From 17 to 21 August, the USC-SJTU Global EMBA (GEMBA) Class XI had a value-packed, week-long visit to Singapore and Vietnam, a component of the GEMBA program we call Global Front-Line Perspectives. The highly-ranked Marshall School of Business Executive MBA has conducted its Global EMBA class in China since 2003, in partnership with Shanghai Jiao Tong University. GEMBA is a 20 month program divided into ten “themes” that showcase the interrelatedness of business functions to develop well-rounded executives. Theme 7, Global Front-Line Perspectives, emphasizes key international finance, marketing, macroeconomic, and social/policy forces that create business opportunities and threats in Southeast Asia and beyond.
GEMBA Class XI engaged with thirteen enterprises in Singapore and Saigon. The C-suite leaders we interacted with included George Tanasijevich, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd; Henry B. Nguyen, Managing General Partner of IDGVentures Vietnam; Nguyen Van Hieu, Strategy Manager of CJ CGVVietnam; Christopher Samuel, Director – Corporate Engagement, Monsanto Asia-Pacific; Richard Harshman, Head of ASEAN, Amazon Web Services; Simon Kahn, Chief Marketing Officer – Asia Pacific, Google; and Yosuke Masuko, Owner of Pizza 4Ps.
The trip started with the visit to Marina Bay Sands and discussion with Tanasijevich, who shared the global strategy of Marina Bay Sands for sustainable growth. We also toured the marquee property in Singapore.
On the final day, the GEMBA XI students had a lively discussion with Henry B. Nguyen, a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and an Asia 21 Fellow of the Asia Society. He recently was bestowed an additional honor by the Asia Society in Southern California as being an “Asian Game Changer,” for his leadership in bridging cultures through policy, business, arts, and education issues. B. Nguyen related how he had changed his career path from medical professional to PE investor. He also shared perspectives on how to grasp the right opportunity and the challenges and risks to consider for foreign investors and global leaders.
First-hand interaction with C-suite business leaders brought lots of practical insights to the GEMBA XI students. And we affirmed that Saigon has a lot in common with the Shanghai of the early to mid 1990s.