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Polish company Benus adopts recommendations from Ohio University MBA students

Thursday, November 5 2015 08:00am

Students from the MBA class of 2015 recently found that the company they worked with in Poland is now implementing their recommendations. As a result, the company is poised to grow in lucrative Asian markets.

One highlight of the full-time MBA program is the international trip that each class takes in the spring semester before graduation. While companies often take their recommendations into consideration, last year’s group was able to have a positive impact on their company’s bottom line.

Travis Misner, Alex Gardner, Mallory Glazier, and Dan Williams, Poland1worked with clients from Benus, a packaged foods company that specializes in muesli. Although primarily based in Poland, the company had recently begun selling their product to a wholesaler in China. A company was then selling the muesli with an established brand name throughout China. However, the company encountered exporting issues with nearly half of the exported muesli – it was being destroyed at the border.

Benus asked the OHIO MBA group to determine if the company should continue exporting muesli to China. If so, the company wanted to know whether to increase their exports, and which areas of China to focus on. The team also was asked to identify a new wholesaler.

Following months of extensive research, the group recommended that Benus continue exporting to China. They also recommended focusing on the southeastern part of China, the Pearl River Delta, because it is one of t­he most populated regions in the world and people in that area enjoyed that brand of muesli.

“We put in around 150 hours of combined research,” said Misner. “Despite the fact that data about China isn’t easy to find, we found good sources of information.”

After their presentation they met with their liaison, Marta Glowacka, one last time in New York City in April to present final recommendations. “She loved our recommendations and the presentation. She could tell we spent a lot of time on the research and she was very appreciative,” said Misner.

The group recently received an email from Glowacka, informing them that Benus was increasing muesli production to grow their market in China. “You all contributed to this development,” Glowacka wrote in her email. “You inspired us to go further.”

Poland2“After all our hard work it was great to receive an email like that, and to know that our efforts had a positive impact for our client’s business,” said Williams. “It’s nice to know that when you dedicate time and effort to a project people will take your recommendations to heart.”

The group learned a lot throughout the duration of the project. Each member gained important research, time management, and presentation skills. For many in the MBA class it was their first time presenting to any corporate client, much less an international company.

“The Poland trip was the highlight of the year,” said Misner. “I use the skills I learned during that project every day.”

For more information on the OHIO MBA program, visit http://business.ohio.edu/academics/graduate-degrees/full-time-mba/.