The GBP was one of the best courses that I registered for in my MBA curriculum. It offered me with an exciting opportunity to experience the true essence of management consulting in a very different part of the world. I worked with PepsiCo in Brazil as part of this program, and the experience will be invaluable to me as I aim to pursue a career in management consulting. PepsiCo Brazil recently acquired Grupo Mabel, a cookie giant in Brazil, and took charge of a plant in Goiania in central Brazil. This acquisition marked a major diversification opportunity for PepsiCo to enter the biscuit and snacks market in Brazil. The General Manager of the snacks division of Mabel requested the GBP team to conduct a thorough assessment to identify opportunities of increasing operational efficiency at the Goiania plant. A team of MBA candidates and the faculty members from various universities in the USA and Brazil collaborated for five months to work in the project. After working remotely from the USA for four months, the team went to Brazil for the final assessment and presentation to the client.
With due diligence on analyzing the various potential solutions, the team finally came up with a set of recommendations that can bring annual cost saving opportunities of over $384,000 with a remarkable Net Present Value (NPV) of $20 million for the investments. The solutions included Kaizen tools that can bring incremental cost savings through continuous improvement at the cost of minimum capital investments. Although it was undoubtedly more challenging in the beginning to work remotely from the USA and gather the necessary information from the client, a well-planned communication protocol helped mitigate the potential risks. The client was very satisfied with the outcome of the project, and appreciated the effort with much recognition.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with our very diverse and cross cultural international team members. The “Welcome Weekend” in Porto Alegre was the right mix between organized meetings and free time to social networking among the students and the locals. After visiting the Unisinos campus and a few companies during the three days, the team headed to the assigned client destination. Even though all of us were not very well conversant at Portuguese, language could hardly be a barrier in our friendship and teamwork. A wide variety of backgrounds and academic focus among the team members helped us all to find our niche in no time. By the way, being in a different country gives you an opportunity to come out of your comfort zone, adapt to quick changes in plans, and situations like creating a presentation in Portuguese rather than in English! It was hardly a challenge at all to the GBP PepsiCo Team 2013. It was hard to believe that our team had met merely for three weeks in Brazil, and we all became great friends with promises to stay in touch going forward.
Satarupa Nandi – MBA Student Class 2014 – Focus in Operations and Strategy