centre and observe how the logistics concepts are integrated in practice. During a visit to the national distribution centre of Coop in Wangen near Olten, René Christ, an expert in the field, explained the logistic strategy of the company and the most important logistic processes. Together with a colleague he guided the group though the huge warehouse. Students were showed detailed flow of goods, including the goods receiving processes, the stockpiling, the consignment and the goods issuing to the different regional warehouses.

...and coop@home

The concept of an online grocery shop was illustrated to a group of students during their visit at coop@home in Spreitenbach. The managing director Philippe Huwyler, the marketing manager Ellen Brasse and the logistic manager Thomas Rossel explained to the students the business model and the marketing concept of an online food delivery service. Managers gave students a tour around the distribution centre and were at students’ disposal for question and answer session. While food online shops in Germany barely exist, coop@home has been successful in Switzerland for many years.
 

Presentation by Reto Aeschbacher
Head of Marketing, Scott Sports

In December 2011, Reto Aeschbacher, Head of Marketing, Scott Sports, a company that is a global leader in the development, manufacturing, sales and marketing of high end performance products intended for biking, wintersport, motosport and other sports, and which is located in Fribourg, talked to the students in the course on European Marketing and presented the international marketing strategy of the company.
 

Presentation by Carles Brand, Head of Marketing, Tetrapak

Also in December 2011, another interesting presentation took place at the University of Fribourg. Charles Brand, Vice President Marketing and Product Management of Tetrapak International, explained to the students marketing processes of the global, leading producer in packaging. Mr Brand started working in the head office of Tetrapak, after he made a career in Great Britain, United States and in Taiwan. In the presentation he explained the new product development process at Tetrapak cooperation process between the headquarters, the company and market organisations in the host country. 
 

Presentation by Georges Kern, CEO
of the luxury watch brand IWC

In November 2011, Georges Kern, CEO of the luxury watch brand International Watch Company IWC gave a lecture on the global marketing of IWC at the University of Fribourg. He presented the positioning aspects of different watch models (for instance Pilot, Portuguese, and Portofino). He also illustrated on the example of an extensive case study, how the campaign for the Portofino model was developed.

 

Presentation by Annette Heimlicher, Director of Corporate Development, Contrinex

Also in November 2011, Annette Heimlicher, Director of Corporate Development, Contrinex, presented the internationalisation strategy of this company to the students in the Master in European Business. Contrinex is a world leading manufacturer of inductive and photoelectric sensors. Since its foundation in 1972, Contrinex has grown from a one-man concern into a small multi-national Group employing over 500 people worldwide. However, it still concentrates exclusively on the development, manufacturing and sales of sensing equipment for industrial applications. Annette Heimlicher explained in detail, using cases from specific countries, how Contrinex enters a foreign market and also discussed how to coordinate foreign subsidiaries.

 

Presentation by Lukas Bucheli, Brand Manager at Nivea Schweiz

In October 2011 Lukas Bucheli, Brand Manager at Nivea Schweiz, gave a presentation on the International Marketing of the company. Using an example of a new product development- a shower gel, he illustrated how Nivea launches such products on the international markets. Furthermore he explained different organisational aspects. Since Thomas Bucheli completed his master degree in Fribourg University only few years ago, the presentation was also highly interesting for the students from the point of career entry and career with an international company.

 

Study Trip to Bangkok in July 2009 and in July 2011

In July 2009 and July 2011, the Chair for International Management has organised a summer school in Bangkok in cooperation with a leading local university, the CMMU. With a mix of lecturer from academics, presentations of practitioners and company visits, e.g. at Colgate and Liebherr, students had the unique opportunity to collect own experience in this country.


Presentation by Günter Verheugen, Former Vice-president of the European Commission and responsible Commissioner for Industry and Corporation 

On the occasion of Day of Europe in May 2011, Günter Verheugen, Former Vice-president of the European Commission and responsible Commissioner for Industry and Corporation, gave a talk on the chances and challenges in connection with the expansion of the European Union. Mr. Verheugen, held an office in the European Commission between 1999 and 2004 and was responsible for the political expansion of the EU. He had a significant influence on shaping of the European Union’s politics.
 

Presentation by Paul Fries, member of supervisory board and shareholder at SeaKing

In April 2011, Dr Paul Fries, member of supervisory board and shareholder at SeaKing, gave a presentation on international value-added processes in the company. SeaKing is the world market leader for gastronomic facilities (such as large-scale catering establishments) for the cruise liners. Many company activities, such as selling, are handled by the Swiss headquarters. Finland is responsible for most of the engineering services. Construction is carried out in a wholly owned subsidiary in Poland. Finally kitchen facilities for the cruise liners are installed in different European shipyards. The coordination of those complex international processes were emphasised in the presentation by Mr Fries.
 

Presentation by Michel Grandchamps, Head of New Business at T-Systems Switzerland  

Also in April 2011, on the invitation of the Chair for International Management,  Michel Grandchamps, Head of New Business at T-Systems Switzerland gave a talk entitled “Nearshoring at T-Systems”, at the University of Fribourg. He spoke to the students about different IT-services which T-Systems offers to its customers. Mr Grandchamps also explained the international division of work in the company, in order to put those IT services at clients disposal. Furthermore, two of his colleagues from T-Systems, who recently graduated from Fribourg University, briefly described career opportunities in this company, which can be found in subsidiaries exist all over the world. 



Executive Talks by Roland Frefel, Coop

In the lecture on distribution strategies and retailing, two top-executives of a Swiss consumer goods manufacturer and a Swiss retail company gave presentations to the students.In November 2010, Roland Frefel, responsible for the Category Management of Basic Foods and Beverages at Coop, explained the complex business of Switzerland’s largest retail company. He discussed the different distribution channels and their development with the students. In particular, the developments in the merchandise mix (e.g. the strategies with regard to store brands) were treated as well as the category management process.
 

Presentation by Alessandro Rigoni, Nestlé 

In December 2010, Alessandro Rigoni, Commercial Director at Nestlé Switzerland, a close business partner of Coop, talked to the students about the particularities of the Swiss distribution landscape and how the global market leader in consumer goods – Nestlé – adapts to the local market conditions. The developments in the retail market, e.g. concerning the development of brands and store brands, were discussed with the students and the strategies of Nestlé to cope with those developments.
 

 

Presentation by Erwin Kälin, Geberit, on the International Distribution of the Company

The first executive talk of the fall semester 2010 was given by Erwin Kälin, Area Sales Manager of Geberit for the markets of the Near East and Africa. In November 2010, he explained to our students – using the example of South Africa – how Geberit enters foreign markets, how the company establishes pull- and push-activities in these markets and how it adapts its activities to the specific national conditions. In this business, it is crucial to train the middleman about the product usage and Geberits helps its national distributors in this task. Furthermore, Mr. Kälin pointed to the high relevance of large projects (e.g. building hotels, soccer stadiums, etc.) as one major pillar of Geberits business in many foreign countries. In South Africa, the FIFA world cup in 2010 lead to many of these projects being developed in the previous years.

 

Presentation by Jean-Marie Ayer, Dartfish, on the International Management of the Company 

Dartfish is a company in the field of digital imaging technology. The company that started in 1998 quickly grew and became well known for its innovative digital image enhancements in the sports broadcast world. Today, its technologies and know-how are widely recognized for exclusive televised broadcast footage and breakthrough training applications for sports, education, healthcare and more. Dartfish has its headquarters in Fribourg and offices in Atlanta, USA, Sophia-Antipolis (France), Sydney, Tokyo, and Seoul.Jean-Marie Ayer, co- founder and a member of the board, explained the student the challenges and pitfalls in the fast internationalisation process of thecompany and the management of the international company network.

 

Focus on Chinese Business

Chinese business is of crucial importance for European companies: First, China is a very important market and production location for European companies. But furthermore, Chinese companies have started their internationalisation process and it is very likely that Chinese MNCs will become important actors in European Business as well. Therefore, we invited Prof. Aoyu WEI as visiting lecturer to give a block course on Business in China. Prof. Wei is Chinese and he received his PhD from the renowned Fudan University in Shanghai. Since the mid-1990s he lives in France. He is teaching cross-cultural management at the HEC in Paris and he consults companies like EDF and PSA Peugeot-Citroën concerning their activities in China. Thus, he knows the particularities of Chinese business from an academic and a practical experience. Topics like the Chinese culture, the legal environment, human resource management, Marketing, business negotiations in China as well as mergers & acquisition activities of Chinese companies were described and analysed in the course.

In addition, an expert from an American university, Prof. Marc Fetscherin, gave a presentation on the globalisation of Chinese brands within that lecture, focussing on examples like Haier or Lenovo.

 

Visit to the Headquarters of Richemont in Geneva

In April 2010, a group of 40 students from the MA in European Business were invited to visit the HQ of Richemont in Bellevue, Geneva.

The Group HR Director, Mr. Thomas Lindemann, welcomed the group and gave them intensive and detailed insights into the luxury business. In a very interactive manner, the basics of this business were discussed but also recent developments such as different developments in international markets or the changes in the distribution strategies. The discussion was continued in the course of a business lunch on invitation of Richemont.
 

Presentation by Dr. Heribert Knittlmayer and Roger Schaerer, Swiss Export Risk Insurance SERV


In May 2010, two experts from the Swiss Export Risk Insurance SERV, an institution of the Swiss Confederation, gave the students an overview on exports risks in general and detailed insights intothe possibilities for companies to manage export risks. In particular, the different instruments that SERV provides were explained.

 

Presentation by Ralf Balzer, European Patent Office

The European Patent Organisation is an intergovernmental organisation which currently has 38 member states, including Switzerland. It provides a uniform application procedure for individual inventors and companies seeking patent protection across Europe.
In May 2010, Ralf Balzer from the European Patent Office talked to the students about “Patents as a Mean to Protect Intellectual Propoerty”. He explained the relevance of patents for the economy in general, the European Patent System and the different ways for inventors to apply for a patent in a specific nation or across Europe.



Presentation by Ulrike Spang-Lessnow, Deputy Retail Manager, IKEA Switzerland

In May 2009, the deputy retail manager of IKEA Switzerland gave us insights into the international management and coordination of a highly successful multinational company – IKEA. She explained the division of labour and decisions between the headquarters (or, in this case, the different superordinate units) and the local subsidiary in Switzerland.

 

Presentation by Thomas Pletscher, Member of the Executive Board, Economiesuisse

In April 2009, one of the members of the executive board of economiesuisse, gave a speech on parallel imports into Switzerland the application of the Cassis de Dijon principle – a highly topical issue for Swiss companies. economiesuisse is the largest umbrella organisation representing the Swiss economy. It has the support of more than 30,000 businesses of all sizes, employing a total of 1.5 million people in Switzerland.

 

Excursion European Business to Brussels and Rotterdam

In the spring semester 2009 (as already in the spring semester 2008), the chair has organised an excursion to Brussels and Rotterdam for 4 days.
The group visited the EU commission and the Swiss Mission to the EU. We then had the opportunity to meed with the Director General of the JAMA (Japanese Automobile Manu facturers’ Association) in Brussel.
After driving to Rotterdam, the group visited the logistic service provider Broekman Group that manages the Rotterdam Car Terminal. Another full day was dedicated to the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest logistic and industrial hub. Additional information can be found here.

 

Day Trip to Logistic Centres and Production Sites

In May 2009, the Chair for International Management has organised a day trip with visits to some of the most sophisticated logistic centres in Switzerland. Students of the MA in European Business, in addition to a group of students from the Europa-Institut, Saarbrücken, Germany, have participated.

After an early morning departure by bus, the programme started with a visit of the Bell Production and Logistics Centre in Oensingen. There, Bell produces directly for McDonald’s and both logistics sites are directly co-located (in a concept called “foodtown”).
After a presentation by McDonald’s on the sustainability strategy and from HAVI Logistics (the third party logistics service provider that takes over all logistics activities for McDonald’s in Switzerland, the McDonald’s Logistics Centre was visited. In the afternoon, the group went to Wangen, were the national distribution centre of Coop is located. From there, Coop coordinated the logistics for its nonfood products. Again, a comprehensive visit to the distribution center was supplemented with intensive presentations on the concept.

 

Day Trip to Aldi Suisse and WAGO

In November 2009, we visited the distribution center of ALDI in Domdidier where the managing director Beat Pahud gave us a tour and explained the main principles of the discounter and of the logistics concept.
ALDI SUISSE has entered the market in 2005 and has about 100 outlets now. The new and up-to-date distribution centre in Domdidier receives and distributes the articles for a major part of that store network.
After a lunch break in Avenches, we visited the Production Site of WAGO in Domdidier. After an introductory presentation, a guided tour through the facilities offered us insights into the production of the electrical connecting system products. 
Wago, with its headquarter in Minden, Germany, is a world-wide operating company with subsidiaries or agencies on every continent and production sites in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, China, India, the USA and in Japan. It is a leading company in innovative connecting technology.

 

 

 

Presentation by Bruno Wiederkehr,
Sales Director, Warner Bros. Home Video

Warner Bros. is a fully integrated entertainment company and a global leader in all forms of entertainment and their related businesses. With distribution in 90 international territories Warner Home Video commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Internationally, Warner is the No. 1 studio with 16% world market share.

In December 2009, Bruno Wiederkehr gave a comprehensive presentation on the implementation of Warner Bros.’ global mar-keting and sales strategy in the Swiss market.

 

Presentation by Katalin Dreher,
Consultant, OSEC Business Network Switzerland

OSEC Business Network Switzerland is working on behalf of the Swiss government. One of its main tasks is the support of Swiss companies in their export activities.

In November 2009, Katalin Dreher shared insights into the Swiss foreign trade in general, the forms of internationalization and the mandate of OSEC, in particular explaining the « step-by-step » concept to exporting which it provides to Swiss firms. A strong focus was on the market opportunities in Eastern European countries.
 

Presentation by Beat Pahud,
Managing Director, Aldi Suisse Domdidier

 
In November 2009, Beat Pahud explained the international management activities within the Aldi group as well as the relationship between Aldi Suisse and its parent company in Germany.
Aldi is the World’s largest harddiscounter. In 2005, Aldi has entered the Swiss market, a very particular retail market. The presentation gave the students insights into the necessary activities when entering a new country market.
 

Presentation by Dr Beat Brechbühl,
Partner, Kellerhals Attorneys at Law on M & A in Europe

Also in November 2009, Dr. Beat Brechbühl gave a detailed and comprehensive presentation on Mergers & Acquisitions in Europe. He explained the necessary steps in preparing and executing a buy-side M&A process and highlighted his explanations by presenting a specific case study of a recent M&A case which his company supported with its legal expertise.

 

, for a joint event with the Alumni SES association

Chair for International Management - Boulevard de Pérolles 90 - CH-1700 Freiburg - Phone +41 26 300 84 27

intman[at]unifr.ch - webmaster: andrea.bruegger[at]unifr.ch