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The module takes the position that success in international markets has never been more difficult to achieve and that this is unlikely to change. To thrive in such an environment firms must develop differentiated products and services, based on sound customer insights and enhance their capability to effectively implement their strategy. The module will use a unique process/decision model for strategic marketing developed by Professor Kashani and will be taught using cases mainly written by Kamran on a variety of global firms and industries relating to a number of geographies.

Sales strategy deals with the issues related to successful market entry, market penetration and customer retention in competitive environments. It addresses the individual components required for organisations to relate their sales team activities to their sales objectives. In particular it deals with the aspect of sales team alignment including: sales strategy, sales team culture, sales operations, sales performance measures and sales proposition innovation. 

A prominent challenge facing many food and drinks firms is finding routes to market that will enable them to grow. There is a need to work through a process of establishing relevance to customers, building credibility and then scaling the business. This module will use a series of case studies to examine how firms in the food and drinks industry have dealt with these challenges.

The module will also consider two other themes:

  1. The nature of the agricultural supply chain and its influence on the ability of supply chain partners to participate in initiatives and activities which develop sales
  2. The appropriate role that branding should play in the development of customer value propositions in the food and drinks industry.

The module is designed to provide fellows with an in-depth understanding of emerging and potential strategic shifts in the global food industry. With a strong emphasis on dynamic strategy, fellows will benefit by developing insights into the details of the challenges they face and how innovative organisations have been responding, thus increasing their effectiveness as organisational path-finders. The medium of learning employed is contemporary case studies on firms that are thought to be at the cutting edge of major issues. Each of the cases used in the programme has been published within the previous year. Many of the cases used are written by the instructor and bring additional insight and benefits to the classroom experience.

  • It is critically important for suppliers to the retail and foodservice sector, in light of Brexit and other global challenges, to build successful customer relationships. This module will provide students with the necessary tools to implement an organisational structure for strategic customer management in these areas, placing particular emphasis on how sales and marketing can be integrated to maximum effect. It will also allow students to position their own skills and expertise in relation to a strategic customer management initiative. During this module, attention will be paid to both the context of small to medium- sized enterprises and to that of larger firms in the retail and foodservice sectors in an international environment.

    At the end of the module students should be able to demonstrate their understanding of how the supply chain functions from an account management perspective, differentiate between sales and account management, and linking account management to the organisational structure.

Further details to follow

Further details to follow

The Professional & Career Development module focuses on developing leadership and management potential, through a process of practice, reflection and continuous performance improvement. With ongoing support, participants examine their career ambitions and work to develop a set of leadership and management relevant competencies.

The Bord Bia Marketing Fellowship assignments, conducted on behalf of Irish food, drink and horticulture client companies, provide real-time problem-solving challenges for participants. The assignments include market research and business development objectives with a view to improving exports and the export potential of the clients. An assignment brief document is allocated to the fellow during induction which frames in-market activities. The assignment process has three major components - market analysis, business development and client and stakeholder management.

Meet the Faculty

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School has one of the most highly regarded faculties of any business school in the world and the most productive researchers in the country. Rigorous, interactive, and dynamic, they present topics via a range of engaging methods, including case studies, simulation exercises, self-assessment and small group discussions. The programme’s faculty offer a blend of academic excellence, real-world relevance and practical application that provides participants with unparalleled opportunities to expand their capabilities.

Damien McLoughlin is Anthony C. Cunningham Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. He has previously served on the faculty of the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and the Indian School of Business. For the past three years he has been a faculty member on the Harvard Business School Agribusiness seminar, an annual programme attended by 200 CEO’s and leaders from global food firms which seeks to highlight the best growth opportunities and most pressing challenges facing the industry. In the 2013 programme he wrote and led a case discussion on the strategy issues arising from Russia’s accession to the WTO. Damien has published more than seventy papers and a book on strategy and marketing issues. He has also written more than a dozen case studies, mainly relating to leadership and strategy issues in the food and agribusiness sector.

Kamran graduated with an MBA from the University of California, UCLA, and gained his Doctorate in Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is Professor of Marketing and Global Strategy at IMD Business School, Switzerland. He teaches topics in marketing, brand building, global strategy and international management. His special interests span across industrial, business­to­business, and consumer marketing. Kamran has worked as a consultant and management educator with a large number of international companies including: ABB, Avon, Ciba­Geigy, Citibank, Coopers & Lybrand, Electrolux, General Electric, Hewlett­Packard, Honeywell, Merck, Medtronic, Nestlé, Orkla, Philip Morris, Reuters, Richardson Vicks, Sandoz, Sulzer, Uponor, Tetra Pak. He has written extensively on the subject of marketing and global strategy. His publications have been translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. He is the winner of several awards for best paper and case writing. Kamran’s current research centres on marketing innovation and innovative marketers.


Conor has over 20 years of management experience; 14 of which saw him responsible for the design and delivery of executive talent development and business development support programmes. These industry career programmes focus on attracting and nurturing Ireland’s best prospective industry leaders.

Conor has been accountable for over 1,300 industry-based action learning assignments, delivered as a core component of executive action learning programmes. Over 600 of these assignments were on behalf of Irish food industry clients, across key international markets.

In addition to executive talent development, Conor has operated within the following industry sectors: market research, FMCG-food (at Boyne Valley Foods Group), construction and property development.

His key areas of expertise include: strategic development for the food industry; action learning and professional talent development; executive programme development, career coaching; client management; marketing and export business development.

Mary L. Shelman is Director of Harvard Business School’s Agribusiness Programme. She leads the annual Agribusiness Seminar in Boston which is attended by more than 200 CEO’s and senior managers from the world’s leading agribusiness firms. She has led similar programmes in Europe, Latin America and Asia. Mary is known as a strategic pathfinder in the global agribusiness sector. She offers a particular competency in identifying and diagnosing the forces of change-shaping global agribusiness. Actively engaging with these themes she has served as Chairman of the Board of RiceTec Inc. a fully integrated agribusiness and packaged food company headquartered in Alvin, Texas, and on the boards of RiceTec AG, Stiftung Fürst Liechtenstein, and the USA Rice Miller’s Association. She has also authored more than 50 case studies highlighting situations of strategic change in leading global agribusiness firms. She is a member of the editorial board of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review and a board member of the International Food and Agribusiness Association (IAMA). A native of Kentucky, Mary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with High Distinction from the University of Kentucky and an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School, where she was awarded a Dean’s Doctoral Fellowship for research in economics and marketing.

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