Students’ Journal. Next is the evolution of our column dedicated to our students and their stories. A narration of the professional and entrepreneurial paths of BBS’ Alumni, few years after their graduation.
Armin Zadakbar is a young entrepreneur and BBS alumnus, founder of The Armin Bar, a growth hacking agency operating between NYC and Milan. Priscila Hernandez has just completed her Global MBA at BBS and has started her new professional adventure in Armin’s company. The story of two BBS alumnus working and growing together.
ARMIN: I’m a dynamic individual with international life/work experience. My journey started in Tehran, Iran where I was born and raised, but I expanded my journey to Europe and the US. I’m a full time hustler, but outgoing and social with the right company and enjoy unplugging at a yoga studio to clear my mind. Been very Italianized that I feel like home here more than anywhere else.
PRISCILA: I am an art passionate, enthusiastic traveler and creative women. Born and raised in Mexico, in the city of Monterrey. As a young girl, when not exploring the amazing outdoor adventures of the mountains of Chipinque (at the Sierra Madre Oriental), I was either getting in trouble at school or painting in my free time. I like being in constant change, although I’ve always been true to my roots and my intuition.
ARMIN: Priscila, is a dedicated and intelligent person who can be an asset for any team, but most importantly she’s a people person. She’s very easy going and trustworthy that I don’t have to be worry about anything she’s responsible for.
PRISCILA: Armin is a very determined and assertive person, goal-oriented, and exceptional communicator. Avid entrepreneur, who has vision and a great will to provide. He has been and still is a great mentor, and I feel so lucky for that.
ARMIN: I got my bachelor degree in Industrial Engineering. After a few years of work in this field I attended the Global MBA in Design, Fashion, and Luxury Goods at BBS, followed by my internship in the marketing department of Automobili Lamborghini, which at the the time was a dream come true. After that great experience, anyway, I understood that I’m not a corporate person so I’ve been working with different startups or SMEs from New York to Los Angeles to Rome, and been consistently lecturing/tutoring at BBS as well. In addition to The Armin Bar, I’m also one of the selected Business Coaches for the European Commission for the Horizon 2020 Programme (The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation), and have assisted many startups and SMEs to achieve steady growth in their revenue between six and seven figures through designing and optimizing of their online/offline marketing and business strategies using ‘Growth Hacking’ techniques.
PRISCILA: I graduated from UDEM’s Roberto Garza Sada Center (CRGS) in 2013, with an honorable mention and a bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. After completing an amazing internship in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility at Heineken Mexico, I had the opportunity of collaborating with great international associations like AIESEC and Ashoka – which granted me the chance to travel abroad and involve myself as a consultant in various projects in the area of advertising and brand marketing. I went from Romania to Mexico, and from the USA to Italy, where I basically spent a year and a half living in Rome. I found myself immersed in the Italian culture, and ever since that moment I couldn’t turn back! While working in Rome with the marketing agency Media Tools, I was fortunate and happy to be part of the founding team for the CreativeMornings chapter in Rome – a monthly breakfast lecture series that takes place in 181 cities around the world to celebrate and encourage creativity.
I was doing pretty well there but somehow felt like I wanted something more out of my job, so after my stay in Rome, I started my journey through applications to pursue my masters and with several recommendations from my then bosses, I came to know about Bologna Business School, where I recently finished my Global MBA in Design, Fashion, and Luxury Goods.
ARMIN: BBS caught my attention because of the specific MBA tracks, companies and lecturers who were mostly mangers of the industry, and of course the country of Italy and the city of Bologna! I had one of the best years of my life studying at BBS where not only I grew in my studies and career, but also as a person by dealing with other colleagues from 35+ different countries. I met some of my best friends there, who are still an important part of my personal and professional life.
PRISCILA: Last year was unbelievable! Actually, my entire experience at BBS was! I met incredible professors, and the staff of people that work there, as well as dear colleagues and now friends. What caught my eye was the variety of tracks, specifically the Food and Wine, and the Design and Luxury Goods. The wide network of brands and companies that collaborate and are involved with the School, as well as the prestigious and historical background of the University of Bologna.
ARMIN: In May/June 2017 BBS invited me to have a talk for the International MBA students during their career retreat program. There I met and got in touch with a few of the students and decided to invite Priscila to be part of my team for my new startup.
PRISCILA: Through the BBS family! Last May while I was doing my MBA in Design and Luxury Goods, my colleagues and I attended this amazing retreat in the hills of Bertinoro, Italy. Armin was one of the guest speakers and this is how I first came to know about “The Armin Bar”. After that, we kept in touch and then followed up with a formal work interview, and the rest is history! I got the job, a great mentor and friend, indeed.
ARMIN: The Armin Bar is a fast growing growth hacking agency in between NYC and Milan. We’re specialized in full service creative, video production, paid media and e-commerce. Our team is still small, but we spend time together like family. We are currently serving clients from Israel, Italy, Switzerland, UK, Netherlands, etc in different industries such as Fashion and Luxury Goods, Cybersecurity, Blockchain Technology, Clean Tech, etc.
PRISCILA: I’m very glad to have joined this amazing international team. We all come from very different backgrounds which makes it so much fun. It is also one of our main assets in adding up and making our client’s experience get better and better. We believe in the potential of our clients, and this is why we think they don’t have to rely on us only, but on their “in-house” team. We support and serve the company to learn how to ‘fish’, increasing the chances that their deal will end up as one of the most successful ones –creating long- term value for the company and its stakeholders. We have helped numerous businesses in different industries, such as Behno, InnoSec, PMC and Personal Shop, to achieve great growth.
ARMIN: Growth Hacking is the use of out of the box thinking and technology to achieve massive growth in a short time. We partner with our clients and experiment with them to reach the goals in hand.
PRISCILA: Growth hacking is running creative tests and optimizing each element of our experiments until finding something that works. It’s all about the “trial and error” and learning throughout the process for each client and brand. At The Armin Bar Inc., we custom develop, implement and transfer the know-how of Digital Business Transformation and Growth Hacking to our clients through a one-year program. In turn, our clients will see an increase in their sales and at the same time have the ability to run a newly developed processes with their internal team. As an added value, we are always available for any additional support during and after the program.
ARMIN: The Italian Process is a semi-reality show on Facebook and YouTube that showcases and celebrates daydreamers who push themselves and their society towards a better future. Here you can take a look at the Manifesto of the project.
PRISCILA: The Italian Process is our and other people’s immersion in Italy. I’m part of the creative crew at a show that exhibits the journey of daydreamers and likeminded individuals, making the most out of life and business. The show is hosted by Armin ZadakBar and directed by Alessandro Best.
ARMIN: If you look at the data in the last decade almost all the fortune 500 companies lost market share to smaller companies! And new giants have started to rise; Facebook, Amazon, Salesforce, etc. Technology doesn’t care about your history in the market and internet has removed almost all the entry barriers which were under direct control of a handful of corporations. Today and because of the internet, you have the ability to reach to the global market and if you’re good enough, the market will accept you. My advice to students and young entrepreneurs is to adapt the growth hacking mentality and focus on two things: your North Star, your purpose aka the big picture (your why) and your daily hustle and routines (your what). And don’t be romantic about the tactics or how it should be done (your how).
PRISCILA: Be keen to learn. In my experience, two of my most helpful resources have been education and empathy. It’s like people always say “you never stop learning” – but you truly never know from whom you could be learning, which is why I find curiosity and keeping and an open mind to be key. There are so many who’ve gone before you and made lots of mistakes. Don’t try to do it on your own. Take a comprehensive class, find an adviser or guide, and you absolutely need peers who are doing what you’re doing! Your real friends won’t get it. You need peers to connect and support, and to maximize your experience while doing your master.
Armin Zadakbar – Global MBA in Design, Fashion and Luxury Goods, A.Y. 2011/2012
Priscila Hernandez - Global MBA in Design, Fashion and Luxury Goods, A.Y. 2016/2017
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