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In Search of Dreams


Susan Africa-Manikan ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Sherbet Katigbak-Manalili MANAGING EDITOR

J U LY - S E P T E M B E R





Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor Guillermo Parayno, Jr. Prof. Eduardo Morato, Jr. Jose Ma. J. Fernandez Jerry Quibilian Rex Bernardo Shaikh Muhammed Ali Rose Cheryl Orbigo Gwendilyn Abrico Rey Reyes CONTRIBUTORS

Chili Dogs

news ß AIM President Francis Estrada ß ß ß


Jose Andres Puno Levi Lacandula PHOTOGRAPHERS

Fran Ng Panch Alcaraz Brian Vallesteros Chili Dogs ILLUSTRATORS

Lexmedia Digital PRINTING

Maritess Aniago-Espiritu Khristine Revilla Voltaire Masangkay Joana Marie Ozeña ALUMNI RELATIONS OFFICE STAFF



ß ß ß ß ß

Receives Award of Excellence Rosmah Receives Gift from AIM KL Alumni Reaffirms Support to AIM President Estrada Executive Briefing by H.E. Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov Alumni Gathering in Dubai AAAIM Hosts First AIM Alumni Family Day AAAIM Cebu Chapter Holds 2nd Famcor AIM Partners with Universitas 21 Global for Online Graduate Courses Alumni Newsmakers: - AACSB’s Biz Ed features Prof. Jay Bernardo in article “Teaching Outside the Box” - Kip Oebanda featured in Business Mirror



ß Giving is Good ß Learning to Lead ß Knowledge: The Most Important Organizational Resource

ß Alumni as Marketers



ß Know Thyself ß Memoirs of a Scholar

spotlight ß ß ß ß


Hyun Oh Cho: A Scholar Gives Back Virgilio “Nonoy” Espeleta: Fulfilling A Promise Rex Bernardo: Taking Courage in Both Hands Vicente “Tito” Fernandez: The Man Who Defies Forgetting


26 In Search of Dreams THE AIM SCHOL ARS







The AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine (AIM Leader) is a quarterly publication of the Asian Institute of Management with editorial office at the Alumni Relations Office, Asian Institute of Management, 123 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, 1260 Philippines Telephone No.: 892.4011 locals 331, 540 and 533 Telefax: 893.7410 | Email: aimleader@aim.edu




ß The Asian Development Bank– Japan Scholarship Program ß Making a Difference in their Societies: Stories from the ADB-JSP Scholars


Copyright 2007, AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any manner in whole or in print, in English or other languages, without written permission is prohibited.

April-June 2007 Issue, page 22 Mr. Guillermo L. Parayno, Jr. should have been MBM 1977

ISSN 1908-1081

On the cover: (From top R) Ariel dela Cruz, Kumar Binitesh (From bottom R) Arlene Maneja, Trang Nguyen Thi Thuy and Dipesh Tuladhar

Cover photo by Jose Andres Puno

Program Feature: Alumni as WAC Mentors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Alumni Leadership Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Class Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 End Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

alumnileadership PRESIDENT’S


MUCH OF THE STRENGTH OF an educational institution—particularly a graduate school of management like AIM—lies in the relationship it establishes and nurtures with its alumni. In the U.S, leading universities have long benefited from a philanthropic tradition. At many U.S. schools, the “annual fund” pays for anything not covered by school endowment investment income and tuition. At the leading business schools, about 60% of the annual fund comes from alumni donations, with the balance coming from wealthy non-alumni donors. Among the leading alumnisupported U.S. schools are: The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College is, far and away, the leader with 64% with Texas Tech at number two with 48%. Other schools with strong alumni support are: Yale (47%), Stanford (41%) and Darden (40%). Some leading Asian schools have begun (some, quite successfully) developing this kind of alumni support. To achieve its mission, AIM needs to do the same. The value proposition to the alumnus is to “build a better world” by supporting educational institutions that play an important role in shaping society and business. To the alumnus who has done well, it is an opportunity to share his success with future generations. As a leading graduate school of business in Asia, AIM can offer its successful alumni the opportunity to give back, as well as access to a valuable and active network of alumni all over Asia. After all, the Institute has now produced over 34,000 degree and non-degree graduates, a number of whom are well placed in business, government and the NGO community throughout the region. My many encounters with the alumni—all over Asia— since I assumed the Presidency of AIM reveal a wellspring of goodwill and support for the institution. Many (myself included) fondly and appreciatively recall the rigorous overall learning experience that AIM has represented for us. In this context, one observes some of the different ways our alumni give back. We would now like to acknowledge this in the current issue of the AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine. The large number of alumni who responded to Associate Dean Ricky Lim’s call for volunteer WAC readers was most encouraging. The Cebu and Davao City chapters, led by Nonoy Espeleta, MBM 1991 and Nick Dy, MBM 1973 respectively, have successfully (and profitably) brought AIM executive education programs to their localities, establishing for the alumni as

effective marketing partners. The donation by Hyun Oh Cho, MBM 1985 (Korea) to the AIM Alumni Scholarship Fund is another, generous and much appreciated way of giving back to the school. One of the alumni-related initiatives being taken to reinforce the alumni’s relationship with AIM is the “Host Family Project” being launched by our Alumni Relations Office (ARO). In a nutshell, the idea is to significantly enhance the overseas student’s Philippine experience while building valuable relationships and, hopefully, enriching the Filipino alumni family’s social and cultural life. Greg Atienza at ARO is busily soliciting Filipino alumni volunteers. I strongly encourage you to support this very worthwhile project. Another AIM initiative we are keenly advocating, and which I trust you support, involves utilizing scholarships to attract the best and the The value proposition brightest student recruits to the alumnus is at AIM. The objective is to to “build a better world” by supporting further improve the quality educational institutions of discussion and learning that play an important role in shaping society in the case room. This can and business. To the only be good for AIM, the alumnus who has done well, it is an opportunity Philippines and the Asian to share his success with future generations. region as a whole. The legacy of the scholars who have been educated at AIM must not be ignored. Scholarships from the ADB-JSP (Asian Development Bank- Japan Scholarship Program), corporate stipends, and generous donor support have all contributed to the development of many outstanding graduates who are helping improve the organizations and communities they operate in. Asian societies have long had a tradition of caring for their own. Like many other worthwhile institutions and endeavors, AIM seeks to re-define “our own.” History has shown that enduring peace and stability cannot exist in a context where pockets of prosperity subsist amidst a “sea of poverty.” I invite the alumni to provide AIM the wherewithal to develop the leaders, managers and entrepreneurs committed to bridging existing divides and pursuing inclusive and sustainable growth in a rapidly-integrating Asia. With best wishes for your continuing success from your alma mater, I remain.






Whatever amount you can contribute as an individual, as part of a corporate donation, or as an alumni chapter will be greatly appreciated... Your contributions will help AIM respond better to the challenge of providing scholarships to deserving future leaders and managers of Asia.”

IVE YEARS AGO IN 2002, OUR BATCH (MBM ’83) WAS TASKED TO BE THE LEAD HOST class for the 2003 AIM alumni homecoming. Honestly speaking, I had not even visited AIM for the past twenty years then, since I had graduated. Fortuitously, the homecoming celebrations also coincided with the celebration of AIM’s 35th Anniversary. Our batch developed a theme: “AIM at 35: Looking Back, Paying Forward.” And now, five years after that unforgettable homecoming at the Greenbelt lagoon, I find myself sitting at my desk at the Alumni Relations Office in AIM, and reflecting on how much we, the alumni have really paid forward. During the formal ceremonies at the Zen Garden announcing the Triple A winners in March 2003, legendary batch MBM 1973 gave the biggest donation so far for any anniversary batch by way of a P1,000,000 contribution to a special fund for Faculty Development. This was immediately followed by a donation of P300,000 from our class which turned over the check during the Anniversary Celebrations at Greenbelt 3. Fast forward to today. Many historic developments have unfolded, stressing the important role of the alumni as the major stakeholder of AIM. The most remarkable, dramatic change is in the infusion of alumni into the AIM Board of Trustees (BOT), the eminent governing body of AIM. Five out of the fifteen board slots had been given to AIM alumni representatives thus elevating the AIM alumni as co-owners of the Institute. Corollary to this is another historic first—we now have the first AIM alumnus to lead our school as its President—Mr. Francis G. Estrada, MBM 1973. During the last BOT meeting, it was decided that alumni representation be further expanded to an eventual majority. These developments demonstrate the need for alumni to take up the cudgels as co-owners given the revitalized vision of AIM: towards being the management school of choice, for those in the enterprise and development sectors desiring to operate in Asia. AIM, now nearing its 40th year faces many challenges amidst a rapidly integrating “New Asia.” Competition is intense with the sprouting of business schools all over the region where before AIM was the only game in town. Some of these challenges include: increasing enrollments (in quantity and of exceptional quality), improving diversity in the studentry and faculty, enhancing the Asian character of the Institute, and further building up our “Asianess” in cases and research. AIM aspires to attract exceptional students. To do this, AIM needs to build a Scholarship Fund to enable the best and the brightest—but financially challenged—students, not only from Asia but from all over the world, to study in AIM. World-class management schools have such a scholarship fund. AIM now seeks support from its alumni for this meaningful and worthwhile goal. Hence, the establishment of AIM Alumni Fund for Scholarships. We dedicate this issue of the AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine to the many scholars and alumni whose lives were transformed because of their scholarships at AIM. We are also grateful to our alumni who have found creative niches in paying forward to our school—our brave battalion of WAC reader volunteers, our alumni-as-partners in marketing AIM programs, as well as our unending stream of friends from AIM Alumni Associations worldwide who continue to show their support through many various endeavors. I invite you to make a pledge now. Whatever amount you can contribute as an individual, as part of a corporate donation, or as an alumni chapter will be greatly appreciated. Annual giving is also being encouraged so that even smaller but regular giving from our alumni all over the world will make a difference. Your contributions will help AIM respond better to the challenge of providing scholarships to deserving future leaders and managers of Asia. For pledges to the Alumni Fund for Scholarships, please send an email to aimalumni@aim.edu. We earnestly hope that you will respond and join our efforts to ensure AIM’s continuous leadership in management education. Alumni must actively participate in the affairs of our beloved Institute from which we derive tremendous, and permanent, personal prestige as well as valuable networking. I think this is a great way of paying forward. I hope you do too. God bless.

Greg Atienza Editor-in-Chief, AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine Executive Managing Director, Alumni Relations Office Secretary General, Federation of AIM Alumni Associations, Inc.



Executive Briefing by H.E. Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov (2nd from left) receives a plaque of appreciation from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) following an executive briefing he conducted entitled “Russia and the New Asia in a Multipolar World: Implications for Business and Investment”. The briefing, which was attended by the country’s business leaders, diplomats, and government officials, covered recent economic and political developments in Russia, its approach to international relations and prospects for business and investments. In photo are (from L) AIM Co-Chair Jose L. Cuisia, Minister Lavrov, AIM President Francis G. Estrada, and AIM Co-Chair Washington SyCip.

AIM Partners with Universitas 21 Global for Online Graduate Courses

THE ASIAN INSTITUTE of Management (AIM), Asia’s pioneering graduate manageand Signature and Corporate Guidelines ment school, is teaming up with Universitas 21 Global (U21Global), the world’s leading

u21Global Graduate School For Global Leaders

provider of globally-recognized online graduate programs, to bring 21st-century e-learning to management education. The combination of AIM’s case methodology and U21Global’s online e-learning platform marks a leap forward in Asian management education. The rigor of AIM’s case method is necessary for the proper buildup of managerial skills. Combined with U21Global’s fast, low-cost delivery of online training, students will get an extra competitive edge over other professionals. AIM’s alumni today number more than 34,000 from 70 countries; U21Global already has more than 3,000 students from 65 countries. This powerful combination of

networks, experience, and online resources will present opportunities for an even deeper collaboration between the two prestigious institutions in the future. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Dr. Helen Lange, Dean, Business Management Programmes at U21Global said, “This partnership further underscores our commitment to promoting quality e-learning in the Philippines and across the region. Partnering with leaders in management education of the quality of AIM adds immense value to this objective and the understanding of our online graduate programmes.” Also at the occasion was Prof. Victoria S. Licuanan, Dean of AIM. “It’s definitely the right time to take this step,” she said. “Market analyses have shown that in many countries around the world, the demand for graduate executive and professional education is growing robustly. However, people have less time for training, so AIM is studying January 2007

how technology can be used to increase the efficiency of learning without sacrificing the quality of management education.” The signing ceremony between AIM and U21Global was held at 9:00am on Friday, July 27, 2007 at the Asian Institute of Management campus in Makati City. Established in 2001, U21Global is the world’s premier online Graduate School that offers globally recognized graduate programmes. The graduate school is backed by an international network of 20 leading research-intensive universities in 12 countries. U21Global combines the traditional quality of its founders with innovative DR. LANGE modes of delivery on the Internet, providing students with substantial learning advantages, while balancing work, travel and family life.

U21Global’s affiliated universities include: North America: McGill University, Tecnológico de Monterrey, University of British Columbia, University of Virginia; Europe: Lund University; University College Dublin, University of Birmingham, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, University of Nottingham; East Asia: Fudan University, Korea “This partnership further underscores our commitment to promoting quality e-learning in the Philippines and across the region. Partnering with leaders in management education of the quality of AIM adds immense value to this objective...”

University, National University of Singapore, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, University of Hong Kong, Waseda University; Australia & New Zealand: University of Auckland, University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, University of Queensland. For more information on U21Global, please visit www. u21global.edu.sg

A I M A LU M N I L E A D E R S H I P M AGA Z I N E J u l y to Se pte m b e r 20 07


Seated from L: Ms. Effie Goh, MBM ‘78; YM Puan Sharifah Maria Alfah, MM ‘84; YBhg. Ir. (Dr.) Datuk Mohd. Annas Hj. Mohd. Nor, MM ‘84; AIM President Francis Estrada, MBM ‘73; Sdr. MA Ismail, MM ‘84; and Tuan Haji Kasmuri Sukardi, MM ‘95. Standing from L: Mr. Greg Atienza, MBM ‘83; Mr. Lai Yeng Chai, MBM ‘83; Mr. David Lai, MBM ‘83; Mr. Lim Eng Kok, MM ‘84; YBhg. Mej Jen (B) Datuk Abdul Rahman Daud, MM ‘84; Mr. Ching Lai Huat, MM ‘84; Mr. Khoo Chin Guan, MM ’84; Sdr. Abdul Muis Hassan, MM ‘82; Sdr. Kem Salleh, BMP ‘99; Mr. Woo Wai Keong, MM ‘84; Dr. Ahmad Zaki Hj. Ismail, MM ‘85; Mr. Thillai Varna, EMBA ’99; Mr. Mark Tan, MM candidate ‘08/09; and Tuan Haji Zulkifly Baharom, MM ‘89.

KL Alumni Reaffirms Support to AIM President Estrada EVERYONE WHO ATTENDED the value-building endeavor of AIM President Francis Estrada, MBM ‘73 at the KL Smoke House felt a sense of déjà vu at the outcome of the July 23 Scone Club Network. Each and every fellow alumnus shared their valuable inputs in an effort to reinvigorate AIM and Alumni Relations amidst an intensely competitive global environment. Joining the entourage from AIM were Prof. Horacio Borromeo, Jr., MM ‘77, Director of Research and Mr. Greg Atienza, MBM ‘83, Executive Managing Director Alumni Relations. In truth, the July 23 Scone Club was not just an avenue to meet and greet AIM President. It was an opportunity for Malaysian alumni to reaffirm their endorsement 

on Mr. Francis Estrada’s vision of leadership and strategic thinking to shape up AIM into the 21st century. His razor-sharp analysis of global

“The seamless and well-organized program—and great membership support—provides eloquent testimony to the alumni capability of the future direction of AIM in Malaysia.” management education issues is balanced with a deep sense of universal human values. President Estrada expressed his deepest thanks to Datuk Annas and Board of Kelab AIM


Malaysia for a seamless and wellorganized program. “I am most grateful for the truly outstanding arrangements you and Haji Zul have made. The seamless and well-organized program—and great membership support—provides eloquent testimony to the alumni capability of the future direction of AIM in Malaysia. I am indeed encouraged by your gracious support and commitment. More power to you all and terima kasih banyak-banyak.” In a separate event on July 24, President Estrada met and discussed matters of common interest with Alumnus YBhg. Dato’ Dr. Mohd. Basri Wahid, EMBA ‘99, Director General of Malaysian Palm Oil Board. While on an official visit to the Faculty

of Business Administration and Management Sciences at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) on July 25, President Estrada had a dialogue and working lunch with the 20 strong AIM alumni in IIUM. Other highlights of the alumni network activities for President Estrada on July 25 included attending a tea meeting hosted by AIM Distinguished Alumna, YABhg. Datin Paduka Sri Rosmah Mansor at Sri Satria, the Official Residence of Deputy Prime Minister. In the evening, Triple A Awardee 2006, YBhg. Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid treated the President’s entourage to a delicious Chinese dinner and lively discussions at the KL Royal Lake Club.






AIM President Francis Estrada Receives Award of Excellence AIM PRESIDENT FRANCIS G. Estrada, MBM 1973 won the Excellence in Contribution to the Organization Award at the Sixth Asia HRD Congress held during a glittering Gala Dinner at the Sunway Resort Hotel in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia on July 24, 2007. The recognition is the most esteemed and comprehensive HRD Awards in the Asia Pacific that recognizes the pursuit of excellence among corporate leaders, management professionals and HRD scholars. Very significantly, Mr. Estrada received the said award from Rt. Honourable Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. Datin Rosmah is also an AIM Distinguished Alumna and

Honorary Life Member of Kelab AIM Malaysia. Mr. Estrada was recognized for his selfless dedication and commitment on building human capital and his vision and dedication in leading AIM “to become the graduate management school of choice for anybody who wants to operate or do business in Asia.” The Asia HRD Congress Award is an independent initiative to recognize organizations and individuals whose efforts have impacted society, resulting in organization-wide success, and in significant achievements as a result of human capital development initiatives. The Award, launched in 2003 with just five recipients from two countries,

Francis Estrada (2nd from L) receives the award from Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor

has now become a prestigious annual event with the Asia HRD Congress Hall of Fame honoring a total of 30 recipients from 10 countries. The goal is to develop best practices and case studies of the Awards recipients’ experiences in association with educational institutions like AIM to focus on human capital development. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Estrada said: “AIM is very

pleased to be recognized as a provider of excellence in executive education and management development, not only in the Philippines but in Malaysia and throughout Asia. This will spur us on to continue striving for the highest standards in producing world class managers for the Asian region. I therefore dedicate this prestigious Award to all the valued alumni of AIM.”

Rosmah Receives Gift from AIM THE ASIAN INSTITUTE OF Management presented a gift especially dedicated to its alumna, Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, at the official residence of the Deputy Prime Minister, Sri Satria on July 26, 2007. The specially crafted frame from the Philippines contains an article on Rosmah which appeared in the Institute’s AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine published in December last year, entitled “Charity Transcends Beyond Politics and Religion,” by Haji Zulkifly Baharom, MM ’89. The wife of the Deputy Prime Minister had attended the Basic Management Program at AIM Manila in 1982. AIM President Francis Estrada

presented the picture frame. Present at the ceremony were AIM Malaysia Club President,

Datuk Mohd. Annas Mohd. Nor and other members. The STAR and UTUSAN MALAYSIA carried the story and pictures of the event.

A I M A LU M N I L E A D E R S H I P M AGA Z I N E J u l y to Se pte m b e r 20 07


Alumni Gathering in Dubai

From L: Mrs. Chandni Chanana, Prof. Confessor, Mr. Sanjay Chanana & Prof. Roman

AAAIM Hosts First AIM Alumni Family Day THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION of AIM - Philippine Chapter together with the Lead Host Class for Homecoming 2008, MBM 1988 held the first AIM Alumni Family Day last August 6, 2007 at the Zen Garden of the AIM Campus. The special event was held to promote a familial atmosphere and goodwill among alumni and friends. Over one hundred thirty alumni and guests including AAAIM Board Members, their wives and children attended the event, which commenced with a mass at the AIM Chapel at 11:00 a.m. The Sunday mass was officiated by Rev. Fr. Ed Martinez with the alumni choir headed by Ms. Ofel Bisnar, MBM 1988 and Mr. Greg Atienza,

From R: AIM President Francis Estrada, Mrs. Estrada, Celine Bautista, Gabby Paredes and fellow alumni

MBM 1983. Ms. Celine Bautista, ME 2000 served as commentator, while AAAIM Board Members and AIM faculty participated in the offering and readings. Children were treated to games and prizes, art activities, a magic

AAAIM Chairman Arps de Vera (2nd from right) with MBM 1988 hosts, Ofel Bisnar (4th from right), Fritz Gaston (back row), and their children

AIM ALUMNI IN DUBAI HELD the first AIM-UAE get-together last June 27 at Sanjay and Chandni Chanana’s residence to welcome Prof. Nieves Confesor and Prof. Francisco Roman, Jr. Confesor and Roman taught in the CSR Training Program for Gulf Cooperation Council conducted last June 26 to 28 in partnership with the Emirates Environmental Group in Dubai.


show, loot bags, and a special tour of AIM case rooms and facilities. A film showing of “An Inconvenient Truth” was shown at the Meralco Caseroom for the adults. AAAIM Chairman Ramon de Vera gave the Closing Remarks at 4:30 p.m. and thanked the many sponsors for their support : Nestle, MBM 1988 c/o Ms. Ofel Bisnar, Mr. Mike Macatangay, EMBA 2006, Asian Eye Institute, Julie’s Bakeshop c/o Mr. Nonoy Espeleta, ACCM, Novellino Wines, Growers Peanuts, AIM Alumni Relations Office, Victorina L. Laperal, JM Tanalgo, Minerva Tanseco, Cathy Saldaña, Ivy Mendoza, Ida de Guzman, Bubu Andres, Annie Tanchangco, Paeng Sun, and Celine Bautista.

Also present during the alumni gathering were Jes Galang, MBM 1970; Andrew Jamias, MBM 2003; Ashish Goel, MBM 2003; Ganesh Easwaran, MBM 2001; Sachin Kapoor, MBM 2003; Ganesh Sivasubramanian, MBM 2002; Abu Samuel, MBM 1991 and Mrs. Roman. The alumni also assisted Professors Confesor and Roman, and Labor Attaché to Abu Dhabi, Virginia Calvez to meet with the Philippine Business Council in Abu Dhabi.


Oscar Benedict “Junjun” Contreras III, MM 2003 logs in the AIM Alumni Portal at least once a week. “The AIM Alumni Portal is an excellent networking and career tool. I was checking the portal to look up on class directories for possible networking opportunities and happened to stumble on the careers portion. I can say that the leads I had through the portal have been more fruitful as opposed to those generated by the executive search firms that I dealt with. I have always had a response with AIM portal leads.” Junjun was hired as Business Development Manager for SENCOR (Systems and Encoding Corporation) last June 2007. For bona fide AIM alumni, here are simple steps to maximize the benefits of the AIM Online Community: How to find Career Options: 1. Log-in the portal (www.aimalumni.org) using your EFL and password. 2. Click on CAREERS at the left hand side of your personal page. 3. Browse through the various job opportunities posted. These have been submitted by Executive Search Partners, referrals by AIM CMS (Career Management Services) and fellow alumni. 4. Contact the referrals directly. How to find Fellow Alumni 1. Log-in the portal (www.aimalumni.org) using your EFL and password. 2. Click on CLASS DIRECTORIES at the left hand side of your personal page.

3. The AIM Alumni Portal Search Engine will enable you to find fellow alumni who have registered in the portal. Search can be filtered by First Name, Last Name, Program, Year/Batch and Country. 4. There is also an option to USE ADVANCED SEARCH which will further refine your search for fellow alumni by country or by industry. 5. The contact information that will be displayed reflects the choice that the alumni opted for during registration. As a policy to respect the privacy of alumni members, only company details and EFL are revealed, and only for alumni who choose this option.

How to post your business 1. Log-in the portal (www.aimalumni.org) using your EFL and password. 2. Click on BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES at the left hand side of your personal page. 3. Click on ADD BUSINESS atthe top of the page. 4. Fill-up the required fields. 5. Click on SUBMIT. 6. If you wish, you may upload your company logo on the next page that will appear upon clicking SUBMIT, or opt to CANCEL. 7. Click on UPLOAD LOGO. 8. The AIM Alumni Officer will notify you via email once your BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY has been approved and posted in the portal for your fellow alumni to view.

*If you do not have an EFL (AIM Email Forwarding for Life) yet, go to www.aimalumni.org and click on REGISTER at the left hand side of the page. Fill-up the required fields (this will also help us update the alumni database). Make sure your pop-up blockers are disabled. Then click SUBMIT. The AIM Alumni Officer will assign you your own personal EFL within 3-5 working days after validating your account. **Adding @aimalumni.org to your EFL will activate it as your Email Forwarding for Life. Sending an email to, i.e. jdelacruz.mba2008@aimalumni.org will automatically forward the message to your current email address which you entered in the registration page. ***For inquries and assistance, contact the AIM Alumni Relations Office at aimalumni@aim.edu.




businesses such as food and real estate. Three bakeries were represented namely Julie’s Bakeshop, Lolo Tinong’s and Shamrock. The Alumni Association of AIM-Cebu chapter is managing the 2007 AIM Program Courses

THE SECOND BATCH OF Managing Family Corporations (FAMCOR) in Cebu was successfully held at the City Sports Club last July 30 to August 3, 2007. There were 37 participants coming from a variety of family


2 N D

in Cebu. In his appreciation of the alumni’s efforts, AIM President Francis Estrada said, “Congratulations to our outstanding alumni, Nonoy Espeleta, Joan Baron and Perl Jacalan for having so effectively marketed


the program. AIM is delighted to strengthen its base in Cebu, through your great work.” Prof. Marivi Quintos-Gonzales served as program director. “I really think that we have developed a great business model of AIM and AIM alumni partnership,” she said. “As Nonoy was saying, it is really important that Excell comes in and runs more programs in Cebu. Because this is the way that we can build the AIM brand into the the minds of the local consumers. Our Excell Human Capital Management Program is the next one in the offering and the Cebu market is looking forward to it.” Human Capital Management is scheduled on August 27-31. For more details on the AIM Courses run in Cebu, please contact info. aaaimcebu@yahoo.com.ph.

Alumni Newsmakers AIM adjunct faculty and MBA alumnus, Prof. Jay Bernardo, was featured in the article “Teaching Outside the Box” in the July/August issue of Biz Ed, a publication of AACSB, along with

AACSB’s Biz Ed features Prof. Jay Bernardo in article “Teaching Outside the Box”

Teaching Outside the Box Four professors share their thoughts on transforming the business classroom —and how they hope business schools will support their efforts. by Tricia Bisoux


BizEd July/august 2007


usiness professors don’t need to be told that their classrooms are changing. In most cases, they’re the ones making the changes. Whether they’re creating multimedia supplements, designing memorable lesson plans, or leading global excursions, business faculty have seen their traditional teaching roles expand to include mentoring students, facilitating consulting projects, and inventing completely new approaches to education. Four such professors have spent years cultivating their philosophies and strategies for the business school classroom. They’re more than willing to share their favorite lessons, and their students are eager to describe the impact these lessons have had on their educations. From their descriptions, it’s clear that all four view their classrooms as environments for interaction, creativity, exploration, and reflection. More important, they view themselves as innovators, with their schools as their biggest supporters and their students as their greatest motivation.

Michael Imanuel Scheelhardt, student in Copenhagen Business School’s masters in management of innovation and business development program

Make Room for Inspiration Francisco “Jay” Bernardo Professor of Entrepreneurship Asian Institute of Management Makati City, Philippines


nspiration walks” aren’t standard educational fare in business school, but they are in Jay Bernardo’s course. Bernardo, a professor at the Asian Institute of Management, asks his students simply to go outside, take a walk, and think, just to see what ideas come to them. “Teaching entrepreneurship forces the professor to become as much a facilitator of knowledge as a source of knowledge,” says Bernardo. For Michael Imanuel Scheelhardt, who attended AIM as an exchange student last year, the inspiration walk was a revelation. “Professor Bernardo wanted to inspire students to think of a new business concept that potentially could be applied to the market,” says Scheelhardt. “To me, the notion of wandering around to be inspired, to come up with a commercial idea, was a great way to train us to be creative.” Not only that, says Scheelhardt, but Bernardo also emphasized that inspiration comes as much from failure as from success. “He taught us that a crisis or fearful experience can be a source of opportunity,” says Scheelhardt. In his classroom, Bernardo relies a great deal on what he calls “live case methodology.” In addition to walking for inspiration, he asks students to think about something as common as a cell phone in different ways. “Imagine this cell phone is a mall,” he asks his students. “What possibilities do you see?” That kind of approach gave Scheelhardt what he calls his “Eureka moment,” when he learned to take an established product and reassemble it in a new context. “It was innovation in practice,” he says. Bernardo sees the tools for classroom innovation all around him. They may be cell phones, field trips to Asian companies, or projects of his own nonprofit foundation, LET’S GO (Leading Entrepreneurs Toward Sensing Global Opportunities), which he created to help lift Filipino youth out of poverty. His work with LET’S GO often serves as a perfect educational backdrop, as his MBA students participate in the foundation’s projects. In EntrepAsia, AIM students and faculty travel to several locations throughout Asia to learn the realities of business. AIM’s finance faculty, alumni, and students also work with LET’S GO director Mau Bolanteo in the “Fun-ance” project to develop games that teach finance to would-be entrepreneurs in ways that make the topic fun and fresh.


Francisco “Jay” Bernardo

“My students really get into the spirit of these projects, wanting to discover, learn, and experience the outside world,” says Bernardo. “They want courses that will show them something new.” Through his travels with EntrepAsia, exchange student Carlo Calimon says he was made acutely aware that he needed to think globally. “In EntrepAsia, I learned that we should not be limited by the boundaries of our country. I learned to think bigger,” says Calimon. “Students don’t want to be limited to learning from books and cases. We want to learn more from the experience of our professors, or through multimedia. We want to experience theory and put it into action.” Bernardo’s innovative drive comes in part from his own experience as an entrepreneur—he started a successful manufacturing business before entering academia—and in part from his own sense of responsibility as a teacher. His greatest satisfaction comes when the students he has mentored launch their own successful businesses, he says. He also sees his role as a teacher as one that touches not just his school, but the nation and world, particularly through his involvement in LET’S GO. His foundation is now working on a three-year project with the World Bank, the National Labor Organization, and the Department of Education in the Philippines to create a new high school curriculum in entrepreneurship to provide alternative career paths for the 70 percent of high school students in the Philippines who don’t go to college. “I’m prepared to bring this project into Africa or other parts of the world where an education in entrepreneurship can do so much to help,” says Bernardo. “Academics automatically command a level of respect and authority. We can use that authority to create opportunities to bring about big change. I think one professor can reach out to a much larger community than his school alone.”

BizEd July/august 2007

Source: http://www.aacsb.edu/publications/Archives/JulAug07/22-31%20OutsideBox.pdf

three other professors from Cornell University, National University of Singapore and University of Houston (Texas) who have made creative innovations on classroom teaching and learning experiences. The write-up on Prof. Bernardo, “Make Room for Inspiration”, is on p. 26. The article can be viewed online at http://www.aacsb. edu/publications/Archives/JulAug07/22-31%20OutsideBox.pdf.


Kip Oebanda featured in Business Mirror Kip Oebanda, MDM 2007, was featured in the Perspective section of Business Mirror last June 2007 entitled “Child shall lead: Kip Oebanda was born to make a difference.” The article can be

Source: http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/ 0601&022007/perspective03.html

viewed at http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/0601&022007/perspective03.html.

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Giving is Good

Illustration by Panch Alcaraz 10




HEN I WAS JUST A YOUNG AND PRECOCIOUS KID, I was treated to stories at home and in some of our parents’ friends’ houses about brave and intrepid young men and women who went on medical and aid missions to countries in war-torn Indochina. There were pictures of doctors and nurses treating wounded and sick victims of both poverty and the seemingly unending conflicts that seem to have plagued Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam in those days. My father told me of some volunteers who gave their lives heroically in countries other than their own, in pursuit of personal or other ideals. They had a name for this project: Operation Brotherhood. The idea remained fixed in my mind for quite some time. I quickly volunteered for a summer job in a local version of OB when they set up shop in a squatter relocation area to minister to the needs of the disenfranchised families adjusting to a new and hostile environment. There was a program aimed at teaching crafts to some mothers and children. (Guess who was tasked to go to the metropolis to sell the finished products consisting of bags and fans made from native materials?) We had to work the pump in a nearby well for water to drink and bathe in. Then, there was that late night when I was roused from a sound sleep to help in the delivery of a baby—something I was totally ignorant about—and got to simply hold a flashlight in place so the midwife could do her thing. All in all, a heady and enervating experience for a city slicker used to having house-help cater to every need or whim. This and a few other adventures of a similar nature opened up a whole new world of service to the less fortunate that, for a few years, found expression in a series of leftist excursions. But common sense prevailed and it did not take long for this desire to help others to seek a new battleground in the warrens of the corporate world. It has never been easy to do charity work in the corporate context, and this is still probably true to a certain extent to this day. Admittedly, more people are aware of the need to uplift their fellowmen by providing better opportunities for self-improvement, whether these be in the form of palliatives or in terms of deep-seated and long-term programs. We are not here to judge such efforts, but to express gladness at the increasing number of executives who are aware of the need to get involved in socially uplifting projects. There are many ways one can get involved. At one time in the past I dared the institution I worked with to adopt a very poor community and look for ways to help its members to advance by way of economic and social opportunities. The project envisioned the provision of certain skills that could be used to produce items that could be sold to our company or our clients. No handouts here...just a chance for economically deprived people to rise above the muck without denting their self-image and pride of self. This would be over and above the usual projects aimed answering shelter, health, and other needs. A little less than 20 years ago, the country’s bilateral and multilateral donors and creditors attempted to funnel all aid and long term development loans through a new government agency. Like many such noble efforts, this one also failed in the medium term because its main proponent, a former trustee of AIM, had to leave after barely a year in office because of health problems. But there is an interesting side story to this short-lived adventure that opened up opportunities in other areas. The chairman of this agency realized the difficulty of channeling all aid and loan programs through government since studies had shown that there was a problem in “absorption capacity” and in the more major one of the loss of funds along the way due to corruption and bureaucratic waste. I suggested that we consider working through non-governmental

organizations or NGOs. He gave me a quizzical look and asked plainly, “What are NGOs?” It seems that the brave world of NGOs were not so well known yet to the corporate world in a formal sense even if many of them had been creating and working with foundations and social projects for many a year. To break the ice, I met with Gasty Ortigas, former Dean of the Institute, and requested him to arrange a meeting between my boss and NGOs. Gasty simply asked if we could have a broad spectrum—from left to right—epresented, and I agreed. Needless to say, the first meeting was awkward at the beginning, especially since many of the true NGOs in the field were suspicious of both government and the corporate world, both of which my chairman represented. I addressed the group and told them of our plan to channel more foreign funds more directly to projects through the NGO network, and they reluctantly agreed to our proposal. It helped that the Executive Director then of PBSP, now a professor at AIM, Ernie Garilao, helped organize the meeting and fully supported our endeavor. Because of this, we were able to point certain aid agencies like CIDA of the Canadians and GTZ of the Germans toward regions like Negros and Mindanao where they could work with new or existing NGOs. Since then, more development funds have found their way into the NGO network. It is not uncommon to find more and more corporations supporting their own foundations or any of a wide spectrum of NGOs in the field. Some do both. Thus, more and more companies find expression in their desire to provide shelter for the homeless by “...more people are plugging into the existing programs of aware of the need to uplift their fellowmen the Gawad Kalinga (GK) organization. by providing better opportunities for self- While similar to Habitat for Humanity in improvement, whether concept, the homegrown GK goes beyond these be in the form of the task of house building to the building palliatives or in terms of deep-seated and of communities and the augmentation of long-term programs.” spiritual and moral values. GK communities are not abandoned after the building stage is over, and the process of building continues in the hearts, minds, and souls of the inhabitants. There are so many other areas that need to be looked into, all of which can help in the job of nation and people building. Global warming issues should probably spur more companies and individuals to look into ways to bring down greenhouse emissions: Tree planting and habitat development; proper waste disposal; the use of the Rs in building and living (Reuse, Recycle, Remanufacture, Rebuild, etc); Learning to lessen personal and corporate carbon footprints; and so forth. The spectacle of poverty so evident in the country’s many urban and rural squatter colonies should encourage more projects like GK, probably by having more companies and rich individuals sponsor the creation of entire new communities. The problems associated with food production and inadequate diets can probably be mitigated if more entities got involved with or supported foundations like the Family Farm Schools that teach rural boys and girls how to make the most of their existing land, coupled with a rich dose of spiritual formation. The lack of educational opportunities at all levels should make companies seek out the best way to educate and form a whole generation of children who have little or no access to knowledge. There are non-conventional ways to do this—the creation of more public and private libraries with strong IT foundations so that online learning and knowledge building can be done; the development of more online learning centers which would help alleviate the lack of classrooms and probably facilitate home-school programs; and the sponsorship of bright and bushy-tailed youngsters all the way from their formative years, thru college and graduate studies. There are so many opportunities that exist for one to give vent to a desire to help and to give. One only needs to take the first step. A I M A LU M N I L E A D E R S H I P M AGA Z I N E J u l y to Se pte m b e r 20 07




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Learning to Lead This article is reprinted with permission from Prof. Eduardo A. Morato’s book “Self-Mastery.” For details on how to get a copy of the book, please send an email to arinonos@aim.edu.


HERE IS CONSIDERABLE debate on whether leaders are born or made. For those who argue that leaders are born, they cite the qualities and traits of leaders that have to do with their personality and character. Some of these traits seem to be innate, like a person’s charismatic appeal or ability to assert one’s self and make other people follow in crisis. They say that these cannot be learned in school. For those who argue that leaders are made, they believe that a person’s personal circumstances, experiences and lessons in life are responsible for eliciting leadership qualities and traits. If this is so, then these circumstances, experiences and lessons in life can be re-created to evoke “acts of leadership.” If done often enough, these acts can become habitual and lead to character transformation. What differentiates leaders from followers is easy enough to describe. Leaders are outstanding individuals who have the ability to elicit the respect, loyalty, support and commitment of people. Leadership is not merely about gathering followers, because people in positions of authority can command their subordinates to obey. Leaders are heralded because they have higher levels of competency


in a particular field of human endeavor (e.g. leaders in sports, academic institutions, scientific societies). Leaders can also be hailed if they possess higher levels of moral ascendancy and legitimacy. For certain constituencies, these are quite important. Finally, followers praise leaders who are altruistic and selfsacrificing rather than self-centered to ensure that the greater good of the group is attained. The competencies expected of leaders vary depending on the human endeavor. For large organizations and corporations, scientific or research institutions, academic bodies, skills-based groups and technology-oriented teams, leaders are expected to possess technical expertise or a superior level of proficiency about a particular knowledge domain. Large and complex constituencies also demand higher competency in organizational development and management from their leaders. Leaders must be able to strategize and operationlize for the entire organization and not just for a section or a division. For leaders of communities or constituencies composed of contending stakeholders, political, social and behavioral competencies are required to balance the power equation among the different interest groups. If the equation cannot be balanced, the leader must be able to effectively communicate that his chosen strategy would be


the better option for all parties concerned. For leaders of informal groups, they must have a high level of people skills. They should know the issues and temperament of their group members. They must be able to discern the needs and desires of group members. The ability to assert one’s self with great confidence, the ability to activate and motivate the members and the ability to manage ruffled feelings and disenchanted followers are critical competencies for this type of leader. Formal organizations that have institutionalized their organizational processes in electing or appointing their leaders would insist that their leaders have legitimacy. The organization would be scrutinizing the qualifications of candidates when making their choice. They would be asking for proof of the leader’s ability to discharge the expected functions of the position. The proof must come from both past performance and manifested potentials. Moral ascendancy is demanded of certain leaders. The followers would be as whether or not the leader has gone beyond the normal and expected contribution to the organization compared to others. Do they deserve the leadership more than others because they have shown greater commitment, they have exerted greater effort and they have gone beyond the call of duty? Do the leaders live the values and principles deemed important by the group? Some organizations, especially those

whose members are not duty-bound to follow the leader, expect the leader to be other-people-centered. Associations, cooperatives and communities function best when their leaders clearly manifest altruistic traits. The members want to be assured that they are not being manipulated by their leader for his own ends. The altruism is necessary to command respect, allegiance and commitment. Leaders Versus Managers

There are people who attain positions of authority and are expected to perform certain functions. Doing the functions of the position well is what I call managership. To address the managerial needs of organizations, there are, currently, countless businesses, government agencies and non-profit entities who aim to produce such managers. However, in many surveys and interviews with institutional recruiters of managers, they are particularly interested in hiring people who will not be mere managers but, potentially, leaders. In a US survey (conducted by a university) of 8,000 corporate executives, the respondents were asked what they are looking for in MBA graduates. The top four answers were: (1) Leadership; (2) Character and Personality; (3) People Skills; and (4) Strategic Management. The managerial functions of Marketing, Finance, Operations and others were deemed much lower in importance. A similar finding was obtained when the Asian Institute of Management conducted a survey of large Philippine corporations. The corporations acknowledge that the top MBA schools can produce good managers but they are not quite sure whether they can produce good leaders. Therefore, in their battery of tests and interviews, they are searching for that leadership quality because they are investing in and paying high salaries for people who will, eventually, be leading their organizations. It is important, therefore, to distinguish between leaders and ordinary managers. n Managers run things well. They make sure that the people assigned to them are excellent workers and accomplish their tasks better than most. They are superior operators. Leaders redefine their industry and change their business environment. They introduce new products, processes and systems. They create new markets. They are great Innovators. n Managers are good Motivators. They are able to bring the performance levels of their people to new heights. Leaders go beyond performance achievements. They inspire people to become leaders themselves. They are Transformers of people since their impact can be

seen not only in the accomplishment of tasks but in the inner growth of their people. n Managers confront and engage their present environment and plan for the near future. They are Short-term Strategists and Tacticians. Leaders see far beyond the present and near future. They can intuit into the long term and divine how events will flow into the far future. They are Visionaries and Long-term Strategists. n Managers are Stationary Pillars of Strength. People adapt to them. They are the reference points of the organization.Leaders are Dynamic Wheels of Fortune. They adapt to evolving environments by changing their positioning and their way of doing things. They set moving targets and constantly keep abreast of the situation. They are flexible, fluid and free.

Designers and Developers. They know how to build, structure and move organizations. They know what will make organizations function and what will not. Leaders are compassionate Nurturers of Organizational Culture. Beyond the design and development of organizations, they espouse ideologies, offer philosophies and establish guiding principles. They humanize the organization by giving each member due attention and recognition. They create a team by emphasizing participation, involvement, interaction and communion. n Managers go for Efficiency, Economy and Effectiveness. Being efficient means maximizing outputs given certain inputs. Being economical means maximizing economic benefits given certain economic costs. Being effective means maximizing results given certain efforts and resources. Leaders strive for Empathy, Enthusiasm and Enlightenment. The empathetic leader is sensitive to and totally aware of people. The empathetic leader has a high degree of social skills. He can relate to one and all. The leader electrifies the organization by generating a lot of enthusiasm among his people. He arouses passion and zeal in everyone. The leader seeks true enlightenment by being able to detach himself from petty issues and by being responsive to the real issues that matter. He has the ability to see the truth and do away with pretentiousness and false prophets. The Formation of Leaders

“Moral ascendancy is demanded of certain leaders. The followers would be as whether or not the leader has gone beyond the normal and expected contribution to the organization compared to others.� n Managers are Output-oriented. They work hard in order to deliver the desired results and performance outcomes. Leaders are Value-driven. Beyond the desired results and performance outcomes, they inculcate long lasting values that anchor the entire organization. They do not just do well, they do good. Society admires them not just for their victories but, more so, for their enduring legacies. n Managers are astute Organizational

If leaders can be made, then the formation of leaders must start at a very early stage of a person’s development. Educators in basic education and parents have their work cut out of them. Later on in life, the task of leadership formation is passed on colleges or universities and to entrepreneurs and corporate executives who hire managers with the potential to become leaders. There are three suggestions for leader formators of organizational managers. First, leader formators must themselves have the ability to lead. At the very least they should be role models and wellsprings of inspiration. They must possess high leadership skills such as the ability to sense people and situations, the ability to listen, the ability to communicate and the ability to rally their mentees to excel themselves in knowledge, skills and wisdom. Second, leader formators must be willing to take on the added responsibility of transforming each student or mentee into a leader. Leadership formation demands personal attention, true

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BRIEFCASE caring and quality time beyond the classroom or work setting. It is much easier to teach management subjects and merely focus on imparting techniques such as problem solving, financial forecasting, organizational restructuring, market demand analysis, production scheduling and information processing. Third, leader formators must not only have high IQs but have high emotional quotient, high adversity quotient and high intuition, creativity and integrative thinking capabilities. High IQ may be sufficient for teaching management but the other intelligences of the brain are necessary for the formation of leaders. Sensitivity to people, high tolerance for crises and conflicts, an active, beginner’s mind, insightfulness and a wholistic perspective are but some of the job requirements for leader formators. If educators, entrepreneurs and corporate executives want to be formators of leaders, they must act as mentors and role models with full willingness and full dedication. They must aspire to be the new messiahs of this highly globalized, academically specialized and technologically advanced millennium. While most schools and corporations rush to learn the complexities of cyber management, educators, entrepreneurs and corporate executives must remain steadfast in their resolve to form leaders who will disentangle these complexities and strike at the essence of what is important, what is relevant and what will be responsive to the future in order to shape that future.

Learning to lead means that the leader must be focused on the future. The leader must be able to conjure many possible directions and choose the one most beneficial to the interests of the organization. The leader’s role is to chart the unknown, yet, make the best decision about that unknown. While there are countless opportunities for growth and development, the leader must be able to determine the best opportunity that would lead to the vision. In the process, the leader must be able to weigh all the risks and calculate which ones are worth taking in order to achieve a better future.

purpose that would rally the entire organization into concerted action. The purpose must be the driving factor that unites everybody in the organization in the face of opportunities and obstacles presented by the organizational vision. From the mission statement, the leader must be able to extract commitments from the individual members and work units of the organization. These commitments define what the members will give of themselves in order to achieve the purpose.

The Inspirational Leader as Missionary

establish the leader’s credibility, he must learn how to master himself by living the role of a model leader. The inspirational leader is a formator of values and nourisher of the organizational culture. The leader should represent the ideals and principles of the organization, not so much by monitoring them in others but by living them himself on a day to day basis. Being a virtuous leader is as important, or even more so, than

The vision of the inspirational leader is well articulated into a mission statement, which is the purpose for being of an organization. The mission serves as the focal point of the organization. The inspirational leader is even willing to suffer significant consequences to achieve this mission. But the potential gains outweigh the calculated costs. The leader should have a compelling

Qualities of the Leader

There are three sterling qualities of the leader. These are inspirational leadership, transformational leadership and adaptive leadership. These constitute the Leadership Trilogy. This conceptual framework and learning schema can be used for the formation of leaders. Inspirational Leadership. The Inspirational Leader is a person of vision who establishes the raison d’ etre of the organization. The inspirational leader is able to visualize and weave dreams; listen to the people and rally them towards a common cause; act as role model or value exemplar; and serve the best interest of his constituency. The Inspirational Leader has four major traits. The Inspirational Leader as Visionary and Weaver of Dreams. The inspira-

tional leader has a grasp of the whole and can see the relevance of today in terms of tomorrow’s grand dream. The inspirational leader first creates in his mind a powerful vision to drive all of his energies. 14


The Inspirational Leader as Role Model and Value Formator. In order to

being a competent leader. For many followers, their foremost concern is whether the leader would be just, fair and trustworthy to and for all of them. At the very least, they expect their leader to be a good steward of the organizational resources and a good cultivator of values which the organization ought to live by. The leader sets the moral tone and should be the primary exemplar of the organization’s culture or way of thinking, feeling and doing things. The Inspirational Leader as Servant.

The inspirational leader subsumes his personal agenda to the higher good of the whole organization. He must learn to be humble in the service of leadership. The leader should put the welfare of the people and the objectives of the organization first. In order to do this, the leader must not act like a master that commands with absolute authority. As the doctrine goes, absolute power absolutely corrupts. Servant leaders introduce mechanisms within the organization to elicit greater people participation, provide checks and balances that prevent the abuse of power, install processes that promote transparency, and institutionalize performance measures that guarantee service above all else. Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership focuses on the leader as change master at two levels. The first and higher level is entrepreneurial change mastery, which zeroes in on the leader as a keen preceptor of the situation (past, present and future) and as the total strategic innovator. The leader is thoroughly familiar with, actually dictates and then breaks the rules of the game. He transforms weaknesses into strengths. The leader fires up the spirit of the organization to seek new heights of performance. The leader discovers countless opportunities because he masters the situation extremely well. The leader is the “defender of the faith” as well as the iconoclast. The Transformational Leader as Scholar, Senser and Seer. There are three

stages in the first level of Transformational Leadership. The first stage looks at the leader as Scholar, Senser and Seer. The leader hones his skills in a scholarly manner with the use of critical and systems thinking. Critical thinking sharpens the leader’s mind by developing his ability to remove the chaff from the grain and pierce to the essence of things by isolating the most crucial variables that significantly determine desired outcomes. Systems thinking allows the leader to connect,

interconnect and disconnect all the ingredients in a complex situation. The first stage also develops the leader’s ability to “sense” the mood of the organization, the temper of the market and the flow of events. Using both the scholar’s and senser’s ability, the leader is then able to “see” what the future may hold, and what opportunities are the most attractive to seize. The leader is able to accurately forecast or predict what will happen to the industry, how consumers will act and react, when is the best timing for investments and how to move forward with the least effort.

of hand (faster, better way of doing things) or contraptions (technology) to perform his or her magic. Idea generation and innovation is the strength of the magician. The leader is the entrepreneur who is able to deliver his promises on the strength of innovative interventions that enlarge the top line, reduce the middle line and increase the bottom line (profits and surpluses) of the organization. The entrepreneurial leader goes beyond “magical creation” by ensuring that there is “grounded viable implementation.” Successful innovation and acceptance by the market or beneficiaries is the hallmark of the entrepreneur. The Transformational Leader as Maestro and Mentor. The second or

The Transformational Leader as Warrior King and Philosopher King. From the first

stage, the leader is better able to assume the second stage role of the leader as Warrior King and as Philosopher King. This is essentially the leader as Strategist and Strategy Implementor (Warrior King) and the leader as Articulator and Embodiment of Corporate Culture, Values, Principles and Beliefs (Philosopher King). The Warrior King knows how to do battle by deploying resources well, gaining the competitive edge, quelling internal squabbles and finessing enemies with great flourish. The Philosopher King exudes diplomacy, stands by virtuous principles and timeless tenets, teaches his subjects well, wins with wit and wisdom and acts the statesman in every way. The Transformational Leader as Magician and Entrepreneur. The third stage

happens when the leader goes a step further and becomes a creative innovator of new

“If educators, entrepreneurs and corporate executives want to be formators of leaders, they must act as mentors and role models with full willingness and full dedication. They must aspire to be the new messiahs of this highly globalized, academically specialized and technologically advanced millennium.” products, new services and new ways of doing things. This is the leader as Magician and Entrepreneur. The leader becomes the magician who creates a world of constant change, constant conflict, constant improvement and constant enlightenment. The leader may use illusion (promises of a great tomorrow), sleight

ground level of Transformational Leadership is managerial change mastery, which brings the leader down to the brass tacks of operational transformation. Essentially, this is the leader as Maestro and as Mentor. The maestro is the master craftsman who has a very high level of process skills. The maestro knows the tools of the trade. He has a step-by-step, systematic and methodical approach to problem solving, opportunity seeking and performance improvement. He makes good judgments and almost always attains organizational goals. He conducts the full philharmonic orchestra of the corporation. As maestro, the leader synchronizes plans, organizes everybody toward the goal, directs all the troops to move in one direction, controls all movements to ensure unity of action and budgets resources to obtain the best results. The mentor is quite keen in people skills. This has to do with reading people accurately, eliciting the most from them and guiding them to peak performance. It is a nurturing, caring role that coaxes people out of their shells to reach their full potentials. Adaptive Leadership

The adaptive leader is able to fit his leadership style with the situation at hand. To achieve this, the adaptive leader must have high self-awareness and self-mastery. This means being totally in control of the self in order to strongly affect and influence others. This also means that the adaptive leader must have high emotional quotient and a compelling personality that gains respect and followership. The adaptive leader can motivate

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BRIEFCASE individuals, teams and entire organizations through adaptive behavior within the context of organizational dynamics. There are four basic traits of the adaptive leader. Self-Adaptation. Self-adaptation means being fully self-aware of who you are, what your talents are, what your values and aspirations are, what your goals in life are, and what gives you meaning and a true sense of fulfillment. You have self-mastery when you have total self-adaptation. The adaptive leader can always place the self in the context of others. The adaptive leader can fully harness his/her potentials to do good and do well at the same time. There are three ways to gain deeper selfmastery or better self-adaptation. n Developing your inner self - able to fathom the truth about your whole being as the progressively enlightened self n Developing your higher self - possesses a deeper level of spirituality and clearer view of one’s role in uplifting society n Developing your selfless self - willing to sacrifice the self and embrace personal costs for the greater good of others Situational Adaptation. The adaptive leader has a wide repertoire of management styles to govern by. The adaptive leader knows what strategies will work or will not work as situations change. The adaptive leader is sensitive and flexible, and totally responsive to his constituencies. The six generic styles of the adaptive leader, according to Daniel GoleSix Leadership Styles


man who wrote Leadership that Gets Results, include the coercive, authoritative, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting and coaching styles. These styles seem to work best or worst given certain situations. On the whole, according to Goleman’s research, the authoritative style along with affiliative, democratic and coaching styles have positive impacts while the coercive and pacesetting have negative impacts. Personality Adaptation. About 1500 years ago, the Sufi scholars were said to have developed the Enneagram or nine personality profiles. The Enneagram is being used today in the Master in Entrepreneurship course of the Asian Institute of Management to profile successful entrepreneurs. AIM found out that

Works Best

Works Worst


• During emergencies/crises • When dealing with very difficult employees for shock treatment

• During most other situations • When dealing with highly intelligent, egalitarian society


• To cajole and persuade towards higher version • When enthusiastic/charismatic leader uses it • When leader is clearly superior to others • For empowerment • When business is going adrift

• If leader is too overbearing or too pushy • When timing is not yet right given the prevailing mood


• • • • •

For unity and harmony When eliciting loyalty For communication and feedback F or relationship building To repair broken trust

• When mediocrity results because too much praise is given • When leader allows poor performance


• • • •

When consensus needed When it is very difficult to solve issues When buy-in needed To set group goals

• When hard decisions must be made • During crises


• For highly capable staff • When technology is changing fast

• When overwhelming to others • When no feedback is given • If organization is not so smart and talented


• When personal development and growth is desired • When personal commitment is wanted

• When mass mobilization is needed • When resistance to change is high


most of them (90%) tend to be dominant in one or a combination of three personality types. If entrepreneurs can be considered leaders in their own right, then three character traits stand out. They have very high need and proclivity for: n Achievement - strong motivation to succeed and high aversion to failure n Adventure - wants to experiment on new things and takes pleasure in being very much “of the world” n Assertion - uses authority and power easily, tends to dominate and exercise leadership frequently The adaptive leader must be able to develop a personality that strives to achieve, seek great adventures and assert the self to gain ascendancy. The adaptive leader must likewise know how to interact with the six other personality types and place them in positions where their temperament is most suited. (The nine personality types are: (1) the perfectionists; (2) the helper; (3) the achiever; (4) the romantic; (5) the observer; (6) the questioner; (7) the adventurer; (8) the asserter; and (9) the peacemaker.) People Adaptation. The adaptive leader has very high social awareness that allow him to interact with and secure great rapport with people. People adaptation involves good listening, communicating and relating skills as well as sensitivity to the nuances of behavior, culture and societal mores. The adaptive leader has a high adversity threshold, meaning that he or she can convert conflicts into creative solutions and manage adversarial positions with great equanimity. Having a high emotional intelligence is an important quality of the leader. All the lessons of learning to feel and learning to communicate enable the leader to adopt well to people.


Knowledge: The Most Important

Organizational Resource






n today’s competitive business environment the attainment of good achievement is considered as insufficient-instead, the pursuit of excellence should be the benchmark. Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to be Great’ said, “good is the enemy of great as it hinders one to strive for greater achievements”. We are at the threshold of the new millennium. The world is changing quickly and relentlessly. Constant environmental and business changes are so complex that the world of human resource management too is changing more rapidly than we can imagine. As we move to the information age, information and knowledge have become an important resource for most new jobs. Routine and monotonous types of jobs are giving way to innovative ones, which is a break from tradition. People are expected to increasingly work with ideas and concepts. As purveyors of action and knowledge, their important contributions are intelligence, talent and mental creativity. Knowledge thus has become the unlimited and fundamental input for business success. The information age has indeed made knowledge as the most important organizational resource. The traditional factors of production i.e. land, capital and labor have already exhausted their contributions. Instead, generating, developing, sharing and application of knowledge have become important activities. Organizational effectiveness will increasingly be dependent on its ability to attract, utilize and retain people with talent and knowledge. Static and permanent organizations designed for a stable and predictable world are also giving way to flexible and adaptive organizations more suited for a new world of change and transformation. Emphasis on permanence, tradition, rigid organizational hierarchy and departmentalization would soon be features of the past and replaced by integrated team networks based on autonomy and flexible structures. The workforce thus needs to become more accustomed to working in teams, thereby replacing individual efficiency with group synergy. Meanwhile, rapid technological change is transforming the work place, eroding traditional concepts of work schedules, locations and responsibilities. Work is now being accomplished at any time and at any place. Part time work, remote and virtual works constitute these new forms of human activities. In view of these challenges, human resource has been singled out as a significant factor that would make a difference in societies and organizations. It is thus not surprising that human resource is the key issue facing the developing as well as the developed countries. Daniel W. Drezner in his article, “The New World Order” projected that by 2025, China and India will be the world’s second and fourth largest economies respectively. With Asia moving rapidly into the new

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world economic order, the challenges are anticipated to create a completely different reality for the global human capital development. The question is whether the Asian HRD professionals are mentally prepared to face such dynamic challenges. I am positive that our professionals have the capability and capacity to do so. In this context, the HRD Asia Conference 2007 with the theme “Human Capital Development—Global Focus: Asian Relevance” is indeed very apt and timely. I believe the issues that I have highlighted will be deliberated extensively at the Conference. I am sure you would agree with me that human resource management of the new millennium has to adopt a proactive strategy that will focus on preparing the organization and personnel for the future. Organizations of the future need to be accustomed to dealing with business from a new global perspective, with uncertainty and ambiguity, and with creative and innovative work. Towards this, “Organizations training and development planning will be of the future need to be accustomed integral in the human resource agenda. to dealing with business from a new Thus investment in people who provide global perspective, such intangibles will continue to be given with uncertainty and ambiguity, and significant focus and emphasis. with creative and Malaysia too is very responsive to innovative work.” the global challenges and demands in the human resource sector. In embarking on its aspiration of becoming a developed nation by 2020, Malaysia acknowledges the need to intensify efforts to develop the country’s human capability in order to drive the transformation to a knowledge-based economy. With increasing competition in the global market, the economy will have to further strengthen its competitiveness and venture into new growth areas. This will require human capital that is knowledgeable, highly skilled, flexible and creative as well as imbued with positive work ethnics and spiritual values. In this context, one of the five thrusts of the National Mission in the Ninth Malaysia Plan is “to raise the capacity for knowledge and innovation and nurture first-class mentality”. In line with the Ninth Plan, high priority is given to capacity building, which is holistic and comprehensive incorporating education, training and lifelong learning. Such approach is anticipated to provide greater opportunity to individuals to improve and add value through continuous acquisition of knowledge and skills. This quest can only be realized through the sustained commitment and contribution from both the private and public sectors, civil society and others as partners in development. Speech delivered during the Sixth Asia HRD Congress, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, July 24, 2007

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Alumni as Marketers S U SA N

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AIM’s partnership with alumni has gone beyond assisting in class reunions and homecoming events. The most recent of these pilot projects for the alma mater is the “exporting” of EXCELL courses to the City Chapters of the Alumni Associations of AIM, Inc. (AAAIM-Philippine Chapter) as spearheaded by the Institute’s alumni themselves. an anchor family to start with,” Espeleta recalls, “and there were eight of them who attended. The chapter members and I campaigned for other participants and it was a win-win project. It was fun and we all benefited “My idea is to multiply the successful from it.” The Cebu Chapter was able to end 2006—its business model with the alumni association as a sort of ‘franchisee’...” first year of operations— with a modest profit. The successful run of the FAMCOR IT STARTED WHEN THE ALUMNI Association of the Philippines’ Cebu chap- encouraged the alumni enough to bring the course again- and include other ter brought FAMCOR (Managing Family courses as well. “We brainstormed, agreed, Corporations) to the country’s southern city in the last quarter of 2006. The project and determined which EXCELL programs are relevant to Cebu at this point in time, was initiated by the Chairman of the Alumni Association of AIM, Cebu Chapter, “Espeleta narrates. “This is really a stretch for us as a start-up organization– four Mr. Virgilio Espeleta. courses immediately!” “Working with a family business in The AAAIM Cebu Chapter is bringCebu (Julie’s Bakeshop) inspired me to ing the following AIM programs to the bring AIM’s education here, as there would Cebu City Sports Club in 2007: Managing be a direct benefit for us to have AIM educated managers within the company,” states Family Corporations (July 30- August 3), Espeleta. “One of the motivations I had was Human Capital Management ( August to fully professionalize this family corpora- 27-31), Basic Management Program (September 17-21, October 15-19, and tion and bring the company to a higher November 26-30), and Marketing Strategy level by instituting systems and structures, Course (October 1-5). putting together a family constitution, and As a member of the Board of Trustees a family council among many others.” of the Philippine Franchise Association, AIM Professor Jacinto “Titong” VP-SME Food, Espeleta shares his concept Gavino, Jr. was invited for two days in Cebu exclusively for the Board of Directors in marketing AIM programs. “My idea is of Julie’s Bakeshop. “Titong gave an orien- to multiply the successful business model tation about family corporations and what with the alumni association as a sort of ‘franchisee’. The alumni association has to be done. It was like a ‘teaser’ of the spends for each course, including the whole program, and the family said, ‘Hey, why don’t we attend the whole course?’ So marketing and promotions in Cebu. From the revenues we earn and give back to our I was motivated and encouraged to bring alma mater, the chapter earns a certain the whole course to Cebu.” percentage. If this were a franchise, AIM, The AAAIM Cebu Chapter supported with an Asian scope, can do this with its the initial project, which turned out to be partners. The ‘franchisees’ or partners can immensely successful. “We already had 18


put up the infrastructures for AIM and spend for marketing, staff, and other expenses. AIM will provide the brand, technology, training, and product lines—AIM can look at this model so it can expand in other countries.” The success of the Cebu Chapter has paved the way for other AIM Alumni Association city chapters to follow. In May 2007, the AIM Alumni Davao Chapter held the Famcor-Davao Batch II program, the school’s first joint venture with the alumni city chapter in Mindanao, ably led by Nicholas “Nick” Dy, MBM 1973 and his team. The program had fifty-two participants coming from diverse industries such as agri-business, trading, printing, manufacturing, construction, services and tourism. “There is really a need to bring AIM education in action through AIM educated alumni, and bringing the AIM brand not only in Manila but also in the provinces,” Espeleta adds. “My motivation is, if we bring the AIM education to Cebu and the provinces, or even outside the country with alumni associations overseas, it’s really going to improve how businesses are managed so that they can also compete and help businesses grow. “I am a stakeholder and I hope the other alumni will take up the challenge,” enthuses Espeleta. “So in our own little way, we have started in Cebu. We’re very young as a chapter, but we’re making our presence felt in the community, as well as in other cities in the Visayas and Mindanao.” The AIM Cebu and Davao alumni chapters have created a business model for AIM alumni to adapt. With their success, hopefully other alumni associations can take up the challenge, and continue to bring the AIM brand of excellence not only in the Philippines, but overseas as well.

MANAGING FAMILY CORPORATIONS “A Healthy Family in A Healthy Business” July 30-August 3, 2007 City Sports Club 8A.M.-5P.M. Daily This family business management course will help you to identify and analyze the key issues and challenges of family corporations. Through the viewpoints of business family dynamics and family business systems, you will be able to develop and implement improvements to ensure growth. Recommended for: Entrepreneurs, family members and professional managers of family-owned businesses. Participants should be at least 21 years old or college graduate. Investment: P 40,000 HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT “Making HR and Business Partnership Work” August 27-31, 2007 City Sports Club 8A.M.-5P.M. Daily This five-day program examines in depth the HR Value Proposition. It will provide HR professionals with a clear line of sight to the marketplace by linking HR activities to what the stakeholders value—and not what HR is prepared to deliver. Indeed, value is defined by the receiver, not by the giver. Recommended for: Entrepreneurs/HR Practitioners and Consultants, Senior Staff, and Line Leaders who wish to maximize the performance and potential of their human capital. Investment: P 40,000 BASIC MANAGEMENT PROGRAM September 17-21, October 15-19, November 26-30 2007 City Sports Club 8A.M.-5P.M. Daily The Basic Management Program (BMP) is an interactive training program designed for organizations that need to equip their first level managers with a broader management perspective, through an understanding of the basic management principles and skills. It will teach the participants to understand the overall functional organization of the company, as well as the cross-functional relationships among its units for an interactive approach to management. Each participant is required to attend the entire three week program scheduled one week per month from September to November. Recommended for: First-line managers/Unit supervisors/Entrepreneurs


Call Perl Jacalan or Charisse Cuyos | ASAP Advertising | 4158077 or Joan Baron | JP Garcia & Associates | 2320253 email us at info.aaaimcebu@yahoo.com.ph

Investment: P 110,000 MARKETING STRATEGY COURSE October 1-5, 2007 City Sports Club 8A.M.-5P.M. Daily The Marketing Strategy Course (MSC) is for marketing executives who want to upgrade their strategic marketing performance, and senior executives in non-marketing positions who need to know the essential components of marketing strategy. This course positions the modern marketer to break through the challenges of globalization and intense competition, e-business, and the dramatic improvements in customer convenience and instant information, flexible production technology and the plethora of new products that it creates, and brand management in the face of media fragmentation. Recommended for: Marketing Executives/Senior Executives/Entrepreneurs Investment: P 40,000 Discount No. of participants


5 or more




Early bird discount

5% if paid 30 days before program date


Memoirs of a

Scholar S H A I K H



Alhamdulillah (Thank you God), so far I have TUDYING AT AIM WAS NOT JUST not been conquered by that bloody butcher. education. It taught an attitude, which you come to appreciate if you study at one of the best The ADB-JSP Scholarship B-Schools in the world. Having been to HarI had just been rejected in the final interview vard, Princeton, Insead, LUMS and IBA later, of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), this viewpoint was much more strengthened. the best B-school in Pakistan, for an MBA degree. But lest we forget, this ‘attitude’ could also be I met all the eligibility criteria of the institute a double-edged sword, especially if you know but was rejected on the pretext that I was already for a fact that you are not just an AIM graduate 28 years of age, had a cushy job in a French but an ADB scholar as well. Now with this telecom, and could speak English with an double edged sword, you can go around killing American twang. Then why did I need an MBA? just about anybody in the corporate world (as Thank God, I was rejected. Had I not been we used to butcher our classmates in the case rejected then, I would not have been able to room) but personally, the softness and humility study in the best B-school in Asia. I came to of the inner self (if you have one in the first learn about AIM through the Management place) should not let the sword mongering Association of Pakistan (MAP) for which I was soldier commit this genocide. already a member. This institution officially In a nutshell, the AIM stint polished my ca- conducted the AIM aptitude test in Pakistan and reer skills while the love, peace and serenity of that was how I was able to sit through the test. my religion i.e. Islam refrained me to become Although I could never find my grades, I am the corporate butcher that I could have surely sure that I must have done something terribly become. It is although imperative to menwrong to deserve the scholarship that I got. No tion that even after twelve years of graduating regrets though. Whatever happened after that is from AIM, there is a constant war between the history. AIM has made me what I am today. ‘corporate butcher’ and the humble ‘Me’ but While my bigger challenge then was to 20


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get in, the much bigger challenge was to get out with a degree—and I accomplished both, surprisingly. Now when I look back I feel it was a piece of cake, thanks to all the professors who polished and made a jewel out of me. The scholarship changed my entire perspective towards life. Before I entered AIM, I was an engineer by profession and whatever I saw was under the magnifying glass of a left-brained, analytical, self-centered engineer. While studying at AIM, I realized that there was more to life than engineering. I was forced to use my right brain when I would create something in the split of a second for ‘class participation’, although I could not beat my batch mate George Mammen from India who specialized in that. My Professors and the Good Days

Although my favorite professor was no other than ‘Mr. Strategist,’ Gabino Mendoza who mostly taught me everything in the classroom, his overtures, body language and OCP (Outside the Case room Participation) became the source of inspiration for me. May he live long. Prof. Sonny Coloma (The Rebel) I also liked, since he always provoked me to search

sector, the only issue is the salary structure in this country where even the Prime Minister’s official salary is far less than a fresh AIM graduate. And I don’t see that changing in the near future. Of course, salary being the ‘constant’ I am enjoying the other ‘variables’.

for more, ask for more and not to settle for less. Prof. Neri, I could hardly understand because Economics was never my cup of tea, but I really respect his commitment to the subject. Prof. Ed Morato. Ah! Morato who worked his behind to teach me Finance—but the stubborn me—I still get nightmares today when I remember going to his class without reading and he would ask you to open the case and make your life so miserable that you would want to take the next flight home. It was more of a love-hate relationship with him. Either you hate him or you hate him, there being no grey areas. I still have one of his slogans etched on my T-shirt which says ‘Morato’s first law on partnership—Don’t go to bed with strangers.’ Prof. Lopez, who taught me Business Leadership and Responsibility, made me the man that I am today (since I could not have become the woman that I wanted to). Although he did not teach me anything new since ‘I was born to lead’, being born on the 25th of December, I must confess that he brought out the ‘Messiah’ in me and I must thank him for that. And Prof. Nishi Mukherjee was boring in the class but amazing outside the case room since he being a Hindu and I being a Muslim would argue for hours in a row as to why India and Pakistan got independence from the British, and if we have achieved anything after the genocide called ‘Independence’ in 1947. And last but not the least, how can I afford to forget Prof. Purba Rao, the ‘Mother Teresa of AIM’. She was not just my first panelist in the MRR

pocket, I ravaged the corporate world in Pakistan although initially as a beggar looking for a job and later as a moron going for the overkill. I started an Internet company for a stock market tycoon and while being the first Project Manager of the company, I had the entire company registered, made the feasibility study for marketing, advertising, operations and financial aspects of the business. Unfortunately, the project never saw the light of day due to an issue of bandwidth availability on expected rates. Later on, I moved to an IT training center as Branch Manager and turned a loss making unit into a profitable business. Subsequently, I moved on to join the 5th biggest software house in Karachi, Pakistan. As Project Manager, I completed a Y2K assignment for Millicon. Based out of Luxembourg, Millicon was a mother concern of Instaphone, one of the oldest mobile phone operators in Pakistan. Within three months I was promoted as General Manager for Operations and in another six took over the HR Division also. It was the HR aspect of this business that made me realize the fact that I was a people’s manager and Human Resources was my specialization. This realization allowed me to take up a job in the Federal government when I migrated to Islamabad and joined the Ministry of Information Technology as a senior project manager. Due to my expertise in HR and people management, I was made responsible for the training and scholarship management at the Bachelor and Master level of the prospective aspirants from the entire country.

defense but actually my foster mother also for the entire two years that I spent at AIM. Just like a little infant, I would cuddle up to her especially when I would fail the WAC (which I mostly did), and she would take me under her feathers. If there would ever be a Nobel peace prize in statistics /OM, she deserves to get one. As far as the good days were concerned, they were all good since I was getting US$1,000 per month to study and play at AIM. The bad days were when I would have zilch in my pocket and was told by the school management that the ‘check was in the mail’.

“...the AIM stint polished my career skills while the love, peace and serenity of my religion i.e. Islam refrained me to become the corporate butcher that I could have surely become.”

Life After AIM

With the AIM attitude in the mind, a raging bull in the head, and the AIM degree in the back

Later, I was transferred from the Ministry to the newly established Higher Education Commission (HEC) in February 2003 as Project Director. I am currently responsible for a sizeable portfolio of Rs. 1.75 billion (Approx. US$ 30 million) where I am responsible for the Faculty Development Program of public sector universities. I am sending these candidates to the UK, USA, Australia, China, Austria, France and Germany for their Master leading to PhD programs in various fields. Although I enjoy one of the best and the most respectable of jobs in the government

A Message

In my humble opinion, I would propose that ADB scholarships may indeed continue to be awarded to deprived and needy students from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan who meet the eligibility criteria of AIM. And if possible, at least 5 scholarships may please be given to candidates from Pakistan which has a burgeoning population of a little over 160 million souls. Had it not been for the AIM scholarship, I would not have been able to study at the Harvard of Asia i.e. AIM, and would definitely not have contributed to this article. My personal life, Alhamdulillah could not be any better since along with the AIM attitude, God has given me the most wonderful and educated parents who taught me to respect elders and especially teachers, show love and affection towards children and peers, and two loving sisters who always stood by me through thick and thin. Also, HE has given me the best wife in the world (thank God she does not have an MBA) but is a certified housewife and in turn she has given me the best three brats that I can get (two sons and a daughter). And do I love them all or what? And to my classmates, although I had

personally apologized to my class mates when I used to butcher them in the classroom since I, being the extrovert would go for the overkill sometimes in the case room—I would like to apologize once again to them if I had hurt their feelings and if still after 12 years they have not forgiven me, then this is the time to sing ‘Please forgive me, what I say is true’ by Michael Bolton (or was it Rod Stewart?) To my professors, I wish them more power, joy and happiness. They have all contributed to not just my education, but to my personality, as well.

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Know Thyself

Seven Motivational Lessons in Life Oftentimes, being able to motivate oneself provides a glimpse in our capacity to raise our self-worth and increase our self-awareness about our character’s strength and weaknesses. Self-awareness enables us to stand apart and examine the way we see ourselves. It affects not only our attitudes and behaviors, but also how we see other people.


IKTOR FRANKL, A NOTED FREUDIAN PSYCHOLOGIST AND A HOLOcaust survivor, suffered torture and innumerable indignities at the hands of his Nazi captors. But despite of these sufferings he began to become aware of what he later called “the last of the human freedom”—the freedom that his Nazi captors could not take away. In the midst of the most degrading circumstances imaginable, he used the human endowment of self-awareness to discover a principle about the nature of man: man has the freedom to choose. I have the freedom to choose whether to let my physical disability ruin my entire life, or use it to inspire others and in the process, get the motivational shot that I myself badly need. Yes, I believe our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions. We have the initiative and responsibility to make things happen. People find themselves achieving victories that are empty, success that have come at the expense of “At the age of twenty, had yet to taste things they suddenly realize were far more valuable Iformal education and to them. People from every walk of life—doctors, literally, a classroom... academicians, actors, politicians, business profesAfter finishing my BS Psychology degree and sionals and athletes—often struggle to achieve three post graduate higher income, more recognition, or a certain studies later, I cannot degree of professional competence only to find that imagine what could have happened if I gave up their drive to achieve their goal blinded them to things that really mattered most and are now gone. my dreams of earning a degree.” How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to do what really matters most. If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster. We may be very busy, we may be very efficient, but we only are truly successful when we really know what’s in our heart. There’s a certain principle that all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things. This means that we must have clear goals in our mind to be able to be actually striving and working for the realization of those goals in mind. In this light, I want to share seven valuable lessons in life that I usually share with students in my Personality Development Class. 1. Never, ever give up on your dreams. At age sixteen, I decided I had wanted to become a writer. Trouble was, I was unschooled and did not have a formal training to write. Unfazed, I wrote the editor-in-chief of a comics magazine, asking for some advice and tips on writing. Instead, he sent me a photocopy of a comics script. That started my new found passion in comics scriptwriting. Soon, I churned out one comics script a day, sending them by mail through different publications in Manila, hoping to land my first published story. Problem was, no one took my writing seriously. Week after week, I received rejection slips from the editors, saying that my written scripts were “not good enough” to merit their attention. 22


Instead of giving up, I persevered, always taking their criticism as a challenge to further polish my writing skills. This went on for almost one and a half years, until the same editor who gave me the sample script finally relented to publish my first story—after 76 rejections! I was in cloud nine after that, and soon, they (comics publications) published my stories left and right that by the time I turned eighteen, I was named one of the promising new writers of short stories of Liwayway Magazine—the leading Filipino language magazine in the country at that time. 2. Do not let your weaknesses hinder you from pursuing your goals in life. At the age of twenty, I had yet to taste formal education, and literally, a classroom. But this did not hinder my voracious hunger for learning. I did self study in the confines of my cubicle and achieved self-knowledge that by time I entered college (by means of acceleration examination), I felt that I could cross swords with the best and the brightest mind in the class. After finishing my BS Psychology degree and three post graduate studies later, I cannot imagine what could have happened if I gave up my dreams of earning a degree. 3. Forgive those who have wronged you. Because of my disability, I suffered countless rejections, emotional hurts and discrimination. But the greatest pain came from the seeming rejection of my own family. As I was growing up, I could not comprehend why all my five siblings went to private schools while I only stayed at home. I tried to rationalize this by thinking that maybe, it would be too much of a time and financially consuming on my parent’s part to take care of my educational needs, considering that they were busy providing for our needs. But deep inside me, I knew it just wasn’t right. My faith in the Almighty taught me to forgive those who have wronged me. I fully subscribed to the Holy Bible’s Book of Ecclesiastes’ exultation which said that there’s a season for everything under the heaven. I finally had a chance to talk to my parents and forgave them completely while they are still alive. We need to bring closure to our emotional hurts so that we can lead a new life with contentment and peace.

4. Discover your talent—and use it for the benefit of others. I’m still into writing nowadays, but no longer into creative writing. After finishing my MDM degree at AIM, an entirely new perspective about the development field enveloped me. I have discovered that my gift with words can be used to help the poorest of the poor in my province. So when the Gawad Kalinga (the 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for community development) in Camarines Norte tapped my services in developing community development plans for the proposed GK sites, I wholeheartedly agreed. Looking back, I consider these pro bono works as the source of my self-fulfillment in life, knowing that I contributed something to the betterment of a person’s life. 5. Do not let other people destroy your self-confidence. When I was in college, I used to cry a bucket and hide inside my shell every time people criticized me or my work. I know being under the astrological sign of Cancer that I cannot help but be very sensitive. But that was the old me, a super sensitive nut, until I listened one day to my beloved professor in Psychology Class, telling us (and telling me pointblank without her knowing it) that we should carefully examine the intent of any criticism. If it’s constructive advice, we should listen and heed its points for further improve-

ment. But if they are personal attacks meant to destroy our character, then we should ignore them completely and be wary of that person’s motive or intent. From then on, I did not let other people’s views affect my self-confidence anymore. 6. Seize the moment, or it will never come to you again. In 2000, I was fortunate to be in Sydney, studying Master in Human Resource Management at the Sydney University in NSW. I had the privilege of having met a certain Filipino Olympian boxer one week before the Olympics. He was at that time one of the favored Filipino athletes tipped to land a medal for the country. In our chit chat, I kidded him that he should win his match against his highly fancied Thai opponent, as I already made a bet with my Thai classmates. Asking if he had the confidence to pull this one, he answered with a wry smile, saying that he would try his very best but he knew that the Thai pugilist was craftier and more skilled than he was. I almost fell on the floor hearing those words he uttered. Days later, his prediction became a reality: he didn’t reach even the third round while the Thai boxer went on to win the Olympic gold medal. 7. Tell how much you love that person—no matter what. I fell in love with a girl whom I considered not only my best friend but also my spiritual counselor. In her, I found physical attraction and spiritual belongingness. Problem was, she had already set her sights into entering the convent to become a nun. Do I tell her about my feelings, or just suppress it, knowing full well that her chosen vocation was her life? Do I push my luck too far and consequently destroy our friendship, knowing that she may never have the same feeling for me? On hindsight, I think that decision is one of the most important decisions I have made in my life. Even if it was not reciprocated, I would still tell her how much I loved her, or else I may regret not telling her my feelings for the rest of my life. Well, to my pleasant surprise, it turned out that she also had feelings for me! That girl is my wife Marissa, and mother to our only child Rexmar. Well guys, what are you waiting for? Say it! The ability to learn from our experiences is what truly separates a successful person from a failure. Aside from lessons learned from this knowledge, it can also serve as a powerful tool for self motivation, bearing in mind that it is not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that molds our character. Of course, things can hurt us physically or emotionally and can cause sorrow and frustrations. But our character, our basic identity, shall remain and endure. In fact, our most difficult experiences become the crucibles that forge our character and develop the internal powers, the freedom to handle difficult circumstances in the future and inspire others to do so as well. A I M A LU M N I L E A D E R S H I P M AGA Z I N E J u l y to Se pte m b e r 20 07




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Alumni as WAC Mentors The call for help was not left unheeded. In June 2007, Prof. Ricky Lim, Associate Dean of the Washington SyCip Graduate School of Business sent out a message to AIM alumni through the Alumni Relations’ Office e-blast services. It was a plea for MBM/MBA volunteers to be a WAC reader for the incoming MBA students, from August-December 2007. WAC stands for Written Analysis of Cases, a weekly academic requirement for the MBM/MBA student. THERE ARE MANY NIGHTMARISH stories about the WAC from AIM alumni. Many graduates who were studying in AIM in the ‘70s and early ‘80s remember their sleepless nights typing their reports during pre-computer days in the wee hours at the dormitory halls. In those days, take home WACs were assigned 5:00 p.m. on a Friday, and should be submitted the next day or deposited in a box by the dorm elevator on or before 8:00 a.m. Liquid erasers such as Snowpake, carbon paper, and encoders were in demand at that time. Many alumni beat the 8:00 a.m. deadline by hiding from professors in the elevator, away from their prying, clock watching eyes. After this writing torment, their next angst was coping with the comments of the faculty. Former chairman of the Alumni Association of AIM, Ric Pascua, MBM 1971, recalls Prof. Santi Dumlao’s comments on his first WAC: “I did not ask for a laundry list!!!” From batches as early as the 1970’s to as recent as 2001, WAC memories—from tortures to triumphs—are worn like memorable badges by the alumni. George Kovoor, MBM 1993 recalls, “I still get occasional nightmares where I am running to put my WAC paper into the box on time!” Trina V. Barranda-Cipriano, MBM 2001, remembers Prof. Jun Borromeo as her WAC reader. “He made me cry with my first WAC because he gave me a horrible grade (LP, I think). Imagine that this was my first ever grade from AIM. But he eventually coached me to HP+ and even a D! Now, I would really like to help someone get as much out of AIM as I did.” These WAC memories become even more pleasant many years later when alums realize the skills it honed, in spite of, as Prof. Lim would say, “the collective agony” it gave the students. 24

“Recent alum surveys show that WAC occupies a special place in alumni hearts: WACs surpass MRRs and the case method as the most memorable AIM experience. More than memories, our grads unanimously believe that WACs helped them become better thinkers,” Prof. Lim shares. Richard de Castro, MBM 2000 opines that inviting the alumni to volunteer as WAC readers is a very good idea. “We can help provide incoming MBAs with the necessary thinking and process framework for the WAC. From my experience, the WAC framework has been a very useful decision making tool that can be applied in most situations. It is very important, therefore, for new practitioners to acquire, at the onset, the proper basics on how to use this framework.” Shahida T. AzamHashmi, MBM 1988 also remembers his WACs very well. “I would agree that WACs made us better thinkers and even writers as thought processes need to be organized and communicated effectively.” Other alums see this as an opportunity to give back to the school, as well as mentor the younger batch of AIM graduates. “Whether or not there is a stipend, I am willing to spend time on contributing to the business formation of the new breed of AIM grads,” notes Florendo R Garcia Jr., MBM 1971. Sajith Sivanandan, MBM 2001 enthuses: “I would love to help with this. This is a great opportunity to give something back to the school and also to help young minds. As a matter of credential, I graduated with distinction from the MBM batch of 2001. I am happy to be of help on this.” Abhishek Mohan, MBA 2007 volunteers, “Anything to help out my old ‘mother’ AIM! It would be nice to look at things from the other side.”


Prof. Lim elaborates on how the WACs have changed since AIM’s early years. “In the past ten years we have made students write WACs once every two weeks. As a result alumni have lamented that we have devalued WAC. We are now trying to re-raise WAC to its original rigor. We emphasize it as a drill to build thinking skills. We are therefore increasing the pace of WACs to one per week for the incoming first years. To do so, we would need a lot of help, a platoon of 30-40 passionate alumni WAC readers who can help our young students develop these skills. It is not all ‘torture for the sake of torture.’ We will let up on this torrid pace by the end of the first core, about four months into the program.” WAC readers will have a more manageable schedule now compared to the ‘70s. As

“Recent alum surveys show that WAC occupies a special place in alumni hearts: WACs surpass MRRs and the case method as the most memorable AIM experience. More than memories, our grads unanimously believe that WACs helped them become better thinkers.” a pioneer WAC reader along with the likes of literary icon Gilda Cordero-Fernando and Peter Garrucho, Rafael V. de Guzman, MBM 1971 recalls that there were only four case readers during their time compared to the 30-40 alumni whom Prof. Lim wanted to invite. “I was a case reader for eight years, all throughout my professional stint with Citibank,” De Guzman recounts. “However, when I moved on to Unilab, frequent business trips locally and abroad compelled me to turn over the WAC ball and chain to someone else. Your invitation is like deja vu. I will be honored to be one of the WAC readers again.” Stunning Turnout of Volunteers

Within a few hours after sending out that initial request for WAC volunteers that day in June, a total of 32 email messages hit the screens of the Alumni Relations Office’s computers, coming not only from the Philip-

pines, but also as far as India, Singapore, U.S.A., Canada and Dubai. Emails continued to pour the next few days and were all forwarded to Prof. Lim who diligently answered each and every reply, question or suggestion. “I am grateful and a little stunned by the turnout—about 90+ of your co-alumni volunteered before I received your letters... and now more of you have come!” Prof. Lim enthuses in his emails. As of this writing, the total number of alumni volunteers has reached more than 120, with email responses from the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, United Kingdom, USA, Bhutan, Canada, India, and Pakistan. This is indeed a heartwarming response from the original 30-40 volunteers expected. “I am interested in being a WAC reader except that I would only be able to do it online or through e-mail, as I live in Karachi,” says Shahida T. Azam-Hashmi, MBM 1988. Fred Utanes, MBM 1989 shares the same query: “I am based in Singapore and Jakarta, and I seldom visit Manila. Am I qualified to be a WAC reader?” Alex Bangcola, MBM 1976 also writes: “I would be willing to help but since I am based in Dubai, would this not mean additional work for the student (emailing and all that stuff)?” For out-of-town and overseas alumni volunteers, Prof. Lim has this ready answer: “If you are out-of-town, or if you do not mind soft copies, you can be a ‘distance’ mentor-reader. Students will be submitting WACs in soft form, and once we devise a good e-relay to WAC readers who are not Philippine based—along with the teaching notes and grading schemes—you can simply put margin notes on their submissions, and email them back to us. As long as you tell me that you will never be far away from an internet connection for more than a week (like go on an African safari...), and as long as you say you can get us fast and detailed feedback, we will include you in the scheme. Please note- ‘fast’ means we want the WACs back with your comments and grades within one week.” But the task of being a WAC reader will not be painless, Prof. Lim cautions. “First, I must warn all our volunteers that this job is not easy. Originally, we had targeted alums to check 10 WACs once every three to four weeks. But the good news is, because of the volume of volunteers, we will instead trim down the number of WACs to 5-6 for our

readers once every three weeks. They must review, give feedback and grade these WACs within one week. Students will be writing WACs three Fridays every month, and we want to give them quick feedback before their next WAC. I understand if our volunteers would say no to this. But if they are up to it, we would truly appreciate their help.” To make things easier, an alumnus does not have to provide intensive reviews for each and every paper. “It is not important that our WAC readers give exhaustive, literary critiques of student WACs, not at all,” advises Prof. Lim. “What students instead want is their quick feedback. They need someone practical to tell them if they are hitting their message correctly, or if they are beating around the bush, or merely reciting case facts.” In addition, Prof. Lim has also made doubly sure that he makes the task as painless as possible for the alumni volunteers. “Our volunteers will get complete teaching notes and grading guides, so they will not assess in a vacuum. More importantly, we need their business savvy and experience to let our students know how they can do better.” WAC readers will be anonymous to the students. In the same token, the student names and nationalities will also be unknown to the alumni volunteers. “We thought about this to be fair to everyone, so that a Filipino reader will not know that he is reading the WAC of a student from Bangladesh, or an Indian student will not know that his WAC is being read by an alumnus from the U.S.A. Maybe at the end of the WAC program, we can hold a grand party where everyone will meet each other,” adds Prof. Lim. Although a token fee is offered to all WAC readers, Prof. Lim considers the income more psychic than financial. “What our alums will get is the high of mentoring and of giving back to the school,” Prof. Lim said. On July 25, 2007, WSGSB held a briefing for WAC volunteers at the Meralco case room. The volume of the Philippine based attendees was a palpable proof that alumni are ready, willing and eager to relive the WAC experience all over again—this time on the other side of the fence—as alumni mentors. For comments and more information on the WAC Readers program, please contact Prof. Ricky Lim at ricardo.a.lim@ gmail.com, aimalumni@aim.edu, or Lot Aramil at laramil@aim.edu.

Thank you for volunteering! BHUTAN Benita K. Gurung, MBA 2004 CANADA Dodi Rodriguez, MBM 1983 INDIA Aanish Anand, MBM 1997 Saurabh Anand, MBA 2006 B.P.Shasank Anand, MBM 1997 Sachdev Ramakrishna, MBM 1993 Prasun Chowdhury, MBM 1993 Komandur Srinivas, MBM 1974 Abhishek Dube, MBA 2007 Peter George, MBM 2002 Ehsan Kalyan, MBM 2000 Blaise L. Costabir, MBM 1992 Ajit Kumar Verma, MBM 1991 Dhananjay Lakshmanan, MBM 1974 C.V. Lakshmanan, MBA 2004 Abhishek Mohan, MBA 2007 Anirban Parua, MBA 2007 Anurag Anand, MBA 2007 Vaibhav Anand, MBA 2007 Vinod Puthuparambil, MBM 1999 Vikas Kumar Narnoly, MBA 2007 Rishi Rout, MBA 2006 Tanuja Gajria, MBA 2007 Vishal Srivastava, MBA 2006 Gaurav Sahu, MBA 2006 Sajith Sivanandan, MBM 2001 Anish Lakhotia, MBA 2006 Anish Srikrishna, MBM 1997 Joe Verghese, MBM 1997 Vedant Dube, MBA 2004 PAKISTAN Shahida Hashmi, MBM 88 PHILIPPINES Roy Anthony R. Aluquin, MBM 1995 Diwata F. Angeles, MBM 1998 Maria Victoria S. Aquino, MBM 1995 Greg Atienza, MBM 1983 Mekit Atienza, MBM 1983 Emmanuel Atienza, MBM 1994 Manolo Feria Bada, MBM 1987 Carol Bahukhandi, MBM 1998 Dheeraj Bahukhandi, MBM 1998 Alex Bangcola, MBM 1976 Dawn Barellano, MBM 2001 Trina Barranda, MBM 2001 Crisostomo F. Bate, MBM 1993 Butch Bautista, MBM 1971 Dinna Bayangos, MBM 1988 John Wesley Bayot, MBA 2007 Melissa Ellen D. Belvis, MBA 2007 Anthony Lou M. Bernabe, MBA 2005 Maria Donna D. Borlongan, MBA 2007 Ma. Liza M. Calizo, MBM 1983 Cecille Calleja, MBM 1982 Celeste D. Candelaria, MBM 1998 November Canieso, MBA 2004 Leoncio S. Castillo, Jr., MBM 1970 Rowena Castro-Cacnio, MBM 1988 Mela Chupungco, MBM 1995 Conci Clemente, MBA 2005 Sergio P. Co, MBM 1993 Charisse Cruz, MBM 1996 Roberto S. David, MBM 2000 Richard V. de Castro, MBM 2000 Rafael V. de Guzman, MBM 1971

Cristina C. De Guzman, MBM 2001 Cesar de Leon, MBM 1970 Brian Michael A. Dizon, MBA 2006 Patricia Estaniel, MBM 1998 Jose Mari Fajardo, MBM 1995 Elaine Fajardo, MBA 2007 Jemps Gallegos, MBM 2003 Ren Garcia, MBM 1971 Rachel T. Geronimo, MBM 1996 Aristides Gonzales, MBM 2004 Raymond A. Lacdao, MBM 2000 Agnes M. Lamberte, MBM 1992 Lisset Laus-Velasco, MBM 2000 Jobert V. Legasto, MBM 2003 Renato Leveriza, MBM 1976 Benjamin Z. Mabanta, MBM 1998 Victor Machacon, MBM 1981 Ann Mayeen D. Magno, MBM 1998 Frances Gail E. Male, MBA 2004 Mehul R. Maru, MBM 1996 Mabel Acusar Menguito, MBM 1993 T. R. Mohan, MBM 1974 Mary Anne Nery, MBM 2001 Alfian Noor, MBM 1994 Ian Ocampo, MBM 2001 Christine R. Omar, MBM 1987 Dr. Junette Perez, MBM 1993 Rafael Pertierra, MBM 1983 Philip Pichay, Jr., MBM 2003 Sagar Rajgopal, MBA 2004 Jose Ma. Rigor, MBM 1985 Wivinia Rodriguez, MBM 1972 Gerry Rodriguez, MBM 1992 Denise Roxas-Montalbo, MBM 2000 Sonny Santiago, MBA 2004 Daniel T. Saracin, MBM 1983 Steven C. So, MBM 2000 Willem Den Toom, MBM 2007 Sana Sta. Ana, MBM 1995 Dominador Velasco IV, MBM 2000 Gladys Villanueva-Enhaynes, MBM 1998 Ernest Villareal, MBM 1975 Willyn Villarica, MBA 2004 Sammy Yap, MBM 1976 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Milo Alejo, MBA 2007 Roberto Bolanos, MBM 2000 Nolan Pidor, MBM 1978 Dipesh Maini, MBM 1999 Jocelyn Joy Rebadulla, MBM 1984 Janet Salazar, MBA 2006 Bhaskar Vaidyanathan, MBA 2000 UNITED KINGDOM Nitin Chandak, MBM 2005 Nithyanand Poornanandan, MBA 2004 Alain A. Sebastian, MBA 2004 SINGAPORE Christabel R.De Leon-Looi, MBM 1988 Rajan Natrajan, MBM 1992 Japnit Singh, MBA 2004 Fred Utanes, MBM 1989 THAILAND George {PI} Kovoor, MBM 1993 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Andrew Jamias, MBM 2003 Alex Bangcola, MBM 1976

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Scholars In Search of Dreams

Arlene Maneja has experienced being a scholar for eight years now. A Bar topnotcher and international debater, she is used to rifling through mountains of cases. But now that she is at AIM and the first recipient of the Institute’s Best and the Brightest scholarship program, she has one thing to declare: AIM is harder than law school. Since AIM’s founding in 1968, the Institute has attracted outstanding young persons like Maneja and offered them scholarships. To date, nearly 600 individuals have benefited and transformed their lives by taking AIM’s degree programs with financial support. These grants have become their passage not only to a more promising future but also to a brighter prospect for their respective organizations and societies. AIM and its social investors have put a stake in them in the hope of creating a thriving, knowledge-driven new Asia. Recently, AIM’s financial assistance to deserving students has been boosted by the launch of two innovative scholarship programs: Best andw the Brightest, which supports students with exceptional academic and professional records, and the Triple A Club Philippines, initiated by the alumni club of the same name. Here the AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine profiles five scholars from humble families and diverse backgrounds—an accountant, a college teacher, a mechanical engineer, a lawyer, and a production-in-charge at a business process outsourcing company. WO R D S








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ending the lawyer

Arlene Maneja’s parents had one minimum requirement for their children—finish college. Because her father graduated from high school and her mother from elementary, both parents naturally had ambitions for their passel of five boys and one girl. “Life was hard when my parents were just starting out,” she relates. “My mother was a real sales person. She began with selling vegetables in the public market...Then she started buying items from the ships docking at Manila Pier—anything she could sell.” Second-hand items from Japan fed not only the family but also their aspirations. The business was good enough to send everyone to respectable schools. By the time Arlene was born, the family store was displaying vases, shoes, appliances, and a motley set of bric-a-brac. Then Mrs. Maneja concentrated on appliances and imported them herself. Because Arlene is the youngest and there is a five-year gap between her and the last of the boys, she was born during the better times. “I didn’t feel that money was hard to come by. But I suppose, growing up, we also didn’t know what luxury means,” she says. But Arlene knew what accomplishment means. She obtained her Legal Management degree cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas. In 2002, she graduated from the UST Law School magna cum laude, and, later that year, placed first in the Bar exam. Nonetheless, she went through the eye of a needle first. “My father had a stroke in 1996, and then my mom died in 1999, when I was in second year Law,” she reveals. “For one year, my brother strived to run the business, but they couldn’t run it, so we closed it down. In the last year of Law, I didn’t really support myself because there were savings. But it couldn’t support the lifestyle I used to have.” The situation was quite a blow for a girl who had been quite used to having her mother’s shoulder to lean on. In college, the debater would fly out of the country three times a year so as never to miss an international tournament. She won many times. Her airfare and registration fees were usually covered; her mother, who considered this exposure an investment, spent for the rest. “So I’ve been all over on my mom’s sponsorship,” she explains. “When she died, there

was no money anymore. We had to cut down on everything...I suppose my mother’s death affected me the most because my brothers had these things they did, while I was studying. And my father was half-paralyzed; he had to be on medication. I couldn’t work yet, so whatever money we had, we had to budget until such time I could get a job. The final year of Law and the months before the Bar were hard.” Whereas other Bar takers would finish the exams in September and report for their jobs in January to rest from the ordeal of nerve-racking reviews, Arlene, out of necessity, started working in mid-October for Siguion Reyna, one of the country’s top law offices. In mid-2006, Arlene notified her office of her intent to avail of a study leave: she got accepted by New York University’s Master of Laws International Legal Studies Program. Instead, she surprised her colleagues by swerving to the MBA lane. “I’ve always wanted to try working abroad and join the entire globalization wave. It’s going to be a little easier to do that with

“I also want to contribute to a scholarship fund that will give other people the same opportunities that I’ve been given...I like educating and helping people…I have no set career path, but I hope for the best.” an MBA background,” she reasons. “Legal knowledge is very territorial.” Her training is “very corporate housekeeping,” encompassing corporate rehabilitation, regulatory compliance, labor disputes, and collective bargaining. “Plus MBA, it’s easier to sell yourself as a consultant or a corporate person. It’s actually a combination that’s highly paid on Wall Street!” she laughs. A friend of Arlene’s who is an AIM MBA alumnus introduced her to the program. The Best and the Brightest scholarship bestowed on her covers full tuition and full dorm fees. “I got a scholarship in NYU, but it’s not full scholarship,” she says. “Although it’s a year only, it’s dollars in New York, so that’s a lot… But if it’s just going to be living expenses here for two years—I made some accounting of the money

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I would expect in the future—I thought this would be a better deal, so I chose it.” To prepare for her foray into unfamiliar terrain, Arlene reviewed basic accounting and took an online course on quantitative analysis. Still, she had at least one disadvantage. “I didn’t even know how to use Excel at the beginning,” she confesses with chagrin. “My Excel [outputs] seemed made by a six-yearold. I had to learn all the functions that other people had taken for granted.” As one would expect, she showed her mettle in the case method. “I’m used to reading cases, although not the same kind here,” she says. “The amount of reading is fine. After a while, the CP method is also fine; it’s like debating only...One thing I had to adjust to, though: In debating, I have a tendency to rebut, not build on other people’s points, which is acceptable in the case study. I had to learn how to be more integrative in answering. “For the first few months, I was shooting everyone down. It didn’t make me the most popular person!” she laughs. “I was the poster girl for somebody you would hit. “I had to adjust to the kind of knowledge I was dealing with,” she adds. “Certain things didn’t appeal to me, like at the start I didn’t like operations, especially manufacturing.” Despite being “out of my comfort zone,” Arlene occupies the No. 1 slot in her batch and is set to go to Wharton for exchange. “I was actually very insecure about my ability to excel,” she admits. “I was thinking, top 40%. That’s all Prof. Ricky Lim needed. Since I had no gauge, I gave it my best shot for the first ten weeks. After the tenth week, I got my wash grade, which is like a tentative grade. I found out that I did very, very well. I got a sense of what kind of effort is needed, how many hours of sleep I’d actually get. Then I learned to calibrate. It was crazy for me only in the first ten weeks. “The only subjects I found really difficult were Finance 2 and 3,” she continues. “I was about three sessions late in Finance 1: I would understand the first session three sessions later. In Finance 2, I was about five sessions late. In Finance 3, I was eight sessions late. In my first year, I got four to five hours of sleep a night. Six was, wow, a good night. Prof. Lim used to ask me, is it harder than Law? I said, yes. I would literally get headaches studying here.” The heaviest challenge for Arlene, though, was dealing with people from different back-



grounds. “I really come across as abrasive in class. I don’t generally come across as a friendly person, except to people I’m close to,” she shares. “In our batch, the cultural divide became a sensitive issue...It started becoming better after HBO, [which] forced us to deal with the fact that we have a rift along cultural lines. Then we had barrier-soul kind of discussions...Afterwards, it’s okay.” To Arlene, “everything is character building” at AIM, the knowledge gained very business-oriented and practical. “I had good work ethic as a lawyer. But the discipline I got from being here in terms of time management, having so many things on my plate and dealing with them—I think that’s the best contribution of AIM. You can’t procrastinate in AIM...You have to stay focused. You cannot not know or not study.” Arlene is still mulling over her next steps after MBA. She is not bound by contract to return to Siguion Reyna. Her father died just last year. She would like to work abroad, perhaps in consulting. Or she could return to her old passion of teaching. “I’ve always wanted to teach. I used to teach in UST Law,” she says. “I also want to contribute to a scholarship fund that will give other people the same opportunities that I’ve been given. I was a scholar in UST. I have not been paying for my schooling since third year college because [our debating team became the] national champion in 1995. For that we got a scholarship as long as we’re studying in UST...I used to teach debating also to high school and college students as community outreach. I like educating and helping people...I have no set career path, but I hope for the best.” The best may yet come if Arlene will live a long-ago ambition of becoming Supreme Court Chief Justice—leaps and bounds from the college diploma that her parents wished for her. (Note: At the time these interviews were conducted, the MDM program had not yet started class.)


ea change in self

Kumar Binitesh was overseeing the construction of a new power plant for the government-run National Thermal Power Corp., the largest power company of India and the sixth largest in the world, when his elder brother planted an idea in him—apply for an MBA

at AIM. “My elder brother had colleagues who really knew about the institute,” he says. “[But] I decided to have more experience before doing my MBA.” Kumar was born in Muzaffarpur, a town 12 hours by train from Delhi, to educators. His father is a college history professor, and his mother a secondary school teacher. Raised to value education, he became a district topnotcher in 10th standard exam. In 2002, he graduated with a mechanical engineering degree, first class with distinction, from the government-run Bihar Institute of Technology, one of the oldest in India. He worked as a marketing executive for Honda Siel Power Products in Delhi before transferring to National Thermal Power.

“When I start on my job, I will do my level best to do something for people who are really underprivileged and need the help of the other classes of society.” Thinking himself ready, Kumar browsed through the AIM website and found out about the scholarships offered, in particular the Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship Program. “During my interview with Prof. Ricky Lim, he suggested that I apply for the ADB scholarship since I had very good recommendations and career record,” narrates Kumar. “I was very keen to apply to an international school with scholarships because otherwise, I would not have been able to afford the fees.” Once confirmed that the ADB scholarship was his, Kumar’s parents were “jubilant and proud.” Adapting to his new surroundings was effortless. “I never thought going to a foreign country would be so pleasant,” he remarks. “I always had apprehensions regarding the culture, the food, and all those things. When I came here, from the onset, I found out that people are very hospitable, very friendly. On top of these, there were so many similar-looking faces on campus. That made me at ease.” Adjusting academically, however, was another story. “For the first month, it was really tough and demanding,” he says. “I never felt pressure to be in the top 10, but yes, there’s

been pressure to perform very well. You feel that, because of your scholarship, everybody’s looking at your performance, everybody’s thinking all the time, ‘Why has he a scholarship? There must’ve been something in him.’” Kumar has dealt with the speculation and pressure well enough. “I’m planning to major in Finance. Results came out a few days ago: I cleared CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level 1. I have to clear the next hurdle, an MRR (management research report) in Finance.” Kumar also intends to take the CFA Level 2 exam in June 2008. His CFA registration and qualification would have been impossible if not for his ADB scholarship, which covers dorm and academic fees, and gives an allowance of $370 per month. “I get to save about P2,000 to P2,500 a month,” he says. “The savings took care of my registration and exam fee for CFA Level 1 of P40,000 (app. $875). “The scholarship is a God-sent opportunity,” he continues. “It is not very easy, and it’s so generous that such kind of a scholarship is actually unheard of in India. Very few scholarships are like the ADB scholarship...It made a big impact in my life.” Kumar depicts that impact as “a sea change in my perspective and character.” “The curriculum here taught me to have an open mind, to look at things from different perspectives. It also made me more logical,” he notes. “The education has really added to my personality. Initially, I was not used to mingling easily with other people. But now I make it a point to be more amiable.” Confessing to homesickness, Kumar “will definitely go back to India.” “My parents have fulfilled all their commitments. It’s my turn to take care of them and make them happy.” Moreover, he intends to revive activities he had in college involving community relief work, reforestation, and environmental awareness. “When I start on my job, I will do my level best to do something for people who are really underprivileged and need the help of the other classes of society.”


eacher transformed

Trang Nguyen Thi Thuy’s only child just turned one year old when she flew to the Philippines to join the AIM Master in Manage-

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ment 2008 batch. Married to an officer in Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trang came to Manila with her son and mother. “But after two weeks, I had to send him home because my schedule here is very intense. I cannot keep him here,” she says.

“When I enrolled in the MM, I thought only of my career improvement or promotion. But I’ve opened my mind; I’ve seen so many new things. I don’t focus on promotion or a new position [anymore]... I think about the value I can add to my students, to my department, and to my career.” Trang, however, understands the sacrifice well. A native of Hanoi, Trang has led a life that revolves around education. Her parents are high school math teachers. At the National University, she majored in Pedagogy, specifically teaching English to high school students. In 2001, a year after college, she began working for the state-run Academy of Finance. “I had to take another course, Bachelor of Economics major in Corporate Finance, so I could teach not only grammar but also general accounting and finance.” She taught first year to third year college students. Per semester, she would handle six classes maximum, each class having about 40 students and meeting twice a week. Witnessing the changes around her, from the renaming of her unit from Department of Language to Department of English for Finance and Accounting, to the increase in student enrollment last year, Trang realized, “I have to improve myself.” Thus far, only 30% of teachers in her department specialize in English. Trang was tapped to teach Economics in English. She then scouted for a leadership program that would widen her knowledge of company management and economics, and at the same time improve her English communication skills. Then three years ago a friend informed her about AIM and the ADB-Japan Scholarship Program. “Whenever I have an opportunity, I catch it,” she says. The opportunity did land on her—hard.



“The first week I wanted to die immediately. It’s a very intensive course!” she exclaims. “When I got information from the brochure, I understood that it’s highly intensive. But I could not imagine how highly intensive it is. The way we have to study is so different because in my country, most universities apply the traditional teaching methods. The teachers give lectures, and the students copy down. We try to memorize, and when the exams come, we give back everything and write it out. Here it’s very different. We have to study on our own. In class, I have to participate. English is also a problem because in our class, more than 50% are Indians. They speak very fast, and they have a different accent...I always used to enjoy a high rank, in the top five or top ten of class. But in the first week, oh, I was low.” Nonetheless, her standing has inched up thanks to her CAN group. “They are very helpful,” she explains. “Sometimes when I am not very confident, they push me...Up to now, I haven’t overcome the pressure posed by being a scholar. But I’m fighting.” Being a teacher, Trang considers AIM professors “super teachers.” “The professor who conducts the marketing session can even talk about accounting, finance, and leadership. So many things! They’re the master of everything,” she qualifies. Such mastery has influenced Trang’s perspective in just the first two months. “The big change came through Prof. [Ernesto] Garilao, the leadership professor,” she shares. “Before AIM, I thought only about myself, my family, my university—that’s enough. Now I think about the next generation, the students. After the course, I will go back to my university and try to apply some methods here, like the case study.” Yes, Trang sorely misses her son, whom her parents promised to raise while she is studying. She was looking forward to returning to Vietnam in September to gather data for her MRR and cuddle her baby again. But when she reassumes her post at the Academy of Finance after the program, it will be with the stance of a servant leader. “When I enrolled in the MM, I thought only of my career improvement or promotion,” she confesses. “But I’ve opened my mind; I’ve seen so many new things. I don’t focus on promotion or a new position [anymore]...I think about the value I can add to my students, to my department, and to my career.”


etition Granted

Ariel dela Cruz, a native of Pampanga province in the Philippines, spent part of his childhood separated from his siblings for one simple reason: his parents could no longer support a brood of four. “My eldest brother and eldest sister lived with my grandparents. I stayed with my parents,” he recounts. His businessman father encountered numerous spikes; one was the loss of the family’s jeepney fleet. Ariel was 10 when the business folded. Thankfully, his grandparents were doing well enough to support the young children. They gave Ariel’s parents capital for a small canteen, which eventually became their bread and butter. Still, when Ariel was accepted at the University of the Philippines and De La Salle, he had to forego enrolling at the two prestigious schools.

“They do not require me to pay them. But someday, when I become successful, I’ll pay it forward to somebody who wants to have an MBA here as well.” “My parents were unsure how to finance my third and final years in college,” he says. The canteen financed Ariel’s education at the University of the Assumption in Pampanga, where he finished Accountancy and landed in the top 2% of the graduating class. Soon after, he passed the CPA board exams and worked for an accounting services firm. For two years, he was a senior financial analyst at the National Transmission Corporation. Then he transferred to the finance department of Chevron Asia (formerly Caltex). It was at Chevron that he met Freddie Corpus, an AIM MBA graduate and a senior executive of the company who encouraged him to try AIM. “He told me, you need to sacrifice a lot of things, but eventually the payback will be big,” says Ariel. Paramount among Ariel’s sacrifices would be his two-year salary. “Considering my economic circumstances, resignation would be a hard burden. But it’s not that difficult to leave my job because I’m a true risk taker. Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” he tells matter-of-factly. “Two years’ salary wouldn’t make much of a difference compared to the

A Badge of Honor G U I L L E R M O “ W I L L I E ” PA R AY N O , President, Parayno Consultancy Services Former Commissioner, Bureau of Internal Revenue (Philippines)


1 9 7 7

I DO NOT THINK I COULD HAVE BECOME A COMMISSIONER OF THE Bureau of Customs, and Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue if not for the scholarship I got from Mr. Enrique Zobel which I spent at the Asian Institute of Management. Maybe I would have spent my entire military career with the Corps of Professors of the AFP teaching and nurturing cadets of the Philippine Military Academy. The award is given to one graduate of the Philippine Military Academy each year beginning with PMA Class 1970 who has exhibited the best all around performance in academics, athletics, leadership, conduct and extra-curricular activities. A scholarship committee evaluates the graduates each year and selects one awardee. One of my proudest moments when I was studying at AIM was the time I was dunked in the swimming pool for being the first in the MBM Class ‘77 to obtain a grade of HP in the Written Analysis of Cases (WAC). But there was also a time when I had to contend with the cold shoulders of classmates who did not like my testifying in an investigation that resulted in the dismissals from the institute of a number of our classmates. After graduation in 1977, I work at the Bureau of Customs initially as Technical Assistant of then Customs Commissioner Ramon Farolan and ultimately becoming the Commissioner in 1992. In between Customs and BIR, the International Monetary Fund engaged me as a fiscal expert where I had the opportunity to visit many places among them Argentina, Kazakhstan, Moldova and East Timor. It was only for a brief moment after resigning The badge of honor in being a as Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revgraduate of AIM opened many enue in July 8, 2005 that I enjoyed a vacation from doors and opportunities for me. many years of work. The Civil Service Commission With the passing away of Mr. Zobel, perhaps the recipients gave me the legal advice that I cannot be employed of the award can takeover the responsibility for selecting and by any tax paying entity, so I had to contend with funding scholars to AIM. being self-employed. My easygoing days quickly disappeared when the Asian Development Bank engaged me as an international consultant to countries I have not even dreamt of going. First I helped developed a Customs Reform and Modernization Program for Mongolia. This was followed by a Tax Administration Program for the Kyrgyz Republic which is considered as the Switzerland of Central Asia. Now I am doing the rounds of the Greater Mekong Sub-region-Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Thailand and the two southern provinces of China namely Yunan and the Guangxi Autonomous Region as part of a team putting up a Strategic Framework for Action in Trade Facilitation and Investment for GMS. I also did a short mission in Pakistan for the Bank. In the country, I am engaged by the Partnership and Alliance for Competitiveness and Trade in developing and implementing a national strategy for Philippine compliance and accession to the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures or the Revised Kyoto Convention. Last year, after the one-year prohibition for employment ended, I was made President of E-Konek Pilipinas. Together with my friend Bert Lina, we pursued our advocacy on E-Governance by providing the export industry modern electronic systems to deal with Customs and other agencies with mandates over the cross border flow of goods. We also put up the company Web Fontaine Pilipinas to bring into the country the best of breed ICT and eCommerce technologies. In between all these engagements, I help Bert run his many companies particularly in the field of ICT. As an alumnus of AIM, I cherish most the time when I was conferred the Alumni Achievement Award. But it was fun when I was asked to be a fashion model during one of the Alumni Homecomings. I could never have afforded going to AIM on my own. The badge of honor in being a graduate of AIM opened many doors and opportunities for me. With the passing away of Mr. Zobel, perhaps the recipients of the award can takeover the responsibility for selecting and funding scholars to AIM.

A I M A LU M N I L E A D E R S H I P M AGA Z I N E J u l y to Se pte m b e r 20 07


COVER STORY “I’ve already talked with some of my Chevron colleagues on the matter of putting up a foundation for street children who want to study... We will determine how we can make the model sustainable.” learning and what I would get afterwards.” Once he got accepted to AIM, Ariel employed a habit he’s had since passing the CPA exams—going for novena to Baclaran Church and Quiapo Church. “I got from my parents the habit of being prayerful,” he notes. “When I was small, my mother would wake me up at past 5:00 in the morning so I could join her in mass.” Now an adult, he had a special, serious intention in mind—to get a scholarship. Ariel was determined to realize his lifelong dream of pursuing an MBA. And AIM was the only school he had in mind. Nevertheless, he could not rely on his parents for assistance. At the same time, he was the only one supporting his younger sister’s college education. With faith and courage, he sought help from his role model, Education Secretary Jesli Lapus (MBM ’73), Triple A winner and Chairman of the Triple A Club who then recommended Ariel to the Triple A (Alumni Achievement Award) Scholarship Committee. Sec. Lapus had formed a committee that included Robert Kuan, Art Macapagal, and Alberto Villarosa. The four prominent alumni interviewed Ariel and granted him 100% tuition fee scholarship. Ever the accountant, Ariel made a stepby-step plan and projection to ensure that he could support both himself and his sister, who is graduating from college in October 2007. “Up to now, I have part of my savings from my days in Caltex,” he reveals. “In time for my MRR, I have available cash. I’m living on a budget; I cannot overspend.” Being province-born and -bred, Ariel was not used to talking in English. “During the first weeks, I was really shy. I didn’t talk in class for fear of saying the wrong word,” he recalls. “But I managed to adjust because of supportive classmates who know where I came from. They helped me. At night, after class, we would discuss and practice. My CAN group also helped. I had no problem dealing with people from other cultures. You just have to respect their beliefs.


Respect begets respect. It’s the same for them.” In his studies, Ariel puts pressure on himself “because I want to take advantage of this opportunity to learn and to hone the skills which I couldn’t learn or find anywhere else. I want to prove that I am worthy of the opportunity they gave me.” And he may well be. Ariel is in the top 40% of his class. He is qualified to go on exchange, which he plans to do. “I have a friend who’s willing to loan me money that he says I can pay when I become filthy rich. I don’t know when that will be!” he exclaims. Ariel stands a good chance to be wealthy as he plans to major in Finance and work for an investment bank or a multinational finance corporation. “I’m more confident in dealing with other people because AIM training molds you into a person who thinks really fast,” he says. “As a finance person, I have been trained to meet budget targets and saving costs. But because of the MBA, you see the other areas and how your actions are going to affect them. It’s an opportunity to shift careers, but I’m still happy with finance.” For Ariel, besides the financial assistance of his scholarship is an extraordinary value, that of being mentored and nurtured by Triple A winners. “These Triple A winners are so busy. They occupy high positions, demanding a lot of their attention. Yet they still have time to ask how I am. That’s the part I really like—their involvement,” he says. “They still manage to look after me. I really like what Sir Robert Kuan said: even if they’re up there, I shouldn’t think that I cannot approach them. The last time we saw each other was during a breakfast meeting with Sir Robert Kuan and Art Macapagal at the Tower Club in the first week of July. I have their numbers. They constantly communicate with me. It’s like having a second dad...They’re very approachable and inspiring. They do not require me to pay them. But someday, when I become successful, I’ll pay it forward to somebody who wants to have an MBA here as well. “I’ve already talked with some of my Chevron colleagues on the matter of putting up a foundation for street children who want to study,” he continues. “We will determine how we can make the model sustainable. I’ve talked to a number of street children in my province. They want to study, but their parents cannot afford to send them to school. As a


result, the children tend to marry and have children in their teens. It’s a vicious cycle. It is my vision to cut that cycle and begin a new, better cycle. It is my commitment. “My donors are of a similar bent: Sir Jesli has a foundation in Tarlac. Robert Kuan is the chairman of St. Luke’s [Hospital], which supports the facilities improvement of a smaller hospital,” observes Ariel. “Those are inspiring. So you pattern your life after theirs. Come to think of it, a person needs to eat only three times a day. It really depends on a person’s priorities. It is good that my parents didn’t raise us to be greedy. I have received innumerable blessings. My parents are happy that I have sent my sister to college. It’s my mission now to help other people.”


reams wrought in heaven

Twenty-eight-year-old Dipesh Tuladhar had been planning to enter business school together with his friend Awesh Shrestha a few years back. But because Awesh was “pretty interested” in enrolling at AIM, he went ahead and obtained his MBA diploma in 2005. When Dipesh’s turn came, his good friend “helped me a lot in knowing the requirements.” He did make it to AIM as well, and as an ADB scholar to boot. The sad news, though, was that Awesh passed away about a year after his graduation, never to witness the time when his buddy would become a full-fledged MBA, too. The two men grew up in the so-called Land of Heaven, Nepal. In Kathmandu, Dipesh’s father runs a woolen wear shop established by his grandfather. His mother is a housewife. While transitioning from the Jesuit high school he attended in the capital, he was nominated among 120 Nepalese to take engineering degrees in Indian colleges. Dipesh chose a Production Engineering course at the National Institute of Technology, Surat, a second-tier college after the Indian Institute of Technology. Despite being active in sports—he was captain and vice captain of the basketball and football teams, respectively—he graduated with honors and belonged to the top 10% of his college. He remained in India for his first job. “I was selected by a company based in Chennai to market engineering products. I worked there for eight months, after which I went back to Nepal and supervised a factory,” he narrates.

By this time, business process outsourcing was taking root in the country. Dipesh transferred to a company offering medical transcription services. Three years into the firm, he was a production-in-charge and an aspiring MBA student. “I had been following the AIM web site, where I got comprehensive information about the ADB scholarship,” he recounts. “What helped me even more was that the ADB office in Nepal came out with a print ad about the ADB scholarship.” When Dipesh found out he had clinched it, “it was a big burden off my chest.” His father was “very ecstatic.” “We don’t have a very strong financial sector in Nepal. Even if I was supposed to take a loan, it would have been very difficult. You have to start paying three months after graduation,” he notes. Having talked to Awesh and a cousin who is an MBA student in Ateneo de Manila, Dipesh had a fair notion of what he was coming up to, and coming up against, at AIM.

“...whatever I learn from the BPO industry in the Philippines, I’ll try to bring there. I feel I can help my country in that way.” “The class environment throws you off-track. You come here and everyone’s so aggressive, like they want to establish themselves,” he observes. “First, you panic. You’re not able to get into your comfort zone and be yourself, [be] articulate, put your point across more thoroughly. What happens is everyone’s looking for maximum airtime. One of the general reasons I decided to pursue an MBA was my confusion. It’s like when you’re in a maze, you just follow the direction. I personally found it very necessary to take an aerial view of things. In the first semester, almost all the classes were trying to drill your thought process, to push you to clarity of thought...That really helps. The professors are trying to streamline your thoughts.” One professor special to him is Prof. Gaby Mendoza. “I have a lot of respect for him,” says Dipesh. “He really put sense in a lot of things taught in class.” Unlike some airtime-obsessed classmates, Dipesh admits he is “not very CP (class participation)-oriented. I’m more

into quality rather than quantity... [In the] first semester, it was all about quantity.” Because of the conditions of his scholarship, neither does he feel that he has to be at the top. “There’s a trade off between pushing yourself to excel in academics and the learning curve, [that of] trying to really grasp it,” he remarks. The best thing about his first year at AIM, he says, is his CAN group with two Indians and two Filipinos. “We gel a lot...We’re still very close to each other.” Being the only Nepalese in his batch has never been a hindrance. “In my first year, we were a class of 45, mostly Indians and Filipinos. I represented the only other nationality,” he notes. “I joked that if ever there’s a cultural vote, I’d hold 33% of the votes so I wouldn’t be a minority anymore. I do wish there were other nationalities, not necessarily Nepalese. That would improve everyone’s learning.” Now in his second year, Dipesh considers “the ability to listen to others” the biggest change in himself. “They say no matter how thinly you slice bread, there’ll always be two sides to it,” he quotes. “Can I combine my thought with what he’s trying to say? Maybe reach a different level of understanding of the whole thing? It’s chaotic collaboration, if I might put it that way. Class is chaotic, but then you’re trying to collaborate with each other, to come up with a higher level of understanding. I have also started to learn and respect different cultures. A lot of things people say are based on their experience or background.” Once he steps out of AIM, Dipesh intends to fly back to his home country and pursue his career in the BPO sector. In fact, his action consultancy was with the BPO firm Genpac in Manila. He conducted a call center industry analysis, focusing on voice services. “It’s pretty interesting. I had to do strategies and an analysis of how they’re going. I basically had to suggest how Genpac should position itself,” he shares with a hint of excitement. “One of my favorite subjects has been General Management, and to see me trying to implement what I’ve learned so far...” Dipesh sees a Himalaya-high potential in Nepal’s BPOs. “It’s still a nascent industry, so whatever I learn from the BPO industry in the Philippines, I’ll try to bring there. I feel I can help my country in that way.” And when that day comes, his friend Awesh will surely be smiling—in the true Land of Heaven. A I M A LU M N I L E A D E R S H I P M AGA Z I N E J u l y to Se pte m b e r 20 07


Re ali ze so me on e’s dr ea m. Gi ve to th eA lu m ni



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“ S O M E DAY, W H E N I T I S M Y T U R N T O G I V E B AC K , I M AY B E A B L E T O PAY I T F O RWA R D A N D B E C O M E S O M E O N E E L SE ’ S M I R AC L E .” ‑A r iel del a C r u z , M B A 2 0 0 8 a nd Tr iple A C lu b S chol a r

As individuals whose lives have been impacted by AIM, make a real and lasting difference in the next generation of AIM leaders by supporting the AIM Alumni Fund for Scholarships. Whatever amount you choose to give as a gift, annual donations to the AIM Alumni Fund for Scholarships will be pooled together to allow deserving individuals to study at the Asian Institute of Management and earn a master’s degree. Scholarships shall be given to talented individuals who would otherwise be unable to undertake the program because of financial concerns. Your continuing help and involvement as a graduate of AIM will help your school make positive changes and growth possible, increase diversity in the case rooms and contribute to the education of exceptional individuals who we hope will be at the forefront of the shaping of a new and exciting Asia. As a token of gratitude, Be AIM’s partner in expanding and growing the number of the best and brightest the AIM Leadership Award is given during the Annual AIM scholars. Support and give to the Alumni Fund for Scholarships. Alumni Homecoming. T H A N K YO U ! AIM is grateful to the following alumni who have supported the Alumni Fund for Scholarships: Alumni Donors for One Full MBA Scholarship: Mr. Hyun Oh Cho, MBM 1985 Triple A Club Philippines through the leadership of Sec. Jesli Lapus, MBM 1973 Mr. Perpetuo de Claro, MBM 1973 Alumni Donors to the Scholarship Fund: Dato’ Syed Ahmad Idid Syed Abdullah, ABMP 1983 Mr. Mrinal Som, MM 1975 Mr. John Plaza, BMP 1995

How to Give your gift:* 1. By wire transfer: Dollar Account: AIM Scientific Research Foundation (Alumni Fund) US Dollar Savings Account Number 0384-0147-12 BPI Greenbelt Drive G/F P&L Building 116 Legaspi St., Legaspi Village Makati City, Philippines SWIFT CODE: BOPIPHMM Peso Account: AIM Scientific Research Foundation (Alumni Fund) Peso Savings Account Number 0383-1205-78 BPI Greenbelt Drive G/F P&L Building 116 Legaspi St., Legaspi Village Makati City, Philippines

(Donations received through telegraphic transfers shall be acknowledged net of bank charges). 2. By sending a check payable to AIM Scientific Research FoundationAlumni Fund through the enclosed envelope. 3. For residents of the U.S.A. and Canada, donations can be coursed through Give2Asia (www.give2asia.org —specifically, Asian Institute of Management Fund) or Ayala Foundation USA (www.af-usa.org—specifically, Asian Institute of Management Annual Fund).

*For donors based in the Philippines, donations to the AIM Scientific Research Foundation are tax-deductible subject to regulations of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. To notify us of your donation, kindly send an email to: aimalumni@aim.edu call (632) 817-2852, or fax (632) 867-2114, 893-7410.


The Asian Development Bank– Japan Scholarship Program R E Y R E Y E S Executive Managing Director, SSAR


HEN THE Admissions Office gets a query regarding AIM’s programs, that query most often comes with a request for a scholarship, preferably one granted by the Asian Development Bank. Formally known as the Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship Program (ADB-JSP), this scholarship was established in 1968 to enable qualified citizens of ADB’s developing member countries to undertake graduate and postgraduate studies in economics, business, management, science and technology, and other fields. After graduation, these scholars are expected to return and contribute to their respective countries’ socioeconomic development. It is easy to see why the ADB-JSP is so attractive. At AIM, recipients get full program coverage. This means the scholarship pays for all school fees—tuition and miscellaneous. It provides for round-trip travel expenses from the scholar’s country to the designated institution and back. In addition, the scholar is also provided with separate allowances for housing, subsistence, books and instructional materials, and research. In exchange for providing all these, the ADB-JSP does not even require specific performance levels from its scholars, such as maintaining a minimum grade average or being in a specified percentage at the top of the class. Rather, it requires that its scholars return to their countries and contribute to its socioeconomic growth. It also requires that its scholars keep in touch with the organization after they have graduated for purposes of tracer studies and improvements in the program. This scholarship is fully funded by the Japanese government, which has contributed more than US$76 million since 1988. The funds given vary from year to year. This, along with the rising costs incurred by scholars in the


designated institutions, affects the number of scholarships that are granted. For instance, the 146 scholarships that were awarded in 2005 is lower than the 157 awarded in 2004, or the 170 awarded in 2001. Presently, ADB awards 140 to 150 scholarships each year. Most scholarships are given for master’s degrees. Six percent are given for doctoral degrees and occasionally, short-term courses. In terms of fields of study, 41% of the scholarships were given for science and technology courses, 31% for economics, and 28% for business and management. In terms of its gender profile, males have traditionally outnumbered females. Lately, efforts to promote female participation in development efforts have led to an increase in the proportion of

ADB-JSP recipients get full program coverage— tuition and miscellaneous fees, round-trip travel expenses and separate allowances for housing, subsistence, books and instructional materials and research. female scholars from 18% in 1988 to 42% in 2005. This conscious effort on the part of ADB has given rise to comments that an applicant had a better chance of bagging an ADB scholarship if that applicant was female, working in the public sector or for an NGO. From 1988 to 2005, the ADB-JSP has awarded 1,926 scholarships to students from 35 ADB member countries. Sixty-one percent of these scholars come from the poorest seven of these countries namely: Vietnam, Nepal, China, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia and India. ADB has 20 designated institutions/schools that offer programs that the ADB is willing to give scholarships for. Seven of these institutions are in Japan and get half of all the scholarships allocated for


the year. The rest are in the other member countries. In the Philippines, the designated institutions are the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Laguna. Among the designated institutions, the Asian Institute of Management has the biggest number of recipients—349 out of 1,926 (18%) from 1988 to 2005. This school year, ADB is allocating 22 scholarships for students studying in the various programs of AIM. The Center for Development Management gets the biggest share of scholarships given out each year. For this year, there are two scholars in MBA1, six continuing scholars in MBA2, and one continuing scholar in ME Social Development. There are three scholars in the MM program this year, reduced from four last year. The slot taken from MM was given to the MDM program, giving them 10 slots this year. The main thrust of the ADB-JSP initiative is to support masters degree programs in three traditional areas: science and technology, business and management, and economics. In the last five years, other fields of interest have been supported such as development studies, public policy, international development, public health, environment and natural resources, urban and regional planning, and rural development. Aside from broadening fields of interest, the program also seeks to broaden the geographic distribution of its scholars, particularly among member countries with critical poverty alleviation needs. Because of the attractiveness of the scholarship package, many student applicants aspire to be ADB scholars. This is not as easy as it seems. In AIM, the path taken by an ADB recipient is described below. In all queries of this kind the admissions office responds to, we tell the applicant that the first thing they need to do is get accepted into a program offered by an ADB designated institution. This means getting a letter of ac-

Total Awarded Scholarships since 1988 = 349

Total Completed Scholarships as of 2007 = 339

Profile of MM Scholars by sector

Profile of MDM Scholars by Sector

Profile of MBA Scholars by Sector

ceptance in the MM, MBA or MDM programs. The applicant must complete all admissions requirements, pass the AIMAT or GMAT, get interviewed and approved for admission. Based on the stats this year, only 39% of MBA applicants actually got a favorable letter at the end of the admissions process. Along with the admissions requirements, the student must also submit a properly filledup ADB scholarship application form which is downloaded from their website (www.adb. org). This is accompanied by a certification of annual income (in US Dollars). This certification is issued by the applicant’s employer. The applicant may also submit a copy of his latest income tax return. The age limit for applicants is 35 years old. While there have been discussions about raising this age limit, no revision of the age limit has been released. Ten to eight weeks before classes start for a program, a meeting is held to present a shortlist to ADB for consideration. In that meeting, all applicants requesting for an ADB scholarship are presented. The applicants are then ranked according to academic ability using GMAT or AIMAT scores, and academic awards as a basis. This is AIM’s criteria for selection. It is done to ensure that those recommended are able to maintain the high academic standards expected of an ADB scholar. Those above 35 are disregarded. A shortlist of one and a half times the number of scholarship slots is prepared. In the case of the MDM for example, the committee will shortlist 15 names for the 10 available scholarship slots. While not its most important criteria, the committee also considers financial need and country diversity during selection. The short listed applicants are submitted to ADB, along with their application forms to both ADB and AIM, and their certificates of annual income. From this list, ADB chooses its scholars but looks at need and diversity more than academic potential. Because of this, the final selection is always a mix of nationalities—not all Indians because they have higher GMAT or AIMAT scores, and not all Bhutanese because they have low annual incomes. The decision of ADB is then given to the institute, which communicates with the scholars who are finally chosen.

A I M A LU M N I L E A D E R S H I P M AGA Z I N E J u l y to Se pte m b e r 20 07








Making a Difference AFTER GRADUATION FROM AIM, the ADB-JSP scholars are expected to return and contribute to their respective countries’ socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation needs. The program also seeks to expand the geographic distribution of its scholars aside from broadening the fields of interest. In this article, AIMLeader features a number of AIM ADB-JSP scholars who share their stories on how their scholarships have changed their lives. Alexandre Sarmento MDM 2006 Programme Officer, United Nations Development Programme, Timor Leste

n  Alexandre Sarmento is now with the Poverty Reduction and Environment Unit, UNDP Caicoli Street, Timor Leste. Alex recalls, “There were quite a number of Timorese who had some exposure at AIM on a short term basis. But I made the record of being the first ever AIM graduate from my country Timor Leste. I think I was able to get the ADB scholarship program primarily because I passed the entire


requirements both of AIM and of the scholarship itself. And equally important is the fact that Timor Leste is under-represented in many international study opportunities, so I believe that by virtue of the goodwill of Japan and the people at AIM, I was blessed with the scholarship program which certainly makes me feel forever grateful. Surrounded by many people with their full support at that time, I went through everything almost without any difficulty. Even until now, I often look back at those days and thank those friends without whom I may not be what I am now. “My ADB-JSP scholarship at AIM has been quite significant. It has had such an immense impact in my life simply because without that grant I would not even dream of studying at AIM. Holding a masters degree from the institute has definitely helped me a lot in my entry into several international organizations like Catholic Relief Services, Norwegian Refugee Council and United Nations Development Programme where I currently work as a Programme Officer. “Since my graduation from AIM, I have achieved many milestones in my professional life. I consider being accepted as a National Professional Officer at UNDP as a great success in my career because of the fact that getting a job at UNDP is quite difficult and without its challenges. “The ultimate objective of development is all about Human Freedom, and freedom is the expansion of one’s choices: when your company’s program seems contrary to this


basic principle, you should be the first one to raise the flag. This is what the AIM experience has empowered us to do. And we can do it.” Debjyoti Mazumdar MM 2002 Project Manager, Renoir Consulting Ltd., Singapore

n “In 2001, I was interviewed by a panel of four headed by Dr. Rafael J. Azanza. The intense interview which lasted approximately 55 minutes discussed my scholastic abilities, professional experience and my future plans. I had no clue about the outcome. However after eight weeks, I was pleasantly surprised and elated when I got an email from then Registrar Emy De Veyra informing me that I was chosen as an ADB-JSP scholar for the MM 2001-2002 program. The snail mail arrived a week later. “The candidates I met during the course of my interview were from very diverse background with highly enviable professional and scholastic credentials. Lao Tse said that when you swap a coin you still have one coin, but when you swap an idea you end up with two ideas. It was a very rewarding experience sharing our ideas. “The scholarship at AIM enabled me to change my outlook and approaches. I was a part of a highly charged team that was eager to explore the new. Our yearning for new learnings grew with every passing day. I was encouraged by all but I would like to take this opportunity to thank two persons who have had a profound impact on my life, Dr. Rafael J. Azanza and Dr. Tomas “Tommy” B. Lopez.

“Dr. Tommy and Dr. Errol Perez were my MRR advisors, and Dr. Azanza was one of the members of the consortium who sponsored the project. Both the advisors’ approach to the MRR were very different-they were more focused on making me see the “Big Picture” in real terms. Thanks to their persistence I completed the MRR in the second trimester and cleared the defense. I was invited to present to ITECC and PLDT, and PLDT later acquired the IP rights for commissioning the project. “I am currently associated with a management consulting firm. It’s continuing to be a very rich and rewarding experience. I have worked in industry verticals like Oil & Gas (Upstream, Mid stream & Downstream), Pharmaceuticals, Telecom, Hospital, Steel, Power and Utilities, Banking and Financial services, with Fortune 500 clientele. All these on site projects took me to places around the world. I met people from diverse backgrounds. It was very humbling and has resulted in a rich learning experience for me. I was able to contribute to my clients’ cause and increase shareholder value for each client in tangible terms, against a stringent financial evaluation criteria.” Khai Nguyen, MDM 2003 Training Officer, Small and Medium Sized Enterprise Development Project (SMEDF), funded by the European Commission, Ha Noi, Viet Nam

n “The ADB-JSP scholarship helped me to study in AIM. Without

in their Societies it, I could not have had such a great opportunity to study abroad in the field which I wanted to pursue: development management. With my education at AIM, I was able to gain the knowledge, skills and attitude that have enabled me to succeed in my current work under SMEDF. I am currently working for an EC-funded project, in charge of training support to some banks and many SMEs.” Pradip Maharjan, MDM 99 Marketing Team Leader, Winrock International, Nepal n “It was like a dream when I applied for the ADB-JSP scholarship and never thought that I would be selected, because I knew then that ADB had a preference for women candidates and there were four women who were also interviewed with me. But I would say that the confidence that I had shown in the interview was a positive point which led to my selection. I was very determined when I was interviewed by the panel. “The most significant change in my life took place after my study at AIM, which would not have happened without the scholarship program of ADB. It was very significant for me to get this new job in Winrock International.” The nonprofit organization works with people around the world to increase economic opportunity, alleviate poverty, sustain natural resources, and protect the environment. As Marketing Team Leader equipped

with an AIM degree, Maharjan holds a vital position which would develop innovative programs to increase long-term productivity, equity and responsible resource management to benefit the poor and disadvantaged of the world. Xixian Bian, MBM 1997 AVP, Commercial Client Segment, ABN AMRO Bank (China) Co., Ltd., Shenzhen, PRC

n “AIM has been recognized as a world class management school. This is proven by the high quality of work delivered by its alumni in the real business world when compared with other MBA graduates in the globe. “It has been a decade since I graduated from AIM, and I do cherish the learning experiences I have gained from the school. I like the Case Study and Class Participation approach, which forced me to improve my skills in listening, analyzing and communicating. I also benefited a lot from the WAC exercises, and in fact have been applying it in my real job. My learning experience has empowered me to undertake various challenges, and enhanced my confidence. The knowledge, methodologies and skills have enabled me to successfully undertake various challenges through my career. “Without the ADB scholarship, I would not have been able to pursue my studies at AIM. With the knowledge and skills I have acquired, I was able to shift my career to the banking industry. “Maybe, we can establish an ADB scholar alumni fund, wherein we can make a contribution to the young generation who are badly in need of financial support. This is a way of showing

the admission directress then, Ms. Ofelia Odilao-Bisnar, I was informed that I was short-listed. Then the MDM class started Sachdev Ramakrishna, in June 2005, and without any MBM 1993 feedback about my scholarship Vice-President–Strategic Marketing, MphasiS, India application, I decided to forget about my scholarship ambin From influencing the directions. However, near the end of tions of an individual’s career June, I received another call path to understanding different cultures, the ADB-JSP scholarships from Ms. Ofel who informed me that I was awarded the ADB -JSP broaden young minds to infinite Scholarship. I found out that the and life-changing possibilities. scholarship was awarded to me MBM 1993 alumnus Sachdev Rabecause the one who made it got makrishna shares his story. “My pregnant and had to turn down ADB-JSP scholarship at AIM built the scholarship. Luckily for both of us, she soon had a baby, and I had a scholarship. “I can say prayer really works—but it doesn’t mean that I prayed for that girl to get pregnant, it never came to my mind. But on second thought, I believe that somehow the ‘invisible hand’ really intended to confer the scholarship on me. This was the very same thing Prof. Sol told me when I met her for the second time. a whole new me. From having an “Since the class was ahead of engineering career, I transitioned me for one month and I was back quickly into many different fields to school after more then eight such as Management Consulting, years of working, there were a lot being Head of Strategy for an enterprise, starting two ground-floor of things to catch up on. Add to Internet companies, being the CIO this the fact that the case method of teaching was new to me. In of a pharmaceutical company, my first few months, I admit to my current role as Marketing Head for a global software services I was very quiet and hesitant company. The confidence and skill to participate in class, perhaps because I was nervous and worse, to explore different fields every because of my fear of being now and then came as a result of rejected. Since the policy of most the case rooms discussions as it professors is ‘No talk, No pass’, trained us to ‘think on our feet’.” I really needed to overcome my Ricky Lazo, MDM 2006 Financial Planning & Control fear. There were people out there Manager, System Technology who had placed their trust and Institute, Inc., Philippines faith in me that I could achieve an AIM degree, more so the n “During my initial interview people at ADB-JSP who granted for the ADB-JSP scholarship with our appreciation to our sponsors, and it also provides us a channel to give back to the society.”

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me the scholarship. Until now, I am very thankful to them. “My scholarship has helped me acquire, improve and refine my orientation and learning skills to lead and manage, and find the best practices and tools for environmental scanning, organizational diagnosis, governance, strategic management and leadership, programs and project management. However aside from the academic learnings, AIM has wholly developed my inner personality and confidence to associate well with top management.” Sarita Bahety, MBA 2006 Analyst, Grail Research Pvt. Ltd., Nepal

n The ADB-JSP scholarship proved to be significant in the academic life of Sarita Bahety MBA 2006. Just before her graduation from AIM, Sarita won the second prize out of nine finalists in the International Essay Competition 2006 organized by the World Bank. A total of 1,950 essays were submitted from 136 countries.

The award ceremony was held at the Annual Bank Conference in Development Economics (ABCDE) in Tokyo with Mr. Paul Wolfowitz, President, The World Bank Group and Mr. Masahisa 40

Fujita, Professor, Kyoto University of Japan and President, Institute of Developing Economies-Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO). Aside from this, her ADB-JSP scholarship has influenced the future course of Sarita’s career. “A management degree has now helped me to get into research and has complemented my technical background. This gives me a dual opportunity to engage in research and to prepare myself for teaching.” She is presently engaged in campus recruitment programs in India. These fresh graduates, who come from some of the premier institutes of India like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), constitute around 20% of the organization (which is 150 people strong). Sarita is responsible for training them for research wok. “As an ADB scholar, I am well aware of my responsibilities towards the socio-economic development of my country. An MBA degree helps me to analyze

real-world problems that affect real lives, and to make contributions to alleviate them. With an MBA education, I am confident and well equipped to do my bit by participating in the development


sector in my home country.” Sarita suggests ways of networking among ADB scholars. “The best way to support a scholar at AIM is to help him/her establish a network with previous ADB scholars from his/her home country. This will smoothen the participation of future ADB scholars to work in the development sector in their home countries. An ADB alumni of the home country can be assigned as mentor—who can guide the future scholars about the status quo, what the alumni have done in the past regarding the socioeconomic development and where the future scholars can assist them and create newer paths to help improve the lives of people. “It was a great opportunity to meet scholars from diverse nationalities, to study in a Harvard case study environment and to learn from the vast academic and consulting experience of our professors.” Tony Silitonga MBM 1997, Executive Director, Indonesian Institute for Corporate Governance, Indonesia

n “If you want business knowledge acquired through theory and practice, please go to the Asian Institute of Management. AIM gave me all I need to be an excellent business practitioner.” Thus says Tony Silitonga, MBM 1997, now the Executive Director of the Indonesian Institute for Corporate Governance. Silitonga acquired his ADB-JSP scholarship in 1995, when he passed the exams given by AIM professors Titos Ortigas and Gloria Chan in Indonesia. “My life has had a big change and complete turnaround since I studied at AIM. From being an engineer working at ARCO (now BP), to a banker with commercial and investment banks (Standard Chartered Bank in Makati,

Merryl Lynch in New York, China Development and Industrial Bank in Taiwan, and Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) in Indonesia), I am now working on GCG for a non-profit institution, the IICD (the Indonesian Institute for Corporate Directorship).” Founded in the year 2000 by 10 leading Indonesian Universities and members of IDEANET (International Directors East Asia Network), the Institute envisions the implementation of the best practices of Good Corporate Governance and Directorship in Indonesia. It is financed by international organizations such as The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, CIPE (Center for International Private Enterprise), and SIDA. “With different organizations, I work in different capacities/tasks such as Jury for the GCG implementation of Indonesian SOE (State Owned Enterprise), as advisor to three State Owned Forestry Companies, and as resource speaker for Strategic Management, Enterprise Risk Management, Finance, and Governance on different occasions for several corporations/institutions. I also assess the Corporate Governance implementation for Indonesian Publicly Listed Companies. “As leaders, we may excel in our different fields of endeavor. But the main objective of a true leader is to serve human life and help other people grow in excellence.”

Mr. Passang Dorji MBA 2006 Deputy Manager, Human Resource and Administration, Bhutan Power Corporation, Ltd., Bhutan

n “The course (MBA) is complete, covering all spheres of management with high emphasis on financial analysis. The course provides practical knowledge and experience on top of sound management theory. “Bhutan is at a critical stage of development, and business management students can contribute greatly to the development process of the country in both the public and private sectors.” Ms. Hoang Thi Phuong Hanh, MDM 2006 Deputy Manager, State Bank of Vietnam, Vietnam

n “My country is in a transitional period from a centrallyplanned to a market-oriented economy. The program focuses on skills in development and change management, which are very necessary to my work..” Ms. Lu Yao, MDM 2006 Network Coordinator, Yunnan Health and Development Association, PRC

n “The course (MDM) provides the theory as well as the practical experience of development work from different perspectives. The professors inspire the students to work and think in a different way by broadening their sight and preparing them for global cooperation and collaboration. With the rapid change in the international environment, this course provides students with more confidence.”

general.” His work in the development field has brought him to Albania, Cambodia, Canada, Nepal, India and Lao PDR. In January 2004-December 2005, Krishna worked as a Project Coordinator, Conflict Prevention and Resolution through an Education Project in UNESCO, Cambodia. His responsibilities included providing management support to the Ministry of Mr. Nidup Tshering Education in Cambodia mainly MDM 2007, to Non-formal Education (NFE) Regional Manager, Bhutan Development Finance and Early Childhood Care and Corporation, Bhutan Development (ECCD) Departn “Since I am working in a de- ments. He provided training on Education for All (EFA) and velopment bank, it is useful and relevant to me. It provided me with tools, knowledge and skills on development and on ways to reach the needy ones. And above all, it created in us a passion for development.” Ms. Elaine Marie Fajardo MBA 2007, Financial Analyst, Ayala Land Inc., Philippines n “The program enabled me to acquire new skills, enhance my knowledge, and develop my personality. It has instilled in me the value of being a socially responsible future leader and manager.” plying banking services and credit to the Vietnam economy. Most of VBARD’s customers are households and small-and-medium-sized enterprises—the main factors supporting the growth of Vietnam. By utilizing the knowledge I obtained in the MM program, I can contribute to the better management of VBARD. In this way, I can indirectly support Vietnam’s development.”

Krishna KC, MDM 1993 Project Officer, Education, UNICEF, Sudan

n “My ADB-JSP scholarship contributed tremendously in many aspects of my personal and professional life. I learned a lot at AIM, and I have been able to contribute in development and building peace in my own country, as well as in many other countries in Asia, Europe and Africa where I have been serving in different Mr. Tran Van Dam capacities. My family has been MM 2007, traveling with me, studying in Internal Auditor, Vietnam Bank for Agriculture International schools, and they and Rural Development also have learned a lot with their exposure to different cultures n “The Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development and various environments with is the biggest bank in Vietnam sup- different levels of development in

produced guidebooks for ECCD and NFE master trainers at the national level. With an office in Kampot province in Cambodia, Krishna managed an overall project which included an integrated approach towards a culture of peace, conflict resolution, adult and child education, gender equity, vocational training/income generation, literacy, Community Learning Centre, Self Help groups, and infrastructure. For this endeavor, he has received a Gold Medal from the Cambodian Government. Krishna worked as a Project Officer for UNICEF, Pakistan based in Mansehra from Jan 2006-15 May 2007. “I was responsible for four districts (Mansehra, Abottabad, Battagram and Northern area - locally administered area) to manage educational activities in all the steps involving need assessment, developing program, selecting partners, developing PCAs with all partners to respond to emergency educational needs, monitoring, support and supervision of the project work, writing reports and liquidation of funds provided to partners using ProMs covering about 4,000 schools, 545,000 children, 11,500 teachers and nearly 17,000 PTA members. Program development is done closely with Child protection, Health and WES sections as all schools need support from each of the section. I provided management support to the Office.” Krishna’s efforts were recognized as he has received 10 Appreciation letters for Outstanding Performance from Government bodies and NGOs in Pakistan while working with UNICEF. “My study in AIM with the support of the ADB scholarship has been very significant in my life and I am particularly happy and satisfied with the level of contribution I am able to make in the humanitarian field.”

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A Scholar Gives Back

Hyun Oh Cho, MBM 1985

There are those who, when blessed with a gift as precious as a scholarship, find fulfillment in a personal commitment of passing on the goodwill and generosity forward. This is an aspect of gratitude that is made even more meaningful when one chooses not to have it known. With much convincing, AIMLeader encouraged an alumnus from South Korea to share his story, as Hyun Oh Cho, MBM 1985, has chosen to pass on his blessing twenty-two years after graduating from AIM. It was a pledge he would never forget, and a pledge which he wholeheartedly fulfilled. Understanding Language and Cultures

After graduating from Korea University in 1981 with a BA in Literature tucked under his sleeve, Hyun Oh Cho, a young, independent lad from Seoul first worked with the Export Bank of Korea until 1983. That same year, he qualified for a Ford Motor tuition scholarship at the Asian Institute of Management. It was an opportunity that he embraced wholeheartedly. Among the many challenges that faced him as a first year student, however, it was the English language that provided the first hurdle. “In the beginning, nobody seemed to understand what I was trying to say in class. I personally felt that in the class, they seemed to think that this guy from Korea is very serious in explaining something, but they could not understand what I was trying to say. On the other extreme, we had a classmate named Kumar from India. His English was so fluent, but he was a bit too tense in class, thus tended to speak too fast. Everyone watched him in awe as he started to speak marvelous English, but most of the class, including some professors, were perplexed. Not understanding what he said, they just looked at each other’s faces. It was fun.” Cho also fondly remembers the classmates who graciously introduced him to the warm hospitality Filipinos are known for. “I had a classmate named Eddie Chua,” he remembers. “He was always very quiet in class INTERVIEW




but always got almost perfect scores in the math exams. Always kind, Eddie invited me many times to his house and introduced me to his family members. There was another lady named Susan (Yao-Arkilander, now based in Toronto). She was also very nice, inviting me and other friends to her home, hosting parties for us. Her warmth was a great pleasure during my stay.” In addition, Cho reminisces his fond memories as a student in the Philippines. “I enjoyed swimming in the school and was also able to go to Tagaytay and beautiful beaches such as the Hundreds Islands with my school friends. Those were unforgettable memories during my AIM days.” He also vaguely remembers a professor named Fernando. “His name is a bit blurred in my memory but when it comes to baldness in the head and brilliance as a professor, which seemed to make a beautiful match at that time, my memories are still as vivid as yesterday,” he laughs. Cho also remembers his professor in Finance. “Pascual was wonderful teaching us various financial tools in a very practical way. It helped me a lot after school,” Cho muses.

a terrible challenge, almost a nightmare. But looking back, I am convinced that WAC was a wonderful academic tool, which gave me a great opportunity to train my analytical skills in a very tough environment. Humility was something very important I gained on the side after those terrible ordeals.” The independent and outspoken nature of Cho was tested during one class incident. “During our time, the thesis was mandatory but the monitoring process was frankly very unsatisfactory to most of the students and we had tons of complaints. One day all the students gathered in the classroom to discuss their grievances. Since I was rather hot tempered, I prepared a long letter to present my complaints to the school. I read it in front of the students gathered. The whole group seemed very much enthused and gave a great applause after my speech. Some of them even came to my room after that gathering and even requested the manuscript, telling me that they were so moved. It was great fun.” But his thesis tutor, a visiting professor from England, did not find it amusing. “I got a flunking grade for my thesis, the only subject I flunked,” Cho smiles and adds, “but still it was fun.” After graduation, Cho had a fulfilling career in finance, gradually climbing up the corporate ladder, first with Citibank Seoul (1985-1989), then as VP for Treasury for Citibank Tokyo (1990-1993), Salomon Brothers Tokyo (1993-1994) and Hong Kong (19951996), and eventually as President of Sejong Venture Capital in Seoul (1997-1998). From 1998-2006, he was the Managing Director and Partner of Fund Management Company, Simplex Capital Co. and Simplex Asset Management in Hong Kong. Giving Back

Challenges as a Student and Up the Corporate Ladder

All AIM degree students go through the rigor of WACs and MRRs and Cho was not spared from this compulsory requirement. “WAC was





In June 2007, Ms. Tae Sook “Sugar” Han, former Chairman of the AIM Alumni Association in Korea contacted the Alumni Relation “A Scholar Gives Back” continued on page 52 >>








I always considered the Ford Motor scholarship I received as a personal debt which I needed to repay when I would have the ability and means.�

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I promised since then that my AIM education will really be meant for something to add value to the community and to please the Lord‌ It was a promise that holds until now, and I have been dedicating my work and my personal involvement‌ that shall create valuable impact to the community and the people in my circle of influence.




Fulfilling A Promise

Virgilio “Nonoy” Espeleta, MBM 1991

Coelho calls it the pursuit of one’s personal legend. Jung refers to it as a small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul. Indeed, one cannot fathom the reason nor the season when fate plants a seed which destiny prods to pursue. // Here is the story of a simple man from a quiet town in Getafe, Bohol in the southern-central Philippines who, like a few of us answers the call of a dream. There are many who merely aspire, and yet there are some who choose to follow the calling to serve the community and fulfill a promise. The AIM Dream

It all started when Virgilio Espeleta was in college at the University of San Carlos where he was a COCOFED full scholar, taking up Chemical Engineering. An AIM alumnus spoke to the students at a seminar and his eloquence, intelligence and wit impressed the young Espeleta enough to acquire a passionate dream: to get a degree from the Asian Institute of Management. “I want to be like him,” he recalls saying then. After graduating cum laude from the USC in 1982 and placing 9th in the chemical engineering board exams, Espeleta acquired hands-on experience in start-up operations as a pioneer engineer in PASAR, the country’s only copper smelting & refining plant. With a promising engineering career beckoning, Espeleta however, longed for a deeper sense and meaning from his work. He had three options in mind: 1) to pursue an advanced engineering or technical career outside the country, 2) to pursue a management career by taking MBM in AIM, and 3) to get married. With deep discernment, he chose the latter, exchanging vows with his college sweetheart Flora Mae Maslog in 1985. But the dream of studying at AIM continued unabated in his heart. “I worked with a manufacturing firm after marriage but I was searching for deeper meaning, a deeper reason for working. I wasn’t very happy at all with what I was doing. Then I thought of pursuing my dream- to study in AIM. So at the age of 28, I applied for W O R D S



a scholarship because at that time, I really couldn’t afford to enroll at the Institute.” Espeleta passed the admissions test but he was not granted a scholarship so he deferred. “At that time I had already been blessed with two children. I wrote to my company and prospective sponsors—even to my relatives abroad, to seek financial support. In several occasions when I was sent to Manila on official travel, I visited AIM and repeatedly appealed to the admissions director that I can only enroll if granted a scholarship.” After a year, Ms. Altamirano of AIM admissions office called to inquire if Espeleta was enrolling because his deferment was only good for one year. Espeleta reiterated that he could not really afford to study without a scholarship. “After two weeks, they advised me that AIM is granting me a scholarship for tuition fee that came with 3-months free dorm accommodation!” Espeleta was elated but thought about his family’s welfare. “I knew I could not sustain the 2-year course without some help. But a chance was opened so I said to my wife, ‘This is a window. Bahala na!’ (Let’s leave it to fate). My wife supported my decision, so I brought my family back to my in-laws in Lanao del Norte and asked them to take care of my family. They said okay, they can support and take care of my family but they told me that I should take care of myself (also financially). “When I came to AIM in July 1989, I only had 50,000 pesos as my life savings. I com-

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puted that I needed 10,000 a month for my subsistence and so I calculated that my money would only last five months—until December. I had two years to go and my savings will only last me until December!” But the power of faith played a major role in Espeleta’s student life at AIM. Experiencing Rigor on the First Day

Espeleta would never forget his first day in class. “The first day of class was my birthday (July 23 to be exact). It was my first birthday where I was alone. I had no friends then, I did not have the time and money to celebrate. Instead, I really had to study hard on my birthday to cope with the academics. Financially I had problems. So it was really very difficult. “I could not forget that first day: eager to start with what I had prepared for over the weekend, I actively participated in the marketing class discussion. The professor, sensing my inexperience in marketing, challenged me. By hindsight, I learned that the professors really make it hard for students during the first few months as an acid test or pruning process for students. So eager to participate, I was reciting when the professor insulted me by saying, ‘Naku taga saan ka ba? Saan ka ba nagaral? (Where are you from? Where did you study?).’ He asked me a battery of terrorizing questions, which obviously I was not prepared to parry that early...I cried in the chapel on the first day. I really cried. I asked myself ‘Why am I here? I had a good job and a good family.’ I prayed ‘Lord you brought me here so I should finish—and I should persist.’” Answered Prayers

“My daily routine then was to go from the dorm to the chapel then my classroom then the chapel before going back to my dorm. I was really praying hard. It was difficult because I had a family. There were no cell phones then and I always looked forward to Saturdays when I would wait for my wife’s “Fulfilling a Promise” continued on page 50 >>






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Taking Courage in Both Hands

Rex Bernardo, MDM 2002

Like most people his age, this achiever has a very competitive spirit. He dreams big. He works hard. He has a big heart for those who are in need. But one thing sets him apart from his contemporaries. Rex Bernardo is confined in a wheelchair. The Journey

Unlike most kids his age who are fond of playing outside their homes, Rex hides from the prying eyes of his neighbors. The fourth child in a brood of six, Rex grew up without any formal schooling in the humble province of Daet, Camarines Norte. Being physically weak, unschooled and too shy to mingle with children his age, he almost sank to the abyss of self-pity. Rex could only use his left arm and both of his legs are paralyzed. Although he belongs to a family that nurtures him, he could not be able to set himself free to become independent. He was home-schooled, meaning he learned how to read and to write thanks to the efforts of his aunts who were teachers. That was also the time when he discovered his potential for writing short stories. Still, his self-worth continues to hound him. “When I write, I can create ideal characters that can be loved and were perfect in their attributes, which is exactly the opposite of my situation,” shares Rex Bernardo. “Soon, I experienced frequent nightmares, maybe due to the deep-seated emotional conflicts that I have. In those dreams, I am physically normal and I was able to walk. Yet, even in those dreams, I know deep inside that it was not meant to be. I always woke up with tears in my eyes in the middle of the night. All of these boil down to the fact that I may never lead an independent life because of my physical disability.” He decided to face his fears and battle his demons. He saw a flicker of hope after seeing the feature story about the Tahanang Walang Hagdanan Foundation, which gives hope to disabled persons like him to realize their full potentials; he applied in the said institution. He wrote a four-page letter to his parents, asking them for permission to allow him to W O R D S




leave and to be independent. His mother and father broke down upon reading it and they hugged him and they told him how sorry they were for all the years of isolation and indifference towards his condition. “At that moment, although tears flowed in my eyes, I was happier than I had ever been before. I knew then that I had earned my parents’ respect and support,” Rex fondly recalls. He considers Sister Valeriana Baerts, ICM, a Belgian nun and founder of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan Foundation as the person who influenced him the most in his life. According to Rex, Sister Valeriana saw his potential as a

“We all face our own set of challenges. These tests need to be viewed as such and not as roadblocks or walls impossible to surmount. It was these trials that made me realize that life is short and must be fully lived.” person and defended him when he encountered adversities prior to his formal schooling in Manila. “A sister who runs the TWH dorm refused to accept me as a boarder. She would only accept me if I changed my course from a bachelor’s degree to a vocational one, specifically radio electronics. As she puts it, she didn’t think that I can hurdle the rigors of a four-year course,” he shares. “I was in shock! How can an educated person like her dictate her will to a person whom she barely knows? I was literally in tears then. Fortunately, Sr. Valeriana asserted her being the founder of that organization, threatening she would resign if they will refuse to admit me. Fortunately, I was admitted and the said sister resigned in disgust,” he quips. Thus, Rex aced the placement exam which accelerated him all the way to college. A B R I C O



He also considers the time when he was given a wheelchair as a turning point in his life because he associated it with freedom and independence. He took his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Trinity College in Quezon City. He shares, “Before, I was a very sensitive person and every time somebody criticizes me, I took it personally and I would always go back to my shell. But my Psychology professor at Trinity College changed all that. She said that we should try to decipher what are the real intentions of criticisms. If these are destructive, do not mind them; if it’s constructive, we should listen to it.” Thus, instead of being affected with negativity, he became more proactive in his constant pursuit of the proper solutions to various problems that he encountered in life. Rex Bernardo became a very active student leader and a staunch advocate of promoting the rights of disabled people. These experiences taught him two valuable lessons: to be resilient and not to give up on something that he truly believes in. He graduated in 1995 and eventually took up Master in Management in the said institution. His thirst for knowledge and self-improvement did not stop there. Having just finished his Masters in Human Resource Management at the Sydney University in New South Wales in 2001, he still wanted more. The Clincher

Rex Bernardo was 30 back then when he saw the advertisement of the ADB-JSP Scholarships in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “I have nothing to lose but the world to gain if I’d be selected and get the chance to pursue another post graduate study in one of the best business schools in Asia,” he says. Thus, armed with determination, persistence and courage, he decided to try his luck at the Asian Institute of Management. “I think the interview portion with one of the MDM (Master in Development Manage“Taking Courage...” continued on page 52 >>




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Even in the confines of my room, and in the darkness of my blind world, I endeavor to keep the still functioning part of my brain working. So then, with the help of my family, I was able to cook up a master plan for the expansion and development of my small town of Coron, composed of two planned projects.




The Man Who Defies Forgetting Vicente “Tito” Fernandez, MM 1976


HE MASTER IN MANAGEment Program is a course on business leadership and strategic management. It is designed by the Asian Institute of Management to cater to the needs of the experienced manager in preparation for greater responsibilities. To qualify for the program, all applicants: 1. must be a college graduate; 2. must have five years working experience three years of which should have been on a supervisory level; and 3. must pass the comprehensive entrance, physical and medical examinations. The first basic requirement was set aside by the institute to accommodate Vicente ‘Tito’ Fernandez. This was a first in AIM history. Tito did not fail his sponsor. He graduated with Distinction and was one of the only two in the Citation List in all three modules of the 1976 MM program. Our other classmate who graduated with Distinction was Edmundo “Ed” de Guzman. In his essay in the AIM’76 Yearbook entitled “A class that defies forgetting,” Tito wrote: “One thing can never be said about MM Class ‘76: that it was a lackluster class. It may not have produced superstars. It may not have attained academic excellence, but one thing it surely did it left its mark. If in some ways AIM is never the same again, it is because of MM’76. We are not sure just how many precedents it may have set. But this was the class that produced the first AIM student, who, through his personal efforts won for the institution a set of donation valued at no less than P100,000.00. “This was the class that produced the first enigma of its kind: a student who without the benefit of a college education beat 52 degreed classmates for a Distinction. This was also the class that produced the first TV documentary about AIM. And this was the class which, through its zealousness in improving the Program, almost rocked the MM concept to its very foundation.” The author wish to add another first that Tito was not able to mention. The oldest member of our class, Vicente “Ting” de Vera, Sr., already had a string of academic degrees. He was a PMA cadet before the war W O R D S



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and drafted to the service in defense of our country. He had, among others, a Master of Laws and a Doctorate in Philosophy. He had held 23 top positions in civic, educational and cultural organizations like the Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus, Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, Mabuhay ang Pilipino Movement Foundation and Southeast Asia Interdisciplinary Development Institute at the time he took the program. On top of all these, Ting’s eldest son and namesake, Vicente “Jing” de Vera, Jr. was one of our professors. Aurora ‘Rory’ Alesna, Frances ‘Nahnee’ Monje, Joseph ‘Joe’ SyCip, Linda and myself were present for lunch hosted by Tito and Bec, at their residence at BF Homes Executive Village last July 17, 2007. After a late and sumptuous lunch, we took the opportunity to ask Tito a few questions that we had been wanting to for some time but never had the chance to do so. How did you become an AIM Scholar?

From 1972-1975, I was the Administrator and concurrently Secretary and Socio- Economic Development Coordinator of the Municipality of Coron, Palawan. In 1974, under the leadership of the then Mayor Ricardo Lim, and under my general coordination, I undertook the Coron Socio Economic Development Program, involving the following local and outside entities—Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), University of the Philippines (UP), Asian Institute of Management (AIM), Department of Local Government & Community Development (DLGCD), the Palawan provincial and Coron municipal and barangay governments, and all the public and private schools and NGOs of Coron. In each involvement with the said program, AIM sent a special team led by Professor Edward ‘Ed’ Tayengco, together with three AIM students doing their Walk-about Projects. During the big hectic hassle and bustle of the said program, I was doing all the coordination with the AIM team and the other group and delegation. Among the meetings in Metro Manila, the Coron leaders underwent a series of meetings at AIM, chaired by the late Dean M M

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Gaston ‘Gasty’ Ortigas. It was during one of these meetings that Dean Ortigas offered me a scholarship under the Master in Management program of AIM, subject to the following conditions—that I would successfully pass the application and entrance exams to the program and that the Coron municipal government would be a co-sponsor of the said scholarship. Considering that you did not have a college degree, were there any special requirements in connection with your application and entrance tests?

When I filed the application form, I came to the page that called for the enumeration of college degrees and graduate studies. I had nothing to write, because I was just a high school graduate. So I covered that page with a substitute page containing the following statement: “Having no data to fill this page, I am presenting you with this list of my published works: short stories, articles, feature stories, picture stories, artworks and designs published in the different national magazines at the time. I was a writer/artist before I became municipal administrator.” I then took the entrance test together with many other applicants and passed it. It turned out that my scores were so good that I was exempted from the required personal interview, and was immediately accepted as a full scholar, with AIM underwriting all tuition and other fees plus complete board and lodging in its dormitory. The Coron municipal government was required to underwrite all my personal expenses during the study, by continuously providing my usual salary as municipal secretary and administrator. What can you share with us regarding your journey towards achieving Distinction?

During the difficult MM program study, throughout which I was constantly fighting to be in and regularly succeeded in landing in the Citation List every module, I suffered a difficult trial that threatened my study and “The Man Who Defies...” continued on page 51 >> L E V I

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>> “Fulfilling a Promise” continued from page 45 phone call via long distance. After that, I would cross to Greenbelt to hear mass, buy my week’s supply at Landmark then sometimes, watch a movie at Greenbelt theater (but only ended up sleeping), then go back to the dorm to prepare for the coming week’s case studies. It was very hard as I was deeply longing for the company of my family—it was an emotional struggle.” After a month of struggle and persistence Espeleta saw a small miracle manifest. One of the non-Filipino ADB scholars gave up and the scholarship admission committee had chosen him to fill up that slot. “It was really an answered prayer. All my expenses were reimbursed. It was good that I had kept all my receipts and accounted for every peso spent (because I had trained myself to be really frugal). They reimbursed me from day one including my expenses for plane fare and my allowance, which at that time amounted to 300 US dollars a month. So with two months back pay, I had 600 dollars plus all the reimbursements for expenses.” With the luck that suddenly showered like manna, Espeleta was able to buy his own desktop computer. “At that time my routine was to wait for my dorm mate to sleep so that I could borrow his computer at around 12 midnight or 2 a.m. The scholarship allowed me to buy my own desktop, and I was also able to send my 50,000 pesos savings intact, back to my wife. I remember telling her to use it to buy milk for our two kids who were two years old and three years old then. I was very fortunate because if not for that ADB scholarship, I don’t know how I would have been able to finish my studies at AIM. I claimed that the scholarship was an answered prayer and a gift, which enabled me to fulfill my dreams. I promised since then that my AIM education will really be meant for something to add value to the community and to please the Lord. It was a promise that holds until now, and I have been dedicating my work and my personal involvement to create a valuable impact to the community and the people in my circle of influence.” The Spirits Business The rigor and the little miracles worked well for Espeleta after his graduation from AIM. He continued to learn in all the positions he held in various companies, which widened his perspective on many functional areas of management. “I was very fortunate that I was appointed as a sort of GM in all of the jobs I was involved in after AIM. I worked with Landco, Inc. for one year as Project Officer for the


Alcantara projects in Mindanao. After a year I was invited by the San Miguel Corporation and I joined in 1992 as Plant Manager for the Mandaue-Cebu plant of La Tondeña Distillers, Inc. I moved up in 1995 as AVP and Director of Sales. As Sales Director (but not having sold a single bottle of Ginebra San Miguel, my friends jokingly introduced me then as “Director of Spirits”), I implemented the distributorship program in the Southern Philippines. The tasks at La Tondeña gave me complete exposure in the various functional areas of management, which included dealing with entrepreneurs and the competitive liquor market. Needless to say, I also had a few immersions and experiences on what comes naturally with liquor. In 1998, I started doubting if the job was my inner calling; something I can be happy and proud of. After some deep spiritual discernment, I left the spirits business despite a promising career in SMC.” In the year 2000, Espeleta took an early retirement program from San Miguel and started his own trading, marketing and consulting business. However, his company was adversely affected by a series of misfortunes brought about by the lingering Asian crisis and the 9/11 tragedy. Espeleta closed his business in 2003. Multiplication of Bread But stars twinkle behind each and every transient cloud and in 2002, his class shepherd from the 1995 marriage encounter in BLD (Bukas Loob sa Diyos) Community, in the person of Bobby Gandionco invited Espeleta to help him in their family business. “I was proposing some consulting work with Bobby but instead, he invited me to help him out with a family corporation that owns Julie’s Bakeshop.” Espeleta joined the company in September 2002 as GM of RJ Commodities, and as concurrent GM of Julie’s Manufacturing Corporation, an equipment-manufacturing arm of JGC (Julie’s Group of Companies). After 2 years, he was appointed as President and COO. At that time, Julie’s Bakeshop was at the point of taking off and Espeleta had been assigned to take the pilot’s seat. Today, five years after, Espeleta can say with pride that he has found fulfillment in being able to apply every lesson he had taken up at AIM, along with his personal advocacies as well. “Between five years ago and now, a lot of things have changed in the company. I’ve seen it grow and it was like an MRR in action. In three years, we were able to double the network-wide sales. At the same time, I was able to express and manifest my advocacies


through this company because the basic business unit is in the neighborhood: as we develop entrepreneurs, we are able to touch and influence the lives of people we deal with everyday.” With Espeleta as the mover in crafting the Strategic Plan for the Julie’s Group of Companies, Julie’s Bakeshop earned respect in the industry. Julie’s Franchise Corporation (JFC) has been accorded multiple awards—the most significant: as The Most Outstanding Filipino Franchise Company (two years in a row in 2005 and 2006). JFC was also elevated to the Hall of Fame, and the award was given last March 2007. JFC also won The Best Marketing Campaign Award and in two years, the Best Franchisee Awards for two of its franchisees, given by the Philippine Franchise Association with DTI, PCCI and PRA. Julie’s Bakeshop is now the biggest bakeshop chain in the Philippines with over 500 branches and outlets nationwide. Espeleta likens the multiplication of Julie’s outlets to the multiplication of loaves. “All Christians know Jesus Christ as the bread of life. He performed the miracle of the multiplication of bread and fed thousands of people he loved and cared for. In the same way, I always emphasize to our franchisees that we are the modern day miracle of the multiplication of bread, and we are instruments in answering every man’s prayer, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ literally and figuratively.” Man Does Not Live by Bread Alone One of the most fulfilling aspects of his work is realizing the impact that his work creates in society. “It’s a small business with a different ‘spirit’ compared to where I came from which dealt with another ‘spirit’ (La Tondeña Distillers, Inc.),” Espeleta chuckles. “But the satisfaction I derive from leading this business is something I couldn’t feel in San Miguel or the other big companies. In those organizations, you’re just among the many corporate officers. But with this small and growing company, I am able to see that whatever you do, whatever direction, whatever strategy, whatever advocacy you espouse is easily adapted, seen and implemented at the community level and nationwide.” His initiatives in community involvement earned the company an award as The Most Socially Responsible Corporation given by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce last June, 2007. Espeleta is currently guiding and leading close to two hundred businessmen-entrepreneurs as franchise holders of Julie’s bakeshop. “We deal with small business entrepreneurs and the degree of their impact to the neighborhood is huge. If you

count 500 branches and assume you have 10 or 15 people employed, imagine also the effect on the livelihood and economic value that you add to these people, to the service providers, to the community, and to their families.” Multiplying Leaders Espeleta credits the beginnings of his leadership training to his experience with the Boy Scouts in a public school (Getafe Central Elementary School), as Citizen’s Army Training Corps Commander during high school at the Divine Word College in Tagbilaran and as Campus Ministry Chairman of the Student Body at the University of San Carlos. His management training in AIM strengthened his personal virtues and leadership skills. He is a Rotarian by heart, having been past president of the Rotary Club (RC) of Cebu Fuente, a Multiple Paul Harris Fellow-5, and held various positions in RI, District 3860 e.g. 3-term Past Assistant Governor. A Rotary District Governor potential, he considers it an option after retirement. Presently, Espeleta is with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. where he sits as Chairman, Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility. He is also an active member of the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association of AIM, and Chairman of AAAIM-Cebu Chapter. He is a covenanted disciple of the Bukas Loob sa Diyos Covenant Community where he has been a member since 1995, and currently Class Shepherd of 26 couples (ME 49). Espeleta is also a member of the Philippine Franchise Association’s Board of Trustees, where he is VP for the SME-Food Group. “It is really in the actual exposure of dealing with people and different organizations that you are able to hone and develop your leadership and management styles,” Espeleta shares. “My challenge now is to develop more leaders. You can grow the business and multiply it, even create new business units if you have good leaders. But to do this, you must multiply yourself.” In leading a company, one inevitably brings one’s personal advocacies into the organization. “My principle is that, for as long as we are aligned in terms of personal and work values, and even to a certain extent, some spiritual values, then I am willing to invest in that person to become a good leader. I want to see that person deciding, meeting, and running the business as if I’m running it myself,” Espeleta enthuses. Value-Driven Business Running a huge organization dealing with family-owners, businessmen, franchisees, suppliers and people from differ-


ent backgrounds is a very great challenge in a young and fast-growing business. “In Julie’s, you deal with about 200 independent businessmen as franchisees and they come with various sets of personal and business values. The owners too have their own values. Compounded by the strong influence of their spouses, how do we face the challenge of growth and competition while mending cracks in the relationships and operational inefficiencies?” Espeleta believes that family values influence business values; likewise such determine the corporate culture and philosophy. “We have a very noble corporate philosophy and a well-crafted vision and mission. Yet the challenge is how to translate these to be visible and alive from the operating units, down to the smallest Julie’s Bakeshop outlet. Our approach was to define a common set of values for all. “ Espeleta recalls that one of the major breakthrough decisions in the early years of this company was to launch a top-to-bottom value alignment program. “We brought all the owners, the family members and their spouses to a 3-4 day workshop where they defined family values that are important and must be brought to the business—what business values and ethics must be held sacred and non-negotiable. These values were then defined as the JFC set of values. All members of management, including all employees and ranks of franchisees were brought in batches to “align themselves to these values.” Espeleta would insist that if they could not embrace these values, then they should part ways. “We terminated franchise contracts and employment of our people if we see misalignment of values. Management of the business became easier since then. This is one secret that we did in Julie’s and business was never the same again.” Family Values Advocacy With JFC as a family-oriented business, Espeleta reveals more of his advocacies. “Recognizing the family as the basic unit of society (where the Julie’s bread is consumed daily), one project which I am so excited to implement and succeed in is the Family Values Advocacy Program which we are doing with the Department of Education,” Espeleta shares. “The long term objective of this program is to inculcate and bring to life again among grade school pupils (and their parents/siblings) the practice of long-treasured Filipino family values, such that in the community level, over time, we can slowly correct the moral degradation of values that have caused today’s problems in the society. We will

assist in crafting the curriculum, develop programs, and assist in all schools initially where there is a Julie’s Bakeshop so that our franchisees become involved too”. Fulfilling the Promise The vision of opening a Julie’s Bakeshop in every town becomes an inspiration to Espeleta as he sees the fulfillment of a dream. “I am able to spread with the growth of the business, and the opportunity to fulfill my dream of adding value to the community. Last year, we started even ‘evangelizing’ our people with the publication and distribution of a customized version of the Daily Bread prayer guide: ‘Pandesal’ in Tagalog, and ‘Pan sa Kinabuhi’ in Cebuano. All Julie’s franchisees and employees are given a copy of the publication. This shall be done annually. “With my answered prayer in AIM and the gift of the ADB scholarship, I promised that my job would add value to society. We have emphasized, we have articulated and defined what this business is holding for us. In the same way, whatever one does should be considered a way of fulfilling his calling, because if one is doing a job that does not satisfy or achieve that personal advocacy, one will not be happy in the long run. While profit is important, what you have in the business should bring you closer to more meaningful advocacies,” concludes Espeleta. With his leadership, Espeleta was able to bring about a collective harmony within the company that has propelled it to be a continuing influence to the numerous communities it serves. And by imbuing the company with his advocacies, he has been able to fulfill his passionate conviction that business should be a great opportunity to serve God and country and add value for the benefit of society.

>> “The Man Who Defies Forgetting” continued from page 49 my very life. I came down with a serious case of hepatitis and for several weeks, I was very weak and my eyes and whole body turned yellow. But because I was fighting for Distinction, I refused to stop studying and be confined to a hospital. Instead, I appealed to the AIM doctor in residence to allow me to stay in AIM with the agreement that I will not eat my meals in the AIM cafeteria, but just in my dorm room. So every lunch time I just bought my meals from the cafeteria and ate it in my room. Sometimes I would walk all the way from AIM to the nearest fast food center to eat my meals. I religiously took all the antibiotics and medicine that the doctor

prescribed, and regularly attended classes. After each class, I would quietly sneak out of the case room and go up to my fourth storey dorm room and lie down to recuperate and prepare for the next class. I survived my hepa and successfully graduated. All the professors involved including then President Gabino ‘Gabby’ Mendoza, and Dean Ortigas, unanimously voted me for Distinction. I also passed my Management Research Report defense with all three of the MRR committee voting to pass my thesis with minor modification. I went on to be the MM Department’s editor of the AIMYearbok of 1975-76, which was considered one of the exemplary yearbooks up to that time. I also went into the records of AIM as the very first case of a high school graduate who was admitted into and successfully graduated from its MM program. What did you do after graduation? After AIM, I went on to fulfill my pledge to the AIM dean and professors that I would not be a job seeker but instead would be a job provider. I went back to Coron and immediately organized and undertook development programs. Bec and I went to all the Barrios of Coron and nearby Busuanga-Salvacion municipalities to develop Palawan basketry, shellcraft and other handicrafts as an export industry, established Darala Crafts as a Philippine handicraft export company which is still ongoing with export offices situated in Molave Industrial Estates in Dasmariñas, Cavite, owned by the Fernandez family. I went into the upgrading of the Coron-Busuanga cattle raising industry by undertaking my own cattle-breeding program by breeding pure bred bulls acquired from the Bureau of Animal Industry and other sources with local native cattle. For this project I received the Bureau of Animal Industry National Award for Best Developed Ranch, Medium Category. What are you doing now? Twelve years after graduation, I suddenly had a terrible asthma attack while on travel in the USA wherein I suffered a complete respiratory arrest, went into coma and was rushed by Rescue 911 to the High Point North Carolina General Hospital where I was given intensive care. I fully recovered and went back to the Philippines. But in the subsequent years, I suffered additional respiratory arrests and was confined several times at Makati Medical Center and other hospitals. I later developed diabetes, chronic asthma, a heart condition, kidney insufficiency and glaucoma of the eyes that progressively led to blindness. Presently, at age 76, I am a blind bedridden man confined mostly in his room, forced into

early retirement by my blindness and many illnesses. Bec has taken over management of Darala Crafts export company and the Coron Village Lodge, a small tourist hotel and restaurant. Meanwhile, my eldest son Toti has taken over majority ownership and management of our Molave Industrial Estate in Dasmariñas, Cavite. Even in the confines of my room, and in the darkness of my blind world, I endeavor to keep the still functioning part of my brain working. So then, with the help of my family, I was able to cook up a master plan for the expansion and development of my small town of Coron, composed of two planned projects. The new Coron municipal site plan consists of the donation by the Fernandez family to the municipality and people of Coron of a portion of my former ranch as site for the transfer of the main municipal site to a new and much larger one. Presently, the whole poblacion of Coron is crammed in a very small area bounded on two sides by sea and on one side by mountain, and is centered around an old dilapidated municipal building. The new plan consists of the building of a new municipal government complex on the donated site surrounded by different government buildings and offices, with the rest of the area converted into commercial and residential lots. The provincial government of Palawan, led by Gov. Joel Reyes, has already accepted the plan and is now in the process of raising the financial requirement needed to build the new municipal complex project. The municipal government of Coron, led by Mayor Marjo Reyes, has also accepted and sponsored the project and is now in the process of legislating the proper Municipal Ordinances and Resolutions. The other is an urban housing development plan, which consists of the conversion of the remaining area of my former ranch into a subdivided plan for urban housing consisting of a commercial area, a town plaza, a chapel, a school house and the rest of the area subdivided into residential lots for sale to the many residents of Coron who still have no house and lots of their own. This plan has already been laid down on paper by table survey by Toti (Vicente Fernandez, Jr.) who is an architect by profession in cooperation with a licensed surveyor. As planned, it is the Fernandez family itself, led by Toti Fernandez and assisted by his younger brother Willot, who will be the developers. They are in the process of looking for a financier or financial institution that will help fund the project. We spent about five hours with Tito. To us that was a truly memorable and wonderful five hours in our lives—­another event in our 32 years of friendship that will defy forgetting.

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>> “Taking Courage with Both Hands” cont. from page 46 ment) mentors clinched it for me,” Bernardo, now 36, shares. “I remember telling him that I would really want to go back to my home province in Camarines Norte after finishing my study to apply whatever learning I gained to help my fellow kababayans, considering that my province is one of the poorest in the country.” Thus, in 2001, he was accepted to the MDM program and qualified for an ADB-JSP scholarship in the development field. Looking Back He describes his stay at the Asian Institute of Management as eventful. Although the ADB-JSP scholars are usually required to stay at the AIM dorm during the entire duration of their study, Rex begged for an exemption to go back home after the daily class schedule. “The apartment that my family is renting is located in Quezon City, which takes one to two hours travel time depending on the traffic situation. I almost got bed sores from these daily travels, aside from the fact that I also lost the opportunity of studying together with my CAN group, the “Butterfly” team composed of very talented Indian, Filipino, Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Cambodian students. But they were very considerate and accommodating even with my inequities,” he fondly recalls. Looking back, the camaraderie with his MDM Batch 13 classmates never fails to bring a smile on his face. Unknown to Rex, his classmates, headed by their class president PAF Captain Resty Padilla (now Lieutenant Colonel) conspired to take turns in keeping him company and to help him in whatever way they can. “Being a very independent person, I did not approve of this at first. But my batch mates were very persuasive so I relented on one condition—that I should not be treated as a “special person” and I am only agreeing to be accompanied because I’d like to know them better. Looking back, I think this is the reason why I become close to most, if not all of my MDM batch 13 classmates.” Rex also served as a coordinatorcum editor of the AIM students annual. “I did the work wholeheartedly knowing fully well that this is the only way I can repay my gratitude to my ever supportive classmates,” he says. However, during their farewell party, he was surprised when the AIM Student Council awarded him a certificate for outstanding service because of that. “I felt I was just doing the job they had entrusted me. Still, this gesture reminded me of what our MDM financial guru Vic Limlingan used to say—to do good,


you must do well,” Bernardo shares. His one year stint at AIM gave him immense benefits in terms of his perspectives in development work. “I used to be a leader in the disabled sector and I always fought for the rights of my sector. It’s like “me against the world” sort of attitude back then. But after opening my eyes to the needs of other sectors, it broadened my horizon and it gave me insights that a holistic approach in sectoral development is always the better choice than the exclusive needs of a particular sector,” he quips. When asked if he would consider supporting the AIM Alumni Fund for Scholarships, Rex gave a resounding yes. “It literally changed my life. It had shown magnanimity when it extended itself to poor and disabled people like me, so I had to give back something, somewhere. If given the chance, I’d like to help in campaigning to the AIM alumni the need to sustain the scholarship fund intended for individuals who have the potential to be great leaders of their country in the future.” Shifting Gears Meanwhile, Rex Bernardo shares a typical day in his life. “One of the things that I usually do in the morning is to look outside the window and to pray for good weather. Why? Because I usually go to work using my motorized wheelchair and I have to travel for almost half an hour to get to the college where I presently work and teach. I have my own car but I prefer to travel with my motorized wheelchair as it gives me a sense of freedom and independence in terms of my mobility. That simple freedom I would not exchange for anything. This is one of the things that physically normal people take for granted.” Amidst his busy schedule as the Director for Research and Development at Mabini Colleges in Daet, he never fails to spend quality time with his son, Rexmar, who is now in the seventh grade. In fact, they both share the same passion—basketball. “I think he’s quite proud of me; he even idolizes me,” he chuckles. I know that raising a kid right now is a world of difference from yesteryears, that’s why I’m not imposing my will to him. Instead, I am showing the way by walking the talk, so to speak.” He also considers as his greatest opportunity the time when his wife, Marissa, chose to love him against all odds. He fondly recalls, “Her parents, relatives and all her friends were against me at first but I was able to prove myself to them in the long run. Having my own family and raising them in the way God wants us to be is my greatest satisfaction in life.” For somebody who has already experienced the joys and pains of an urban


lifestyle, Rex and his family are enjoying the confines of a simple and rustic living in their hometown in Daet. “We do not go beyond our means. We’re happy and contented with what we have,” he shares. Secrets Revealed Rex Bernardo is very passionate in sharing the reasons for his positive outlook in life. “Before, I used to ask God, what is my real purpose in life? Why me instead of others? But little by little, I had seen how He guided my life through troubled times and the way other lives were touched because of my disability. Now, I no longer question God’s wisdom. The bottom line is that God has a plan for each and every one of us, and it is up to us to discover it.” He and his wife have taken in themselves to become active volunteers of Gawad Kalinga (GK), the multi-awarded community development program for poverty alleviation, started by Couples for Christ, where they belong. Thus, he firmly believes that his purpose is to give back whatever blessings God has given him and share it to the least, the lost and the lonely. As an ardent believer of the Harkness method of teaching, Rex always makes it a point to use his past experiences as nuggets of lessons in class. “It always puts a smile on my face every time my students approach me and confess that they too, were transformed by my experiences,” he shares. Thus, Rex Bernardo’s achievements are true testaments that anything is possible as long as you truly set your sights and heart into it. “I’d like to be remembered as a person who rose from the grave of disillusionment, who found his real place in the sun, and who used his God-given talents for the benefit of others,” he says. Inspiring? His life story says it all.

>> “A Scholar Gives Back” continued from page 42 Office to inform that Mr. Hyun Oh Cho, in appreciation for his own scholarship, wanted to make a donation to the AIM Alumni Fund for Scholarships. In less than a week, the amount of USD 24,000 was transmitted to the AIM Scientific Research Foundation, with a request from Cho to make sure that the donation shall go to a poor but deserving student of AIM. “It has been more than 20 years since I graduated,” Cho muses. “Most of the students in my batch must have already done well financially 22 years after graduating from AIM. In my personal philosophy, I always considered the Ford Motor scholarship I received as a

personal debt which I needed to repay when I would have the ability and means.” Life’s Simple Pleasures Cho’s modesty can be further discerned when asked about his ambitions. “Frankly speaking I do not think I had a great ambition during my childhood. In fact, I rarely studied but instead, I enjoyed immense freedom to do whatever I want. I am approaching my two daughters’ upbringing with more or less the same attitude, giving them the greatest latitude in decision making.” His devotion as a father is gleaned when asked what makes him happiest. “Watching the innocent smiles of my two daughters and their wisdom grow,” Cho smiles. “Both of them attended a boarding school in Switzerland. The eldest is scheduled to go a U.S. university starting September. I chose a Swiss school since it has the least ‘imperialistic ambience’ and discrimination.” Message to AIM Students Cho encourages MBA students to take their studies seriously. “If you can continue the seriousness and focus which you have to maintain in the first year of MBA, your success would be guaranteed. But it is not only the techniques, but more so the mindset I learned during my stay in AIM, which helped me most during my career.” He shares another invaluable lesson for the students. “You can learn most of the techniques to succeed in AIM if you study seriously,” he surmises, “but that is not enough. Try to cultivate integrity, because without it, all the wonderful techniques you are proud of shall fall apart in the real world and your achievement will be disappointing. This happens many times when you are too smart and calculating, trying to out-smart others based only on the short-term objectives, which normally lead you to greed.” Cho knows whereof he speaks and continues to advise the young. “I have seen many many brilliant colleagues going down because of that. Look far away. Look at things in their proper perspective. Integrate yourself with your thoughts, words and actions and stay firm, very firm. Then your success will be beautifully guaranteed.” And many years after succeeding and fulfilling his dreams in the finance sector, Cho still finds himself working towards a meaningful aspiration. His future goal is to “Find something I can contribute to society and execute it in a meaningful way.” And with his simple, generous and kind gesture to AIM, he has contributed to the education of one deserving student, who will hopefully pass the good deed forward, in his own time.

ClassNotes Finding Joy in Volunteer Work Maria Cynthia Tanega MBM 1988

recently visited Korea and joined AIM alumni there for a small gathering. In the picture from left: Yoon-Dae Euh (President Korea University), MBM ‘73, Ed Bañaga, Hong Soo Lee (Henry), MM ‘79, and Se Hee Oh, MDP ‘74. Backrow from left: Hyun Oh Cho, MBM ‘85, Chang Yoon Jeong (Johny), MBM ‘80, Dong Hwan Moon, MM ‘91, Jae Neung Cha, MDP ‘75, Tae Sook Han (Sugar), MBM ‘84 and Jin Suk Chun, MBM ‘79.

Resource and recently Information Technology. I am married to Butch Mendoza (a classmate in AIM) and blessed with 4 children: Luis – 4th yr in Ateneo taking up Applied Math in Finance, Gabbie – 2nd yr in University of San Carlos, taking up BS Marine Biology, Marie – 4th yr HS in Assumption and Raffie – Gr 7 in Assumption. “Scholars like me can pay forward and support a scholar in AIM. At the moment I am paying forward the scholarship that I got from the government when I was in college. “To all my professors and classmates, thank you for all the memories and the learnings. AIM will always have a special place in my heart.”

Visitacion “Siony” Flores-Mendoza MBM 1984

Conrado “Jun Jun” Dayrit III MBM 1997

is now the Senior Managing Head, Information Technology Department of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation. To be able to study in AIM, Siony was given a company scholarship by William Lines Inc. Siony writes: “After taking the entrance exams, I secured an endorsement from my superior (I worked in William Lines before studying in AIM). Without the scholarship, AIM would not have been possible for me. I had limited financial resources. It was a challenge how to make both ends meet. To augment my allowance, I also availed of the SSS educational loan. “I have good memories about my student days at AIM. The Case Method of learning was very challenging, but also an effective way to learn. My favorite professor was Balakrishnan. He was so passionate with what he was doing. I remember my good days-having a dinner date after a long and tiring exam, my conversations with Fr. Donelan, and doing a project in Canlubang. “I have been connected with PAGCOR for almost 20 years. I have been assigned in Corporate Planning, Security, Management Audit, Jai-Alai Operations, Human

was a Constant Jurgens scholar at AIM. Jun Jun writes: “I am now the President of Symbol Sciences, Inc., a company that I founded in 1993 that is involved in automatic identification and data collection (AIDC) and enterprise mobility, a branch of information & communications technology (ICT). AIDC and enterprise mobility is at the frontline of all computer systems that depend on the accurate and timely input of data. AIDC and enterprise mobility use technologies such as bar codes, matrix codes, magnetic stripe, radio frequency identification (RFID), biometrics, wireless data communications (WiFi, GPRS/EDGE, WiMAX). “I am also the President of Syllabus, Inc., a franchisee of STI (Systems Technology Institute) with colleges located in Pampanga (Angeles City, San Fernando, Guagua) and Nueva Ecija (Cabanatuan City). Syllabus has a total enrollment of 2,000 students and has been in operation for 20 years. Our colleges offer degree and non-degree courses in information technology and hotel and restaurant management. We have graduated close to 10,000 students since starting operation in 1987. “I am also a member of Couples for Christ and presently involved with Gawad Kalinga (GK). His message for his classmates: “2007 marks the 30th year since we graduated from AIM. Let’s get together

M B M / M BA

Ed Bañaga MBM 1979

SINCE I JOINED THE WORK FORCE at age 21, I tried to be a financially independent professional. However, going to a graduate school seemed an impossible dream for me without any scholarship at all. But, with prayers, positive thinking and thought projection, I stumbled on the ads in the local newspaper for an MBM Scholarship at AIM sponsored by USAID. Getting all the required paper works at such a short notice and passing the GMAT without any review preparation at all were among the challenges I encountered while applying for the scholarship. Not having any accounting background (I am a chemist by training and profession) was also a big challenge I faced during my first semester at AIM.

The world-class training in different areas of management at AIM (e.g. financial management strategies, people skills, time management skills, crisis management, operations management, qualitative analysis, corporate strategies, sources and uses of power, development of enterprise) were the very significant learning experiences I had at the Institute. When I was a student, I remember the time when there was a military coup d’etat, and EDSA was blocked from traffic for two days. But it was a blessing in disguise for me. It made me find a more politically stable place to live. >>

A I M A LU M N I L E A D E R S H I P M AGA Z I N E J u l y to Se pte m b e r 20 07


ClassNotes >> Since 1998 when I immigrated to Honolulu as a US Permanent Resident (green card holder), I became part-owner/ Business Manager of Tanega Holdings. Although I am a member of the American Chemical Society and a Corporate Member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, my work was totally unrelated to Chemistry already. Most of my time was devoted to financial management, property management and acquisition ventures for Tanega Holdings. Working for the business offers good incentives for me such as: becoming owner by entirety for all properties acquired by me and my husband (as of 2004, an 8-unit apartment building is fully paid and registered to both my husband and me as owners by entirety); having a good amount for my Self-employment Plan (besides the Spouse Beneficiary Plan from my husband’s US Navy retirement); a good medical coverage that allows me to choose the best doctor and hospital anywhere in USA. Besides, my husband is a good team to work with. He has good work ethics, being a retired Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy-Instrument Repair Division and a retired Principal Broker of Tanega Realty. Aside from money-making ventures, I also do volunteer work (doing computerized income tax filing with AARP-IRS group). Every year (since 1998) I have to undergo a training with IRS-income tax preparation and must pass the written exams before I can do this kind of volunteer work. Basically, I do computerized income tax preparation for the elderly (though some young working groups go to my site to avail of free tax preparation service). My husband and I give yearly donations to Pangarap Foundation in Pasay City (Managed by Dr. Francisco Tanega, MD). This foundation houses and cares for male street children and turns them into productive persons (most of these children study at Don Bosco Technical School). We also donate to a few needy elderly people in Philippines. I still play the piano (we have pianos in both residences) and listen to classical music after a stressful day. My husband and I enjoy whatever nice events there are in Waikiki, Blaisdell Concert Hall and the Hawaii Theater. But as the saying goes, “once a chemist, always a chemist.” I enjoy reading >> 54

for fellowship and assess how far we have gone and what we have learned since leaving the institute.”

Pankaj Sudan MBM 2002 is now the Vice President of GE with company address at AIFACS Building, 1 Rafi Marg, New Delhi. India. Pankaj writes: “My 10 plus years of work experience and the diversity that I brought to the class enabled me to convince AIM to award me the scholarship (Dean’s Full Tuition Waiver). Had I not received the Scholarship, I may not even have come to AIM. Besides the scholarship, AIM also showed me that it valued my experience. Perhaps in the future, AIM could give deserving students waivers in lieu of some help they can provide the faculty to increase diversity and provide more scholarships. “I miss AIM. I realize a few things that the Professors said then are actually true.” M M

Ernie Puguon MM 1994 writes: “I am now based in Toronto, Canada with my family. We moved here two years ago. I work as Property Manager for a medium-size company based in Downtown Toronto. I could imagine that you had been sending materials to my residence in Baguio- which is alright because I would be able to read them when I travel home December of this year. “Prof Lim was responsible for bringing me to John Hay in 1994 as Vice President. I would have wanted to talk to him before we migrated. However, there was no time for me to pay him a visit in his Makati abode. Best regards.”

Debjyoti Mazumdar MM 2002 is now Project Manager of Renoir Consulting Ltd, with company address at Rhu Du Rhone 14, 1204 Geneva, Switzerland. Deb writes: “Though I live in Singapore officially, most of the time I am on the move on account of onsite assignments globally. I’m at home only at weekends as I live there with my son Siddharth and my wife Sonali who works as a lecturer at the National University of Singapore. “My stay at AIM was a great experience. My all time favorite professors were Bing Azanza and Tommy Lopez and my all time best friends were Alladi, Dinesh, Krish and Evergreen Emerson. “To my dear MM 2002 classmates, your constructive criticism on my seldom CP (it’s a different story on how I earned the nick name ‘Going on on and on’) fine-tuned and honed my CP delivering abilities so robustly that now I feel confident to do it in front of our Fortune 500 clients. The only difference between doing it at the ABS-CBN case room and the board room is that at the ABS-CBN, one can have the luxury of a double take, BUT NOT at the Board room.


“A few of my classmates who helped me a lot and made my AIM experience a great one, were Alladi- for supporting me in the most difficult phase of my life and later facilitating my dream of making it in the big league; Krishfor placing his unquestionable trust on me; BK—for your number crunching skills for my MRR; Dinesh—for that lovely cup of tea every morning; Joko—my power point guru and indomitable EMERSON for making me laugh heartily. I take this opportunity to wish you all success in life. “I learned a lot from all of my professors. However it was an unforgettable experience when it comes to Dr Rafael J. Azanza. He believed that ‘I can’ when skeptics dismissed me. He supported me at my lowest ebb. He was my foremost friend, philosopher, and guide in the truest sense. Dear Sir accept my sincere appreciation, I dedicate my success to you. May God bless you.”

Ulambayar Lkhamsuren MM 2003 is now the Deputy CEO of Anodbank of Mongolia with company address at Anodbank Building, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Ulan writes: “My ADB-JSP scholarship changed my life and gave me knowledge and confidence. I thank all my professors for the wisdom they shared with us, and my classmates for their support, during and after my study at AIM. M D M

KC Krishna MDM 1993 is now the Project Officer- Education for UNICEF Sudan. Krishna writes about his AIM experience. “Although I was questioning then about the class on ‘Intuitive thinking’, I remember the concept and use it even now. I loved the course. I also hated then to learn about finance, but it has been very useful in my work all the way. Similarly, I had difficulty learning to use a computer, typing and writing analytical assessments for WACs (written case analysis). But I still have fond memories on the ‘WALK’, especially ‘The World 2020’. “My favorite professors were Dr. Sol Hernando, Prof. Limlingan and Prof. Morato. The final days in AIM were not very good days as we all were at the final stage of completing our MRR. Nevertheless, the whole course was very interesting to me—I wish I could join the course again! I enjoyed the discussions in the class rooms and I also liked the teaching/facilitating methods that our professors adopted. “I thank all of AIM’s teaching and non-teaching staff members who were so kind and supportive to me. My special thanks goes to the admin director then, who supported me in my travel to London for an interview with OXFAM-and finally get the job. It was an entry for me to the international job market. Last but not least, I would like to thank very much the hospitable people in the Philippines who made me feel at home always.”

ClassNotes MM’76 class special celebrations


IKE OTHER CLASSES at AIM, our class had a good number of foreigners. After AIM, some Filipinos have chosen to live in foreign lands. As the years passed some of us who elected to stay have started to adhere to some diet restrictions and have cut down on alcohol intake. Only a handful are still willing or able to wine and dine and stay out late. But so far we have managed to get-together to share good moments and celebrate life. We had our first and second mini-reunions this year in late February and mid-March. These were the Bienvenida party for Joseph ‘Joe’ SyCip and the Despedida bash for Edmundo ‘Ed’ de Guzman. Joe is now living in southern California and Ed in southern Florida. These two reunions were featured in the April-June 2007 issue of the AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine.

by Jerry Quibilan, MM 1976

Joe and Ed timed their Philippine visit to coincide with the 2007 AIM Alumni Homecoming last March 2. Unfortunately, at the eleventh hour, Ed had to take an important trip to Vietnam. Our third mini-reunion was a special celebration. We honored two of our classmates for their devotion to public service and tourism and hospitality service. Friday the 13th may be considered by some as a bad day for traveling or going out but it was not for this group. We had red wine, cognac and delicious food at Pasha Mediterranean Cuisine at the world class Greenbelt complex. We toasted Toting for having served five years as Press Secretary of the Republic of the Philippines, the longest after Martial Law. The MM’76 class is confident that he will continue to serve in his present

capacity under the present administration. Altogether, he would have served under the same office for eight years, from 2002-2010. If this happens, Toting will go down in history as the longest serving Press Secretary of the Philippines. Humph was re-elected as President of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of the Philippines. We hope that he will surpass the tenure of Larry Cruz which lasted

for four two-year terms. The occasion was also a Bienvenida party for Joe who was here for another visit. The fourth mini-reunion was hosted by Tito and Bec Fernandez at their BF Homes Executive Village residence last July 17, 2007. The reunion is another unforgettable event. It ushers in another article entitled, “Vicente ‘Tito’ Fernandez: A Man Who Defies Forgetting”.

July 29, 2007 Two weeks ago, Jerry Quibilan told me that Ray De Jesus was in Brisbane, the Capital of Queensland, Australia. He was here to babysit his 2 1/2 year-old granddaughter. Jerry gave me his mobile number, which was serviced in the Philippines. It was no good over here. I couldn’t get a connection. Jerry, Linda, Ray and I were in the same CAN group. I have not seen him since we graduated in 1976. So I asked Jerry to get Ray to call me instead. After three weeks, he just started to learn how to use our local telephone. I finally received his call last week and we made an appointment to meet for lunch. He actually was staying in Toowoomba, an outback town, some 130 KM west of Brisbane. My son and I picked him up at his hotel this morning and had lunch (Yum Cha) at a Chinese Restaurant. It was great to reminisce the old times. Ray promised me that he would learn how to use a computer when he gets back so he can communicate with all of us. Please see that he keeps his promise. Y. Meng (Charlie) Chan Sheldon, Brisbane, Qld., Australia

A I M A LU M N I L E A D E R S H I P M AGA Z I N E J u l y to Se pte m b e r 20 07


ClassNotes >> Scientific publications from the Chemical Societies ( RACI & ACS) and ACIAR, more than reading Business Week and Forbes magazine. I am specifically interested in medicinal plants. The Hawaiian islands have many of these. There is one medicinal plant I am very interested in. Most Hawaiians drink its juice on an empty stomach, to keep their immune system active. One research revealed that it can slowly regenerate human cells. I am still gathering enough data besides what other biochemists have already published. This may be my next business venture. Orchid growing is also a challenging hobby for me. But whenever my “green house” runs out of flowering orchids to decorate our living room, I just buy flowering ones to the rescue. In short, I still am not good at it. My AIM experience was one of the best training experience I ever had. Thank you all for everything.


Charlie Cheah Cheng Thye MM 1983 Vikram Surana, MBA 2005

MBM 1988


Pradip Maharjan MDM 1999 is now the Marketing Team Leader for Winrock International. Pradip writes: “My significant learning experience in AIM were lessons on analytical thinking and reasoning power. I had good memories about visiting Batangas City for area immersion work during the first module. My favorite professor then was Ms. Teresita del Rosario. “To all my professors, you really did a great job putting me on a ‘frying pan’ in the classroom as it forced me to at least learn something every day. I admire your efforts and your lessons which have been invaluable to my life. Thanks a lot and I hope that the same spirit is still there as well. Wish you all happy moments with the students from various countries. May the Almighty bless you all for your enormous efforts in putting all students in the ‘frying pan’ situation, to let them learn well in AIM as they are supposed to.”

Khai Nguyen MDM 2003 is now the Training Officer of the Small and Medium sized Enterprise Development Project (SMEDF), funded by the European Commission with company address at 3rd floor, Vietnam Development Bank building, 25A Cat Linh street, Dong Da district, Ha Noi, Viet Nam. Khai writes: “Studying in AIM is very very hard, but later on, one will have very very sweet and unforgettable memories which one will treasure for the rest of his life. “I will always remember the team work within an Asian environment in the case rooms, the competition with the



Indian students, the networking, learning to work under time pressure and having only four hours of sleep every night from the numerous readings we had to do. “I also remember my favorite professors and their well known quotations: Macaranas: “As development managers, you do not have much time”; Limlingan: “Do good and do well”; Tommy Lopez: “No fit no value”, and “soap is soap is soap”; and Mayo Lopez, well-known with a poem “I sought my soul, my soul I could not see; I sought my God, my God eluded me; I sought my brother, and I met all three.”

Ricky Lazo MDM 2006 is now the Financial Planning and Control Manager for System Technology Institute, Inc. Rick writes: “ Prof. Sol and Ms. Ofel, thank you very much for the opportunity you had given me—I am very grateful for that. And to Ms Chinky—how are you? Are you already married? And to all my batchmates of the 17th MDM 2006 class, I hope we could have a reunion soon and bring our families, so that our ties will continue through our children.”

Alexandre “Alex” Sarmento MDM 2006 is now Programme Officer of UNDP Timor Leste with company address at Poverty Reduction and Environment Unit, UNDP Caicoli Street, Timor Leste.


alumni quotes on leadership “To lead is to do the right thing. To manage is to do the thing right.”

“Leadership is a lighthouse, indicating where to go.”

Khai Nguyen MDM 2003

Xixian BIAN MBM 1997

True leadership is leading by example.” Debjyoti Mazumdar MM 2002

To lead people by being an example and create positive tensions to work together collectively to achieve the set goals—that is a mark of a good leader. Krishna KC MDM 1993

“Leadership is the capacity to produce, speak out, and uphold unity of intention. The most admirable sort of leadership is that which produces friendship.” Jose “Junpol” Policarpio, Jr. PDM 2005

“My definition of leadership is strong determination and self confidence.” Pradip Maharjan MDM 99, Nepal

“Leadership is getting the most out of the resources in your care through your own exemplary performance.” Maria Cynthia Tanega MBM 1988

“It is the ability to translate vision to reality.” Pankaj Sudan MBM 2002

“The best influence you can give to your people is the LIFE you live.” Visitacion “Siony” Flores-Mendoza MBM 1984

“Leadership is sacrificing and contributing the most towards the attainment of the organizational visions and objectives, as well as in seeing to the welfare of the men and women of the organization.” Guillermo “Willie” Parayno MBM 1977

“Setting the example for others to follow and emulate.” Conrado Dayrit III

“Leadership, is about serving while coping with change, establishing direction by developing vision, and communicating this vision to people and inspire them to overcome obstacles. The main objective of a true leader is to serve human life and help other people grow in excellence.” Tony Silitonga MBM 1997

“Managers are made and leaders are born.” Shaikh Muhammad Ali MBM 1995

“You can grow the business and multiply it, even create new business units if you have good leaders. But to do this, you must multiply yourself. Virgilio Espeleta MBM 1991

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