2017 Best EMBAs: Andreu Torregrosa Martinez, IMD

Andreu Torregrosa Martinez

IMD

“An enthusiastic and energetic visionary that loves the journey, especially when surrounded by amazing people.”

Age: 35

Hometown: Not sure anymore! I currently live in Uruguay, just having relocated from Switzerland and I am a Spanish national from Valencia. I have also lived in the US and China and my kids and wife are Greek.

Family Members: Ioanna Lourantou my wife and my two sons Alexandros (2 ½) and Leandros (½).

Fun fact about yourself: I believe I cook the best seafood Paella outside of Spain for my friends!

Undergraduate School and Degree: The two most important degrees that shaped my career prior to the EMBA at IMD are:

  • Master of Engineering in Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management, MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program; a full-time program in Boston and Zaragoza, Spain.
  • Master of Industrial Engineering, Valencia Tech University

Where are you currently working? My recent new role is Regional Supply Chain Head of Latin America for Hoffmann-La Roche. I am based in Montevideo, Uruguay and enjoy the opportunity to travel in the region extensively.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

  • Together with other amazing colleagues, we founded an Alumni Association of the Supply Chain Management MsE. We have organized, for three years in a row, the Best Practice Sharing Conference with top senior managers from supply chain and pharmaceutical companies in Europe.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of CSU (University Social Cooperation), a non-profit organization, composed of university students, that helps children in precarious situations. We organized Christmas gifts for children, led teams of volunteers, and modeled social behaviors through team sports. This experience gave me many deep-rooted learning’s about happiness in kids who, sadly, had nothing.
  • During my undergraduate studies, I worked at the International Relations office to assist international students with their acclimatization to the city and university. Prior to signing a partnership agreement with the Beijing University of Technology, my university expressed concern about how Valencian students would adapt to living and studying in Beijing (in 2006). To address this concern, they asked me to go to live and study there for three months. This was a great opportunity to be the first student at Valencia Tech to go to China in an exchange program and lead the way for future students.
  • I participate in long-distance triathlons, over the last 5 years, as a great way to relieve stress, regain energy, travel the world and achieve new goals and ambitions. 

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? This is very difficult question for me. During my studies, I become a father for the second time, finished building a house, founded a company together with other IMD colleagues, received an important promotion that required me to change jobs and continents, completed a long distance triathlon in Uruguay and, sadly, lost a cherished family member. If I had to choose my proudest achievement, I would tell you that bringing Leandros into this world yet also being together with my grandfather when he took his last breath was significant for me – despite the professional & academic demands – as family is the most valuable and important priority of all.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Early in 2016, I was leading a project to reduce complexity in the organization. It was the first time in my career that I had to present to the head of Roche Pharma and the leadership team. We achieved excellent results with an overall reduction of 40%. Following this experience, I took away a valuable learning that with positive energy, the right team and a long-term view, you can achieve ambitious goals.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Howard Yu is an unbelievable professor. Smart, reflective, brilliant, knowledgeable, innovative, energetic, objective and a great humor.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? The fact that the program has a limited class size and is able to attract high-caliber, experienced executives ensures that we are able to create authentic and strong peer relationships and learn from one another while receiving a highly personalized education.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? The applicability of the program assignments to my day-to-day job and the value they create for my company along with the Discovery Expeditions in China, US and Brazil. I also admit that I enjoy the face-to-face time in Lausanne – building strong relationships & new friends (especially the late nights at the pub).

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? Shortly after arriving to Uruguay and meeting my new team, I started preparing for the family move. Suddenly, five days before the due date of a program assignment, I received a phone-call from my Swiss bank informing me that all my accounts will be closed within a week. I needed to find a local bank and transfer my savings, as the Swiss banks did not have an agreement with Uruguay.

This was an incredibly stressful time and I was juggling many variables, a new environment all under a rigid deadlines. I managed to complete the assignment on-time and solve the bank situation. I realized that I was also able to push myself to limits; I was not aware I could achieve. I was able to organize myself into smaller achievable targets and focus on each challenge separately. I remember thinking, “let’s see how far I can get.”

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s executive MBA program? Be patient and find the right timing in your life. In my case, there was never a doubt about the school. It was more about the “when” to attend. I wanted to attend earlier, but I realize that it was well worth building professional experience before doing the EMBA. This program is very applicable to your company so the broader the responsibilities of your role and experience you have, the more you and your company will get out of it.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Clearly, not having more free time to dig deeper into all the extra material and resources available. IMD offers a lot; many readings, career workshops and access to amazing professors and business colleagues.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? There are so many talented colleagues in my class.

Johan Sigsgaard, from MAERSK, is far ahead in terms of “distilling” what really matters and extracting conclusions. I get the feeling of playing chess with him and he is always seven moves ahead. Riccardo Tediosi from Bruker BioSpin, has also had a tremendous impact on me. He is a dedicated leader who has fully embraced his leadership journey and ability for self-reflection and always with great team spirit. Johan for his ability to “distill concepts” and say in 30 seconds what really matters and Riccardo for his dedication and humbleness.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I no longer knew if I was using my own thoughts or company jargon.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…less confident that I can be the driver to initiate change that is needed in the company.”

What is your favorite company and what are they doing that makes them so special? I found fascinating how Huawei reinvented themselves and changed a traditional industry by implementing and embracing start-up competitions. I believe they have more than 1,000 CEOs. Each CEO of a mini start-up selects a team to turn an idea into a profitable business that may grow larger than the traditional business lines.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the executive MBA experience? Focus on personalized education and make sure each student achieves 2 or 3 major goals during their program. I would also implement virtual reality, not to have less F2F but rather to have on-line classes with the feeling of being with everyone next to you.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I hope to finish my career at a UN refugee agency, translating what I have learned in business to help refugees find a better home in improved conditions.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Without a doubt, it would be my wife. She has had to take an extra load for me to be able to pursue this dream. It is important not to underestimate the challenge for your partner, as this foundation should not be at risk otherwise it would be impossible to undertake such a challenging program. Your partner should be the ultimate decision-maker to the decision to embark on this journey.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Everything is possible, you just need to want it, have a long-term view and embrace ambiguity.

Favorite book: Good Luck: Creating the Conditions for Success in Life and Business

Favorite movie or television show: The Kill Bill series really affected me. The combination of magic scenes with amazing music was a killer, indeed!

Favorite musical performer: None, I believe there is ideal music for every moment and mood!

Favorite vacation spot: Any of the 227 inhabited Greek islands in the Mediterranean.

Hobbies? I am a keen traveler, enjoy diving and sailing, cooking Paella and outdoor activities such as triathlon, hiking and mountaineering.

What made Andreu such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

“Andreu is an accomplished executive who is highly respected within his organization, his industry and by his classmates. He abounds with energy and enthusiasm. Andreu is outgoing and personable and openly embraces the diversity in his class of 50 professionals – with an average age of 40 years old.

Andreu has had a particularly challenging year with an international move, an important promotion, a new family member while, at the same time, pursuing a challenging EMBA program. He has approached these challenges with a pragmatic, positive and confident attitude. In addition, he has a very humble, inquisitive nature along with a keen analytical mind and, as a result, is a strong contributor to “pushing” or challenging the class discussions to a deeper level and enriching the valuable peer-learning experience of the IMD EMBA program.”

Terry Akitt
Director of EMBA Admissions & Program Delivery

  • IMD EMBA Team

    Congrats Andreu, we will miss you in the EMBA cohort at IMD!

  • Camilo Romanha

    Nice job Andreu. You made our class and learnings better and much more interesting.