On Thursday 30th of June, at Villa Guastavillani, the students of the Master Business Management, Asian Markets course, met Kasanova, a leading distributor in the household goods market, for the final presentation of the second of three Company Project Work activities.
This program, created by the Master’s Scientific Director, Professor Angelo Manaresi, and Professor Barbara Lorenzini, marketing expert, and lecturer, complements the classic curriculum of a high-profile Master’s course: three projects in three months, three real cases proposed by leading companies to the Master’s students, who will have to present the results of their work after four weeks.
Company Project Work supports the individual growth of students who, throughout this activity, train soft skills such as public speaking and strategy formulation, negotiation, and organization of a presentation, as a complement to face-to-face teaching.
Kasanova, founded in 1968 under the name F.lli Fontana Srl and transformed in 1994 into Kasanova, a housewares franchising company, became a leader in the sector through an original wedding list system that allows couples to collect the products purchased at any shop in the territory. In 2016, F.lli Fontana S.r.l. continues its progress, transforming itself into Kasanova S.p.a. and becoming the first Italian player with over 700 shops, including direct and affiliated shops.
The challenge proposed to students: how to enter the markets of Indonesia and Singapore?
The first group, in charge of the Indonesia project, after an extensive and detailed analysis of the competitors (Polytron; Miyako; Zara Home; Ikea; Sanken, and Wisanka), moved on to the identification of the target market for Kasanova: the middle class and the aspiring middle class. Next, the team presented an analysis of the type of existing shops and the consequent proposal of stores divided by size and location, the product lineup, divided between made in Italy (ice cream machine, pasta machine, small pizza oven) and a line dedicated to Indonesian tradition (rice steamer, stainless steel colander, etc.). Then they presented an online Marketing Strategy (SEO optimization and Online Promotion) and offline (In-Store Promotion, creation of a pay in-app jump queue) identifying the target profiles. A pricing and positioning study was proposed for different product segments compared to competitors and the team brought the original idea of building a real Italian house inside the stores, to feel the warmth of the brand.
The second team worked on the Singapore market, starting with an environmental analysis: 5.5 million people live in an area twice the size of Lake Garda. This is one of the highest population densities in the world. Next, the team carried out a demographic, social and cultural study to identify market penetration and a look at local and international competitors. The team then proposed three potential shops and an e-commerce platform, the product assortment, focusing on Kasanova’s high-end products with strong Italian characterization. Then they moved on to an in-depth digital marketing analysis, identifying target personas, social media-based advertising strategies, structure, and SEO for the website, with a strong focus on circular economy and green for both the physical shops and the online ADV.
Excellent feedback from Matteo Albanese, Trade and Franchising Marketing Manager, and Lucrezia Buongiorno, HR Specialist at Kasanova, impressed by the professional level of the presentations, the analysis of marketing and digital marketing strategies, and the creativity of the students. Success for both groups.
The very high placement rate (over 90% six months after the end of the Master) and the equally high participation (classes of 20 to 50 students) show the success of the idea. Lectures, Project Work, and the MGIncontri: informal meetings, virtually far away from the university lecture halls, with former students now working in prestigious companies and executives from companies who talk about their own path or the company they work for. A further annual cross-curricular Master Project simulates the creation of a start-up, of which a real Business Plan is presented at the end of the course: this is the plan for a year that condenses theoretical and practical knowledge.
Master Business Management: how to transform a high-level education into an incubator of professional skills, to be ready for the challenges of the business world.