TITLE: Senior Lecturer
POSITION: Senior Lecturer - MBA programme
QUALIFICATIONS: B.Sc in Industrial Engineering (Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences), Professional Qualification in Automotive Mechanics (Mainz Professional Technical College), MBA (UCT GSB)
AREAS OF EXPERTISE: Business strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship, operations management, business development
Johannes Schüler facilitates the Innovation & Entrepreneurship core course as well as the Planning New Ventures elective on the MBA programme. While the I&E core course lays the foundation for innovative, entrepreneurial thinking, the Planning New Ventures elective focuses on assisting young entrepreneurs in formulating adequate business strategy and in developing a business plan with the aim to pitch it to investors.
Born and educated in Germany, Schüler trained as an engineer before coming to South Africa to join a technical consulting agency startup that assists the local automotive industry in implementing strategic and operational improvement projects with the aim to become more globally competitive. Clients included BMW, Volkswagen and automotive component suppliers. His second entrepreneurial venture in South Africa was to join rapidly expanding energy-efficient heating appliance manufacturer Econo-Heat. In the role of Operations Director and 2IC, Johannes redesigned operations, increased capacity by 450% and developed international retail distribution channels.
Three years ago he started sweets company Le Bonbon Confection, developing a successful venture in a short space of time. The company is currently employs in excess of 100 staff, is building its third factory and is reliably delivering to Woolworths, SA’s premium food and clothes retailer as well as other retail channels.
His academic career culminated in an MBA at the GSB (with distinction), which was finished off with an exchange programme to Columbia Business School in New York. In addition to his lecturing role at the GSB he has also led several teams of MBA students since 2012 to successfully compete at the annual John Molsen International Case Competition, held in Montreal, Canada. It is the oldest and largest case competition in the world, comprising of 150 students from 36 business schools in 14 countries competing each year.
Schüler is passionate about entrepreneurship and the African continent. While emerging markets appear to be characterised by a degree of unreliability as well as high levels of uncertainty and risk, many opportunities for creating successful startups exist. He is motivated to assist the GSB in equipping young entrepreneurs with adequate skills and confidence to make a success of their ventures.