This summer, IIT Stuart School of Business students in MBA 564: Competing in Emerging Markets partnered with executives from BayRu, LLC, an international shopping and shipping specialist firm based in Chicago and Moscow, to do a management consulting project on global expansion strategies for the company.
Students in the 8-week summer course were asked to study the business opportunities and risks associated with Brazil, India, and China and countries associated with the former Soviet Union, or countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Based on in-depth research and analysis, the students ranked these countries using various factors including market size, cultural similarity, payment types, price sensitivity, and customs barriers for each country.
“IIT is known for having some of the smartest, internationally-minded folks in the Chicago-area,” BayRu CEO Aaron Block. “We’ve sort of fallen in love with the programs, the exposure to real-life business situations and the value that the students get out of those business situations.”
Students presented their recommendations in person with members of the BayRu leadership team and through an in-depth report, with each student assigned to do detailed analysis on a particular country.
“It really felt like each student owned their country and their presentation,” says Anton German, one of BayRu’s founders. German noted that many of the students’ recommendations mapped closely with what the company has experienced regarding orders and web traffic. “Based on the student research, now we have a little bit of perspective and background on why our orders and traffic are developing in these ways, and that was insightful.”
Throughout the process, students had access to top executives at BayRu, and also participated in a site visit at BayRu’s Morton Grove headquarters to discuss key business practices including logistics, marketing, and understanding why their business model works.
“Like most things in life, you get what you give,” says Block. “For an organization like ours that was set up to put our top-level resources, time, effort, and attention into this initial project, it’s an incredibly valuable experience. It’s important for companies collaborating with students on similar projects to take it as seriously as the students do; what makes it great is that both sides are dedicated to success.”
About IIT Stuart School of Business
IIT Stuart School of Business is an academic unit of the Illinois Institute of Technology, a private Ph.D.-granting technological university. IIT Stuart offers bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and non-degree programs, as well as graduate certificate programs and several interdisciplinary specializations. IIT Stuart’s programs are centered on the concept of strategic competitiveness, a formula that emphasizes creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, incisive decision-making, and sustainability. This approach is designed to help students succeed both in today’s competitive global marketplace and in the complex economy of tomorrow. IIT Stuart is accredited by AACSB International. Visit www.stuart.iit.edu.
BayRu, LLC is the US-Russia ecommerce specialist. Our online store www.dostami.ru is the 8th largest international store in Russia and offers consumers the broadest selection of in-stock products, competitive prices and most consistent home delivery via our exclusive shipping network Dostami Express. Our Russian order fulfillment and marketing services platform www.Rusify.com utilizes company operations in Chicago, Moscow and St. Petersburg to give American manufacturers, brands and retailers access to the booming Russian/CIS consumer markets. BayRu has shipped over 250,000 items from all product categories (most notably auto parts, apparel and electronics) to 160 cities in Russia/CIS. In 2013 BayRu, LLC was named Exporter of the Year by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s official export promotion magazine.