News & Highlights

  • June 2021
  • Cold Call Podcast

IKEA Navigates the Future While Staying True to its Culture

In this podcast, Professors Juan Alcacer and Cynthia A. Montgomery discuss the subject of a new Harvard Business case study - “Which IKEA Do We Want?” - supported by Emilie Billaud and Vincent Dessain of the Europe Research Center. After years of success in providing quality furniture at affordable prices, Swedish furniture maker IKEA is challenged by the rise of online shopping and changing consumer behavior, plus the arrival of a new leader. The company's top executives know they had to step out of their comfort zones and embrace new strategic initiatives to stay relevant. But which initiatives will best enable IKEA to evolve while staying true to the company’s core values?
  • June 2021
  • Events

Webinar Featuring Professor Regina E. Herzlinger and Brainlab CEO Stefan Vilsmeier

This June, the Europe Research Center co-hosted a webinar “HBS Perspectives in Health: Brainlab - The Surgical Suite of the Future” with the Harvard Business School Health Care Initiative. This hour-long conversation was led by Professor Regina E. Herzlinger and Stefan Vilsmeier, CEO of Brainlab (also one of the Europe Research Center’s recent case protagonists), who discussed innovation in MedTech as well as trends and the future of the industry. The webinar, moderated by Vincent Dessain, also included a Q&A for participants to engage with the speakers.
  • April 2021
  • Events

HBR/HBS Alumni Clubs Live Webinar with Professor Frank V. Cespedes

This April, Harvard Business School Professor Frank V. Cespedes presented his book Sales Management That Works: How to Sell in a World that Never Stops Changing during an HBR/HBS Alumni Clubs live webinar. After a brief introduction by Vincent Dessain of the ERC, Professor Cespedes led an engaging and interactive discussion about the impact on sales activities of new buying processes, e-commerce, and big data. He then shared some interesting thoughts on the implications of these megatrends for hiring, training, performance management, compensation, the construction and re-construction of sales models, and required links between the C-Suite and customer-facing groups in companies.

New Research on the Region

  • September 2021
  • Teaching Material

Hester Pharmaceuticals (B): Securing Supply

By: Dante Roscini and John Masko

In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a rise in “reshoring” sentiment in the U.S., Hester Pharmaceuticals had to decide whether to build a new plant for its new oncology drug Akrozumab in Germany or in the U.S., or whether it should hire a contract manufacturing organization (CMO) to produce the drug. As it made its decision, Hester had to con

  • September 2021
  • Case

Telepass: From Tolling to Mobility Platform

By: Chiara Farronato, Stefano Denicolai and Sarah Mehta

Telepass, the sole processor of electronic toll payments on Italy’s highways, has ambitions beyond tolling. Since the mid-2010s, the company has been expanding into adjacent services. In 2017, Telepass launched TelepassPay—a mobile payment application (app) that allows subscribers to pay for dozens of mobility-related services and products from their smartphones. In 2019, Telepass launched a car insurance brokerage service. Using Telepass data, the brokerage service offers tailored insurance products to existing customers on behalf of insurance companies for a commission on converted leads. Now, in September 2020, Telepass’s senior leaders are considering a new, insurance-related growth opportunity: moving beyond the brokerage model to become the primary insurance seller. It is unclear, however, whether Telepass’s data provides sufficient insights into individual drivers’ risk profiles to build competitive, customized insurance products. Alternatively, Telepass could continue to improve the brokerage model and focus its resources on adding new mobility services to TelepassPay. This case is paired with a supplementary dataset (courseware no. 622-701), which provides a data analysis opportunity for students.

  • September 2021
  • Teaching Material

Telepass: From Tolling to Mobility Platform

By: Chiara Farronato, Stefano Denicolai and Sarah Mehta

This supplementary dataset can be paired with the case entitled “Telepass: From Tolling to Mobility Platform” (case no. 622-011), to allow students the opportunity to analyze data before class.

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Paris Staff

Vincent Dessain
Executive Director
Daniela Beyersdorfer
Senior Associate Director, Research and Administration
Emilie Billaud
Assistant Director



Tonia Labruyere
Research Associate
Emer Moloney
Senior Researcher
Jan Pianca
Associate Director, Educational Programs
Oksana Sichi
Assistant Director, Administration