Firms Tap Haas@Work for New Ideas


Developing the prototype of a consumer product for Panasonic was a completely new experience for Nirave Khadakia, MBA 09.

“To create something millions of people could possibly use was just a fantastic experience,” says Khadakia. With a job in enterprise software, Khadakia had never previously worked in the consumer electronics industry.

Khadakia gained that new experience with Panasonic thanks to Haas@Work, the school's applied innovation program. The program expanded this year to incorporate students from all three MBA programs (Full-time, Evening & Weekend, and Berkeley-Columbia Executive) while serving a record four clients -- Clorox, Panasonic, Visa, and Wells Fargo – in one semester.

Haas@Work sends students to companies to generate fresh recommendations and build their understanding of how to drive innovation within a firm. The program can then dispatch smaller teams to implement proposals.

One team developed ways for Visa to become the currency of social networking sites. Another team helped Clorox identify and apply best practices for operating a Firms Tap Haas@Work for New Ideas global supply chain for the company’s Green Works line. The Wells Fargo team developed scalable, cost-effective pilot programs to encourage customers to either start saving for retirement or move their existing retirement account to Wells Fargo.

The Panasonic team developed new products and business models in the Web consumer electronics marketplace.

Says Jean-Claude Junqua, managing director for Panasonic’s San Jose lab: “The variety of ideas and the passion from the students were very exciting.”

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