December 18, 2023 •

4 min reading

Student profiles: Pierre Ben Kiran dives into analytics

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In an exciting new series of our Alumni Network Podcast we chat to EHL graduates who embarked on a bachelor’s adventure at EHL and then pursued master’s degrees across the globe.

Here’s a taster of the latest episode with Pierre Ben Kiran, who graduated from EHL in 2021 before pursuing a Master’s in Business Analytics at Esade Business School in Barcelona, followed by a CEMS Master in International Management in Barcelona and Tokyo. Pierre is the co-founder of Bumpy, a digital business card mobile phone app which he began developing during his first master’s. It launched in September 2023.


Seizing an opportunity to learn

The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge effect on all of us – in very different ways. For Pierre Ben Kiran, who was interning for an events company in Singapore as part of his bachelor’s degree at EHL when the pandemic hit, it provided an unexpected opportunity. Stuck at home with no events to organise, he started to teach himself programming, something he hadn’t been taught at EHL but which interested him.


As a result, he decided to take a technical master’s after finishing at EHL. “The aim was not to become a developer, but more to use programming as a daily tool to be more efficient and productive. The master’s in business analytics seemed just perfect for me.”


Though you didn’t study programming at EHL, do you think your bachelor’s prepared you for this path in other ways?

“I did my Student Business Project for Nestlé, and I did my first analysis product for them, and that was very, very interesting. Basically, I wanted to know how Nestlé was perceived by people in general. I wrote a program that went on Twitter and Reddit and pulled out 30,000 comments about Nestlé. Then I just analyzed them to see how Nestlé was perceived by the population in general. That was super interesting to do. That definitely helped me push in this direction.”

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After your first quite technical master’s, you went on to do the CEMS. What did it offer you that the first master’s hadn't?

“In the second master’s, we had a lot of classes about diversity and really understanding the world as it is today and how it's going to be in a few years. We had a bit of politics as well. That was really interesting. It was a different point of view from any other school that I did. On top of that, I had the chance to do a six-month exchange in Japan, and that was just amazing. Tokyo is such a nice city and Japan in general is a beautiful country.”


When you started your master’s programs, did you have an idea of what you wanted to do afterwards?

“No, not at all. Everything developed during that time. I started my company during my first master’s at Esade. I met about 400 people within the first week, and it was quite hard to connect with everyone. With some people, you'd share your Instagram, your LinkedIn, your WhatsApp, and there was no centralized way of sharing everything at the same time. I talked to a friend, Tom, and we decided to create Bumpy for our master’s business plan in the first year. Then we saw some potential.”

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Do you feel that your educational pathway has equipped you well for running your own business?

“In a sense, yes, because I've seen a bit of everything. But I think the only thing I was missing was probably the sales part of it. When we launched, we had to start the sales process, and I realized that I've never actually studied anything related to sales in general or how to do it properly. That's the thing I was missing in my educational path.”


Were you able to reach out to alumni of your various schools for help?

“Completely. We reached out to a few of our teachers from my previous master’s. All my network at EHL was really helpful as well. They introduced me to their companies and we actually made the first sales like that.”


Do you think EHL helped nurture your spirit of invention?

“What's nice with EHL is that you see a bit of everything: hospitality, finance, everything. If you know the basics of an industry, then it's easier to have an idea that can solve a problem within this industry. Right now, I have a lot of ideas about startups in the hospitality industry that I’d like to do, and this is definitely thanks to EHL.”


What's your biggest wish for your career?

“To love the thing that I do, and that's the case right now, so I'm already super happy.”


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“I just loved it, I'm really into mathematics and science in general. I guess that programming was a way for me to dive back into this whole dimension.”
Pierre Ben Kiran, Co-Founder & CPO at Bumpy