Written by Eric Cowan

Summer 2018 - Global Consulting Lab (GCL)
Ecuador, Siemens

The Young Consultants at Thunderbird (YC@T) arrived in Quito at various times. John and Giancarlo were fortunate to plan a trip to the Galapagos where they were able to see incredible locations and
experience the unique flora and fauna that the islands offer. Jay and Eric took a day to pass through LAX where they got an afternoon to relax on the beach prior to coming to Quito. On their flight from the U.S. to Ecuador they were fortunate to be placed on the same flight as Madit. The three arrived on May 9 and were accompanied by Spencer the following evening. The highlights of the first few days included hiking local monuments, getting to understand the Ecuadorian culture, and becoming acquainted with the higher elevations.

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YC@T team members Jay (left), Madit (center) and Eric (right), posing for a picture in the Plaza de la Independencia (Independence Square) in Quito, Ecuador

The weekend prior to the project initiation required all members of the group to conduct intensive background research, including understanding the various scopes of the projects that Siemens was working on in the Andean region. Monday morning, the group began its state-of-the-field assessment with Professor Tom Hunsaker at the Airbnb apartment they were staying in just blocks from the historic heart of Quito. The group opted to stay in the historic area of Quito to understand the deep history of the region. After the initial presentation with Hunsaker, the group sped off in taxis toward the Siemens offices in the north of Quito.

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YC@T team members working on their State-of-the-Field presentation at their residence in Quito

The first day involved a thorough overview from two separate business sector heads: Fabian Salgado and Fabian Erazo of Energy and Industry respectively, as well as an introduction from the CEO of the region Edwin Chavez, who highlighted a number of insights about the work the company is interested in pursuing within the region. The general sentiment of the group was excitement in partnering to develop the strategic initiatives that would benefit the future of Siemens Ecuador and the Andes region.

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YC@T team members attend an executive presentation at Siemens Ecuador main office

Afterwards, the group enjoyed a lunch with the two heads of business and then proceeded to develop a team strategy to address the task ahead.

Siemens has tasked the group to help identify specific business opportunities to grow their market share in the region by utilizing digitalization, understanding the need to incorporate specific global trends and adapt them to the local business environment. The group members each bring a variety of different backgrounds to the project and began their initial analysis by digging into relevant global megatrends with an emphasis on applying them toward the project's objective.

The work was divided among the team members into five megatrend categories:

  1. Understanding the geopolitical environment and how best to leverage different stakeholders' wants and needs in the region.
  2. Understanding the global energy and upcoming consumer trends that would drive Siemens products and sales.
  3. Analyzing urbanization and demographics to assist in identifying new target markets.
  4. Understanding best cases for digitization and how they may pertain to Siemens' business units in Ecuador.
  5. Understanding relevantfuture consumer trends.

The next two days were spent at the Siemens offices working as a group as well as individually to begin to distill the relevant information. The following Wednesday the group organized a meeting with the
head of energy, Fabian Salgado, to discuss our initial analytical picture. The meeting was a success and allowed us to pivot from our initial approach to a more customer centric focus for the final solution. A Friday meeting with Professor Hunsaker, followed by a dinner in the central plaza with the two other Thunderbird consulting teams also in Quito (the GCL team with Heifer International and TEM Lab team working with UMCO), gave YC@T a strong first week and positioned them to jump into the weekend.

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YC@T team members join UMCO and Heifer groups for a Friday night dinner with Professor Hunsaker in Quito, Ecuador