GEMBA in Zurich


The Rotman - SDA Bocconi GEMBA 2022 has successfully completed Module 8 in Zurich, hosted at CEIBS Campus in Horgen, by the Zurich lake, from March 11 to March 19, 2022. Module 8 is the GEMBA “China Module” usually delivered at partner school's Shanghai campus; due to travel bans to China, CEIBS welcomed the program in their European facility opened in 2016. 

The Module's opening section was entirely focused on the Zurich Insurance Learning Safari experience. On March 11 the GEMBA class was welcomed to the Zurich Development Center, a stunning location overlooking the city and dedicated to learning and development laboratories to nurture innovation and forward looking design.

The Learning Safari format at GEMBA is a site visit to witness how the company runs its business. The visit includes a Live Case deep diving into the most recent business challenges of the hosting company, with an opportunity to interact with the company’s top management team. Participants have to respond to the challenge with a group work reflection and share their outcome in the final plenary session with a panel with the Company’s executives

The Live Case was opened by the Group CEO Mario Greco, who personally welcomed the GEMBA class by introducing the challenges ahead for a large and global insurance player. Mr. Greco remarked how important it is for the company and its employees to be "socially responsible, especially during times like these" and added that "challenges have not prevented Zurich from growing and prospering significantly over the past few years thanks to our global footprint and further expansion into Asia Pacific."

2022 is an important date for Zurich Insurance, because it’s the company 150th Anniversary since foundation. Therefore, Thomas Inglin, Head of Corporate Archives, has briefly illustrated the main growth steps, among which was the opening of the first agency in Italy in 1881.

Tulsi Naidu, CEO Asia Pacific has addressed the class the challenge of being in a vast continent like Asia “There is no "one Asia": the continent has different countries and regions, all with their cultural backgrounds that require understanding. Being a global insurance company here means to adapt to the local needs, whether you have to do business in Japan, or in India, or in Malaysia” Mrs. Naidu said. Ferdinando Pennarola, GEMBA Academic Director, moderated the debate and the GEMBA class received further insights from both Mario Greco and Tulsi Naidu

The group work was followed by final presentations of challenges shared in the conclusive panel with Daniel Englberger, COO Group Technology and Operations, Tulsi Naidu, CEO Asia Pacific, Sally Wright Henderson, Group Head Talent and Learning, Paolo Mantero, Chief Strategy Officer, and moderated by Ferdinando Pennarola: “Our main takeaways are the following: what makes GEMBA special is learning opportunities within the context of real and live interactions. We are extremely grateful to the Zurich Insurance top management representatives for this opportunity. The Live Case with Zurich once more proof of why GEMBA runs modules around the world. In every module we offer one or two “Learning Safaris”, namely a Live Case plus a site visit: with both, GEMBA gives the chance to understand how global companies run their business and additionally extend personal networks with local executives”

The Zurich Learning Safari continued in the afternoon with a visit to the newly renovated main Zurich Insurance headquarters named “Quai Zurich Campus”, organized by Yves Leuenberger, Head of Group Property & Innovation.

SDA Bocconi School of Management

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