Cohort 9 visits Safari Park with disadvantaged children

Cohort 9 visits Budapest Safari Park for the group's outreach effort.

Cohort 9 participated in a safari park excursion with children from Budapest “State Care” (orphanage). With the help of many local volunteers from Hakosz (Students in the Community Service), students had the exciting opportunity to meet more than 20 children ages 4 to 12 at the Budapest Safari Park, located 30 minutes outside of the city.

“It was an enjoyable time of sharing laughter, interactive games and diverse languages,” said Wendy Lowe, coordinator of the Stetson University Executive MBA program.

The cohort was broken into six teams, each with three or four children assigned to it. Along with the volunteers from Hakosz, the groups toured the park, seeing animals such as bears, deer, birds and wolves in their natural habitats while team members played interactive games with one another.

“One of the games was each team would build a sugar cube castle while blindfolded,” explained Lowe. “While we gave the Hungarian children directions in English, they gave us directions such us up, down, left and right in English. We also learned to turn over a rug together using logic and teamwork as we all stood on the mat.

A bear was part of the park tour.

“Despite the language barriers, the walls came down with smiles, sharing of local snacks and with the help of the volunteers,” said Lowe. “Stetson students felt proud to be able to give these children a field trip away from their everyday surroundings and into a natural habitat where we could join in their excitement. During our three hours together, we shared more than just fun and games, we truly made a significant impact in their lives!

“Wayne Rigsby became a human jungle gym as the kids climbed on him and enjoyed his spirit. Christina Boncela immediately bonded with a little girl that looked up to her like a sister. Joe Chatterjee had running races with several boys who found his energy contagious. These children perhaps made a more significant impact on us! They helped us realize that the motto “work hard, play hard” is definitely rewarding, and as we learned at Nokia, ‘living adventurously’ is possible. We will take away numerous life lessons from our time with these loving children.”

The trip to the Budapest Safari Park was Cohort 9’s last organized activity together on the international trip.

“We ended our trip with farewells and hugs,” said Lowe. “About a quarter of the group will be extending their trip and traveling elsewhere in Europe and beyond. As these students travel by planes, trains and automobiles, we will have lasting memories of our time in Istanbul and Budapest.”

Cohort 9 cruises down the Danube

“Cohort 9 experienced a memorable Farewell Dinner aboard a private motorboat while cruising down the Danube River,” said Wendy Lowe, coordinator for the Stetson University Executive MBA program. “The sunset came, champagne toasts flowed and the beauty of the moonlight on the historical buildings and palaces glistened over the water.

“Cohort 9 shared fond memories of our international trip from the pedestrian streets of Istanbul, viewing the palatial mosques, bartering for our souvenirs or traveling the quaint streets of Budapest. The cohort bond was strengthened and business skills were honed during our business visits. After exploring the Danube River, the cohort spent the remainder of the evening enjoying spirits and dancing among the many clubs and cafes that share the riverfront.”

Cohort 9 tours Budapest

After leaving Budapest Bank, the final business visit of the trip, students took a tour of Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

“The cohort was relaxed and thoroughly enjoyed the sites,” said Wendy Lowe, Stetson University Executive MBA program coordinator. “We started with a traditional meal at Restaurant Rezkakas, where we loved the gundel pancake, a local delicacy. We then toured St. Stephen’s Basilica, built between 1851 and 1905; the Parliament Building, situated along the Danube, where you get an excellent view of the Citadel and Chain Bridge, up to Gallert Hill, which overlooks the city and Liberty Bridge; and finally to Vajdahunyuad Castle, situated on the Szechenyi Island, where we enjoyed pastries and gelato.

“Now we prepare for our evening farewell dinner — a river cruise down the Danube!”

Employee training and forward-thinking make Budapest Bank successful

Cohort 9 students Crystal Koepke, Toshimasa Matsumura, Michelle Naguiat, Duane Trumble, Nelson Silva were on the business team for Budapest Bank.

Today was the final business visit for Stetson University Executive MBA Cohort 9’s international trip to Istanbul and Budapest.

The last presentation was held at Budapest Bank, headquartered in Budapest, Hungary, since 1987. Laszlo Sziraki, leader of consumer business support, and his team from marketing, human resources and strategic business led the panel discussion.

“The Stetson Executive MBA team of Crystal Koepke, Toshimasa Matsumura, Michelle Naguiat, Nelson Silva and Duane Trumble were anticipating an engaging discussion,” said Wendy Lowe, Executive MBA program coordinator, “and Budapest Bank delivered!”

Budapest Bank provides a full range of banking services to small and medium-size enterprises. General Electric Co. holds a 100% stake in Budapest Bank, which provides a solid financial background and extensive training, which has added to the bank’s success.

Budapest Bank’s mission statement is: “We are not just bankers; we are builders.” The panel explained that Budapest Bank builds relationships with current and new customers and wants to grow these relationships by adding additional products and services over time.

Budapest Bank is the eighth-biggest commercial bank, with 3,000 employees and 101 branches. It was one of the first commercial banks in the market. It’s therefore considered a “stable” bank, which means it has business growth, transactional banking and innovation. The speakers listed the following among the bank’s competitive advantages: Leaders project and plan for the future in a methodical way, monitor and manage risk, are responsive to lending, work with “lean” processes, are customer-centric, have strong human resources to train employees and meet their needs, and have strategic partners.

Budapest Bank is using social media marketing on Facebook, You Tube and Twitter to build brand awareness. Other banks in the area are not there yet. Cohort 9 student Gwen Schaefer learned that, for Budapest Bank, the use of social media means that it is “building a society around us,” said the panel. The company’s public relations manager told Schaefer’s classmate, Christina Boncela, that the bank’s approach to marketing is no nonsense; it communicates clearly and effectively, and advises those who have questions by being very approachable and accessible.

The panel leaders said they believe Budapest Bank is successful in part because its managers understand the “drivers,” they plan actively and “deep,” and they consistently measure their progress and respond accordingly.

Matsumura asked if the cultural differences between GE and Hungary have created any issues with company culture. The leaders responded that they feel GE has actually bolstered Budapest Bank’s training and added more depth. Responding to compliance issues is even easier.

Koepke asked how Budapest Bank manages its portfolio, and if it’s planning to make changes. The panel said the bank operates in a performance-driven environment so percentages likely won’t decline.

Naguiat said she appreciated the response to her training and human resource question and was delighted to hear that several training formats (in person and online) are available on a consistent basis. “Actually, such training was occurring when we departed our visit today,” said Lowe.

The group's last business visit was at Budapest Bank.

Trumble asked if Hungary’s savings habits were short-term or long-term. Sziraki said that, unfortunately, locals’ savings habits are very short-term. He added that this could improve by a long-term tax-supported savings plan.

Silva pointed out that he noticed some drops in certain areas of the bank financials. He asked what the bank’s reaction to such events was. Sziraki said the financial crisis brought about a time when the bank’s employees had to change focus and behaviors and, in some cases, become debt claim managers to get it done.

Silva’s classmate, David LaRocque, learned that Budapest Bank can actually be quite flexible. After the financial crisis, it shifted its focus from lending to transactional banking. Now it can rebalance its time and efforts to support the current economy.

“The Stetson Executive MBA cohort enjoyed the panel discussion at the end and the time and enthusiasm of the different business leaders at Budapest Bank,” said Lowe. “Their hospitality was tremendous, and this visit was a perfect way to end our week-long travels in Istanbul and Budapest. We’ve witnessed first-hand the diverse lifestyles, business trends and strategies that now we can apply to our own company roles when we return to the United States.”

Cohort 9 learns an Internet banking success story

Cohort 9 students take a photo at the IND Group headquarters with CEO Balazs Vinnai.

Today, members of Stetson University Executive MBA Cohort 9 visited technology leader IND Group at its headquarters in Budapest, Hungary.

IND, which stands for Interactive Network Design, is an Internet banking company. It was founded in 1997 by Dr. Balazs Vinnai and two friends. Vinnai, the CEO, led the presentation during today’s visit.

When Vinnai and company launched IND Group, they did so with the equivalent of $159 euros (U.S. equivalent: $200). Now IND’s revenues top $12 million euros. Through growth and acquisition, the company has expanded to include 220 employees serving 15 countries in Europe and the Middle East.

Cohort 9 students Christina Boncela, Glorimar Hefner, David LaRocque, Gwen Schaefer and Lindsay Swantek served as the student business team for this business visit. They were prepared to discover the behind-the-scenes operations and future direction of this innovative company.

IND Group is a young, entrepreneurial company. Its goal is to provide a fresh, simple and engaging online banking system. It provides its technology to the banks so that they can differentiate their services to prospective members. Vinnai has a clear vision and understanding that this financial data must be a mobile channel with anytime, anywhere, secure access and with complete transactional data funneling back to the user immediately.

Vinnai said he believes the keys to IND’s success are building online banking for the future, focusing on innovations, using deep customer insight, making the product “sexy” (attractive appearance/graphs) and having simple views and graphs so clients can see and understand their personal financial situation. Vinnai added that compliance is huge and needs to be considered at all times.

Vinnai shared that one of the challenges is building a strong corporate image. This is very important because banking is so conservative and IND must gain respect and credibility. IND is a young team (average age lower than 30 with less than 10% turnover), especially within the Eastern Europe region, so the company must earn trust — and professionalism is a must!  IND also must always keep in mind its competitors.

Business team members Christina Boncela, Lindsay Swantek, David LaRocque, Glorimar Hefner and Gwen Schaefer had questions for Vinnai.

Swantek asked what the average age user of IND is, adding that dealing with dollars and banking usually impacts an older customer and the younger ones are the experienced technology users.  Vinnai said that, as an example, the average age user in Iran is younger than 25, mainly because government has given all students Internet free, so they are comfortable with technology and moving this new generational tool forward.

“Is IND focused on the banking or retail space?” asked Hefner. Vinnai explained that the tool is for anyone, has import and export capabilities and was developed as a business-to-business concept.

LaRocque asked how IND Group keeps its employees innovating. Employees maintain their innovative spirit by working on teams, spread throughout the countries. A lab serves as a hub to drive creativity, innovation and collaboration. Vinnai added that the employees spend 60% of their time on current maintenance and customer issues and the other 40% on innovations.

Schaefer knew that customization was important in IND’s technology tool, but she asked Vinnai how IND is able to keep pace. IND works with local partners, he said, and about 60% is made by these alliances.

Vinnai mentioned that he wasn’t sure that IND Group was the best name. Christina Boncela asked if he had considered rebranding? Vinnai said that company officials had considered doing so but didn’t feel the return was there. Instead, the company attends targeted conferences and worldwide shows as a form of advertisement, regularly hosts effective innovation breakfasts for banks and bankers, and presents webinars. He said these methods have proved to be the best way to market IND Group.

Cohort 9 student Toshimasa Mastsumura asked Vinnai to explain IND’s business model. Vinnai said IND receives a license fee immediately and then an ongoing annual maintenance fee.

In closing, Vinnai shared that selling IND’s solution is a long-term sale, for one year or more. It can remain competitive and flexible because its products can run on any platform and work closely with selective partners. Visualization and usability are key to make their product “sexy.” IND uses college students to test products, which is helpful in the development process and keeping it current. “Even young kids today don’t understand why TV doesn’t swipe like the iPad,” said Vinnai, “and this is where we are headed!”

“Our entire group enjoyed the CEO sharing his wisdom, experiences and fresh approach to where online banking and tools are moving toward,” said Wendy Lowe, Executive MBA program coordinator.


Cohort 9 visits world-renowned auto maker

Cohort 9 students Brian Smith, Brad Schoeneberg, Bonnie Spivey, John Huang and Joe Chatterjee served as the Mercedes business team.

Today, students from Stetson University Executive MBA‘s Cohort 9 focused on the automotive and manufacturing segment for the group’s last business visit in Istanbul before heading to Budapest. Students Joe Chatterjee, John Huang, Brian Smith, Bonnie Spivey and Brad Schoeneberg led the Mercedes-Benz questions and answers for the cohort through their extensive pre-meeting company research.

During the cohort’s three-hour visit and factory tour, students learned all about the Mercedes-Benz mission: engage in the sale, service, manufacturing, and marketing of Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products. The company offers sedans and coupes, sport utility vehicles, convertibles and roadsters, super cars, wagons and crossovers, as well as parts. The Mercedes-Benz cars division set a new record with sales of 1,381,400 vehicles in 2011 (2010: 1,276,800). Mercedes-Benz posted record unit sales with an increase of 9% to 1,279,100 vehicles. In 2011, Germany had 21% of unit sales; other markets include Western Europe at 24%, the United States at 18%, and China at 16%.

Dr. Michael Nicklas, CFO, shared the history of Mercedes-Benz, which started in 1886 in Stuttgart, Germany. He shared that Turkey’s diversity in lifestyle, transportation habits and employment varies greatly. He added that the young population in Turkey definitely drives future business strategies in the country.

Mercedes-Benz employs more than 500,000 people (51% are engineers, 28% are female, and 81% speak a foreign language). It is the 11th top provider in Turkey and the 15th-biggest employer. Turkey is considered as having a strong economy and in 2011 was among the top producing countries in Europe, ranking #6. Daimler is the largest shareholder at 67%.

According to Nicklas, there are many cost advantages in terms of engineering, labor and access to the already existing qualified suppliers. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz can leverage the facts that every brand is in Turkey, infrastructure is in place, and it has a strong educated base to pull from.

Goals are to be in the Top 10 in total product sales in the world, Top 3 in total products in Europe, and Top 3 in research and development. Currently 20% to 30% of the company’s sales are domestic. Chatterjee said he was fascinated by the fact that manufacturing costs are 40% cheaper to produce vehicles in Turkey vs. Germany.

Brad Schoeneberg asked the CFO about taxation. Nicklas pointed out that Mercedes-Benz has modified products based on the tax situation. Different size engines in a vehicle drive the tax cost.  This further challenges the company to deliver a smaller engine vehicle but keep the same high quality standards of the brand.

Dealer facilities all over the country have exclusivity with control over their operation; however, they make their money through service, parts and maintenance and a bonus from the headquarters if targets are met.

Mercedes-Benz remains competitive and productive because of its low sick leave, aggressive hourly wage, paid vacation and legal working-hour limits, all which keep the production cycles extremely flexible.

The students asked about the loss of market share in city bus sector. Nicklas explained that this loss is because of competitive bids based on price only, driven often by elections, and the fact that there is more local competition in this category.

Nicklas said the most important thing is to listen to the customer needs and how much they will pay, and build products that align with those findings. An example would be the new A class that has a smaller engine.

During the tour, students saw this antique Mercedes vehicle.

“Mercedes-Benz gave us the confidence that it will continue to create innovative products to be responsive to local and national trends,” said Wendy Lowe, coordinator for the Stetson Executive MBA program. “That was evidenced by our factory tour, where we witnessed different versions of the company’s buses being manufactured. Mercedes-Benz uses fishbone, real-time and kaizen processes to create efficiencies. It has a straightforward, uncomplicated sales model. Deals are not complex, and dealers are motivated to secure you as a buyer.”

Cohort 9 student Nelson Silva was extremely impressed by Nicklas’ wealth of knowledge. “It was my favorite visit so far,” said Silva. “His mentality from working in different countries and corporate connections give him skills that he can leverage in Istanbul.”

Student Crystal Koepke said she enjoyed the innovative business practices which gave Mercedes-Benz a framework, efficiencies and cost savings to build products of longevity.

Change in transportation habits is driving the company’s production; Spivey noted the significance of such change. Smith said he was impressed by the manufacturing plant tour and the fact that the Mercedes-Benz flagship bus takes 23 days to build. “Mercedes-Benz runs a very lean process and is focused on quality and results,” said Smith.

“After we finished the manufacturing tour, Mercedes-Benz invited us to its corporate canteen for lunch,” said Lowe. “The entire corporation made the Stetson Executive MBA students feel welcome, and their stimulating conversation created lifelong memories for our cohort.”


Disney background helps Cohort 9 understand Divan

Cohort 9 students visited Divan Hotel Group today in Istanbul.

The Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts background that many of Stetson University Executive MBA program’s Cohort 9 students have came in handy during today’s visit to Divan Hotel Group.

Selin Karaosmanogn, Divan’s director of marketing and communications, greeted the cohort with a sincere smile and some of Divan’s famous pastries. She explained that in 1980, Turkey began to see the increase in tourism because of its unique history, long coastline, and fantastic weather and food. Today, 15% of Turkey’s GDP is tourism.

Divan Hotels, part of Koc Holding (which students visited yesterday) since 2000, set up its first Turkey hotel in Istanbul. The founder couldn’t find an adequate place to stay when in town for business and hence the Divan Hotel Group emerged. Now, with three hotels in Turkey, and with expected growth to 25 hotels in this region before 2016, Divan has a bright future in store. Divan Hotels in Istanbul is known for its “Hospitality School,” its sincere service and its relationship with Koc Holding.

According to Karaosmanogn, the hospitality market is not saturated in Istanbul. She said she believes there will continue to be outstanding growth. In addition to keeping its five-star brands, it will launch Divan Express in fall 2012. The Express version of its hotels will be at a lower price point and accommodate business travelers looking for a safe, friendly, high-quality place to stay that doesn’t have a spa or full restaurant. In addition, Divan Hotels launched its first international hotel in Northern Iraq two months ago. The company will continue to open hotels and/or greet guests at their various locations to cater to the Middle East market based on the unrest in the area.

Karaosmanogn said Divan forecasts growth using various indicators, and it relies on its partners, such as Turkish Airlines and local Preferred Hotel Associations, to drive both tourist and business clients.

Cohort 9 student Joe Chatterjee asked Karaosmanogn what challenges Divan Hotel Group faces in the future. Karaosmanogn answered that rolling out Divan Express while expanding and maintaining Divan’s brand and culture, communicating clearly to the public and keeping investors happy at the same time will be a major challenge. Another challenge is finding just the right partner that will build the hotels in a preferred location with a shared vision. “Those are not always easy to find!” said Karaosmanogn. She said Divan hopes to expand to New York and Prague, for example. She added that social media will be a challenge for Divan Hotel Group as it expands on a more regional and national level with more importance on the messaging that has an international approach.

Students gathered at the end of the presentation for Divan Hotel Group's renowned pastries.

Edwin Alvarado, a Cohort 9 student who is also a guest services manager at Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts, was curious about Divan’s peak periods. Karaosmanogn said that in Istanbul, peak times are mid-March through June with a slow period in the winter months, at which time Divan offers extended-stay incentives.

Cohort 9 student Brian Smith, who works for Disney Vacation Club, asked about Divan’s occupancy. Karaosmanogn shared that Divan has an average of 80% occupancy with a three- to four-night stay in Istanbul, and that it’s made up of 50% tourists and 50% business people.

Cohort 9 student Toshimasa Matsumura, who works at Disney’s Shades of Green, was interested in Divan’s yield management.

Karaosmanogn shared that a new area for Istanbul is “health tourism,” or travelers who come and stay while having medical procedures done at a much reduced cost, such as Lasik’s or plastic surgery. This is a growing trend among Divan’s wealthy clients.

The Spice Market was the next stop for students, for lunch and souvenir shopping.

“After the business visit, we had a wonderful tour,” said Wendy Lowe, program coordinator for the Executive MBA program. “We ended up in the pastry shop where we enjoyed various samples and even made some purchases for our family and friends back home.

”We look forward to monitoring Divan Hotel Groups expansion on the coming months and years.”

Students later went to the Spice Market for lunch, and several bought souvenirs such as spices that are unique to the region. They then went to the Grand Bazaar for additional shopping for scarves, leather, silver and other valuables. After the shopping excursion, some went to the Turkish Dance Show, others went to the Turkish Baths, and some enjoyed a night on the town for free exploration on their last evening in Istanbul.

“Tomorrow, we head to Mercedes Benz and then to Budapest!” said Lowe.

Cohort 9 goes on Bosphorus cruise

Students from Stetson University Executive MBA Cohort 9 took a two-hour cruise today on the Bosphorus, the body of water that passes along the shores of Istanbul. It is 20 miles long and serves as the physical divider between two continents of Europe and Asia.

“The cohort enjoyed each other’s company while viewing the spectacular sights both near and far,” said Wendy Lowe, Executive MBA program coordinator. Below are some photos from the cruise.

Students cross into Asia to visit Koc Holding

Cohort 9 visits Koc Holding on the Asian side of Istanbul.

After two business visits earlier today at GE and Pozitron, members of Stetson University Executive MBA program’s Cohort 9 crossed the bridge in Istanbul to the Asia side to visit Koc Holding.

Ms. Funda Gungor, investor relations coordinator for Koc Holding, presented. Koc Holding is a large industrial group in terms of revenue, exports, share in the Istanbul Stock Exchange and number of employees. Koc Holding is in the Top 50 companies in Europe and Top 200 in the World. It has an 85-year history with a very large presence in Turkey and has 9% of the total sales/GDP, controls 11% of the Turkey Exports, and has 15 companies listed publicly.

Koc Holding has grown by an average of 31% in dollars in the last five years. Its focus is energy, automotive, durable goods and finance, which all have high growth potential.

Gungor stressed the importance of balancing risk and return in a portfolio and explained why Koc Holding has diversified its portfolio so that different sectors can thrive at different times within the global economy. She said that Koc Holding differentiates itself by quality and service, not just dollars. It also has the largest distribution network, customer database, leading brands with strong recognition and a diversified portfolio. It has strong net cash of $641 million.

Koc Holding is a third-generation holding company; however, family is only involved at board meetings, not in the day-to-day business dealings.

Cohort 9 students spend time together at Koc Holding.

Koc Holding is looking to export Fiat products to the United States. Cohort 9 student Brian Smith asked how Koc deals with the automotive industry. Gungor answered that the company is very dependent on its partner here and that Koc Holding just acts as the distribution and manufacturing hub, where in the other sectors it has much more control.

Cohort 9 student Gwen Schaefer asked about the company’s database. Gungor confirmed that it contains more than 11 million contacts that Koc tries to upsell and cross-sell to.

Danielle VanCola, Cohort 9 student, was interested in how Koc brands its companies. Many times, said Gungor, Koc uses its logo, and depending on the situation, it may combine that with the existing company name. For instance, when Koc Holding purchased Yapkikredi Bank. Koc uses its logo with the original bank name because of long-standing name recognition.

Members of the Koc Holding Business Team said they were impressed with the company's strategy.

Members of the Koc Holding Business Team (Dianne Honel, Valerie Baker, Maria Chalmers, Rebecca Potter, and VanCola) were impressed with how Koc Holding responded to the oil crises and the contraction in the market of 25% to 30%, as well as how strategic this company is in responding to future growth.

The entire cohort learned that Koc Holding not only has a dominant position in Turkey, but it is also socially responsible through various philanthropic efforts in education, healthcare, and culture and arts through the first private foundation created. In 2011, Koc Holding committed $203.5 Turkish Lira to reduce the impact of operations to improve the environment, showing that the company is here to stay.

“The cohort crossed the bridge and returned to the European side of Istanbul,” said Wendy Lowe, Executive MBA program coordinator, “but we can say we were in Asia!”

Pozitron teaches Cohort 9 about entrepreneurship

Cohort 9 students enjoyed the youthful atmosphere at Pozitron.

Students from Stetson University Executive MBA program’s Cohort 9 got to meet with Firat Isbecer, co-founder and director and business development at Pozitron, earlier today. The highly entrepreneurial mobile app and IT business has been very successful in its short 12-year existence.

Pozitron’s founders came up with the business idea during their final years in college. The business’ mission is to help its clients grow their business with its unique, custom-implemented mobile technology.

The company is self-funded, and from 2006 to 2011, has experienced a revenue growth of 1,100%. Pozitron’s growth has increased by 80% each year, and Isbecer said the company looks for a continuation of this trend in the coming year.

“Cohort members were impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit of the company because Turkey did not embrace entrepreneurs until just recently,” said Wendy Lowe, program coordinator for the Executive MBA program.

The company has grown from a handful of people to more than 60 today, with the average age being only 25. These young engineers are competitively compensated and have access to cutting-edge technology, earn bonuses every six months and receive other perks to stay competitive in the high technology industry that exists today. Pozitron’s client numbers have risen with the release of the iPhone because now, not only do banks want to use its mobile applications, but so do thousands of others. Today, Pozitron doesn’t have to as aggressively sell into new clients as clients are looking to use mobile applications to communicate internally and externally with employees or partners.

Isbecer told the students he believes Pozitron was in the right place at the right time and that the economic downturn actually worked in its favor because competitors who were trying to come to Turkey didn’t have the patience for the economy to sort itself out. This impatience allowed Pozitron to nurture existing relationships, grow new opportunities and find ways to differentiate itself locally. Its focus on large Fortune 500 type of companies, primarily banks, hasn’t been a quick sell. It often takes 11 months in the works with a two-month delivery timeframe to deliver a customized solution.

Pozitron continues to deliver and build long-term relationships. Mobile applications and IT products in general will continue to be an emerging sector, said Isbecer. He added that some measurable risks must be taken to be ultimately successful and to grow! Isbecer said he believes you must be transparent and honest, as well as build a lasting team. “These components will earn integrity and opportunities, especially in Turkey,” he said.

Cohort 9 student Monica Jordan asked how Pozitron handles ongoing training and development.  “Very carefully,” said Isbecer. “As employees want to attend key conferences or workshops, we sponsor them. We will bring in specialists in a technical field as well.”

Student Rebecca Potter asked how the company handles human resources issues. The company has grown so quickly that Isbecer continues to be involved in the interview process of each candidate and even with financial decisions as well. However, he added, the company is scaling to a point that he will start letting go of this segment of the business.

Two other students made observations after the visit was over. Gwen Schaefer said she enjoyed the company’s entrepreneurial spirit, adding that she likes that they have made calculated decisions to prosper, using patience instead of making the wrong decisions in hiring or partnering with a misfit. Student David LaRocque pointed out that in both this business visit and the earlier one to GE, the speakers stressed the importance of using local people to impact local economy.