Featured case: The Entrepreneurial Journey of a Manager

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The case

Who – the protagonist

María Eugenia Giron, Carrera y Carrera (CyC) CEO. A top line manager who decides to switch towards entrepreneurship in the growing luxury industry through a well-established company.


When opening a small jewellery shop in Madrid in 1885, Saturio Esteban Carrera probably didn’t envisage that one day the venture would be under the name CyC – thanks to his two great grandsons – and one of the world’s most recognisable luxury brands.

In 1960 CyC produced the bridal tiara worn by Spanish aristocrat Fabiola de Mora y Aragón, when she married King Baudouin I of Belgium, while many celebrities wear the brand’s designs.

Focusing on 1998, we follow and assess the opportunity for María and her team in the management buy in (MBI) of CyC and the years after that.


Since 1994, CyC had gone through 2 CEOs in four years and were facing increasing client complaints about product desirability, so the decision was made to sell to new partners who could provide much needed financial resources and the right management structure.

Serving her time overseeing the international business of Loewe – the Spanish luxury fashion house – María bought into CyC, becoming CEO and heading up a board of private equity companies and investors. Manuel Carrera, previous President and CEO, retained a 5% stake and a position on the board.


By 1998, the global luxury market grew to be worth nearly €100 billion, with CyC and their family-owned competitors having no choice but to turn to private equity deals due to the imminent introduction of the Euro.


CyC distributed to over 40 countries including the US, Japan and Russia, while some of the brand’s best pieces of sculptured art sit in iconic locations such as the White House and the Kremlin.

Key quote

“I was looking for a company with a strong identity, that had a competitive advantage and was difficult to replicate.” – María Eugenia.

What next?

María might have become the CEO of CyC but was it the right opportunity for her? Would the entrepreneur have been better off moving to another luxury company and gaining more experience, or should she have bought her own company? Was this management buy in operation of CyC a good opportunity for María to become an entrepreneur?

Interested in finding out more?

Access the multimedia case and download the teaching note

Educators can login to view a free educator preview copy of this case and its teaching note. All the content is online and easy to incorporate into teaching programmes – once purchased simply upload a web link to access the selected materials. Find out more about mastering multimedia at IE Business School.

The Entrepreneurial Journey of a Manager
Ref GE1-138-I-M
Teaching note
Ref GE1-138-I-TN

Multimedia at IE

“IE Business School has been developing multimedia cases since 2001 and last year an important part of this collection was made available from The Case Centre,” said Martin Rodriguez, Director of IE Publishing.

“These multimedia cases and tutorials are suitable for both online and face-to-face programs and cover all the management areas from Human Resources to Finance.

“The richness of these type of learning materials is the number of resources they include such as videos and interviews, interactive exercises with feedback, animations and decision making, and role play.” 

The author

Cristina Cruz

Cristina talks about the growth and advantages of multimedia cases.

The case for multimedia

ipoCristina said: “In my experience dealing with previous multimedia cases I have also co-authored, students really like this type of methodology. It allows for a more interactive type of learning. I think that with increased digitalisation, students are demanding more multimedia case studies.”

Relating to the protagonist

Cristina continued: “I think it is very important that students identify themselves with the ‘entrepreneurial journey’ María followed. To do so, the use of a multimedia case – in which they not only read about María’s story but also watch it – really adds value.

“Moreover, the multimedia nature of the case allows the professor to gather plenty of information prior to the discussion of the case, which is very important for a case that is quite complex in terms of the information provided.

“For the students, the fact they can prepare the case with a combination of a written story, plus additional information like finance figures and videos, makes case preparation easier and at the same time more fruitful.”

Teaching something different

She added: “The beauty of the case is that it allows us to show students a different type of entrepreneur, a model that is far from the traditional founder of a start up. In doing so, the case fits perfectly with our “Entrepreneurial Mind-set” course in which we try to create an entrepreneurial mentality in all students.

“I really think students will find it easy to identify with María, when she was deciding what to do after finishing her MBA, which planted the seed for entrepreneurship.

“Furthermore, I believe the case is going to be particularly attractive to female students, since most of the cases on entrepreneurship portray the protagonist as a young, male individual.”

Gets better with time

ipoThe entrepreneurship professor explained: “The fact that the case occurred a long time ago makes it possible to see how CyC has evolved through the years. “As explained in the teaching note, professors can provide insightful learning to students by analysing the different stages in the development of the company, after those that were explained in the case.”

Adapting to the digital way

Cristina concluded: “While some aspects of the teaching note are similar to traditional cases, I also introduced unique aspects related to the multimedia nature of the case.

“This included the analysis of the students’ responses to the evaluation of CyC as a business opportunity, as well as the development of a professor’s page in which I included some videos and updates of the case.”

About the author

Cristina Cruz is Head of the Entrepreneurship Department at IE Business School, Spain.
e cristina.cruz@ie.edu


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