Santiago Guerrero

Santiago Guerrero, Ecuador
Full-Time MBA 2020

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities
I have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Before ESADE, I created and developed a business acceleration program which helps SMBs owners create better and more efficient businesses. I have also founded an international book fair and an entire online corporate Learning Management System. I have managed budgets of up to $165,000 and teams of up to 30 people.

What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?
Creative writing, literature, and spirituality have always been invisible but essential for me. To have peace and balance and to be truly happy, I need to be involved in some sort or another with them, every day.

When I was 14 years old, I started writing as a means of expressing myself. With some intermittency, I have kept it going for my entire life. That has led to more than eight creative writing contests won, two books published, and myriads of short stories and reflections written. I also have a Facebook page where I publish my short stories ( In a way, writing is a way for me to keep track of my existence, and to make sense of the chaos of life.

Literature is another pillar of my life. For me, reading is a way of exploring other realities and other points of view. There is no better feeling than to read a book and feel that you are a different person because of it. My love for books led me to create an International Book Fair in my home province. Last year we organized its forth edition, with more than $50,000 in funding from various donors and 10,000 attendees. My goal with the fair is to attract people to discover the magic of books, and to deeply enrich their lives by doing so.

Last, but not least, is spirituality. I think that the only way to find heaven and happiness here on Earth is to have it inside ourselves, in our souls. That can only be achieved with a strong spiritual side. With that in mind, I am a devote believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings of love and compassion for the world. I am also interested in other forms of spirituality, like Buddhism, Zen meditation, and even the serenity that comes from philosophies such as the one from Alcoholics Anonymous. I love learning about other religions in the world, and how people find solace in them. I always like to tell that I have a wooden sculpture of Ganesha, the lord of wisdom and luck, the removal of obstacles and my favorite Hindu God, in my room. I brought him from my trip to India and is always with me.

Writing, literature, and spirituality keep me going day by day, and make my life substantially sweeter and nicer with their presence. I just wish that God keeps granting me the time and opportunity to develop and enjoy them, before he decides to call me by his side.

Émile Kobiyama

Émile Kobiyama, Japan
Full-Time MBA Class of 2020

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities
Bumbu Ryodo (study well, work well and run well)  
– Study: Learned business insights in ESADE and FGV-Brazil  
– Work: 3 internships in “Catalonian Sake” brewery, Japanese top manufacture, and Brazilian venture capital  
– Run: Won the marathon league in Barcelona, and the national atheltic championships in Brazil

What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?
Following my family’s value, since when I was a small child, I have believed that “What is Really Essential is What is Invisible.” In case of business schools, visible elements like rise in salary after MBA, sophisticated facilities and number of nationalities etc. seemed approximate among top schools, and they may not be core of the long-term competitiveness in currently saturated MBA industry. This principle could be also adopted in the business world (e.g. visible-product, invisible-corporate vison). Value of the visible elements could be maximized via invisible strengths. So at the first interaction with Ms. Mary Granger, the most admired admission director to lead me to the priceless experience in ESADE, I asked her “What is invisible but essential on ESADE MBA?”

As soon as I met Mary, I chose ESADE via being fascinated by its invisible but essential factor, for me which was an “ecosystem” that we could deeply revamp on how we would live future with own solid life principles, and that may be a “marriage” of all visible strengths like program structure etc. As we know, we are not developed by MBA, we develop ourselves by ourselves through MBA. ESADE provides an environment for us to develop ourselves and to find own strengths thanks to “chemistry” with diversified colleagues, flexible study choices and artistic culture of Barcelona etc., that is why ESADE was only option to me. Before applying, networking with ESADE alumni, who were superior as professional and “charming” human, also made me confident to enter into ESADE.

By leveraging such ecosystem, in my ESADEan life for 18 months, I could pursue the “Bumbu-Ryodo” style, a Japanese principle meaning “study well, work well and run well”. As achievements, I learned a lot of critical business insights in ESADE and in FGV-Brazil for study, got wider career opportunities in “Catalonia Sake” brewery founded by ESADE alumni, in Japanese top manufacturer, and even in Brazilian venture capital for work, and won the national athletic championships for run. Before the MBA I did not expect that these would happen to me, but every encounter could open my door to the unrecognized but attractive directions, in which I would be able to live as I am.

To sum up, a MBA never directly gives us “right” answers for our future directions, but ESADE should provide an ecosystem for us to find “optimal” answers. Sincerely I hope that ESADE will further attract students by its “invisible but essential” strengths in the next generation too. And I would like to contribute to broaden ESADE’s invisible value from alumni’s view, even after graduation, with my best appreciation and respect toward ESADE.

Malcolm Werchota

Malcolm Werchota, Austria
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

President, ESADE MBA Organization & Human Capital Club
-Building teams for success
-Harmonising Leadership Style
-Customer focused decision making
-Ambitious, Polite and Flexible
-Managerial competency
-Developing others
-Conflict Management
-Inspirational Leadership

What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?

To move to Barcelona for the ESASE MBA, with, or without the family – that is the question.

While applying for the ESADE university, I had not yet thought about the way forward with my family. We have a little family with two small children, Sophia and Camila, who both love Vienna. My little daughter Camila loves her Kindergarten situated next to the Danube. My other one, Sophia, is quite small, yet already connects with the children at the playground next to the flat. Both enjoy our afternoons spent cycling along the Danube, running around in the wine yards on the outskirts of Vienna and obviously their small Wiener Schnitzels.

Once I was accepted, it hit me. What should I do? Shall I move my entire family from Vienna to Barcelona? Shall we relocate all the furniture and belongings out of the flat, in which we just moved into one year ago? Shall we disroot the family from their known environment?

Pondering about this, I remembered the impact that my little family already has had on me. While both Camila and Sophia are only one and three, they have already, indeed, significantly transformed me.

Becoming a father has, indeed, significantly impacted me. It seems that as a father, one inherently develops skills and traits that make one a very different person. Raising a family with two toddlers has taught me to be more patient and understanding, yet also to be able to manage simultaneous challenges and crises more calmly. Life is now less about “me”, it’s about “we”. These traits have naturally flown into my professional setting, and my team has benefited from them. Lately, I have realized that I find it easier to comfort colleagues when they have difficulties.

Having two babies who cannot speak, one’s attention to non-verbal communication is also heightened. The awareness has also helped me identify signs of struggle and distress of a team member, which I was able to address in a private setting to help him with. Becoming a father has finally helped me become a better role model, not only for the sake of my children but also for my colleagues and the environment around me.

Thinking about the points mentioned above made me realize that I should take them with to Barcelona. Not only for them to enjoy a new culture, new type of food – especially seafood, which is not readily available in Austria – but also, generally, the fantastic cultural setting that Barcelona has to offer.

Looking back on the last three months, have proved us right. Our daughters are thrilled here. Camila started learning Catalan in her new Kindergarten. Sophia has found a few playgrounds within a few minutes’ walks from our new flat. And both are continuing to educate their Papa, by teaching him new values and skills – lately, negotiation techniques.😊

Viswanath Anand

Viswanath Anand, India
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

IDBI half marathon finish – Proud moment for me as I finished in spite of twisting my ankle in the 2nd kilometer. A lot of resilience and the fact that it was my maiden run with my father made me see this through till the end.

What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?

I spent most of my childhood in a foreign country, having moved to Abu Dhabi, UAE, when I was just 2 years old. Life there was blissful, and of course very comfortable. This was only possible because of the bold decision my parents took to leave the comfort of their motherland. Today, as I pen this down sitting in my ancestral village in Kerala, I realize how easy I have it, all thanks to my parents.

We would travel every year to India and would make it a point to visit this very ancestral village. To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of this as a kid. Having spent so much time in a city full of skyscrapers and cutting edge technology, this was a sudden and almost boring change. My grandparents struggled to make the world a better and more importantly an easier place for my parents, and my parents have done the same for me.

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have been exposed to a wide array of diversity and culture, having traveled to 12 countries. While they were “vacations” as a kid, as I grew up, every visit was a learning curve, even if it was just a glimpse of what lies out there. Just over the past 7 years, since I have left home, I have lived in 3 different cities, each with a different allure and culture. I realized that with every passing year, I have become more adaptable and open to change. All of this has been possible only because of how I embraced change, and how I learnt how vital it is to stay grounded and true to my roots.

It is almost surreal that as I write this, I am going to embark on a similar journey around the same time my parents did when they took the decision to move to Abu Dhabi. Surreal or not, seeing the decisions my parents have taken have only emboldened me, preparing me to be more adaptable and helping me embrace change with open arms. As I prepare to begin this new, exciting journey with ESADE, I realize that you are only as strong as your roots.

Arviendra Wijaya

Arviendra Wijaya , Indonesia
Full-Time MBA 2020

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Board Member:
VP of Media, Sports Business Club, ESADE MBA Co2020

Community Engagement:
– Tutor in Hong-Kong Coding Mum program, Indonesian Government’s coding school for Indonesian housewife and female migrant workers abroad
– Voluntered for Bank Mandiri´s CSR Program for repairing orphanages and worship places in Indonesia

What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?

Bangkok, Thailand 2013. I was visiting Wat Pho – a large complex of Buddhist temples. It was peak of the tourist season. The temperature was boiling and I was desperately in need of cold mineral water. Long story short, I randomly went into one of the shops, and suddenly an old man with a black hat, sitting at a large wooden table called me and asked whether I want to do a palm-reading for 600 Baht. I hesitated for a second, but, I nodded and then go for it (of course). Then he did a full circle of fortune-telling, from palm-reading, numerology to tarot cards.

First, he told about my past. And, all he said was true. It was truly frightening, how can he know few details of my past. And for the future part, he said that I was born in year of the Horse and based on my birth date, I have the Earth element. Combining these two factors with my numerology result, he told me that I would go to see many places around the world. Slightly confused, I told him “well Mister, thanks, but for me, it is something unimaginable, I’m only an ordinary worker, and I don’t think that I will have time to do that.” The old man only smiled and said, “you will Son, very soon.”

Five years later, I had forgotten about that meeting. I continued with my life in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. I have a love-hate relationship with this city. Jakarta is full of surprises. This city is the exact epitome of dreams and hope. On the other hand, Jakarta is not an easy city to love. The rhythm of the 8-5 grind, daily traffic, roads with holes in urban “kampungs,” the rampant presence of motor-based services, muddy laneways, and annual floods in the rainy season has became a part of my early adult life.

After years of work, at some point, I just felt that this routine has become heavy and difficult to handle. And then, my mind started to crave for a change. Perhaps, it´s time to do something new with my life. I was done. I was ready to move away and escape from that rhythm and routine for good. However, it was hard for me to even imagine that I would go somewhere else. But God works in mysterious ways. One day at work, suddenly an email popped out saying that I am eligible to take a scholarship from my company.

Among the different set of choices, I chose ESADE, and it was the right choice. Located in one of the most lovely and beautiful cities, ESADE is a melting pot of students from different parts of the world. I met friends from 51 different nationalities and also got the chance to see the world. And now, 6 years and 40 countries later, I am still amazed by that old man’s fortune-telling ability. My ESADE MBA journey clearly opened my eyes, refreshed my mind and gave me new set of knowledge. And now I am ready to face a new challenge.

Rara Ratri Ridzky

Rara Ratri Ridzky, Indonesia
Full-Time MBA Class of 2020

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Professional Career:
In my 7 years career as a banker, I was awarded as best employee in 2014 (my company has around 70 thousands employees at that time). I was also recognized as High Potential Employee for five consecutive years (2012 – 2017) and managed to reach middle-level management position faster than the average track. In 2018, I was awarded with a full scholarship from my company to take MBA Program at ESADE.

Other Achievements/Activities:
1. Represent Indonesia in Gastrofest and win as favorite food/team in 2018. At the event, I made Indonesia’s traditional food called “nasi kuning” or yellow rice.
2. In less than 15 months of my MBA, I already travelled to more than 25 countries and more than 30 cities. Yes! Travelling is one of my passions! My goal is to reach at least 40 countries before finishing my MBA (*fingercrossed*).

What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?

As a proud Indonesian, I am used to living in diversity. Indonesia has significant cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity. Here, we treat diversity as part of the nation’s ideology. We have mutual respect and tolerance for everyone. I see diversity as an opportunity to discover different perspectives, which can broaden my way of thinking and promote respect for others. I believe every person is unique and we are born into this world with each specific role and purpose. That’s why, in my short MBA time, I always try to do something simple but meaningful to bring happiness and create the best memories for my friends at ESADE, so that they will always remember me.

I have two biggest passions in life: cooking and traveling. I am a big believer in “food bring you happiness”. Therefore, when I have free time, I like to cook Indonesian food and invite my friends to come and eat together at my house. I use this opportunity not only to introduce the richness of Indonesia’s culture and food but also to be able to listen to their stories from all over the world so that I can learn their culture and their perspective. It also gave me the opportunity to meet, interact and cook with friends from other sections and get to know them beyond academic activities. From this small activity, I can really feel the beauty of diversity at ESADE.

I also like to travel in my free time. I like to explore new places, meet new people, and taste new foods. Travelling makes me realize that the world is so big and reminds me that there are lots of things to learn and experience, therefore we must keep challenging ourselves to move from our comfort zone. I like to share my travel journey with my friends through my social media, not to brag about myself but to share with them the experience. After travel, I also like to share the story with my friends, give them suggestions and motivation to explore more.

Maybe these two things that I do in my MBA are not something special and impactful. But I hope that these simple things, although maybe invisible for some people, can bring in essentially meaningful flavors and colors to the lives of my friends around me. And eventually, these activities will create memories that will enable my friends to always remember me as a nice friend from Indonesia who always shares happiness through food and travel.

Megumi Takemoto

Megumi Takemoto, Japan
Full-Time MBA 2020

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

Finalist in ESADE and elBullifoundation Creativity for Business Innovation Case Competition
Founded a startup and participated in ESADE Accelerator Program as one of the selected teams/ideas

What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?

Just after I graduated from Tokyo University in Japan, I started traveling around the world by motorcycle by myself for three years. It was my second time going abroad after a graduation trip to Turkey months before. I went around Australia first, then flew back to Japan once, and started again from Los Angeles, United States, went down to Central, South America then went to Europe and West Africa through the Sahara Desert.

Not exactly ‘around the world’ as I had originally planned. Nonetheless, it was an eye-opening experience to see things and to talk to people that I would not have known, otherwise. Every day, I encountered new things and met people who helped me broaden my horizons. However, this journey brought one of the life-changing challenges I have ever faced.

One day, as I drove up to the famous Ruta 40 in Patagonia, Southern Argentina, I fell from motorcycle and almost broke my right knee. It was my first time to see how fat in my body looks like that scared me a lot. To make things worse, I was literally in the middle of nowhere. The closest village with 40 people was around 100km away. Luckily, the motorcycle was not damaged. I managed to get to the village, and a nurse put stitches on the wound.

At that time, it took me five minutes just to walk one meter. I had no choice but to leave the motorcycle there and to go to Buenos Aires, in order to go to the proper hospital and to recover in a safe environment. There was no public transportation available at the village, so I waited and asked a tour bus coming through once a week to take me to the bigger town, then spent three days transferring bus lines to get to Buenos Aires. Fortunately, I had known a hostel owned by a Japanese there.

After all of these, it took me half a year to start traveling again. Besides my knee injury, I had almost everything stolen in a hostel in Mexico, I was stricken with malaria while going down through the Sahara Desert, and I had many other minor troubles.

What I learned from these experiences is that the hardest moments would always make me feel that it is almost impossible to face or go through them. Surviving these incidents made me realize that going through a very tough challenge is not the end of the world. These almost impossible to handle challenges will always be a part of the process of creating something new – a new product, a new journey and a better version of myself. Eventually, everything is going to be okay. All I need is patience and a strong will to go on. Also, there will always be that someone who could help me, if needed. Now, I am a single parent with two children, quit a decent job, doing the MBA, and going to start my company. I may need to overcome many challenges that are waiting for me, but I believe I can do it, and I can make my dreams real.

Shehryar Azhar

Shehryar Azhar, Canada & UAE
Full-Time MBA Class of 2020

Academic Roles, Achievements and Activities

1. VP of ESADE Finance Club
2. Turned around my family business (management consulting) post financial crisis
3. Oversaw the development and implementation of new strategies and internal structures for my family business
4. Managed and executed several trade transactions as a Corporate Banker

What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?

I consider myself to be a Global Citizen, as I have Indian and Pakistani roots, have lived most of my life in the Middle East, and am a Canadian citizen. I have lived in two of the most culturally diverse cities in the world: Dubai and Toronto. As a result, I am fortunate to have interacted, befriended, and leaned from people of various backgrounds over the years. Being in Barcelona for my MBA has been able to further enrich my experience with people from around the world. During the MBA I have also lived in Bangalore (India) and Berlin (Germany) for my internships.

Academically speaking, I am a Professional CMA (Certified Management Accountant), have a Masters degree in Islamic Banking and Insurance and am currently pursuing a Full-Time MBA at Esade Business School in Barcelona. I completed my undergrad degree at Western University, studying Management & Organizational Studies, in 2008.

I have spent most of my career as an Entrepreneur and in Financial Services. What I am most proud of is when I joined my family business in 2010 and oversaw the turnaround of the business which had been adversely affected by the Global Financial Crisis. Following that I was involved in Financial Services for a period of six years, namely in Risk Management, Corporate Banking and Private Banking. I have also operated as an independent (part-time) consultant for various small to medium sized firms as a business adviser / consultant.

I am a proud husband and father of two daughters. My second daughter, in fact, was born in Barcelona during my MBA, which was quite a unique experience. Finally, I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with a form of stage-1 cancer in 2015, however I had a great set of doctors and strong support from my family that helped me get through the ordeal. Today, I can say that I am 100% healthy and living a happy, healthy, fulfilling life.

Sarthak Sethi

Sarthak Sethi, India
Full-Time MBA Class of 2021

Professional Roles, Achievements and Activities

I am most proud of my successful work against extreme odds at Zomato, Dubai.

To elaborate further, when Zomato wanted to expand operations into UAE, the firm looked towards entrepreneurial individuals. Given my outstanding track record in sales and business development along with my ownership and leadership spirit, I was the only and the youngest one among 45 peers to be selected for the opportunity.

In my capacity as sales manager, I initially worked with the firm’s senior executives to expand the venture’s operations in Sharjah followed by Ajman emirates (cities). In a multicultural and diverse environment, I quickly adapted to enroll 80 high net worth clients within the first 3 months of operations. Overcoming significant cultural, language, and business barriers, I led a team of 10 individuals through multiple crisis situations and created an inspiring work environment for entrepreneurial leadership. Apart from sales, I even managed the operations, marketing and partnerships in these new areas.

Acknowledging my success, I was even given the responsibility to start international markets – Lebanon and Qatar.

I won several awards and appreciation and was even invited to HQ office to discuss growth plans along with other heads and founder of the company.

My success in the three-years stint at Zomato established the venture’s presence and growth in GCC region. Reflecting on the impact of my work makes me really proud.

What is invisible but essential about YOU?

“What have you done in life to make someone else’s life better?” My father asked when I wanted to buy a new pair of shoes? That very moment, that very question changed my perspective of life.

Coming from a desert state of India where basic needs were minimal, at a very early age I was exposed to the fact that personal wealth is not measured in terms of money or cars or house but rather to the fact that how able are you in making lives of less fortunate ones better.

With that family values instilled, I donated a fair share of my first income towards sponsoring the education of a child in a small village school. The satisfaction, joy, pride, and euphoria I felt thinking that one day that very child will grow up to be a responsible individual of the society. He/she will be able to provide a roof, food, and education for his/her children. It made me realize that I am not just helping one individual rather I am creating a positive impact on generations to come.

I never looked back since then. As my salary cheque grew, so did my contribution. I got more involved in social welfare and started motivating others to do so.

I’m not sure where will I go in life. I have my professional and personal goals, yet I am searching for my calling. However, I know with every growth I see in life I will never stop to payback the society and make this world a better place.