Category Archives: The NANYANG MBA

The journey to victory at Dell Case Competition 2015

Contributed by MBA students: Kevin, Moohwan and SungWon

As MBA candidates and future leaders of a dynamically changing business environment, how do we define our success and measure our learning progress? Our answer to the question was to participate in business case competitions, as we believe that the ability to apply practical industrial knowledge and to demonstrate our inner potential is a vital criterion for success.

In view of this, the inter-university Case Competition organised by Dell was a great opportunity for us to apply what we have learnt in class and to leverage on our skillsets such as collaborative team work, efficient time management, application of effective framework and compelling presentation. We knew that the competition would be challenging and require significant commitment and sacrifice but we decided to take up the challenge and embark on this journey to achieve our very first milestone.

The case competition consisted of two rounds. The first round was evaluated based on a five-minute video recording on the topic of Dell’s supply chain management, and the second round was carried out at Dell’s office amongst the selected teams, based on the result of the first round. In total, 17 teams participated from three universities, namely NTU, NUS and SP Jain. Four teams were promoted to the final round; two teams came from NUS and one each from NTU and SP Jain, respectively.


The team, DellTaForce was voluntarily and carefully formed on our own by taking several criteria into consideration in order to optimise the team potential and synergy. One important, though often neglected criteria, is how the different individuals, with their expertise and professional backgrounds can complement and work with one another in a team. With that in mind, we finally formed a team consisting of three members with over five years’ of career experience in different business areas, namely, management consulting, strategy planning, and engineering. The mix of diverse background helped significantly throughout the Dell case competition as the different perspectives of each member allowed us to bring a wide range of ideas that an individual by him or herself might not be able to generate.

During the analysis of the case studies, we set the most important and fundamental rule upfront, which was to respect and encourage each other for all meetings. The small initiative paid off as the team members were able to share their ideas confidently, leading to fruitful brainstorming. No matter what idea was brought up, we considered all of them worthy of discussion and talked about it until we reached a consensus.

The challenging parts that we have encountered were mainly ideation relating to supply chain management business domain, as none of us had previous professional experience in that field. To address the issue, we proactively approached professors to guide us on process validation and viable examples for ideation. We had to instill a confident mindset in ourselves that we are the expert in the supply chain management as far as the case is concerned.


Another challenge that we had to work on was the professional presentation for the final round. As the team consisting of non-native English speakers, our pressing issue was to enhance our effective speech in a professional and convincing manner. To quickly equip ourselves with the necessary presentation skills within a short timeframe, we focused on practicing, preparing Q&As, and non-verbal communication cues such as posture, eye contact, attire and more. The intensive practice sessions continued all the way till the final presentation date. Although it was not perfect at the end, we certainly made visible improvement to deliver our idea to the panel judges. Last but not least, most importantly, we gained confidence in public speaking.

Our determination, specific goal setting, collaborative teamwork, consistent discipline, sincere commitment and specific plan to achieve our common goal played significant parts in helping us win this case competition.

The key takeaway from the experience was that when all the attributes of success are applied collectively, the likelihood of winning will definitely increase as it creates synergistic effect as long as everyone plays their part responsibly.

We would like to attribute our glorious success to Professor Vijay Sethi and Professor Peter Giulioni who were willing to spend their personal time to help us, especially when our progress was stagnated and when we were occasionally demotivated. It was a great achievement as a start and we strongly believe that Nanyang MBA’s journey for business case competition will continue thriving.

5 Reasons to Get an International MBA Degree

The decision of pursuing an MBA degree is a critical one, requiring a great deal of thinking and planning. An MBA can help boost your career, there’s no doubt about it. But, as a potential MBA candidate you must also evaluate the different MBA programmes, to see which one can provide you with the maximum benefits, in terms of the learning, exposure and opportunities.


Doing an MBA degree abroad, as opposed to doing it in your own country, can be beneficial in many ways. Here, are a few reasons why your must choose to pursue an international MBA degree:

Exposure to New Culture

The job of a business professional involves interacting with a wide range of people, and building a rapport with clients and co-workers who may belong to other countries and cultures. Doing your MBA overseas automatically trains you on this aspect of the job. By studying and collaborating with a culturally diverse mix of students, you acquire the essential social skills needed to survive and flourish in a global market.

The Opportunity to Learn New Languages

With companies going global and expanding their operations in non-English speaking countries, recruiters are often looking for candidates who are bilingual, and able to fluently communicate in languages other than English. Doing an MBA from business schools located in countries such as France, Germany and Singapore, provides you with an opportunity to be trained in a foreign language, thereby boosting your CV in a big way, and opening up newer job avenues for you in numerous global destinations.

A Competitive Edge

Doing an international MBA degree puts you in a high-pressure environment, where you would be competing with students from diverse nationalities, with a wide range of academic and professional experience. This prepares you well for challenging jobs, and gives you a competitive edge over other MBA grads, who have had a less intensive course at a local business school.

A Wider Professional Network

More than the degree itself, the professional connections you make and the peers and mentors whose support you gain at the business school add more value to your professional career, taking you further ahead in your professional journey. An international MBA would provide you with a wider network, and open up myriad opportunities, that might not be accessible to someone who has done MBA in his/her own country.

Personal Growth

By studying overseas you are not just growing as a professional but also as an individual. Stepping out of your comfort zone, finding your way in a new country, interacting with people belonging to other cultures – these things equip you with the courage, flexibility and open mindedness needed to succeed in your professional and personal life.

The Economist, in its list of the world’s top MBA programmes, ranks the Nanyang Business School in the 66th position and as one of the best business schools in Asia. The affordability of education in Singapore and its cultural diversity are some of the factors that attract students to NBS. For more information on Nanyang business degree, visit

The Importance of Organizational Culture

Organisational Culture

It’s the quality that binds the organization together, and prevents it from falling apart; a quality that gives the organization the strength to deal with difficult challenges; a quality that makes it stand out from the rest.

Like individuals, organizations too have a unique personality that we refer to as ‘culture’. It’s an invisible yet powerful force that drives the thoughts and actions of each of its members. It’s a system of shared values, beliefs, and goals.

Organizational culture has a huge impact on the company’s ability to succeed and make it big in the competitive world that we live in today. A company without a tangible culture finds it difficult to tap into the full potential of its employees, and to keep them happy. And, that puts both the organization’s and its people’s well being at risk.

Here are some of the reasons why organizational culture plays such an important role in the success of any business:

  • Unity

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog,” Mark Twain had said in one of his famous quotes. An organization, irrespective of its actual size – whether it’s a start-up with 10-15 employees or an organization with a bigger workforce, is strengthened by its unity. The unity results from a solid organizational culture – a set of shared values and principles that the members abide by in every decision that they take. The similarity of thought and action enables the employees of a company to work synergistically, to help each other in their goals, and to stay strong as a group in order to fight against the rival forces.

  • Business Success

One organization that has a palpable organizational culture is Google Inc. One look at the Google products and campuses across the globe, few interactions with its employees, and we would know what the company stands for – Creativity and Innovativeness. Building and maintaining Google’s culture requires relentless effort, as Google’s Developer Advocate Don Dodge explains in this blog post. But, the company very well knows that the secret to its success is its people and the culture they create and maintain.

  • Stability

Author Daniel H Pink in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us talks about the role of ‘Purpose’ in improving the performance of people in the workplace. Lack of purpose and motivation is one of the major reasons why people are often dissatisfied at work and why they quit their jobs and look for greener pastures.

Organizational culture, by its very nature, ensures that the purpose of its members are aligned with the purpose of the organization. And, this compatibility of goals and way of thinking drives the members to perform well, be self-directed, and be loyal to the organization they belong to.

  • Sense of Direction

When an organization has laid out its values, beliefs and goals, its employees have a clear direction to work towards. They can discern between right and wrong, important and unimportant and this clarity ensures a focused approach to work, and a productive use of the organization’s time and resources.

  • Identity

‘Identity’ and ‘brand image’ emerge from an organization’s culture and its people. Apple’s products wouldn’t be known for their ‘perfection’ and ‘enduring beauty’, had it not been for Steve Jobs’ unique way of approaching the technology business, his emphasis on creating products that weren’t just efficient, but also aesthetically pleasing and immaculately designed. It’s the people who create the organization and it’s the organization that creates the ‘brand image’. And, we know what a big role the identity of the brand plays in how well it’s received by the market and how far it goes.

Interested in exploring the topic of ‘culture’ and ‘group behaviour’ in depth? Nanyang Technological University’s Culture Science Institute (CSI) holistically investigates cultural issues of national and global importance, from brain-based, cognitive, evolutionary, behavioural and life science perspectives. To know more, visit

Additionally, the Nanyang MBA at NBS offers a compulsory module on Leading People Globally. Designed to help you with theoretical and a practical understanding of what is required to lead people in organizations, it provides you with detailed insights on an organization’s perspective on talent management.

The programme’s Business Study Missions (local or overseas) also help build a candidate’s cultural intelligence, exposing them to different business, cultural, economic and political environments. It prepares individuals for the global workplace by honing their skills in managing business in different environments.

Have thoughts on the role of organizational culture? Don’t forget to share them in the comments below!

Why do an MBA in Singapore?

You want to enhance your professional profile, and get to the next level of your career. You want to be a leader in your field – develop managerial skills, and boost your knowledge of running a business. An MBA degree, you know, will get you where you want to go. But, you are still hesitant to make the move. And, it’s not just about gathering funds needed for the studies. What you are daunted by are also those never-ending questions related to the MBA.

“In which country should I pursue my MBA?”; “Should I go for full-time MBA or an Executive MBA?”; “Am I at the right stage of my career?”; “How do I prepare myself and ensure that I make the best use of the MBA experience?” – These are just a few of the questions that haunt MBA aspirants.

Continue reading Why do an MBA in Singapore?

Setting BHAGs For Your Career

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living,” said Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and a remarkable leader.

Apart from their exceptional skills and talents, one of the major factors that contribute to the success of powerful businessmen, high-achieving leaders and other extraordinary individuals is their ability to think big. They have a clear and compelling vision that they are working towards, and their day-to-day actions are consistent with that vision they have in mind.

Do you know where you want to be 10-30 years from now? Do you have a big vision that drives your decisions and life choices? If your career goal is limited to ‘getting a job, ‘getting promoted’ or ‘earning a higher salary’, then you won’t get too far in your professional life. You’ll lack the grit to get things done, the strength to push through your fears. You’ll settle for a life that’s less than what you deserve. What you lack is not talent, skill or intellect; but a bold vision statement, a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) as Jim Collins calls it in his book ‘Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies’.


Having a vision for your professional life is essential, no matter which stage of career you are in. So, here are a few steps to help you set BHAGs for your career.

Think Big

“Becoming a CEO of a technology firm”, “Running a retail store that sells rare electronic goods,” “Building technology tools that make education accessible to every child in the world” – your BHAG may seem out of reach, but it’s not out of sight. You can visualize it in your mind, although it may seem complex and daunting at first. Know that it’s the challenge that makes it worth achieving. Aim high and do not settle for a goal that appears too easy and comfortable.

Think Deep

The BHAG should be something that you truly want to do. It should be emotionally compelling to you and well aligned with your passions. Think deeply and get to the core of who you are, and where you see yourself a decade or two from now. It takes relentless effort to achieve your big goals. Choose something that you must do, not something that you think you should do.

Think Long-term

BHAGs are big dreams with a specific deadline. The time limit adds a sense of urgency and pushes you towards the goal. But, they are not goals that you are meant to achieve in a short span of 2-3 years. It may take a decade or longer. So, be prepared for a long, immersive and deeply gratifying ride.

Live your Vision

So, you have set a BHAG for your career. You have pondered over it in depth, written it out on a sheet of paper, and stuck it up on the wall over your desk. Is that all? Do you go about your life as usual? Creating a vision is not enough. You have to abide by the vision, make your present actions and choices consistent to it. You have to work hard towards that vision, break the big goal into small steps that can be achieved over a period of few months or years. You have to shield yourself from day-to-day distractions, not let yourself be deterred by the hurdles that you face on the way.

Stay Inspired

Working towards a Big Hairy Audacious Goal isn’t easy. And, if you don’t have a support system around you, you are likely to falter and feel lost. Find mentors; join hands with other like-minded individuals who are working towards their own BHAGs. It would keep you inspired and help you stay positive and hopeful.

If your BHAG is to be a successful business professional, then the Nanyang MBA can help you achieve that goal. The 12-month MBA programme will help you expand your business knowledge, build your leadership skills, and work under a guidance of qualified international faculty and senior level industry experts.

To know more about the Nanyang MBA Programme, visit:

Homecoming Party for the Champion Team

Submitted by Reina Wong, Student Exco VP Communications

The Nanyang MBA participated in the John Molson MBA International Case Competition held on 5 to 9 January at Montreal, Canada. The team comprising of Cory Reid, Aswathi Suresh, Sunitha Vijiyasingam and Jonah Wong emerged as division champion, and eventually beat all other semi-finalists and finalists and emerged as the champion team. In fact, the team won every single round of the 7 intensive cases throughout the competition. It is also the first time an Asian school won in this prestigious international competition. (News coverage on Channel News Asia, Straits Times, NTU Website)

Continue reading Homecoming Party for the Champion Team

Nanyang Business School Participation in CEIBS 2014 MBA Career Trek

Submitted by Noopur Singhal, Co-Chair of Management Consulting Club


Date: 6-7 November 2014

Organizer: CEIBS

Participants: 3 students from NBS, and students from SMU and CEIBS


The 2014 CEIBS MBA Career Treks is an annual program organized by CEIBS MBA students with the help of their MBA Career development center. The 2014 program was launched simultaneously in three different locations, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing. The program aims to help students deepen their understanding of their target industries and functions, and explore potential career opportunities through company visits and meetings with senior executives.

2014.11.06-07 CEIBS (1)

For their Singapore visit, CEIBS invited MBA students from the top three business schools in Singapore (NTU, NUS and SMU) to participate in the Trek, and three students – Noopur Singhal, Richard KW Lee and Chen Chi volunteered to participate and represented Nanyang Business School in the CEIBS trek.

We visited five companies in two days: DHL In-house Consulting, Credit Suisse, TradeHero, Abbott Labs and OCBC, which gave us an insight into several industries, including pharmaceuticals, logistics, mobile gaming and finance. The company visit on the first day was followed by a networking dinner and Mathew Stenger, Aswathi Suresh and Jeffery Zou joined us for the dinner.

 2014.11.06-07 CEIBS (2)

Overall, this two-day event not only gave us a good platform to build contacts in the industry but also helped us in knowing all the participating students at a personal level.


For more information about Nanyang Business School click here.


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.