Interview with Salvador Garcia

Name: Salvador Garcia Zalduegui
Nationality: Swiss
Cohorte: IEMBA 7
Current Organisation: iRewind AG
Current Role: Co-Owner & Head of Operation

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

At the same time as I started my bachelor degree at the HSG back in 2009, I embarked on the journey of entrepreneurship. Together with other entrepreneurs, I created and developed different startup projects in different industries. For example, my very first startup was involved in the importation of specialized consumer goods, such as premium niche alcohol brands. After completing my Bachelor, I founded iRewind and have since been active with that company. I have to admit it has been a challenging roller-coaster filled with ups and downs, but since January 2018 the company is healthy and we have reached most of our yearly goals since then, from a financial and customer base perspective. With the current success of the company, we expect our team to grow quickly and being now present in several countries around the globe, we will have to manage bigger teams internationally. This is a very crucial step in our development and therefore an International Executive MBA was the perfect solution to make sure I had all the right tools to grow our company to the next level.

You started your EMBA HSG journey in August 2019, which course week have you enjoyed the most so far?

So far, the course I enjoyed most during the IEMBA HSG was the very first class teaches by Prof. Dr. Karolin Frankenberger, which was Management & Transformation. Its focus on practical relevance was especially important to me due to my entrepreneurial mind-set, but also because the subjects tackled during the course would directly related to what I was confronted with regarding the development and growth of the company on a daily basis. It simply offered me tools to approach issues with a different mindset and perspective.

How has the EMBA HSG programme changed you personally so far?

I have never been employed in my life, as I have always been active in the startup scene and felt that I was missing something important. The IEMBA HSG program so far has been key when it comes to my personal development and mental well-being. I really needed this open peer- to- peer exchange to learn from the students’ and professors’ experiences. This has really been a game changer for me and helped me to develop both professionally and personally.

You are involved in the nationwide project “OneMillionRun“. Tell us a little bit about the project and how you came up with the idea to start the project?

Our company’s focus is on delivering personalized digital solution for mass participation events. As you can imagine, the COVID-19 crisis hit us hard, very hard. Our industry has been falling in scrambles, as most events were cancelled and big gatherings are still – as of today – forbidden. In such an environment our activity decreased by nearly 100%. But we didn’t want this virus to defeat us. We were motivated to find something positive to build on, because within every bad situation there is always an opportunity. Even a dead clock shows the correct time twice a day. In the end, it’s your decision whether to to stay positive or not. At iRewind, we decided to see the glass half full and step up. But what could we possibly do? The wish was to connect people and create an event for everybody while complying with the social distancing measures. But we knew that, just organizing a virtual race would not be enough. We realized we had to create something unique to trigger enthusiasm. Thus, the idea of the OneMillionRun was born. Thanks to the iRewind’s valuable network, the company could convince Datasport (Swiss Time Keeper) and Weltklasse Zurich (organizer of the famous athletic event), as well as numerous sponsors, with this virtual race concept in a short period of time.

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

I can only speak for my young fellow entrepreneurs. We are obviously a group that do not follow the “classical” path to success, but this doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from it. An Executive MBA has nothing to do with the normal scholar process and can really be suited to every type of person, as long as you are driven and motivated. Mixing an innovative teaching approach with students from various backgrounds and personalities create a unique set-up for your emancipation. I also would like to congratulate the EMBA HSG on the cohort they have put together for the IEMBA 7. Never have I thought I will have such a good relationship with every classmate and feel personally comfortable with each of them. This is an indescribable feeling to feel united with people that are actually so different from you.

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