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Alex Sewrattan, MBA ’23, Director of Finance, Pizza Pizza Limited, on discovering concrete business solutions and new ways of thinking.

Alex Sewrattan, MBA ’23, joined the Ivey Accelerated MBA Class of 2023 for one specific reason: after navigating the business disruptions that stemmed from the Covid-19 pandemic, he wanted to be ready to help his company pivot when the next big challenge hit.

“We're continually expanding; we had announced that we were going into Mexico in the middle of Covid,” said Sewrattan, Director of Finance, Pizza Pizza Limited.

“The restaurant industry was among the hardest hit during the pandemic – we saw our sales drop, at the peak, about 18% from the prior year. That really threw up a lot of alarms for everyone.”

To Sewrattan, who already had CPA and CA designations, an MBA seemed like the missing piece in his training – a tool that would augment his technical skills and help him think strategically about how to prepare the company for (or prevent it from) finding itself in a similar situation in the future.

“Everything you do at Ivey is a real-life case scenario, so I thought there had to be firms that have gone through the same thing that Pizza Pizza was going through,” he said.

“But I found my whole way of thinking has changed as a result of the program, and I attribute that to the case-based curriculum, because with cases, there is no right or wrong answer, and it's just about bouncing ideas back and forth with each other to come to a common conclusion.”

For Sewrattan, that meant a broader way of thinking.

“Someone might have a completely different viewpoint than I do, which may not have made sense when I first heard it, but as a classmate walked me through their logic, I started to think of it in a different way; maybe one I never would have otherwise,” he said.

Sewrattan was also able to get some concrete answers to the initial question he came to Ivey when his company was chosen for the Ivey Field Project, a component of the program that looks at solving a problem or finding an opportunity at one of the group member’s workplaces.

His team looked at ways to sell Pizza Pizza’s popular dipping sauce outside the restaurants to generate revenue and to diversify access to the brand – an initiative he could take directly back to his company.

He also found he was able to apply several learnings directly. For example, when his Global Strategy course looked at how a successful national company can expand globally, Pizza Pizza was expanding into Mexico, so he was able to draw on class lessons to work through that initiative.

“Overall, the program was a great experience, from the general business understanding to everything I took away around multiple viewpoints I could use to find the best way forward,” he said.

“It also provided me with a great network. I've gotten to know more than 50 accomplished professionals within my program, and we all developed a strong bond. We’ve all been able to leverage off each other’s different experiences and build true and genuine friendships. That's a part you really can't put a price on.”

AMBA '23

Ivey Business School

Alex Sewrattan

Alex Sewrattan

Director of Finance, Pizza Pizza Limited


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