Friday, October 24, 2008

Evolvence Capital videoconference

This last period, I took a private equity class, probably one of the coolest classes ever while at INSEAD. Private equity is a class of private investments, making investments in non-listed private companies, such as venture capital. The professor worked really hard to make the class very interesting and interactive. For this particular session, we studied a case where an ex-Abbott research scientist went to do his MBA, ended up at McKinsey, and left to setup his own Dubai-based, India focused life-science investment fund, and the case asked what steps he should do to startup his fund.

For the class, the professor actually was able to get the protagonist in the case, as well as an investment manager from his firm to do a videoconference with the students at INSEAD. The scene was exactly something out of a movie! Just like a scene in a James Bond movie where James Bond, MI-5, and the CIA are all working together to solve a problem. We had two huge screens, displaying a live video feed of Hari Buggana (the fund founder, based in India), and one of his investment managers in Dubai. They discussed what actually happened in the case, along with answering questions from the students.

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But the scene was just totally incredible– two huge screens, simultaneous video-conference between Singapore, Dubai, and Hyderabad. (see above) And – it was all run over Skype!

I really identified with the people in this case, because the protoganist was a research scientist that left to do an MBA, and one of the first people that he hired onto his team was a CWRU PhD in finance! After this class, we all wondered if our post-MBA life stories would become cases that future INSEAD students would study? (hopefully good stories, and not bad)
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