SMU MBA Gives Leaders Asian Advantage |

SMU MBA Gives Leaders Asian Advantage

By Karen Turtle

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This article is sponsored by the SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business. Learn more about its MBA program here.

“Flat, steamy, thickly humid, the island lies there in its hot seas, fringed with mangrove swamps, and from the air it looks as it always did, a slightly desperate place that ought to be uninhabited,” wrote travel writer Jan Morris of Singapore back in 1976.

Forty years on Singapore bears very little resemblance to its former self. Transformed, this small nation has become one of the most prosperous in the world, with a per capita GDP higher than that of most developed nations, a triple-A credit rating, and a competitive trade economy with a very global outlook. Over 75% of the country's population speak English and a significant proportion of the nation's workforce are foreign nationals.

In management education, Singapore has also become a powerful batter. Among the schools causing ripples internationally is Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB) at Singapore Management University (SMU). Founded less than 20 years ago, the school is already considered a global leader in research, according to the UT Dallas Top 100 Business School Research Ranking, as well as the QS Global 250.

Lee Kong Chian School of Business
World-class faculty at Singapore Management School's LKCSB 

Lee Kong Chian School of Business' position as a leading research facility would not be possible without the input of a world-class international faculty. This includes management alumni of elite schools such as Columbia, INSEAD, Princeton and Cornell. These men and women lead LKCSB's full-time and part-time MBA programs. Most professors are experienced industry practitioners as well, their expertise derived from the real world as well as books and papers.

MBA students at LKCSB can complete their studies in as little as one year, or in 18 months if they choose to do the course part-time. "I found SMU to be aptly poised to provide an effective platform that leverages the ‘Singapore Factor’ with its Asia-focused MBA curriculum and the multinational composition of its student cohort," says Anshuman Chaturvedi. Chaturvedi is a full-time MBA alumnus, class of 2015, now a lead analyst tracking startups globally with Tracxn in Bangalore, the ‘Indian Silicon Valley’.

MBA classes at LKCSB are small but diverse, with 65% of the MBA cohort from outside Singapore, reflecting the multiculturalism of the city state as a whole.

SMU MBA class
SMU: A leader in the development of Asia- focussed case studies

It is no revelation that MBA case studies have traditionally been biased toward business in the west. To readdress the balance, faculty at SMU's LKCSB are writing their own business cases, many of which have been award-winning. "That's a big advantage SMU has over many other business schools, which don't look so much at Asia, says Keeve Tan, a full-time MBA student. "The challenges facing companies in the west and in Asia are vastly different, as are the challenges within the Asian region itself," he adds.

‘Taxi wars: Uber in China’ is an example of an MBA case-study currently on the LKCSB core curriculum. The case describes how Uber struggled to infiltrate the China market, facing stiff competition from local players Didi and Kuadi, who banded together to monopolize 95% of China's ride-hailing business. Uber was eventually forced sell its stake and exit the market. MBA students studying this case are asked to assume the role of Travis Kalanic, Uber's CEO to assess what went wrong, and to evaluate the viability of future business development in Asia.

Case studies form an integral part of the LKCSB curriculum, with the case studies written in-house complementing cases from other top international institutions.

SMU MBA classroom
Employment prospects as a graduate of LKCSB

Singapore is ideally placed for MBA students interested in conducting business across Asia.  On top of the accolades listed above, the country is  ranked seventh in the 2017 INSEAD Global Innovation Index, third in the 2017 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, and second in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017.

Over 7,000 multinational companies operate in Singapore, contributing to the city's dynamism and cosmopolitan vibe. SMU's Lee Kong Chian School of Business is situated at the epicenter of the business district, placing prospective MBAs at the threshold of these big industry players. Within six months of graduating, over 90% of LKCSB students are hired, and as many as half of the business school's students are offered a job before they even don their mortar boards.

Supporting students from the beginning of their studies through to graduation are LKCSB's career coaches, a support which is of particular relief to MBA candidates stepping onto Singaporean (or Asian) soil for the first time. The business school's postgraduate career services also maintain a very active role in putting students in touch with key stakeholders in more than 350 local and global organizations. Full-time students complete a compulsory summer internship and have access to a global network of 2,000 companies.

For students concerned about financing their MBA, Lee Kong Chian School of Business offers a number of scholarships, each of which amounts to 30% of the MBA tuition fee. See here for more details. 

This article is sponsored by the SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business.

This article was originally published in . It was last updated in

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