Last Tuesday, the Masters in Management class participated in a commercial innovation competition sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as part of our Strategic Analysis module. Over the past couple of weeks, each of the thirty study groups proposed ideas for innovation in the respiratory or oncology diseases areas targeted at the emerging markets, exploring new business models to complement GSK’s existing and future marketed portfolio of products. On Tuesday, six groups, which had been shortlisted by GlaxoSmithKline, presented to a panel of GSK employees. Some of the ideas proposed were:

  • Encrypted codes on GSK drugs in order to fight drug counterfeiting in China
  • Gamified health education on cervical cancer for young women in India
  • Vending machines with smaller packaging of drugs for easier access in India

The panel prodded students to think deeply about the viability of their proposals asking questions about the unique selling proposition, the size of the gaming market in India, and the feasibility of vending machines in India based on health cards when many in India do not have health cards.

The panel deliberated and 30 minutes later during a drinks session, they announced the winner of £2500, the vending machine idea! The top three groups also win a visit and daylong tour of the GSK offices in London.

GSK competition winners

GSK competition winners

I personally believe the industry collaboration on our strategy project was a wonderful experience. I think I, as well as my fellow Masters in Management students, took these innovation ideas more seriously when industry insiders were seriously considering what we were saying. It was informative to hear the questions they asked and the ideas that really impressed them.

I would like to contrast that competition with the competition seen on the front lawn of LBS on the following Sunday afternoon. The Women in Business Club hosted a fundraiser for their volunteer trip to Sierra Lione, which included a BBQ, flowing taps, and games like three-legged race, balloon toss, and mummy race (involving students hopping around the lawn covered in loo paper). Students of all levels: MBA, Masters in Finance, Masters in Management, and even the Dean were seen competing and watching the fierce competition and ensuing water fights unfold on the sunny afternoon.

Three-legged race line-up

Three-legged race line-up

What do these events have in common, you may ask? I think they show the unique selling proposition of London Business School, that is a harmonious mixture of serious and silly all while promoting healthy and friendly competition. Whoever wins, we all win, because we are sharing in knowledge, learning and laughs.

One Response to “The LBS Competitive Landscape: from the lecture hall to the front lawn”

  1. You could visit countries like India have tie-ups with universities here. I know, it is not an easy process. But, something of that magnitude needs to done and it will bear much fruit.