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Back to News 20/03/2013

Diving at the heart of entrepreneurship

Elmar Mock and Gilles Garel joined forces on EMLYON Business School’s campus on March 1st 2013 to share their spirit of innovation and accomplishments with entrepreneurs and current students.

The theme of the conference was centered on the question “What are the stakes of breaking innovation?”

Elmar Mock, inventor of the renowned Swatch watch, and Gilles Garel, professor at the Cnam and linked to the Innovation Management Chair, talked about the competitive field of entrepreneurship and chose the success story of Swatch to illustrate their point. 

How did Swatch make the cut in a tough economic situation for watch making in the 1980s? 

In a very competitive time period for watch makers where the Japanese watch making industry went up to the top thanks to a massive production and low prices, Elmar Mock had to bring innovation and new ambitions to the table. In order to conceptualize something different, the creator of Swatch put into practice the theory of “Concept-Knowledge”:  taking existing knowledge and contemplate new possibilities by thinking outside the box.  By breaking out of conventional codes in terms of design and by using an innovative and simplified technology, Mock created a true alchemy between marketing and R&D as well as a brand that would soon become a mark of reference in the watch making business. 

Re-thinking current products and diving into innovation with an open entrepreneurial mindset are the tools that make Swatch a success story. Elmar Mock climbed to the top with a clear idea, creating a new concept of watches, and willing to take risks to break out of tradition: “One has to go for it even if you don’t know where you will end up”, says Mr.Mock.

Entrepreneurship is a core value of EMLYON Business School and students have the opportunity, through many classes and programmes dedicated to entrepreneurship, to create think-tanks and business projects in order to develop their entrepreneurial mindset and cutting edge ideas.  

Watch an excerpt of the conference in French:

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