TC055-15 - IMD Business School
Alumni Stories · Strategy

“BPSE totally exceeded my expectations”

Paul Gemperle, a recent Breakthrough Program for Senior Executives (BPSE) participant, discusses his game-changing experience
February 2015

Paul Gemperle is Director at EVS. The company began specializing in promoting and selling automatic coffee and vending machines and is now performing outsourced international supply and support activities. It is based in the French-speaking area of Switzerland near IMD.

During his fast-paced career he has enjoyed a great deal of success — resulting in him in being the director of his own growing company. He has traveled around the world and launched a number of exciting business initiatives in Hong Kong, the United States and other countries.

Although Gemperle doesn’t have any regrets about his frenetic career path, the one thing he did not have is the time to stop and reflect on the direction of his career, or channel some of the energy of his business and provide it with more structure.

“Since I started my career I always wanted do something like an MBA or have management training, but the time never came,” he said. When he was considering BPSE, he was looking for a program that would help him improve his strategic capability to transform his business. “BPSE totally exceeded my expectations,” Gemperle added.

There were a few things that really stood out in BPSE, according to Gemperle. He didn’t expect much from the personality assessment before the program, but it turned out to be one of the “important parts of the program” that really helped personalize his learning experience.

In addition, he got a lot out of the pre-program preparation and follow up.

Gemperle put so much effort into going over the program preparation material that he said Program Director Seán Meehan joked that he was working too hard. Gemperle also appreciated the follow up after the program with Meehan, which helped him better structure the breakthrough he was putting in place at EVS.

Other benefits of BPSE, according to Gemperle, were that each of the components of the program, no matter how insignificant they might have seemed, were applicable in practical situations at his work.

Meehan and the program coordinator Sangeetha Wickram also went out of their way to make BPSE an outstanding experience, said Gemperle.

Next year, Gemperle plans to continue business initiatives aimed at creating positive social and environmental impact with other BPSE participants, whom he said enhanced the overall experience.

“My biggest breakthrough in BPSE was not professional, it was personal,” he said. “The people who work with me have told me they see a huge difference between before and after.”

Breakthrough Program for Senior Executives (BPSE) caters to a carefully selected group of senior executives who are searching for game-changing moves in their business through high-impact strategy and leadership. It is a two-week program with additional pre- and post-program support.