NUS MBA Social Impact Club Visit to the Philippines

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.

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Manila MBA Study Trip ’09

Apurbakanti Mukherjee shares the highlights of the 2009 NUS MBA Study Trip to Manila, the Philippines.

I came very close to not going on the Manila MBA study trip due to various reasons other options available, but I’m glad the way things played out in the end. There were some iconic names in the list of companies that we were scheduled to visit and some not so familiar names which later turned out to be the star attractions of the trip.

The Cast

The group consisted of 14 students representing 9 nationalities including some of our exchange students as well.


This was our 1st day of meetings and by the end of the week we all agreed, one of our favorites. Our 1st stop was at SGV, the local arm of Ernst and Young. After we met a number of their top managers, we waited for our lunch appointment with the 88 year old founder, Mr. Cecip Washington. While we waited in the plush room with panoramic views of the Manila skyline, we had, what was to be the 1st of many such photo ops. We were carrying with us a special banner made for this trip and at every chance, we would unfold the banner and take pictures with the whole group and the host.

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