“Working with people from different backgrounds and cultures teaches us empathy, which is paramount for progress.”
Alda Kule Dale
In three sentences or less, could you tell us a little more about yourself?
I am a Finance and Consulting professional of French nationality and Congolese origins. I am the first female Congolese to graduate from the INSEAD MBA. I also teach Finance classes to Master Degree students in France and co-founded the pro-bono digital startup/SME accelerator TinGamma that offers turn-key support to selected Startups and SMEs in Congo. I was born in Kinshasa, raised in Nairobi, and moved to Paris in 2002.
Any fun facts?
As a business person, a black woman, and a big fan of space, science fiction, and technology, I am thrilled to be living in a time like now! I believe we are at an inflection point to tackle key unresolved issues in a more systemic manner. The capitalism paradigm, diversity shenanigans, or superintelligence—and how to align teaching, learning and working capabilities, are all exciting and absorbing questions of our era.
As a big fan of SpaceX, Tesla, and Starlink, I dare leverage this opportunity to address a message to Elon Musk and beg readers to move on to the next section. If they may.
I underwent an environmental decoherence. Physicist me, in the other universe, is preparing to board the Starship for Mars. Here, I am a business person with an acute interest for Space and Mars. For the sake of Physicist me, would you do me the honour of accepting my chaleureuse invitation to a coffee chat with me Sir?
Alda Kule Dale
Why did you choose INSEAD?
Before applying, I reached out to the alumni communities of the schools I targeted. With INSEAD, I received a very high response rate. Other reasons included a higher return on investment given the 1-year programme, more mature MBA students with greater pre-MBA experience, and diversity with no one single nationality representing more than 11% of the MBA cohort.
This led to my batch of 74 different nationalities. The language requirements also add a twist that makes a typical INSEADer an interesting global citizen.
Can you describe your INSEAD Experience?
I am an 18J, or a graduate of the Class of July 2018. I started my journey by organising the pre-MBA trip for Fontainebleau starters in Barcelona. I then moved into a house of seven MBA students from nine different nationalities.
My INSEAD experience was punctuated with numerous memorable moments including but not limited to:
Experiencing the now gone Welcome Week with the Renaissance Club and then leading the week as Co-President of the Valmont Club.
Co-organising and running the 7km La Parisienne Run with INSEAD ladies.
Rushing back from an interview with IFC in Washington DC to Fontainebleau to lead Africa Week, and wearing my “non-Swiss-train” costume for DASH.
Bringing together my E4 section as a Co-Social Representative. Late night group works, pre-exam massages and mindfulness sessions.
Participating in Professor Subi Rangan’s second edition of the Progress Medals Ceremony. Celebrating 50 years of Women at INSEAD.
Playing Rugby Touch for “Team Undefeated” and thanking ze gods. Leading the Robin Hood campaign to raise funds for future students.
Performing a choreography to Indian music.
Speaking Lebanese limited to “Yalla habibi!”.
Having an Italian Halloween party.
Rushing to a Finance Trek in London during break.
Winning a lot in poker.
Finishing with a win on the First 100 Days simulation project.
What is one important lesson you gained from INSEAD?
Empathy. Working in groups with people from different backgrounds and cultures can be challenging. A better understanding of why people do what they do and say what they say is paramount for progress. INSEAD awards its students with those opportunities.
Has the INSEAD MBA benefitted your career?
Yes. After graduating from INSEAD, I moved from Finance (Equity Research on European Real Estate) to Consulting with Kearney in Paris. INSEAD allowed me to discover new paths, and consulting has exposed me to new industries and regions.
In 2019, I spent four months in six countries in Africa (including Congo) on a Telecom project. Getting exposed to Mobile Money and USSD was eye-opening as to how the continent can leverage technology to counter the weak internet penetration head-on.
For a professional with around five years’ work experience seeking to change positions, geographies, industries, or all three, INSEAD provides a great platform to rethink. MBA students are offered global opportunities in all leading industries across the globe: Banking, Consulting, Private Equity, Technology, Traditional Industries, and Startups.
What is your favourite way to meet new people?
Hard to choose a single way. I meet new people through conferences, networking events, introductions from friends and family, the INSEAD alumni network as well Kearney and past professional and school networks. And sometimes, just sometimes, I cold call.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I am an optimist. An ENFP according to the Myers & Briggs test.
What is your greatest fear?
That I might never live to see Congo do better. The country has lost 60% of its GDP per capita over the past 60 years, from around $1200 in 1960 to below $600 today. Congo has known more than 20 years of war, over six million deaths and counting, mass murders, rapes, bush wives, child soldiers…
Some call it Africa's great war or the deadliest conflict since WWII. Knowing that Congo produces Coltan and Cobalt to serve the world, I cringe. But I know that businesses can alleviate some of the sufferings.
So I wonder:
How can mining companies deploy strategies that empower locals, fill in gaps on energy and infrastructure, and resolve persistent issues in the sector, including child labour?
How can banks expand their strategies to mitigate country and credit risks in order to help fund projects?
How can telecommunications companies bring cheaper and better quality to the market, to improve internet penetration and drive digital finance activities?
How can microfinance and other financial Institutions leverage agriculture value chains to ensure food security?
What does it mean to you to be Limitless?
Limitless means opening doors. Not for oneself, but for others. Hélène Ploix, one of the first two women to graduate from the INSEAD MBA in 1968, is an authentic definition of limitless.