ESSEC Asia-Pacific and Capgemini Invent, the digital innovation, consulting and transformation Global Business Line of the Capgemini Group, completed the ninth edition of the Asian Strategy Project (ASP) in December 2018, training 29 final year students from the Asia-Pacific campus in Singapore to solve Asia’s future business challenges.
The ASP partnership between ESSEC Asia-Pacific and Capgemini Invent, renewed in 2017, aims to nurture the next generation of digital business leaders in Singapore and Asia Pacific, preparing them to solve business issues in emerging markets through a ‘learning by doing’ approach, combining professional and academic training applied to the Asian context.
“Through this partnership, we want to give students a first-hand in-country exposure to real-life issues. We believe that this ‘learning by doing’ approach will give them a unique perspective on the most pressing issues confronting Asia, setting them up to address challenges creatively through new business models and ideas”, said Xavier Pavie, Academic Director of Master in Management, ESSEC Asia-Pacific.
“The ASP is one of our main academic partnerships globally. Its innovative structure enables students, who are 100% dedicated to the program, to work on a client’s business issues, while being coached by Capgemini Invent coaches and ESSEC professors. With this unique opportunity, students discover and share the challenges faced by their clients and contribute to redesigning, rebuilding, and even reinventing their client’s business. During this 3-month program, students and their clients live an authentic consulting experience.” Mathieu Dougados, Managing Director, Capgemini Invent France.
Arijit Chatterjee, Associate Professor in Management, ESSEC Asia-Pacific comments, “I have been involved in the Asian Strategy Project since 2012 for a wide range of cases including a luxury textile boutique, an award-winning hiking company, an architecture firm focusing on affordable aesthetic housing, a Darjeeling tea estate, a non-profit working for the poorest in Cambodia, a start-up making solar pumps, and a fast-growing dairy products firm.”
“The ASP focuses on real issues faced by organizations in Asia and is an excellent example of the ‘learning by doing’ approach adopted by ESSEC. It is one of the most innovative and well-thought through courses from a management school”, he adds.
“The Asian Strategy Project has now been launched for 9 years, maintaining the same focus on business model innovation in APAC and a growing trend of how digital can reshape, rejuvenate or create businesses for partner companies in the region. We, at Capgemini Invent, train and coach the students on how technology has become instrumental in deeply transforming industries”, furthered André-Benoît de Jaegere, Vice President, Innovation & Strategy, Capgemini Invent France.
Over three months between September and December 2018, students worked with prominent Asian and multinational companies and organisations – including Adecco Singapore, Bouygues, EDF-ENEDIS, Safran Helicopter Engines Asia, West Bengal Government, Alcheme Skincare and SCash Technologies – to address real-life challenges and strategic issues clients wished to tackle. The programme offered them the opportunity to apply new digital business models to real-world scenarios, shared Master in Management students from ESSEC Asia-Pacific.
Prateek Bhardwaj, team member of the SCash team, said, “The Asian Strategy Project helps you to prepare for real-life business situations that you might encounter during your future roles.”
Cyrielle Jourdois, Adecco team member, said, "The three months of the Asian Strategy Project were probably the most useful in my years at ESSEC as I could apply what I learned during my studies through a concrete consulting case. This can be a good introduction to the world of consulting for beginners or a good experience to network and learn from Capgemini Invent for students who intend to pursue a career in consulting. It can be challenging as we are completely autonomous with our client and the stakes are tangible, but it is a rewarding experience that enables real personal and professional growth."
Clients of the program have found the partnership to be valuable for their strategy and decision-making process. Safran Helicopter Engines Asia took part in the ASP in 2016 and 2018 and is enthusiastic about their participation. Matthieu Pere, Customer Support and Transformation Director, comments “Engagement with ESSEC and Capgemini Invent has always been a rewarding and mutually beneficial experience. Their systematic approach in uncovering root causes has given us a fresh perspective on how we view our business. The end result is innovative, with practical and actionable solutions that meet our expectations and long-term goals.”
Adecco has been collaborating with ESSEC Asia Pacific, within the Executive MBA and other industry events for several years. The ASP 2018 was the first consulting project for Adecco teams in Singapore and Malaysia:
“It has been a tremendous experience working with the new generation of talent on a very important project for Adecco Singapore and Adecco Malaysia. The team has demonstrated strong determination to achieve the result, resilience to overcome a lack of knowledge of our industry and a refreshing willingness to learn, with equal application of their smart young minds”, shared Mark Hall, Adecco Singapore Country Manager.
Since the launch of the programme in 2010, 267 ESSEC students accompanied by over 150 Capgemini Invent coaches, have produced 44 academic case studies. Up to date, over 50 companies have participated in the program. The ASP 2019 student and company recruitment has started, with the launch date of 23 September 2019 at ESSEC Asia-Pacific in Singapore.