StartMEup Session 1 – Turn Ideas into Action

Submitted by Anggono Natalnugroho, Co-Chair of the Marketing & Entrepreneurship Club

About twenty entrepreneurial like-minded people, an equal mix of MBA and graduate students, attended the StartMEup session last Friday, 21 November, at The Nest Theatre, Innovation Center. This event is organised by the Marketing & Entrepreneurship (ME) Club, supported by NTUitive, the university’s innovation and enterprise company. StartMEup aims to seed collaboration between business graduates and technologists, and meets them up with startups and support networks all over Singapore.

Swarnajeet Mukherjee, a serial entrepreneur, opened the session with the keynote topic “Turn Ideas into Action”. He suggested the importance of starting a business before a venture. Essentially, it means a startup should start as early as possible executing the idea, getting initial customers, serving them the best we can, getting feedback from them, then once the business is stable, we may start to think about a venture, i.e. getting funding from venture capitalists, etc. Another important thing he stressed on is about partnership. For instance, if we start a business selling an innovative pencil, then our impact will be amplified if we can also partner with a startup who sells books. Partnering with complementary product is a way to scale up our business faster. Think this as Network Economy.

The second guest was Fang Kok Boon, chief executive of Blacksmith, the world’s first rotary 3D printer startup. He spoke on the topic of sharing secret ideas. In short, we should not be paranoid in sharing our ideas to everyone, with only two exceptions — Do not share your idea with a venture capitalist who invests in startups like yours, and do not share to those who have the same area of interest as you, obviously. About Blacksmith, he was inspired by an old turntable record player when prototyping the rotary 3D printer by himself at home. Supported by NTUitive, he successfully funded his idea via Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform, in just June this year. Currently in production, this 3D printer will be sold at $2,999. Pretty reasonable, right?

The third speaker was Steve Wah, CEO of Smoov, an online payment gateway like Paypal, but focuses on SME in the Southeast Asia region (now operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines). You would think that it is crazy to get into an already fragmented payment apps market. However, Smoov’s offering is not just another app. It offers a very unique proposition, a platform for SME, which would not be taken away even by Apple Pay or Google Wallet. A very sound business model, just like what we learn as business students about strategy.

The final speaker of the session was Frankie Lee, representing NTUitive. He explained about the technology and support available from the Innovation Center. This is the guy you want to talk to if you plan to start your own business after graduation. NTUitive has been established for a very long time and enjoyed success from the beginning (at that time it was under the name of NTU Ventures). Frankie is a Nanyang MBA alumni and owns more than 2 startups since graduated. You can tell he is very passionate about entrepreneurship. Most of the attendees came to connect with him after the event.


The ME Club realises that entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Perhaps very few of MBA participants will start up their own business after graduation. Nevertheless, NTU offers many opportunities for startups. Hence, the ME Club tries to optimise the available resources, technology, funding and network of talents for developing an entrepreneurship culture in the Nanyang MBA. We hope it can inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.


The ME Club Co-Chairs would like to thank Vivek Negi (the last minute MC), Trung, Jiajia, and Liu Lei for their ideas, feedback and moral support, and NTUitive for connecting us to the startups.



For more information about Nanyang Business School click here.

Nanyang Business School Goes To Myanmar for Business Study Mission

Submitted by Raymond Rueda, Student Exco VP Career Development


Myanmar, compared to its Asian counterparts, has been lagging behind for decades in terms of socio-economic and political stability but thanks to U Thein Sein’s rise to presidency in 2011, it has now opened its doors to the global market, bringing in investors from various industries.  Multinational companies see its huge potential—it is strategically located between Asian countries with huge populations—India and China—and is next to some developing Southeast Asian nations as well such as Thailand.

Because of these factors, the Nanyang Business School has chosen Myanmar for the second time as a destination for its students’ Business Study Mission (BSM), which was scheduled last October 25 to November 1.  Now on its second year, the redesigned MBA program requires participants to go on a BSM either in Singapore or overseas.  This year, 11 full-time students, 3 part-time students, and 1 EMBA participant joined the Myanmar group, which visited both local and multinational companies with offices in Yangon.

A trip abroad, however, would not be complete without sight-seeing so the BSM also had its fun side.  During the first two days, we visited popular tourist spots in Yangon such as the Inle Lake, Botataung Pagoda, the Rangoon War Cemetery, the Shwedagon Pagoda, and Bogyoke Market.  We also tried out local Burmese dishes in popular restaurants in the city and found them uniquely delicious.


After a weekend of touring the city came the more serious part of the trip—the company visits. Companies that the group got the chance to interact with include Chevrolet, Consumer Goods Myanmar Limited, Tokyo Stock Exchange, Samsung, Coca-Cola Pinya Beverages, Ooredoo, Kia Motors, Schneider Electric, CNQC, and Petronas.  Aside from the private sector, officials from the government and non-profit institutions also gave insightful presentations about the current challenges, opportunities, and programs being promoted in Myanmar.


Seeing Myanmar suffering from poverty and corruption is quite saddening especially when one learns that it used to be the the second wealthiest in the region during the British occupation.  Nevertheless, it is slowly making progress especially as it gains support from more powerful countries such as the US and Japan.  All of us saw how promising Myanmar could be and we hope that one day, we will see it as competitive as or even more developed than its neighboring countries in the region.

To Prof. Ravi Agarwal, Prof. Chung Lai Hong, Ms. Lindsay Tan of the MBA Office, and everyone else who made the Myanmar BSM possible, chezu tinbade!


For more information about Nanyang Business School click here.

Consulting & Professional Services Perspectives

Submitted by I Putu Mahendra Wijaya, Co-Chair of the Management Consulting Club


Hitachi Global Solution Corporate Talk by Mr. Michael Travis, Chairman Emeritus

On Friday, 14 November 2014, the Nanyang Business School has been fortunate to receive a visit from Mr. Michael Travis, chairman emeritus from Hitachi Solutions Ltd. The Management Consulting Club, together with the Wine Appreciation Club, has been honored for being given the trust to host him throughout his visit in Nanyang Business School.

The event started at 15h30 with a presentation by Mr Travis titled “Consulting & Professional Services Perspectives”. Within the presentation, Mr Travis shared with the attendants of his experience heading Hitachi Global Solution, as well as some the recent important trends in the professional service industry.

Some of the interesting insights that he shared is the scale and revenue partition of Hitachi as a conglomerate company. Founded in 1910 by an engineer Namihei Odaira, Hitachi has grown from its initial business in electric induction motors into large conglomerate in Japanese industry. As of 2014, Hitachi businesses encompass areas from Digital Media all the way to Construction Machinery. No doubt that Hitachi has been recognized in the world as one of consistently top performing companies, as evidenced by its annual subscription to be listed in Fortune 500 global companies. As of Financial year 2013, Hitachi reported top line revenue of $93.4 billion from all of its business units, one of which is Hitachi Global Solutions, which Mr Travis had the experience to lead & grow the business.

Furthermore, Mr. Travis also shared his insight about the future of consulting industry. One of the important trends, he pointed out, happens in the sphere of IT development. In particular, he argued that the development of the “internet of things: manufacturing 2.0” – where machine can have “social network” between them – would unleash a tremendous potential in the manufacturing in the new world.

Important around the idea of internet of things is the capability of machine to collect data, thanks to proliferation of sensor, and processes them in real-time to be presented either to another machine – which would help crunch those data – or to a human user – who will make the final  critical decision in real-time if any intervention is needed. Such real-time data gathering & information processing will bring efficiency to a level never before attained in the past, simply because the availability of data which were not present.

As such, the development of internet of things becomes not only the latest fad in the technology world, but could have a tremendous impact in the sphere of strategic planning and decision making in the business world, particularly in the sector of manufacturing and public transportation.  Indeed, one of the key takeaways from the presentation is the implication of the internet of things to the consulting industry: we can expect that the internet of things would create a middle-field battle ground between companies that traditionally offers services in strategic consulting, and those that customarily offers services in IT consulting.

After an interesting presentation, the attendants were then entertained with a fine selection of wines, cherry-picked by our wine connoisseur, Ms Stephanie Zhao – c0-chair of Wine Appreciation Club; accompanied with excellent light snack matched against the wine, finely selected by our caterer Fusion Spoon. All in all, the atmosphere of the entire session was very collegiate, and we were very fortunate to have the opportunity to talk in person with someone as important as Mr Travis.

Indeed, the Management Consulting Club and Wine Appreciation Club hope that the event could mark as the beginning of long-term relationship between the Nanyang MBA program & Hitachi Global Solutions.  Bonne Continuation!

2014.11.14 Hitachi (1)

2014.11.14 Hitachi (2)

2014.11.14 Hitachi (3)

For more information about Nanyang Business School click here.

CSR Club Visits Children’s Home

Submitted by Ho Xiaoyuan, Co-Chair of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Club


On 15 Nov 2014, the CSR Club organised a trip to Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home, as part of the partnership with Nanyang Community Club in the Christmas Make a Wish project for the needy children. The Home provides care, protection and shelter to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

​During our time at the home, we interacted and played with the children. An important part of our task was to help them to decorate their wish cards for the Christmas, indicating the gifts they would like to receive for the coming holiday. They also wrote thank you cards in advance to show appreciation to the donors for their gifts.

The wish cards will be displayed on a Christmas Tree in Nanyang Community Club and the public can adopt the wishes on the card by buying gifts indicated on the cards. The CSR club is also looking at the possibility of publicising this at our upcoming New Year Charity Ball so that attendees who want to participate by buying the gifts can do so.

2014.11.15 CSR

All of us enjoyed a fun and meaningful afternoon interacting and getting to know the children better. We look forward to similar opportunities in future to reach out and contribute back to the society. ​


For more information about Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home, click here.


For more information about Nanyang Business School click here.

Bowling Competition

Submitted by Sharan Grover, Co-Chair of the Technology Consulting Club

On 13th Sep 2014, the Graduate Student Council organized a bowling competition at Chevron, Jurong East.  The Nanyang MBA sports club brought it to the MBA students, who greeted it with a fair amount of enthusiasm.

Some of us were looking to win the competition, while others just went for fun.

However, as soon as the whistle blew for the games to begin, the hidden bowler inside each one of us woke up, with everyone looking to better the rest. Some of us got too involved in the game, getting quite emotional on not being able to win their individual group at least, if not the contest.

The camaraderie and bonding that sports brings with it was quite evident, as everyone enjoyed themselves, with even those who were hugely disappointed at not winning, joining in the fun and frolic that followed.​

2014.09.13 bowling 1


For more information about Nanyang Business School click here.

AIM Accelerate Consulting Competition

Submitted by Cory Reid, Student Exco VP Case Competition


The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Accelerate business consulting competition was held in the Philippines at the AIM campus in Makati, Manila from October 9th to 11th, 2014. The purpose of the competition is to serve as a venue for young and talented students to showcase their skills and apply what they have learned in school through actual application.

Four students from the Nanyang MBA program were selected for the finals: Vivek Negi, Vishal Bhatnagar, Bhrigu Vasish and Cory Reid.

The competition is in the second year of implementation and this was the first year it was opened up to MBA students outside of AIM itself. The format of the competition is unique in that each team works directly with a local small or medium enterprise (SME) to tackle their most pressing issues while developing a realistic growth strategy for the company.

With over a hundred applicants from business schools such as ISB, NUS and NTU, the event drew talent from some of the top schools in Asia. 24 students were selected for the finals and were grouped into 6 teams of 4 each. Each team was paired up with a local SME about 4 weeks before the finale in Manila.

The Nanyang MBA students said the competition was a great learning experience since they had to collaborate with students from different universities to solve a real issue for a Philippines SME. In fact, they only met their teams and SMEs in person when they arrived in Manila two days before the final presentation.

The competition also featured seminars on ASEAN integration in 2015, faculty and industry mentors and a 30 minute pitch clinic for each team. The finale on Saturday had each team present for 15 minutes to a panel of three judges, followed by 10 minutes of Q & A. After dinner, the winning team was announced and the award was presented to Team Beauchem, which Nanyang MBA student Cory Reid was proud to be a part of.


Members from Team Mr. Wilson at the opening event with Nanyang MBA student, Vivek Negi, in the centre:

AIM Vivek 


Team Beauchem at the finale dinner with Nanyang MBA student, Cory Reid, third from right in the back row:



Team Wilkonstruct at the finale dinner with Nanyang MBA student, Vishal Bhatnagar, second from left:

TEAM Wilkonstruct


Teams on stage:



Faculty and the winning team – both students and SME participants:

AIM Accelarate awards



The competition was featured in local newspapers such as the Asian Journal and Business Mirror. Articles can be retrieved from:


For more information about Nanyang Business School click here.

CSR Lunch Talk

Submitted by Ho Xiaoyuan, Co-Chair of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Club


On 7 Oct 2014, the CSR Club held a lunch talk for its club members.

Firstly, an outline of the club’s planned activities for the year was given, including participating in the Christmas Make a Wish Project by Nanyang CC and collaborating with CSR Compact on other CSR-related activities.

In addition, Mark from the EMBA Program was invited to provide an introduction to his social project in Malawi. The project aims to provide people in the country access to resources, specifically through selling cheaper solar panels to help develop microenterprises and build savings, in a bid to alleviate the poverty situation thereby improving the standard of living of the people there.


Details on how micro-financing works and the poverty situation in Malawi was also touched upon. CSR club members who are interested were also provided the opportunity to join Mark in his project.

All in all, the lunch talk provided an opportunity for CSR Club members to be involved and be in touch with the up-coming events.


For more information about Nanyang Business School click here.