The PhD in Business alumni at the UB Business School, Cristian Granados, is a professor, researcher and consultant at the Technological of Monterrey. He was a research fellow at HEC Montreal, and completed a short research stay at Harvard Business School.
He is currently working with entrepreneurs, MBA and undergraduate students, and corporate innovation training programs in companies such as Bimbo, Renault or Roche. Along his professional career, he has held positions as innovation director and has also co-founded a video game startup. He is convinced about the power of creativity and innovation to improve organizations, cities and the welfare.
- Have teaching and research been always your career aspirations?
Not exactly. But as far as I remember, I have always been a very curious and explorative person. This why I found in teaching and research a place to be. This career gives you a lot of opportunities to explore whatever you want in a highly autonomous way.
- What aspects would you highlight from your time at the Business School?
While being at UB I found an open environment for conducting high quality research, nice professors to talk and learn with, and an international community to hang out or share thoughts with. I really loved how international the PhD is, and how nice the other students were. Also, Barcelona is a great place to live and work.
- Nowadays, you are still actively working with UB researchers such as Montserrat Pareja, PhD in Economics. How is your current connection with your former colleagues and professors?
I have been in contact with Montserrat Pareja who has invited me to teach at UB and do talks in summer schools. Also, with Jaume Valls and Claudio Cruz. With my former colleagues, I still have communication but unfortunately, we haven’t worked together yet.
- Did you find it difficult to find a job after your PhD studies?
Not at all! Before my graduation I found a temporal position at LaSalle Barcelona, and then I received a full-time proposal from TEC de Monterrey.
- Please tell us more about your current employment at TEC Monterrey and EGADE Business School.
At TEC Monterrey, I have a position as a full-time professor in the Entrepreneurship Institute. My work includes teaching with both undergraduate and graduate students from EGADE, developing executive education with companies, research in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation, managing some academic projects such as the relations with companies in order to become partners, etc. Besides these activities, I work with several entrepreneurs (students from TEC) to coach them in their entrepreneurial projects. It’s a very demanding university, but I’m very happy to be part of this community.
- You have been working with other very powerful companies. How do you rate these experiences?
We have a close relation with companies. This relation could be through consultancy, research, executive education or field projects with students. In field projects I have worked with Accenture to develop an innovative proposal to identify skin cancer, or with Cinepolis (Cines Yelmo) to help develop new services and products. In executive education I have worked with managers and directors from Bimbo, Renault, Natura, Roche, etc. And, in academic research, some companies have been our partners to analyse a phenomenon called “innovation theatre”. These experiences gave me practical insights which I bring back to class. I really recommend to do the same to improve teaching and research.
- You are also the co-founder of a videogames startup. How is that project doing right now?
8 years ago, I had the opportunity to set up a videogame startup with other colleagues. This project was financed by the national council of research (Conacyt). Eventually, I decided to start my PhD and left this project. But this first experience gave me awareness of the complexity of solving real issues with technological solutions. Sometimes I use examples from this personal experience to bring more practical insights to my classes.