Interview with Marco T. Araujo

Name: Marco T. Araujo
Nationality: Brazilian
Year Graduated: 2018
Current Organization: Aurora Energy Investments AG
Current Role: Managing Partner

Tell us more about your professional background. What were you doing prior to embarking on the Executive MBA HSG?

I am from Mechanical Engineering with a background in Aeronautics. I have over 15 years of experience in the consumer goods industry with a focus on the supply chain, particularly in procurement in various purchasing roles in different countries. I built up real international experience, networks and leadership in global supply chain, design and implementation of supply strategies, and capacity creation in fast-growing developing markets. I also reorganised businesses structures with a cost constraint and/or markets in crisis (e.g. Greece in 2010s). All that improved my negotiation skills and business acumen.

Why did you decide to do an EMBA programme? Why did you choose the EMBA HSG?

I decided to do the EMBA programme in order to look for a new and more impactful life to make a positive contribution for others. In 2015, I noticed a growing need to increase my positive impact. Getting involved with the industries that are decisively shaping our present and future would be the way forward – it was definitely not the consumer goods sector, despite its size.

In hindsight, I was reconnecting with my inner core motivation: to help advance life via science and engineering. 2015 was an intense year of professional soul searching and research, a deep dive into the continuum of the reality.

In this process of reflection, I also revisited missed opportunities: the huge Internet Revolution (1990s to its end in the mid-2000s). I decided to not let that happen again.

So, I chose the energy sector because it is the “ultimate life support system for the 7 billion people on planet Earth” and it is an “analogue” system, ripe for disruption. It generates USD 6.5 trillion in annual sales today and it drives agriculture, water, transportation, and access to education.
The ongoing digitalisation of the energy system will potentially eradicate poverty because decentralised energy generation and distribution can drive costs down to 1/10. It can also penetrate the most remote villages on earth by creating access to water, food, clean air, transportation and a reduction in pollution. The “Enernet” Revolution leads to a lot of potential in energy.

How has the EMBA HSG programme changed you personally?

New skills, expertise, and leadership development. All these together work as a solid foundation to support and help me thrive in my newly found direction and passion: renewable energy.  Based on the coaching feedback, I am also a more rounded professional who is trained to go out of my usual “box” of Operations/Supply Chain to engage in Business Strategy, Finance, Private Equity Management, and Marketing. All of these are far more effective now in leadership and coaching others than ever before.

How has the EMBA HSG programme made a difference in your career?

It gave business roundness and depth to someone who had spent too much time in operations only (supply chain management).

The move to the energy sector signified that I needed to be ready for a career double pivoting (changing the industry from FMCG to Renewable Energy & changing the position from Supply Chain to General Management). Through the Career Development programme, I learned that I needed a top quality “Gym” and “Personal Trainer” to build up a completely new set of skills and further sharpen my leadership capabilities. The EMBA HSG with the personalized coaching programme allowed me to focus on succeeding in all of these areas.

I chose a master’s thesis with the theme: how to accelerate the deployment of solar PV energy in the developing world, which led to a business model and the foundation of a start-up in Zurich, dedicated to the engineering + finance of clean energy projects internationally.

What did you appreciate the most about the EMBA HSG curriculum?

The career coach programme and the master’s thesis in renewable energy strategy and finance allowed space for reflection and time to integrate the new perspectives in my life throughout the programme and beyond.

Was there a particular course that you enjoyed most, and why?

In my view, I enjoyed Business Strategy because it improves one’s business acumen and capability to make sense of organisations. It equips students with the ability to find opportunities and to be able to apply the method by knowing what has to be done to improve results and steer business forward safely in a fast-changing world.

What advice would you give potential participants who are looking to do an EMBA HSG?

I would highly recommend doing the leadership development and coaching programmes, where you find unique opportunities to learn and internalise new habits for the programme flow. 

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