Prada, Taittinger, Fred challenges: upscale business projects for IMLux students
Published on 01/29/2021
Published on 01/29/2021
During their first semester in Reims, the students of the International Master in Luxury Management programme (IMLux) had the opportunity to participate in three very stimulating company business projects with Prada Group and Champagne Taittinger, the glamourous partners of the programme, and Fred (LVMH group).
“A key promise of the IMLux programme is to offer our students hands-on experience working on real business cases and where they will have a chance to dialogue with, and showcase their work to top corporate executives,” said Dilip Subramanian, IMLux Programme Director. “Despite the difficulties created by the pandemic, we were able to deliver this promise. This was thanks to the exceptional levels of support IMLux received from its two partners, Champagne Taittinger and Prada group.”
Would you invest in Prada? Would the Prada Brand add value to the investment decision? Students had to examine these two interlinked questions, and were coached by NEOMA professors Maria Ruiz and Isabelle Miroir-Lhair who jointly teach the finance course in the IMLux programme.
To help prepare the students, Prada CFO and Board Member Alessandra Cozzani, Group Deputy CFO Paolo Caminati, and Investor Relations Senior Manager Alberto Carlucci, conducted an in-depth briefing session on various aspects of the firm’s financial situation. These three executives were also among the several Prada managers who attended the final webinar presentation where the top three groups who had been pre-selected showed their work. Asked for her opinion about the Challenge, Alessandra Cozzani stated: “It was a pleasure to listen to students’ points of view, as both young professionals and young consumers. This made it possible to convey perspectives on our industry that went beyond the technical aspects. The Prada Finance Challenge represented an important educational experience for us. It was a perfect occasion to speak about the passion that binds us to Prada, but also about the discipline that finance must maintain in the luxury goods industry as a whole.”
Students were required to come up with recommendations on this topic of considerable importance for the entire champagne industry. Champagne Taittinger is already reputed for its environmental and human values. The students had to specifically advise on how best the brand could communicate these values to consumers, especially the new Y & Z Generations. This involved a careful analysis not only of Taittinger’s CSR policies, but also those of the champagne sector in general so as to come up with a precise list of best practices. Students who spent the entire semester working on this project were coached by NEOMA marketing professor Stéphane Borraz and sustainability professor Diana Mangalagiu.
They also enjoyed the benefit of collaborating extensively with Claire Sarazin, Taittinger’s Marketing and communication project manager, who shared her knowledge and experience during regular briefing sessions she held with the students. The final presentation which took the form of a three-hour long webinar, was made to Taittinger top executives, including Vitalie Taittinger, the company President, who provided extensive feedback on the students’ work.
“Our commitment to education and in particular to the IMLux Master at NEOMA is a valuable and forward-looking commitment. We believe it is essential for companies to support students in their strategic thinking by providing them with know-how on the issues business faces. It is our duty to act as an educational actor and thus enable vocations to emerge in a world where education and business are sometimes very far apart”, said Vitalie Taittinger.
The third company business project in which IMLux students participated this semester was for the jewellery brand Fred (LVMH group). This was the first time that Fred was collaborating with the IMLux programme and the project enjoyed the strong backing of two NEOMA graduates, Caroline Nani-Bigot, International Marketing Director and Pauline Baltz, Senior Merchandising Product Manager, at Fred.
The students, coached by Pauline Baltz, were required to come up with recommendations related to merchandising, product offer and customer experience. A Fred jury then selected the two top student presentations before deciding the winner. As Pauline Baltz stated, “the students’ presentations were full of creativity. They were able to demonstrate their strength of proposal and share very enriching points of view. The Fred jury were very impressed by their rigour and professionalism.”