Ivan Cuesta is currently completing his DBA on Activist Shareholders at the Ecole des Ponts Business School in Paris. He is a passionate entrepreneur and currently heading up Global Operations and the Pharmaceuticals division of DMK Baby and founded the Baby Food Brand Biologix in France. Ivan is highly skilled at architecting impactful business stories for his people. While known for his results, he is equally known for his way of getting results, putting the focus on learning and creating impact from a much broader business perspective. He brings his unique perspectives for running a value-driven business into the classroom at Cedep, Bocconi BS and Politecnico di Milano. Ivan always brings curiosity to his research and is a disciplined practitioner, connecting ideological concepts and business tools to the phenomenon of being activist shareholders. He bridges sound academic thinking into real world contexts.
First of all, May I ask how you define yourself personally and professionally in a few words?
I am a 41-year-old man, who grew up in a very small village in France. My intuition and life encounters moved me from Amsterdam, to Milan, Zurich and Bremen for corporate responsibilities. I have also been an entrepreneur since 2011 and a teacher since 2012 at Cedep (Insead Campus) in Fontainebleau.
Can you tell us more about your experience? What is the one that impacted you the most?
My business experience is mainly influenced by the infant nutrition industry, driven by my first corporate experience at Numico in Amsterdam in 2004. This first step has been the most impactful for me, due to the very inspiring bosses I had, and to the unique performance culture of the company.
Can you tell us more about your company Biologix? How did you get the inspiration and idea to start it? What is its mission?
Biologix is an infant nutrition company, inspired by my experiences in Numico and Hero group, as well as by my French roots. It is all about giving the safest nutrition to the most vulnerable group in society, babies.
If you could give advice to someone who would like to be an entrepreneur and who has a broad idea about the kind of business they want to start but is a bit lost, what would that be?
My main advice is to follow your intuition and your passion. Intuition must be provoked, make sure you stimulate the triggers by meeting people, potential clients, reading books, and attending conferences. Don’t focus on your business plan too much, focus on feeding your intuition which will be empowered by your passion.