TC072-15 - IMD Business School
Alumni Stories · Strategy

On the front line of digital solutions

Why Marcelo Duhalde keeps coming back to IMD
April 2017

As European Lead for Digital Health at Amgen, the world’s - IMD Business School largest biotechnology firm, Marcelo Duhalde is on the front line of digital solutions to help improve health care. He joined the company eight years ago, following a period of six years with Novartis, where he was first introduced to IMD in 2007. He has been coming back ever since.

Duhalde first attended two IMD programs thanks to the Swiss pharmaceutical company’s long term corporate relationship with the Lausanne business school, and when, in 2009, he moved to Amgen, he asked himself what he would miss most.

“Novartis is not an easy company to leave and when I made the change, I looked at the things I would really miss.” Following a US experience at Harvard Business School, Duhalde was back at IMD, first for Driving Strategic Innovation in 2011 and more recently for Leading Digital Business Transformation.

What he was looking for at IMD: the challenge

“I was looking for a foundation to start changing my space.” After 14 years in the corporate world in seven different countries, Argentina-born Duhalde wanted to move closer to the innovative side of business and found that the DSI experience was a great fit. It also prepared him for agile product development, a valuable asset in his current position where he develops and executes ‘market entry’ strategies into digital health products.

“IMD packages the world into digestible chunks,” which, according to Duhalde, prepared him better to drive change.

What he found at IMD: the approach

Duhalde appreciates the IMD programs and attributes their success to two main factors:

  • An excellent selection of participants, with a good mix between different levels of employment, industries and origins. “Everyone is a seasoned executive, but you don’t have to be a CEO.” He says that he feels at home when he comes to IMD and is stimulated by his fellow participants.
  • A constant up-dating. Even within two years, he found the programs refreshed and revitalized.

He pays tribute to IMD Professor Bill Fischer’s ability to remain engaging and relevant over the years and recalls the first DSI session in 2011 where he challenged the participants to be bolder and invited them to open Twitter accounts there and then. Duhalde says that this changed his life. Among the connections he made is with Alexander Osterwalder the Swiss business theorist, author and consultant, who is a frequent speaker at IMD.

“The problem is that we are surrounded by people like ourselves. Twitter opens our horizons. Thanks to Osterwalder, I also re-discovered running. Thanks to IMD, I have become even healthier.”

How he benefits from IMD: the impact

As part of a team at the vortex of health care, Duhalde says how crucial it is stay on top of what is happening in other industries as well. At IMD, he learned a lot from case studies and experiences that he was able to fit into the framework of his current job. “Driving hyper-awareness is the key to doing this in a dynamic way.”

But he also explains how important it is to stop the ball, take time to reflect, share what you learn and listen to others. “We want to make the world a better place, so we first start with ourselves.” He says that IMD programs bring fresh air with fresh ideas, which is why he intends to come back for more.

“This is a real down-to-earth academy. I love the experience. I’m really happy with IMD.”

Find out more about
Driving Strategic Innovation and Leading Digital Business Transformation.