Darden's Swiss Connection


As the Indian car company Tata Motors unveiled the world’s least expensive car, the Nano, on Monday, approximately 50 marketing executives from Switzerland gathered at the Darden School of Business to review a case study of the marketing might behind the launch of Tata’s rear-engine, five-person city car.

The Swiss executives, from companies such as Novartis Oncology, Twentieth Century Fox, Sun Microsystems and Cadbury Europe, traveled to Darden for a week-long Executive Education marketing program, in collaboration with the Tayloe Murphy International Center. Classes include “Innovation in an Emerging Economy” with Professor Raj Venkatesan, “Revitalizing a Brand” with Professor Marian Moore, and “The Balance of Push and Pull Marketing” with Professor Paul Farris.

The students are the first group to attend Darden from the Zurich-based business school, HWZ Hochschule für Wirtschaft Zürich. Darden and HWZ signed an International Partner Program (IPP) agreement in May 2008, by which Darden provides annual, one-week tailored programs in general management and marketing for Executive MBA students from HWZ.

“It’s been great to get a different perspective,” said Ursi Zweifel of Zurich, who works for the Swiss parcel shipping company, DPD. “The U.S. is obviously a much bigger, multicultural market, and I have appreciated the practical experience of real cases.”

In addition to discussions of topics such as pricing strategy, managing a mature business, and behavioral economics, the group will travel to Richmond, Virginia to visit the companies, Carmax and Ukrops, which count Darden alumni among their leadership.

Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business improves society by developing principled leaders in the world of practical affairs. 

For information or questions, contact: communication@darden.virginia.edu.

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