Page 1


Milagros Misa de Vera

Vicente de Vera

MDP ‘74

Marily Tanco MBM ‘81

Vicente de Vera II

MM ‘76

Miriam Josephine Nidle

AIM Professor

Catherine Slojewski

MBM ‘79

Ramon de Vera

MBM ‘81

Herme de Vera

MBM ‘73

MBM ‘70

Amy Arteficio MBM ‘71


Ma. Teresa de Vera MBM ‘97

Ramon de Vera II MBM ‘01

It Runs in the Blood AIM4_07_Cover_FA.indd 3

1/29/08 2:54:39 PM


Susan Africa-Manikan






Sherbet Katigbak-Manalili MANAGING EDITOR



Cristina de Guzman Kelvin Lester Lee Lorna Runkle Henry Grageda Jerry Quibilian Rose Cheryl Orbigo CONTRIBUTORS


Levi Lacandula Norman Gorecho Edward Simon PHOTOGRAPHERS

Panch Alcaraz Brian Vallesteros Chili Dogs ILLUSTRATORS

Lexmedia Digital PRINTING

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





AIM Alumna Selected as one of the Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S. Prieto-Romualdez Among 10 Outstanding Women KELAB AIM Malaysia Holds the First Challenge Lunch (dCL) Alumnus at the Helm of SIRIM Malaysian Icons Get Together 2nd Asian Business Conference to be held in KL AAAIM Holds Alumni Leadership Conference Kelab Patron and AIM Governor Appointed to Head Synergy Drive Bhd. Tun Musa Receives Honorary Degree from Universiti Malaya AIM Alumni US East Coast Chapter Hosts Breakfast for FVR Alumnus Awarded Melaka State Honour for Excellence Alumni Newsmakers: Lapus Represents the Philippines in UNESCO Board Chandran nominated in Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Fr. Lachica selected as Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Fellow by US Gov’t ARO Hosts Reunion for Celebrating Batches Bridges Brings Nobel Laureates to Philippines: AIM Hosting Two Speakers New Student Association (S.A.) Officers Inducted Rajab Receives TBR Asean Award for Excellence




Philippine Law and the Family On Servant Leadership From Late Stage Entrepreneurship to Growing a Billion Dollar Enterprise



Balance between Work and Family Life? Can You Say “Slow Down?”





Marvee Celi-Bonoan

It Runs in the Blood p28



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 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. ISSN 1908-1081

AIM4_07_Cover_FA.indd 4


Exclusives: The Real Macoy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 AIM Launches Host Family Program . . . . . . . . . . 24 MDM 2008 Goes to San Isidro, Nueva Ecija . . . 26 Ho Chi Minh City Chapter Established . . . . . . . . . 38 KAIM Salutes Datuk Annas on His Birthday . . . . .39 MBM 1988 Hosts On-the-Spot Painting Session at AIM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 The Philippine Economy: Do Our Leaders Have A Clue? Paradigm shifting all around us. . . . . . . 42 Democracy & Discipline: Fidel V. Ramos and His Philippine Presidency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Post-MBA Certificate Program and Top Management Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Class Notes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

1/29/08 2:54:42 PM

alumnileadership PRESIDENT’S

AIM Launches Host Family Program spotlight

24 44

A Gentle Giant: Ashok Soota, MBM 1973 A Unique Place in History: Sec. Angelo T. Reyes, MBM 1973 On the Value of the MBA Today: Datuk Haji Sarip Bin Hamid, MBM 1979

44 AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 1


This issue’s focus on the family could not have been more timely. Asia is among the most family-oriented regions in the world. Family-owned enterprises are important, even dominant, parts of the private sector in many countries. Socially, the extended family system is alive and well in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. HBS professor D. Quinn Mills, in his studies on leadership in Asia1 has observed that family businesses dominate in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. This demonstrates a “cultural affinity with a society that is based around relationships with the family and between families.” Asian families have tended to be the ultimate refuge, and source of support, of the individual. It is therefore difficult to overstate the importance of family harmony. So it should be with AIM. The AIM alumni—be they student, faculty, trustee, governor, management or staff—are all part of the AIM family. To strengthen the bonds among its members is to strengthen the institution. Let me share with you my Christmas wish. I wish that, in the not too distant future, we are able to greatly increase the extent to which the members of the AIM family can interact with each other. At a time when social networks are the rage, it seems to me that AIM should create opportunities for AIM alumni—be they productive interaction among its over 34,000 The student, faculty, trustee, governor, alumni (a number of them well-positioned management or staff—are all part f the AIM family. To strengthen throughout Asia), in a rapidly integrating the bonds among its members and dynamic region of the world. is to strengthen the institution. It is in this context that the Host FamilyAlumni Mentor Project was launched by the AIM Alumni Relations and Student Services, Administration and Registration offices on November 9. The idea was to have the alumni (although some Filipino students participated in the program as well) serve as host families to participating overseas students. Quite apart from encouraging the development of what will hopefully be long-term relationships, the program intended to provide a local support base for our overseas students as well as create a culturally enriching experience for both the student and the host family. More than 50 students (and their corresponding host families) participated in this first launch of the program. I am grateful for the generous participation of our Philippine alumni (and alumni-in-residence) in this important initiative. I have little doubt that the legendary Filipino hospitality will do the rest. As the Institute seeks to address the professional and personal lifelong learning needs of its alumni, every opportunity to strengthen relationships among the AIM family should be taken. This should be a key factor that differentiates AIM from its peers. This issue of the AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine is thus dedicated to the AIM alumni family—whose lives will have changed, not just as a result of the intense discussions in the case rooms of the Institute, but also because of the important relationships they have developed on campus. With warmest wishes to you and your families this holiday season, I remain.


1/29/08 3:05:52 PM



s we end the second year of our quarterly publication, the AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine, allow me to recap our significant activities in 2007 with you. We hope that these significant developments and local/regional activities that are “uniquely AIM” will encourage us all to be more meaningfully engaged with the Institute and with one another this 2008. Two More AIM Alumni in the Board of Trustees Presaging a new era in the life of AIM as we approach our 40th year, two more alumni representatives have been welcomed into the AIM Board of Trustees (BOT), the highest policy-making body in the Institute. The status of both the AIM Alumni–Philippines (AAAIM) Chairman and the Federation of AIM Alumni Associations (FAIM) Chairman were both dramatically upgraded from “non-voting alumni representatives”, to regular, full-fledged, voting Trustee status. Moreover, the BOT leadership will continue to invite more alumni as Trustees to a point where the alumni will ideally comprise the majority of the BOT. This means that each alumnus can have a voice in the highest levels of AIM decision-making through active engagement in their respective alumni associations. Alumni Take the Lead in Organizing 1st Asian Business Conference AIM, the AAAIM and FAIM held the first Asian Business Conference last March 2007 with the theme “AIM for a New Asia: Unlocking Opportunities.” This brought together the leaders in Asian Business to share best practices and maximize new Asian opportunities. The successful event brought together a powerhouse of speakers and reactors which included Washington SyCip, Founder, The SGV Group (and now AIM Chairman Emeritus), Dato Paduka Timothy Ong Teck Mong, Acting Chairman, Brunei Economic Development Board, Dr.




Haruhiko Kuroda, President, Asian Development Bank, Dr. Mark Fuller, Chairman and CEO, The Monitor Group, among many others. Dr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, Chief Mentor Officer, Chairman and Founder, Infosys Technologies Ltd. spoke on “The New Economy and What It Promises for Asia” on the second day of the conference. Kelab AIM Malaysia (KAIM) envisions to replicate the success of the 1st Asian Business Conference in Kuala Lumpur in June 2008, to promote AIM and its invigorated “New Asia” initiatives, and to strengthen networking among AIM alumni in the region. AIM, AAAIM and KAIM shall be jointly organizing and conducting this regional forum on Asian business trends, management practices, regional integration, and insights on business and development management education. Alumni Support in Academics One of the remarkably delightful results for alumni networking last 2007was the alumni’s astounding and much appreciated response to Prof. Ricky Lim’s call for WAC (Written Analysis of Cases) readers. The initial requirement of 30-40 passionate alumni-readers needed was overwhelmingly met with more than 116 by the end of the clarion call. Responses came from the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, United Kingdom, USA, Bhutan, Canada, India, and Pakistan. We are grateful to all the alumni-volunteers for their generosity in sharing their time, business savvy, experience , geographical and cross-cultural perspectives with our students (now called “alumni-in-residence”). Initial feedback on alumni involvement in WAC has been that it makes for a very positive learning experience— on both sides, students and WAC readers. Students are honed in their managerial thinking and decision-making skills while gaining confidence knowing that WAC readers share from practices in the real world. WAC readers reminisce on their own WAC horror stories and are kept up to date with new cases. Alumni Chapter Newsmakers I am also pleased to inform you that we are now establishing, and re-invigorating alumni city chapters. The AIM Alumni Ho Chi Minh City Chapter was officially established as a sub chapter under the Vietnam AIM Alumni Association (VNAAA) based in Hanoi last September 29 with Nguyen Thi

Thuan, MDM ’98 as Chairperson. Another piece of good news is that our alumni chapter leaders in the key cities of Cebu and Davao are now AIM “partners.” Cebu chapter headed by Virgilio “Nonoy” Espeleta, MBM ‘91 and Davao chapter steered by Nicolas “Nick” Dy, MBM ‘73 have successfully and profitably staged the AIM FAMCOR (Managing Family Corporations) program in their respective localities. The successful run of these and other EXCELL programs has encouraged the alumni chapters to expand their marketing efforts, thereby raising the AIM brand awareness in their localities. Similar efforts are underway by alumni chapters outside the Philippines. Alumni Assisting in Strategic Partnerships Kelab AIM Malaysia (KAIM) has also been immensely active in supporting and facilitating the establishment of strategic partnerships between AIM and key groups

We hope that these significant developments and local/regional activities that are “uniquely AIM” will encourage us all to be more meaningfully engaged with the Institute and with one another this 2008. in Malaysia. On November 22, three historic MOUs were signed establishing invaluable partnerships in a spirit of regional integration, support and cooperation between the Asian Institute of Management, the AAAIM, and KAIM. The MOUs included joint projects towards the establishment of an Islamic Management Center to be housed in AIM, the engagement of AIM, KAIM, AAAIM, and the Asia HRD Congress SDN BHD (AHRDC) on case writing programs, and the staging of the 2nd Asian Business Conference in Kuala Lumpur in June 2008. I am particularly grateful to our FAIM Chairman, Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Mohd Annas Hj. Mohd Nor (MM’84) and Tuan Haji Zulkifly Baharom (MM’89), honorary secretary of KAIM for their dedication and commitment in seeking to continuously enhance and maintain the highest standard of management practices among alumni and associates in Malaysia. Special mention also goes to, AAAIM chairman Ramon “Arps” De Vera, as his leadership strives to continuously foster linkages among the alumni chapters, and support AIM to move forward and attain its goals. The agreements forged

between AIM and its alumni associations are a testimony of the alumni’s commitment to continuously promote AIM as a leader in management education in the region. Host Family-Alumni Mentor Project A unique program which involves the alumni and student community was launched last November 9, 2007. The Host Family-Alumni Mentor Project was designed to assist the overseas degree students in adjusting to AIM and to life away from home, and to introduce the students to an enriching cultural experience through the alumni family. The program will hopefully promote a positive experience for the AIM student through an “alumni mentor,” who can provide academic advice and practitioner-oriented support in the Philippines. A total of 59 alumni and a few current students volunteered to host/mentor the 2008-2009 MBA, MM and MDM overseas students. Fifty-two (52) current students from the degree programs expressed their willingness to join the project, which aims to provide academic and familial support, for an enriching and memorable “AIM experience.” All these efforts aspire to create a lifelong connection between the Institute and its vast network of graduates, whose sheer population make it a contending force and influence as a major stakeholder of AIM. As AIM approaches it 40th year, the esteemed roster of graduates now number over 34,000 from over 70 countries. We dedicate this issue of the AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine to the AIM alumni family—our esteemed alumni friends and colleagues, and to our alumni who have found their families in the case rooms—husbands, wives and cherished friends. On behalf of the editorial staff of the AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine, I wish you and your family a wonderful year and I look forward to rekindling friendships, deepening current relationships, creating new ones and seeing you at our events throughout the year.

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

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 2

1/29/08 3:05:53 PM


AIM Alumna Selected as one of the Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S. Maria Jocelyn “Jocelyn” De La Rosa Bernal, MM 2001 has been selected as one of the Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S. through a nationwide search conducted by the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN). Every year, the Filipina Women’s Network brings together Filipina women, corporate America’s untapped source of leadership at a

nity organization, or government office, and who have gone beyond the call to devote time, energy, and resources to support their community and workplace. This prestigious recognition is conceived as a working award —the Final 100 are invited to womantor a protégé and both leaders are invited to return to the Filipina Summit in October 2012 to celebrate their partnership. The announcement of the Final 100 list is the highlight of the 5th Annual Filipina Summit which will be held October 25-27, 2007 in Washington D.C. Bernal has rendered almost two decades of service to the FilAm community in New York. Part of her community service includes the setting up of the AIM Alumni East Coast Chapter where she is Secretary. The Alumni Chapter provides regional representation and promotion of AIM in the East Coast. Bernal is also with Carat USA, Inc. as Budget Manager.

Prieto-Romualdez Among 10 Outstanding Women Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez, MDM 1994, President and CEO of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, is among the 2007 batch of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS). She was awarded together with other awardees last October 11, 2007 at the Museo Pambata in Manila.

time when economic, social and political challenges demand new levels of talent and innovation. FWN strives to meet this demand by providing Filipina women the knowledge and resources and by building a network of women who dare to change the landscape of the leadership in today’s workplace. The FWN Summit is held in October in celebration of Filipino Heritage Month. FWN honors Bernal with the Behind the Scenes Leaders award category which recognizes Filipina women who, though they may not have the big title or corner office, are a driving force behind the success of their employer, commuA I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 3


1/29/08 3:06:03 PM


Alumnus Key Aspects of Military Leadership at the Helm KELAB AIM Malaysia Holds the First Challenge Lunch (dCL) of SIRIM The military has always watched carefully the development of management techniques in the world of business, with an eye to adapting them to their own particular needs where this makes sense. But the reverse has been much less common. And yet the military routinely operates in the most complex and dynamic situations, and has had to develop effective ways of dealing with them. Business and the military are different, but neither has a monopoly on wisdom or best practice, and both can and should learn from the other. The Challenge Lunch (dCL) held at the Sime Darby Convention Centre, KL on September 3, 2007 was attended by 300 alumni, academe, management graduate students, military leaders and business associates goes a long way to redressing what has up until now been an unfortunate imbalance in the flow of ideas. It was graced by AIM Distinguished Alumna Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, the Honorary Patron of dCL 2007.

General (Ret.) Angie Reyes, MBM ‘73, Secretary, Department of Energy Philippines and General Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Haji Zainal, MM ‘96, Chief of Defence Force, Malaysia

General (Ret.) Angie Reyes, MBM ‘73

have distilled the key aspects of military leadership and in a step-by-step format identified ‘nine principles of war’ that can transform a business, whether it is a multi-national or a small family enterprise. They highlight how important, as a leader, our character, integrity, commitment, selfdiscipline and resilience are to the success of our enterprises. Management-speak and adherences to business principles are not enough in this fiercely competitive world. People matter, and all of us want to feel that we are taking part in something special. Their presentations were full of sound guidance and allow opportunities for self-analysis

as well as rigorous assessment of our organizations. The experience shared by the two top generals as ‘best in class’ allowed business leaders to tap into the thinking and methodologies of successful military leadership and transform the way we lead our companies. Ramon de Vera, MBM ’73, Effie Goh, MBM ‘78 and Dean Md. Fauzi of UKM participated in the dCL 2007 debate, which was ably moderated by Dani Firmansjah, MM ’94. The discussion shed light on the many myths and legends of military leadership. If you think that military leaders preside over an autocratic and inflexible culture in which personal charisma is recognized above team interests, then it really time to think again. During the debate, the audience learned that military leadership is based on sound concepts and principles that, when deployed coherently, are a very potent and effective approach to delivering sustained success. The audience were guided through the key concepts and given practical examples of their deployment in a military context, together with examples applicable to the business world. Simple guide points and questions—both aimed as a key to aid reflection—deliver the information business managers need to challenge their own leadership approach. This makes dCL 2007 an excellent networking for business managers interested in learning what a leader can do to build and deliver a successful organization and, more importantly, how they can do it. General Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Haji Zainal, MM ‘96


Ir Hj.Yahaya Ahmad, MDP 2000 has taken the prestigious role of President and Chief Executive for Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) effective September 3, 2007. Since joining the company he has served in different departments, demonstrating his flexible skills and talents including appearing in promotional publications and traveling the globe to speak at the World Association of Industrial Technology and Research Organization (WAITRO), conferences and seminars on quality and technology development. SIRIM Berhad is a wholly owned company of the Malaysian Government, which came into operation on September 1, 1996. Being a leader in standardization and quality, and a prime mover in industrial research and development, SIRIM is entrusted to steer the nation towards economic dynamism through excellence in technology and the acceptance of Malaysian products and services in international markets. As Chief Executive, Yahaya’s role is to act as a champion of quality, and lead SIRIM to be the national technology development corporation, a vehicle for technology transfer, and a provider of institutional and technical infrastructure for the Government. Presently, SIRIM is an international player with success bids, including the delivery of international contracts in quality, technology and standards. SIRIM is well-resourced in terms of manpower. To date, SIRIM has more than 600 highly trained scientists and engineers employing the most sophisticated technology available to turn potential business opportunities into successful commercial ventures. Currently, SIRIM hosts the Secretariat for WAITRO, and is represented by the nine members grouping of the Global Research Alliance (GRA). Yahaya chairs the Executive Board of the Asia-Pacific Center for the Transfer of Technology.

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 4

1/29/08 3:06:09 PM


Malaysian Icons Get Together Increasingly the 14 Malaysian Triple A Awardees are being acknowledged as icons for thinkers and leaders among the 4,000 alumni in the country—an outstanding generation of AIM alumni who continue to make a vital difference in business, governments and NGOs worldwide. Under the auspicious leadership of Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Mohd Annas, MM ’84, President of Kelab AIM Malaysia and concurrently Chairman of FAIM, a maiden luncheon was exclusively arranged for the Malaysian Triple A Awardees last August 27, 2007 at the KL SmokeHouse. Eight out of the 14 living Triple A Awardees attended the special luncheon, namely General Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Hj Zainal, MM ’96, Ms. Effie Goh Toh Hor, MBM ’78, Datuk Hassan Harun, MM ’81, Datuk Dr. Ian Chia Kay Meng, MM ’75, Tunku Dato’ Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah, TMP ’79, Mr. Peter Lee Kok Hoe, TMP ’80, Datuk Hj Sarip Hamid, MBM ‘79/TMP ’02, and Dato’ Syed`Ahmad Idid, ABMP ’83. The special guests who witnessed the eight Malaysia trailblazers’ get-together were Philippine Ambassador Victoriano Lecaros, Chief of Army, General ’96, Tan Sri Muhammad Ismail Hj Jamaluddin, MM ’96 Datuk Mohd Annas and Haji Zul Baharom, MM ’89.

Seated from L: Amb. Victoriano M. Lecaros, Ms. Effie Goh Toh Hoe, and General Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Hj. Zainal. Standing from L: Hj Zulkifly Baharom, Tunku Dato’ Seri Iskandar Bin Tunku Abdullah, Datuk Dr. Hassan Harun, Dato’ Syed Ahmad Idid Syed Abdullah, Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Mohd Annas Hj. Mohd Nor, Datuk Dr. Ian Chia Kay-Meng, Datuk Haji Sarip Bin Hamid, Mr. Peter Lee Kok Hoe, and General Tan Sri Muhammad Ismail Hj. Jamaluddin

STRENGTHENING INTER - CHAPTER PARTNERSHIPS 2nd Asian Business Conference to be held in KL


bout 300 guests composed of AIM alumni, military leaders, members of the academe, government officers and business associates led by Honorary Patron and AIM Distinguished Alumna Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, BMP ’82, thronged the Sime Darby Convention Centre last September 3 to join in the Challenge Lunch (dCL) 2007. Guests enjoyed the food for thought from Hon. General (Ret.) Angie Reyes, MBM ’73, Secretary of the Department of Energy (Philippines) and General Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Hj Zainal, MM ‘96, Chief of Defence Force (Malaysia), as well as the local delicacies served. Guests were also entertained with evergreen music performed live by the Malaysian Army Orchestra. The Challenge Lunch (dCL) 2007 was made even more special

when Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Mohd. Annas, MM ‘84, President of Kelab AIM Malaysia, also took the opportunity in his welcome remarks to announce that Mr. Ramon “Arps” de Vera, MBM ’73, Chairman of the AIM Alumni Association-Philippine Chapter has offered Malaysia to co-host and organize the 2nd Asian Business Conference (ABC) in Kuala Lumpur in July 2008. Concurrently, Datuk Annas confirmed that Kelab AIM Malaysia has accepted the generous offer to strengthen its partnership with the Philippine Chapter and AIM in staging the 2nd ABC in KL. The 1st ABC was successfully held in Manila on March 1 and 2, 2007. The conference had PLDT and Smart as major partners and co-presenters. The business model of the 1st ABC consisted of sponsorship-driven revenue and sufficient funding through spon-

sorships at the start of the project, and as a result, 250 guests were admitted free of charge. An excellent programme, an innovative management theme and an attractive set of international guest speakers would complete the offering of the 2nd ABC. As such, the sooner the theme like “AIM at the Heart of Dynamic Asia” and speakers could be ascertained, the better prepared KELAB AIM Malaysia would be for worldwide marketing. The lengthy discussions on September 2 and 3 between Datuk Annas and Arps de Vera, attended by Greg Atienza, MBM ‘83, Executive Director of the AIM Alumni Relations Office, Dani Firmansjah, MM ’94, Director of AIM Alumni Indonesia, and some Board Members of AIM Alumni Malaysia presented a better view of what transpired in the

planning and implementation of the 1st ABC, leading to the acceptance for the 2nd ABC to be held in Kuala Lumpur come July 2008. It was therefore agreed that Kelab AIM Malaysia should get the ball rolling on the detailed terms of reference, including a step-by-step checklist for effective start-up. The acid test for strengthening partnerships between AIM Alumni Chapters of the Philippines and Malaysia supported by Indonesian Chapter would be the staging of the 2nd ABC in Kuala Lumpur. Haji Zul Baharom, Honorary Secretary of Kelab AIM Malaysia was unanimously appointed to lead the 2nd ABC planning team and to move forward with its preparation and implementation. It was also agreed that collaborations should also be extended to other AIM partners like IKIM, IIUM, UKM, UMS and corporate bodies.

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 5


1/29/08 3:06:13 PM


AAAIM Holds Alumni Leadership Conference Joey Cuisia Named Honorary Alumnus

From L: Ace Esmeralda, Ric Pascua, Celine Bautista, Francis Estrada, Joey Cuisia, Arps De Vera, Nonoy Espeleta, Gabby Paredes and Henry Tenedero


he Alumni Association of AIM- Philippine Chapter, held the AIM Alumni Leadership Conference last October 2 and 3 at the AIM Conference Center Manila. With the theme “Retooling Leadership Strategies and Gassing Up for Peak Performance” the conference brought together key leaders from both the public and the private sector. The forum was organized as a strategic step to equip AIM alumni and non-alumni leaders with leadership styles that maximize human and organizational capabilities anchored on core values and a

unified purpose. The Conference featured the following speakers and their respective topics: Prof. Jacinto Gavino, AIM professor of the W. SyCip Graduate School of Business Master in Management Program spoke on “Key Leadership Challenges for the Executives of Today.” Maria Alexandra R. Prieto-Romualdez, MDM ’94, President and CEO of the Philippine Daily Inquirer gave an inspiration talk on “The Heart of Leadership is the Leadership of the Heart”. Ricardo S. Pascua, MBM’71, Chairman



of the Board of Ready Foods Manufacturing Corporation spoke on “Lessons in Leadership: Real Keys to High Performance,” while Sec. Angelo T. Reyes, MBM’73, Secretary of the Department of Energy discussed military tactics and management with his topic: “Leadership Imperatives in Crisis Management”. Speakers for the second day of the conference were AIM President Francis Estrada, MBM’73, who assessed the prospects of regional opportunities in his topic “Leadership in the New Asia”. AIM Professor Mila Du-Lagrosa discussed “Renaissance in Leadership” while Executive Director of the AIM Policy Center, Dr. Federico M. Macaranas expounded on “Philippine Competitiveness: Convergence, Communities, Clusters and Competencies.” Robert F. Kuan, MBM’ 75, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Luke’s Medical Canter shared his thoughts on “The Leaders as Social Advocates.” Prof. Henry S. Tenedero, MDM 2002, was

the Chief Learning Moderator and organizer of the conference. A highlight of the event was the awarding of the “Honorary Alumnus” title to AIM Chairman Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. The title was conferred on him by Ramon M. de Vera, MBM’73, Chairman of the Alumni Association of AIM-Philippine Chapter. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Cuisia acknowledged the achievements of many outstanding alumni of AIM, and congratulated the AAAIM for the success of the AIM Alumni Leadership Conference.



A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 6

1/29/08 3:06:15 PM


Kelab Patron and AIM Governor Appointed to Head Synergy Drive Bhd.


Synergy Drive Bhd., the entity formed through RM32 billion (US$9.1 billion) arising from the merger of Sime Darby Bhd., Guthrie Group Bhd. and Golden Hope Plantation Bhd., which will become the world’s largest listed plantation firm, has appointed the Patron of Kelab AIM Malaysia, Tun (Dr.) Musa Hitam as Chairman and AIM Governor, Tan Sri (Dr.) Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid as Deputy Chairman. Pursuant to the acquisition, Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) will emerge as the single largest controlling shareholder with more than 45% equity in Synergy Drive. Currently PNB controlled 39.4% in Sime Darby, 64.7% in Guthrie and 51.4% in Golden Hope, while the Employment Provident Fund (EPF) has more than 10% equity, and the balance goes to minority shareholders. Their appointments reflect Synergy Drive’s positioning as a multinational company with a focused set of business interests. The company, expected to be listed on the local stock exchange in November, is poised to be the most liquid stock with the largest market capitalization on Bursa Malaysia, given its status as the world’s largest oil palm plantation group, and potentially Malaysia’s largest property developer, heavy equipment,

motor, energy and utilities. When contacted, Tun Musa said, “I’m humbled by the appointment, it’s such a huge conglomerate. This is the time I have to use my age and experience. It is very challenging but I am used to challenges in my life. Of course, my work will be made easier because I have with me a group of distinguished personalities like Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji on the board, as well as on the management team.” The Board of Directors had their maiden meeting last September 29, 2007. Former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Musa who has been the Patron of Kelab AIM Malaysia since August 1984, viewed the appointment as his biggest challenge since leaving the Government. He is currently Chairman of listed companies UM

“I’m humbled by the appointment, it’s such a huge conglomerate. This is the time I have to use my age and experience. Land Bhd. and Lion Industries Bhd. He is advisor to the Iskandar Development Region in Johor. Internationally, he is the Chairman of the World Islamic Economic Forum, which was set up in 2005 as the ‘business face’ of the Organization of The Islamic Conference (OIC). He is also Joint Chairman of the Malaysia-China Business Council. Tun Musa was pleased that CIMB Investment Bank, the sponsoring investment bank for the mega merger, had “ably put together” the entire exercise. He was especially happy with the appointment of Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji as Deputy Chairman and a prominent Indonesian banker Dr. Arifin Siregar as a board

member of Synergy Drive. AIM Governor Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji, Chairman of PNB is a member of the Board of Trustees of Yayasan Pelaburan Bumiputra and Chairman of various corporations including Sime Darby Bhd., Golden Hope Bhd., Petaling Garden Bhd., NCB Holdings Bhd. and Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM). He is also Chairman of the Malaysian-Indonesian Business Council that has secured some inroads into the Indonesian market through various initiatives to facilitate Malaysian investments in the Republic. As Chairman of PNB, Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji oversees the management funds worth RM100 billion (US$28.6 billion) of which RM64 billion are tied in unit trusts. PNB recently announced it was spreading its wings into the overseas investment markets. Dr. Arifin who was Governor of the Central Bank of Indonesia from 1983-1988 and Trade Minister from 1988-1993 is the Chairman of Medco Energy International Tbk, the largest private national oil company in Indonesia. He is also board member of Saudi Economic Development Company, a leader in Islamic equity funds in Saudi Arabia and is an International Adviser to Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC. SARJI

Tun Musa Receives Honorary Degree from Universiti Malaya Patron of Kelab AIM Malaysia, Tun Musa Hitam received a Honorary Doctor of Political Science degree from Universiti Malaya (UM) in Kuala Lumpur on September 4, 2007. The doctorate was presented by UM Chancellor Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak at the university’s 46th convocation. The award was aimed at recognizing Tun Musa’s contributions to national and international politics. The 5th Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia (1981-1986), Tun Musa, 73, graduated from UM in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in public administration. He attained his Master’s degree from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. Tun Musa has held various posts at the international level at various times; these included being Chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Member of the Board of UNESCO, and Leader of the Commonwealth Observer Delegation to the general elections in Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Fiji and Gambia. Tun Musa sits in various boards of companies as chairman. On June 3, 2006, he was conferred with Tunship, Malaysian highest federal award by His Majesty the King of Malaysia. 7

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 7

1/29/08 3:06:19 PM


AIM Alumni US East Coast Chapter Hosts Breakfast for FVR

Former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos (FVR) visited four major cities in the U.S. last September to launch the book “Democracy and Discipline: Fidel V. Ramos and His Philippine Presidency.” The

launch in New York was held last September 27 at the Philippine Center. Written by Dr. W. Scott Thompson (visiting professor of the Asian Institute of Management and professor emeritus of International Politics, Fletcher

School of Law and Diplomacy) and Dr. Federico M. Macaranas (executive director of the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center), the book highlights the leadership of the twelfth President of the Philippines and the pattern of governance he established, based on the character of the man and the principles he lived by. To make FVR’s visit to New York more memorable, the AIM Alumni East Coast Chapter arranged an exclusive breakfast with the former Philippine President on September 29 at the Philippine Consulate, New York City. The breakfast was arranged by East Coast chapter officers Jocelyn Bernal and Michelle Boquiren, with the supervision of Mark Sanchez and the support of Martin Marty and the AIM alumni in the East Coast. In attendance were the following: (From FVR’s group

and AIM) Fidel V. Ramos, former Philippine President, Coratec Jimenez, MDM 2002, Associate Director, AIM Policy Center, Jesselyn Dela Cruz, Publications Officer, AIM Policy Center, Mae Gaffud, Deputy Executive Director, RP Development and Asstistant to FVR and Marirose Sison-Garcia, MBM’71, AIM Marketing Director. (From the AIM USA East Coast Chapter) Carol Baustista, Chris Baustista, Jocelyn Bernal, MM 2001, Michelle Boquiren, MBM 2000, Emmanuel Calupig, MBM 2002, Joselyn Conti, MBM’88, Edward Sevilla, MBM’76, Rene Ner, BMP’75, and Rowena Venturina, MBM’99. Guests included Mr. Conti, Carina Dacer, Robert de Tagle, Philip Peredo, Gladys Guevarra, Jamie Mapa, Edwin Ochoa, Joe Ramos, and Socorro Reyes.



atuk Ir. Md. Sidek bin Ahmad, TMP ’94 has been awarded the Honourable Excellence Order of Melaka State ‘Darjah Cemerlang Seri Melaka’ (DCSM) which carries the title of ‘Datuk Wira’. It was conferred to him in conjunction with the 69th birthday of His Excellency, Governor of Melaka State, Tun Khalil Yaakob on October 13, 2007. This Order of Excellence, DCSM is conferred on persons who have given valuable service to the Governor and the State of Melaka. Datuk Wira Ir. Md. Sidek has rendered notable public service in the utility electricity supply needs for the State of Melaka’s 8

industrialization programs and business development for economic growth. Melaka, one of the 14 states of modern Malaysia, has a fascinating history spanning more than six hundred years. Once known as the “Venice of the East,” Melaka served as the gateway between the east and west, a vital port of call for traders on the spice route. Its rich history makes it a melting pot of all races, a microsm of the diverse multiracial society that distinguishes Malaysia as truly Asia. If role models made successful people, then it is certainly the case with Datuk Wira Ir. Md.

Sidek, a focused and unpretentious Senior Vice President (Operations and Technical) of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), who acts as the Chief Operating Officer of TNB, the National Utility Electricity Company. He has been involved with this utility business in power generation, transmission, distribution and retail, power system planning and development, regulatory and corporate affairs in electricity supply industries. TNB has over 20,000 employ-

ees. Although the power system in Malaysia has experienced tremendous growth, the number of employees has remained fairly constant. This has resulted in increased productivity as reflected by the units sold per employees which has doubled since 1990. TNB develops its own expertise to carry out its functions efficiently. Comprehensive training programs, which are constantly reviewed to keep abreast with the development of latest technologies, are extensively undertaken at its training centre which has been upgraded to university status, the University Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN).

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 8

1/29/08 3:06:21 PM


Alumni Newsmakers by political forces for education to be truly for all.” The UNESCO general conference is held every two years.

Chandran nominated in Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Lapus Represents the Philippines in UNESCO Board Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus, MBM’73 was recently chosen to represent the Philippines on the UNESCO board and serve a four-year term. Lapus was also elected vice president of this year’s UNESCO conference. In a closely fought selection,

“We shall press for UNESCO to lend its voice of credibility to free the task of education from being held down by political forces for education to be truly for all.” the Philippines won one of the six executive board seats of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization during the 34th UNESCO general conference in Paris last November 2007. The Philippines won a seat, with Malaysia and the Philippines

getting 147 and 137 votes respectively. Regardless of its size or contribution to the UN organization’s budget, each member-state was only allowed one vote. UNESCO now has 193 member countries. Lapus said that winning the UNESCO seat placed the Philippines at the forefront of global policymaking with the end goal of sustainable economic development. “The Philippine agenda in education, culture and science can now be advanced for international attention and support. We shall push for UNESCO to take a more proactive role in calling for national governments to give the highest budgetary priority to education in theory and practice. “In developing countries where institutional capacities and resources constraints are constant challenges, the agenda for education reforms cannot be truly effective if governments and multilateral agencies are not encouraged enough to actually prioritize and adhere to the goals espoused by UNESCO,” the former Tarlac congressman added. “We shall press for UNESCO to lend its voice of credibility to free the task of education from being held down

AIM alumnus Robert Chandran, MBM’74 has been nominated for this year’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Chandran, the Oil and Gas Entrepreneur of the Year is the CEO and President of Chemoil Corporation, one of the largest and leading integrated physical suppliers of marine fuel products globally. The award recognizes the contributions of businessmen to society, as well as outstanding achievements in their individual fields.

the Year for Marine Engineering; Robert Yap, Chairman & CEO of YCH Group—Entrepreneur of the Year for Logistics; and Richard Tay, Group MD of YHI International-Entrepreneur of the Year for Manufacturing. Now on its sixth year in Singapore, the top title will be awarded at the end of November, and the winner will represent Singapore in Monte Carlo next year at the annual World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

Fr. Lachica selected as Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Fellow by US Gov’t Archimedes A. Lachica, S.J., currently enrolled in the 19th MDM Program, has been selected as one of the two Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Fellows by the U.S. government, through the Embassy to the Philippines for the year 2008. Mr. Stephen M. Ashby, Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer, sent AIM a letter on Fr. Lachica’s nomination.

“...he continues to accomplish in promoting good governance by awakening the citizenry to do its share in addressing the problem of corruption...”

Other businessmen shortlisted for the award are Steven Riady, Executive Director of Auric Pacific Group, who is the Strategic Investment Entrepreneur of the Year; FJ Benjamin CEO Nash Benjamin, who was named the Lifestyle Entrepreneur of the Year; David Loke, Managing Director of Tru-Marine—Entreprenuer of

“We selected Fr. Lachica because of the fine work he continues to accomplish in promoting good governance by awakening the citizenry to do its share in addressing the problem of corruption. His involvement in promoting electoral reform and poll watching during Philippine elections is most laudable. These accomplishments certainly exemplify the many fine qualities that Senator Aquino brought to the field of public service.”

Sources: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporebusinessnews/view/307574/1/.html and www.inquirer.net

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 9


1/29/08 3:06:24 PM


LEAD HOST CLASS MBM 1988 (From L): Dads Domingo, Connie Paulino-Parungao, Ferdi Cacnio, Omar Salvo, Beng Lejano-Yatco, Fritz Gaston, AIM President Francis Estrada (MBM’73) Mano Recto Ofel Odilao-Bisnar, Jesse Clamor, AAAIM-Philippines Chairman Arps De Vera (MBM’73), Joel Baradas, Arnel Mondoñedo, CJ Jesena, Bing Cacnio, Bessio Magno, Toti Bengzon, and ARO EMD Greg Atienza (MBM’83)

Homecoming 2008

ARO Hosts Reunion for Celebrating Batches THE CLASS REUNION OF CELEBRATING BATCHES FOR 2008 Homecoming was held last September 7, 2007 at the TPIC-Bancom Room of the Asian Institute of Management. Over 75 alumni attended, representing the following celebrating batches: 1973-Emerald Celebrants, 1978-Pearl Celebrants, 1983Silver Julbilarians, 1988-Lead Host Class, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008Host Classes. AIM President Francis Estrada welcomed the alumni back to AIM and updated the guests on the latest developments of the Institute. AAAIM Chairman Ramon “Arps” De Vera thanked the alumni for attending and encouraged them to support the lead host class for Homecoming 2008. The Lead Host Class, MBM 1988 represented by Ofel Odilao-Bisnar, Vice Chairman of the HC 2008 Steering Committee and CJ Jesena presented their plans for the Homecoming celebrations in March 7, 2008, to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of AIM. With the theme “Asian High at Boni High,” the Grand Alumni Homecoming will be held on March 7, 2008 at the Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City. 10

MBM 1973 (From L): Pedro Manalo, Ching Ballecer, Francis Estrada, Dulce Casaclang, Arps de Vera, Digoy Fernandez and Greg Atienza

CLASS 1978 (From L): Francis Estrada, Ruben Yabut (MM), Ireneo Tubio (MBM), Arps de Vera and Greg Atienza

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 10

1/29/08 3:06:28 PM

Bridges Brings Nobel Laureates to Philippines AIM Hosting Two Speakers BATCH 1983: Sofronio Rivera, Frank Gudani, Francis Estrada, Erlinda Marty (MM), Arps de Vera, Danny Saracin and Greg Atienza

BATCH 2003: Victor Emmanuel S. Bernardo (MBM), Gerard A. Ceballos (MM , Florante “Cocoy” Gonzalez (MM), Bayani “Bi” Quilala (MBM), Carlos Ner (MM), Nolet Otanza (MM), Rogelio “Roger” Ormilon (MM), Alan Reyes, (MM) and Jose Enrique “Ricky” Santiago (MM)

CLASS 1998: Tony Tengco (MM), Benjamin Armand Tansingco (MM), Victorino Cruz (MM), Rodrigo Carlit (MBM), Caroline Bahukhandi (MBM), Maria Celeste Diaz-Candelaria (MBM), Mayeen Magno (MBM), Gladys Villanueva-Enhaynes (MBM), Nieves LimLedesma (MM), Rhodora Chua-Lao (MBM) and Elvie Medenilla-Mamaril (BMP).

MBM 1993: Leonardo Cuaresma, Jr. and Hilario “Larry” Tan


he Asian Institute of Management (AIM), is one of the local partner institutions of the the International Peace Foundation in the 1st ASEAN-wide event, “Bridges—Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace.” Two separate fora will be held at the Institute: Nobel Laureate Professor Finn E. Kydland shall be the keynote speaker on “Peace and economic development in the age of globalization” on February 6, 2008 while former World Bank president James D. Wolfensohn will take on “Beyond East-West, North-South— Peace and prosperity in a four speed world” on March 5, 2008. The aim of Bridges is to facilitate and strengthen dialogue and communication between societies in Southeast Asia with their multiple cultures and faiths as well as with people in other parts of the world to promote understanding and trust. The events aim at building bridges through Nobel Laureates with local universities and other institutions in Southeast Asia to establish long-term relationships which may result in common research programs and other forms of collaboration. By enhancing science, technology and education as a basis for peace and development the events may lead to a better cooperation for the advancement of peace, freedom and security in the region with the active involvement of the young generation, ASEAN’s key to the future. In the Philippines, Bridges is chaired by Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation Chairman and CEO and Mr. Washington SyCip, SGV Group Founder and AIM Chairman Emeritus. For more information, visit www.peace-foundation.net. PROFESSOR FINN E. KYDLAND is a 2004 Nobel Laureate for Economics at the University of California in Santa Barbara and at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg who has worked on dynamic macroeconomics, specifically the time consistency of economic policy and the driving forces behind business cycles. He has influenced the monetary and fiscal policies of governments and laid the basis for the increased independence of many central banks. JAMES D. WOLFENSOHN is a former President of the World Bank who sought to find ways of reducing the burden of debt on the world’s poorest countries. He has worked in Australia, London, and New York, eventually establishing an investment bank in his own name. He was chairman of the board of Carnegie Hall and of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC. He was awarded an honorary UK knighthood in 1995. For AIM alumni, please call Ms. Malou Virata at 892.4011 ext 2104 or 750.6575 for reservations on complimentary seats. A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 11


1/29/08 3:06:34 PM




he newly elected officers of the AIM Student Association were inducted last October 17, 2007 at the SGV 1 & 2 at the AIM campus. Elected were the following alumni-in-residence: Jose Marco “Macoy” del Pilar, MM 2008 (S.A. Chairman), Kshitij Shrivastava, MBA 2008 (S.A. Vice Chairman), and Reetesh Bhargava, MBA 2008 (S.A. Overseas President). In his welcome remarks, WSGSB Associate Dean Prof. Ricky Lim remarked that the diversity of the current student body is a source from which the S.A. officers can draw great strength and support for their meaningful projects. The Chairman of the Alumni Association of AIM-Philippine Chapter, Ramon “Arps” de Vera, MBM 1973 introduced Inducting Officer and Guest of Honor, AIM President The Class Officers of 2008 also inducted: MBA 2008 Section A President: Ali Dexter Ampong Vice President: Amit Bansal Treasurer: Shreyas Ramanathan Secretary: Leo Anthony Dator Section B President: John Paul Hernandez Vice President: Pranav Sharma Treasurer: Ritesh Harish Thakkar Secretary: Prakash Chandra Patel P.R.O. : Srikanth R.N. MBA 2008 December (16 months) Section A Mark Chan Section B Russ Jason Lo Vishwas Muthyala


MM 2008 President: Glenn Elle VP External: Lalu Joseph VP Internal: Macoy del Pilar Treasurer: Fr. Jun Rebayla Secretariat: Tata Panlilio MDM 2008 President: Allem M. Guiapal Mgt Committee: Handoko Ngadiman Huang Shan Katryn Cadiente Mary Grace Ocampo CLASS REPs EMBA MNL 9 Odessa Kaye H. Yazon ME 12 Alexander Bangsoy Margarita Espino Jeremille Raton ME 14 George Quitoriano ME 15 Paco Magsaysay

Francis Estrada, MBM 1973. De Vera recounted his student days at AIM with Estrada as his classmate, and recalled with fondness the many experiences they had with their batchmates. In his keynote speech, Mr. Estrada noted that the AIM Student Association held a special significance for their batch as it was established during their time at AIM. He also shared his insights on leadership and the geopolitical, socio-economic and religious divides that now challenge young leaders. “Your election provides you a unique opportunity to exercise leadership,” he advises. “Always acknowledge and understand your Asian heritage as you build relationships for the future.” Mr. Estrada also announced the Host Family project of the Alumni Relations Office, and urged the students to actively participate. “AIM has a strong alumni network which is practitioner-oriented. We want our non-Filipino friends to understand our culture and have good, positive, supportive memories of their AIM experience.” He also thanked Yash Makharia, MBA 2008 for his leadership as S.A. Vice Chairman for 2006-2007, and encouraged him to build on the goodwill he has created. In his message, S.A. Chairman del Pilar assured a continuity of business by creating committees to implement projects such as energizing the placement committee, strengthening alumni relations by capitalizing on alumni positions for students’ MRRs and ACs, improve life at the dorm, and support programs of AIM such as the Host Family project. SSAR Associate Director, Rey R. Reyes provided the closing remarks, and thanked the S.A. COMELEC for a well organized election.

Rajab Receives TBR Asean Award for Excellence Datuk Pahamin A. Rajab, MDP ‘75, Chairman, SEGi Group of Colleges (SEGi), one of Malaysia’s largest education providers, received the prestigious Technology Business Review (TBR) Asean Award in the category of “Excellence in Education Sector” at a gala function in Putrajaya recently. Under the leadership and continuous corporate social responsibility efforts of Datuk Pahamin, SEGi was cited for “It was great and humbling at the same time to be honored alongside captains of industry. This award adds a new chapter to the growing list of success stories written by SEGi in the past 30 years in education.”

the quality of its education and training programmes (ensuring that its graduates are employable) by providing unique value added services such as the Career Exploratory Programme and soft skills development programmes. An international selection panel recognized SEGi Group for excellence in managing a leading group of institutions of higher learning with more than 15,500 students located at its six major campuses nationwide. Its RM150 million (US$43 million) full-pledged campus in Kota Damansara is testament to the group’s commitment towards providing quality education and a complete learning experience to its students. In his acceptance speech, Datuk Pahamin said, “Credit goes to the dynamic board, management competence and hard work of staff, for being instrumental

in ensuring SEGi’s success and growth in the education industry. SEGi is passion guided, industry driven local institution with global connections providing Internationally Recognised Degrees from UK, US and Australia. “It is also imperative that SEGi displays the most innovative ideals that have helped us reached a niche in our respective business competencies.” The 2007 TBR Asean Award seeks to honour excellence in a wide range of industries in the Asean region from Banking & Finance, Automation, Telecommunications, Information Technology, Logistics, Health Care, Oils and Gas, and Education. Among the other recipients of the prestigious awards are Chairman/CEO of companies like DHL, MMC, Scomi, SAP, Westports, IBM, Maxis and MasCargo. TBR is a monthly publication business powered by technological innovations with a circulation of 15,000 copies mailed to the top management of large and medium sized corporations, multinational corporations and the financial sector in Asean countries. Datuk Pahamin, a practicing lawyer is also the Chairman of Air Asia. When asked about his feelings after receiving the 2007 TBR Asean Award, he said, “It was great and humbling at the same time to be honored alongside captains of industry. This award adds a new chapter to the growing list of success stories written by SEGi in the past 30 years in education.” It is hoped that soon, Kelab AIM Malaysia and AIM can initiate for sound partnership with SEGi in offering a new dimension in post-graduate management education with learning based on case methodology.

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 12

1/29/08 3:06:34 PM

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 13

1/29/08 3:06:37 PM

Philippine Law and the Family K E LV I N


K .

L E E ,


20 03

Illustration by Panch Alcaraz


A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 14

1/29/08 3:06:41 PM



OT MANY FILIPINOS KNOW IT, BUT THE FAMILY under Philippine law is protected by the State and is given a special status as the “foundation of the nation.” There are specific provisions in the Constitution which protects the Family. In fact, one whole Article of the Constitution, Article XV, is dedicated to the Family. There is also an entire law dedicated to the Family, the Family Code of the Philippines (Executive Order No. 209). So in a sense, the Family is covered and protected by the State by a number of very strong laws. This is because Philippine law looks at the family in a unique way. Under Sec. 12, Art. II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, “the State recognizes the sanctity of family life.” That same provision of the Constitution then says, in recognition of that statement, that the State “shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.” But we must remember that the Family in the context of Filipino law and according to Father Bernas, is “to be understood as a stable heterosexual relationship whether formalized by civilly recognized marriage or not.” Also, the Records of the Constitutional Commission states that calling the family the basic social institution means that “the family is anterior to the state and is not a creature of the state,” while the “categorization of the family as autonomous is meant to protect the family against instrumentalization by the state.” Sec. 1, Article XV of the Constitution then provides that the State “recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation. Accordingly, it shall strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its total development.” The Constitution reiterates this in Sec. 2, Article XV which says that “Marriage, as an inviolable institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State.” So the continuing constitutional policy, in the words of Father Joaquin Bernas, who was one of the framers of the Constitution, “is for the protection of the family as a basic social institution.” One example of this protection would be “in annulment cases, [where] any doubt should be resolved in favor of the validity of a marriage.” Therefore, under the most basic law of the Philippines (which is the Constitution) the family is protected by the State because of its importance in the fabric of Filipino society. To implement these provisions of the Constitution, the Family Code of the Philippines (Executive Order No. 209) was promulgated by President Corazon Aquino on July 6, 1987 and came into effect on August 3, 1988. Article 149 of the Family Code explains that “the family, being the foundation of the nation, is a basic social institution which public policy cherishes and protects.” Because it is so cherished by the State, article 149 of the Family Code further provides that “Consequently, family relations are governed by law and no custom, practice or agreement destructive of the family shall be recognized or given effect.” One example of a possibly destructive agreement is one where, “while the marriage is subsisting, the husband can have a concubine or the wife can enter into an adulterous relationship.” According to Professor Melencio Sta. Maria of the Ateneo School of Law, such an agreement would be void, and would have no legal effect.

Former Senator Arturo Tolentino explains that “the family is an essential factor in the general, social and even political life. Constant living together of the husband and wife, and of parents and children, contributes to the development of a strong sense of duty, of an aptitude for heroic sacrifices, and of the love by future generations of the traditions and moral conquests of those who preceded them.” Tolentino further elaborates that because of such factors, “the family is thus an indispensable element of social cohesion and equilibrium. The vitality and strength of the State depends upon the solidarity of its nucleus, the family. This explains the interest of the State in the family.” As another example of how the law looks at the family differently, art. 151 of the Family Code provides for the rule that no law suit between members of the same family shall prosper unless earnest efforts toward a compromise have been made, but that the same have failed. According to the Report of the Code Commission which drafted the Family Code, “this rule [was] introduced because it is difficult to imagine a sadder and more tragic spectacle than a litigation between members of the same family. It is necessary that every effort should be made toward a compromise before a litigation is allowed to breed hate and passion in the family. It is shown that a lawsuit between close relatives generates deeper bitterness that between strangers.” The law also gives protection to the Not many Filipinos Family Home. The Family Home, under know it, but the art. 152 of the Family Code, is “constiFamily under Philippine law is tuted jointly by the husband and wife protected by the State and is given or by an unmarried head of a family.” a special status as The Family Home “is the dwelling house the “foundation where they and their family reside, and of the nation.” the land on which it is situated.” Once the Family Home is constituted “from the time it is occupied as a family residence,” as per article 153 of the Family Code. The law then gives the Family Home the privilege of being “exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment.” According to Professor Sta. Maria, the requirement of house and land as constitutive of a family home stresses the element of permanence, and it is perhaps with this idea in mind that the law exempts the Family Home, as a general rule, from some of the operations of the law, such as forced sale or attachment. This is subject to exemptions, of course, such as non-payment of taxes and debts incurred prior to the constitution of the family home. Thus Philippine Law gives the family special treatment and protections. Most people are, unfortunately, unaware of the protections the law accords the family. Most Filipinos live life not knowing that the Law looks upon Filipino families with a special caring and protective eye. Perhaps one day, given enough time and study, Filipinos shall learn about the family’s protected status. Only then, can the family truly become “the foundation of the nation.” Kelvin Lester K. Lee is a student of the Ateneo de Manila Law School and concurrently an Opinion Columnist for the Sunstar Davao (www.sunstar.com. ph). He was a graduate of the 14th AIM Marketing Strategy Course. He has written on politics, international aff airs, international law and corporate law and has served as Executive Editor of the Ateneo Law Journal.

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 15


1/29/08 3:06:41 PM



use of power. Jesus spoke about servant leadership when he said that IRST, LET ME THANK THE ALUMNI FOR THE VERY KIND despite man’s tendency to focus on rank and power, true greatness is honor they do me today. I have been told that later this afterdemonstrated in serving others. Mark recounts to us what Jesus said, noon, I will be receiving AIM’s honorary alumnus title. I am “whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.” extremely proud to be receiving this title and of course, to have been [Mark10:43] accorded the opportunity to speak to you this afternoon. There are many other AIM alumni who reach out and serve others Your conference theme and the title I am receiving reminds me by responding with excellence through their callings as entrepreneurs, of what Neil Simon, the celebrated playwright said some years back— businessmen and even government officials—people like Tony Tan “People with honorary awards are looked upon with disfavor. Would Caktiong, Polly Nazareno, Jesli Lapus, to name only a few. you let an honorary mechanic fix your brand new Mercedes?” Tony, as an alumnus and as a Filipino makes us proud. His restauI certainly hope there is no disfavor in this case, since I feel that rant franchise, Jollibee, serves Filipino families far and wide across our I am very much part of the AIM family and feel a strong affinity with islands, and provide jobs for many of our young people. He has brought all of you. Having been part of the AIM Board of Trustees for 13 years, I have developed a warm affection and great concern for AIM, its man- innovation and the distinct Filipino flair to the fast food industry, and has been celebrated with a World Entrepreneurship Award. Tony’s agement, faculty, students and alumni. vision to serve, by providing Filipinos with affordable, value-for-money It is probably best that I mention how much we all need to come meals is an inspiration to all of us wanting to make a name for ourtogether and reach out to this great institution and the circumstances selves while serving others. it now faces. In the midst of stiff Polly Nazareno is another competition from the rest of Asia, alumnus whose efforts and we are called to revitalize AIM as hard work we celebrate. the premiere graduate school of Through his work at Smart, business and management in he has been able to provide Asia. Join me and the rest of the affordable communication to Board of Trustees in our efforts any Filipino wanting to conto unify and strengthen the innect with others. The awardstitute and regain the preemiwinning product, Smart nence it enjoyed in the manageLoad, allows even the D and ment education field. E markets access to cellular For now, we rely on the JOSE L. CUISIA, JR. phone service. Communicacontinued leadership of AIM CHAIRMAN, AIM BOARD OF TRUSTEES tions across borders are also President, Francis Estrada, and more affordable now, and our Board of Trustees which more valued, with more and now includes former UndersecThis speech was delivered during the AAAIM Alumni Leadership more Filipinos seeking work retary of Tourism, Narzalina Conference last October 3, 2007, where Mr. Cuisia was given the title abroad as OFWs. I look at Lim and AIM Alumni Associaof Honorary Alumnus. all innovation at Smart and tion Philippines chairman, Rasee how Polly’s influence has mon De Vera and Datuk Annas, changed Philippine society. Chairman of the Federation of AIM Alumni Associations—hopefully Sandy Prieto will also agree to join All these efforts, they are in pursuit of one ideal—and that is to serve the Board so we will have a total of seven alumni on the Board of Trustees. the Filipino. Now don’t get me wrong, of course Polly isn’t doing all this Having more alumni on the Board will assure all AIM stakeholders that just out of goodwill. Profit is important, but we can see in the examples the interests of the institution will always be at the center of our actions. of Tony and Polly that profit and doing good can travel the same path, and in most cases where the desire to serve is sincere, success is almost I believe that we put the right individual at the helm of AIM, a always guaranteed. gentleman that upholds, over all, the interests of this institution. Servant leadership is perhaps most appreciated (and most wantFrancis, as you know, took on the AIM Presidency at a sacrifice, having given up a lucrative career as an international investment banker. And ing) in government. How happy we are then, that Jesli Lapus, also an AIM alumnus, serves us in the Philippine government. while the position as AIM President is indeed prestigious, no one here The challenges facing Jesli as Secretary of Education are perhaps today is envying him his post. Yet, Francis has taken on the challenge greater than the challenges facing Jollibee and Smart, combined. of getting AIM back on its feet. This move, contrary perhaps to what But where the biggest challenges are also lie the biggest opportunity any other logical individual would in his situation, contrary to what to make an impact, and to serve others. With the deterioration of the many of us would do, is precisely what we need to see more of in this institution and in this country. We need to see more individuals serving education sector, Jesli faces a formidable challenge to get the Philipthe greater good rather than themselves. What do we see in Francis but pines to where it was in the 1960s when our students were the best in Asia. I myself am deeply concerned about this condition, and many the definition of servant leadership? of us in the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) have raised Servant leadership, where the desire to serve others is first, some observations and suggestions about how we can help. Jesli has encourages collaboration, trust, foresight, listening and the ethical

On Servant Leadership


A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 16

1/29/08 3:06:41 PM

welcomed these recommendations and is enthusiastic to see which initiatives can be adopted by the DepEd. Yet, despite this willingness and the appreciation for the fact that the Department of Education does enjoy the biggest share of the budget, so much more has to be done. We continue to question whether a 10-year education cycle is sufficient to instruct our children when the rest of Asia employs a 12-year cycle. We ask pointed questions about the effectiveness and the need for internet learning programs, which have been proposed to support long-distance learning. Would the DepEd not rather invest in more classrooms, better facilities, improved benefits for our teachers rather than involve itself in a new program its teachers and administrators may not be ready to implement? So many questions and much debate is necessary. But these things do not deter Jesli from his purpose. Sure, running the Department of Education is hard, but this is what serving the Filipino is all about. Jesli knows that education is the only way we can give young people today a better chance for tomorrow. Like Tony and Polly, Jesli’s work is about being of service to the Filipino and making a difference in their lives —servant leadership in action. Incidentally, I also want to make mention that a member of our Board of Trustees, Jaime Augusto Zobel, received Harvard Business School’s highest honor, the Alumni Achievement Award just last month. Mr. Zobel was cited for “...his innovative and entrepreneurial style of management that has benefited both the Ayala group and an island nation that faces significant social and economic challenges.” In addition to all of this, Mr. Zobel is very active with the Ayala Foundation, and takes great personal interest in education projects for the poor, especially improving computer education for public school students. Once again, another example of a servant leader. We congratulate Mr. Zobel for having been distinguished by his Alma Matter, and we thank him for his continued support for AIM. Many others, many of you, respond with anonymous heroism by elevating doing good as core business strategies in your companies or

your businesses and by being servant leaders in your own ways. I salute Francis, Tony, Polly, Jesli, Mr. Zobel and all of you who have realized that life is greater than personal ambitions, and is as much for others as it is for yourselves. However, we can all do so much more. Servant leaders may or may not hold formal leadership positions, and there is always an opportunity for us to exercise this kind of leadership outside of our formal designations. In our church groups, in many of the business organizations we belong to, even in such groups as this alumni association, we must ask ourselves what we can do to further the greater good. How, for example can AIM alumni make a greater impact in the provinces? I ask you to speak up, to propose solutions, to lead initiatives. An appreciation of the blessings you have received and the talents you possess should lead you to a free and fearless response to solve the issues of our day. I make one little, but I think rather important note about our desire to serve. Sometimes, in our enthusiasm to take action, we become people who are filled with firm opinions, solutions and ideas about how to resolve matters. Henri Nouwen, Catholic priest and noted author tells us that such individuals, by virtue of being “full” of these convictions and concepts, lose the inner space to listen and to discover other solutions. It is not difficult, he says, to see how those who ‘know it all’ can kill a conversation and prevent an interchange of ideas. So I caution all of you against this propensity, of which I am as guilty as anyone. We must develop a leadership mind that is spacious and inclusive, one that has ample room for ambiguities and contradictory ideas. They say that the AIM education is much more expansive than most, and the school’s focus on issues such as corporate governance and social responsibility gives its alumni the edge over other business schools. And so I have faith in each of you, that in whichever field you chose to pursue, you will be guided by the excellent education that you received from AIM, and more importantly, by your desire to serve others. A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 17


1/29/08 3:06:43 PM


From Late Stage Entrepreneurship to Growing a Billion Dollar Enterprise H E N RY



2 0 02

Ashok Soota didn’t think it a disadvantage building MindTree at such a late stage in his career. “The team that we put together had the track record. We also had the delight of learning in building a new organization after many years of experience having built a larger organization. These are big plusses in late stage entrepreneurship, and certainly, size and scale can be planned that way.”

And size and scale it certainly is. The founder of MindTree, whose revenues topped $132 Million in March 2007, identified the requirements for growing a into a billion-dollar company. He shared these with graduate students of the Asian Institute of Management in a recent visit that also launched the case written on MindTree by Prof. Horacio (“Junbo”) Borromeo. Four Strategies

A billion-dollar company would be characterized as having more accounts than the industry average, entered new industry segments, and offered a service mix different from its competitors. Ashok mentions four strategies to implement if MindTree were to become one. Strategy 1: Focus on Larger Accounts Smaller firms now compete against larger groups because mega contracts are getting 18

unbundled into smaller sizes. Accounts should be focused at a certain volume that would allow economies of scale. This focus also provides the company visibility, direction, and certainty. Strategy 2: Focus on Acquisitions Creating an environment conducive for M&A activity will allow rapid scaling. This will require systematic assessment of candidates and building expertise in integration while anticipating the impact on the culture and governance processes, as well as ownership and leadership styles in the organization. Strategy 3: Focus on Industry Capabilities Vertical domain capability-building, recruiting domain experts, investing in training and research, and developing repeatable frameworks and service products create strong differentiation. These crystallize market positioning and lead to increased client acquisition. Strategy 4: Focus on New Businesses Crowding and commoditazion in an industry should push growth firms to create new businesses. Key

To get the best people, he suggests asking, “how to give people more flexibility and at the same time, how to let everybody have life balance.” factors to consider in the new business include the potential to turn in new customers or service other needs of existing customers, and ensuring longer lock-ins through progressive demand.

Destructive Changes in Industry and Management

Ashok shares that dramatic transformations have emerged in the organization of industries around one large, global marketplace, driven to a certain extent by technology. He believes the “destructive changes” in industrial organization may also be occurring in the way companies are run. “Two changes are typically seen,” he says. One is an enhanced ability to “manage organizations, but you might say managing communities within organizations.” The other is developing “knowledge and training.” There’s a downside to it however. Precisely because of enhanced capabilities, he believes there is “a great deal of need for us to see the necessity for more focus. People are so keen on multiplexing that they overlook the importance of focusing on one thing at a time.” Another movement that is occurring, which he saw beginning among few people in the early ‘90s, is allowing people to gain greater flexibility. The ability to operate remotely blurred the distinction between workplace and personal space. To get the best people, he suggests asking, “how to give people more flexibility and at the same time, how to let everybody have life balance.” Getting it Done, Together

“I think the expectations of the groups are much larger,” Ashok opines when asked how the management students today are different from his time. “They come in with more knowledge. I see them brighter, better informed and very well equipped. They also have a global orientation.” But he understands that these same elements fostered certain degrees of impatience. He sees a need to manage expectations. Doing so requires leadership—the kind that communicates the message within the leadership team that “we are all working together to get this done.”

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 18

1/29/08 3:06:44 PM


Balance between Work and Family Life? L O R N A

R U N K L E ,



1 9 8 3

HAT IS THERE TO BALANCE? When we pass away, most our epitaphs will read “Beloved father, brother, and son.” In a management development workshop I attended in Montreal while I worked for an Alcan company we were asked what we feel are our most significant achievements. To my surprise amidst all the high-powered and accomplished CEOs and management of this multi-billion dollar company, 99% of us replied “it’s my family” whether it’s marrying the right spouse, staying married, raising happy healthy kids, taking care of our ailing aging parents, etc. Having lived, worked, and raised a family in the US for the past 22 years, I have learned that the goal of one’s adult life is to pursue happiness in the area of life that matters the most— family. And work and its resulting financial gains do serve their purpose—only to the extent that they support my family goals. So yes, I did labored hard and met my career goals—I lived and breathed sales and marketing, I traveled internationally for business, I taught as an adjunct professor in a US school, I trained and consulted, and helped save jobs for

hundreds and made many US SME’s become profitable. Wondering what legacy I can leave to this world, I am now working on a book that touches on both work and family balance. But when I introduce myself in almost any gathering, I start off with “Hello, I’m Lorna Runkle, mother to Joseph and Patrick and wife to Bob.” It’s my family that defines me. My legend lies not in the fact that because of my efforts a NJ-based avionic company bound to close down two years ago now remains open, acquired a company in Texas, doubled profitability, and has in fact increased headcount and employee morale. The feather in my cap is my family—how we were able to work with the cards we were dealt with. I have sons from a divorce, one of whom has special needs. Joseph was the “kid least likely to succeed” as once described by a well-meaning uncle. Patrick has autism. My ex walked out of our lives. Just like a business entity, we re-engineered our lives. First, we recruited Bob to “join the company” and provide us with unconditional love. Joseph got Harvard-educated and now attends the University of Notre Dame. Patrick lives independently and holds four jobs! I now “keep busy” doing Church ministry, serving in the Parent’s Advisory Committee for Patrick’s organization, in between traveling and spending quality time with Bob, and oh by the way holding a full-time job.. We are not wealthy in anyone’s standard. But we make enough to support and enjoy our family, friends, and each other. Should I look for a higher paying, more powerful and glamorous job? Some people may think I should. I ask the question why? Because I know when I reach the “pearly gates,” the only question I’ll be asked But when I introduce is “have I been a good myself in almost any person, wife, daughter, gathering, I start off mother?” I’m working with “Hello, I’m Lorna to answer “yes.” Runkle, mother to For me, the balance Joseph and Patrick and is tipped. My choice is wife to Bob.” It’s my family that defines me. family, anytime. A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 19


1/29/08 3:21:20 PM



The Workplace Experience: Sometime in 2005 at close to midnight, I received a text

the voice of a colleague assigned in another department in the company I work for. I only got her number that afternoon we both agreed to perform an out of town ocular early the next morning and did not get to save it in my phonebook. It was her way of letting me know that she can no longer accompany me in the inspection scheduled that next morning because her father passed away that evening. Apparently in her haste, she sent one message to all those she needed to communicate the death of her father with. I ended the call with my condolences and assurance that she need not worry about work in her time of sorrow. Text messaging gives you the ability to express yourself and the option to engage in the conversation. If you are working in differ-

message from an unidentified cell phone number that said: “Papa left us already. Wake is at Loyola.” In a matter of seconds, I went though an emotional rollercoaster of excrutiating sadness over the sudden loss of my father, and then to rage and anger. Could the unidentified cell phone number be from one of my siblings’ back-up cellphone line that I did not get to save in my phone book? Or is it coming from a prank texter who had nothing better to do? To get myself under control, I immediately called my 80-year old father (who is based in Pangasinan, Philippines) and was more than relieved to hear his voice—strong, and very much alive. After ending our phone call, I thought about sending a very angry text message to this unidentified cell phone number. While composing my message, I thought instead to call the number. At the other end of the line was

ent time shifts or physical environments, you may relay a message and sigh relief at having passed on the information along with what needs to get done to the person you have identified to be responsible. If you need to engage someone in conversation but are not sure of his/her availability for a phone call, you may send a text message and politely ask for his/ her time. However, just like in any technology that gives you the advantage of speed, one must learn to discern the appropriateness of what is being said, how it is being said (i.e observing rules of grammar and composition versus short-cut txt), and through what medium it is being communicated. We also should not take for granted basic elements such as identifying yourself to the person you are trying to reach. SIM cards and cell phones can get lost, damaged, or simply replaced without having transferred all contact infor-

s the adage goes, experience is the best teacher. Nothing can cement finding out about a concept or teaching that one picks up from a book, lecture or seminar the way experience does. Six years after being indoctrinated with Management Communications principles ala Asian Institute of Management, the author shares with us insights peppered with humorous workplace communications annecdotes—all for the purpose of getting us “pin-stripped managers” to take the time out to let go and have a heartfelt smile. Text Messaging


mation. Nothing is lost by keeping your text messages properly identified as coming from you specially among contacts that you are not in recent constant communications with. It would also save us from unnecessary stress if we keep our presence of mind and be aware that what is happening in our immediate world is different from what is happening in another’s. Whether we are in the receiving end or giving end of text messaging, please be mindful of each other’s psyche. Sub-culture Language

The Workplace Experience: In preparation for a negotiations we were conducting for our company, we would frequently consult with our American lawyers. During one con-

sultation, our lawyers launched into their own language while discussing a business point. Here we are, the Manila-based Filipino clients, listening to them via telephone conferencing, when we heard what we thought was “It’s like a lion in the sand” or maybe “It’s like lying in the sand.” Their accent is a throw-off. Post telecon, we analyzed what our American lawyers meant. How could this business point be related to a lion or to lying in the sand? I refered to something I watched on National Geographic about lions and how they would lie in the sand and attempted to connect it to some legalese. Nevertheless, it settled nothing and we left it temporarily at that. Weeks later, I caught an episode of Boston Legal (a U.S. television series about the law practice) wherein one of the lawyers in character said, “Let’s put that in the contract as a line in the sand and hope nobody crosses it.”

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 20

1/29/08 3:06:48 PM

We may all be speaking in English but we all know that we are not speaking in the same English. Even among American English speakers there are variations in the language that are contextual and cultural. The same holds true with any nationality language. I speak Filipino but I do not speak it the same way an artist in the creative field may speak it or a specialist in a technical field may speak the language. How much more when we bring together people of different ethnicities, professions, and experiences? It’s a Tower of Babel set in the workplace—

hopefully not as noisy so as not to be disruptive in the telecon. These anecdotal recounts can get embarassing sometimes but we all handle it with humor hoping that our foreign counterparts do not think too strangely of us Filipinos. At one time, my Manila colleages are all engaged in a telecon with our Canadian counterparts. It’s the typhoon season and one wreaked havoc in Manila that evening hence making our end inaudible. When you strain to hear while in heated discussions, count on it that the frustration meter can rise up further. Well into the business discussion, the rains eased up and we hear the loud sound of a metrotrain passing by. The Manila team were both concerned and confused as to which one of us would be near a metrotrain track when our Canadian counterpart apologized about the noise. He says he is quite far from the metrotrain and is equally surprised to have heard such a loud noise from the trains as well. It broke the ice and made the rest of the discussions easier to handle. The underlying truth in this workplace communications dynamics of telephone conferencing is how globalization brings to the surface human behavior universal truths. Connotations, misconceptions, stereotypes, confidence levels, and image projections are but a few of the intangible things we concern ourselves with as we don our game face in this corporate world. How many of us have experienced preparing extensively for a telephone conference only to have things unfold different from what we expected? In the rush of office today’s office dynamics, we end up packing in back-to-back-to-back teleconferences and these are made all the more possible with the convenient advances in telecommunications. Properly spacing teleconferences and the supporting activities needed for such meetings would help minimize the stress and tensions of such dealings.

CAN YOU SAY “SLOW DOWN?” How speed and efficiency can lead to Miscommunications in the Workplace

C R I S T I N A D E M B M 2 0 0 1


permit the biblic sub-culture language. Then again: ask and you shall recieve, seek and you will find. When dealing with sub-culture language, take time out to establish clarity and enjoy a sub-cultural exchange. Telephone Conferencing.

The Workplace Experience: Much of our office activities entail conducting meetings via telephone conferencing. It is a necessity in our globalized working environment. A consequence of this workplace dynamics is experiencing how time zone differences impacts our physical, mental and emotional composition. It is not unusual in this day and age to be discussing serious business matters over telephone conferencing with one party in traffic enroute to his/her home, another making morning coffee as he/she gets ready to go to the office, and yet another housed in some public place that’s

Emailed Correspondence.

The Workplace Experience: Remember the time when there was no email? We have grown

so dependent on email in our day-to-day office work that it seems hard to imagine running an office without one. Then, say hello to servers crashing, networks infected with super viruses, or just plain electricity outages with not enough back-ups for all terminals. The one time that I experienced this, we had to run our operations for a couple of days with the classic paper and pen. However inconvenient, incidents such as this are relatively easier to manage since the events are kept internal to your department or company. Email exchanges involving external parties (i.e. clients) are more disastrous. During my first managerial responsibility after graduating from business school, I was assigned to manage contact center accounts that are organized according to clients belonging to the same industry. Part of my function is to supply daily productivity reports to our clients, two of which are direct competitors. Being new to the work environment and to the task perhaps added to the inability to manage the situation at desired best. However, there are situations that are simply asking for a Murphy’s Law. During one very late night operations where everything was in a flux, I sent a productivity report to the management team of Client A with one member from competing Client B who happened to have the same last name as one member in Client A. Microsoft Outlook allows you to type a few letters on the addressee rows and it would show a window for you to select from a shortlisted reference. Technology certainly makes carelessness expeditious. Copy furnished on the same email are my bosses. In a matter of minutes, I have both clients sending very angry emails—one demanding that the competitor deletes the email with attachments while the other questions my company’s confidentiality policies. I was fortunate to have understanding bosses, who saw it as a problem given our work process design and staffing organization. Otherwise, I would be writing here about being fired...through email. Nothing beats the written word. Email gives us the proper documentation needed in order to build a reliable paper trail. You can execute sending the cover letter, and attachments (up to as high a memory capacity as the addressee’s inbox would permit), complete with time/date stamps, and read receipts, “Can You Say...” continued on page 51 >>

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 21


1/29/08 3:06:48 PM


The Real Macoy

Photography by Norman Gorecho



A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 22

1/29/08 3:06:51 PM

Jose Marco del Pilar, Macoy to others, was recently elected as Chairman of the Student Association, being the first MM student to hold this position. After graduating from the >> University of Asia and the Pacific with a Bachelor of Arts Major in Entrepreneurial Management diploma, this Lasallite came to AIM, feeling that the institute could prepare him for globalization, which is happening so quickly. “I chose AIM because I believe that this is the most revered business school in Asia.” Prior to AIM, Macoy worked in several industries for eight years, i.e. banking, real estate, food, hospitality and transportation to name a few. As his exposure in different fields enabled him to gain a lot of insights, he was however unable to organize at the time. “I feel that my journey through AIM will give me the clarity and structure I need to capitalize on these ideas better,” he reflects. Life at AIM

Macoy describes his stay at AIM as a very challenging experience where people have to learn to adapt to be able to survive. “The main difference,” he notes, “is that we are encouraged to take risks, so that mistakes inside the classroom will not be repeated outside.” Studying at AIM is not limited to academic growth, but also holistic development. Friendships are developed and network strengthened creating stronger relationships, which can catapult future business ideas. The current batch, according to Macoy, is very interesting because of the change in the MBA program from a two-year course to a 16-month program. The MM class is changing as well. It used to cater mostly to company sponsored students, but now it is moving towards attracting high-level executives, lawyers, priests, teachers, police service members and government-experienced managers. The unity of the batch is also strengthened in many ways, ranging from the pilot test Host Family Program to adventure trips, such as white water rafting and paintball. The bonds built today create building blocks for future business relations. And not only business relations. Macoy had the full backing of his MM 2008 class, as well as support from the MDM, MBA and ME in winning the S.A. Chairman position. His group tried to understand the needs of the student body, as well as their own concerns. The Student Association was the only medium where the students could create changes for the current batch and for future generations as well.

The Leader

“I am a hands-on and practical leader. I like to encourage my people to work harder and bring out the best in them.” For Macoy, a personal vision is very important to align everything done in work and business. By looking at the bigger picture, Macoy can make a road map to determine and move towards his short-term goals. “Leadership transcends stature, race and belief and can be exercised regardless of the circumstances.” Macoy says. “In simple terms, a leader is a person who can create continuous innovative changes in an organization, changes for the benefit of the majority of stakeholders.” And Macoy is proving himself to be this kind of leader, what with the changes being implemented in the Student Association. As of now, they have identified three toppriority projects that have been gathered from students and from personal experience: (1) Energizing the placement committee to boost both local and international needs of students after graduation; (2) Strengthening alumni relations by capitalizing on the alumni’s current positions and businesses to help students in sourcing projects for their MMR and Action Consultancy projects in preferred industries for MBA and MM, and Rapid Area Assessment for MDM; and (3) Improving life at the dormitory by addressing student concerns. As of now, they have identified three top-priority projects...: (1) Energizing the placement committee...(2) Strengthening alumni relations by capitalizing on the alumni’s current positions and businesses to help students in sourcing projects for their MMR & Action Consultancy projects and Rapid Area Assessment...; and (3) Improving life at the dormitory.... “Now, these things do not happen overnight,” he reflects. “This is a long-term process that has to be supported and continued by the next Student Association for it to succeed. I want an open door relationship between the students and the SA to encourage suggestions and creative ideas to make this thing work.” The next eight to fourteen months will be the most challenging time in his AIM life, he notes. With the WAC, MRR, AC and others, they are challenged to balance their lives with placements, sports, family and most of all, to

blend in with people of different cultures and nationalities. “AIM is an international school. We are brought to a common goal here—to create innovative business leaders that pave the way for responsible nation building,” he says. For Macoy, both his father and fatherin-law are ideal leaders. Although they have different styles of leadership, both of these men have made significant changes within their organizations and the country. From his father, Jose del Pilar Jr., Macoy picked up the qualities of frugality and leading by example, while he learned the road map concept from Ramon R. del Rosario Jr., who created a road map of the Philippines towards a better life, which involves leading companies through good corporate governance. For the Future

Time is of the essence for Macoy. An S.A. chairman’s stint lasts only for a maximum of one year, even less now because of changes in the current program. The main problem of a chairman, according to him, is that their innovative ideas are hindered by the process of continuity and adding value to what has already been started and finished. Macoy and his group have read and analyzed the plans and programs of the previous S.A. and plan to capitalize on them. For this, the S.A. constitution must adapt to the continuity of business, which will be done at the end of his term. But what of life after AIM? Macoy intends to return to the corporate world if allowed to retain his Board Seat position in different companies. “I am an entrepreneur, but I also love working for big corporations because the satisfaction of climbing the corporate ladder through my leadership is something I value,” he says. He has big plans for these companies, if ever. Macoy plans to increase the performance of his companies to further contribute to the miniature Social Responsibility projects that he is doing for education. For this MM student, education is the country’s foundation for sustainable nation building, which is why he attempts to fund scholars who meet his company’s criteria. To his batchmates and professors, Macoy has only this to say: “This is our opportunity to introduce change in our institution to adapt to the changing times. We must be united and have a common vision to continue AIM’s legacy. An institution like this is not created overnight. AIM has proven itself in the Philippines and Asia as one of the top business schools. Let’s continue to protect this interest and thrive for a stronger institute.”

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 23


1/29/08 3:06:52 PM


From left: AIM President Francis Estrada, AAAIM Chairman and alumni host Arps de Vera, MBM 1973, AIM student Sameer Tupaki, MBA 2008, and AIM Dean Victoria Licuanan.

AIM Launches Host Family Program


he AIM Alumni Relations Office (ARO) officially launched the AIM Host Family Program last November 9, 2007 at the AIM Student Dormitory Lobby. Witnessing the event were AIM President Francis G. Estrada and AIM Dean Victoria S. Licuanan. Over one hundred alumni volunteers and students attended the occasion. The objectives of the program, which paired AIM alumni volunteers to overseas students are (1) to assist AIM’s overseas students in adjusting to life and an intense academic experience away from home, (2)


to provide the students with an enriching cultural experience through the alumni family and (3) to help promote a positive experience for the AIM student through an “alumni mentor,” who can provide academic advice and practitioner-oriented support in the Philippines. As a token of friendship and gratitude, AIM President Francis Estrada and AIM Dean Victoria Licuanan handed each host and student participant an AIM mug, to represent the camaraderie that will be forged through mentor-mentee alliances. The meaningful cultural exchange was highlighted when the alumni were invited by the

Executive Managing Director of ARO, Greg Atienza, MBM 1983 hosts Yash Makharia, MBA 2008.

students to attend the Diwali Festival of Lights held at the Fuller Hall after the Host Family Launch.

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 24

1/29/08 3:06:55 PM

Alumni hosts from left: Ric Pascua, MBM 1971, Butch Bautista, MBM 1971, Perpetuo de Claro, MBM 1973 and Ramon Tan, MBM 1971.

Former AAAIM Chairman Alex Tanwangco, MBM 1973 plays host to Dipesh Tuladhar, MBA 2008.

IMDM President Coratec Jimenez, MDM 2002 hosts fellow MDM alumni-in residence Mercy Lucianwaty Panggabean, MDM 2008.

Former AAAIM Chairman Ric Pascua, MBM 1971 plays host to Nitin Bhagnari, MBA 2008.

Triple A 2006 winner Perpetuo “Boy” de Claro, MBM 1973 hosts S.A. Vice Chairman Kshitij Shrivastava, MBA 2008.

MM 2008 students wholeheartedly support the Host Family Program.

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 25


1/29/08 3:07:05 PM


MDM 2008 Goes to San Isidro, Nueva Ecija

MDM 2008 Class with Mayor Sonia Lorenzo and IMDM President Coratec Jimenez at the San Isidro Municipal Hall

At the integrated farm


After the very successful Host Family Program launch on November 9, 2007, the MDM Batch 2008 went on an educational tour to San Isidro, Nueva Ecija on November 11 Mayor Lorenzo sponsored by the International Movement for Development Managers (IMDM) under the leadership of IMDM president Corazon “Coratec” Jimenez and the San Isidro Municipal Office as part of the Host Family Program. MDM 2008 class president Aleem Siddiqui “Al” Guipal and class tour coordinator I.F. “Nina” Mardelenna coordinated the event. A total of 31 MDM students and six MDM alumni joined the one-day tour. Municipal Mayor Sonia Ramoso Lorenzo hosted a hearty breakfast at the Function Hall of the San Isidro Municipal Hall. Mr. Jess Lorenzo, the mayor’s eldest son, welcomed the participants. Ms. Rizalina Pascual, Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Manager, gave a short presentation on San Isidro’s PESO projects, which for the department’s innovation earned them the Kabalikat 2007 Award by the TESDA. The municipal councilors and department heads joined the group during breakfast for the participants’ queries. During Mayor Lorenzo’s presentation, she expressed her gratitude to MDM Batch 14 for their RAA on San Isidro five years ago. “The RAA helped us in the strategies. They gave us directions...Not all materialized but most of them became our guide,” Mayor Lorenzo said. A Q&A session ensued after the presentations. When asked to state in three words on what makes her leadership effective, Mayor Lorenzo responded that it is “commitment, integrity, heart” that help her govern her constituents. The group then toured two of the municipal government’s projects such as the Nuestra Senora dela Soledad Gawad Kalinga (GK) Village and the TA Dionisio High School in Barangay Malapit. Ms. Jimenez hosted a sumptuous lunch in BaLi. BaLi or Bahay ni Lila is an integrated farm dedicated to her mother and currently managed by her father Col. Dalmacio Tecson, who at 95 years old remains to be in peak condition. The tour ended with Col. Tecson sharing his five secrets to a long, hale and hearty life: 1) Be professional. Stay focused. 2) Do not get distracted with “I love you’s”. 3) Do not over-drink. Drink socially. 4) Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Exercise. 5) Gather as many friends as you can.

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 26

1/29/08 3:07:09 PM

AIM Alumni and Security Bank Unveils 40th Anniversary Credit Card


ecurity Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Alberto S. Villarosa who is also a current AIM Alumni AssociationPhilippines (AAAIM) Director was joined by AAAIM Chairman Ramon de Vera and Director Cesar Espino in unveiling the AIM AlumniSecurity Bank MasterCard. Security Bank hosted a simple ceremony to mark the partnership, held last December 4, 2007 with key AlM alumni officers, MasterCard International Philippines representatives, and senior officers of Security Bank and SB Cards Corporation in attendance. Mr. Villarosa, Mr. De Vera and Ms. Myrna Alberto, former AAAIM director, led the presentation that revealed the commemorative card to kick off the series of activities lined up for the 40th AIM Alumni Homecoming celebration in 2008. The video “card-reveal� showcased the design concept of the card that used eastern visual elements and vibrant ruby color theme representative of the deep Asian roots and traditions of both Security Bank and AIM Alumni Association. The AIM Alumni-Security Bank MasterCard will be exclusively issued to bonafide AIM Alumni members to provide them with unique benefits to suit their particular needs and discriminating tastes. Cardholders will also be able to extend financial assistance to the AAAIM by simply using their cards in any transaction where a percentage of their spending shall automatically be donated to fund its various projects and endeavors. The AIM Alumni-Security Bank MasterCard will come with the Security Bank E-Secure MasterCard, a card designed to ensure safe and secure online shopping and other e-commerce transactions. Cardholders may also avail of the ChargeLight Installment Plan to pay for short courses at AIM on affordable terms. Cardholders will also have access to other benefits such as the Good Life Rewards Program where they can earn points as they spend and redeem items such as PAL Mabuhay Miles, gift checks and other gift items. Cardholders shall also be entitled to travel insurance when they purchase their travel tickets using the card. Bills Assist is also available for the automatic charging of utility bills and subscription fees for payment convenience. The AIM Alumni-Security Bank MasterCard will be available to AIM Alumni members by the 1st Quarter of 2008.

Mr. De Vera and Mr. Villarosa sealing the partnership with a handshake.

Ms. Belen C. Lim, SB Cards Chairman, with Ms. Alberto, Ms. Dayrit, Ms. Papa, SB Cards VP, Mr. Atienza and Mr. Cajucom, SB Cards VP A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 27


1/29/08 3:07:17 PM



Band of Brothers The Anands


hen Vaibhav Anand entered AIM’s MBA program in 2005, professors and batch mates warned him that he had “huge shoes to fill”—specifically, the shoes of his older brother Saurabh, who had made it to the Dean’s List during both semesters in his first year. And Saurabh, being only one year ahead of Vaibhav, just might always be compared to him. Influential in placing the brothers in AIM was their father, a management consultant. He was approached by a protégé to draft a letter of recommendation for the latter’s application to AIM. It was not lost on the elder Anand that business luminaries such as Ashok Soota and Ramesh Gelli are products of AIM. Wanting similar training for his sons, Mr. Anand kept asking Saurabh to consider AIM first for his MBA so as “to gain the Asian perspective.” “Once he had convinced Saurabh to enroll there, he shifted focus to me!” recounts Vaibhav. “I was initially skeptical about moving out

of India to do my MBA, but he asked Saurabh to speak to me about the program and the learning methodology. When I saw that Saurabh seemed to enjoy his experience, I also applied.” While their parents never measured one brother against the other, it was different at AIM, where Saurabh, who has always been academically brilliant, stood out. “Being Saurabh’s younger brother meant that people had a lot of expectations from me,” confesses Vaibhav. “I accepted these comparisons as a fact of life and dealt with them. Of course, Saurabh himself never once told me that I had to match up to him. On the contrary, he told me to do the best that I could do, and results would show. His words had a stabilizing effect on me and made me more comfortable.” Putting the brothers at greater ease was their parents’ unparalleled support. “I recall a lot of email conversations I had with both my parents about how difficult I was finding the whole experience. They always replied with words of encouragement and inspiration,” notes Vaibhav. “Our parents even came to the Philippines during my first year and spent time with us. They took great pains to understand

how things worked at AIM and always empathized with our situation and schedules.” The family therefore knows AIM deeply— and has expanded to accept more AIMers. Saurabh married his MBA 2006 batch mate Amrita Philips, and Vaibhav is engaged to Tanuja Gajria, who graduated with him in 2007. “People always joke about how AIM has now become some sort of tradition in our family,” observes Vaibhav. “Our batch mates and friends are convinced that all our kids will eventually end up at AIM and might even find their future spouses there! “Graduating from AIM has brought Saurabh, Amrita, Tanuja, and me much closer,” he continues. “Tanuja and I know that we can always approach Amrita and Saurabh for any advice, personal or professional...My relationship with Saurabh matured at AIM. While I always respected him, it was at AIM that I truly appreciated his wisdom and advice. He stood out as an exemplary role model in all respects.” Vaibhav has been hired by The Essar Group, a diversified conglomerate in India, where he practices his principle of high integrity and commitment. He and Saurabh,

Words by Rose Cheryl R. Orbigo, BMP 2005, Jerry Quibilan, MM 1976 & Sherbet Katigbak-Manalili, BMP 2005 Photographs by Norman Gorecho & Edward Simon 28

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 28

1/29/08 3:07:17 PM


however, are “strongly committed to taking over the reigns” of the family business, a consulting organization based outside India. “We are confident that our time spent together at AIM will be of great help when we get back to the business,” says Vaibhav. “AIM has ignited the entrepreneurial streak in both of us.” And AIM has ignited a recruiting streak in their father, who “spares no opportunity to recommend AIM to friends and family members.” “He has already convinced two of his clients to enroll in the new 16-month MBA and is working very hard to convince one of the young members of his team to apply next year!” reveals Vaibhav. “Our cousins are still quite young, but I’m sure that AIM will see more members of our clan joining the AIM fraternity in the future.” The Aycos

The de Veras

Brothers Charlito and Andy Ayco used to be priests-in-the-making. Charlie attended a seminary in Bohol province and later transferred to San Jose Major Seminary at the Ateneo de Manila University for theological studies. But Charlie realized that “priesthood was not for me, so I decided to pursue my desire for service through more secular means.” The younger Andy, nevertheless, got ordained as a diocesan priest in 1987. After Ferdinand Marcos was deposed in the 1986 EDSA Revolution, Charlie, then a theology teacher at the Ateneo, was appointed OIC Mayor in their hometown of Sevilla, Bohol. He won in the 1988 local elections. “I thought that this was an opportunity for me to really do public service to people in need and make a difference,” says Charlie. “I was young, single, very idealistic, full of energy, and imbued with the Ateneo spirit to be a ‘man for others.’ Perhaps I caught the attention of people in the development world because my town was A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 29


1/29/08 3:07:20 PM


identified as a case study area of AIM.” Prof. Edel Guiza came in 1992 to evaluate Sevilla’s entry project for the nationwide Galing Pook local government competition. During lunch with the brothers, she showed information materials on AIM. Being a Catholic priest, Fr. Andy thought that AIM was only for business and government professionals. “However, Prof. Guiza informed me that a number of priests had already graduated from AIM and had even become AIM faculty. That slowly shaped my interest to try AIM.” Neither did Charlie dream of entering AIM at first. “I knew about AIM and understood that it was academically demanding but very expensive. I thought it was reserved only for the brightest and the rich...When Prof. Guiza explained the Master in Development Management (MDM) course, I thought that this was the kind of education I wanted. When I left Ateneo, I already had an MA in Theology and was also a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Psychology. But the demands of my job as a mayor prevented me from completing my doctoral dissertation, aside from the fact that I could not afford the frequent trips to Manila to consult with my adviser.” Fr. Andy, meanwhile, was slated at the time to take post-graduate studies in Theology at the Catholic University in Leuven, Belgium, with the aid of a scholarship grant from Missio of Germany. “Since I already had a master’s degree in Theology, I thought it would be more beneficial to me and to my diocese if I pursued another course.” Andy consulted Charlie, who advised him that “what he needed to be able to really help the diocese was formal management training.” Fr. Andy therefore took and passed the AIM Admissions Test in 1993. In the same year, he persuaded Missio of Germany to transfer his scholarship grant to AIM, paving the way for his inclusion among the MDM entrants in 1994. Charlie, unfortunately, “experienced first hand what money politics could do” and lost his reelection bid in 1992. “My track record as a mayor helped, and I was invited to head a local NGO in Bohol,” he notes. “I decided to devote myself to the NGO world because I saw it as a chance to continue working in development. But I still felt that formal training in development management would be very helpful in the long term. “Andy shared with me great stories about his experiences at AIM—the academic demands, the professors, his classmates, and study hours 30

The Tongcos

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 30

1/29/08 3:07:22 PM

that extended way past midnight. He encouraged me to go to AIM also... But at that time, I was already married with two very young children. I did not have the financial means, so I thought AIM would remain a distant dream. But he convinced me to try and apply for scholarship.” Charlie did become a scholar under the ADB-Japan Scholarship Program. “This was very critical for me because my scholarship covered all my school expenses and also provided some allowance to support my stay in Manila. I tried to save as much as I could so that I could both sustain myself and support my family left behind in Bohol.” Professors would compare the brothers, who have altogether different personalities: Andy the priest is silent, while Charlie the expolitician is talkative. Coming from a modest family—their father was a government employee and their mother a public school teacher—both consider their AIM education a great blessing. Despite his financial challenge, Charlie graduated with Distinction in 1996. Being products of the MDM strengthened an already close relationship. They would “confer with each other on certain management and development issues and listen to each other’s views.” I often refer to my brother plans and problems related to my work,” adds Fr. Andy. Fr. Andy was hired in June 1995 to serve in Cambodia as academic coordinator of the USAID-funded Georgetown University Small Business Training Program. Upon his return to the Diocese of Tagbilaran at the end of 1997, he was assigned to head its Social Action Center, Diocesan Commission on Service, and Diocesan Pastoral Council (DPC), which oversees all pastoral programs. Between 2001 and 2006, he continued as DPC chairman, became a parish priest, and led the Diocesan Commission for Community Formation Apostolate. But due to his deteriorating health, he gave up his posts last year. “Since then I have simply acted as a consultant in matters related to the management of our diocese,” he reveals. “For instance, I was tasked to head a committee to evaluate our financial system and to conduct a management audit of our Catholic schools. “In all my work assignments, my AIM education has played a very important role, both for me personally and for our diocese’s Personnel Board, which prepares our priests’ assignments,” he continues. “I developed higher self-confidence: If I can make it at AIM, I’ll make it anywhere. In my work environ-

ment, there is no workload as heavy as AIM’s, no time pressure as short as AIM’s, no superiors as demanding as AIM’s. So, everything back here can easily be accomplished...And I can always turn to my brother or to my AIM classmates if I need advice. On the part of our Personnel Board, I guess they also thought that I can handle difficult tasks because I have been assigned to such types of jobs.” On the other hand, AIM education prepared Charlie for greater responsibilities. Under the Office of the Vice-Governor of Bohol, he handled the Special Projects Unit, which conducts policy research for the Provincial Board. “During this time, I was also a volunteer of Habitat for Humanity and became the founding president of a Habitat affiliate. It was one of the sites visited by former US President [Jimmy] Carter when he came to the Philippines to build with Habitat in 1999. Right after that, I was offered a position by Habitat for Humanity Philippines to expand its operations in Visayas and Mindanao. I felt great about getting the chance to help thousands of homeless families. In a year, I was asked to be the COO of Habitat for Humanity Philippines. But this position required me to be in Manila most of the time, and I was becoming an absentee father.”

“The family has been truly blessed. Not too many are given the opportunity to study in the country’s best schools, and an even rarer feat is for all the children to excel in all their undertakings.” Aware that his constant absence was affecting his children, Charlie resigned from Habitat Philippines but was immediately offered a position by Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) to be the Regional Program Manager for Southeast Asia. “With the condition that I could work from home and spend not more than half of my time for travel, I moved to that position and was very thankful. Around two years later, I took the role of Director for Regional Programs (East Asia and the Pacific) for HFHI, based in Bangkok, where I moved with my family. Then lately, I moved to another department as the Director of Program Development and Support for Asia Pacific. Since graduating from AIM, Charlie’s guiding principle has been to give his best.

“When one is working for the poor, especially, we should be very efficient. It would be unfair to pass on the cost of our inefficiency to the poor.” Charlie’s daughter is still in college and his son in high school, but this early he has dearly prayed that both would get an opportunity to study at AIM and, like him and his brother, “use this to help those who have less in life.” The Sarmientos

The Sarmiento brothers—Rene, Joselito, and Josefino—are unique even among siblings that studied at AIM. This trio did not only attend the same institution for their postgraduate degree; they also went to the same school for elementary, high school, and college. They took the same course, BSC—Accounting, at De La Salle University, where Rene graduated magna cum laude and Joselito and Josefino both graduated summa cum laude. They all passed the same government licensure examination (for Certified Public Accountant) before entering AIM’s Master in Business Management program. To say that they are closely knit is an understatement. “One cannot help but wonder if [we] not only look alike but also talk alike,” says Joselito. Their parents, Jose and Rosita, were also CPAs who firmly believed that a good education is the best legacy that they could give to their children. “Although belonging to the middle class, they set aside a significant part of their savings for our continuing education,” notes Joselito, who landed in ninth place in the 1975 CPA board examination. The family learned about AIM through word of mouth. After the favorable feedback of Rene, who completed the MBM in 1978, it was easy for the younger brothers to follow suit. Joselito was granted a full, two-year scholarship by the Harvard Business School Association of the Philippines; he graduated With Distinction in 1979. Josefino received a similar scholarship from Planters Products Inc. and obtained his degree in 1986. “Most friends of the family, as well as those who know, are awed by the academic achievements of the Sarmiento children and their successful careers,” observes Joselito. “The family has been truly blessed. Not too many are given the opportunity to study in the country’s best schools, and an even rarer feat is for all the children to excel in all their undertakings. After all, it is common for a family to have a combination of more successful and less successful children.”

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 31


1/29/08 3:07:23 PM


The brothers’ MBM degree became key to getting good entry positions in reputable companies. After graduating from AIM, Rene joined Far East Bank & Trust Co., where he started as a management trainee and ended up as portfolio manager in the Trust Division. He moved to Security Bank, where he rose to become vice president and head of the Trust Group. Today, he is first vice president and Trust Group head of China Banking Corporation. Joselito, on the other hand, joined General Milling Corporation (GMC) as a management trainee, was promoted to corporate planning manager after a year, and then to corporate planning director. At 29, he was the youngest department head in the company. He was promoted to vice president for corporate planning in 1995, for both GMC and Alaska Milk Corporation, in a concurrent capacity, after Alaska was spun off from GMC. In 1998, he took the post of vice president for finance and treasurer of AMC. Recently, he was further promoted to senior vice president and chief financial officer of Alaska Milk. Josefino, the youngest, was recruited immediately by Avon as operations manager. He subsequently joined Sara Lee as fi nancial controller and moved on to become the general manager of Herbalife, as well as Jardine Davies Direct. For a decade now, he has been the country manager of Sunrider, a U.S.-based health food company. “All that we learned from AIM contributed to our moving up successfully in our respective careers within a relatively short period of time,” says Joselito, for whom “life is a balancing act.” “You need to get your priorities straight,” he explains. “Work hard on achieving your goals, and everything will fall into place.” For the Sarmientos, everything did indeed fall into place.

Following the Footsteps The Cuestas

Conrado Cuesta and Leni Verde first met at AIM, fell in love, and tied the knot on May 22, 1971 at Mary the Queen Church in Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila. Conrad, a Distinction graduate, and Leni, who was the fi fth in her graduating class of 32, served as an inspiration to their son Jax, the second of three children, who completed his MBM in 2001. Like his Dad, he graduated with 32

Distinction--the first and still the only one of its kind in AIM since 1970. As fate would have it, Conrad and Leni ended up as classmates, and even belonged to the same CAN group. What really attracted Conrad to Leni was when she ended up fourth in a class of 74, while he was fifth after the first semester. From the second semester onwards, Leni claims Conrad distracted her with his phone calls, so he ended up “With Distinction” and she remained at about the same ranking. Asked why she went to AIM, she recounts: “While in Benguet, the price of the stock started running up because of a multimillion project being negotiated at very high levels. One day, a male secretary at Benguet came into the parking lot driving a red Volkswagen and I thought to myself, ‘Why did he make money on this whole

business (poultry, piggery, and fish farming) and a construction company. He also spends more time in Rotary International as club president of RC of Pasig, one of the biggest clubs in the country. Leni, on the other hand, after 23 years at Jardine Davies as Group Treasurer, and the CEO of an investment management subsidiary, retired in 1998—too early as it turned out. She got bored and went back to work at FriendlyCare Foundation, Inc., a network of clinics for family health care and family planning. Jax and wife, Melodie, are living in Toronto, Canada. Jax earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management, Cum Laude, from the Ateneo de Manila University. He currently works for the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), the regulator of banks, insurance companies, mutual funds and all other deposit-taking institutions in Canada. The Xerez–Burgoses

S The Cuestas business, and I did not?’” At that time all the studies were passing under her nose. Unfortunately, she did not know enough to understand and use them. She decided then and there to quit and enrolled at AIM. Many years after, when a prospective employer asked why she went to AIM, she said, “Because of a red Volkswagen.” After explaining the history of the statement, she was asked, “Well, did you get your red Volkwagen?” and she answered, “No, I got a Ferrari.” While Conrad and Leni are now grandparents to their only granddaughter, Kyla Elise, they are still working, unlike a good number of their classmates some of whom can now be found solely in golf courses, Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs or other civic organizations. Still others may already be counting their pesos along with their carbs, calories, cholesterol and grandchildren. After Conrad’s stints at Filsyn, Trans-Asia and General Motors Philippines, Inc., he became an entrepreneur—he set up an agri-

ince its establishment in 1990, Landco Pacific Corporation has been one of the Philippines’ premier real estate development firms. Its founder, president, and CEO, Alfred “Freddie” Xerez–Burgos Jr. (MBM ’71), is one of the finest AIM alumni, having been conferred the Alumni Achievement Award (Triple A) in 1994. Just four years after this recognition, Alfred Xerez-Burgos III became the first of Freddie’s sons to enter AIM. “My father was my biggest influencer,” confesses the younger Alfred. “I’ve looked up to him ever since I can remember, and I usually followed his general path...Though I had my share of difficulties in school, my father always told me to just try my best.” All the Xerez-Burgoses graduated from De La Salle University, which created an initial family bond. “[But] we were always told that college was not enough to get ahead in this world,” says the younger Jose Antonio. “A master’s degree would be needed to be able to land a good job.” The sons therefore trooped to AIM, where comparisons were quite inevitable. “I overheard some professors, who probably were my father’s contemporaries, saying, ‘If it were Freddie, he would’ve fought tooth and nail to drive his point,’” recounts Alfred. “I’ve grown up being compared to my father, so these things don’t bother me anymore. I’ve just come to accept that I am different, and I have my own set of strengths and weaknesses.” Alfred received his Master in Management

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 32

1/29/08 3:07:23 PM

diploma in 1999. Some months later, Jose Antonio was enrolled in the Master in Entrepreneurship program upon the recommendation of Prof. Danny Antonio, who was Landco chief operating officer. “Prof. Antonio convinced me and my father that ME was the best course suited for me at that time in my career,” recalls Jose Antonio, who, in turn, got compared at AIM to his brother Alfred. “My wife agreed that it was the best time for me to go back to school. She also sacrificed a lot of her time to allow me to focus on studying... My father noticed [that the ME] was less rigid [in terms of] schedule and tests. However, the course helped me master our business. I was glad I took that program...I was able to work while I studied, and the hours were bearable. If not for the practicality of this course, I might still not have taken my master’s. “At least half of Landco Pacific’s executive force is composed of AIM graduates. It’s a big plus to be one...Our people are our most valuable resource,” notes Jose Antonio, who adds that some people would get “fascinated” by the multiple AIM alumni in the Xerez–Burgos family, “as though we were a family of doctors, architects, or lawyers.” “I guess it gave them the impression that we are capable and professional,” explains the vice president for Leisure Communities of Landco. “Since we all work for the same com-

pany, this becomes an instance when nepotism is advantageous. As one of our executives said when I was still a project head, I was a middle manager who was top line incentivized, midline responsible, and bottom line dependent.” AIM lives on in the Xerez–Burgos household. The younger Juan Carlos is taking the ME. And the Institute, Alfred notices, crops up as “a topic of conversation during Sundays.” “AIM has greatly contributed to the advancement of my career,” admits Alfred, now senior vice president of Landco. “I felt like my career had reached a standstill before I started my MM. At age 27, I was one of the youngest, if not the youngest in my class, and I had to keep up with a lot of older and more experienced guys. But after the program, I felt like my experience accelerated by at least five years! I knew how to process information faster and more effectively. This really gave me an edge. [Since AIM] I’ve always kept an open mind to change and to respect others’ views. Even though I feel strongly about a certain point, I make sure to listen to the other side first. Then I decide.” The “Trinity”

Seminarian Fernando L. Trinidad II had just completed his Philosophy course when he decided to avail of the traditional regency period, an interregnum given to those training

The Lims

for the priesthood, as “breathing time.” Outside the confines of the seminary, Andong, as he is called, went in search of alternatives. Recognizing that he needed more than his philosophy and theology background to survive in the “real world,” he decided to pursue a secular degree. Having heard of a management school similar to Harvard that had been recently established in the Philippines, he applied at AIM. His exemplary credentials—magna cum laude for his Bachelor of Philosophy, cum laude for Bachelor of Arts, University of Santo Tomas (UST) Rector’s Awardee for Academic Excellence, and consistent class valedictorian from elementary to secondary school—became his passport to becoming one of the few students straight from college and without work experience who got accepted for the MBM program in 1973. Everything at AIM was new to Andong, from the terms debit, credit, ROI, WAC, and shareholders, to the way of life and of dealing with peers in and out of the case room. Used to having his own room as a seminarian, this time he had to settle with four other occupants in the AIM dorm room. Moreover, he had to bear the consequences of a very challenging financial situation. Unlike his classmates, a number of whom were scholars or were members of well-off families, Andong had to borrow money from friends and relatives as well as secure an educational loan from the Social Security System in order to finance his studies. In the beginning, he had to wait for his classmates to finish the exam before he could borrow their calculators. He scrimped on every centavo so he could to buy his own calculator. Occasionally, he also skipped breakfast to save on funds. To ease his financial burden during the two-year program, he took teaching loads in the evenings at Letran College and San Sebastian College. Despite the hardships, Andong believes that God used AIM and his “wonderful experience” here to eventually place him where he is today. Armed with his MBM diploma, he joined an investment house and later on worked for a development bank for 12 years. During this period, he also taught at the UST Graduate School and pursued a doctoral degree in Management. Today Fernando is connected with an entrepreneurial group covering real estate, money transfers, distribution of LPG and pharmaceuticals, and the production and distribution of industrial and

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 33


1/29/08 3:07:24 PM


medical gases. He is the CEO of the group’s pharmaceutical distribution company and remittance business, a “super franchisee” of an international money transfer company. Along the way, he likewise established his business ventures: a preschool and a dormitory for medical board reviewers. On weekends, he enjoys growing mangoes and mahogany on a 60-hectare property in Bulacan. The other facet of the story is this: Andong got married and had two sons and two daughters. Always dreaming that one of his children would follow his footsteps to the halls of AIM, he encouraged them to enroll at the Institute. Once again, his prayers were answered: instead of just one, two of his children eventually enrolled at AIM. His eldest, also named Fernando, chose the Master in Entrepreneurship (ME), while his daughter, Cherrylin or Len, studied in the MBM program. “Since my brother and I entered at the same time, we would sometimes get the same cases and professors,” relates Len. “We would share tips on how to attack a case and what to say during class participation. My brother would always tease me that we, the MBM students, should do well in our classes because they, the ME students and company owners, will hire us after we finish our program...It’s also funny that some of dad’s professors, such as Prof. [Gaby] Mendoza, became our professors as well.” The younger Fernando, nicknamed Pong, belongs to the first ME batch. He has his own customs brokerage firm, and he teaches an entrepreneurship course at the Asian Institute of Tourism at the University of the Philippines. Len, on the other hand, established her own events and management company after finishing the MBM in 2001. “My company was subcontracted by various aid-funded programs to do education-information-communication projects for three years,” she explains. Len also believes that her AIM experience helped her with her graduate studies at Columbia University, where she took another degree, MA in International Energy Management and Policy. “AIM trained me not only to analyze cases and crunch numbers but also how to network and package or market myself to companies during interviews. Because of this, I was offered numerous internship opportunities; one of these was at the United Nations headquarters in New York. I was also offered a full-time job in an international energy consulting firm a year before I finished 34

my graduate program.” Len obtained her degree from Columbia last May. She is a consultant for the energy consulting firm London Economics International in Boston. Soon, another Trinidad, Karen Katrina, might enter AIM as well. Karen is managing the family’s preschool and is a part-time psychologist with the Philippine Sports Commission. For her, it is still a toss-up between the MBA and an entrepreneurship program. Typically, Len is persuading her to choose the MBA, while Pong is pushing her to enroll in the entrepreneurship course. Because of their common experiences at AIM, the three Trinidads have found it easier to relate and communicate with one another. “We share the same wavelength; we approach problematic situations in a similar way,” observes Len. “We even appreciate the same corny AIM jokes!” More important, however, are their shared values of stewardship and service. Believing that “owning a business and running it is a God-given gift,” the Trinidad family puts emphasis on accountability to stakeholders and service as the driving force of business. “Doing business is not merely raking in the money,” comments Len. “It should touch lives, transcending the monetary and the mundane. It should establish relationships with clients, employees, and management. Business should be only the means, not the end itself.”

“We share the same wavelength; we approach problematic situations in a similar way... We even appreciate the same corny AIM jokes!” The Tongcos

Serafin “Bong” Tongco explored the AIM campus during its so-called “early days.” He first heard of the “new management school run by Ateneo and La Salle” prior to his college graduation in 1971 from Ateneo de Manila. After he had gained AIM’s required twoyear work experience for the MBM, “my uncle, Martin Bonoan, executive vice president of Philippine Airlines and Tito Tinggoy to me, told my mother to send me to AIM,” narrates Bong. “I entered the school on a student loan, and Tito Tinggoy was my guarantor.” Bong thus became the first in his family to emerge from AIM. He was followed by his Tito Tinggoy’s son, Eduardo Bonoan, who also studied the MBM and eventually joined the

AIM management. Bong’s son and namesake, Serafin Tongco II, will hopefully be the third graduate; he belongs to the first batch of the 16-month intensive MBA. “AIM education has qualified me to take any management job that comes along,” remarks Bong, whose guiding principle has been “integrity and hard work pay off.” “I have been in finance all of my life, working in a bank at the start, then in two mining companies as chief finance officer. Now I am with another bank as senior vice president and trust officer… I think the training to do analytical work and the work ethic that AIM ingrained in us, allowed us to be successful in any job.”

Three Generations


f a family tree were to be stamped with an AIM seal for every member to graduate from AIM, perhaps no family can match the number of AIM seals of approval, as it were, in the de Vera and Lim-Marty families.

The De Veras

The de Veras’ family history is intertwined with that of AIM’s; several de Veras have been a part of AIM since its beginnings. Vicente de Vera Jr., or Jing, sparked the family’s interest in AIM. The eldest of the brood, he graduated from the Ateneo de Manila business school’s Master in Business Management in 1968, the same year that Ateneo co-founded AIM. Jing later became a case writer, case reader, and Economics professor at AIM. Jing’s younger brothers soon followed. Herme became one of the first MBM alumni of AIM in 1970. He migrated to Vancouver in 1976 and then joined the University of British Columbia staff. Ramon, commonly called Arps, graduated from the MBM in 1973. He financed his education through a Social Security loan and savings gained from two years of working. Today he is the chairman and CEO of Petrovantage Corp. as well as the chairman of the AIM Alumni Association Philippines. The family matriarch, Milagros (“Nena”), designed the AIM cafeteria, including the kitchen and storage area, after she had just returned from cafeteria management studies at Cornell University and trained with Saga Food Services, at that time the largest cafeteria chain for offices and schools in the U.S. Mrs. de Vera took the Management

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 34

1/29/08 3:07:24 PM

Development Program in 1974 and managed the AIM cafeteria for about 25 years. From 1974 to 1976, the AIM campus had three other de Veras besides Jing and Mrs. de Vera. Sisters Jocelyn and Catherine graduated from the MBM in 1979 and 1981, respectively. Their father, Vicente Sr. (“Ting”), who already had a PhD in Political Science and attended special courses in Harvard in 1975, decided to continue his studies in AIM. He belonged to the MM ‘76 batch. “Christmases in my parents’ home always had as guests foreign students in AIM,” says Arps. “The original founding faculty of AIM all became family friends.” Unfortunately, the martial law then in effect in the Philippines impinged on the family’s atmosphere of success and happiness. “Jocelyn took political asylum in the United States in 1977 after the magazine where she was photo editor was closed under martial law,” recounts Arps. Jocelyn now runs her own photography shop in California. Residing in the same state is Catherine, who is part of the administrative staff of the not-for-profit, managed care organization Kaiser Permanente. The 1990s ushered in the third-generation de Veras to AIM. Arps’s daughter, Maite, completed the MBM in 1997 and has been an investment banker with First Metro Investment. Ramon II made a radical shift from his Philosophy degree to work for foreign banks. He obtained his MBM degree in 2001. He joined Citibank as management trainee and is now with Globe Telecom. “Another interesting point [is that] my brother Jing married Marily Tanco from MBM ’81, and Herme married Amy Arteficio from MBM ’72,” adds Arps. “My parents passed away some years ago. [But] together with two in-laws, we in the family who have been in AIM total 11...Of course, there were times when we all discussed favorite cases over family dinner. “It is not possible to go through AIM without taking into our personal lives the discipline and values that go along with the management program,” he notes. “AIM did not only teach us the skills of management but also the work ethic that came with the program.” The Lim-Marty Families

The Xerez–Burgoses

In 1969, just when Capt. Roberto “Bobby” Lim had retired from Philippine Airlines as executive vice president and set out on his own, AIM offered him a position on its faculty roster. Capt. Lim taught AIM’s first graduates, those belonging to MBM ’70 and Air TransA I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 35


1/29/08 3:07:29 PM


portation Course (ATC) ’69. He became one of the pioneer, legendary professors on campus. It was only in 1982, however, when one of Capt. Lim’s nine children showed interest in studying at AIM. “Just ten years out of college, with two kids and a job, I considered taking an MBA,” narrates Erlinda “Linda” Lim-Marty. “I started filling out forms for other business schools, and I mentioned to my mother that I was going back to school to take my master’s degree on a part-time basis. My father told me that I should take the AIM exam, and if I passed, he would sponsor my stay. As a faculty member, he could put his children through school at AIM at a minimal cost to him.” During her interview, Linda, being the fourth child, was asked: “Why are you the one who will study at AIM, not one of your older siblings?” “My answer was, ‘I am the

The Singhs only one, so far, who has expressed an interest in further studies.’ Little did we know that I would start the ball rolling.” As of today, six out of Capt. Lim’s nine children have taken advantage of his faculty benefit. The two eldest, Adelaida (Top Management Program ‘94) and Tomas (MDP ’91), took short courses. Three finished the Master in Management program—Linda in 1983, Vidal in 1988, and Nieves in 1998. Another son, Noel, attended the Basic Management Program. 36

to a relative while taking her MM, needed all Being Capt. Lim’s child, however, had the push she could get. “At the end of the first its pros and cons. “His reputation precedes term, I wanted to quit. Did I need this degree? all of us,” confesses Nieves, the third in the brood. “The comments or unsaid thoughts [of Did I have to even try to understand principles of accounting from the manufacturing point of people] were more like ‘I wonder if she is just view? I was into educational management that like that Professor Roberto Lim?’” put more weight on relationship than on “Dad’s joining AIM was not necesthinking power and work ethics. sarily an advantage for his I wanted to go back to eight daughters,” adds Linda. hours of sleep instead “[Once] an AIM of waking up early student introduced to read reams and himself to me, reams of paper and when I called ‘cases.’ My told him I was CAN group adviser his professor’s simply said, ‘Do daughter, he you want to be disappeared from known as not having the face of the finished the course just earth. To this day, I like __(name withheld), do not know why.” who didn’t finFor many The Trinidads ish?’ The statement years, AIM goaded me on to finish and was simply to Nieves a to enjoy the rest of the two terms. More learning convenient place to meet up with her father, who though came from being with classmates. In also used to ask her to proctor his exams in the the final term, I led the class as president. We ‘70s. “With comments from this character of a had a walkabout in Puerto Princesa with Mayor professor/father on the test papers such as ‘If I Hagedorn, no less, as part of the activity.” wanted you to copy a book for an answer, I would Some months after Nieves proved her methave just asked for a photocopy...’ I vowed that if there were any more professors like him [at AIM], tle, the third generation of Lims stepped up to it was not the place I wanted to be. Besides, I wasn’t the plate. Linda’s son, Martin Marty, joined the first batch of ME entrants. interested in business at all. I was trained as an “I was never pushed [to study at AIM]; it early childhood educator, but I had to assume was an opportunity,” declares Martin. “I was my mother’s responsibility in the management of running my business at the time, and I didn’t the family school when she died in a plane crash. know where to start. The ME just seemed to I could teach a child to read in any of the then fit.” seven modes of learning (now eight), but I had As a student, Martin was “defi nitely already forgotten my own elementary math of compared to my relatives. It kept me honest… learning how to compute interest. I remember the lessons that came from my “On my own, I learned the ropes and (ME) peers.” managed by instinct,” continues Nieves. “But in Martin’s sister, Margarita, enrolled in the the ‘90s, I needed to take a break from so many fourth program run of ME. Marga was “my years of working. I was in the thick of labor neown person” during her stay at AIM, except for gotiations, among other negotiations. My father a few comments such as “Your brother is so thought AIM was just that break. It was also his quiet and formal, unlike you who always have way of challenging me on to more learning.” something to say.” “In our family, education is high on the Ever the entrepreneur, Marga is always list of priorities,” reveals Linda. “It was drilled into our heads that the best thing our parents on the lookout for business opportunities and good ideas. Martin is now an associate direccould give us was a good education. We were tor at the New York branch of the German sent to school, but were expected to do our bank WestLB AG. Their Aunt Nieves, on the share in receiving edification. By the time I other hand, is “happily retired.” entered AIM, I had a generous husband and “I spent eight years as an early childtwo good kids. I had a life of my own. When my siblings went to AIM, I encouraged them.” hood educator and 22 years in educational management—as board director, registrar, Nieves, who experienced being compared

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 36

1/29/08 3:07:31 PM

bookstore manager, treasurer, and vice president for finance,” enumerates Nieves. “Before this career ended, there were anxious moments of learning labor negotiations and finally, participation in due diligence for the change of management. I enjoy sitting as a board member for a company and can contribute logically because of finally having mastered the skill of reading a financial report. I am now a relaxed painter and lifestyle planner. I happily plan my life!” Having multiple AIMers in the family has naturally strengthened their bond. Marga observes: “It has made my relationship with my mom, my brother, and even my dad, who has an MBA from La Salle, stronger. We can discuss the economy and business opportunities, and know that we are all on the same page.” “We speak the same language. At family business meetings, we can understand each other,” adds Linda. “Our family meetings are almost as professional as can be,” explains Nieves. “We have a chair; we take minutes. We discuss all aspects of the case—the financial picture, the people problems, the what-ifs...We leave the heavy numerical stuff to those more inclined to do numbers, just as we leave the heavy emotional and people stuff to those gifted with the special touch of handling people. The combined thinking gets us all together.” In running the business, they each exercise their guiding principles. For Linda, fairness is essential: “The bottom line is not necessarily the best guide.” Nieves, meanwhile, seeks to create the total picture by using the left and right sides of the brain. The person who started it all, Capt. Lim, continues to teach as professor emeritus; he handles the elective Sources and Uses of Power. No one in the family is enrolled at AIM at this time, but as Martin put it confidently, “There will be more.”

Starting a Family After AIM There are those who found love in the halls of AIM and realized that AIM could really be life-changing as they tied the knot with either their classmate, batch mate, schoolmate, or with an AIM staff. An alumnus once said that “the best thing that happened to me in AIM is my wife”—and most, if not all, of our alumni couples would probably say the same.

The Velasco Couple

Dino and Lisset Velasco (MBM 2000), who were married a year after graduation, shares their love story and about their family. “The first time I noticed her was during the Deepavali festival serenading everyone in the crowd. She was the lead singer of the MBM 2000 band. Though we were batch mates, I was introduced to her outside AIM through a common friend. It was really a pleasant surprise and a blessing for me to meet her, as I did not have the guts to approach her in school. From then on, I did not ever let her go. Our common friend, of course, became my best man in our wedding,” Dino recounts. As doting parents to two beautiful daughters—Mikaela Gabrielle, 6 and Veronica Therese, 2, Lisset is proud that Dino is a very responsible and “hands-on” father. “We take turns in taking care of the children. Family life is both fun and challenging. I enjoy being with the family in all activities because I feel they’re all worth sharing with them. Challenging because I work from Mondays to Saturdays and I make time to squeeze family affairs everyday,” she says. “We both value our family very much. When everything you do is focused on the wellbeing of the family, then family life becomes more happy and secured. It seems like there are no obstacles that you cannot overcome. I love my family,” Dino adds. Dino is currently the AVP of E-Citi, Citibak, N.A. while Lisset is a COO/Dealer who directly handles the Ford Lausgroup (Libis, Pampanga, Cabanatuan and Dagupan) and Pampanga Premier Cars BMW.

“...an Indian graduate student and a Filipino-Chinese sharing a life together. Two countries, two cultures—coming together, overcoming stereotypes and biases, co-existing in harmony through love, respect and understanding.” The Singhs

Navneet Singh and Catherine Tan (MM 2005), is another love story of two halves becoming one at AIM. Navneet writes: “There is a cliche in war movies that goes—we went in as boys and came out as men. In a sense, this was how my AIM experience, as well as those of my classmates’, turned out to be. There was a lot of blood drawn, spilt and smeared, a litter of dismembered bodies and howitzers fired. But more than that, we had a lot of parties, camaraderie and fun amidst the

dizzying MRR, WAC’s, finance exams, and difficulties staged by the professors. In the one year that we went through all of these, a new person emerges albeit unconsciously from the core. Other than the intellectual marathon I had to go through reading, analyzing and synthesizing AIM cases, I also experienced a most fulfilling personal life. It was in AIM where I met my life partner, a beautiful Filipino-Chinese lady. Before leaving India, I thought I was ready for new and exciting challenges. I was right—I had a most wonderful roller coaster ride intellectually and emotionally. And here I am now—having a great professional life as a Senior Manager in an MNC and happily married to the love of my life. What do all these mean though? Well, a graduate school in the Philippines shaping the lives of Indians and other foreign nationals; an Indian graduate student and a Filipino-Chinese sharing a life together. Two countries, two cultures—coming together, overcoming stereotypes and biases, co-existing in harmony through love, respect and understanding. How I wish the world can be more like my life experience!” Here are a few alumni couples: Dheeraj Bahukhandi and Caroline Cortes (MBM 1998); Saurabh Anand and Amrita Philips (MBA 2006); Vaibhav Anand and Tanuja Gajria (MBA 2007); Mohit Misra and Maria Rica Quial (MBM 1999); Dino Velasco and Lisset Laus (MBM 2000); Ron Convento (MBM 1990) and Jovy de Guzman (MBM 1995); Stanley Yeo (MM 2003) and November Canieso (MBA 2004); Gilbert Jadraque and Lea Columna (MBM 1990); Jose S. Francisco (MBM 1974) and Ma. Cecilia Ordonez (MBM 1984); Tomas Canto and Rhodora Zamora (MBM 1975); Benjie Palma-Gil and Carina Castillo (MBM 1976); Reynaldo Salazar (MBM 1974) and Cynthia de Jesus (MBM 1975); Jan Eric Menguito (MBM 1993) and Mabel Acusar (MBM 1993); Jom Ignacio and Mel Kimpo (MBM 1993); Nap Gutierrez and Ruth Enciong (MBM 1993); Francis Roxas and Pinky Castro (MBM 1993); Myo Oo and May Belen Dino (MBM 1993); James Ylanan and Marilyn Grace Du (MBM 1990); Jun Bisnar (MBM 1989) and Ofelia Odilao (MBM 1988); Navneet Singh and Catherine Tan (MM 2005); Raul Dealino (MDP 1993) and Angelica Salomon-Dealino (BMP 1985); Rozel Narag (MBA 2006) and Arlita Narag (MDP 2007); Jay Bernardo and Geraldine Go (MBM 1993); Greg Atienza and Mekit Abaya (MBM 1983). And there’s Raul Manikan and Prof. Cecil BorbonManikan, both MBM 1976, who even had their wedding ceremony held at AIM.

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 37


1/29/08 3:07:31 PM



AIM Alumni Ho Chi Minh City Chapter Established


HE AIM ALUMNI Ho Chi Minh City Chapter (HCM) was officially established last September 29, 2007. Greg Atienza, MBM ’83, Executive Managing Director of the Alumni Relations Office, represented AIM. The HCM Chapter is the first city chapter formally launched under the City Chapter Development Project approved by the Federation of AIM Alumni Association (FAIM) last March 2007. HCM is a sub-chapter under the Vietnam AIM Alumni Association (VNAAA) based in Hanoi, with Nguyen Thi Thuan, MDM ’98 as Chairperson. The establishment of the chapter is a joint effort between the Vietnam AIM Alumni Association, AIM Alumni Relations Office and FAIM. Elected as officers are the following alumni: Mr. Vu Tuan Anh Vice Chairman, MM 2002 Member of Preparatory CommitteeR.E.E. Securities,


Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corporation Ms. Tu Le Kim Dung Vice Chairman, MDM 2002 Consulting Manager, Navigos Group Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy Secretariat, MBA 2007 Professional Marketing Manager, Johnson & Johnson Consumer (Thailand) Ltd. Mr. Jeetan Singh Secretariat, MBM 1998 Director, Planet Sports & Trading Joint Stock Company Ms. Phan Thi Hoai Phuong (Paula) Treasurer, MDM 2007 Head, International Trade Promotions Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry The HCM Chapter’s next session will discuss strategies, plans and activities. For more

information, please contact Mr. Vu Tuan Anh at anhvt@rees.com.vn. HCM Chapter presents a bouquet of friendship to Mr. Greg Atienza. From left: Mr. Vu Tuan Anh, MM 2002, Vice Chairman; Mr. Jeetan Singh, MBM 1998, Secretariat; Mr. Greg Atienza, MBM 1983, AIM Alumni Relations Director and FAIM SecretaryGeneral; Ms. Phan Thi Hoai Phuong (Paula), MDM2007, Treasurer; Ms. Nguyen Thi Thuan, MDM 1998, Vietnam Alumni Association Chair (based in Hanoi); Ms. Nguyen Thanh Thuy, MBA 2007, Secretariat; Ms. Tu Le Kim Dung, MDM 2002, Vice Chairman; Ms. Nguyen Thi My Tien, MDM 2002 and Ms. Nathalie R. Maggay, MDM 2007 (based in Hanoi).

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 38

1/29/08 3:07:33 PM



KAIM Salutes

Datuk Annas on his Birthday

Datuk Ir. (Dr.) Mohd. Annas Hj. Mohd. Nor, MM ‘84 President of Kelab AIM Malaysia (KAIM) had a pleasant surprise last September 11. As he was about to call the Board Meeting to order on September 11, he was presented with a two kilogram chocolate banana cake with “Happy Birthday, Datuk Annas” written in icing. >> He had celebrated his actual birthday with a family reunion on September 8. The Board Members present stood up, sang the birthday song and requested Datuk Annas to make a wish by blowing a candle. Adopting the words from AIM Executive Director for Alumni Relations, Greg Atienza, MBM ’83, KAIM members prayed, “God willing, may Datuk live to be at least a hundred! More power to you and Allah bless.” Datuk Annas has been at the helm of KAIM for the last 10 years (since 1997) and has also been Chairman of FAIM since 2004. During its Annual General Meeting last March 3, 2007 he was elected Chairman of the first ever FAIM Board of Trustees. One thing that Datuk Annas picked up from the AIM’s MM learning culture was collaboration and listening to different perspectives to a problem. While his management style may be described

as situational leadership in slant, he feels that participation and ideas from all are equally important. Haji Zul, Hon. Secretary of KAIM, who has known Datuk Annas since he assumed the presidency of KAIM for the past 10 years, describes him as clever, articulate, tenacious, competitive, precisely meticulous and demanding, but also believes in empowerment. “In fact, I enjoyed the freedom to act when organizing various KAIM activities and major events without the President looking over my shoulder. However, I have to keep him well informed and be ready to answer clearly all the important questions that he asked. This process has taught me to learn to think on my feet,” Hj Zul confessed. As such, it is not strange that Datuk Annas shared the same process management principles as subscribed

by Datuk Idris Jala, Managing Director of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) in crafting the success of turnaround businesses. Datuk Annas kept on encouraging KAIM Board Members to inculcate the

Throughout his tenure as President of KAIM for 10 years, he has displayed sterling qualities of being a focused and unpretentious professional who acts as a situational leader. management principles: (1) Try the impossible, (2) Look hard at the P&L, (3) Take action effectively, (4) Practice situational leadership, and (5) Always do your best! Will the Board of KAIM translate the five principles into action and become the alumni turnaround as our school approaches its 40th Anniversary? Signs are pointing in that direction. If role models inspire people to be successful, then it is certainly the

case with Datuk Annas, who retired in September 2005 as Chairman of the Energy Commission after 33 years of having an illustrious career in the Malaysian civil service. Presently, he is the Special Advisor for the International Business of Genting Power Holding Limited in Kuala Lumpur. Throughout his tenure as President of KAIM for 10 years, he has displayed sterling qualities of being a focused

and unpretentious professional who acts as a situational leader. The board meetings have never been dull and boring when chaired by Datuk Annas. He has always liked to tell interesting jokes in between meetings which creates a relaxing and conducive alumni atmosphere. AIM and KAIM wish Datuk Annas a very blessed and happy birthday. We salute your leadership!

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 39


1/29/08 3:07:36 PM


MBM 1988 Hosts On-the-Spot Painting Session at AIM The AIM MBM Class of 1988 sponsored an On-the-Spot Painting Session with selected artists from the Tuesday Group last September 7, 2007 at the Zen Garden of the Asian Institute of Management. Participating artists included the following: Angel Cacnio, Jun Martinez, Dr. Ton Raymundo, Fernando Sena, Nards Miranda, Loreto Racuya, Andy Cubi, Menchu Arandilla, Boy Santiago, Abe Lucas, Domeng Labordo, Waldz Villanueva, Jimboy Santos, Vic Bachoco, Francis Nacion, Mar dela Cruz, Armida, Mario Panis, Ferdie Cacnio, Nick Masangkay and Eric Mercado. A number of artworks were later sold during the Reunion of Celebrating Classes held that evening at the Fuller Hall of AIM. Proceeds will benefit the projects of the Homecoming Committee. For details on how to purchase the available artworks, please contact Ms. Ofel Odilao-Bisnar at ofelbisnar@yahoo.com.


A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 40

1/29/08 3:07:38 PM

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 41


1/29/08 3:07:41 PM

SHOWCASE Bookshelf

The Philippine Economy: Do Our Leaders Have A Clue?

Paradigm Shifting All Around Us



hat country would encourage capital flight and at the same time restrict foreign capital from coming in? Foolish, you would say? We are accustomed to see countries do exactly the reverse: strive to keep the money in, while trying very hard to attract even more foreign money to come. How times have changed. The first is exactly what Thailand, Taiwan, and a growing number of countries around us are trying to do nowadays. A recent article in the Thai English language newspaper The Nation—headlined “SEC calls for liberalization”—quoted the Secretary-General of their Securities and Exchange Commission as saying, “we will encounter big problems if we don’t allow the money out.” He is pushing to ease up on restrictions on foreign investments by Thai individuals. So far, only institutional foreign investment funds have been allowed to invest overseas by the Thai government. Last December, the Bank of Thailand (that country’s central bank) shocked the financial markets when it imposed capital controls—not on outward flows of the kind Prime Minister Mahatir imposed on Malaysia at the height of the Asian financial crisis, mind you—but on inward flows of foreign exchange! Nowadays, Thai financial authorities are talking of the “new paradigm,” where the old conventional wisdom on financial flows—i.e., keep money in, and attract even more to come—has been turned on its head. The mood of the times, it would seem, is to send money out, and keep the outsiders’ money out. The reason, of course, is the rapid appreciation of the Baht (it seems, by the way, that you don’t hear them use he word “strengthening” as much as we do to describe the movement of our Peso), along with the rest of the Asian currencies. As the Peso-dollar exchange rate has gone down over the past months, the Baht-dollar rate has gone down even faster. If Filipino exporters are howling these days, their Thai counterparts must be getting delirious. From an export growth



rate of 8.5 percent in 2006, the Thai authorities expect it to slow down to as low as 4.6 percent in 2007. Their latest overall GDP forecast for 2007 has consequently also turned somewhat grim, to a range of only 3.8 to 4.3 percent. The Thai authorities rightly see the Baht appreciation as a crucial public policy issue. When confronted with the question of which policy direction would promote the greatest good for the greatest number, one has to carefully consider the welfare of those hurt by currency appreciation (e.g. export and tourism industry workers, overseas workers and their families, foreign investors and their employees) against those helped by it (e.g. importers, consumers, domestic citizens investing or traveling abroad). For an economy like Thailand, which built its rapid income and employment growth in recent decades on dynamic export and tourism sectors, one easily understands why financial authorities would now be willing to take a policy stance that goes against past conventional wisdom would have led them to. Thailand is far from alone in their seemingly perverse policy stance, all for the sake of a more comfortable exchange rate. Taiwan now allows its citizens to invest up to US$5 million overseas, in effect urging capital flight. China has been trying hard to restrain foreign investment growth. With foreign reserves running out their ears, they have also been lending out money left and right, and as far out as Africa and Latin America. A lot of it is coming to us in questionable deals like the multi-billion peso national broadband network and the cyber education project, and we’re lapping them up like a hungry dog. Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand is restraining he National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), their government’s counterpart to our NEDA, from financing mega-projects with foreign reserves, afraid of further boosting the supply of foreign currency in their economy, thereby pushing up the value of the Baht even more. Do our own authorities care, or even understand, as much? Secretary Romulo Neri of NEDA seems a lonely voice when he describes the Peso as now being “uncomfortably strong.” Meanwhile we continue to grapple with “jobless growth,” with high and rising unemployment and underemployment rates accompanying our otherwise respectable GDP growth. Statistics tell us that the bulk of our 3-4 million unemployed are young people who never went beyond high school, and are therefore not employable in the much-bruited call center and business process outsourcing (BPO) industries. In view of this, ...the books’ credibility I have constantly argued that apart from agriculture, and authoritativeness tourism is our best bet for creating the needed millions precisely draws from of new jobs in our economy relatively quickly. This is he the fact that they were same industry that has set the Thai economy far apart written by one with both the academic training and from ours. And our appreciating peso is not helping this industry in our country any. the hands-on experience Along with many others with like mind, Rey to thoroughly understand Angeles has long been lamenting what he sees to be what he writes about. government’s misplaced devotion to a “strong” peso. In his previous work The Peso Exchange Rate: Why Are We So Poor? Otherwise known as the Fuchsia Book, and in his even more well-researched sequel, he documents how this policy orientation has hurt, rather than helped, the wider majority of Filipinos through the years. Few economists have the patience to closely examine and analyze data as thoroughly as Rey does, and then glean from them valuable insights at both armchair economists and deskbound econometricians are bound to miss. I’d say the books’ credibility and authoritativeness precisely draws from the fact that they were written by one with both the academic training and the hands-on experience to thoroughly understand what he writes about. A practicing economist (as against an academic one), he writes not just on the basis of what textbooks and journals teach, but more importantly, from the wisdom he has gained directly as a successful entrepreneur who has felt and weathered the direct impacts of the peso’s movement over the years. With paradigms shifting all around us, it is well worth asking, as Rey Angeles does, if we shouldn’t be willing to make the shift as well. Th e Philippine Economy: Do Our Leaders Have A Clue? is available at Powerbooks and National Bookstore (Philippines) outlets or email Rey Angeles at reyangeles@multi-line.com.ph.

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 42

1/29/08 3:07:43 PM

DEMOCRACY & DISCIPLINE Fidel V. Ramos And His Philippine Presidency


emocracy & Discipline: Fidel V. Ramos and His Philippine Presidency is a study of the twelfth president—and twelfth presidency of the Philippines—undertaken by two contemporary students of the subject. The volume is not a biography of “FVR” as in any formal sense. Its focus, rather, is on the pattern of governance he established, certainly based on the character of the man and the principles he lived by. While not exactly a history of the Ramos administration, Democracy & Discipline takes a look at most of the crises and achievements of those years, tracing the roots of the accomplishments to the leadership of a professional soldier for 42 years, an engineer with a grasp of the larger social structure (a Protestant in a predominantly Catholic country) and a global picture shaped by a family steeped in democracy, and a practitioner of formally-learned management principles. Authors Dr. W. Scott Thompson (visiting professor of the Asian Institute of Management and professor emeritus of International Politics, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy) and Dr. Federico M. Macaranas (executive director of the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center) demonstrate that Ramos, during his leadership of the Republic of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998, succeeded in building a team that put in place the political, economic and social foundations of a nation for the new millennium, and achieved a target per capita income of the country well before its target date. The title of the book summarizes the rejoinder, after much soulsearching and reflection, to Lee Kwan Yew’s pearl The title of the book of Singaporean wisdom, summarizes the rejoinder, after much soul-searching imparted to the Philippines: and reflection, to Lee Kwan that the choice was between Yew’s pearl of Singaporean “democracy” and “discipline”. wisdom, imparted to the that the choice Could Filipinos not have both? Philippines: was between “democracy” Was the Philippines, always and “discipline.” Could Filipinos not have both? rated among the happiest people in world surveys, doomed to fall between the Scylla of dictatorship and the Charybdis of underdevelopment and widening poverty? The Ramos presidency, as the book chronicles, sought to craft the Philippine model, charting the country’s path to genuine development within genuine democracy. The book, a product of the Asian Institute of Management Policy Center, is published by the UST Publishing House.

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 43


1/29/08 3:07:45 PM


A Gentle Giant Ashok Soota, MBM 1973

Affable, calm and focused- perhaps the most suitable adjectives to describe a passionate yet gentle man who has steered companies into multi-million dollar businesses, and continues to extend his profound influence in the IT Industry in India. >> His words overflow like a cascade, catching the quickness of his mind, the nimbleness of his spirit. Indeed, Ashok Soota continues to serve as an inspiration for a multitude. Yet his humility and wisdom taper his greatness, which find its expression in his numerous accomplishments, and the success that has generously flowed into the company that embraces his values and his leadership. A Series of Fortunate Coincidences

Ashok Soota grew up with six siblings and thus had learned the importance of sharing at an early age, a core value which he has inculcated in MindTree. With his father in the army, Soota attended 12 schools in 12 years. “I learned how to be fast and agile and to learn quickly,” quips Soota. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Roorkee Engineering College of the University of Roorkee (now named the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee) he worked with Burmah Shell. But the young Soota felt mentally unchallenged and thus left the job. Unmindful of his peers’ criticisms, he opted to work with a smaller company, the DCM Shriram Group of Industries in 1965. He quickly rose from the ranks. Fortunately, the first of a series of pleasant coincidences happened when he had taken a leave from his work and went home to Bombay. He saw an advertisement for the Master in Business Management at the Asian Institute of Management, applied, passed the test, and begun his MBM class in the summer of 1971. He had little inkling that he would be part of a class that would prove to be one of the most influential and successful in the history of AIM. I N T E R V I E W




After earning his degree at AIM, Soota returned to DCM and stayed with the company for 20 years. Soota assumed the role of CEO of Shriram Refrigeration, a subsidiary of the Shriram Group from 1978 to 1984, and his leadership resulted in a vast turn around. Before his appointment, the company had been unprofitable for four years. But his first year of leadership resulted in a steady increase in revenue, and the company achieved popular demand in its product lines. The second pleasant coincidence occurred when Soota went to the USA on a vacation and fortuitously met old college friends, among them Azim Premji. Several months later, Premji got in touch with the group, asking for a recommendation for a prominent post for Wipro. Soota’s name was mentioned and thus began his long history with the IT company. Taking a decision for himself and seeing the vast potential in IT, Soota joined Wipro Infotech as president in 1984. Under his helm, the company expanded from a US$ 2 million business in 1984 to a US$ 500 million business by 1999 with the reputation of being the largest publicly listed IT company in India. “I was always at the right place at the right time,” he muses. MindTree

Then MindTree happened. At 57 years of age, Soota saw the vast potential of trekking on his own, and felt the passion of the entrepreneurial spirit. “I think the delight of learning in building an organization, coupled with many years of experience are big plusses in late stage entrepreneurship,” says Soota. “Certainly size and scale can be planned that way. Sometimes G R A G E D A ,


2 0 0 2

you go into entrepreneurship because you feel you have something to contribute.” In a youthful driven IT industry marked by massive expansion and new learnings, Soota geared himself into an energetic mode to join the gold rush. In 1999, together with nine co-founders and funds from a venture capitalist from the US, Soota co-founded a start-up IT and telecom service provider with an R&D centre which he called MindTree. Blue-chip investors such as Capital International and Walden backed the start-up. Soota was also supported by his team members from Wipro, Subroto Bagchi, K Krishnakumar and S Janakiraman, top software and management professionals, who joined him to form MindTree’s founding group. But the trials were inevitable. A year after MindTree was launched, the dotcom bust happened. But the company kept firm with its telecom business. A telecom bust happened, and MindTree focused on IT and R&D outsourcing. The company experienced the highs and lows of the software market in India, but survived with its confidence intact. Today, MindTree is one of the top IT companies in India. It employs more than 2,000 workers and has recorded a 60 per cent growth rate. Hewitt, BusinessWorld and Data Quest surveys has also ranked it as one of the best employers. MindTree has also been cited by Teleos, in association with The KNOW Network, as one of the five most admired knowledge enterprises in India. After six years, in 2005, MindTree crossed the $100 million mark. Its portfolio has expanded to ERP and supply chain and application management, Internet technology business, and has entered the markets of West Asia, Singapore, Japan and Europe. Its customers range from Fortune 10 companies to start-up businesses. Likely to be part of the second wave of the Indian IT attack, Soota has set the goal of reaching the quintessential $1 billion mark. As a remarkable beacon in the IT industry, “A Gentle Giant” continued on page 52 >>





A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 44

1/29/08 3:07:47 PM

- M


“Sharing is a core value in MindTree. It permeates everything that people do in the company.�

- M A N I K A N ,


2 0 0 2




L A C A N D U L A ,


1 9 9 9

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 45


1/29/08 3:07:49 PM


A Unique Place in History

Sec. Angelo T. Reyes, MBM 1973

“A visionary and an action man, versatile and a topcaliber leader who has helped shape history.” These words are apt descriptions for the man whom we have come to know as “Angie.” Sec. Reyes is an action man and he lets his accomplishments speak for himself.


EFORE HIS APPOINTMENT as the Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary, his assumption of the role was met with a lot of opposition. This is in the same way his position with the Department of Environment of Natural Resources (DENR) was met. Pundits have been proven wrong as his tenures in the different offices he has led made marked differences in their activities and achievements. Sec. Reyes’s impressive academic record started way back in high school as he graduated at the top of his class at the Ramon Magsaysay (Cubao) High School. This was followed by an exceptional showing at the Philippine Military Academy by landing at the 7th spot in his batch (1966). In 1973, he graduated, along with other legendary AIM luminaries such as Francis Estrada (current AIM President) and Jesli A. Lapus (current Department of Education Secretary), from the Asian Institute of Management with a degree in Master in Business Management (MBM). In 1981, he was conferred the AIM Alumni Achievement Award or Triple A, the highest recognition given by the Institute to its outstanding alumni. His continuing quest for intellectual achievement persisted when he also finished a Master’s degree in Public Administration at the Harvard University-Kennedy School of Government. These, among others, have helped in shaping Sec. Reyes’s direction for greatness, for which he has also envisioned for the agencies which he has headed. The DOE and the DENR are but two of the government agencies which he has led. He was also appointed as Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of National W O R D S





Defense (DND). Furthermore, he has also chaired these offices in the past: National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), the Cabinet Oversight Committee for AntiSmuggling, and the Ad Hoc Study Group on the Mindanao Situation. As the AFP Chief of Staff, Sec. Reyes worked towards the Vision of a 21st Century Armed Forces. In 2001, then General Reyes played an instrumental part in a change of governance. That pivotal decision led to a peaceful transition of leadership which ushered new hope for public service. He is also a member of the Board for these organizations: National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) Board, Transmission Corporation (TRANSCO) Board, National Development Company (NDC) Board, National Economic & Development Authority (NEDA) Council Board, Philippine International Trade Corp. (PITC) Board, National Organic Agriculture Board, Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF) Board, Philippine Minerals Development Corporation (PMDC), Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), and the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) Committee. Aside from these, the Secretary has also been made the Chairman of the National Biofuels Board, an advocacy which he feels strongly about, and the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change. The latter was created, by way of Administrative Order 171, in response to the effects of a string of intense super-typhoons in late 2006. He also chairs the Presidential Task Force on the Security of Energy Facilities and Enforcement of Energy Laws and Standards. These are but three of the current G A V I O L A


chairmanship positions which he holds. The Secretary is not a man to talk about his own achievements and people learn about these when they have been fully realized. His challenges with the DOE are, by far, the most diverse that he will encounter and he gives us a little rundown of what to expect in his tenure. Leading by Action. Sec. Reyes has emphasized that leaders should lead by action. “The destiny of the nation is in the leadership,” he says. One of his visions for the DOE is to transform the “Energy Family” to become the best government agency. “Bureaucracy is in a running mode in the agency right now. We’re hopeful that within three months, bureaucracy within the Department will be able to cope up with what I have in mind.” The Secretary chimes in as he comes up with unique management issues that he has encountered with the aforementioned agency. This is in light of a vision that he has already in place. Surely, even before he has even announced anything, the Secretary places things in motion to ensure the seamless flow of his plans. Sec. Reyes always makes sure to produce the best work that he does wherever he is placed. He jokingly says that he’s sad during holidays because there’s no one to work for him in those days. Energizer of the Energizers. “I would like to bring out the best from the bureaucracy and from everybody in general. It is interesting to watch how the Department is being ‘energized,’ in a manner of speaking.” Asking around his workplace, one can gauge that the Secretary is well loved by the people he handles. He is able to bring out the best in his staff and more so, with the different bureaus in the DOE. Sec. Reyes believes that motivating the employees to exceed what is expected of them is a sign of confidence. He is certain that everyone in the agency can be depended on whenever necessary. Future Plans for the DOE. Sec. Reyes has a lot of plans for the DOE. He is currently “A Unique Place...” continued on page 52 >> B Y



A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 46

1/29/08 3:07:49 PM

“The destiny of the nation is in the leadership.”

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 47


1/29/08 3:07:53 PM


A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 48

1/29/08 3:07:56 PM


On the Value of the MBA Today Datuk Haji Sarip Bin Hamid, MBM 1979

Most alumni who knew Triple A winner 2000, Datuk Haji Sarip Bin Hamid, MBM ‘79 in the late 1970s could have predicted he would rise quickly either in the banking or corporate sector. He was a young Bank Manager chosen to pursue a two-year MBM degree program at AIM on a Bank Bumiputra Scholarship. What better way of recognizing an illustrious, high-profile, riskrewarding career at one of the Malaysia leading banks. Two or three decades ago, young and talented professionals on the fast track, identified for a plump job with a bank or multi-national corporation, or even with the government service would be sent to top business schools. At that time, AIM was said to be on a similar level with US-based Harvard. It made perfect sense for Bank Bumiputra to send its high fliers to the Asian premier management graduate school instead of more usual choices like business schools in Australia, the UK and the US. Having obtained the prestigious MBM degree, Datuk Sarip served Bank Bumiputra for a year before moving to Patco Malaysia Pte Ltd a manufacturer and assembler of air conditioners for motor vehicles. There, he was the General Manager, and later on he took some equity in the company and became a major shareholder. In 1986, Datuk Sarip left Patco to assume the position of Executive Director at Asteria Pte Ltd, an investment arm of the Holding Company, Auto Industries Corporation (AIC) Ltd. Within a span of four years, the Board of AIC appointed him as Executive Chairman/ CEO and concurrently the company’s shares were listed on the MESDAQ Market (Second Board) of Bursa Malaysia Securities Ltd. AIC stock remains bullish! Datuk Sarip initiated the diversification strategy of AIC into the semiconductor, plastics, precision metal and ICT through various M&A exercises. By 2000, its listing was elevated to the Main Board of Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE). His equity in AIC via Asteria Consolidated Pte Ltd controls 23.2% of AIC. Today, the OIC Group has a stable of more W O R D S




than 30 companies, including two listed subsidiaries. Even though based in Malaysia, AIC principally operates in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It has six main production facilities, including one in Indonesia. The Group has won several awards from various trade and industry associations. In 2004, it was awarded the most prestigious, KLSE Corporate Excellence Award for companies. Just recently I (HZ) met Datuk Sarip (DS) at the Triple A Club Malaysia Testimonial Lunch at KL Smokehouse. I quickly engaged him in an intellectual discourse.

“To most people, leadership and management is one and the same thing. In AIM, we learned that management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success and leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” HZ: As more Malaysians become increasingly wealthy, young managers are reassessing old assumptions about getting MBA as a passport for successful career advancement. DS: The most important thing that someone can get from business schools like AIM is the maturating of thoughts, the developing sense of reason and logic as well as tolerance for foreign ideas. Business schools like AIM can still be a valuable investment, especially for those who want to change careers. AIM teaches a well-rounded curriculum that exposes students to the full picture of the way the business world works. AIM is a great place to pick up management education, make

B A H A R O M ,


1 9 8 9

friends and build connections that can help throughout one’s career. To most people, leadership and management is one and the same thing. In AIM, we learned that management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success and leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. Briefly the roles divide—managers control risks, use positional authority, operate within organizational boundaries, follow directions and establish order, while leaders take risks, use personal appeal, challenge boundaries and seek opportunities. HZ: Today, many talented managers in their early 30s and on the fast track to becoming CEOs are not interested to take up an MBA degree. They have done the cost and benefits analysis that an MBA is a waste of money and time. They say, “if I were to spend two years at AIM, I’d get an MBA degree, but I think learning different operations or different functions at my workplace would be more valuable. I may even lose an opportunity for promotion or overseas postings for being away too long!” DS: The private sector—and that includes the public sector—is about deals and about relationships. In private equity, an MBA is valued because buying and selling companies involves relationships and company analysis skills. Many companies still require their talented managers to go to business school to learn the leadership techniques and practices from the networking with leaders in the academe, corporate sector, nonprofit and government sectors. It is a question of values; the opportunities to sharpen your worldview and work-life balance. I know the flood of money in the market over the last decade has turned some young managers into millionaires. They measure their status in dollars and cents instead of earning an MBA title. However, the top business schools like AIM serve as a useful filtering system for one’s future career development. The AIM learning is supposed to get every student better prepared for the real world out-


“Th e Value...” continued on page 52 >> BY



A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 49


1/29/08 3:07:57 PM


Post-MBA Certificate Program and the Top Management Program The AIM Post-MBA Program is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the latest managerial concepts and tools to experienced executives who have already earned an MBA degree.


OCUSING ON NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN MANAGEMENT THINKING WITHIN the past decade, this program will enable participants to extend their mastery of managerial skills beyond their MBA learning to include new insights to the fields of marketing, finance, accounting, operations, and corporate governance. The program will also explore the latest thinking on leadership development and the responsibilities of leadership, including strategy formulation and implementation, and the creation of social and political capital within across organizations. AIM decided to split the Post-MBA program into two parts to better accommodate working students who find it difficult to break free from the office for a three-week stretch. The first two weeks of AIM Post-MBA Program are devoted to broadening your skills in each of the functional disciplines, so that as a manager, you can make confident and well-informed decisions. More importantly, this program presents these various disciplines in a fresh, contemporary general management curriculum. The third and final week of the program meets three months later in an intensive Business Leadership module that will improve your ability to drive organizational change throughout your organization. The Key Benefits of the Program

Benefits to participating executives:

nn Gain a fresh perspective on leadership nn Gain confidence that your knowledge is fresh and contemporary nn Become a member of the prestigious AIM Alumni Network Benefits to sending organization: nn Drive organizational change through the Business Leadership Module nn Become current in your general management knowledge nn Apply knowledge from the practical and relevant curriculum to your organization’s improvement Program Content

Functional Topics in the First Two Weeks (November 12 to 23, 2007): ACCOUNTING: nn The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and its importance to every firm nn The International Accounting Standard and its impact to the firms’ performance reporting 50

FINANCE: nn Update on Global Economy and Regional Economic Integration nn Hedge funds, private equity and securitization nn New Capital Market Investments: Competition, Innovation and Impact on Corporations nn Enterprise-Wide Risk Management MARKETING: nn Customer Relationship Management nn Building Market-Focused Organizations nn Managing the Brand nn Marketing and Innovation nn Opportunity at the bottom of the pyramid OPERATIONS AND SUPPLY CHAIN: nn Supply Chain Strategy and Global Production Network nn Off-shoring strategy INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: nn Creating Value Through Strategic IT Management nn IT Project Management

Strategy and Leadership in the Third Week (February 18 to 22, 2008) STRATEGY FORMULATION AND IMPLEMENTATION:

nn nn nn nn nn

Blue Ocean Strategy Building Strategic Alliances Corporate Governance and Business Ethics Organic Growth Corporate Social Responsibility

LEADERSHIP AND MANAGERIAL TOPICS: nn Human Resources Management for the 21st Century nn Empowering People nn Building and Maintaining Trust nn Effective Change Management nn Transformational Leadership Admissions Criteria

nn Applicant must have received an MBA degree from an accredited institution at least seven (7) years ago. An admissions committee thoroughly reviews each application and considers the nature and scope of the applicant’s responsibilities.

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 50

1/29/08 3:07:57 PM

For the benefit of the class, sponsoring organizations, and the program, the committee seeks to admit people with comparable management responsibilities who have diverse skills and experiences. n Applicant must be proficient in English in order to comprehend the reading materials and contribute meaningfully to classroom and study group discussions. It is expected that program participants will immerse themselves completely in the experience and be free of all other duties. Class members are not expected to leave the program except during emergency situations. n All applicants are expected to be computer proficient and have access to computing equipment that can interface with the AIM network through a wireless or plug-in connection. Must be knowledgeable in word processing program and standard spreadsheet program. Application Process

n A completed application form n Two letters of recommendation from superiors n A personal resume n Transcript of records

novation. Few large firms have a systematic and repeatable process for driving organic growth, and as many companies have seen, buying growth can be opportunistic, dilutive and risky. While companies recently focused on downsizing, streamlining, and cost cutting to achieve short-term earnings growth, smart managers are always searching for new ways to create long-term value for their customers by launching new products and services, entering new markets, or rethinking established processes for getting work done. As companies begin to reinvest in breakthrough innovation, leadership strategies that create the right culture and mindset will be critical cornerstone for success. From new markets to mature markets and across every industry, innovation plays a critical role in an organization’s success. From new product introductions to business process innovation, differentiation is vital in driving growth and achieving competitive advantage. These innovation leaders will help company to capitalize on the sweet spot between emerging trends, organizational capabilities, and unmet market needs. Program Content

Program Fee

n US$6,500 (covers tuition, materials, lunch, morning and afternoon snacks and single room accommodations for twenty-one nights (21) at the AIM Conference Center) n US$4,000 for AIM Alumni (inclusive of accommodations for 21 nights) Distinguished Faculty

Prof. Grace S. Ugut, Ph.D Prof. Teodoro Ma. P. Dizon Prof. Maya Herrera Prof. Jose M. Faustino Prof. Ricky Lim, Ph.D. Professor Rene T. Domingo Prof. Gloria M. De Guzman, Ph.D. Prof. Ma. Nieves R. Confesor Prof. Federico Macaranas, Ph.D

Top Management Program Venue: Hotel Padma Bali, Indonesia February 11 to 15, 2008 Theme: Managing Innovation: Driving Organic Growth


olid organic growth is the most reliable and sustainable way to grow your company. It very much depends on in-

n The challenges in driving organic growth n Driving and implementing the MarketDriven Growth Innovation Process n Creating Innovative Business Designs: n Vision: Detecting Market Signal n Fundamental components of an effective innovation strategy n Scenario Planning: profiting from uncertainty n Tools for aligning business strategy and financial growth with innovation and building a platform for growth n Developing winning value propositions n Creating a total experience around customer touch points n Value innovation: Finding new market space n Instilling a Leadership Strategy to Create a Culture of Innovation: n Aligning organization’s internal values, structure, cross-functional teams, metrics, rewards, compensation and leadership styles. n Bringing Innovation to Life in Your Organization For more information, contact the Executive Education and Lifelong Learning Center at (632) 8924011 ext. 102/103 or email excell_admissions@aim.edu.

>> “Can You Say...” continued from page 21 all by taps on a computer keyboard. Training ourselves to be conscious of how easy it would be to send information to unintended receipients is not just an office skill asset but an interpersonal skill as well. Strictly review your email compositions before clicking on the send button as an insurance against emailed “liabilities.” Lost in Translation The Workplace Experience: “If you can’t walk the floor as a shift supervisor, then I’d have better use for you working the phone lines making calls.” This is something I said to a staff in one out-bound call center program that I managed, stemming from a discussion with my boss wherein he pointed out that my supervisor is never seen walking the 250-seat call center floor and instead has his face glued to the computer monitor. In call center environment, the walk is tantamount to making your presence known and felt. It’s part of taking command of your team. Another workplace practice in a call center servicing foreign clients is to observe speaking in English, and not just any English but the kind our customers speak—hence the coining of “Americanization.” In observance of this workforce development program, I would speak as best I could in the language of the market we serve among fellow Filipinos who are also sharpening their proficiencies. In a matter of days, my problems grew as my shift supervisor suddenly became absent after almost two years of never being absent, taking with him key team leaders and high-performance call center agents. The buzz is that the “floor” will be going on strike on my watch. My American boss in this company has extensive labor union experience in his stint in the States and was gearing me up for different scenarios that could result from this threat. Since it was still my program, I had to take control and demanded all the absentees to show up for work or face consequences. Face-to-face, in Tagalog, I asked them what their issues were. It boiled down to a misinterpretation of what I said to the shift supervisor. He thought I would demote him into a call center agent after he has worked hard for 2 years until getting promoted as a supervisor. Because they thought I wielded so much power, the team leaders and key agents joined their supervisor for fear that if I could demote a supervisor then I can do worst things to the rest of the heirarchy. All fears were laid to rest after I gave a minilecture on American English sarcasm, the company’s employment policies, and the Philippine Labor Code. We have all encountered management buzz words such as open-door policy and stakeholder consultation in corporate policy-making. There is a built-in tension between those who make the rules and those who take part in the implementation of the rules. No matter how much we sincerely design policies and processes, there will always be issues exposed during implementation. Taking the time out to analyze all possible scenarios and incorporating them into the design would minimize potential problems. Then again, most situations will just require management to address the issues as they surprise. Cristina de Guzman of MBM 2001 is known to friends and colleagues as Crissy. She is currently with GMA Network Inc., and was previously with a few contact center companies and ABSCBN Broadcasting, Inc. She is also a part-time faculty at the Department of Communications, De La Salle University where she finished her undergraduate degree in Communication Arts.

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 51


1/29/08 3:07:58 PM

>> “A Gentle Giant” cont. from page 44 Soota has not been left unrecognized. In 1992, he was named the Electronics Man of the Year by the Electronic Component Industries Association. In 1994, he was voted IT Man of the Year by Dataquest and in 1997, Computerworld Magazine proclaimed him IT Man of the Year in recognition of his invaluable contributions to the IT industry. From 2002-2003, Soota was the president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the first from the IT industry, and has served the Indian Prime Minister’s task force for the development of the IT industry. He has also been a member of the Advisory Council of World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva. Imagination, Action and Joy In spite of all these successes, what Soota likes best about MindTree is its value systems and its CLASS, which stands for caring, learning, achieving, sharing and social responsibility. “During appraisals, 40 per cent weightage is put on our values,” shares Soota. >> “Th e Value...” cont. from page 49 side the case room. CEOs tend to associate two key characteristic competencies for the up and coming managers. The first is that the role belongs to the highest leadership level of the organization. The second is that, for the managers to be effective, they need to champion and execute the agenda set by the leadership. HZ: But as MBAs become more common (compared to the time you acquired it at AIM), the degree seems to carry less prestige with people who have already enjoyed top-paying jobs in the finance and the ICT world. Datuk, what did you gain from your experiences at the MBM program in AIM? In particular, what you might not have otherwise experienced or achieved? DS: The leadership lessons from AIM are invaluable. Managers in the business, nonprofit and government sectors learned leadership techniques and best practices from the hundreds of case studies and from the eminent professors who are still teaching or have taught at AIM. They have served in positions of leadership in corporate and government sectors that span the Asian region. These management experts cover a broad range of topics that are relevant to any leadership development program in any sector. The case study method in this important resource offer insights into what leadership means to these experts—in both the successful and the not so successful organizations. They aptly described their views on quiet leadership, mission, values, taking care of people, organizational learning and leading change. The valuable


MindTree’s logo vividly represents the organization’s set of core values— Imagination, Action and Joy. Partnering with the Spastics Society of Karnataka that runs a school for children afflicted with cerebral palsy, the MindTree team selected a group of ten students- mostly in wheel chairs, to create a visual identity for the company. Believing that nothing can hold back a brilliant, creative mind, the group decided to adopt the work of a student who has motor and speech disability—Chetan K.S. In the MindTree logo, the blue upward brush stroke is Chetan’s way of communicating imagination, the red background stands for action, and the bright yellow circles represent joy. MindTree’s interaction with bright, creative minds in spite of physical disabilities is a unique manifestation of its commitment to recognize talent and imagination. The artworks of the children now adorn the art gallery of its headquarters, each an original expression of art, as the company shares its commitment to growth with other sectors of society. Soota shares his Bangalore mansion

with two turtles and three dogs, and with geese that live in his farmhouse. Meditation, yoga and trekking are his favorite pastimes as it gives him “a healthy mind and a healthy body”. And with the balance of his innate sense for beauty , kindness, gentleness, imagination, action and joy, it is no wonder that indeed, Mindtree is in very good hands. Sources: http://www.mindtree.com/about/ ashok.html; http://www.telegraphindia. com/1050111/asp/jobs/story_4211612.asp; http://www.ciol.com/ slideshow/50years/page14.asp; http://www.mindtree.com/about/ identity.html; http://www.rediff.com/money/2007/ mar/10soota.htm

putting these pieces in place to ensure their smooth movement. One of his immediate plans for the agency is to spur the development of biofuels in the

country. This is in line with the Energy Self- Sufficiency Plan. The accelerated commercialization of biofuels and biofuelblends will surely be a step ahead for the country to achieve a slow but certain independence from expensive imported petrol products. A timeline has been made to increase the biofuel (biodiesel) mix from 1% in May 6, 2007 to something more significant in the next four years. Aside from this, the privatization of Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) is paramount in his agenda for the power industry. As a matter of fact, the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) Energy Development Corporation (EDC) will be bidded for privatization this year. One of the most important issues that ails the DOE that the Secretary will address in the coming months is the meteoric rise of electric bills and petroleum. Sec. Reyes recognizes the need for a reduction to sustain economic development in the country. As the “Action Man” himself, his actions and achievements will indeed speak for the man.

experience is living up to the challenges! Leadership lessons from AIM contained candid reflections, compelling guides on best practices and frontline ideas that has opened the window of my life into the world of leadership development, when the values of responsibilities and accountabilities set the standard for professional excellence. My accomplishments in business are the result of my lifetime journey from the AIM case rooms to the various company boardrooms. I am proud of being an alumnus of AIM and a member of its MBM class 1979. HZ: Is the case method teaching of the Institute still relevant? Should it be changed in any way to reflect the nature and ambitions of the new breed of Asian managers? DS: Yes, the case methodology is still very relevant. I acquired the mind of the CEO when I did my MBM program at AIM. The thousands of cases that I had to read and debate on in the case room, and the CAN group discussions provided me with the opportunity to think, to assume the role, and to feel especially during the times of intense change, and to behave like a CEO. In the end, I managed to advocate a much broader leadership role as the real Executive Chairman/CEO of AIC. No one interested in the future can afford not to read, think about and debate on the cases of success models, as well as learn from the failure of certain business leaders and their organizations. Leadership competencies are associated with influencing, enabling or inspiring others to act. However, corporate success in the future will require much more than creating

short-term value for shareholders. Most CEOs will have to devote more attention to employees, customers, suppliers and communities—but achieving the right balance of chain management is actually an important task of the future business leaders. AIM must be the incubator to develop future Asian leaders. We need somebody who has general leadership skills, who has acquired a good business sense particularly on the company’s needs. It also means having very good interpersonal skills, knowing what the business needs are, and being able to communicate effectively with all the stakeholders. AIM has to capitalize on its strength to show differentiation quickly if the Institute wants to be relevant for the new breed of Asian managers. AIM will be welcomed by the business leaders who are wrestling with how to make business work better, and those who genuinely seek ways for companies, governments, SMEs and nonprofit organisations to exercise the leadership responsibilities that come with vast economic power. AIM needs to take a much stronger role and must be increasingly bold in branding itself as “the graduate management school of choice for anybody who wants to operate or do business in Asia”. Yes, AIM must strive to become the best general-purpose leadership school in Asia. HJ: Datuk, AIM will celebrate its 40th Anniversary next year. Can you please identify the new features which can contribute to the uniqueness of our alma mater? DS: AIM should answer the question “Can leadership be learned?” with the idea

that whether you like it or not, you are a leader. The real question is whether you will be the 21st century leader who can manage effectively. Much of what turns a manager into a leader can be learned, but not all. Good leaders really care, and because they really care they expose their true selves and take risks. But you can’t teach people to really care, and if they don’t really care then they are just 9 to 5 workers. This emotion is at the heart of what differentiates management from leadership. As you know, managers coordinate, implement and get things done. Leaders inspire, engage and lift people to higher levels of performance. However, let me caution you in choosing where you want to lead…The irony is that some big organizations say they want more leaders but their structures and cultures often homogenize people. Leadership is about using our differences and humanity, but sometimes, the organization effectively kills off leaders and produces robots. HZ: Quo Vadis AIM for the next 40 years? DS: The faculty of AIM should reflect the true Asian composition like the kind of balance it has for the Board of Governors. As starters, all Triple A Winners should be offered to become Honorary Adjunct Professors. Next, in reality, every case room should also reflect the blend of faculty composed of the academe and alumni who are practitioners. This is where AIM can really tap on the expertise of successful alumni who have crafted their accomplishments in the business world and public sector.

>> “A Unique Place...” continued from page 46

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 52

1/29/08 3:07:59 PM

“ 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 S E ’ S M I R AC L E .” -A r i e l d e l a C r u z , M B A 2 0 0 8 a nd Tr ip l e A C lu b S c h o l a r

How to Give your gift:*















eA lu m ni Fu n

df or Sc ho la r sh

ip s


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 Triple A Club Philippines Scholarships Chairman Jesli Lapus will be pooled with Triple A Club Scholar Ariel dela Cruz 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 As a token of gratitude, be unable to the AIM Leadership Award undertake the is given during the Annual Alumni Homecoming. program because of financial Your continuing concerns. 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. Be AIM’s partner in expanding and growing the number of the best and brightest AIM scholars. Support and give to the Alumni Fund for Scholarships.

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 53

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 Foundation-Alumni 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.

1/29/08 3:08:16 PM

ClassNotes tures. A notable example is the way Westerns vs. Asians treat their standards of a strong society. But however which way each culture treats their own family, it is up to each individual in the society to set certain standards in which they should treat their own family members. In this respect, I believe the Asians do excel a bit; an example here is the way Asians treat their elders in the society by as they tend to bond together more. Hello fellow MM’99ers! It’s been quite a while since we got in touch! Thankfully our means of communication both through the internet and texting, no matter how short, still allows me to feel the warmness of our network. Season’s greetings to all!”

Raul (MDP 1993) & Angelica Cecilia Dealino (BMP 1985) Raul and Angelica are doting parents to three teenagers: Jose Aniceto David, 18, Maria Angela, 17 and Martha Isabel, 14. Raul shares about family life: “I have the best wife and the best children any husband or father could ever ask for. Although the past 19 years have been a rollercoaster ride, it was fun. To sum it up, it is not a charmed family life, but a blessed one.” Angelica adds, ”He is a very loving and responsible father to our children. Even if I am away on travel due to the demands of my work, I am always sure my children are taken care of.” Asked what the advantages of being married to a fellow alumnus are, Raul says, “Although we were classmates in U.P., being graduates also of AIM gave us another common ground in our discussions, especially of business issues, although I must admit, she has the better grasp of financial matters. Somehow, having been through the ‘AIM way’ gives us a comfortable starting point of moving forward.” Raul is currently the SAP Functional Manager–Regional Support Organization of the Perfetti Van Melle Philippines, Inc. Angelica is the Country Manager of the International Institute for Energy Conservation (IIEC).

Charlie Gaw, MM 1999 “The family is the core foundation of a strong society. The definition of a strong society would greatly vary in different cul-


Velasco Family

food (Max’s and Terriyaki Boy). The founder of our business is my father, Levy P. Laus (who is now president of Clark Dev’t or CDC). We belong to the second generation. By the way I got married to an alumnus, Dino N. Velasco, MBM 2000. We got married in 2001 and we already have two kids.”

John Alexander “Jax” Cuesta, MBM 2001 Jax is now based in Toronto with his wife, Melodie and daughter Kyla Elise. He had a brief stint with the Global Markets Finance group of Merrill Lynch Canada before landing a highly coveted job with

the Federal Government. He continues to work for the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), the regulator of banks, insurance companies, mutual funds and all other deposit-taking institutions in Canada. Jax plans to nurture his growing family and slowly grow roots in North America, the place he now calls home.

Naomi Eileen G. Tejero MBM 2001 “My family is my primary support group where members focus on providing a sense of security to each other. Open communication lines underpin the Jax, Kyla Elise and Melodie picking strawberries.

Lisset Laus-Velasco MBM 2000 “Our family business is turning 30 next year. We are involved in automotive dealerships located in Central Luzon (although we have two dealerships in Metro Manila) carrying seven brands (Mitsubishi, Ford, Chevrolet, GM, Kia and Hyundai), aside from the other businesses involving pre-owned cars, Goodyear tires, insurance, real estate, media (radio, TV, print), and

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 54

1/29/08 3:08:20 PM

unity within the family, which leads to a nurturing environment conducive to each member’s growth and development. Leadership in the family involves balancing the needs of every family amid the limited resources available. Still, every decision made should consider the well being of all family members.”

Naomi with husband and baby Natanya

tainable, community-driven development.”

Victor The, MM 1978 “I still remember when I came for the first time in Manila for the MM Program in 1977. I did not know anybody here in Manila, and during that time the Martial Law was still enforced. At that time, I was one out of three Indonesian students in class. I have been staying here in Manila since June 1980. I graduated from the MM Program in 1978 and went back to Indonesia for a while. I came back to Manila and worked for the Asian Development Bank until 1999. I retired early because my old Indonesian friends who have companies in Singapore wanted to expand to the Philippines. They assigned me here in Manila as a partial shareholder, and to lead “Multico Prime Power, Inc.” until the present. My wife is also an alumna from AIM who took the MDP program while I was here for the MM. She also has her own companies and is busy doing mall decorations for special occasions like the Chinese New Year, the summer period,

Jose Cambel Policarpio, Jr. MBA 2006 “I am well pleased to inform you that after taking up a Post-graduate Diploma in Governance, Democratization and Public Policy last year (April to July 2006) in the ISS, having met new friends and having had good times, I have since worked as development consultant of various development organizations here in my province. And just this August, I served as the Field Adviser of Associated Resources for Management and Development, Inc. (ARMDEV) to the Mindanao Trust Fund for Reconstruction and Development Program (MTF-RDP). This is a World Bank funded project aimed at transforming conflict-affected areas in Mindanao into communities where people of diverse ethnic, religious and social backgrounds feel secure and trust each other, and work towards improving their communities. Programs are more focused in the economic and social recovery areas, which involve inclusive, participatory, gendersensitive, fair, transparent, accountable and effective community-level institutions. Communities then become models of sus-

year, the Vietnamese students continue to work for their former employers. We have been performing very well. When I went back to Vietnam after graduating from AIM, I was assigned to assist in the Vietnam Bank for the Agriculture Equitisation Project Management Department. It is a newly established department with the mission of equitising the bank in 2008-2009. Several AIM alumni have informed us that they are going to Vietnam to work. We might supply them some information such as accommodation, car leasing, tips for living in Vietnam. If you know anybody who need such info, you may refer them to us. We will try our best to help them.” Tran Van Dam is aLecturer at the University of Surabaya; Chief Editor of the Economic and Business Journal. He also serves as: (1) Consultant for Local Government Support Program USAID, (2) Trainer - Queensland University of Technology Australia for AISTP II AusAID, (3) Research Fellow for Pusham Ubaya and Raol Wallenberg Institute Swedish.

Maj. Roy Anthony O. Derilo, AFP, MDM 2004 Maj. Derilo was promoted from Captain. He is now Director of Plans and Operations Service at the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Philippine Air Force.

BGen. Roland M. Detabali, AFP, MDM 2004 BGen. Detabali was promoted from Colonel. General Detabali is now the Internal Auditor of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Prior to this he was the Commanding General of the 202nd Infantry (Unifier) Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.

Salma Fikry (Maldives), MDM 2004 Promoted to Director, Community Development, Ministry of Atolls Development, Maldives. “My position is Director, Community Development at the Ministry of Atolls Development. I am the head of the section and in charge of three major donor-funded projects supported by the UNDP, the ADB and World Bank. I am also the Project Director for GOM/UNDPs Atoll Development for Sustainable Livelihood Project. The project’s main objective is to achieve sustainable livelihoods through increased decentralization; strengthened local governance; and effective social mobilization at the national, atoll, and island levels.

Victor The and Vikas Jalan, MM 2008, his student mentee for the Host Family Program

and Christmas for the EDSA Shangri-la Mall. She was also doing the Ayala Avenue Christmas decors, the Glorieta Malls and also the Ayala Alabang Mall. She’s also in the catering business for Indonesian and Malay food, especially “halal” food. We have two daughters but both are married, and both are graduates from the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania and both are living abroad, so there are only two of us at home. So, here I am and I am willing to help you in your “Host Family Program”.

Tran Van Dam, MM 2007 “Thank you very much to the Alumni Relations Office! It was very nice to receive birthday greetings through email from my AIM family. After graduating from AIM this

Lt. Col. Augusto D. Dela Peña, AFP, MDM 2004

Promoted from Major. He is now Director of the Office of Special Studies,

For the past two years, I have been actively involved in preparing a framework for local governance in the Maldives. As such, I have arranged and facilitated community consultations in all 194 islands (this number was

A I M A LU MN I L E A D E R SH I P MAGA Z I N E Octob er to D e ce m be r 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 55


1/29/08 3:08:23 PM

ClassNotes (Chairman, AIM Alumni AssociationCebu Chapter) and Mr. Roberto R. Gandionco (CEO of Julie’s Franchise Corporation).

Nguyen Thi Thanh Phuc, MDM 2004 “It is good that we have set up the AIM Alumni in HCMC Chapter. Congratulations to all the new Chapter members. Hoping that AIM Alumni in HCMC can do well and good! I am in Ha Tinh province, so far away, still lonely, and wondering how to be linked with all your guys, from Ha Noi and Ha Tinh, except through emails.”

Philip Tapo, MDM 2003

reduced from 200 after the tsunami when some island populations had to be totally shifted to other islands) of the Maldives to gather community aspirations and perceptions on local governance, acted as coordinator for a National Seminar on Local Governance and been instrumental in the formulation of a draft Local Governance Act in the Maldives. The Act is to be reviewed by Parliament shortly. Local governance is a theme close to my heart because I firmly hold that our communities can only be empowered through elected grassroots institutions that have the full authority, capacity and resources to shape their own lives. I also do consultancy work, mainly for NGOs and in association with consultancy firms. Recently, I have conducted a Participatory Reflection and Review of the the Livelihood Recovery Program of local NGO Care Society, the project being funded by ActionAid International. At present I am working on a Participatory Rural Appraisal for an FAO funded project. Please have a look: http://www. reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900sid/KHII73G8S8?OpenDocumentNews: Maldives: Coastal Flooding - May 2007, Maldive: “Floods show Tsunami lessons not learnt:”...http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/ rwb.nsf/db900sid/KHII-...”


Joseph “Otep” and Melissa Lourdes “Bembette” Ladip MDM 2006 and 2004 “Ayqana (15 months) joins her sister Hadiya (20 years old) and brother Rahin (11 years old), as the newest and most welcome addition to our MDM family. At her young age, she has already sat in a meeting with CDM Associate Dean Mayo Lopez, attended the 2007 AIM graduation, welcomed the new MDM batch, met President Estrada and Dean Licuanan, ate Indian food at the Diwali celebration, and went on a trip to San Isidro, n.e. with MDM students and alumni. She’s a future MDM alumna in the making.“

Tu Le Kim Dung, MDM 2002 The Ho Chi Minh City Alumni Chapter members were glad to meet and have dinner with the AIM Alumni Association- Cebu Chapter Chairman, Nonoy Espeleta and his companions at the Toper Restaurant last October 27. In the picture, from left: Mr. Jannar J. Roque (Unilever), Mr. Nguyen Minh Luan (Gophatdat.com), Ms. Tu Le Kim Dung (Vice Chairman of HCM Alumni Chapter – MDM 2002), Ms. Phuong Paula (Treasurer of HCM Alumni Chapter–MDM 2006), Mr. Virgilio “Nonoy” G. Espeleta

“I finally got in touch and met Joseph Sungi, the first AIM MDM graduate from Papua New Guinea. We together have shared similar experiences and acknowledge AIM for shaping us up. Joe is current the head of Sundaun Provincial Administration which is the top job for the province whilst I head a division with the National AIDS Council Secretariat looking after all the 20 Provincial AIDS Committee Secretariat throughout the country. We both are proud of being graduates of AIM MDM program.”

Ramon Salazar, MDP 1998 Ramon Salazar is the President of Corner Office Inc. He writes: “I was an alumnus of AIM while I was employed as a Senior Manager at Intel Technology Philippines Inc. Since availing of the early retirement plan last year, I decided to be an entrepreneur where I can apply my professional experience, knowledge and skills from a multinational company. I have just open up a Business Center located at Gateway Center, Paseo De Magallanes, Makati City (http://corneroffice-ph. com). The business center is designed for those entrepreneurs who are just starting up their own business or those who have existing business but needs a more professional office environment for their meetings, product presentations, etc. with no capital outlay for office building and equipment, and no maintenance expenses. The business center is equipped with wireless internet access, desktop and laptop comput-

ers, fax machine, scanner, photocopier, laser printer, meeting room with LCD projector up to 10 people, individual cubicles and an experience secretarial support. “ Mon can be contacted at ramon_salazar@pldtdsl.net.

Maria Magdalena Co Gochuico, 10th Negotiations Seminar 2007 She is curently the Associate Account Manager of SMITS, Inc. “A family is a group of related people, by blood or through legal process, who rejoices with you in times of happiness, encourages you through trials and difficulties and loves you no matter who you are.”

Please send your latest Class Notes and photos to the AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine at aimleader@gmail.com. Should you need to contact our alumni, please contact the Alumni Relations Office at aimalumni@aim.edu.

Maggie Gochuico with husband and daughter

A I M A LU M NI LEA D ERS H IP MAGAZIN E O cto ber to December 20 07

AIM4_07_inside_FA.indd 56

1/29/08 3:08:26 PM



management jokes Compiled by Haji Zul Baharom, MM ‘89

Business Savvy

Two entrepreneurs were comparing notes on the new management models of running their business. “I started a new practice last year,” the first one said. “I insist that each of my employees take at least a week off every three months.” The other asked, “Why in the world would you do that?” He responded, “It’s the best way I know of to learn which ones I can do without.” New Business

A new business was opening and one of the owner’s friends wanted to send flowers for the occasion. They arrived at the new business site and the owner read the card, it said “Rest in Peace.” The owner was angry and called the florist to complain. After he had told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was, the florist said, “Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake, but rather than getting angry you should imagine this: somewhere there is a funeral taking place today and they have flowers with a note saying: “Congratulations on your new location.” Dress Code at Offi ce

It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary.  If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise.  If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes and

AIM4_07_Cover_FA.indd 57

therefore do not need a raise.  If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore do not need a raise. Making A Fortune

A young manager asked an old rich man how he made his money. The old guy fingered his expensive wool vest and said, “Well, son, it was 1932, the depth of the Great Depression and I was down to my last nickel. I invested that nickel in an apple. I spend the entire day polishing the apple and, at the end of the day, I sold the apple for ten cents. The next morning, I invested those ten cents in two apples. I spend the entire day polishing them and sold them at 5 pm for 20 cents. I continued this system for a month, by the end of which I’d accumulated a fortune of $9.80. Then my wife’s father died and left us two million dollars.” I’m The Boss

The company boss was complaining in a staff meeting that he wasn’t getting any respect. Later that morning he went to a local sign shop and bought a small sign that read: “I’m the Boss!” He then taped it on his office door.

Later that day when he returned from lunch, he found that someone has taped a note to the sign that said: “Your wife called, she wants her sign back!” Soaking Wet

A store manager overheard a junior manager saying to a customer, “No, ma’am, and it doesn’t look as if we’ll be getting any soon.” Alarmed by what was being said, the manager rushed over to the customer who was walking out of the door and said, “That isn’t true, ma’am. Of course, we’ll have one soon. In fact, we placed an order for it a couple of weeks ago.” Then the manager drew the junior aside and growled, “Never, never, never say we don’t have something! If we don’t have it, say we’ve ordered it and it’s on its way. Now, what was it she wanted?” The junior smiled and said... “Rain...” Executive Suite

A Manager went to a psychiatrist for his phobia. “Doc,

he said, I’ve got trouble. Every time I get into bed, I think there’s somebody under it. I get under the bed and I think there’s somebody on top of it. Top, under, top, under. You gotta help me, I’m going crazy!” “Just put yourself in my hands for two years,” said the doctor. “Come to me three times a week, and I’ll cure your fears.” “How much do you charge?” “A hundred dollars per visit.” “I’ll sleep on it,” said the manager. Six months later the doctor met the man on the street. “Why didn’t you ever come to see me again?” asked the doctor. “For a hundred buck’s a visit? A barber cured me for ten dollars!” “Is that so! How?” “He told me to cut the legs off the bed!” ‘Putt’ or ‘Put’

A Management Professor was taking her first golf lesson. “Is the word ‘put’ or ‘putt’? She asked the instructor. “Putt is correct, he replied. “Put means to place a thing where you want it. Putt means a vain attempt to do the same thing.”

1/29/08 2:54:45 PM

s: s asse lebrant l C Ce ing brat merald brants s e l e C le rian 3 - E l Ce sses a l C 197 - Pear r Julbila lass ost 8 197 - Silve Host C 008 - H 3 198 - Lead 2003, 2 8 198 , 1998, 3 199

I N M U G L N A I 8 L 0 M 0 A 2 O , 7 U C H E C N R AN HOM MA High o i c a if Bon

AIM4_07_Cover_FA.indd 2

y l Cit a b o l cio G a f i Bon St.,

1/29/08 2:54:31 PM

Profile for AIM Alumni Publication


Catherine Slojewski Vicente de Vera Vicente de Vera II Amy Arteficio OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2007 | VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4 AIM Professor MBM ‘97 MBM ‘79 M...


Catherine Slojewski Vicente de Vera Vicente de Vera II Amy Arteficio OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2007 | VOLUME 2 ISSUE 4 AIM Professor MBM ‘97 MBM ‘79 M...