Ariel Washington, MBA ’19, wrote this post on behalf of her teammates on the Venture Advising course trip to Budapest.
Olin Business School students Ankit Kumar, Gauri Pitke, Adam Tappella, and Ariel Washington—all MBA ’19—traveled to Budapest, Hungary, to participate in a week of cultural tourism and strategy consulting through the school’s Venture Advising course. The students were paired with local company XBody on the company’s newest foray into the North American market.
XBody is a health and fitness company that manufactures and sells full-body electric muscle stimulation suit systems. The company boasts increased physical fitness and muscle development from just two 20-minute workouts per week.
The company offers a wired suit and console that up to three people can use simultaneously (with add-on equipment) and a wireless unit that up to six people at a time can use. Two of the Olin students on the team had the opportunity to test the devices (pictured above) and were quickly convinced of the product’s effectiveness during their short 12-minute demo.
Working under the direction of Krisztián Orbán, founder of private equity firm Oriens, the XBody team has begun to outline a plan for XBody to enter the US fitness realm. The students traveled to the company headquarters in Gyor, Hungary, and met with founders Balazs Fuzessy and Csaba Nyers to learn about the past, present, and future of XBody.
The company manages the production process from start to finish, as well as sales and marketing of its two product lines—all on site.
The students will continue to develop a full recommendation for XBody over the next six weeks, which will culminate in a written proposal and presentation. Two members of the team, Gauri Pitke and Ariel Washington, have been invited back to Hungary in August to work on site with XBody’s management in putting their recommendations into action.
In addition to working on their client project, these students explored the city of Budapest with the help of three Oriens colleagues who served as project advisors an city guides. They visited the Terror Museum, cruised down the Danube River, took a walking tour of Budapest City, saw the historic Hungarian Parliament building, and cooked a three-course traditional Hungarian meal.
Overall, this group of Olin students spent the week honing their problem-formulation skills, learning about the nuances of doing business in eastern Europe, and experiencing all of the rich culture and unique experiences the city of Budapest has to offer.