Case Study

Patrik Bernstein (A): From suit to jeans

34 pages
October 2006
Reference: IMD-3-1611

At the age of 35 Patrik Bernstein, currently the marketing manager for Unilever’s skin division in Indonesia, starts to feel that something is missing in his life. He had a great family, received invitations to fancy dinners, had a nice house and car and enough money in the bank. But all this no longer motivated or excited him. He needed something else. He was on the fast track at Unilever and had a career path ahead of him. But everything was changing very quickly – too quickly. And then there was the corporate politics… That evening in Jakarta was to change Bernstein’s and his family’s life forever. He came up with a business idea and in parallel to his corporate career started to develop it. Three years later, in 1995, he left Unilever and embarked on his journey. Convincing his wife to do it was the hardest part of all – Bernstein was honest with her: Dodi, I’ve got to do this. I am not happy like this. Let’s make a deal. We go to Sweden – schools are free there – and we can live in our summer house and we cut our costs. We stay one year to get it off the ground and then we will see what we do. With his powers of persuasion Bernstein managed to win his wife over, and so the family left their financial security behind and set off on a journey that was going to be much rougher than they could ever have expected…

Career Choice
Field Research
© 2006
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