José Igancio Gafo

Academic Area:


How and when did you get to IE?

I studied 6 years ago the Executive MBA. I was pretty good and Teresa Serra gave me the opportunity to teach in the GMBA. I was hooked and since then I’ve been taught, more and more programs, at the same time participated actively in the marketing blog.

What sport do you practice?

Yoga everyday, and basketball when I have time. I admit I should  do more sport.

What is your favorite book?

Hard to say, but perhaps I’ll stick with Autobiography of a Yogi. A great example of initiative, achievement and personal fulfillment. And those who read recently, Little Bets. An interesting reflection on how to innovate and learn in organizations and in life.

Where were you born?

In Madrid, Spain, although for various reasons I am half  Chilean.

What is your favorite dish?

Nothing like a good seafood in Galicia.

A memorable moment:

Which arrive in the coming weeks when my first child is born.

What does it mean for you to be a good professor?

That makes his students learn to think and develop ethical values. I firmly believe that we have a serious problem with education in Spain, which is extremely theoretical and not adapted to real life, too, that the current crisis was caused by a lack of values. Therefore I believe it is necessary for students to develop criteria, incorporating the skills necessary to succeed in the real world and manage their business with a high sense of ethics. As a professors we have a great responsibility in this regard!

How do you keep up-to-date?

In many ways. To begin my own work at Vodafone, I have to be very updated. To continue,  reading  books on Marketing and Management , social communities and blogs. And finally, talking to other professors  in the  IE. I learn a lot from them in a meal or a coffee!

What is your secret for your classes or presentations?

A blend of art and science. I think you have to prepare lessons thoroughly and then in the class itself, give everything. Students are aware when a professor is or is not with them.

A ritual before teaching:

Buy a Coca-Cola Light, write on the board the agenda for the class and review the list of the students.

A story in the classroom:

In a Global MBA class,  I asked a question about segmentation, a student got up, grabbed a pen and, without telling him anything, he began writing for 5 minutes and explain what it was the target and why it was important. Suddenly,  I found myself sitting in his place listening as he spoke … Apart from an elegant way to spend the situation, I realized that students are having to take the initiative under our supervision.

What is your favorite quote or motto of life?

THINK DIFFERENT! It is something that repeated continuously when I write somenthing to the students or sign any posting. Comes to reflect the need to be disruptive to change the rules to succeed.

What has been your worst experience in the classroom?

In general I find it very frustrating when I meet with students or classes that they have no interest in learning. It’s frustrating when you face a class and they don´t  read it  the case and don´t pays attention to the sharing content.

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