I had the pleasure of serving on the Alumni board with fellow NUS MBA alumnus Shankar Meembat (SM), the year that he was elected President of the NUS MBA Alumni executive committee. Shankar has now been with Nokia for close to 15 years and moved back to Finland. I am very grateful to him for taking some time out of his busy schedule for an interview.– Anuprita Bhomick (AB)
AB: Why did you decide to do an MBA? What factors made you choose NUS in 1993?
SM: I started my career in R&D. When I was heading a product development team, I found that there was a discrepancy between what we were developing and what the sales team was selling. They would come back with orders for systems that simply did not match what we were working on. I needed to find out why it was so difficult to sell/market a product, and so I decided to “cross over to the other side”. As I made my career change, I want to have that change supported with suitable qualifications and an MBA became the natural choice.
Yeo Siew Mui, President of the NUS MBA Social Impact Club, reports on the club’s learning from five visits to different organizations in the Philippines with a clear social vision.
With support from the NUS Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthrophy, six of us from the NUS MBA and two of the MBA exchange students planned a visit to the Philippines from 4th May – 9th May 2010. During the trip, we visited five organisations in Manila and explored social issues in Philippines. We saw how different actors – Unilever, United Laboratories, Gawad Kalinga, World Bank and Asian Development Bank worked individually but yet are collectively striving towards eradicating poverty in Philippines.
The trip opened our eyes on Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) activities and how companies formulate their CSR plans. One of the key takeaways we had was how collaborative the companies were. Unilever shared with us on how they are working with other companies to collect back plastic sachets and used packaging from consumers regardless of which company the product packaging was from. We also learnt about an NGO which was formed by companies to coordinate and work together on CSR Projects in Philippines.