Five students from our MSc Management programme had the once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the closing ceremony of the Inside LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon, Hennessy) Programme in Paris as the Luxury conglomerate opened its doors to students from 48 universities from around the world.
The inaugural Inside LVMH programme opened in January to offer students an immersion into the luxury conglomerate’s fields of expertise: Design and Creation, Brand Management, Supply Chain and Manufacturing, Digital Transformation & Entrepreneurship and Client Excellence.
115 students in 20 groups at Imperial College Business School signed-up for Inside LVMH from both MBA and Master’s programmes. This narrowed down to 16 groups submitting projects at the final stage, where they had to come up with an idea to imagine the luxury experience of tomorrow.
A team of five MSc Management students were selected to represent Imperial College Business School at the finals in Paris! In the team was Anita Bhagat, Ludovica Dargenio, Milica Krunic, Aiman Mahmoud and Shalom Okene.
The “wow” idea that got them to the final was a luxury travel and shopping experience. Milica speaks about how they came up with the idea: "The inspiration behind our idea came from the millennial experience. From the data that our group conducted, we found out that millennials prefer experiences rather than simply purchasing retail products. We wanted to transform from a 2D retail experience to a 3D full immersion package by offering a holiday."
Ludovica expands on this, “Our idea was to reward the most loyal customers amongst the 70 brands of LVMH and to offer them an exclusive holiday. The idea behind it is to make the customer embrace LVMH and all its brands. We offered a buying experience for the customers as well. This is the return that LVMH gets from the holiday. It is a reward but there are also economic interests for them.”
After an early 5 am Eurostar to Paris, our winning team attended the Inside LVMH closing ceremony alongside the successful teams from other universities. At the ceremony, the students pitched their idea to CEOs from brands within the LVMH Group. To prepare for their pitch, Dr Paolo Taticchi put them in contact with the CEO of ASOS America to talk through their idea. In Paris, the students pitched to the CEOs and HR Directors of Glenmorangie, Acqua Di Parma and Kenzo.
Whilst the team did not score in the top three teams that then pitched to all attendees, the experience was invaluable and gave them great feedback for their future work. Toby Emmerson, Employer Relations Executive, accompanied the students to Paris. He speaks about their pitch:
Our students put on a fantastic display at the closing ceremony – pitching in a challenging environment to CEOs and HR Directors from three top ateliers from the LVMH Group. Based on the support that they received from Imperial’s Enterprise Lab and faculty before they travelled to Paris, the team took on comments from the coaches and then feedback from the CEOs to produce a fantastic pitch.
Key learnings from the programme
Inside LVMH allowed students to apply their learnings from the programme into a practical case study, including learnings from the Strategic Management module and the Corporate Strategy module, part of the Strategy and Leadership module, where they learnt the value of a SWOT market analysis. They also had the opportunity to utilise the presentation skills they had developed throughout their Master’s, which involved regular presentations to their class
What I really got out of it was that your ideas are actually valuable. It amazed me how much the CEOs took interest in ours and all of the students’ ideas. It was very interesting to see this perspective and also to relate ourselves to people very eminent in the business. If someone had told me before the programme that I was going to speak with the CEO of Kenzo, I would have said no way! Instead, they showed us great interest.
I learnt that a good pitch encapsulates a story. In our entrepreneurship project that we are doing now in our MSc, we are definitely going to use that feedback in the pitch. There is a lot we can bring from the experience. It has changed the way we think about and how we present our ideas. Academically, we present them but we present the theory and knowledge behind them. In order to drag the other person to share and feel your idea, you need to become more human and make them identify them with you.
Another inspirational part of the closing ceremony was hearing from the CEO of the LVMH group, Bernard Arnault. The students were inspired by his vision to bring multiple luxury brands together to form one group.
The closing ceremony finished with a networking session with many of the brands from the LVMH Group including Dior, Bvlgari, Tag Heuer, Moet Hennessey to name a few. Ludovica says, “The employees from the companies were very available to leave your CV or share emails. It was a good from an employability experience as well.”
Imperial’s relationship with LVMH
We are proud of our relationship with LVMH, which was strengthened by participating in the Inside LVMH programme.
The closing ceremony was a fantastic event, and a great round-off to a project that the Business School has been involved with for four months. We have been working very closely with LVMH, and in particularly Moet Hennessy UK, and Dior Couture, over the last couple of years. This has involved regular events at the Business School in conjunction with the FMCG, Luxury Goods and Retail Club, including speed interviews, and recently three of our students (out of a total of eight from the UK) were chosen to take part in the very exciting Women@Dior programme.
We look forward to continuing our relationship with LVMH and offering our students more incredible opportunities in the luxury fashion and retail industry.