Chen Xianbao (Qiaqia Food)

Growing Qiaqia

Qiaqia Food, officially listed on 2 March 2011, is the first company in the nuts and roasted seeds industry to be listed in China. This achievement is an honor not only for the company’s Managing Director Chen Xianbao (APEX-C MBA 2009), but also for NUS Business School as we share the pride of our alumnus…

 

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Why did you choose the nuts and roasted seeds industry to begin your business venture in?

I specialize in food fermentation and am familiar with the food industry. I started with beverages, but they sold best only in summer, turnover during autumn and winter was poor. I decided to look for a substitute food product. As nuts and roasted seeds were well-liked in the Anhui province, I ended up choosing them for my business. I did not expect them to become so popular throughout the whole of China!

During the start-up phase of the business – the most difficult phase in any business – how did you ensure its growth?

When we first started the business, competition was mainly regional and not fierce yet. Our initial goals were to build our brand and be a market leader in China. Still, it was very tough. Innovation became our most important key to success.

These were some of the ways we innovated. First, we boiled instead of fried. Hence, our food was not only not “heaty”, but also tastier as the flavors penetrated the food. Second, we used paper for our packaging material. Third, we enclosed cards with cultural themes, including the “Twelve Beauties of Nanking”. Fourth, we had a comprehensive supply chain incentive scheme to motivate the workers along the delivery chain, including even the workers who replenished goods on the shelves. These four innovations helped Qiaqia make an explosive entry into the market. This turned Qiaqia into a favourite marketing case study for business schools across China in 2000.

Share with us your experience in building an enterprise.

There are six things I would like to highlight.

First, after Deng Xiaoping’s southern tour which led to the development of the socialist market economy, a huge market opened up and entrepreneurs were given tremendous opportunities to build enterprises to create wealth. The 30 years after China’s economic reform was a period when China’s GDP experienced the fastest growth, and also a period when China’s manufacturers were among the major contributors to that growth. I was fortunate to have experienced those good times, participated in the creation of much wealth, contributed to the Gross Domestic Product and enjoyed a share of it.

Second, integrity is very important when building a business. After a survey with Qiaqia, KPMG commented that they had visited hundreds of private enterprises in China, but had not seen one that strongly emphasized integrity as Qiaqia did.

Third, we believe in being customer-centered. Qiaqia’s greatest asset is not its brand or its production line, but its large pool of supportive customers. I always tell my staff that satisfying our customers and meeting their demands is our top priority, our most fundamental task. Our customers are the focus of our corporate efforts.

Fourth, brand-building is important. There are many companies in the nuts and roasted seeds business in China; Qiaqia stands out because of its strong emphasis on building the “Qiaqia” brand from the beginning.

The fifth highlight is learning and innovation. Anhui merchants have this couplet, considered by Premier Zhu Rongji as a “Number One Couplet”: 读书好, 营商好, 效好便好. 创业难, 守业难, 知难不难. (It is good to study; it is good to do business; it is even better to be efficient. It is difficult to build an enterprise; it is difficult to maintain an enterprise; ift is not difficult to know that it is difficult). I would like to add: 持 续 改 进 (Continuous improvement). One of the most important responsibilities of a business leader is in leading innovation. Maintaining status quo, you get 60 marks; innovation gets you 90 marks; leading a team to innovate and achieve outstanding results gets you 120 marks! To encourage innovation, we have established innovation indicators for our departments; at the end of the year, bonuses and other awards are given after assessment against the indicators.

Finally, we give top priority to developing talents. In any enterprise, innovation, learning and brand-building are the activities of its people.

Briefly outline your company’s current status and future development goals.

I entered the world of business in 1995. In the first year, our revenue was 2.36 million yuan. Last year, our turnover exceeded 2 billion yuan and market value was 7 billion yuan. Our goal is to exceed 10 billion yuan in revenue by the end of our twelfth 5-year plan. Qiaqia’s current core business is in nuts and roasted seeds. We plan to expand into other foods and snacks.

What are Qiaqia’s core business values?

The growth of an enterprise depends largely on its core values. These values are like the enterprise’s DNA; they play a decisive role in how big the enterprise can grow and how far it can go. With our own values, we set the development goals of our company and establish its system. Our corporate vision is to “Create a World-renowned Brand, Build a World-Class Enterprise”.

Since we first build the enterprise, our focus has been to meet customers’ needs and demands, and to become a world-class enterprise. Our values are “Unity, Dedication and Innovation”. We always maintain that we have benefited from society, and it is our duty to repay society. We actively participate in and support various social welfare activities. Our greatest social responsibility is to contribute to the prosperity of China. Our other responsibility is to look into the well-being of our families and loved ones. These may sound shallow, but our management plays an important role in meeting these very obligations.

Earlier, you mentioned integrity. How do you maintain integrity in China’s business environment?

There are different levels of integrity. One is in abiding by the law. Another is in being responsible and to fulfill our duties. We will benefit from looking after the benefits of others. Integrity is not only a responsibility; it is also a form of investment, one with a high rate of return. When we maintain integrity, doors to opportunities in the market will open naturally. It is not easy to maintain integrity, but it is worth every effort because it brings the best returns.

 

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Read about the ceremony cum Business Ethics Forum held in celebration of Qiaqia Food’s listing.

Transformation through Collaboration – Dr Michael Teng

Dr Michael Teng (President of MBA Alumni-NUS 2011/2012)

 

The new President of MBA Alumni-NUS (2011/2012), Dr Michael Teng (MBA 1987) believes that no man or organization is an island, and that working closely with other organizations and forging common goals are ways forward.

 

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What motivated you to run for presidency?

I wanted to contribute to the MBA Alumni-NUS as I had served in the council as Secretary in 1989. Since then, I was asked to help in the Marketing Institute of Singapore where I served 14 years in the executive council and the last four years as its President. I feel that I am able to now contribute effectively as the President after 22 years – I am now older, wiser and freer, and with more business connections to bring the alumni to greater heights.

What do you do in terms of career?

I am running an investment firm representing investors interested in acquiring distressed companies and helping them to transform and turn around. We also train and advise firms in Singapore, Africa, Indo-China and China on corporate restructuring and improving their financial performance.

How do you think your profession will contribute to your role as the association’s president?

I specialize in corporate transformation, authored 23 books on this subject, and spent 19 years as the CEO transforming major corporations and listed companies. Every organization, including healthy ones, needs to transform as business models become obsolete and competition grows intense. MBA Alumni-NUS is no exception and needs to transform, too, to stay relevant.

How do you think your role as the association’s president benefits you in your profession?

I will be leading an association whose members are the best brains in the country. There is going to be rub-off for me as I learn from them. In addition, MBA Alumni-NUS offers me an opportunity to network, make friends and do something worthwhile for the community.

During your presidency, what do you hope to achieve for the MBA Alumni-NUS and for its members and why?

I have put in place a NLP program, which stands for Networking, Learning and Profiling. I have presented to my fellow council and ordinary members, and have gotten their support and endorsement. We will continue to develop the alumni as a platform for networking (N). I want to attract older members to come back and participate in our events as learning (L) does not stop after we finish the MBA program. The council members and I plan to hold many seminars in conjunction with other institutions to enable our members to continue their learning journey. My council members and I intend to raise the profile of the alumni. Our vision is to become a de-facto authority on business matters so that, for example, when the public or media have pertinent business issues, they will refer to our alumni for comments. We intend to engage our members who are mostly industry leaders to become more active in the alumni. We will also contribute articles to the press to make our presence stronger. In addition, we plan to use the platform of “Transformation through Collaboration” to make an impact in the business community.

During your presidency, what legacy would you like to leave and why?

I have a theme for my term and I hope that it will continue long after I finish my tour of duty: “Transformation through Collaboration“. I have already mentioned the importance of transformation. Why collaboration? No man or organization is an island. I want to leverage and work with the other alumni associations such as NUS Business School Alumni, NUS Mandarin Alumni, DUAL, Marketing Institute of Singapore as well as with other associations. We can increase our profile quicker if we work closely with other organizations in joint events and strategic alliances, and forge common interests and goals.

Among your list of goals to achieve, which ones are the key ones that you intent to focus on and why?

I want to raise the profile of the alumni to befit the MBA program’s ranking as one of the top 23 in the world. As premier business alumni, we need to be relevant and visible in the business community. The alumni’s standing has to commensurate with the high academic standing of the MBA program.

How do you intend to involve and engage members of the association to help achieve these causes for both theirs as well as the association’s benefit?

I cannot do it alone. That is why I emphasize collaboration and getting the support of all the stakeholders like council members, the school and GANO. Our members will surely benefit through this collaboration and expand their sphere of contacts and networks.

Good Food, Good Relationships

Good Food, Good Relationships

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. The same could be said about employees. Besides the usual fine-dining or pub-hopping, companies are now embracing cooking lessons to foster bonds between their employees. Alumni share how food has become the universal language among the staff of their respective companies and how it has facilitated team bonding.

 

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Michelle Tan (MBA 2008):

Food events, also known as “brown bag” events, set the mood for a more relaxed atmosphere. Food is a great conversation starter, and a wonderful tool to forage for new friendships. When I first joined the company, it was through lunch sessions with my colleagues that I was introduced to the soft aspects of the organizational culture, and taught how to better adapt to my new work environment. Till today, I make it a point to never lunch alone so that I can sustain the bond with my colleagues. Due to the fast-paced and stressful work environment, I sometimes find it hard to engage my superiors on a more personal level. Fortunately, my company organizes occasional “drinking sessions”, whereby selected staff are invited to mingle with senior management over a round of food and drinks. It was by attending these “brown bag” events that I eventually managed to know the senior management better and build rapport with them. It is thus important to organize occasional out-of-work events to build people close together as staff bonding is vital in keeping staff motivated. As the business saying goes, a happy workforce is a productive workforce.

Clifford Koh (MBA 2010):

My colleagues and I often have lunch-outs with bosses as such events are opportunities for interaction in a casual environment. Another way to break the ice would be to share background of food from our own culture. For example, I introduced custard buns, which were not commonly ordered, to my team during a tim sum outing. Sometimes, my senior colleagues would also share ways to prepare dishes for our respective families. Personally, I have gained from their teachings to prepare bak kut teh for my wife during our wedding anniversary last year. Sometimes, we even discuss various types of food for fertility, for slimming and for neuro-enhancement. I once attended a tiramisu-baking course organized by SAFRA that was definitely different from the usual movie or bowling events. Such events not only identify the better cooks, but also create a talking point within the office. In general, social get-togethers over food allow people to take time off from their work schedule and recharge for the longer journey ahead. They are also opportunities to get to know one another and one another’s family so that we can all look out for one another in the future.

Edwin Chong (MBA 2008):

Satay is one of the best foods that teams can bond over as it involves sharing and having many conversations. When I used to work in Raffles Place, it was common for us colleagues to head to Lau Pa Sat right after work for some good satay. Now, I would bring my staff out for drinks at Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay, just to “chill out”. Before food events are organized, it is essential that the event organizer be mindful of food restrictions and other considerations. For example, I would order halal food as most people can eat it, order barbecued food for variety, or even hold sit-down dinners at restaurants during festive seasons. Sadly, the last one was a rarity due to the hectic nature of the industry I am in. If only my staff and I had more time out of work, I would definitely engage my team in cooking events and see true teamwork in action!

Kirti Chopra (MBA 2010):

After closing every deal, my team and I would go out for a team lunch or dinner. I always go out for lunch with my colleagues on a regular basis and that is actually the time when we share the happenings in our lives and connect with each other. Whenever a new person joins the office, the informal orientation of the person happens during these team lunches. When one is eating, one’s formal guards are let down and others get to know how one really is. I think a social get-together over a barbecue or a potluck meal is a good idea to break the ice and promote camaraderie amongst the team members.

Toh Ern Chong (MBA 2008):

To break the ice before any company lunch or dinner, I would recommend to my bosses the restaurants that the team had visited before. I would also share with my colleagues the new “makan” places that I have recently discovered. Although cooking events may not necessarily cater to the masses, I would not mind getting my department to try out this novel bonding activity. Besides, doing something differently could trigger innovative ways of doing things at work. Also, it would be a more unique experience that my department can “boast” about to the other departments!

Caroline Wan (MBA 2008):

Food is a nice topic to talk about, especially with people whom I just met. Usually I will begin by asking whether they like Singapore food, then talk about where the best local food can be found. As most people are also excited to share their food tastes, conversations get going. Just from talking about food, I can also find out more about the personalities of the people I meet, for example, how receptive they are to new things, like new cuisines.

Prateek Jain (MBA 2009):

After working for some time in my company, I was moved in a new project team. I found the manager of that team to be very serious, and as a result, we rarely spoke. One day, we went for a team lunch. The food was excellent and we started discussing the food. To our surprise, the manager revealed how much he knew about food – from different cuisines to even how the delicacies are prepared. It turned out that he was actually a good cook. Being a food buff myself, I launched into a long conversation with him on food. We had a good time and since then, my perception of him has totally changed.

Sulabh Jhajharia (MBA 2007):

By finding a common ground – food – and with no salaries, designations or job roles whatsoever to separate us, my team and I began to see each other beyond just our job titles, and this helped break a lot more than just ice! As we are all big foodies, we also enjoying finding out the ingredients that go into the food we eat. I am looking forward to cooking events held for my company as I think we can discover so much about each other in such a relaxed and enjoyable environment. It is also a great way to learn about and appreciate other cultures that are usually best represented through their cuisines.

Jaimin Shah (MBA 2010):

After my first week at work, my bosses invited me to Friday beer with their friends. It was a very good opportunity to have open and frank conversations – not just food; alcohol, too, helps to get people talking!

Touching Hearts through Guts

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Regardless of the company, food is truly the universal language among its staff. That is why most companies host events like corporate lunches and dinner & dance gatherings that are usually eagerly anticipated by the employees and management alike. Such events, also known as “brown bag” events, allow employees at different levels of the company hierarchy to mingle with coworkers, and upper-level management to be more visible to the workforce.

“Food and drinks certainly do play a part in reinforcing bonds within the company, and a common sense of identity and solidarity,” says Arthur Tan (BBA 1992), founder of wine distributor Wine Tatler LLP.

To employers like Arthur, the benefits of organizing such events are apparent. Not only would morale be boosted as employees feel appreciated, but open interaction and networking between executives and employees can now be carried out in a non-intimidating environment.

Rising Expectations, Rising Budgets

“Companies no longer hold dinners at a run-down & stuffy traditional Chinese restaurants,” says Arthur, jokingly. According to him, companies are paying more attention to the ambience and quality of food whenever they organize employee gatherings.

“Being in the wines distribution business, I also realize that budgets have risen too. Gone were those days when event organizers would buy wines as an after-thought, at the lowest possible prices. Now, attention and adequate budget is set aside to buy the right kinds of wines to pair with the cuisines served,” he adds.

Arthur thinks that this change in attitude can be attributed to the trend of increasing job mobility in the past decade. In the past, employees tended to work for the same company for longer periods of time. These days, employees are easily enticed to move for various reasons such as greater challenge or job satisfaction, higher wages and better work environment. Thus, companies have to be more alert and proactive in making themselves attractive to potential employees and to retain existing staff. Apart from higher salaries, other perks such as work environment, staff welfare and corporate values and culture are equally important.

Notes Arthur, “Employees gatherings used to be the sole domain and privilege of big companies which could afford such luxuries. But corporate employee gatherings like the annual dinner & dance have now become a sort of must, to reward employees for a job well done. Even when there is a recession, companies try not to cut back on expenditures for ‘D&Ds’ as they are no longer treated as luxuries; they are, instead, seen as morale sustaining and boosting measures even in tough times.”

Referring to the organizational theory of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Arthur highlights that instilling a sense of belonging through such gatherings would also ensure that employees stay and remain productive.

Building and Bonding Teams

Companies are now even more consciously using such food-and-drink gatherings effectively as a tool for team building or bonding. Arthur’s brother and fellow NUS alumnus, Chairman and Managing Director of Food Empire Tan Wang Cheow (BAcc 1981), agrees. Says Wang Cheow, “Yes, we see this especially during our family day or during any festive season.” Like his brother, Wang Cheow is also a proponent of winning the hearts of employees through “brown bag” events as they help to strengthen the bonds between colleagues.

When endurance and physical challenges used to be the theme of team-building activities, companies are taking a step closer to their employees’ hearts with something which most people can relate to – cooking and baking. At such sessions, the process of food preparation is used as a vehicle to articulate team values and ideas.

“Team building used to be associated with physical activities,” recalls Arthur. “Baking or cooking sessions are an alternative and, possibly, a complement to the traditional ones as they focus on softer communication and coordination skills,” he adds.

Cheers to Casual Camaraderie

While companies do play a big part in integrating their staff, some employees can also initiate the creation of genuine camaraderie. There is a natural tendency for colleagues to form after-hours drinking “kakis” to indulge in their own “happy hours” at favourite pubs, thereby expanding their circle of friends. Some of these watering holes even hold promotions that facilitate such camaraderie, such as special discounts for staff of different industries on different nights of the week.

“Forging good working relationships is possible during working hours, but grows difficult due to the existence of office politics and formal reporting lines and hierarchy,” explains Arthur. “After office hours, people tend to let their guard down and socialize more freely, with less inhibition.”

Arthur believes that this employee-initiated camaraderie helps to strengthen rapport and bridge differences at the ground level. He adds: “If one looks at the Japanese culture of colleagues socializing after work, one would see why the Japanese are able to work as one and always at consensus.”

Arthur thinks that with the abundance of fragmented meeting places for dining and drinking to cater to all kinds of people and occasions, fostering deeper and personal relationships amongst colleagues is facilitated, and could prove to be valuable to companies driven by synergy.

He assures that the high sociability of the Japanese can be emulated, as it is an intrinsic skill found in most people. He says: “Human beings are social animals. People will always have that need to connect and interact, be it between family members, friends or colleagues.”

Judging from today’s trend, companies and leaders should not underestimate the power of a simple feast, be it just lunch or an extravagant do. Nourishing the body strengthens team spirit at work.

GANOrmous fete

Global Alumni Network Office, the alumni office at NUS Business School is dedicated to strengthening the bond with its graduates, the rich knowledge base who go out and make the world their playing field.

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The NUS Business School Alumni is indeed a Global Business School with its 46,000 alumni present across 5 continents and 41 cities. We have established 13 alumni chapters and more than 30 alumni contact points globally. Wherever our alumni are, NUS Business School’s Global Alumni Network Office (GANO) organizes various activities for them – from leisure trips, golf competitions, wine appreciation, to fundraising for underprivileged students, to name a few – to reach out and connect with them on their diverse interests.

Strength to Strength for Our Indian Alumni

GANO has been very meticulously tracking movements of past students from India who have returned to their roots. Some striking graduates that come to mind are Amitava Saha (APEX-E MBA 2010), Global Head of Data Quality and Integration at Novartis Pharma; Manish Choudhary (UCLA-NUS MBA 2009), Vice President and Managing Director of Pitney Bowes Business Insight, India; and Dr Dev Taneja (MBA 2008), Visiting Faculty for “Strategy in Healthcare” at Institute of Technology and Management, and at Mahatma Gandhi Mission University of Healthcare Sciences. GANO creates a platform for them and their fellow alumni to reconnect back home.

During the first couple of years, GANO’s primary objective was to understand the Indian business environment. So when the International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and Tata Management Training Centre jointly hosted the annual International Business Fellowship (IBF) Program back in 2008 with a focus on India, GANO rode on the platform and was rewarded with a deeper knowledge of India’s economic and business scenarios as well as cultural and social trends – knowledge that GANO wasted no time in putting to purposeful use. For, despite being established only in April 2007, GANO had already visited three Indian cities to introduce itself to its alumni base there by the end of that same year. The three cities were Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore.

The following year, formal gatherings were organized in Mumbai and New Delhi. These gave alumni opportunities to get to know one another, and even meet with two representatives from IE Singapore. The Mumbai event, in particular, was scheduled to coincide with the APEX EMBA program segment, thereby providing the current EMBA participants the opportunity to meet their predecessors there.

In 2009, the momentum increased with GANO organizing alumni gatherings in five Indian cities – Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi. With a headstart in strengthening alumni community in Mumbai and Delhi – this being GANO’s third visit to these cities – alumni representatives Abishek Nigam (MBA 2008) and Abjayjit Sinha (MBA 2008) presented to GANO their ideas on establishing of Alumni Chapters in New Delhi and Mumbai respectively. This was the beginnings of the fruits of GANO’s efforts as the alumni in India began to come to life as a community.

Spontaneous Growth

In February 2010, alumni themselves hosted an event in Bangalore for fellow alumni. The event feature Mr R Chandramouli, President of Sales and Marketing, sharing his success story of Reva Electric Car and how he tackled real-world problems in marketing the avant-garde product. Every participant was even offered to test drive the head-turning set of wheels at the end of the session. Current participants of the UCLA-NUS EMBA program, who were visiting the city at the time, were invited to the event. The turnout of 25 alumni included some who flew in from other cities. What an amazing show of alumni community support and identity it was!

Riding on the highs of that first alumni-organized event, another in Bangalore was organized in July 2010 which attracted a turnout of 16 alumni. Our alumni in Bangalore were now beginning to take baby steps towards organizing more activities on their own, along with plans to set up a Bangalore Alumni Chapter.

Concurrent to those alumni movements in 2010, GANO stepped up its activities in India, organizing alumni gatherings in other Indian cities – Chennai in July, Mumbai in November and New Delhi in November – all of which showing increased attendance.

In February 2011, the Indian alumni network, supported by GANO, organized an event on “Indian Leadership in the 21st Century” in Bangalore. Alumni from Bangalore, Chennai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai came together in one committee to make the event happen. Over the preceding months they overcame the barrier of distance and worked at bringing together senior alumni to form the event’s Alumni Discussion Panel. They even brought in Mr Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motors, as invited Industry Speaker who spoke about the Toyota Group’s challenges and successes in establishing business tie-ups. Including current participants of the UCLA-NUS EMBA program who were in Bangalore, the event saw a total attendance of 76.

Alumni who could not make it to the event did not miss out on networking with fellow alumni. For back-to-back with the Leadership event, two other alumni gatherings were organized in New Delhi and Hyderabad.

Besides knowledge-sharing, our alumni in India have also organized corporate trips. One such occasion was the visit to Fortune 500 company, Pitney Bowes, arranged by alumnus Manish Choudhary (UCLA-NUS MBA 2010), the company’s Managing Director India.

NUS Runs in Every Vein

GANO is actively engaging and empowering its Indian network to identify contact leaders who can work the ground in rallying and connecting their fellow alumni. Contact points are the voice of “brand NUS”. They also become a reliable source for alumni who travel to India for business or pleasure. Presently, the key drivers in the forefront are Abhishek Nigam (MBA 2008) in New Delhi, Abjayjit Sinha (MBA 2008) in Mumbai, Keerthi Aruvela (MBA 2008) in Chennai, Abhinav Girdhar (MBA 2007) in Hyderabad, and Rahul Tadimalla (MBA 2007) and Vamsi Reddy (MBA 2008) in Bangalore. Alumni Chapters open up even greater avenues.

Alumni in India have shown tremendous enthusiasm. Since 2008, attendance at reunions has gone up from 7 to 22 in Mumbai, 10 to 16 in Bangalore, and 10 to 24 in New Delhi. From simple tête-à-tête about school days to discussing vision 2021 in India, this committed bunch has set the ball rolling over kebabs and spirits. In year 2010, two alumni travelled to both New Delhi and Mumbai on consecutive days in the spirit of the reunions. Among those who attended the Mumbai event, many came from the outskirts of the city. For the two Bangalore event in 2011 – the Reva Electric Company corporate talk and the Indian Leadership event – some folks even travelled from as far as Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi. Even the Chennai get-together had alumni Sudarshan Rao (Grad Dip 2011) and Vamsi Reddy (MBA 2008) specially come in from Bangalore.

Indian alumni have also proactively handled groundwork at these events. Ex-NUS fellow-mates like Neha Singla (MBA 2010) and Puja Bhargava (MBA 2008) coordinated logistics and infrastructure at reunion dinners held in New Delhi and Mumbai respectively. Alumni Srinivas Kishore (MBA 2007) was lauded for not only flying in from Chennai for the 2011 Bangalore reunion, but also reaching early to provide handy assistance at the event. Hence, commitment is definitely there.

Indeed, the blood of NUS runs in the veins of every alumni!

Uniting the NUS Spirit

Our Indian alumni community is keen to stay connected. Bringing people together means bringing ideas together. However, with the vast complex infrastructure and alumni scattered around the country, the task is easier said than done. Hamidah Puteh, a Manager of GANO, encourages our alumni in India to keep in touch with the School and the rest of our alumni community by providing GANO with their latest contact information and location. Progressively, the alumni events in India should be expanded to include not just visiting faculty members and EMBA participants, but also key corporate contacts and industry leaders to make the networking experience worth every effort.

Our alumni in India had kept in regular contact with Professor Kulwant Singh, Deputy Dean and Professor Nitin Pangarkar, Academic Director, MBA program, and Professor Trichy Krishnan, active initiators in keeping Indian alumni at the helm of involvement. These faculty members have been supportive of GANO’s efforts by informing the office of their travel plans to India, so that alumni events may be coordinated to coincide with their visits. Their sheer presence at alumni events always make the occasions delightful. At a Bangalore reunion, Professor Trichy Krishnan also attended a similar gathering in Chennai while on vacation and shared invaluable knowledge on business ideas with our enteprising ex-students.

Taking steps further, GANO encourages alumni to update their online profile on BizAlum portal so as to be searchable by fellow alumni. Dedicated links to Chennai, New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai are up and running on Facebook. With the new and improved integrated media platform, being out-of-touch is virtually impossible.

Owing to the growing interest in India’s business climate, it will be rewarding for India alumni to take advantage of the boom-time and share knowledge, opportunities and NUS connections to greater heights.

Let the spirit of staying connected continue.

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