CIP Projects Fall 2019

The following projects will be available to students in the Mack Institute’s Fall 2019 Collaborative Innovation Program (MGMT 892).

We encourage all second-year Wharton MBA students — including West Coast and WEMBA students — to apply, as well as graduate students from other schools at the University of Pennsylvania.

To be considered for this class, please submit your application by uploading your resume and ranking your project choices using the form below by August 4, 2019. Sign up here for updates about CIP.

To read the full project descriptions, click the project titles below.

1) Designing a solution to address financial insecurity among millennials (global financial services firm)

Organizational Background

Company A provides consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions with a broad range of financial services and products. With ~$72B in revenues last year it strives to create the best outcomes for its clients and customers with financial ingenuity that leads to solutions that are simple, creative, and responsible. Through investing in growing firms, a vibrant entrepreneurship program within the company, as well as product and strategy development, Company A provides valuable partnerships to its businesses and helps the overall organization respond to meaningful macro trends that are impacting its consumers.

Project Summary

Company A would like the student team to understand the problem of financial uncertainty among college grads/millennials and create a solution for the challenges faced by them. Specifically, focus on the theme of uncertain job trajectories and how college grads can become successful over the time of their career in the changing job climate: supply of educated workforce is far greater than demand, resulting in unemployment, underemployment, and financial fragility.

Objectives and Deliverables

  • Design solution(s) to address financial insecurity among millennials. Consider financial uncertainties given widespread underemployment among this demographic. The design need not be restricted to financial services.
  • Determine what should a (millennial) customer’s portfolio of options look like given his/her financial uncertainties. Evaluate whether there are any solutions currently in the market to help customers better. understand their portfolios while they continually change career paths.

2) Evaluating current branding and recommending a new branding strategy (global automobile manufacturer)

Organizational Background

Company B is a $1.3B revenue global Commercial Vehicles Manufacturer (OEM), planning to grow by 30% in sales by end of 2019 through investments in local production, own wholesale organization, and third-party Dealer network.

Project Summary

Students will conduct a cost-benefit analysis on the company’s current multi-brand strategy and evaluate whether the complexities of a multi-brand strategy could be optimized, simplified, and/or are worth the cost.

This project will be done in close coordination with the division’s Marketing/Product Management team along with Sales and Aftersales teams to gain further insight into the topic. Students will travel to Atlanta, Georgia, to present their findings to the Board of Management. Travel costs will be covered by the company.

Objectives and Deliverables

  • Current-state analysis of the brands including brand performance, position, and perception
  • Customer segment analysis including identification of purchasing segments, customer motivations for purchase, preferred products of these segments, switching behaviors and costs, determining the potential customer segments that cannot be reached with the current brands, etc.
  • Cost-benefit analysis for the two brands, determining whether the current brands are justified, etc.
  • Based on the above, determining future brand strategy along with recommendations on positioning of these products

3) Providing innovation strategy and evaluating startup investment/ collaboration recommendations (global financial services firm)

Organizational Background

Company C is a Japanese multinational financial service group that operates commercial bank, investment bank, trust bank, credit card, leasing, and consumer finance. The company has been working with startups, VCs, and universities to explore new business and innovative technologies including Fintech, AI, Machine Learning, etc. In addition, the company invests in some VCs in Japan and the U.S. as LP to expand network in the startup ecosystem. The company owns a variety of internal departments that focus on R&D and collaboration with startups. Each department works closely, but the company assumes that there is some room to improve in terms of organization to accelerate its business in the areas.

Project Summary

The project encompasses (1) evaluating Company C’s current innovation strategy and providing solutions to improve it, and (2) evaluating the current pipeline of firms that Company C is considering for partnership, and providing recommendations of firms/accelerators that it can invest in/partner with. This will require identification of emerging technologies and services that will disrupt banking business.

Objectives and Deliverables

  • Evaluate Company C’s current innovation strategy and create a roadmap for Years 3 to 5. This may include, but not be limited to the following:
    • conducting ideation sessions with the company’s Innovation Ambassadors to discover pain points
    • heat-map creation and prioritization exercises
    • proposing potential solutions or vendors to address identified pain points
    • assisting to create goals for implementation
    • creation of a case study involving peer financial services institutions that have adopted particular solutions for innovation (i.e. open banking/open API, blockchain/DLT, etc.)
  • Evaluate the existing pipeline of the firm and strategic initiatives and provide creative ideas to improve the pipeline. This will include:
    • analysis of target companies for partnerships/investments or for adoption of creative tools and recommendations to partner with/invest in
    • market study on accelerators that the company can partner with, along with ideas for structuring the partnership

4) Conducting market analysis of mid-cap U.S. corporates and recommending a market entry strategy (global financial services firm)

Organizational Background

Company D has an extensive network, with over 24,000-plus branches in India, 59,000 Pan-India ATMs, and 198 overseas offices spread over 37 countries, having the largest presence in foreign markets among Indian banks. The firm is one of the top 50 global banks with assets worth more than $531B, 209,572 employees, 500MM customers, and 740MM accounts. Company D’s N.Y. branch is FDIC insured and offers a bouquet of services to the clients by dedicated verticals for Corporate Credit, Trade Finance, Deposits and Remittances, Correspondent Banking, and Treasury.

Project Summary

The N.Y. branch wishes to grow its business in mid-market segment of USA (companies with funding requirement of $20MM-$100MM) for better returns compared to syndicated loans for large corporates, which is where its business is currently concentrated.

The student team will analyze the current demand and supply in this market and evaluate the branch’s capabilities for entering this market. The analysis should be followed by a market entry strategy with actionable recommendations. The team will use survey/interview method where necessary to gain insights.

Objectives and Deliverables

  • Market analysis on mid-market segment in USA. This includes identifying the lead banks in this space, their products and pricing, delinquency/default rate in this segment (especially during the financial crisis), etc. Demand side analysis includes profiling the companies operating in mid-market segment, identification of credit needs of these companies, and influencing trends
  • Demand-Supply gap analysis of this market, suggesting product and strategy alignment for Company D. The team should identify costs and benefits and recommend a go/no-go decision for market entry. The decision should be followed by a market entry strategy and recommendations for changes to be made at the bank to succeed in this market.

5) Identifying IoT use cases aimed at social good for implementation in developed and emerging markets

Organizational Background

Company E is a leading global digital infrastructure provider. It provides integrated, globally managed technology solutions that underpin today’s fast-growing digital economy. The company is shaping the future by investing in emerging innovations such as IoT, AI, automation, and predictive analytics.

With social responsibility as a motivation it wants to spark a conversation about the positive impact of technology and discuss the untapped opportunities that IoT provides for the benefit of people, businesses, and society. The project insights would complement the company’s thought leadership around IoT in its key markets: India, U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Project Summary

Company E sees huge transformational potential in IoT applications, whether that is through effective and efficient use of resources or enabling new systems for enterprises and governments. It wants the team to identify and analyze IoT use cases that are commercially unattractive but can deliver significant societal benefit if deployed. These societal benefits could include healthcare, urban planning, environment, agribusiness, etc. Further, with the hypothesis is that even if these IoT use cases might not deliver ROI today, over time the changing technological or commercial landscape could change the economics and make them feasible. By identifying some of these use cases and by quantifying their potential benefits, the company hopes to be able to drive awareness of the untapped potential of IoT to solve some of the pressing challenges that the world faces today.

Objectives and Deliverables

Broad project deliverables include:

  • Description of different IoT use cases for addressing the most pressing societal issues affecting developed and emerging markets. The impact should be measurable, and the use cases selected should represent the best opportunities to deliver positive social impact.
  • A compelling impact analysis of the selected use cases, along with potential challenges of implementation
  • A cost-benefit analysis of implementing these use cases and estimated monetary value of achieving positive change. Provide an estimate of current ROI, and a model of declining cost and improving ROI for long-term implementation and operationalization.

6) Evaluating enterprise solutions of leading tech companies in USA for expansion to Latin America (Latin American telecommunications service provider)

Organizational Background

Company F is a large telecommunications firm with a customer base of more than 245,000 companies in 17 countries. The company has a significant presence in the market with a spread across various locations in each country. It is focused on providing B2B technological solutions for carriers in Latin America with a main product portfolio of Connectivity (Internet, Data Products, and Satellite services), Mobile data, Cloud services, and Security. The company has two business units (B2B and B2C) providing a wide variety of mobile solutions.

Project Summary

The project requires identifying successful business solutions (B2B) offered by leading technology companies in the U.S., and evaluating whether it might be feasible to offer these solutions in Latin American markets by Company F.

Objectives and Deliverables

  • Identifying B2B business solutions offered by companies such as AT&T, Amazon, Verizon, Sprint, Google, Apple, etc. in the U.S. and evaluating their replicability in Latin America
  • Understanding Latin American markets by identifying market behavior characteristics, tech trends, and customer behavior. Based on current platforms and offerings, determining whether the markets are interested and willing to pay for the identified solutions
  • Based on the above conclusions, evaluating feasibility of expansion using Company F’s existing telecommunications infrastructure

7) Connected Consumer and implications to the physical banking environment

Organizational Background

Company G is embarking on a transformational journey that includes re-imagining how we serve our customers in the branch environment. With the consumer continuously connected and their mobile devices becoming a larger part of their physical hospitality and retail experiences (i.e. order ahead, mobile checkout, etc.), they are looking to understand how the branch environment of the future should integrate with the consumer’s mobile or IoT device. Although financial services companies currently provide mobile options for consumers, there is light integration of these devices into the physical banking environment (ATM and Branches). They are interested in focusing on the anticipated opportunities at the intersection of Digital & Physical Channels for branch/ATM banking over the next three to five years.

Project Summary

Create a comprehensive picture of the “Connected Consumer” for Company G. This will require applying a multi-stakeholder approach, including extensive outreach and dialogue with the financial services community, technology providers, and academia (not exhaustive) to highlight insights and opportunities for collaborative actions that Company G might pursue.

Objectives and Deliverables

The project output should address a number of key focus areas (not mutually exclusive nor collectively exhaustive) such as:

  • Drivers of change and major trends that are shaping the consumer banking industry. Explore how advancing technologies (IoT, 5G, etc.) are influencing consumer banking.
  • The effectiveness of new branch formats (i.e. café, non-staffed, on demand, etc.) in consumer connectivity
  • Barriers to change for Company G in adoption of new technologies and operational formats
    • Company G has nationwide footprint with unique challenge of serving communities of varying sizes, income levels, and technology adoption
    • Rural areas – these customers have different experiences, some areas have poor broadband connectivity and/or limited smartphone penetration
    • Metro areas – these customers’ experiences are influenced by their digital interactions with their favorite brands
  • Gaps and Opportunities (Service gaps that Company G currently faces and opportunities that it can take advantage of). Any digital transformation efforts have to take into account that cash depositing and dispensing remains a high-volume activity.
  • Future engagement strategies for Company G with actionable recommendations and a roadmap

Rank Your Preferences

Note: If you are only interested in one project, feel free to rate others as a 6 or 7. If you are open to all projects, feel free to rank all 1.