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T he A lumni Maga zine of t he Asian Institute of Management

DECEMBER 2 013 Vol. 7 Issue 2

SETTING THE BAR Going for quality, diversity, and employability


EDITORIAL TEAM

DECEMBER 2013 VOLUME 7 ISSUE 2

Greg Atienza EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Susan Africa-Manikan ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Karen Cabuyao EDITORIAL STAFF

Maritess Aniago-Espiritu Bea Delos Reyes Jennifer Jalandoni Annaliza Alegre Amy Nerona Jun Javellana

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ALUMNI RELATIONS OFFICE STAFF

Jocelyn Bernal Frances Billano Karen Cabuyao Bea Delos Reyes Gerianne Dee T. Escandor Maritess Espiritu Jonas Galang Jennifer Jalandoni Susan Manikan Rose Orbigo Krizia Eleni R. Patrocinio Rose Quiambao Mark Sanchez Elaine Tacubanza

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CONTRIBUTORS

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NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Jay Mathew Dimayuga ART DIRECTOR

FEATURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 ASEAN Integration– “Community” in a Rapidly Changing World

Jovel Lorenzo Sherbet Manalili Karen Cabuyao Amy Nerona

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PHOTOGRAPHERS

Lexmedia Digital PRINTING

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Dr. Steven DeKrey PRESIDENT, ASIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT

Dr. Ricardo Lim DEAN, ASIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT

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Dennis Firmansjah CHAIRMAN, FEDERATION OF AIM ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS, INC.

Augusto Antonio C. Serafica, Jr. CHAIRMAN, ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OF AIM-PHILIPPINE CHAPTER

Marianne Quebral VICE PRESIDENT, AIM INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT

COVER STORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Setting the Bar SPECIAL FEATURE TRILE A IN THAILAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Piti Sithi Amnuai, MDP 1973: Mr. Peter, Servant-Leader Chainarong Monthienvichienchai, MDP 1971: Managing Religious Diversity Suwimol D. Kaewkoon, MBM 1979: Listening Can Take You a Long Way Mr. Yongyut Boonpektrakul, MDP 1981: Off the Beaten Path: A Feisty Journey to Success SPOTLIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Augusto Antonio C. Serafica, Jr., MBM 1991: The Servant Chairman Visitacion Mendoza, MBM 1984: A Promise Fulfilled GIVING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 The AIM Alumni Fund for Scholarships You Too Can Make A Difference!

Marvee Celi-Bonoan VICE PRESIDENT, AIM STRATEGIC INITIATIVES

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CLASS NOTES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

The AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine (AIM Leader) is a semi-annual 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 Philipines. Telephone No.: 8924011 Telefax: 8937410, Email aimalumni@aim.edu. Online version is available at http://issuu.com/aimleadermagazine. Copyright 2013, 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

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: JOVEL LORENZO


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MESSAGE FROM THE AIM PRESIDENT

GREETINGS AIM ALUMNI! During this year’s Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility in Bali, Indonesia, I had the opportunity to pay tribute to a profound gentleman who founded the AFCSR, and whose absence was very much felt. We celebrated the life and work of Felipe B. Alfonso, who has greatly influenced the lives of many. I myself have been very fortunate to have profited from his guidance, wisdom and generosity of spirit, particularly in my early days at the Asian Institute of Management. Fil identified certain characteristics responsible leaders have: passion, with a strong sense of stewardship, integrity, principle, and a sincere concern for the welfare of others. During his lifelong affiliation with AIM, Fil embodied such transformative leadership, working tirelessly for the good of the Institute, whether as professor, administrator, or colleague. His passion was infectious and inspired people to be their best. And he did it all with his trademark humility, decency and kindness. Under his leadership, AIM became a top ranked business school in Asia and won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding, the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize. His advocacy for corporate social responsibility and corporate governance also helped in elevating corporate consciousness in Asia, which led to AIM receiving the global Beyond Grey Pinstripes Award for Business School Innovation and Commitment to Management for Sustainability. What he so generously and willingly shared of himself, we at AIM now choose to pay it forward by continuing his advocacy. In grateful return, we at AIM now act to perpetuate his legacy. In loving memory of a man who has given love and life to the Institute, we formally launched the naming of the AIM President’s Fund to the AIM Felipe B. Alfonso President’s Fund last September 2013. The AIM President’s Fund was originally created during Fil’s term as President. At the time, the fund was earmarked for special projects initiated by the President to promote the development of Asian managers. Today, it is envisioned that this Fund can continue to enable the Institute, through the Office of the President, to undertake special activities and projects that would achieve AIM’s vision of responsible leadership as we march proudly towards top five in five. Our resource needs are great as we continue to build the strength in our faculty, students, staff and facilities. This fund can be there to support the Institute’s greatest need. In the short time that Fil and I had worked side by side, there was so much given and shared, and with so much passion and unselfish regard. When I celebrated my 60th birthday last April, I wanted to commemorate this personal milestone by paying tribute to Fil; and so I made a contribution to the fund which we then renamed the AIM Felipe B. Alfonso President’s Fund. I invite all who wish to perpetuate the memory of our beloved professor to contribute to this fund, as I thank two alumni, Marlon Young, MBM 1979 and Sanjiv Noronha, MBM 1995, who have already come forward to make a pledge. *****

We had so many significant activities during the last quarter of 2013 at the school. I am proud that we have successfully chosen 65 students who make up the batch of MBA 2014. Cohort 9 started their class last September 2, and they represent the first single section batch who passed a higher admission standard. Not only did they pass the GMAT, which is a first time for AIM; they were also interviewed by a panel of one alumnus, one Career Services officer, and one professor. As our goal is to increase selectivity and to go for quality, diversity, and employability, we looked at EQ and Adversity Quotient, not just IQ. In terms of composition, 46% are from the Philippines, 35% are from India, 5% are from the US, and 14% are from Austria, Belgium, China, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, and the UK. Thirty-one percent are female. Their average GMAT score is an impressive 600. Moreover, they come from various industries: software, FMCG, consulting, advertising, pharmaceutical, distribution, construction, and automotive, among many others. We are happy to feature them in our cover story for this issue. As we aggressively pursue our vision of becoming the global source of ASEAN talent, insight, and wisdom, allow me to update you on current Institute initiatives. I am pleased to inform you that we have launched the ASEAN Leaderspeak series last September 16, 2013. Our objective is to help deepen understanding among various sectors on the implications of ASEAN 2015, and the roles that economic integration will play in the future of Southeast Asia and the entire Asian region. Organized by the ASEAN 2015 project of the Office of Research and Publications in cooperation with the AIM Policy Center, we were fortunate to have former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos as our first ASEAN Leaderspeak guest. Mr. Ramos spoke on “Preparing the Government, Business Community and Civil Society for Regional Integration.” Our second guest was Vice-Chairman of the Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods, Dr. Pinij Kungvankij, who shared CP Group’s experience in setting up operations in the different parts of the region. We are launching the Executive MBA for Entrepreneurship in February 2014. This is the first AIM degree program to use two teaching methods: online and face-to-face. We are also set to launch the Executive Master in Management (MMx) in May 2014. This full-time, 15-month program is intended for high-potential, practicing managers who are ready for a C-level position or SBU leadership. We are also continuing discussions with Ayala Land and the Lopez Group, along with the faculty and alumni to find a creative way to upgrade the facilities of AIM and to fund AIM’s strategic plans. Our consultations have confirmed the need to invest in upgrading our current campus and an openness for renovation and some degree of redevelopment. We will inform you once an acceptable proposal has been received. I thank the alumni community for being supportive of our goals, and I shall continue to look forward to your invaluable support. Together, let us bring our school to the top five in time for our 50th anniversary in 2018. Here’s to a wonderful 2014 ahead of us. Cheers,

Dr. Steve DeKrey PRESIDENT, ASIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT


As we move toward our 50th anniversary, we invite

you to help realize the futures of bright young men and women set to enter the Asian Institute of Management. In the next five years, we are targeting to raise Php50 million for scholarships. Your generous donation will help prime the scholars to take the helm of Asia’s institutions, through the AIM education. You will play a critical role in helping them shape the future of ASEAN. Steven J. DeKrey President

AI M Alu mn i Fu n d C a m p a ig n fo r S c h o la rs h ip s

Yes! I want to support AIM’s 50 in 50!

Full Name AIM Program / Year Graduated Company

I am pleased to support the AIM ALUMNI FUND FOR SCHOLARSHIPS. Enclosed is: (please check one) q A one time gift of __________________________________ q A monthly donation of PHP 1,000 or US$25 q A monthly donation of PHP 5,000 or US$125 q A monthly donation of PHP 10,000 or US$250 q A monthly donation of PHP 20,000 or US$500 We accept Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover & Paypal. For credit card contributions, please go to ushare. unionbankph.com/aimsrf I wish to have my donation acknowledged as follows: q Individual Donation q Corporate Donation q Class / Batch Donation q Alumni Association / Chapter Donation __________________________________________________ q Anonymous

Designation Email Address Home / Mailing Address

Contact Details

Check payable to: AIM Scientific Research Foundation or AIM-SRF Inc. Wire Transfer: Bank of the Philippine Islands—Greenbelt Drive Account Name: AIM-SRF (Alumni Fund) Dollar Savings Account Number: 0384-0147-12 Peso Savings Account Number: 0383-1205-78 Swift Code for Wire Transfers: BOPIPHMM Please submit this form to the Alumni Relations Office. You may also submit this form via email aimalumni@aim.edu or fax (632) 893-7410.

AIM Leader December 2013


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THERE THEY WERE—all 65 ebullient, energetic and dazzling young students. In the heat of the noonday sun in the Zen garden, the MBA Cohort 9 gamely donned their warm business suits to project into the camera their best smiles, their warm hopes, and their bright futures: this is the class of MBA 2014. Memories flood as we did the special cover pictorial for this issue- the first time that the editorial team endeavored to gather together the complete members of a current batch. As alumni of the Asian Institute of Management, I’m sure that all of us remember the trepidation, the anxieties, the eagerness and the excitement to do well during the first few days of classes at AIM. We couldn’t help but anticipate with eagerness a wonderful tomorrow for this special single section. We hope you enjoy reading more about them and AIM’s plans in our cover story. In this issue, we are also proud to feature our AIM Alumni Achievement Awardees (Triple A) from Thailand. We have had many wonderful opportunities to interact with our graduates in Bangkok, thanks to the kind assistance of former President of the AIM Alumni Association in Thailand (AAAT), Teerachai Chemnasiri (MBM ’73). Through the Spotlight pages, we shall meet Yongyut Boonpektrakul, MDP 1981, Piti Sithi Amnuai, MDP 1973, Chainarong Monthienvichienchai, MDP 1971 and Suwimol D. Kaewkoon, MBM 1979. Of course, we also proudly feature the indefatigable Augusto “Tito” Serafica (MBM ’91), the Chairman of the Alumni Association of AIM, Philippine Chapter (AAAIM).

In his message during the Induction Ceremonies, Tito shared the AAAIM’s theme for this year as “Achieving Tipping Points in Alumni Engagement,” with 3R’s as their guide: Relevance, Responsibility and Reaching out. As we support their multiple activities, we look forward to the fruition of the AAAIM’s goals in supporting our AIM’s goal of being one of the top five business schools in Asia in five years. The Alumni Relations Office was privileged with the surprise visit of a lovely and gracious lady, Visitacion “Siony” Mendoza last June 2013 to make a generous gift to the AIM Alumni Scholarship Fund. In this issue, we were able to coax her to share her story, which we hope will inspire others to make a difference in the lives of others. “I initially did not want to be interviewed for this AIM Leader feature. On second thought, the article may serve as a reminder to my fellow alumni to give back to the Institute that shaped their management and leadership roles, that’s why I decided to share my story,” she said. Thank you Siony for your touching gesture and your generosity in more ways than one. We continue to tirelessly invite all of you to make a gift to our 50 in 50 campaign for the Alumni Scholarship Fund. Our goal is to raise PHP 50,000,000 in time for our 50th Anniversary in 2018. Your gift, no matter how small will help us provide scholarships for 50 deserving students. We encourage all alumni to support the school as we work toward attaining the vision of becoming the ASEAN source of global leadership talent, insight and wisdom. Thank you and God bless!

Greg Atienza EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, AIM ALUMNI LEADERSHIP MAGAZINE EXECUTIVE MANAGING DIRECTOR, ALUMNI RELATIONS OFFICE SECRETARY GENERAL, FEDERATION OF AIM ALUMNI ASSOCIATIONS, INC.


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AIM Honors Business Leader and Philanthropist Dr. Stephen Zuellig

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ast April 15, 2013 more than 60 people gathered to pay tribute to a man who is dear to AIM. On that day, Dr. Stephen Zuellig, after whom the AIM Center for Asian Business Transformation is named and who has supported 26 Master in Development Management (MDM) scholars, visited the AIM campus for the first time. For this milestone, AIM organized the event “Dr. Stephen Zuellig: The Vision and Legacy of a Filipino Business Leader” in recognition of Dr. Zuellig’s great achievement and contributions to business and education in Southeast Asia. Dr. Zuellig was born in Manila in 1917. He graduated summa cum laude from the prestigious University of Zurich in 1941 with a doctorate degree in economics. He then returned to the Philippines to help his father run their company, the well-known trading firm F.E. Zuellig Inc. However, World War II struck the Zuellig family and their business. After the war, Dr. Zuellig and his brother Gilbert slowly but successfully rebuilt F.E. Zuellig Inc. They were able to expand it internationally and diversify into various business interests. The Zuellig Group now occupies a strong position in many Asian countries. Dr. Zuellig continues to be a guiding force in the Zuellig Group. He is a member of the Philippine President’s International Advisory Board and serves as the country’s honorary consul-general to Monaco. Among his many important awards is the Order of Lakandula, the highest distinction given to a civilian in the Philippines, bestowed on him in September 2007. During the program at AIM, President Steve DeKrey welcomed Dr. Zuellig, his son David, and his nephew Daniel to the campus. He acknowledged the Zuellig family’s contributions to AIM, which enabled the establishment of the Dr. Stephen Zuellig Center for Asian Business Transformation and the Zuellig Scholarship Program for

Public Health Champions in Asia. President DeKrey also outlined AIM’s vision and strategic plan. A video presentation on Dr. Zuellig’s life and accomplishments gave a glimpse into his humble beginnings, how he managed to grow his business, and how he has imprinted his legacy at AIM. In the same video, Zuellig scholars in the MDM program attested to how their scholarship and time at AIM has irrevocably changed their lives. As an expression of AIM’s deep gratitude, Dr. Zuellig was presented with The Giving Tree by Chairman Emeritus Washington SyCip. The Giving Tree is awarded to AIM’s partners whose support has impacted the Institute in a profound way. President DeKrey and Ambassador of Switzerland Ivo Sieber also unveiled a glass marker honoring Dr. Zuellig for his contributions to AIM, and the Zuellig scholars gave to him personal gifts as a symbol of their profound thanks. In response, Dr. Zuellig said, “I’m very grateful to come here to be with you and to express foremost my gratitude to AIM for this surprising reception and acknowledgment of what has been done long ago. I followed the development of AIM with great interest. I think it was my friend, Wash SyCip, who, at the time of the foundation, encouraged me, and I thought the idea of

having in the Philippines an institution that will be outward-looking and aware of what was going on around the Philippines, has much greater sense than what has been the case in the past. “As a family that had come from abroad, even if it was a long time ago, we felt that we had the vision to impart our knowledge of abroad into this country as well as surrounding countries. The Zuellig company went into Singapore in 1938, into Bangkok in 1958, and that has led to the rather challenging presence in other countries. “I felt another reason to be sympathetic to AIM. After the war, I wasn’t altogether sure whether I didn’t want to go into the academic career. But the destruction of our company and the challenges were such that there was no choice. My father had died in 1943, and for my younger brother and me, there was the challenge of returning to the country. So I left the academic side, but I’ve continuously been interested in economic theory. “At the time we looked at AIM’s aims, the possibility of tying it with the community of Asian nations was more vibrant than it had been before... ASEAN has a future, but it must be fully aware of it, and it implies concessions. “I’m extremely happy to be here with you. This is an unexpected and very generous welcome, and most gracious.”


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

AIM, Lao PDR Set to Implement Program for Senior Public Managers The Asian Institute of Management and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the implementation of the Program for Senior Public Managers (PSPM). Leading the signing ceremonies were Education and Sports Vice-Minister H.E. Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun, Lao Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Malayvieng Sakonhninhom, and Director General of the Center for Development Studies Khounmy Phommanimith for Lao PDR, President Steven J. DeKrey, Dean Ricardo A. Lim, and Center for Development Management Dean Juan Miguel Luz for AIM. “Last year, the ASEAN Secretariat, through representatives in the ASEAN Integration Program, endorsed PSPM in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. The PSPM Mekong Program is a four-year project that offers a set of AIM certificate courses in the four Mekong countries, namely Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar,” explained AIM President Steven J. DeKrey. “Participants are senior managers in government agencies, state-owned enterprises, local development organizations, university faculties, and the local private sector. Outstanding senior public manager students will be invited to attend the full Masters in Development Management Program here at AIM under a special scholarship,” he emphasized, adding that the program will demonstrate the effectiveness of AIM programs to the government of Lao PDR. The objective of the program is to build the capacity of senior public managers of Lao PDR through a series of degree and non-degree programs, focused on developing competence in four key areas of management, which are: Basic Manage-

ment, Planning, Leadership and Management of Change, and Finance. The program also focuses on capacity-building in two levels: developing individual public managers over a four-year period; and strengthening local educational and training institutions, which involves the transfer for a public management curriculum to a local university or training institute in Laos. AIM Center for Development Management Dean Juan Miguel Luz explained that the program will have 40-50 participants each year and shared the details of the certificate courses to be offered. “The first is the Certificate in Development Management, which is a three-week course that focuses on leading development organizations. The second is the Certificate in Project Planning, Development, and Management, which is a four-week full-time certificate course that focuses on project management, finance, setting up of projects, and organizing teams,” Dean Luz explained. “The third is the Certificate in Public Expenditure Management, which is a two-week, full-time course that looks at public finance, budgeting, expenditure programming, and accountability in governance. The last is the Certificate in Results-Based Management, a two-week, fulltime course that looks at market solutions and sustainability in public service programs, whether in infrastructure, basic social services, and enterprise development.” The PSPM aims to foster longer-term relationships between AIM and countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region to contribute to the development of the public management and academic sectors.

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CDM Conducts Strategic Legislative Course for Philippine Vice Governors

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The Center for Development Management (CDM) was chosen to conduct the Strategic Legislative Management Course (SLMC) for Philippine Vice Governors by the League of Vice Governors of the Philippines (LVGP). The course ran from August 14 to (space) 17, 2013 at the Asian Institute of Management, Makati City. The aim of the four-day course was to build the strategic management capacity of vice governors in the following areas: (1) Applying strategic management framework in analyzing local development issues and in identifying priority legislative measures; (2) Formulating personal visions for the Office of the Vice Governor; (3) Formulating effective approaches in engaging diverse stakeholders for planning, budgeting, revenue generation and expenditure management; and (4) Formulating action plans and identifying possible legislative measures. The ceremonial signing for the SLMC for Philippine Vice Governors was graced by AIM Dean Ricardo Lim, LVGP Chairman Leonides Fausto, LVGP Secretary General Vicente Homer Revil, and Vice Governors Mayo Alamario of Davao Oriental, Dingdong Avanzado of Siquijor, Popoy San Juan of Rizal, and Etik de Asis of Guimaras. Conducting the said program was in line with LVGP’s vision of building “a strong , dynamic and cohesive national organization of highly motivated Vice Governors whose opinions are well respected and considered in bringing about reforms in government and whose leadership is responsive in effecting changes for local and national development.” It was a unique opportunity for both newly-elected, and second and third term Vice Governors to learn from the experiences of others on how local legislation can address the problem of poverty which remains to be the country’s most critical development challenge. The program was attended by 41 vice governors from across the country, with Professor Edel Guiza as Program Director.

ASEAN Leaderspeak:

Preparing for Regional Integration This year, the Asian Institute of Management will focus on ASEAN as the region is gearing up for economic integration by 2015. The institute’s objective is to make AIM the global source of talent, knowledge and wisdom on ASEAN. Thus, the Institute has been integrating more ASEAN perspectives into its executive and graduate programs, research work and other activities. In line with this initiative is a series of lectures entitled “ASEAN Leaderspeak: Preparing the government, business community and civil society for regional integration.” The general objective of this event is to deepen the understanding among our international graduate students on the implications of ASEAN 2015 and the roles that economic integration will play

in the future of Southeast Asia and the entire Asian region. The first forum was launched last September 16, 2013 and presented how politics in the region influences business environment. The first guest speaker invited was former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos. As the 12th President of the Republic of the Philippines, he is remembered for his ability to lead and his willingness to be led—not by astute advisors and political strategists, but by the people whom he served, and served well. Steadfastly and faithfully, he promoted the principles of people empowerment and a culture of excellence that both led to global competitiveness during his term as President from 30 June 1992 to 30 June 1998. He is appreciated as the leader who quickly led the nation


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

RVR Center Hosts Felipe B. Alfonso Memorial Dinner By Rose Quiambao The program at the dinner started with former AIM President Edilberto de Jesus giving the opening remarks and invocation. Testimonials were given by Bradley K. Googins, Executive Director Emeritus, Center for Corporate Citizenship, Boston College; Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr., President and CEO, Phinma; Anjan Ghosh, Director for Corporate Affairs, Intel; David Grayson, Director, Cranfield School of Management; and Dato Timothy Ong, Chairman of the AIM RVR Center and AIM Governor. Present at the dinner were Alfonso family members: his wife, Mary Anne, his two daughters, Gina and Rina, and his sister-in-law, Dra. AIM President Steve DeKrey hands a bouquet Chona Reloza. of flowers to Mrs. Mary Anne Alfonso. Dr. DeKrey took the opportunity to soft launch the establishment of the Felipe B. Alfonso President’s Fund. Felipe “Fil” B. Alfonso was a founding professor The RVR Center for Corporate Social Responsiof the Asian Institute of Management and became President of the bility hosted the Felipe B. Alfonso Memorial Dinner at the 12th Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility in Bali, Indonesia on Institute from 1990 to 1999. It was during his presidency that AIM became a top-ranked business school in Asia and won the Ramon September 23, 2013. Magsaysay Award for International Understanding, the Asian equivaIt was an opportunity to pay tribute to the man who put the AFCSR together twelve years ago, a man who left us on April 5, 2013, lent of the Nobel Peace Prize. His advocacy for corporate social responsibility and corporate a few days shy of his 76th birthday. Fil was the driving force behind governance also helped in elevating corporate consciousness in the AFCSR. Asia, and which also led to AIM receiving the global Beyond Grey The AFCSR was something very close to Fil’s heart and he was responsible for making the AFCSR Asia’s premier conference on CSR. Pinstripes Award for Business School Innovation in Social Impact The AFCSR boasts of putting together a research-based program and Management. The proposed Fund is thus a fitting legacy for a man who has gathering a network of CSR practitioners world-wide. spent his career at AIM even beyond retirement, believing that Over the years, we often heard Fil say CSR is no longer “Business as usual. You have to find new ways to address the social needs responsible leadership was the key to good corporate citizenship. As a wise, sincere, and humble leader who inspired others of society. Business needs to realize profits not only from the point through example, Fil’s legacy lives on in his many works, all of them of view of the corporation but likewise from the point of view of the good, as he was. society as a whole.”

out of darkness, putting an end to the power crisis that crippled our homes and industries. He exemplified the leader who always looked toward the strategic future and whose thumbs-up optimism—captured in descriptive phrases like “Caring, Sharing and Daring,” “Philippines 1500” and “Pole-vaulting”—propelled the economy and social welfare. He pursued, focused and converged programs to fight poverty in accordance with the will of the Filipino people expressed by 229 structural/reform laws enacted by Congress from 1992 to 1998. For the Leaderspeak Series, Ramos gave a talk on the history of the ASEAN from the perspective of his father, Narciso Ramos, and its link to the China challenge that ASEAN is facing today. He also discussed the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) and how this promotes regional economic integration."We must market ASEAN not only economically but as a unified socio-cultural, security, and political community," Ramos emphasized in his speech. AIM students appreciated the lecture at the SGV Hall for their ASEAN Business Systems Course.

Former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos with AIM faculty and students.

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AFCSR 2013: CSR and the Challenge of Inclusive Growth

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From left: AIM president Dr. Steven DeKrey, Magsaysay Maritime Corporation president Marlon Roño, Intel nclusive growth remains to be elusive for many director of Corporate Responsibility Michael Jacobson, Unilever Indonesia Foundation general manager economies, as they struggle to bounce back Sinta Kaniawati, AIM-Ramon V. del Rosario Sr. Center for Corporate Social Responsibility chairman Dato from the global economic crisis and address Paduka Timothy Ong, UltraTech Mining general manager Rajiv Parekh, AIM governor Arifin Siregar, Manila North Tollways president Rodrigo Franco, head of the Public Affairs Group of Smart Communications, Inc. Mr. pressing social concerns faced by many comRamon Isberto, and AIM dean of Research and Publications Frankie Roman. munities across the region. This year’s Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility (AFCSR) explored the role of corporations in providing sustainable programs becoming socially responsible. The Awards ceremony was held during the Gala Dinner and Awards Night of the 2013 Asian Forum on Corpothat address these social concerns, which oftentimes require rate Social Responsibility before an audience of senior executives and long-term vision, scalable solutions, and innovative approaches. professionals from government, business, civil society and the media. Held last September 23-24, 2013 at the Grand Hyatt-Nusa Dua, Honored during the evening were Smart Communications, Bali, Indonesia, AFCSR 2013 drew in over 300 participants from the private sector, government, civil society, and the academe to share Inc. for the Asian CSR Award for the Environment and Value Chain best practices and craft strategies to create lasting positive impact Management category (represented by Mr. Ramon Isberto, head of the Public Affairs Group of Smart Communications, Inc.); Ultratech across Asia’s communities. “This year’s theme, ‘CSR and the Challenge of Inclusive Growth’, Cement Limited for the Asian CSR Award for the Governance and addressed the twin themes of social equity and scalable, innovative Society category (represented by UltraTech Mining general manager approaches,” explains Dr. Francisco L. Roman, Executive Director Rajiv Parekh); Magsaysay Maritime Corporation for the the Asian CSR Award for the Labor and Employee Engagement (represented of the Asian Institute of Management – Ramon V. del Rosario, Sr. Center for Corporate Social Responsibility (AIM-RVR CSR Center) by Magsaysay Maritime Corporation president Marlon Roño); Manila North Tollways for the the Asian CSR Award for the Product Responand Conference Executive Director of AFCSR 2013. “The focus sibility and Consumer Rights category (represented by Manila North of the conference is on sharing innovative approaches, lessons learned, and continuing challenges in achieving societal outcomes Tollways President Rodrigo Franco); and PT Unilever Indonesia for the Intel-AIM Corporate Responsibility Award (represented by Unilethat are both resilient and sustainable.” Introduced in 2002 by the AIM-RVR CSR Center, AFCSR's mis- ver Indonesia Foundation general manager Sinta Kaniawati). AFCSR 2013 was co-organized by Intel Corporation with Princision is to highlight innovative programs and best practices in CSR, pal Hosts Lippo Group of Companies, First Pacific and PT Indofood to promote CSR as a key strategy in addressing public needs and problems, and to build a network of CSR practitioners across Asia. Sukses Makmur. The event was also supported by PT Media Televisi Indonesia as Platinum Sponsor, PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia and In recognition of Asian companies that embody the principles of corporate social responsibility in their business philosophy and PT Pertamina (Persero) as Gold Sponsor, GIZ Indonesia and TEE operations, the Asian CSR Awards Program recognized companies that International Ltd. as Silver Sponsors and PT Baruna Raya Logistics continuously innovate and implement sustainable approaches towards as Cooperating Sponsor.


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

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Prof. Fernando Y. Roxas Receives Award from Emerald Group Publishing AIM is proud of Prof. Fernando “Nani” Roxas, DBA, recipient of the Outstanding Paper Award from Emerald Group Publishing. "Each year Emerald invites each journal’s editorial team to nominate an Outstanding Paper and up to three Highly Commended Papers. The award-winning papers are chosen following consultation amongst the journal’s Editorial Team," explains Dean Ricky Lim. "Nani’s paper was one of the most impressive pieces of work the World Journal of Science, Technology, and Sustainable Development team saw in 2012. His paper reviews the traditional approaches to income and energy poverty, and describes a sustainable community model to address the poor at the bottom of the pyramid. His article will be featured on Emerald for one month." Prof. Roxas is a full time faculty at the Asian Institute of Management. He teaches Operations Management, Quantita-

tive Analysis, Systems Thinking, Project Management and other basic modules in the Degree and Executive Learning Programs of the Institute. In terms of research, Prof. Roxas has published internationally in peer reviewed, energy journals. One of his recent works has recently been cited as outstanding by the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2013. Prof. Roxas is also the pioneer and premier proponent of the multi-media case format in AIM. With regard to consulting practice, Prof. Roxas is an acknowledged expert in the field of energy, with about thirty years of experience in the sector. He routinely does projects for multilateral and bilateral agencies. Prof. Roxas has a master’s degree in engineering geology from the Asian Institute (High Distinction) from the Graduate School of Business, De La Salle University. of Technology in Bangkok and an MBA from Share and access Prof. Roxas’ paper at the Asian Institute of Management. He completed his Doctor of Business Administration http://bit.ly/19xxfRB.

AIM Welcomes New Professors Jamil Paolo S. Francisco, PhD joins the core faculty of the AIM W. SyCip Graduate School of Business. He specializes in urban and environmental economics and the economics of money and banking. Prior to joining AIM, he was a lecturer in the Economics Department of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), where he taught macroeconomics, development, money and banking, and managerial economics. He was a project leader for several research grants under the East Asian Development Network and the International Development Research Centre’s Economy and Environment Program for South East Asia (EEPSEA). He also served as a consultant and research associate for a number of private companies and NGOs. His research interests include environmental and resource economics, stated preference methodologies, non-market goods valuation, and money, banking and financial markets. He has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and several working papers and technical reports with EEPSEA. Prof. Francisco has a PhD and master’s degree in economics from ADMU. He also earned his BS in Management from ADMU. Prof. Ma. Veronica G. Caparas, PhD will be part of the Washington SyCip Graduate School of Business (WSGSB). She specializes in management communication. Prior to joining AIM, she was part of the faculty of the Department of Speech Communication and Theater Arts College of Arts and Letters at the University of the Philippines. She was a former principal instructor at the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta in Canada. Currently, she is a copy editor at the Alberta Journal of Educational Research. Her research interests are ethno methodology, globalization, higher education, intercultural and cross-cultural communication, organizational communication, policy studies, politics of communication, psychology of

communication, qualitative research methods, social theory, sociology of communication, sociology of education, and speech communication. She reviewed several articles for peer-reviewed journals, published news articles in leading newspapers, contributed to book chapters, presented in conferences, and gave lectures and conducted seminar workshops. She was invited as visiting research fellow at the University of Bristol, England in 2012. Prof. Caparas received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Alberta, Canada in 2013; Her Master of Arts in Speech Communication (1989) and Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Drama (1985) from the University of the Philippines. Prof. Rufo R. Mendoza, PhD will be part of the Center for Development Management (CDM). His primary area of interest lies in Public Financial Management (PFM), specifically financial planning and budgeting, revenue generation, expenditure management, accounting and financial reporting, project finance, and financial performance measurement. Prof. Mendoza has been a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Philippines Open University, Faculty of Management and Development Studies since 2006. He was also a Lecturer at the Ateneo de Manila University from 2005 to 2011 teaching Public Finance and Budgeting, Local Government Finance, Public Policy, Research Methods, and Governance Innovations Course. He was also Ateneo School of Government's Academic Program Manager from January 2005 – December 2005, managing the implementation of the Master in Public Management of the graduate school. He is the Vice-Chair of the Board of Accountancy of the Professional Regulation Commission, the highest body in the accountancy profession in the country. He is also the Chair of the Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Council for Accountancy. Prof. Mendoza earned his PhD in Community Development (cognate in Agribusiness Management) (2001) and Master’s degree in Management, major in Development Management (1996 from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños.


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Celebrating Classes Gather By Karen Cabuyao

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n preparation for the annual alumni homecoming in 2014, the AIM Alumni Relations Office hosted a reunion of celebrating batches on August 28, 2013 at the Soriano-Velasco Room, AIM campus. The joint party was organized for the following classes: 1974 (40th year, Ruby Celebrants), 1979 (35th year, Emerald Celebrants), 1984 (30th year, Pearl Jubilarians), 1989 (25th year, Silver Jubilarians), 1994 (20th year, Lead Host Class), 1999, 2004 and 2009 (Host Classes). AIM President, Dr. Steve DeKrey welcomed the alumni back to AIM. He updated the graduates on the latest developments of the institute. “Our goal is to be in the top 5 in Asia in 5 years. This objective will require substantial resources for top research, top faculty, and top students”, he said. President DeKrey, also emphasized on the role of the alumni in achieving this goal. “I have been meeting alums, who ask: what can I do? Well, a lot. Financial support is the biggest need, and we look to our alumni to fill the gap. This is the year to help. I look forward to working with you as we revitalize AIM and bring it back to greatness.” Alumni Association of AIM-Philippine Chapter (AAAIM) Chairman Mr. Augusto “Tito” Serafica, MBM 1991, was also present to greet his fellow alumni and to share valuable inputs. “Organizing a homecoming is not easy but it can be fun. It will be a test of your patience and tolerance, but will also expand your creativity and imagination. I therefore enjoin all the celebrating classes to support MBM 1994’s projects to make next year’s homecoming a success.” He assured the AAAIM’s support for a successful grand reunion for Homecoming 2014. The Lead Host Class, MBM 1994, Homecoming 2014 Committee Chairpersons, Ms. Lalaine Rodriguez-Valdes and Mr. Ramon Agustines, presented their plans for the Homecoming celebration in 2014. With the theme “AIM Forward”, Homecoming 2014 will be filled with weeklong activities that will be memorable and fun. The Grand AIM Alumni Homecoming will be held at the AIM Campus on February 28, 2014.

The Ruby Celebrants of 1974 pose with AIM President Dr. Steve J. DeKrey. From left: Gary Lim, Oscar Andrada, Elsa Buenaventura, Rico Angtuaco, Dr. DeKrey, Berna Lomotan, Roland Young, Ed Limon, and Gary Grey.

Dr. DeKrey with the Class of 1979 celebrating their Emerald Year: Luis Zamora, Rose Manahan, Boyet Dominguez, Mina Dilag, Tess Abesamis, Antonio Otayza, and Boying Sangalang.

Homecoming 2014 Celebrating Batches


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

for Homecoming 2014

The Pearl Jubilarians of 1984 with Dr. DeKrey: Tony Soriano, Lia Francisco, Jomie Francisco.

Ramon Fernandez represented the class of 1989, the Silver Jubilarians.

The Lead Host Class of 1994 with the AIM president. From left: Cris Rollo, Jeff Nisnsan, Gerry Evaristo, Lisha Fellipe, Alex Macapagal. Standing from left: Ramon Agustines, Tonito Gonzales, Tess Sanchez, Steve DeKrey, Lalaine Valdes, Consolata Manding, Roberto Nebrida and Ruffy Felipe

The Class of 1999 with Dr. DeKrey. From left Rudy Juanito, Armi Trenas, Leticia Guillermo and Dino Santos.

The members of the Host Class of 2004 pose with Dr. DeKrey: Marco dela Paz, Viva Andrada, Mike Santos, Srinivasan Govindarajan, Kim Pamintuan and Mark Acierto.

Celebrating their 5th anniversary as AIM alumni is the Class of 2009: Dennis Bumanglag, Filipinas Amolat, and Erwin Carbungco.

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In Memoriam

MELITON V. SALAZAR, SR. 1931-2013 THE AIM COMMUNITY mourns the passing of Professor Emeritus Meliton V. Salazar Sr. in Manila on October 31, 2013. Professor Meliton V. Salazar Sr. was conferred the status of Professor Emeritus, having been on the AIM faculty since 1969. He handled courses in personnel management, labor relations, the management of change, behavior modification, human behavior in organizations, and business ethics. His primary teaching involvement had been in the area of business policy and strategy formulation and, in the last few years, with general management in the Master in Business Administration (MBA) Program. He also served as Dean of Faculty of the Institute. He has also been core faculty of the Executive Education and Lifelong Learning Center (EXCELL). Prof. Salazar was the President of Functional Services, Inc., a holding company for several service organizations. He was President of Tamaraw Security Service Inc., since 1971. His directorships include the Metro Pacific Corporation, Northern Foods Corporation and the Asia Business Consultants, Inc. Prof. Salazar was a former manage-

ment-development Consultant for PT Caltex Pacific (Indonesia) and has participated extensively in managementdevelopment activities of AIM in the Philippines and countries in ASEAN. In 1956, he joined the DRB Marketing Corporation as Personnel Manager, and subsequently became the PersonnelAdministration Manager of the First Nationwide Credit Corporation and Personnel-Administration Manager and Assistant Vice President for industrial relations of FVR Inc. Prof. Salazar took his Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Business (1969). He completed his Bachelor of Arts from the Ateneo de Manila University (1954) and subsequently joined the Federation of Free Workers as board member and union organizer in the Visayas and Mindanao. AIM has lost a truly remarkable professor. His grace, honesty, dedication and contributions will be remembered, and his legacy will continue to live on and inspire us to make a difference. We extend our deepest condolences to Prof. Mel’s wife, Angie, his family and loved ones.


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THE ASIAN BANKER HONORS TWO ALUMNI FROM MBM ‘73

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Villarosa (right) with Euh during the awarding ceremony set at the Ritz Carlton Kuningan in Jakarta.

he Asian Banker, a prestigious Singapore-based financial service provider in the Asia-Pacific region, honored two alumni from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) at the Asian Banker Leadership Achievement Awards held recently in Jakarta, Indonesia. During the awarding ceremony, Security Bank Corporation (SBC) President and CEO Alberto Villarosa and KB Financial Group (KB) Chairman and CEO Dr. Yoon-Dae Euh received the muchcoveted Asian Banker Leadership Achievement Awards 2013 for the Philippines and South Korea, respectively. The Asian Banker and the council of advisors for the Leadership Achievement Awards programme were impressed with the achievements of Villarosa and Euh from 2011 to 2013. Under the period being reviewed, Villarosa led SBC to record consistent superior performance in terms of profitability and capitalisation. The bank also ranked high for increasing shareholder value, and embarked on an aggressive expansion and acquisition strategy. Backed up by Villarosa’s strong treasury background and extensive banking experience, SBC also developed a strong and robust treasury and markets function, as well as robust risk management capabilities lauded by industry peers. Likewise, under Euh’s leadership during the period being review, KB rebuilt its framework for growth and achieved tangible results by turning its profitability around in two years. This restored KB’s status as the leading financial group in South Korea. Euh also led the bank in exploring new customer segments, and oversaw the introduction of a new branch channel revamped to cater to the youth segment, which is crucial to KB’s future growth. The Leadership Achievement Award is a recognition program that is run only once every three years to assess the leadership of bank leaders on their respective businesses and the financial industry as a whole. The award is considered as the most important award program that the Asian Banker runs because it underscores the importance of sound and visionary leadership in directing the future of the industry. The award is widely acknowledged in the financial services industry as the highest possible accolade available and is a highly coveted individual award.


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AIM President Meets with Alumni in New York By Mark Sanchez and Jocelyn Bernal

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n April 26, 2013 members of the AlM Alumni USA East Coast Chapter (based out of New York City) met for the first AIM President's Forum in NYC, graciously hosted by recent Triple A awardee Marlon Young (MBM '79). In attendance were NY Alumni Jocelyn Bernal (MM 2001), Michelle Boquiren (MBA 2000), Mark Sanchez and Christian Bautista (MBA '98), KY Chow (MBM '76), Ivy Lung and Dante Lomibao (MBM '83) as well as new alumni members Rajdeep Chakravarty and Rahul Singh (from MBA 2009) and Sidarth Visvanathan representing MBA 2008. AIM President Steven J. DeKrey discussed his vision of placing AIM back on the map as one of Asia's premier business schools. His vision targeted several areas in which he wanted to focus on: targeting the ASEAN community, increasing the diversity of the student population, focusing on how to diversify the faculty, as well as tapping into the alumni. Many of the NY alumni agreed with the new president’s vision and felt a renewed sense of encouragement. East Coast Chapter President Mark Sanchez MBA said after the forum “I have full confidence in the direction of AIM's new President,” adding “his track record speaks for itself”. After the President presented his vision, Jose Rasco HSBC SVP and Head of Investment Strategy gave a short overview of what he believes is the current global economic condition and where he sees

AIM President Steve DeKrey presented a token of appreciation to 2013 Triple A Awardee Marlon Young, MBM 1979 From Left: KY Chow (MBM 1976), Ivy Lung and Dante Lomibao (MBM 1983), Rajdeep Chakravarty (MBA 2009), Rahul Singh (MBA 2009), Jocelyn Bernal (MM 2001), AIM President Dr. Steve DeKrey, 2013 Triple A Awardee Marlon Young (MBM 1979), Jose Rasco HSBC SVP and Head of Investment Strategy, Mark Sanchez (MBM 1998), Sidarth Visvanathan (MBA 2008), Michelle Boquiren (MBA 2000), and Christian Bautista (MBM1998). Photos by Edwin Ochoa Photography.

HSBC’s investment strategy. At the end of both presentations, the East Coast alumni presented President DeKrey with a New York Yankees cap representing one of the biggest baseball leagues in town while President DeKrey presented a token of appreciation to Marlon Young for hosting the event. All attendees were also given commemorative t-shirts of AIM in order to start showing pride at being AIM alumni, and each left with a brochure on how to make our financial contributions to the school. With a core group of attendees, each person was able to have an opportunity to speak to President DeKrey one-on-one which truly allowed each attendee to bring forth reactions to the presentation and also present new ideas and points of view. One recent graduate, Rahul Singh, took the extra step of connecting AIM to potential students through his father's connections in India. We are hopeful that this will result in student interest in the future.


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ACHIEVING TIPPING POINTS IN ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT By Jen Jalandoni

Alumni leaders gathered last June 7, 2013 at the Asian Institute of Management to herald the new board of directors of the Alumni Association of AIM (AAAIM) Philippine Chapter at the annual induction ceremony. The banner theme of AAAIM for this year is “Achieving Tipping Points in Alumni Engagement”. Inducted to serve the school and the association from 2013-2014 are the following alumni: Enrico Emmanuel C. Angtuaco, MBM ‘74 (Treasurer), Gina V. Barte, PPDM ‘04, Francisco M. Bernardo III, MBM ‘93, Rogelio C. Damasco, TMP ‘88, Ma. Teresita Soccoro Z. Dimaculangan, ME ‘05, David Thomas S. Gotuaco, ME ‘08, Francisco V. Gudani, MBM ‘83, Tomas B. Lopez, Jr., MM ‘83, Maria Consolata O. Manding, MDM ‘94 (Secretary), Arlene M. Maneja, MBA ‘08, Gaston D. Ortigas, Jr., MBM ‘83, Rowena Palmiery-Bayoneta, MBM ‘92 (Vice chairperson), Jose Ma. T. Parroco, MM ‘87, Venie B. Rañosa, BMP ‘81, Eduardo N. Sison, MBM ‘73 (Ex-officio), Augusto Antonio C. Serafica, Jr., MBM ‘91 (Chairman) and Greg Atienza, MBM ‘83 (AIM Representative). Outgoing Chairman Eduardo N. Sison, MBM 1973 started the ceremonies by thanking his fellow AAAIM Board of Directors for sharing their time, talent and treasure during his chairmanship. “Being a chairman has been a great honor for me as I witnessed firsthand the dedication, leadership, generosity and hard work of my fellow alumni leaders through FAIM, Triple A, and the Alumni Leadership Foundation.” He ended his speech with a call for action to preserve the reputation of the Institute as the leader in management education in the region. Inducting Officer and AIM Chairman Napoleon L. Nazareno, MBM 1973 expressed his excitement for the new crop of leaders in the alumni association. He said that AIM is in exciting times because AIM is embarking on a very ambitious drive to become one of the top five business schools in the region. “To be the top five in five years, your school needs you, and all the other 40,000 alumni around the world. There is no better time in AIM’s history for the alumni community

From left: Greg Atienza, MBM ‘83 (AIM Representative), Gaston D. Ortigas, Jr., MBM ‘83, Tom S. Gotuaco, ME ‘08, Rowena Palmiery-Bayoneta, MBM ‘92 (Vice chairperson), Augusto Antonio C. Serafica, Jr., MBM ‘91 (Chairman), Enrico Emmanuel C. Angtuaco, MBM ‘74 (Treasurer), Ma. Teresita Soccoro Z. Dimaculangan, ME ‘05, Gina V. Barte, PPDM ‘04, Maria Consolata O. Manding, MDM ‘94 (Secretary), and Rogelio C. Damasco, TMP ’88. Second row from left: Arlene M. Maneja, MBA ‘08, Francisco V. Gudani, MBM ‘83, Jose Ma. T. Parroco, MM ‘87, Venie B. Rañosa, BMP ‘81, Napoleon Nazareno, MBM ’73 (AIM Chairman), Steve DeKrey (AIM President), Francisco M. Bernardo III, MBM ‘93, Samir Joseph, MBA 2013, SA Chairman (Ex-officio), Tomas B. Lopez, Jr., MM ‘83, Eduardo N. Sison, MBM ‘73 (Ex-officio) and Horacio M. Borromeo, MM 1977 (Dean, Washington SyCip Graduate School of Business).

to provide its support.” He shared the new ASEAN focus of the Institute, how it plans to improve the quality of students, and the new programs and partnerships that are lined up for this school year. Mr. Nazareno believes that with the help of his fellow alumni, that goal can be achieved. “Each of you here today- is here today because you all possess the qualities of leadership that we need, to effectively inspire more fellow alumni to come forward to be a part of this undertaking.” Incoming Chairman Augusto Antonio “Tito” C. Serafica, Jr., MBM 1991 started getting involved with the association in 2010 as part of the lead host class for the 2011 Alumni Homecoming. It was the Homecoming event that broke records with more than 700 in attendance. As a man of action, Mr. Serafica seems to be more than ready to heed the call of leadership required in AIM’s current dynamic climate. “The Alumni Association, together with the other stakeholders, is in the crux of exciting and upcoming events where all of us are experiencing the changes in our beloved Institute that are both positive and challenging.” For his first official speech as the new

AAAIM Chairman, he is audacious enough to take on the theme for this school year as “Achieving Tipping Points in Alumni Engagement”. He has already laid out plans and guiding principles for that theme. Mr. Serafica believes that the Alumni Association should reach out to fellow alumni, be relevant and responsible. He wants to take on an active role in alumni engagement by holding events that will bring in alumni, such as consultative assemblies and visiting other chapters. As early as June, the association is already gearing up for a major conference with an ASEAN focus tentatively titled “ASEAN Game Changers”. The Chairman knows that all these plans will not materialize by relying solely on the Alumni Association. He wants to mobilize all the alumni leaders: “Now more than ever, we need your invaluable assistance in bringing about and achieving a definitive tipping point in alumni engagement. In so doing, in one year, all of us, with heads raised, can proclaim that we have successfully reinvigorated our beloved institution, its image and its pre-eminence as a global source of excellent and passionate leaders and managers.”


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AIM Alumni from Shanghai, Beijing and Kunming Get Together for the First Time

On September 25th 2013, representatives of AIM Alumni from Shanghai, Beijing and Kunming Chapters met for the first time to organize the China AIM alumni country chapter. The chapter heads meeting in Shanghai was initiated by the president of AIM Alumni Beijing Chapter, Jack Niu (MM ‘98), the vice president of AIM Alumni from Kunming Chapter, Ying Xia (MDM 2009) and the president of AIM Alumni Shanghai Chapter, Peter Jiang (MM ‘95). Because of the geographical distance among the three city chapters, it was the first time that all three chapter heads had met since Beijing and Shanghai chapters were both established in 2004, and the Kunming chapter was established in 2011. Dinner was sponsored by the Shanghai chapter. In addition to the three chapter officers, three alumni from the Shanghai chapter also joined the dinner: Yongfen Liu (MM ‘95), Huichong Zhu (MM ‘97) and Vivien Zheng (MM ‘99), and one from the Kunming chapter, Yaohong Chen (MDM 2006) who has recently relocated to Shanghai . Friendship and rapport among the alumni have been significantly strengthened through lively sharing regarding opportunities, experiences and company information amidst a friendly atmosphere. Vivien shared her entrepreneurial experience in opening retail shops and Huichong introduced the new China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. With the “spirit of unity”, AIM China Alumni Wechat (Chinese Twitter), which is the most popular Social media in China, was established as a communication platform. So far, from batch 1995 to 2011, including MM, MBA, and MDM, a total of 24 AIM China Alumni had registered into "AIM China Alumni" WeChat group. The chapter is looking forward to having more AIM Alumni in China to be part of it.

Alumni in China hold the latest issue of the AIMLeader. In photo from left: Yaochong Chen (MDM 2006), Huichong Thomas Zhu (MM ‘97), Yongfen Liu (MM ’95), Jack Niu (MM ’98) Beijing Chapter Chair, Peide Peter Jiang (MM ’95) Shanghai Chapter Chair, Xia Ying (MDM 2009) Kunming Chapter Vice-Chair, and Vivien Zheng (MM’99).

Vivien Zheng and Xia Ying signing up in the AIM Alumni WeChat group. WeChat is the most popular social media platform in China.

AIM Alumni Association in Italy organized by ISEP Graduates

On June 18, 2013, Davide Pitzolu, ISEP 2011 organized the first meeting of AIM alumni in Italy. Eleven (11) ISEP alumni attended the gathering held at Ripa di Porta Ticinese , Milano, Italy. Attendees include Davide Pitzolu, Lorenzo Cisbani, Benedetta Francese, Michele Urano, Carlotta Calderoni, Fabio Pennacchio, Cinzia Malerba, Desirè Inama, Francesco Guatelli, Joseph Massari and Francesco Pinna. The happy occasion provided an opportunity for graduates of various batches to share stories about their wonderful experiences in the Philippines and at AIM, and to formalize the establishment of an AIM Alumni Association in Italy. The chapter is unique since its members are made up of ISEP students eager to maintain contact with AIM and the Philippines. Their objectives are to keep in touch with fellow alumni to enhance their knowledge about the Philippines; invest in the future using the opportunities in the Philippines combined with the Italian passion for quality and details; provide an opportunity for Italian students to practice their diversity and creativity; and maintain and expand their contacts with the AIM alumni network worldwide. Officers elected during the meeting include the following: Davide Pitzolu, ISEP 2011, President; Lorenzo Cisbani, ISEP 2011, Vice President; Michele Urano, ISEP 2012 Treasurer; and Carlotta Calderoni, ISEP 2010, Secretary. The association plans to meet every three months and networking activities are currently being prepared. To contact the AIM Alumni Italian Association, please send an email to Dav.pitzolu@gmail.com.


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

AIM Alumni Meet FAIM Chairman in Sydney Adie Gupta (MBM 98) Elected as President of AIM Alumni in Australia

From left: Mark Antonio (MBM ‘98), Sudath Amaratunga (BMP ‘93), Dennis Firmansjah (MM ‘94, FAIM Chairman), Daraius Bilimoria (MBM ‘85), Adie Gupta (MBM ‘98), Tony Celis (MM ‘87), Benito Lopez (MBM ‘97), Michael Yap (MBM ‘97) and Rolando Echevarria (MM ‘97).

On July 7, 2013 AIM alumni in Sydney met for the second time at the Patisserie Cafe, Epping RSL & Community Club, 45-47 Rawson Street, Epping. The first meeting was held on November 24, 2012 when four alumni attended, whereas eight alumni attended the second meeting. Present were Adie Gupta (MBM ‘98), Benito Lopez (MBM ‘97), Daraius Bilimoria (MBM ‘85), Mark Antonio (MBM ‘98), Michael Yap (MBM ‘97), Rolando Echevarria (MM ‘97), Tony Celis (MM ‘87) and Sudath Amaratunga (BMP ‘93). The meeting was an opportune time to meet Dennis Firmansjah (MM 94), FAIM Chairman, who was visiting Sydney at that time. The meeting started with Adie providing an update of the last meeting, and shared his ideas and high level plans for activities moving forward. He also updated the attendees on the progress in relation to setting up an alumni chapter in Australia. Sudath shared his experiences with another

alumni association which has been quite successful. Dennis shared his experience and knowledge of the AIM alumni chapters in various countries, and answered some questions from the alumni in relation to FAIM. Thereafter the attendees provided their professional backgrounds and their activities since graduating from AIM. Adie was elected as the President of the alumni association in Australia. It was decided that he will contact the alumni office in Manila as well as other alumni in Australia to set up the Australian chapter which requires a minimum of 10 members. An AIM Alumni Australia facebook page has also been set up. This will be updated regularly with alumni information and activities in Australia. With a very successful meeting and plans for the future, exciting times are ahead for the AIM Alumni Association in Australia.

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Front Row: Greg Atienza (MBM1983), Marites Dimaculangan (ME2005), Tito Serafica (MBM1991), Abet Villarosa (MBM1973), Dr. DeKrey, Wing Bayoneta (MBM1992), Nonoy Espeleta (MBM1991), and Herman Crystal (MM1979). 2nd Row: Vladimir Zulueta (BMP2010), Fr. Bart Sagadal (MDM1998), Perry Ramos (MBM1974), Teddy Villanueva (MBM1973), Francisco Dizon (MBM1975), Tere Chan (MBM1981), Nelia Navarro (MBM1984), Gladys Ceniza (MBM1993), Joan Giduquio-Baron (MM2001), Bobit Avila (WID-Cebu), and Fr. Tito Soquiño (MDM1999). 3rd Row: Raymund Revilles (Famcor2009), Josefina Zabate (ME2008), John King (MSC2003, EMMVP2004), Joseph Santos (MBA2004), Fr. Jun Rebayla (MM2008), David Chan (MBM1981), Wally Liu (MBM1985), Pert Cabataña (MBM1989), Chris Co (MBM1992), Bernard Villamor (EMBA2009). 4th Row: Virgilio Crystal, Raymond Go (MBM1992) Other alumni who also attended were Ed Sison (MBM 1973), Jun Exaltacion (EMBA ECI 2012), Perl Jacalan (ME-9), Luis Misa (MBM 1974), Steve Liu (CMC-02, Niche2006), and Nelson Yu (MBM 1983).

AAAIM Cebu Chapter Organizes “Dream Big, AIM High” By Maritess Espiritu

The Alumni Association of AIM (AAAIM) Cebu Chapter, led by its indefatigable chairman, Mr. Virgilio “Nonoy” Espeleta, MBM 1991, organized the second series of the successful program “Dream Big, AIM High,” last August 30, 2013 at the CAFA Theater, University of San Carlos (USC), Talamban campus. The event is AAAIM’s initiative to link with local universities, alumni and student leaders to create interest and brand awareness on AIM. The guest of honor was outstanding USC and AIM alumnus, Alberto S. Villarosa, MBM 1973, President and CEO of Security Bank Corporation. Mr. Villarosa was recently awarded the Asian Banker Leadership Achievement Award for 2013 from a prestigious Singapore-based financial service provider in the Asia-Pacific

region. Other speakers include Exuperto Cabataña, MBM 1989, Incorporator and VP, International Marketing Serviam Professionals, Inc., and William Christopher Liu, Jr., MBM 1985, President and CEO, Primary Properties Corporation. Mr. Villarosa shared three important points with the audience: “Be focused, be not alone, and ‘Donare!’ (Give Back!). The starting point of focus is a target.” He challenged the students to stretch their targets and get out of their boxes. Therefore, focus enables them to box-out all distractions, given all the various tempting opportunities around them. He added that as they move forward in their careers, they must realize that they cannot be alone. The key


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From left, Virgilio Espeleta, Dr. Steve DeKrey, Exuperto Cabataña, Alberto Villarosa and William Christopher Liu, Jr.

is teamwork, and a critical ingredient to an effective team is mutual respect. The last message he wanted the students to remember was “donare” or give back. He said that it is not all about money but about one’s influence. Mr. Villarosa reiterated that people are merely stewards of whatever gifts or talents they have. He ended his sharing with the saying “to whom much is given, much will be required.” Mr. Pert Cabataña, who is currently taking up a doctoral degree at USC, shared how he adapted lifelong learning and lifelong teaching as his tool in achieving his dreams, not only for himself but for the country and for others. Being a teacher was one of the most fulfilling chapters of his life because he realized that he contributed something very positive to the students. He advised the students that they must have a goal in life and whenever they make a choice, they should put 100% of their heart and mind in what they are doing while still in college, because their efforts will eventually pay off. Lastly, he advised that they should take the extra mile to be successful in life. As a traditional entrepreneur, Mr. William Liu imparted the values that he and his team applied for his company, Primary Properties Corporation. The keys to their success are resourcefulness and honesty. These are the values that the students gleaned from his sharing.

The speakers shared their knowledge, insights and experiences with more than 300 young, aspiring students and encouraged them to pursue their leadership, management and entrepreneurial inclinations through higher education in the future. An informative Q&A portion followed with AIM’s Student Services Admissions and Registrar Executive Managing Director, Rey Reyes answering inquiries on AIM’s available scholarships, courses, schedules, and entrance requirements. In his remarks, AIM President Dr. DeKrey thanked the Cebu chapter alumni, Nonoy Espeleta, Wally Liu, Joan Baron, Perl Jacalan, Gladys Ceniza and AAAIM chairman Tito Serafica for their hard work and dedication to AIM. He also thanked USC President, Fr. Dionisio Miranda, for graciously hosting the event at USC and expressed his appreciation to Fr. Anthony Salas, MM 2011 and Fr. Generoso Rebayla, MM 2008 for their support. Dr. DeKrey also encouraged the young audience to consider an AIM degree in the future. On the same day, AAAIM-Cebu with the Alumni Association of AIM – Philippine Chapter hosted an exclusive dinner for alumni with AIM President Steve DeKrey at the City Sports Club, Cebu City. More than 40 alumni attended the occasion, and were grateful to Dr. DeKrey for updating them on the directions and status of AIM. “Dr. DeKrey’s presence in Cebu is a great manifestation of support and recognition by AIM’s new management on the efforts of AAAIM-Cebu Chapter in building the AIM brand in the area,” shared Mr. Espeleta during the dinner. Other alumni were grateful for his presentation of the “Top Five in Five” plans as this was the first time a roadmap has been presented to the Cebu alumni. The ensuing discussions with Dr. DeKrey boosted the morale and heightened the expectations of support from AIM by the alumni in Cebu, as they committed to support the school’s “Top Five in Five” and continue projects to increase the AIM brand through their successful and well attended chapter activities.


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ASEAN Integration– “Community” in a Rapidly Changing World Speech delivered by former Philippine President Fidel Valdez Ramos, Chairman, Ramos Peace and Development Foundation for “ASEAN Leaderspeak: Preparing the Government, Business Community, and Civil Society for Regional Integration”. My assignment here is to try and set for you the emerging ASEAN “Community” in the context of our rapidly changing world; and to sketch the problems and concerns you, the young ones, will face when you take your turn at the leadership of Southeast Asia’s public and private sectors. Let me begin with my humble view of our fast-changing world to which ASEAN is trying to adjust.  We continue to live in the vortex of technological, economic, socio-cultural, and political revolutions—all occurring at the same time.

poor in terms of GDP per capita income; Americans are at least eight times richer. But China’s strategic reach is growing.  Beijing is making deals worldwide—to tie down foreign raw materials and investment opportunities in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas.  In our Asia-Pacific home region, however, it is the driving force of the ASEAN-10 plus China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand grouping—which could become the largest free-trade community in a few years’.

The Distribution of Power in the World is Changing The leadership challenges you will face will be numerous and complex; but, at least, you will have more leeway than that of my generation in devising your individual approaches to resolving them.  Nowadays, ideology counts much less than it did 30-40 years ago.  As the American policy intellectual George Kennan noted, we have learned that “forms of government are forged mainly in the fire of practice and not in the vacuum of theory.  They respond to national character and to national realities.” Let us begin with a survey of how the distribution of power in the world is changing.  Then we focus on the components of the ASEAN “Community,” and end with an overview of our regional future.  The distribution of power in the world is changing in a basic way.  The center of global gravity is tilting away from the Atlantic, where it has been for the last 200 years—not so much because the West is weakening, either economically or militarily, but because other power centers are rising in relative strength—in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. By 2025, Asia should be home to three of the five largest economies.  By then, China, Japan, and India will be competing with the United States and the European Union.  ASEAN-10—principally Indonesia—will be up front too.  To keep things in perspective, we must remember it is China’s huge 1.3 billion population that keeps China up there, in contrast to the 300 million Americans.  Comparatively, the Chinese still are very

U.S.–China Rivalry How will China use its fast-rising comprehensive power—in global economic competition —in military muscle—in high-stakes diplomacy? Financially, the Americans are pressing the Chinese to revalue their currency— which U.S. experts say Beijing has weakened by as much as 20-25% of its true value —to subsidize China’s exports. Security-wise, the two powers are engaged in an undeclared military rivalry—a race for the moment focused on the China Sea, but in the longer run likely to center on China’s imperative to break out from under the global strategic dominance of the U.S. The U.S. has regarded itself as an Asia-Pacific power since the late 1890s when, impelled by President William McKinley’s concept of ‘Manifest Destiny,’ it acquired Hawaii, the Marianas, Guam, Midway, the Philippine Islands and other territories as naval strong points of its ‘forward defense’ in the Western Pacific. Since the end of World War II, the U.S. has been the fulcrum of the Asia-Pacific power balance.  Over these last six decades, Pax Americana (American Peace) has given the East Asian states the breathing spell to put their houses in order (Japan and China included), just as it is the American market that has enabled them to expand their economies at the world’s fastest rate. In recent months, the “sparring” or “shadow-boxing”—call it brinkmanship—between Beijing and Washington has taken a serious turn over China’s extravagant claims to the South China Sea/


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East Sea/West Philippine Sea in which the national interests of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines are involved. China’s proximate aim seems to be to limit American access to the China Sea in its entirety; erode the credibility of Washington’s security guarantees to its East Asian allies; and ease out U.S. military forces from East Asia altogether.

Will the China Sea Tensions Continue?

We must expect the China Sea tensions to continue, because the protracted contest to dominate this great global waterway— which is ASEAN’s “Maritime Heartland”—is just beginning. So where will it all end?   I myself continue to be optimistic.  Not only has the apocalyptic force of nuclear arms made war among the great powers obsolete—because of the capability of many nations today to “strike, counterstrike, and counter-counterstrike,” etc., which will result in global self-destruction.  Already China is moving—if by fits and starts—toward an economic structure based on the rule of law, a more efficient allocation of capital, and improved corporate governance. In a word, China’s stake is inclining towards the rules-based global market system the U.S. itself has done the most to promote during these past six decades.  Hence, the two powers have a stake in each other’s prosperity, transparency and sense of “Community.” As China’s potential military power matures, Washington will find it more and more difficult to keep the regional balance favorable to its unilateral interests—hence, the imperative for burden-sharing to insure Asia-Pacific peace, stability and security against universal 21st century security threats like international terrorism, human/ drugs/arms trafficking, pandemic diseases, and severe climate change. For our ASEAN-10 States, the imperative is to help maintain the strategic balance and not to be drawn irrevocably into any one great power’s sphere of influence. This is why our 10 Southeast Asian States have put so much weight on the ASEAN Economic Community we are determined to complete building by 2015.  The ASEAN Security Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community are bound to follow sooner than later thereafter.

Both Economic and Security Concerns Driving ASEAN States Closer

Both security and economic issues are driving the ASEAN States closer. Of these security issues, the most grievous is that of historic internal instability—caused by ethnic, economic, territorial, and religious rivalries and disputes in our plural societies. East Asia’s emergence as an economic-socio-political conglomeration of vigorous growth and dynamic change poses both problematic factors and fresh opportunities for ASEAN-10 itself as a competitive, collective player—which, taken together with the World Trade Organization’s failure to open global markets equitably, has stimulated the movement toward the larger East Asian Economic Grouping of ASEAN-10 plus China, Japan, and South Korea. Neighbor-states the world over depend increasingly on regional and bilateral blocs to gain economies of scale and enlarge their home-markets.  This economic trend, too, compels ASEAN-10 to seek “Community.”  ASEAN-10 must integrate and unify—if it is to bolster its bargaining power as a global competitive team relative to its vigorous regional neighbors.

The Pillars of Southeast Asian Community

The ASEAN Community defines itself as a concert of nations that are outward-looking; resilient, living in peace, stability and prosperity; and bonded in partnership for sustainable development among caring societies. Our ASEAN Community is to be built on three “pillars:” a Security Community, an Economic Community and a Socio-Cultural Community. Indonesia—being the first among equals in the ASEAN Community with 250 million people—has set a security landmark for ASEAN to reach on its journey toward “Community”—with its proposal for an ASEAN Peacekeeping Center and a Regional Peacekeeping Force. Without minimizing the difficulties of multilateral security cooperation, I do believe such a regional Peacekeeping Center and Task Force are absolutely necessary and within ASEAN’s capabilities.  To say that inter-state conflict in Southeast Asia has become

If ASEAN is to achieve regional integration that will endure and lead to an ‘ASEAN Community,’ it must build durable regional institutions. Right now, it has no regional institutions strong enough to expedite decision-making and—even more important—to enforce compliance to group decisions.


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

virtually unthinkable—as inter-state conflict has become in Western Europe—would still overstate Southeast Asian reality. But those of us old enough to remember how things were—when ASEAN was formed 46 years ago, on 08 August 1967—can testify as to how positive an influence ASEAN’s sheer presence has already been for Southeast Asian stability.

Integrating the ASEAN Economies

Turning now to our aspirations for an Economic “Community” —its key concept being the integration of priority sectors of the Southeast Asian economy, thereby making ASEAN a single market and production platform characterized by the free flow of capital, goods, services, investments, and skilled labor. ASEAN must still bridge many gaps between its more-developed and less-developed member-States before it can progress toward this objective.  Compared with China, India, Brazil, and other emerging economies, Southeast Asia has higher labor costs, more complex policy uncertainties, and still-fragmented national markets—despite the promise of AFTA, the internal free trade area ASEAN inaugurated in 1993.  And to achieve these goals, ASEAN needs both national reforms and regional integration. Basically, member-States must dismantle home-grown barriers that raise costs, reduce competition, and deter new investments.  Unfortunately, we know that Governments still protect favored national corporations from competition.  And they continue to keep small, unproductive firms afloat by tolerating their evasion of taxes, labor rules, and product regulations. Increased economies of scale and scope, heightened competition, higher productivity at the company level—all these reforms should stimulate higher investment, generate more intra-regional trade, and encourage the emergence of robust and globally competitive Southeast Asian enterprises. Our Socio-Cultural Community is at once the easiest and the most difficult for ASEAN-10 leaders to organize. The lessons of the European Union teach us that elite arrangements—made over the heads of ordinary people—have limited effectiveness.  Hence, it is fitting that ASEAN-10 should be organizing a collective effort among its member-States to bring its vision and mission within the range of knowledge of everyday Southeast Asians. If the Southeast Asian peoples are to embrace ASEAN as their “Community,” they must see it as a pervading, beneficial influence on their daily lives.  They must regard the ASEAN vision as their own, being its most important stakeholders. And with Southeast Asia’s economic growth, they will experience it in their own lives only if it reduces the poverty of their families and of their communities; only if it brings better public health, housing, basic education services and decent jobs; as well as higher incomes for everyone. Thus, a great deal of ASEAN’s work in building “Community” must focus on encouraging, assisting, and—if need be—pressuring member-States to promote good governance, strengthen the rule of law, build an inclusive economy, and defend representative democracy.

Are There Strong ASEAN Institutions?

If ASEAN is to achieve regional integration that will endure and lead to an “ASEAN Community,” it must build durable regional institutions.  Right now, it has no regional institutions strong enough to expedite decision-making and—even more important—to enforce compliance to group decisions. The ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta has neither the power nor the

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resources to formulate and propose policies, coordinate their implementation, monitor compliance, and settle disputes. ASEAN needs institutions that will represent not just the interests of individual member-States but also the interests of the group as a whole. Without such regional institutions, “ASEAN in effect grants a veto to any country that, for its own reasons, resists regional integration,” according to an early McKinsey study (2002).

Toward the Asian Century

Expert studies, to include projections of the Asian Development Bank, visualize remarkable magnitudes of achievement Asia could reach in 20-30 years.  If our home continent continues to grow on its trajectory of the past 40 years, it could—by 2050—account for more than half of global GDP, trade, and investment. Asian individual incomes could rise six-fold; and three billion Asians now mired in poverty and deprivation would become affluent by today’s standards. Asia as a whole would regain the leading global economic position it had held some 250 years ago—before the Industrial Revolution of the 18th century.  And, the 21st century would become the Asian Century. But development is never easy, and Asia’s ascent is “by no means pre-ordained.” Indeed, Asia needs not only to sustain the world’s highest growth rates.  It also must mitigate environmental degradation.  And—most important of all—it must narrow the gap between rich and poor, between big city and rural countryside that is widening in most every Asian country.

From the American Peace to the Asia-Pacific Peace

Over this next decade, the primary task for our statesmen would be to replace the American peace that has enforced a measure of stability in our home region with a Pax Asia-Pacifica founded on the balance of mutual benefit. Clearly, an “Asia-Pacific Peace” must be built on cooperative, harmonious agreements among our most powerful countries—the U.S., Japan, and China. A constructive Chinese role in organizing Asia-Pacific peace would demonstrate Beijing’s commitment to becoming the “responsible stakeholder” that Washington has challenged it to become. In a world more interconnected than it has ever been, nations large and small are virtually equal in the restraints the United Nations imposes on their behavior.  Today, no single State—no matter how powerful —can act unilaterally. In the end, relations among the great Asia-Pacific powers will always be an interplay of competition and cooperation.  The strategic challenge will be for all our countries to ensure that the spirit of cooperation to prosper is always stronger than the competitive impulse to dominate.

Our Ultimate Objective

To achieve unity in diversity—because such cohesion begets national power and regional resilience—must be our ultimate objective for ASEAN. And even as we begin our journey toward “Community,” we must realize ours in ASEAN-10 is a pilgrimage that may never end. The ideal “community” will always lie ahead of humankind­— like a horizon that recedes as the traveler approaches.  But, as Robert Louis Stevenson memorably emphasized:  “to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive; and the true success is to labor and to strive.”


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SETTING Last September, AIM’s decision to go for quality and reputation was embodied in the arrival of 65 members of the MBA Class of 2014.


A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013

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THE BAR

By Rose Cheryl Orbigo


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It is the most diverse class AIM has had in about a decade: 46% are from the Philippines, 35% from India, 5% from the US, and 14% from Austria, Belgium, China, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, and the UK. Thirty-one percent are female. Although this is the first time that AIM has required the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test), their average GMAT score compares favorably with their US counterparts. Moreover, they come from various industries: software, FMCG, consulting, advertising, pharmaceutical, distribution, construction, automotive, etc. “Our goal is to increase selectivity and to go for quality, diversity, and employability. So we raised the admission standard,” said AIM president Steve DeKrey.

SCREENING The process of recruiting and selecting these students had to undergo important changes. First, all the applicants have to take the internationally accepted GMAT or Graduate Record Exam (GRE), which is a first time for AIM. “We had set ourselves aside from the rest of the market by not using the GMAT, and it signaled that we were not using global standards,” observed Dr. DeKrey. “The change doesn’t mean we are score-focused. We’re not. I believe in the whole-person enrolment. We never admit on a test score, or grades, or any single criterion.” “The admissions process starts with really determining if someone’s interested. So if they express their interest, they have to fill out an application form and send it to us along with some other requirements,” said MBA program director Mark Chan. Those requirements include undergraduate transcript of records, recommendation letter, and GMAT/GRE score. The perfect GMAT score is 800. A good score is 550 or higher. “The GRE actually has a GMAT equivalency score… We feel that the GMAT really weeded out a lot of people because it’s a very serious investment to take the GMAT. It’s about $280, and it’s a hard exam. People usually prepare two months for it. If you just take it on the day, you’re going to get a very bad score… The GMAT really exposed a lot of the deficiencies in a candidate. A candidate could talk a big game, but if the GMAT score didn’t back it up, you have a reference point. For me, it was really helpful in that way to just get a good grasp of what a candidate is capable of.” After the applicants submit their requirements, a panel interviews them. This is where the second significant change comes in: the panel is composed of one faculty member, an alumnus, and a Career Services officer. “They want to look at a wide range of things, like how prepared the applicants are academically, how prepared they are in terms of carrying themselves when they get a job in the future, and how prepared they are socially because AIM is a very competitive environment,” explained Mr. Chan. “Sometimes people break under the pressure. We want to steer away from guys whom we fear are just going to be liabilities later on. But we do identify the strong ones… In the past, we had only one or two persons interviewing, and there were really not enough perspectives to go around. The nice thing about having a panel of three is that you have a broad range of perspectives. Sometimes we didn’t all agree on a candidate, but debating about it was very beneficial for the selection process… It had to be a unanimous decision, but

the faculty had the deciding vote.” “The interview screens people on qualities beyond what any test can measure,” added Dr. DeKrey. Around 180 applicants finished the admission process, meaning they completed the application requirements and were interviewed. More than 85 were accepted, and then the target class size of 65 enrolled. “One of the things that, as an education administrator, I see here, is that with a smaller class size, we are actually improving the ratio of faculty to students because we have the same number of courses, we have the same number of faculty delivering those courses to a fewer number of students,” said Dean Horacio Borromeo of the AIM W. SyCip Graduate School of Business. “So the most significant change is something that is not going to be apparent, but it will be felt by those of us who are delivering the education or providing the educational opportunities to the students. The fact of the matter is that, with fewer students to pay attention to, the level and the quality of attention can only increase. That, to me, is the biggest payoff in all of this. In other words, the biggest beneficiary will really be the students.” “Recruiting the best and the brightest—a lot of things go into it,” noted Mr. Chan. “What President DeKrey meant by the best and brightest was very well-rounded individuals, people who have the ability to lead, to command attention in a room, to really be able to negotiate well. You know, people who are very employable.” “We’re trying to prepare people for leadership. Asia is not one place; it’s a very complicated place with many different cultures,” stated Dr. DeKrey. “You need the kind of person who can maneuver through cultures and adapt, and be responsive to other people. You need team players.” To look for these team players, AIM conducted promotion events outside of the Philippines, such as Indonesia and India. Recruitment staff met with Fil-foreigners living in different countries and with people connected with multilateral organizations or people with networks beyond the Asia Pacific region. The efforts paid off with a diversity of 10 nationalities from four continents, an age range of 23 to 37, and widely divergent backgrounds. “Some of these guys are Indian, but they were working in South Africa or Australia at the time we were interviewing them,” described Mr. Chan. “We had Filipinos who lived in Singapore or Indonesia most of their lives. Some of our applicants, like from the UK, they grew up all over Europe. There were a lot of experiences


A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013

in their work background that really add to the diversity.” “I’m excited to learn with them,” admitted Dean Borromeo. “It’s been a long while since we had a class with this kind of diversity. The other aspect of diversity is their industry backgrounds are so different. It’s not like they’re all from IT or they’re all liberal arts… What I hear is that the students themselves are really excited to be part of this program. And I’m anticipating that all this excitement will come together, and we’re going to have one rip-roaring class.” IQ, EQ, AND AQ Besides IQ, the recruiters looked at the candidates’ Emotional Competence (EQ) and Adversity Quotient (AQ). “The AIM MBA program is so rigorous that a normal person would really crack under the pressure. So we looked for guys who are very mature, people who have the ability to connect with others, that work well with people,” explained Mr. Chan. “There are different stages in the interview. There’s a group interview where we discuss a case. They’re grouped with different candidates, and we see their interaction with each other. You see things like leadership. You observe them for a while, how they discuss different issues with each other. And then we get them three-on-one—the panel and the interviewee on her own. Things come out, whether in the stories, in the body language, in the way they talk about a certain event in their lives, their perspective… We actually have a defined set of metrics. So our interviews are all numerically scored because we have different categories. The numbers just help guide us in the decision. At the end of the day, it is still the call. “The AQ helps someone stay the course because, in order to make it through the 16 months here, they will encounter their fair share of trials,” added Mr. Chan. “There are going to be nights when they won’t know what to do because there’s not enough time to study and prepare, but they have to utilize the resources around them. They have to work with their teammates well; they have to work efficiently. They have to be good managers of their time. And if they don’t have a high AQ, that’ll be a detriment.” The interviewers likewise considered the candidates’ level of determination and commitment to doing what is right. “Part of the things that came out in the interview had to do with their ability to be put in situations wherein they knew that doing the right thing would cost them. And a lot of these candidates passed that test,” declared Mr. Chan. “All of them who were accepted exhibited a strong sense of character and morality, and ability to distinguish right and wrong… A lot of them were involved in community work, either on projects they had started on their own or different civic organizations… A lot of them also wanted to make an impact on the world, and those who got in believed that an MBA program could be used for good, and it could be something that would positively affect communities.” AN EVOLVING MBA A number of changes are being implemented in the MBA program itself, according to Dean Borromeo. “We’re looking at changing the way we deliver [courses]... The students go through a learning experience, whether they’re doing an exercise or listening to a lecture or discussing a case. That experience needs to be reflected upon. So for one, we’re giving students more time to think about that. Two, he or she could always use a little help in reflecting on the experience, and that’s where the faculty intervention comes in, which is why it’s important that the professors have more time per student, to help them reflect on the experience.”

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Glimpses of Future Alumni

Here are a few of the members of the MBA Class of 2014.

 Shunsuke Ishimoto

A Bachelor of Agriculture graduate, Shun was a team leader of feed material trading with Marubeni Corporation before he registered in the AIM MBA “to differentiate myself from other potential global leaders.” In the first months of the program, Shun found it most challenging adjusting to “differences in energy and power of expressing your own self.” Nevertheless, he finds excitement in understanding individuals despite their differences in cultures and backgrounds, and in finding his role “to make a batch with strong personalities work together.” Mentoring them are their professors, whom he says are “not only insightful and sophisticated, but also have warmth in their heart.”

 Aiyush Kumar

Twenty-six-year-old Aiyush is a Bachelor of Engineering graduate from India. He used to work as an operations lead and system engineer for Tata Consultancy Services before deciding to “pursue a career in finance and to get an exposure from the point of view of the ASEAN market.” Preparations for entering AIM were “pretty difficult,” according to Aiyush, let alone the fact that the school was accepting only half the number of the previous year's intake. “I’ve been through other B-school interview processes in India and abroad. AIM's process was difficult comparatively, but the method made more sense.” In the beginning, he had the “most difficulty adjusting to the classroom dynamics and Manila's nightlife.” But eventually, he got to ride and enjoy “the pace with which you get to learn, have fun, and eventually grow in life.” He considers most AIM professors “awesome and inspiring.” “It is an honor to be part of such an elite group of people from various job/educational backgrounds,” he stated. “The level of learning a student can achieve is maximized because of the presence of such esteemed professors and classmates. The process of teaching, which is very different from the educational system in India, is making the journey even more thrilling… My aim in joining this college is to take as much as I can in terms of knowledge and also to come out as a better human being professionally and personally.”

 Tanya Matthews

Before enrolling at AIM, 24-year-old Tanya was a mechanical engineer holding the position of customer quality and warranty finance manager at Tata Cummins in Jamshedpur, India. What pushed her to take her MBA is “the opportunity to be a part of a premier institution like AIM and build my brand in the Asian market.” In her first few months at AIM, the intense work hours gave Tanya a hard time. “But the learning makes it totally worth it,” she says. What she appreciates most about being here is “the global experience and exposure to different cultures.”

 Tabitha Mungai-Pladet

Tabitha is a 29-year-old Bachelor of Commerce graduate with an academic background in accounting. She is also the owner of a fashion business named One Roxas Fashion and Beauty. “I am at AIM because I would like to learn how to grow my business,” she revealed. Tabitha grew up in Nairobi, and her business is located in Kenya. “I wanted to supply better quality clothes at reasonable prices for Kenyans. I started as retail, but then I soon realized that I might have to go against my initial goal and sell at a higher price due to the high cost of shipping and clearance, rent, and labor. To avoid this, I am negotiating with established supermarkets that already have a market to supply in wholesale. It is my role to talk to the business owners and create new business.” While Tabitha is pursuing her MBA, her mother and sister are managing the selling aspect of the business. At AIM, Tabitha “had a hard time adjusting to the long hours that I had to put in my studies.” “The professors are facilitators of discussions. We have to do plenty of pre-class reading,” she said. However, she is grateful for the opportunities she has had “to meet many global leaders in different areas of expertise.”


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The Class of MBA 2014: Seated from left: Tabitha Mungai-Pladet, Diamond Marcelo, Shar Perez, Mica de Jesus, Martina Dampf, Malini Menon, Tin Kempeneers, Tersh Tupaz, Tracy Collantes, Fenny Wijaya, Jonna Hernandez, Surbhi Soni, Nidhi Garg, Tanu Matthews, Queenie Hao, Marielle Po, Shiva Chhawchharia, Fae Marquez, Hanah Agdamag and Ara Aguilar. Second row from left: Wes Quesang, Joey Flores, RJ Cabaluna, Jayru Lim, Aiyush Kumar, Nitish Dhar, Anubhav Jha, Chandra Devchaudhary, Shun Ishimoto, Abhimanyu Khunger, Mike Milne, Joel Guzman, Ken Jardin, Nox

Nocom, Paolo Balinas, RJ Paguyo, Anand Verma, Juan David Encomienda, Winston Perez, Furby Ramos, JA Pastoral and JM Lazo. Third row from left: Prahlad Govindaran, Lorenzo Katipunan, Heaniel Villaruel, Nelson Ching, Jaime Warren, Nishant Abraham, Cezar Ramos, Anunay Sahay, Naqueeb Mehdi, Aman Chaudhary, Tom McWalter, Ace Del Mundo, Akash Pillai, Jose Nirmal, Bharani Kanakarajan, Utsav Parashar, Saikiran Rambhatla, Abishek Blaggan, Joaquin Veluz, Suhel Mukherjee, Jefre Gabrillo, Mark Isidro, and Wilson Partogi.

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“The case method, as old as it is, is still a very effective way of teaching business students,” Dr. DeKrey emphasized. “We do it very well. It’s one of the reasons why I appreciate AIM.” “Another thing that we are looking forward to is we are, in effect, introducing changes to the learning context,” added Dean Borromeo. “For example, as any educational institution, we typically think of the classroom as the place where the learning happens. More and more we are taking it outside the classroom. And outside the classroom does not just mean going to companies, going to the field. It also means maybe leaving the location, getting out of Makati… These are the things that the faculty had been planning, and we’re looking for the appropriate occasion, the appropriate timing in which to make it happen. For example, in the Marketing class, you can talk about marketing in ASEAN and what all of this ASEAN-ization means and globalization means. If I walk into my neighborhood sari-sari (mom-and-pop) store, I’m going to see products made in Indonesia, made in Malaysia… That’s one aspect. The other aspect is, why don’t we all go there and see where they make it? Who are the people behind it? And how did they get this idea that they can go beyond their national borders and think of their markets as not just their country but the rest of the world? We want our students to actually see that for themselves… The classroom is not 123 Paseo de Roxas; it’s going to be ASEAN.” “We’re sitting here in the middle of ASEAN. It’ll be an integrated community in 2015,” said Dr. DeKrey. “You have ambitious, growing countries, and they need management to grow. It’s a unique area because these are developing countries, so there are political issues that students will have to understand, as well as government and regulatory issues… Once the ASEAN Economic Community takes place, there will be a free flow of goods, services, and people. You’re looking at an international market, and if you’re open-minded career-wise, you’ll move to where the jobs are. You’ll want to go where the opportunities are. This is a great place to study because you will develop a knowledge base, but also develop the network.” A third change being incorporated this year is more time for business networking. “We’ve allocated a time slot in the afternoon for people to come in. Now that we have only one section, we can schedule most of the classes in the morning,” explained Mr. Chan. “That leaves the afternoon free for them to do research or meet people… When an industry expert comes in, they can all be available. Before, the students weren’t all available after 5:00 because we had two sections. We had a lot of logistics to figure out. But now we have a golden time slot in which to schedule.” MORE FUN MBA What makes the Philippines, which is part of ASEAN, a great destination for graduate education? “It’s more fun,” answered Dean Borromeo with equal parts seriousness and amusement. “You see, any MBA program can be a stressful experience… The first stress comes on the first day because anyone that gets in here is special, and they’re used to it. They did well in school… At work, they were the high performers. So they had this self-image… They walk into that classroom, and the first thing they see is 60-plus people who seem to be smarter than they are, who seem to be talking about things that never occurred to them, who seem to have had experiences that they never had, who seem to have been to places that they have never

been. All of a sudden they can feel inferior, and this produces enormous amounts of stress. And then the expectations come in. You’re expected to do at least as well as those 60-plus other people. But your initial impression already is that they’re superior to you. You’ve got to overcome that, and you have to get it into your head that you’re in this class for a reason. You were selected because you had certain competencies, certain qualities, certain characteristics that convinced the faculty that you could do as well as anybody in that class. “Where does the fun come in? You need the fun to sustain you,” he continued. “If you didn’t figure out where to have fun and how to have fun in all of this, you would go bonkers. But it’s the Pinoys who are good at seeing the silver lining in everything. It’s in their inner nature.”


A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013

“Everyone from the staff of the school to the people who are in touch with them on an everyday basis, we make sure that the [new students] transition to their life here,” added Mr. Chan. “People have a support system when they move in… In AIM, it’s not a competition; it’s more like ‘coopetition.’ People help you; people are not cutthroat like that. We’re competitive, we like to compete against each other, but when it comes down to it, we help each other. That’s the same thing that’s going to happen this year. People are going to help each other out. The accountants are going to help the people who are from the arts, and the engineers are going to help people who are not very familiar with processes. The different strengths of the cohort will be available for everyone’s use.” Once they have completed the program and secured their diploma, what is the value of their MBA?

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“The value of an MBA is whatever you can sell it for. When you have an MBA, it’s up to you to go and market yourself,” said Dean Borromeo. “Of course, we help them market themselves. Take somebody who finishes an MBA and decides to teach. That’s small bucks, but that’s his decision. If you decide, ‘I’m worth much more than any multinational can pay,’ how do you do that? You make your own business.” “I think the strength of the school is sharpening our graduates to rise up to the top positions in corporations, to make a name for themselves as entrepreneurs, to be recognized not only around the Philippines but also globally,” noted Mr. Chan. “What AIM can do better than any other school is to prepare management for Southeast Asia and the rest of the developing world,” concluded Dr. DeKrey.


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Special Feature: Triple A in Thailand

Mr. Piti Sithi Amnuai, MDP 1973

Triple A Awardee, 1978


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

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Mr. Peter, Servant-Leader

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the country from World War II to the 1970s, steering away from political conflict with other countries, including China and the United States. When he grew older, he studied and gained his college degree in business administration in neighboring Malaysia (Hutching’s Commercial College). Then he returned home to Thailand. Thailand’s southern lands are rich in tin, and he was to help his father run a tin mining business. The mining business had grueling work hours. Young Amnuai often had to inspect the mines anywhere from 2:00 to 4:00 a.m. The work was made even more challenging by his father, a brilliant man who liked to rouse his son from sleep in the middle of the night to dictate memos or detailed business plans. Amnuai did this for eight long years.

the Thai commercial bank founded by “Khun Chin” Sophonpanich. Since Amnuai was from southern Thailand, his first position at the bank was supposed to be that of branch manager in Yala. But before he could even head in that direction, he was suddenly summoned by the deputy president. He was to go and assist a newly-established ‘business department’. The focus of this new department was corporate lending. “‘Your first assignment is to solicit as many multinational companies as possible,’” the president said. Thanks to both his education and his family’s travels, Amnuai had acquired a good grasp of the English language. The president perceived this as the main requirement for the job. But as a banking newbie, Amnuai didn’t even have a proper position to his name. His business card was so “The leader must have charisma. He must have that simple (it only read “Piti Sithi quality which makes others accept his leadership Amnuai” and willingly and respect his ideas. He must be able to influence others into believing in him. Indeed he must “Bangkok Bank”) be able to inspire others to do what he wishes them to that it bordered on embarrassing. do, wholeheartedly.” “Can you imagine?” Amnuai says. “With such a simple Somewhere along the way, at age 25, he card, how do you approach multinational managed to get married and have children. companies, right?” He tried his best to juggle the demands of Somehow, he managed to do it. He was so family and business. But when his children became old enough for school, it was time for good at courting financial directors of every new multinational company that stepped into better income and more stable work hours. Thailand that the bank decided to give him Amnuai remembers how he mustered enough courage to tell his father of his plans, a car—the only non-executive in Bangkok Bank to be given one. and how the older man reacted. Soon, the bank implemented its executive “‘This is your business. You must stay ranking system. Only two years after Amnuai Opportunity mining here,’” he recalls his father saying. took on the corporate lending job, he was Amnuai’s ability to endure was well But the young Piti had a family to look tested in his youth. He was born to an ethnic after. “I told him that it’s time for me to bring given the title of Assistant Vice President. With this experience under his belt, Chinese family during the years of World War my children to Bangkok.” And off he went. II. He spent his childhood moving with his Naturally, his father was hurt. “He didn’t Amnuai then took the bank’s credit administration education program, and was sent for family back and forth from Hong Kong to the talk to me for two years,” Amnuai says. But training at Chase-Manhattan in New York for Indochina area, before they finally settled in there is no regret in Amnuai’s voice now as six months. The Western training broadened the southern part of Thailand (Surat Thani he recalls this part of his life. Bangkok was his view and, upon his return home to Thaiand Phuket). where real opportunities awaited him, and land, became confident enough to challenge Amnuai speaks proudly of his adopted he was simply being wise. authority for a second time. country. Much like his own family, Thailand He first went searching for work at the One day he went up to the deputy presihad never fallen prey to a foreign power. He Shell oil company, one of only two multinastill admires the pragmatism and political tional companies that were then operating in dent and boldly asked, “How can a branch guile of Thai statesmen—“Probably the Thailand (the other was Colgate). Somehow, “Mr. Peter” cont. on page 50 >> best in the world,” he says—who managed he instead landed a job in Bangkok Bank, painted eagle hangs on a wall in Piti Sithi Amnuai’s room, its eyes seeming to follow the viewer from every angle. It was a gift from Bangkok Bank managers at a time when Amnuai was Executive Co-Chairman. While this painting bears his full name and corporate title written in Thai script in one corner, the artwork actually signifies the bank staff’s unofficial nicknames for him—“The Eagle,” “Nai Piti,” or “Mr. Peter.” That’s precisely what Amnuai is: a cunning, grandfatherly fisher of men. (Amnuai is Catholic, and “Peter” is his Christian name.) He’s the loyal senior company man whose affable smile barely conceals an astute business sense and driving personality. For this interview with the AIMLeader, he tries a few self-effacing jokes to make himself less intimidating. “How old do I look?” he asks. He doesn’t look his age of 80 years, and he knows it. But he quips: “I’m what I am today because of modern medication. I can take myself back to 65.” Indefatigability has always been the hallmark of Amnuai’s character. It’s the reason why the employees at Bangkok Bank still look up to him. It’s also why, well past his planned retirement age of 60, they still have him on the board of directors. They’re even thinking of making him the Chairman of Bangkok Bank Berhad, a separate corporation in Malaysia.

WORDS BY FRA NCES BILLA NO


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Special Feature: Triple A in Thailand

Managing Religious Diversity HAILING FROM THAILAND, Chainarong Monthienvichienchai could have easily gotten a scholarship anywhere. However he believed in the Asian tradition, Asian experience, and the Asian way of learning. Fate has it, he met a Filipino who was studying at AIM at that time in one of his trips to Bangkok, and introduced him to AIM. After learning about the institution, he knew that's the place to go. In 1971, he decided to fly to the Philippines to take up the Management Development Program at AIM. Although his stay wasn't smooth sailing for he had to adjust to the case study method, he laughingly says that it was a bit traumatic because he and his group mates worked late nights from day one to the last day. Although the method was foreign, he understood that it was the only way to learn. The case study method actually broadened his horizon by trying to find more than one solution. He says “Quite often, people can easily come up with a great way out of any problem- but it may not be the best one. It may be the wrong one and I think at AIM, it teaches us to be careful about this.” From there he knew that the school would answered all his expectations; “You see, if it is technology, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) is the one, but if it is management, it must be the Asian Institute of Management.”

Managing People the Asian Way

The 'Asian way' is a phrase that is used loosely, but for Chainarong, he thinks that “Asians have a very unique way of communicating or dealing with people.” For example, when it comes to having to let go of a faculty or a staff, the current Chancellor of St. John’s University makes sure to 'save the face' of whoever he deals with. “When I want to terminate someone in my school, in my organization, I do it in such a way that he or she would feel happy leaving. I need to take all strategies because it is important that he or she would not feel so much down; no one wants to be forced to leave, and so this can be an example of the Asian way,” says Chainarong. At first, he may sound traditional, but he also adds that the West also offers good management styles as well. “The Western way is good for us when it comes to planning and the system metric, which are resource allocation, strategy, etc., especially

when working as a team. But when we handle people, it's the Asian way that we need to take into consideration.” Fusing both the eastern tradition and the western perspective, Chainarong has adapted what he has learned in his institution: St. John's University. In Thailand, there are only two Catholic Universities, and one of them happens to be St. John's. Being part of the minority, the school has challenges that are uniquely theirs. Challenges such as not receiving government support at times, dealing with students who come from different religious groups (Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam), and compromising with the Ministry of Education. Although he's aware of these, Chainarong does not expect anything but respect, nor complain for whatever may happen; for Thais know that St. John's University gives quality education. In Thailand, its society as a whole looks at Catholic education as a high standard of education. In fact, his school for the less fortunate, in the northeastern part of the country, comes first in their O-NET exam in the whole province (the O-NET is the Ordinary National Educational Test which Thai students need to pass in order for them to graduate from the primary level). St. John's University has been in his family for a couple of generations, even in a country with only .5% Catholics. In fact, his faculty consists of 600 people and the majority aren’t even Catholics, three-fourths of whom are Buddhists. The faculty goes through a special workshop seminar to understand the standard of the Catholic school, without having to feel pressured to convert. Chainarong creates a bridge for the non-Catholics to understand the message of Catholicism in an educational manner, one can even say in an inter-faith manner. With his diverse faculty of nuns, priests, and Buddhists come his diverse students of Catholics, Christians, Buddhists, and Muslims. Religious differences are not a hindrance to him, but rather

WOR D S BY GE R I A N N E DE E T. E S CA N D OR

an opportunity of showing religious tolerance and freedom of worship. Every person who comes to him understands and accepts that first and foremost, St. John's is a Catholic school, but the faculty and the students do not have to be Catholic. In fact, the Buddhist students can join in their religious celebrations in school and the Muslim students have their own prayer room. If some students however would like to learn more about Catholicism, they can attend the Catechism class that the school offers. It is open for high-school students and even to their parents. Those who are interested can join but of course, the younger ones are not allowed. He explains that “catechism is not the application because we believe in the Holy Spirit that works with you. It's not the class, it's not the certificate, it's not the lessons. The class is to help you to know God and to communicate with Him, the rest is the Holy Spirit who will work with you.” To add on to spreading tolerance among other religions and inspiring others to understand Catholicism, Chainarong also inspires his family, primarily his children. It appears that Chainarong has motivated, indirectly, two of his four children to follow his footsteps. One of his twins and his eldest son have decided to join in the family business. Growing-up, they watched their father work and came to a conclusion that they too would like to do what he does. Currently, they are preparing themselves for the transition. No pressure came from their father though, for Chainarong believes that in education, one must have it in his heart, body, and mind. If his children were not interested, then he cannot force them. But at the time of the interview, he has been setting his school for a transition period for the next generation.

Opportunities in the ASEAN 2015

Aside from the transition in managerial positions, St. John's is also taking steps to transition its educational system for the future, specifically for the coming ASEAN 2015, primarily focusing on the ASEAN Economic Community (or AEC). Basically, AEC discusses that there will be seven professions “Managing Religious Diversity” cont. on page 51 >>


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

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Mr. Chainarong Monthienvichienchai, MDP 1971 Triple A Awardee, 1983


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Special Feature: Triple A in Thailand

Ms. Suwimol D. Kaewkoon, MBM 1979 Triple A Awardee, 1992


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

Listening Can Take You a Long Way Suwimol D. Kaewkoon, MBM 1979 and the first Thai woman to receive the prestigious AIM Alumni Achievement Award (Triple A) in 1992 is the Chief Customer Officer of Advanced Info Service PCL (AIS PCL) which is the number one mobile phone operator and the largest network in Thailand with approximately 34 million subscribers. The AIS network covers more than 12,023 network stations throughout Thailand. A Chief Customer Officer position doesn’t sound as impressive when compared to a Chief Executive Officer or a Chief Operating Officer title but in an industry where there’s a market share war to acquire, expand and maintain customer base, Ms. Kaewkoon’s job is just as essential to the success of AIS as the market leader in communications. Suwimol also had a hand in building AIS’s call center which is famous for its service and competency. From a quiet girl who struggled to participate in class to an expert on customer service for a telecommunications titan, this is the most inspired story on how listening can take you a long way.

Share your idea, no matter how small.

“Go back, pack your things and go home.” These are the words that former AIM Dean Francisco Bernardo said to Suwimol upon grading her paper when she was still a student. It’s not because the paper was poorly written. Dean Bernardo actually found it good. Her MRR adviser’s frustration didn’t lie in Suwimol’s assignment but in her lack of participation in class. Like most foreign students who still don’t have a firm grasp of the English language, Suwimol was shy to recite. However, she says it wasn’t her shyness or fear of committing a grammatical mistake that stopped her from participating in class. It was because she felt that she didn’t have much to contribute in the discussions. When Suwimol entered AIM, she came from an auditing firm where she was a support staff. She had professional and technical training but never really had any management experience prior to her acceptance in AIM. During class discussions, she was amazed at her talented classmates with all their inputs so

instead of sharing her thoughts, she just sat in class and enjoyed listening, observing and learning from them. But Dean Bernardo’s statement both shocked and inspired her to break out of her shell. He said to Suwimol, “How can you be successful in your management career if you keep quiet? If you cannot express your ideas with others?” After this talk with her adviser and with a lot of encouragement from her roommates, Suwimol felt that she had something in her and she had to prove it to herself. She set a goal: “At least once for each subject, I will try to participate in class so I can pass. That created a new behaviour in me and I began to be convinced that it’s really important to make people understand your insight, your idea.” She learned that what she knew also mattered. “Share them your view though that is the small part of it. There is no such [thing as] one great idea but it’s the collecting of all the ideas.”

Suwimol the Hardworker

Aside from speaking up and getting your idea across, AIS PCL’s Chief Customer Officer also learned the value of hard work from AIM. When she was working for Robinson’s Department Store, it was not out of the ordinary for her to clock in 22 hours in the store and even sleep on the floor just to make sure that all the decorations, displays and merchandise are in good order before the store opens and the customer walks in. One would think that she was a store manager for being so hands on with the store but she already held the General Manager position at the time. Aside from being dedicated to the store, she also wanted to be close to her people and she felt that if she didn’t become active in store operations, they would never be in touch with any upper management. On top of her 22-hour work day at Robinson’s Department Store, Suwimol had 1,000 employees reporting under her. To keep herself sane in such a stressful and busy job, the alumna practices meditation every day to maintain her peace of mind. “I practice meditation and I can manage myself in any situation, in work or with family. Peace of WORDS BY JONAS GA LA NG

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mind is very important. If you have a happy heart, you can make others touch your happiness. And you have to control yourself first before you think that you want to manage other people.”

An accountant from retail in an engineerdominated organization

When a seven-month pregnant Suwimol joined AIS with no background on engineering or telecommunications 18 years ago as Assistant Vice President for Terminal or Device Trading, she insisted on travelling around the country and checking the field to fully understand the environment of her new organization. She was constructing a new business model at the time, and during those two months, Suwimol maximized her well-honed listening skills. From a productcentric engineering company, Suwimol’s task is to turn AIS around to a more customercentric organization once the network coverage has been finished. The two-month field work was necessary to gather information and to create this new customer-centric business model.

“Peace of mind is very important. If you have a happy heart, you can make others touch your happiness.” After giving birth, Suwimol came back with the new model and strategy on how to thrust the company to be more customerfocused. She jokingly says that she went from Suwimol the Listener to Suwimol the Dictator. “Now here comes the execution part. So the whole country: bang, bang, bang. Do this and this!” As with most changes, there was resistance from partners and employees when the new model was being implemented. To appease complaints and questions, Suwimol personally went out to the field to explain to them that these changes are for the best of the company in the long run. She said, “I always have to think of him [Dean Bernardo] when I have to talk to people about new things and changes. It’s not only about how you express your ideas but you also have to make sure that each individual responds well and correctly understands the message.” During her first ten years in AIS, the Triple A Awardee still had to work long “Listening...” cont. on page 51 >>


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Special Feature: Triple A in Thailand

Off the Beaten Path: A Feisty Journey to Success

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ntrepreneurial spirited individuals pay attention to gaining experience by and large. They thirst for learning and experimenting, applying and sharing. Management consulting firm co-founder Chris Smith also mentions in his Harvard Business Review blog that entrepreneurial spirited people are motivated by a company’s everyday activity, where they find success in prospects that can grow the business. These people do not just concentrate in obtaining chances that can be used as stepping stones only for their project’s success. An entrepreneur without this spirit usually just focuses on self-reliance and personal achievements. Most of all, an entrepreneurial spirited individual has no fear. The AIM community will be inspired with the intensity and courage of one of its notable alumni, Mr. Yongyut Boonpektrakul. His success story in dabbling with different directions in leadership and management, as well as various companies, may pave the way to enriching other people’s insights. Mr. Yongyut Boonpektrakul completed the AIM Management Development Program in 1981. The Alumni Association of AIM (AAAIM) and the Federation of AIM Alumni (FAIM) honored him the exalted Alumni Achievement Award (Triple A) in the year 1990 because of his developmental efforts and achievements in his field. His business insights were brought into being across different schools and continents. Mr. Boonpektrakul studied Pharmacy at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila from 1963 to 1969. He worked at San Miguel while he was studying the course and knew the “Old Manila”. He also went to New York University to learn finance, and pursued further studies in the Ross School of Business in Michigan. These educational institutions in-

stilled a global perspective in his viewpoints. However, Mr. Boonpektrakul valued the legacy of his education at AIM. He said, “For me, I think the CAN group experience comes as a humbling exercise, and the other thing also, I thank the professors, and the way they express their ideas.” He also stated how important it was that the professors at AIM do not try to dictate. He valued how the Asian institution used the CAN group to collaborate and give value to logical processes in case studies. “The CAN group can teach you a lot of things… And also can change your way of thinking, the way of doing business. Probably that’s life, knowing that you’re not good in everything. That’s the very important part,” he adds. When he took his management training in Singapore, he made friends with a fellow AIM student from Malaysia. He was offered to start up Shakey’s Pizza in Thailand. Mr. Boonpektrakul established the food chain at the malls, including Siam Square and so on. He jokingly stated how he was sent to Seattle to study at Shakey’s Pizza University. The management style needed at Shakey’s was different, he said. “All of the staff, all of the people, they are all young. They are 17, 18… They’re all young. If they want to work for you, they go like hell, they will work like hell and they never ask. Of course, if anyone would want to work for you, they will first ask: ‘Why?’ But the young people, they never ask why. They say: ‘Show me the way.’ They do it! If they failed, you failed. If they failed, they don’t think that they failed, they think I failed.” Despite the fact that the market was not yet ready for the awesomeness that was pizza, he was able to hone his skills in leadership and management at that time. He left after five years and became part of the Inchcape Group of Companies, which he felt suited his education at AIM well. His varied career path also included a stint at Thailand’s leading English newsWORDS BY EL A IN E TACU BA NZA

paper, Bangkok Post, which is published and distributed by Post Publishing Public Company Limited. He ran all the advertisements, classified the circulations, created and carried out marketing plans. As Sales and Marketing Director of Post Publishing Public Company Ltd, he was in charge of strategizing for the market share and sales generation of the company’s diverse information businesses. These include both broadcast and digital media, book operations, and radio programs. Mr. Yongyut Boonpektrakul also introduced the first toothpaste with fluoride in Thailand. The market distribution was much focused. It was only found in supermarkets. When asked about this particularly brave business venture, he stated, “So I don’t know if it was a success or failure but at least I have done what I wanted to do.” His natural business instincts pulled him towards the calling of sales and marketing, and entrepreneurship. Remember that he studied Pharmacy in the Philippines? Mr. Boonpektrakul did not take up medical studies, but he married a doctor. His daughter and son-in-law are both doctors. He agrees that it sort of works out in the end. Mr. Boonpektrakul felt that he was a changed man after completing his AIM education. During the latter parts, he sensed that people could not catch up with him. His thoughts and expectations got too far ahead. People around him could not keep up. He used this nonconformist way of thinking to his advantage. During his last five years at Singer, Mr. Boonpektrakul was promoted to General Manager. He thought of ways to innovate the product line and marketing strategies of Singer. He wanted it to shed off its old corporate image. His bold ideas enabled Singer to diversify its product line. Known as a manufacturer of budget sewing machines, Mr. Boonpektrakul raised the bar by incorporating upmarket high technology household items to expand the company’s customer base. Before this, he even added a business venture with Suzuki and Yamaha for motorcycle distribution. He also gave a good start by bringing in furniture. The company had high hopes with its range of new high-technology products, including mobile phones. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Boonpektrakul, these innovations helped Singer veer away from it traditional market focus group. “Off the Beath Path...” cont. on page 52 >>


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

Mr. Yongyut Boonpektrakul, MDP 1981 Triple A Awardee, 1990

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Spotlight

"In retrospect, my ongoing journey in life has been a series of happy accidents, and fortunate mistakes. And it only gets better.�


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

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AUGUSTO ANTONIO C. SERAFICA, JR., MBM 1991:

THE SERVANT CHAIRMAN

Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.—Lawrence Block

me prepare and eventually deliver my share in discussions during class. It allowed me to think on my feet,” he shares.

The Happy Accidents

On his second year at AIM, he decided to pursue a career track on the client side after graduation. “I applied for five positions as a possible finance manager and four companies rejected me” he shares. “Ermie La Rosa, our professor in investment banking, hosted a job fair for investment bankers and A generous soul. A tenacious worker. A it was during that event where I met Bobby A Good Investment servant of God. A team player and a listener, Atendido.” Moving to Manila for his college educathis, in a nutshell, is Augusto Antonio C. Serafica accepted an investment banktion, Serafica graduated from San Beda ColSerafica, Jr. Known to his family, friends and lege with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce ing career offer from Mr. Roberto “Bobby” colleagues as “Tito”, he is a great believer Atendido, who is part of the famed AIM class Degree, with a major in Accountancy in of serendipity. To Serafica, his life is a con1984. “Demonstrating the value of patience, I of MBM 1973. He thanked Mr. Atendido for vergence of events that manifested through finished my four-year college education in six taking a chance in him, someone who is new hard work, faith in God and probably, a years,” he recounts. After college, he became to investment banking, and that started destiny written in the stars. a Certified Public Accountant and worked for a lifelong mentorship as well as a close The current Chairman of the Alumni and enduring friendship between the two. SyCip, Gorres and Velayo (SGV) for almost Association of AIM-Philippines (AAAIM) Serafica is privileged to be mentored by even 5 years. During his stay in SGV, he was only did not see himself playing a vital role in the promoted once, but this did not deter him some of the members of the class of MBM Philippine Chapter of AIM graduates when from attaining his lifelong dream of making 1973, a batch in AIM that he really looks up he was a student walking through the corto. As far as Serafica is concerned, it is vital it big one day. Looking back with fondness, ridors of the Asian Institute of Management Serafica said these fortunate mistakes were to have really great mentors, both in business in 1989. This was all S-E-R-E-N-D-I-P-I-T-Y and in life. carefree yet memorable times that taught according to Serafica. “My career path was a series of happy achim valuable life lessons. Born and raised to a modest family in Because of the need to fast track his ca- cidents,” Serafica continues. “As Ralph Waldo a town called Mangatarem in the province reer, Serafica decided to take a leave from his Emerson once said, ‘the world makes way for of Pangasinan, Serafica mainly credits his work to obtain a Master's degree at AIM. “In the man who knows where he is going.’ And success to his late parents. “I owe a lot of terms of finances, I only had 5,000 pesos from so my becoming an investment banker by what I have today to their hands-on style of my SSS loan- and the total cost of education accident led me to focus- if one doesn’t know parenting as well as strong faith,” he says. at AIM for the MBM program then was about his way but constantly remains focused, he His father Augusto Sr. was a lawyer while 500,000 pesos! Php 5,000 vs Php 500,000, it is will be led to the correct path.” his mother Leoncia was a pharmacist, both His career in investment banking gives just a difference of two insignificant zeroes!” of whom actively invested in raising him and he narrates. Serendipity continued. him much happiness and fulfillment. “It is his 3 siblings. Apart from qualifying for a student loan, exciting,” he professes. “It has opened a lot of His drive to succeed started early but he his entire family helped tide things over. “My opportunities and I was not boxed in into a narrates it all with a grain of salt and a dash girlfriend (now his wife) Josie became my particular sector or industry- I was exposed of his characteristic wry humor: “In high to business ventures in mining, tourism and sugar mommy,” he quips. “‘I think you are a school, I was the most consistent honor stugood investment’, Josie said.” Eventually, she entertainment, energy, services, real estate, dent ever- even better than my brothers who was to be proven right. information technology and manufacturing, were both valedictorians. During my high with me performing my corporate finance During his stay at AIM, he shares that school, in my first year I was first honor, in functions that cut across these diverse fields. his most significant lessons were “to have second year I was second honor and in third discipline, to plan and prepare, and execute It gave me and my team the ability to look for year I was third honor- you can guess where I with utter confidence. The case method and design strategic options that are out of was during my fourth year,” he chuckles. allowed me to be a better student by making “The Servant Chairman” cont. on page 54 >> WORDS BY BEA DELOS REY ES, BM P 2012


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Spotlight

VISITACION MENDOZA, MBM 1984:

A PROMISE FULFILLED “How many times have we [the AIM alumni] declared that we love AIM, that AIM helped transform our careers? How many of us have stated that we love AIM? I believe it is time to put these statements into action and prove it by giving back to the Institute that helped shape our future.” Ms. Visitacion Mendoza, MBM 1984, Vice President for Health Services at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), talks candidly when asked about her donation to the AIM Alumni Scholarship Fund. “I initially did not want to be interviewed for this AIM Leader feature. On second thought, the article may serve as a reminder to my fellow alumni to give back to the Institute that shaped their management and leadership roles, that’s why I decided to share my story.” Siony, as Ms. Mendoza prefers to be called, reveals that her involvement in philanthropy started when she viewed a film about giving back. “This ‘paying it forward’ mission started when I saw the film ‘Pay it Forward’. The message of the movie moved me. It made me look back on the things that happened in my life, and reflect on where I was at present, and I realized, I am blessed. I knew then that I want to give back and share this blessing with others. It is my way of leaving my legacy. I asked myself, what would be the best thing to accomplish this? I thought immediately about giving scholarships. “I started with sending students to college. I asked for help from my officemates, relatives and friends, some of whom are from AIM, and we pooled our resources to provide scholarships to deserving students. Our first batch of scholars graduated in 2011. Giving to the AIM Alumni Scholarship Fund was always on my mind, but I always put it off. I thought I would wait after my kids finish school, and I should concentrate on sending my scholars to college first, but then I read an article in the AIM Leader Magazine. I was prompted to make good my promise.” She shares that an article she read from the AIM Leader magazine reminded her to

Scholarship Changed My Life

“All my life, I was a scholar. I was a scholar until I finished college. My parents prioritized school and education and instilled in us that having a good education is crucial to succeed in life. My siblings and I were made to appreciate the value of education, even more than shelter, food and clothing. This is why we really strove to study hard. In hindsight, it is very admirable that my parents instilled in us the value of education even if they did not have college degrees themselves. donate to the AIM Fund for Scholarships. “When I was a young girl growing up “I always get the AIM Leader magazine and in Cebu, Philippines, I only had one goal in I like reading through all the stories. One mind: I wanted to improve my family life and of the articles featured this alumnus who give a better life for myself and for my family. donated to the Scholarship Fund for one I saw studying at AIM as an opportunity to do scholar. In the article, he shared that he just that. I was working in William Lines for wanted to give back to the school because he wanted to provide the same opportunity two years when I took the entrance examination for AIM. I took Math in college, and I for a better life, the very same opportunity he enjoyed after he finished his AIM degree, knew that it’s not enough. I felt inadequate. I knew I needed to learn more about the whole to a promising candidate. This was my aspect of the business. wakeup call.” “It was AIM or nothing. I did not even She acknowledges that the amount consider other schools at that time. I didn’t required to send scholarship candidates to school is a consideration for most. “It is true, have enough funds when I applied. I had savings, but it was not enough to pursue further money is still important, and I am not saystudies. When I received my acceptance leting that I do not value that money. It is not ter, I informed my supervisors that I wanted like I have a lot of money and I could just give it away. However, this is for education. to pursue a Master’s degree. It was a very Education changes lives. It breaks the cycle fortunate coincidence that William Lines at of poverty for some. It creates opportunities that time was awarding scholarships to its staff. I was able to study in AIM as a William for better and more fulfilled lives. In my Lines scholar.” opinion, you can either use money to buy Once Siony became a student in AIM, stuff that you do not need or you can spend she admits that she found it very challenging money to provide a better life to someone at first. “The method of teaching was new who deserves it. and different. It was intimidating. It was not “That article prompted me to contact the AIM Alumni Relations Office and pledge something I was used to. However I appreciated it because I realized that AIM taught a my donation to the AIM Alumni Scholarship Fund. When I signed the check for the holistic approach to learning about managedonation to AIM, yes, it was admittedly a big ment. AIM developed the totality of a leader amount, but it brought me joy when I finally that is essential for a management role. When I got out of AIM I thought I was very did it. I realized I really love AIM. It is ready to take on leadership and management nice to have done something like this. The thought of changing someone’s life through roles. AIM prepared me to be a total manager. providing them an opportunity to study at “A Promise Fulfilled” cont. on page 53 >> AIM makes me happy.”

W O R D S B Y K R I Z I A E L E N I R . PA T R O C I N I O


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

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“If I can donate to the AIM Alumni Scholarship Fund, I am sure so many others can do it too. Now, I can say to my fellow alumni, do not postpone things. If you can do it now, do it now. Give while the giving is yours to do. It is really so nice to give.�


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N E W S

F E AT U R E

C O V E R S T O R Y

SPOTLIGHT

giving

CL ASS NOTES

THE AIM ALUMNI FUN AIM is grateful to the following individual alumni who have generously sponsored the education of a deserving student through a full subsidy. These scholarships are: NAME OF SCHOLARSHIP As AIM alumni, we need to have a heart for this institution. I believe AIM has a lot to contribute to the country. It was my little way of helping the institution, of giving back.

INCEPTION YEAR

BENEFICIARY

2006 AIM Intex Scholarship Fund, donated by Ed Limon, MBM Class 1974

—Perpetuo de Claro, MBM 1973

2006 In my personal philosophy, I always considered the Ford Motor scholarship I received as a personal debt which I needed to repay when I would have the ability and means.” —Hyun Oh Cho, MBM 1984

Boy and Corito De Claro Scholarship, donated by Perpetuo De Claro, MBM Class 1973

Fulgencio Estrella, MBA 2010

2007 Hyun Oh Cho (MBM 1985) Scholarship Fund

Gervasius Patar Samosir, MBA 2010


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

ND FOR SCHOLARSHIPS NAME OF SCHOLARSHIP

INCEPTION YEAR

BENEFICIARY

2011 Chibuom Investments Corporation Scholarship, donated by Gabriel Paredes, MBM 1972

Joy Lantican, MBA 2012

—Gabriel Paredes, MBM 1972

2011 Malvan Hwang (MBM 1974) Scholarship Fund

This is my giving back to AIM. We believe in the value of education and what it can do for a deserving student: how it can change your life and how you contribute to society eventually.

Angela Sanchez, MBA 2012

2013

If I can donate to the AIM Alumni Scholarship Fund, I am sure so many others can do it too. Now, I can say to my fellow alumni, do not postpone things. If you can do it now, do it now. Give while the giving is yours to do. It is really so nice to give. —Visitacion Mendoza, MBM 1984

SiBu Mendoza Scholarship Fund, donated by Visitacion Mendoza, MBM 1984

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N E W S

F E AT U R E

C O V E R S T O R Y

SPOTLIGHT

giving

CL ASS NOTES

YOU TOO CAN MAKE A Make a gift to the AIM Alumni Fund for Scholarships. Contact aimalumni@aim.edu “Someday I hope that I can pay it forward.”

—Kristeen Joy Lantican, MBA 2012, Chibuom Investments Corporation Scholar

“I am very grateful to Mr. and Mrs. De Claro for making a difference in my life.” —Fulgencio “Jojo” Estrella, MBA 2010, recipient of the Boy and Corito De Claro Scholarship


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

DIFFERENCE! “I will pass on the tradition so others can study at AIM. I think that’s one of the best things I can do to make him (Hyun Oh Cho) happy.” —Gervasius Patar Samosir, MBA 2010, Hyun Oh Cho scholar

“I do hope though that I will get to meet him [Malvan Hwang] soon and personally thank him. I will again tell this to him: He makes dreams come true.” —Angela Sanchez, MBA 2012, Malvan Hwang Scholar.

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>> “Mr. Peter” continued from page 35

fact, Amnuai was what others might call a “slave driver.” He expected manager have two masters?” his people to work from 7:30AM to His superior was flabbergasted. 8:30PM every day. By starting meetAmnuai had asked a question that ings at 7 o’clock in the morning, he was both biblical and cheeky. At could cover more ground and manage that time, thanks to Bangkok Bank’s all bank branches quickly. evolution, certain aspects of its old At the same time, Amnuai strove management structure didn’t match to boost the employees’ morale, what it was trying to do. All their enabling them to work at that level, branch managers faced an odd little and enjoy it. His method of motivatarrangement: they had to report to ing them can be summed up in his the business department (where oft-used rallying cry at Bangkok Amnuai belonged), as well as to the Bank: “More work, more fun!” A big department that officially supervised banner bearing that slogan could be all the branches. seen hanging over the venue of each Several months later, the boss morning meeting. threw the challenge back at Amnuai’s These weren’t empty words. The face. leadership style Amnuai displayed “Peter, come here!” he said. during those days was clever, even “You were the one who told me that roguish. He had a flair for the draa branch manager should only have matic, and a sense of humor. As a reone master. You take 10 branches, ward for a job well done, for instance, and manage!” Amnuai would give each successful The young man was shocked; he branch a year-end treat of 10 roasted had not expected that. He had been suckling pigs. trained for loaning credit to corporaHe even resorted to creative detions, not consumer banking. ception, just to make his employees Nevertheless, true to his charas resourceful and tricky as himself. acter, Amnuai took up the challenge He once pulled a trick on the to prove himself as a proper “master” manager at Bangkok Bank’s Silom manager. He had an audacious goal: Road branch. The branch already had to turn each of the 10 branches into deposits worth 650 million, and the “a billion-baht branch in 6 months.” next scheduled target for additional Amnuai still looks back at that deposits was 50 million by the end time with fondness. “In one year, I of the year. Instead, Amnuai decided tripled the profit [from lending and to give the man a bigger target to aim deposits] of the 10 branches. Fanfor: 350 million baht. tastic! Even I was surprised.” It was The man nearly fainted. “Boss, his first major triumph. this cannot be done!” he said. “Okay, let’s be fair about it, right?” “More work, more fun” Amnuai said, smiling. “You take half, I Upon closer inspection, his take half. You have about 300 staff [to success wasn’t at all that surprising. help you]. I’m only one person.” Amnuai had a highly personalized, What the branch manager didn’t slightly unorthodox way of dealing know was that Amnuai already had with people. enough power and influence (being Because he was used to the in charge of credit) to ask his best mining business’s odd hours, young and largest clients to make deposits Amnuai found it easy to make the in particular branches—augmenting transition into managing consumer whatever efforts the people at the banking. He brought his father’s branch would do to increase deposits. hard-driving work ethics into it. In The branch manager really could

People think leadership is a ‘branding’ affair. It is not; it is servitude. You become a servant to your people. That’s what leadership is all about, nothing else. You have to lead. And yet you have to learn, each day.”

simply aim for anywhere from 50 million to 175 million in deposits. The psychological trick worked. On the last day of December that year, the branch counted its total in deposits as one billion and a hundred baht. His enthusiasm for the work was also infectious. Once, in another bank branch where Amnuai gave yet another pep talk, the branch’s janitress became so inspired that she decided to contribute to the overall target as well. She managed to pull in 3.5 million baht in deposits, by persuading a rich old man who was her regular massage client to deposit 3.5 million of his money at her Bangkok Bank branch. Amnuai had her promoted to “peon” or bank assistant. Amnuai was eventually given direct responsibility over all of Bangkok Bank’s branches. Under his eagle-eye watchfulness, the number of branches grew from a hundred to a thousand. At the age of 40, he found the time to take the Management Development Program (MDP) at the Asian Institute of Management in Manila. Later on, he took the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School in Boston. Reflecting on his experience, Amnuai once wrote: “The leader must have charisma. He must have that quality which makes others accept his leadership willingly and respect his ideas. He must be able to influence others into believing in him. Indeed he must be able to inspire others to do what he wishes them to do, wholeheartedly (The Asian Manager, September 1989).” Keep calm and carry on During the Southeast Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s, the bank’s president resigned from the pressure and the 58-year old Amnuai was tasked to take over some of the work. Selling Bangkok Bank bonds to potential investors was particularly important, and he was to handle this on top of handling domestic credit. Amnuai got so good at keeping calm and handling road shows for the bank bonds that the bank kept asking him to do them over the next decade. At times he would be accompanied by other senior bank officials, including the president.

He remembers a potential road show snafu from 7 years ago. “The last leg was from San Francisco to New York.” Bangkok Bank shares were publicly listed, and they were to finalize the pricing in New York. But at the airport on the way there, the bank president had an accident, falling and knocking his head on the floor. “I said, ‘My God. Now who’s going to lead the roadshow?’ So suddenly I was in deep breathing!” Amnuai chuckles. But they managed to peg the share price at 78 baht, even as the president lay in the hospital. Keeping calm and carrying on paid off. “This is a game,” he says. “A game you start on the right note.” Not in the textbooks Amnuai has sat on the Bangkok Bank’s board of directors for over 28 years now. He’s served as vice chairman of the board of executive directors (1992-2006), executive chairman (2006-2008), and briefly as executive co-chairman (20082009). In short, he’s seen leaders of all sorts come and go. He can even identify the best leaders in a crop of young hopefuls just by gut feel. He has many assistants working for him, he says, some of whom hold doctorates or degrees he doesn’t have. But the minute they walk into his room, Amnuai can tell who will succeed at doing his or her job, and who won’t. “God gave me something very special,” he laughs. “I can sense in a meeting with a person [if] something is wrong.” He particularly dislikes traditional university professors moonlighting as managers, because they never last long on the job. “Textbook guys,” he calls them. “That’s why I told people: if only the professors at the universities have business sense, then we guys are dead.” Amnuai prefers a practitioner’s education. To him, education is merely the training part, meant to inspire would-be leaders to go on a journey of learning as they go along, mistakes and all. As proof, he’s taught employees at Bangkok Bank the concept of systematic managerial analysis in more practical terms they can understand. He calls it a “think flow.” He encourages them to find the standard “think


A IM L eader Magazine | DECEMBER 2013

who speaks so gently, he exudes the 'grab the bull by its horn' attitude. Relating to the ASEAN 2015, he notes that AIM should also put this into consideration. “I think this is something that AIM should look into, the ASEAN aspect of management. The perspective is different now, you do not manage in a country anymore, you manage the whole region. The conflict is going to be different, it's all about the curriculum review.” He adds, “When you look at ASEAN as a whole, we no longer talk about 60, 70 million people in our country anymore, we're talking about 600 million. Adding the agreement with China, Korea, and Japan, we have another one thousand million (referring to the ASEAN plus 3). This is all about a new management paradigm, it's a new landscape.” Indeed, times are changing and only the ones who realize the >> “Managing Religious measures which need to be taken will Diversity” continued from page 37 be the ones to gain advantage, an insightful lesson that has been brought which can move freely among the up in sight by Chainarong. 10 member countries; education (or Business, education, and family being an educator) is one of them. aside, Chainarong is a man of God and A weak aspect of Thai education he does not forget his duties. He is a though is it doesn't give importance lay Catholic and is very active in the to foreign languages. ministry. He's the secretary general Nationalism in Thailand is of the diocese and the pastoral team very strong and not being able to held by the Archbishop of Bangkok. speak English is the norm. However, “They have what they call the diocese because of globalization, the latter and pastoral council. This is the highbecomes a disadvantage now and in est form, including priests, religious the coming years. Having the ability and lay, and the archbishop is the to speak conversational and funchead and I'm the secretary general tional English becomes important who runs it. Whatever activities, since in the ASEAN charter number whatever plan they have, I execute 34 says, 'English shall be the official language of the ASEAN.' So if Thais and it,” he explains. Mr. Chainarong does not just educate people with his faith, other ASEAN countries want to move but also lives up to his responsibilior benefit from upcoming change, ties to his Church. He stands strong then learning English is necessary. Chainarong feels that something has in his faith in all aspects of his life, even if he's one of the few who stands to be done in his curriculum so that his students would gain a competitive for Christianity in his homeland. Chainarong is one of the few advantage. “Either you can benefit men who have found balance in life. from this or you are losing. Your opHe's able to support his family, while portunities are there but you do not take it. This is something that we have keeping his values and his spirituality intact, and also helps spread the to teach our students,” says Chainarong. He even advises young gradu- beauty of his religion. On top of that, ates today to have their own road map he gives back to his community by gifting them the opportunity to be and make sure they follow their own educated. St. John's University is a compass. The compass is their duliving testimony that there is unity in ties, but in order to fulfill them, they need to find out their strengths, their diversity. Differences should not put barriers among each other but rather unique qualities, weaknesses, and it should open bridges for dialogues. they need to be involved. For a man flow” to their particular line of work. “For example,” he tells them, “if it is a construction loan, my think flow is this. The first thing that I look at is the credit origination. What is their biggest job? And then my thought would flow to the next point I look at: equipment. What do they have?” Amnuai’s “Mr. Peter” persona is most visible whenever he articulates his idea of leadership. “Let’s say I’m a very simple person and a simple leader, that I have been very effective,” he says. “People think leadership is a ‘branding’ affair. It is not; it is servitude. You become a servant to your people. That’s what leadership is all about, nothing else. You have to lead. And yet you have to learn, each day.”

He's a living testimony that tolerance towards others is important. Chainarong is deeply rooted to his country, his people, and to his God; he advances forward without letting go of one. Indeed, he is a man of God, integrity, and of peace.

>> “Listening...” continued from page 37

hours because of all the things that needed to be turned around. She transformed the customer service of the company from the front and back end. Having no engineering background surprisingly became an advantage because it made her ask the same questions that clients and customers would ask. This helped her train the engineers to speak the language of their customers instead of the other way around. “I can’t talk engineer language to my customer but I have to make engineers speak

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On Leadership One of the many skills Suwimol acquired from the case study method is to look at the problem from the point of view of a CEO. “Ever since the first day I got employed on my first job and even as I moved up the management ladder, I never limited myself to what they assigned to me. Always go beyond best. That’s how you create value for your organization. No matter what title you are given—as trainee, GM or customer service AVP—one thing that I built in me is I put myself in the shoes of a CEO whenever I see things, and analyze like in the case study.” Some of Suwimol’s colleagues have asked her to be trained on the way she approaches and analyzes situations in a bigger perspective, and not just fix the problem presented to her, a skill that she learned from AIM. Suwimol is an advocate of embracing change and being a dynamic

“It’s not only about how you express your ideas. You also have to make sure that each individual responds well and correctly understands the message.” customer language,” she says. “At the end you have to mould a whole organization into the service culture.” And so even though she didn’t have the background, by listening and asking questions on critical areas, she knew where she needed to direct her efforts in order for the new business model to succeed. Now that AIS has established its own customer management unit and is known as one of the best call centers in the nation thanks to their Chief Customer Officer, Suwimol doesn’t go to the field as much anymore, if at all. She announced on her fiftieth birthday celebration that she will work fewer hours and delegate more of her responsibilities to her team to empower them, but not a lot of her employees believed her. Suwimol has created a brand for herself and the hardworking image is what stays with her colleagues. According to them, there’s really no noticeable difference to their CCO but to Suwimol, she feels that she has already changed.

leader which fits so well in the industry that she’s working in where she constantly deals with technological advancements. “In this industry, you have to face change management almost every month. The technology drives you crazy and consumer demand is getting higher and higher so you cannot sit still.” It’s a good thing then that Suwimol enjoys these changes. Her leadership style is not limited to just one kind. She believes that the right kind of leadership should depend on factors such as the organization and industry you work for, the current stage of the process you are at, and the people who work for you. She even goes on to say that having one dominant leadership style is dangerous because one leadership style might work in one situation but it won’t necessarily be as effective in another. She understands though that having different approaches might confuse her staff and colleagues. She manages to avoid this pitfall by communicating to them the


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kind of leader she will project in a specific situation. “Leadership is maybe something beyond your understanding of your own development. It’s not you who understands, but the people around you that tell you how they understand. You also have to have that kind heart and this is the culture thing.” Some people might say that her kindness is attributed to her being a woman but for Suwimol, she doesn’t really see the difference. Plans for the future Suwimol reminisced on her days in AIM when she played basketball with her classmates. She says she still has her jersey when she joined the basketball team. But these days, aside from her daily meditation, Suwimol enjoys a game of golf when she has time. She says she is prepared to play golf until the age of seventy. And she is so committed to the game that she has already bought a new set of clubs which she carries wherever she goes. She also plans to do more social projects in the future. She is currently connecting with her undergraduate university, the Thammasat University and one of her advocacies is education. She wants to help projects that would foster and develop students’ management skills from project management to execution. She says that she now has the time and is willing to go anywhere in Thailand and head the project as contribution to the university that she graduated from. Suwimol Kaewkoon may have been insecure and shy during her first months in AIM, but at the core, she never lost her belief in herself and in the thought that she could succeed. She only needed a push in the right direction and the Institute provided that in the form of Dean Bernardo. As she serves AIS PCL as Chief Customer Officer, Suwimol was able to maximize and build on the lessons she learned in AIM by listening and getting ideas across, by working hard and resolving organizational issues through a CEO’s eyes. It is amazing how she was able to turn herself around from being a quiet lady. But what is more inspiring is how Suwimol has created change from within her organization and at the same time be agile enough to constantly adjust to external change.

>> “Off the Beaten Path...” continued from page 40

Aside from the increased market share and product diversification, Singer Thailand Public Company Limited was also awarded for its good management and fair treatment by the Consumer Protection Board. It was the first corporation to be awarded in all categories in 2003. All these were made possible under his strong leadership and eye for change. His determination to reach his objectives in business is steadfast. Asked if he’s afraid to fail, he answered, “No, I’m not.” He has never been scared of the responsibility brought by a tough job. Mr. Boonpektrakul retired from his post as General Manager of Singer Thailand Public Company Limited five years ago. “You see if you failed, you have to accept how it’s going to treat you. When a company wants to change direction, they need a new label. So you, who failed, you have to accept that kind of consequence. Which for me, I’m not… I don’t have regrets. In fact somebody there asked me: ‘If you can go back 10 years, what are you going to do?’ I said: ‘I’d do it again.’” Instead of slowing down after his retirement, he put up a bookstore named Sengho, which now has five branches in Bangkok. There are four small branches in the hospitals, and one in the supermarket. Those strategically situated in the hospitals are in fact making money. At first, Mr. Boonpektrakul just got a kick out of opening one bookstore when he didn’t have anything to do after retirement. However, now that he has successfully set up five shops, he thinks he has found the formula in niching. The service industry has always been his favorite. Mr. Boonpektrakul was especially happy when he worked at Shakey’s Pizza, Bangkok Post, and Singer Thailand. He was glad to leave innovative sales and marketing, and people management ideas, legacies that made these businesses flourish. He did emphasize, though, that a great deal of learning was key to his leadership style. “Dealing with people, getting people to work together is the most

“Dealing with people, getting people to work together is the most important aspect or skill in being successful in business.” important aspect or skill in being successful in business.” Mr. Boonpektrakul does not just focus on sales and marketing. He is exceptionally keen in applying the theories he learned from Human Behavior, his favorite subject matter at AIM. He prefers to focus on the people management side of a business to help him reach his objectives. People management should be one’s forte as a leader according to him. The operations and finance aspects will become easier once a leader is placed in higher positions. He believes in an incentive-driven work environment, where employees are not just given a tap on the back. They are rewarded with something tangible, instead. They need something they can be proud of. When asked about implementing solutions to issues, “When you failed, you failed. Of course, the only regret is that I don’t want my people to suffer.” The greatest challenge that Mr. Boonpektrakul encountered in Sales and Marketing was to convene people together and convince them to work as a team. Making the staff understand the leaders’ objectives was essential in achieving business targets. What was more challenging is to make them comfortable enough to share opinions and ideas, and implement them well. He had to stay firm with the people he worked with, especially when he made tough decisions. If he had not done this, then his goals wouldn’t have concretized. He would have also lost people whose views and objectives were not aligned with his. At the end of the day, though, he was sure that losing people was better than falling short on his objectives. “Everybody wants to be a nice guy but the leader sometimes should be a bad guy… You kill somebody along the way or you hurt somebody along the way. But a decision has to be made.” When asked about the most important aspect or skill in being successful in business, he answers with conviction, “dealing with people.” Motivating them to collaborate and become passionate in reaching the goals set out can make or break

a business. However, he had this tendency to focus on the positive side of people, always giving them a benefit of the doubt, never looking at the negative side. He was inclined to overlook these because he tended to offset the bad with the good. Something he regretted at times, this affinity to focus on people’s positive side, should not be so. A leader should not only look at the good side, but also think about the bad side. For instance, an employee may nod convincingly in front of a manager, but when backs are turned, it is replaced with a definitive shake of the head. The first thing one should look at is the people. Give people the benefit of the doubt, focus on the good side, but it is important to impose management control to offset the negative. His leadership was built and solidified by challenges, by trying out what works, by focusing on people, by not fearing to fail. It was about accepting responsibilities and following through, no matter how hard decisions become. Asking questions, “Is this what they want? Is that what the shareholders want? What the company wants? I don’t know. Is that the growth we want? Is that the company we want?” He believes that one should scrutinize the answers to pave the way towards proper objective setting. A good leader is a mad one, he is desirous of everything that will make the business grow. His entrepreneurial spirit made him strong-willed and unyielding. “That’s why when you come up to now, you have been thinking if I, I was a really nice guy, hoping I made more friends but I cannot do it. I cannot do it. Even today you ask me and get back to that year, I’ll do it again, same thing. You see, I think the way we look at the situation is not the same. Somebody… some of them have to be contented only about themselves which I can totally understand. But for me, I have to help. I need to go there, looking for modern things to come.” No regrets, just tough love.


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Its holistic approach helped me in my career.” She fondly reveals that she has not forgotten the lessons that she learned while inside the caserooms, and she still uses the methods and techniques in her job. Aside from the teaching and methodology of AIM inside the caseroom, Siony acknowledges that the CAN groups played a pivotal role in shaping her management style as well. “Having a CAN group was fun. It was very important because it trained me to be a good team player or leader in the real world. In a CAN Group, you exchange ideas, convince your group mates to support and understand your idea, at the same time you need to work with people to get things done. The ways in which I interacted with my CAN group prepared me for the challenges of working alongside different kinds of personalities in my job.” All the rigors of learning in AIM paid off, according to Siony. She proudly reveals that AIM took her to where she is today. “AIM changed my career and opened doors for me to do things that I like. It was even through AIM that I got a job that I enjoyed! Imagine, if not for AIM, I would have been in a computer business, and it’s not something that I liked doing. Through Prof. Ed Morato, I was able to apply for the National Agribusiness Corporation. The experience was very memorable because it gave me an opportunity to head a developmental project in agribusiness. We were able to improve the lives of farmers,” she shares. “I got the job in PAGCOR through AIM as well. Someone from AIM called me to say that PAGCOR needed someone who had corporate planning expertise. Because I knew I have competence in that area, I grabbed the opportunity. The rest, as they say, is history. I started in PACGOR in 1987, and I never left. I rose from the ranks and handled many departments in the company. I handled Human Resources, Information Technology, etc. The most memorable post that I had was when I handled the Management Audit Department. That was when I was exposed to the business, I

learned of the nationwide operations, and implemented a lot of changes in the organization.” Siony shares that aside from changing the course of her professional career, studying in AIM paved the way for her to meet the love of her life. “Yes, AIM was where I met Butch Mendoza, my husband. We grew closer because we were classmates. He was not in my CAN group but we got to know each other very well while we were classmates,” she fondly recalls. “If there is one thing I feel that was lacking from my AIM experience, it’s that I wasn’t given the chance to be Dad’s [former AIM President and former AIM Dean Prof. Gaby Mendoza] student in AIM. Of course, as his daughter-in-law, I learned so many things from him, but I know it’s different when he’s in front of you in the caseroom and in front of you at the dinner table. Dad was really different with his family at home. He was very supportive, very loving. He was very loving to all his children and grandchildren. It was very different from his persona in the caseroom.” Prof. Gaby Mendoza passed away in 2011, and her husband Butch passed away three years before that. Despite the tears welling up in her eyes when she recalled her memories with her late father-in-law and with her late husband, she was smiling as she divulged all the valuable lessons she learned from them both. “My husband taught me to treat all people well. I can honestly say that I improved the art of loving because of my husband. He was very nice, he was not judgmental and he was a very good influence in my life. “I am lucky because my husband helped me rear our children. I was busy with my career, and he was always in the house, so he was there to take care of the children. Butch was a very good influence on our kids as well, so my kids are grounded. They know they are good but they study hard. For awhile it was hard when Butch passed away, but I was happy that Butch reared them well. “My father-in-law told me that when you do something, treat it as your signature. Anything shouldn’t be done haphazardly. It doesn’t matter what people say as long as you feel

that you did something right. Treating anything as your signature gives you an internal motivation to be the best, to do well in your job, to illustrate that anything that comes out of you is your own. If you have a high regard for yourself, of course you wouldn’t do something haphazard.” Management Style When asked about her management style, she says she took note of the management styles of her mentors and combined their styles with her own experiences along the way. “I took note of the strengths of my mentors and tried to apply it in my own work. For instance, Col. Rivera, a retired military, taught me how to be a concerned leader. He always believed in supporting people and giving them the ropes to learn and make mistakes. He was very generous. I learned generosity from him. “As a leader, generosity is very important,” she continues. “If you’re not generous with sharing ideas when you are in an organization, you’ll be ineffective. Knowledge is power; that is true. However, if you just keep ideas to yourself for fear of anyone else stealing the idea, then how will it achieve anything? How will people learn from you, and how will you learn from your people? Col. Rivera taught me how to manage the people with warmth and concern.” In addition to the valuable lessons she learned from Col. Rivera, Siony also gives a high regard for Mrs. Alicia Reyes, former PAGCOR Chairman. “Mrs. Reyes was very strict. In terms of work attitude, I learned to not let things wait for tomorrow. She instilled in me a positive attitude towards work. I was in awe of her. She was a stickler for controls, she was very strict, and even if she was widowed early, she was resilient and she showed she was in control.” Aside from the management styles of her former superiors that influenced her own, Siony also shares more insights on the qualities that a leader should possess. “To me, being a leader is walking your talk. If you want something done, a leader should be the first to do it. For instance, in PAGCOR, our main edge over our competitors is customer service. I should be the first to illustrate

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what customer service means and show employees that we are always ready to serve. “It is an important role of a leader to bring out the best in their staff. Leaders should motivate their people to strive higher. More importantly, they should make sure to give credit where credit is due. Leaders should let their employees shine. It is easy to take credit for your staff’s work, but it is better to acknowledge their bright ideas and motivate them to do their work better. The long-term results would be great. “Leadership is about character. No one is perfect, but an effective leader is one without any flaws in character. Show concern, show professionalism. If people see that you are concerned, they will be good workers, they will listen to you. For instance, I take time to visit our employees who are sick, and meet people on the floor, get to know their families. Did you know that you could get good ideas and suggestions from the floor? “When I had the time, I used to visit our sick employees who are in the hospital. I found it rewarding. It was heartwarming to know that the employees and their families feel appreciated and they realize that the company is taking care of them. I found fulfillment in knowing that we were able to help the families of our sick employees. Receiving their messages of thanks was very rewarding.” Her main challenge at present is her responsibility as one of the Chairs of the Bids and Awards Committee of PAGCOR. “It is the kind of responsibility that makes no room for mistakes, or else there would be legal consequences. I have to make the right decisions all the time and make sure that all processes and controls are enforced. It’s like being in a CAN group all over again, in a sense that you have to persuade other members of the Committee to see the merit of your decision. It gives me joy that even if there are many high-profile inquiries on some of the decisions that we made, we have not received any lawsuit and we have not committed anything with serious legal implications. I intend to keep it that way.” Her tough approach and nononsense regard to her responsibility


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as Chair of the Bids and Awards Committee of PAGCOR may be attributed to the other difficult challenges she handled in the past. “There was an instance when we had to terminate 22 people. I tell you, it was no joke. There were lives involved, families involved, so it was crucial that we make the right decision. The process went through careful consideration, different forms of evidence were presented, a rigid investigation was conducted, and we followed a strict process to determine if the accused are indeed guilty. When all 22 of the accused employees were let go, no one made an appeal or filed a complaint. I saw it as a sign that the decision to terminate them was right. The key learning from that experience was to take a hard look at the processes in the operations, and make sure that there are no opportunities for people to take advantage of the system. “There was also one instance when I promoted a staff and bypassed a more senior but less qualified employee. Of course it was a challenge at first because of the personalities involved. Fortunately both employees knew why I had to do it. I gave them both feedback and provided coaching for the more senior employee. Both of them are still friends, and the more senior employee eventually got promoted. The key takeaway there is to be honest to your staff when you give feedback and motivate them, especially when coaching.” Siony reveals that while she is thinking of retirement, she still wants to continue improving the lives of her staff. “I hope to impart to them the right attitude towards work so they continue to strive for the better even if I am not part of the company anymore.”

When asked about the kind of leader that she wants to be remembered, Siony discloses that she would like to be remembered as a concerned leader who looks out for her employees’ welfare, but also a strict manager who prioritizes meeting deadlines and keeping commitments. “I want my legacy to be of professionalism and concern for my staff.”

interview for someone out there to be reminded that since AIM made a lot of difference in your life, why not do the same for another? May this article be a soft reminder of the alumni’s role in helping the school,” she reiterates. “The scholarship grant is special to me because it is my and my husband’s lasting legacy. We’ve always wanted to name something together, and I know that this is the On Receiving and Giving perfect avenue to do so. I would want For AIM students who just gradu- the SiBu Scholarship Fund to go to a ated and thinking of embarking on student from Cebu. I would like the their careers, she offers this piece of scholarship to go to someone who advice: “Choose a job that you love. really wants to receive an AIM degree, As leaders, bring what you learned who thinks that an AIM degree would from AIM to the workplace. Have the change his or her life. I was a simple confidence that since you passed girl from Cebu, and all of the things all the rigors of AIM, you are now that I have now started because of well-prepared for the job. AIM doesn’t my scholarship to AIM. just train managers but leaders as “I have a list of things I would like well. You’re ready. Put your heart, to do, a bucket list if you would call mind and soul to the job and you will it, and one of them was going to AIM. succeed.” I tick off things that I accomplished “Once you become alumni”, from my list one by one, AIM being Siony states, “put into action what one of them. Another item on that list gratitude and pride you have to be was to give to AIM. I postponed it for graduates of AIM. How do you show the longest time, but now I can tick your love for AIM? It is by helping AIM that off too. Now, I can say to my felachieve what it wants to achieve. As low alumni, do not postpone things. AIM Chairman Napoleon Nazareno If you can do it now, do it now. Give and AIM President Steve DeKrey said, while the giving is yours to do. It is AIM is now undertaking steps to be in- really so nice to give,” she ends. cluded in the top 5 business schools in Asia. The school needs money to do >> “The Servant Chairman” this. It needs funding to get the best continued from page 43 students, to develop the faculty, to the box, and thereby help our clients upgrade its facilities and to conduct research. Imagine, if a big percentage by designing and executing customized and relevant solutions. And yes, of the 40,000 graduates contribute, the deals are financially rewarding AIM would reach its goal easily! “What is, let’s say, 10,000 pesos too,” he smiles. After almost 23 years in investper AIM alumnus or alumna? It is not a big deal, if you think about the impact ment banking, Serafica has not only completed several landmark deals, that your AIM education did in your lives. If I can donate to the AIM Alumni he has also been showered with Scholarship Fund, I am sure so many many leadership roles as well. Since March 2011, Serafica others can do it too. I agreed to this has served as the Chairman and CEO of Premiere Horizon Alliance Corporation, a listed company at the Philippine Stock Exchange. He is currently the Managing Director of Asian Alliance Investment Corporation as well as Asian Alliance Holdings & Development Corporation and sits as a member of the Board of Directors of Marcventures Holdings Inc., another listed mining holding company at the PSE. He is also the Chairman

“How do you show your love for AIM? It is by helping AIM achieve what it wants to achieve. If I can donate to the AIM Alumni Scholarship Fund, I am sure so many others can do it too. I agreed to this interview for someone out there to be reminded that since AIM made a lot of difference in your life, why not do the same for another?”

of Global Idealogy Corporation and AOB Management Corp., as well as the Treasurer of Ardent Property Development Corp., and Sinag Energy Philippines, Inc. "I am privileged to be associated with several dedicated and competent partners in the companies I am currently involved with. To top it all, they have also become my dear friends and mentors," he further expounded. A great believer of “what you plant, you reap”, Serafica deeply feels that he has been richly blessed by God. “Malcolm Gladwell once said that if a person becomes a master in his chosen field, he should have invested 10,000 hours and thereafter he has reached his tipping point.” Serafica would like to believe that God already saw that he has reached his tipping point, and it is now time for him to give back. In 2001, he and wife Josie entered the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) Makati Chapter where he is now the Chapter Head. They wanted a balanced family life, for them as a couple to grow together spiritually, and for their children to have strong spiritual values. The Seraficas firmly believe that they have been blessed beyond their wildest dreams and they constantly thank God for this. To the Seraficas, “God is the center of our family, which makes all things possible.” The Servant Leader When asked to describe himself in one word, Serafica humbly says, “I am a servant. I was placed here to serve.” In 2011, he was called to be the Chairman of the Homecoming as a member of the lead host class of MBM 1991. “When I started being active with our school during our 2011 Homecoming, ‘May Bago sa AIM, Tayo Na’, little did I imagine that my engagement would lead to eventually being elected as the Chairman of the Alumni Association of AIM,” he narrates. Since that memorable homecoming in 2011 which raised a record of more than Php 5.0 million in fund commitment, Serafica has become an active alumnus, committed to serving his alma mater. He has been a member


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of the Board of Directors of AAAIM for the last three years. During this time, he became head of the Development Committee of AAAIM which made him one out of the fifteen incorporators and trustees of the AIM Alumni Leadership Foundation, Inc. (AALFI) where he is currently the Treasurer. On his last year as a member of the Board of Directors of AAAIM, he was elected Chairman for 2013-2014. Through this role, he also became a member of the AIM Board of Trustees. As one of the youngest chairmen elected, Serafica has a lot of things in line during his term. He plans on holding another Asian Business Conference in partnership with the Institute, to give fellow alumni additional corporate perks, as well as increase alumni engagement. As Chairman of the AAAIM, Serafica shares that they are being guided by the 3R’s: Relevance, Responsibility and Reaching Out. “To be ‘Relevant’ to the Institute, we shall be holding events and activities to bring in alumni and make them aware of the positive developments at AIM. We have formed cluster committees on Alumni Database Update,

Alumni Engagement, Ways and Means, and Chapter Development. We already visited several chartered cities and have been consulting with alumni leaders on how to further engage our fellow provincial based alumni. We will open up new regional alumni chapters as well as intensify existing ones. We will also continue with our consultative assemblies with Dr. DeKrey to make fellow graduates aware of our ‘Top Five in Five Year plans’,” he further said. One such event is the holding of the “Oktoberperks” last October 30, 2013 at the AIM campus, which launched both the Alumni Perks ECard that includes discounts and promos in selected establishments, and the exclusive AIM Alumni Platinum Mastercard in partnership with the Credit Card Division of the Philippine National Bank. On “Responsibility”, Serafica committed that AAAIM will contribute to the AIM brand through a major regional conference dubbed the “Asian Business Conference” with ASEAN integration and perspective as its theme, slated in June 2014. AAAIM will also be “Reaching Out”

to the greater AIM alumni community to gain more contacts, increase engagement on a more focused basis, and have recurring and meaningful relationships. “To support the new vision of Dr. Steve DeKrey, to be ‘The Global Source of ASEAN Talent, Insights and Wisdom’, we must engage more and more alumni to come and join forces with the alumni association,” he says. "Thus, with audacity, the AAAIM has taken on the theme: ‘Achieving Tipping Points in Alumni Engagement’ for this year.” Serafica believes that the Alumni Association of AIM can only be successful if the alumni are dedicated and committed to the Institute. He asks the support of his fellow alumni to share their time, talent and treasure to AIM.

was growing up in Pangasinan. As a servant leader, Serafica believes in delegation, collaboration, cooperation and mentoring with his superiors, clients and subordinates to reach a fulfilling result. How does he face life’s continuous challenges? “The tasks of managing new ventures and activities are really welcome gifts of continuing opportunities- and also, these are the beginning of beautiful friendships and almost magical surprises that continue to pour out,” he replies. “I guess surrender is the best option amidst these complexities. My life story is a pattern of ups and downs, just like the stock market. But unlike the market, and with a closer relationship with God, I am no longer afraid of the future.” His strong faith allows him to be obedient, reverent and even childlike The Gift of Continuing Opportunities in anticipation of the future. “Today, With a busy schedule like his, just like a child, I am more relaxed Serafica tries to have a balanced and excited as I await the unfolding of family life. A committed husband to more heavenly gifts and surprises. I Josie and a doting father to his sons believe that every day is a better day Lorenzo and Carlos, he makes sure than yesterday.” that he spends quality time with Serafica ends his inspiring story them. He instills values in his children with a humble note: “I realize that just like what his parents did when he my continuing life story is not really about me or my successes,” he says. “Rather, it is a story of the continuous flow of graces and blessings from a loving and benevolent Benefactor.” With his focus and dedication, the AIM Alumni Association is indeed in capable hands with Serafica at its helm.

“To support the new vision of Dr. Steve DeKrey, to be ‘The Global Source of ASEAN Talent, Insights and Wisdom’, we must engage more and more alumni to come and join forces with the alumni association.”

Make a Gift Online  http://www.aimalumni.org/donationStep1.aspx Update Your Profile:  www.aimalumni.org Send Your Class Notes  aimalumni@aim.edu

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CLASS NOTES Grant Award meeting for Project WIRED held at the U.S. State Embassy last Sept. 19, 2013. Team WIRED members attended the event (Dr. Rex Bernardo, 5th from left, team leader and members Dr. Ben Vallejo, Perla Cruz-Villanueva and Vivian Estacio). Some partners of the project also attended (Giselle Montero of DLS-CSB SDEAS, Capt. Oscar and Daylin Taleon of AKAP-PINOY). Embassy officials led by Richmond Jimenez (Alumni Coordinator), Edwin Vergara (Program Specialist), Elizabeth Mesa (Asst. Cultural Affairs Officer) and Tina Malone (Counselor for Public Affairs) also attended the meeting.

Rex Adivoso Bernardo, MDM 2002.

Fresh from receiving the 2013 AIM Triple A award, Prof. Rex Bernardo, earned more recognitions. In April 2013, he earned his doctor in educational leadership and management degree from Bicol University and was given a special distinction award “Champion of Inclusive Education” in honor to his life-long advocacy for the institutionalization of disability-inclusive educational policies in the country. The recognition was handed during the University’s Commencement Exercises. Last July, he was selected as the Philippine winner in the 2013 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF), a worldwide grant competition sponsored by the United States Department. Rex and his team were awarded US$ 20,000 seed fund to jump start their winning proposal titled Project W.I.R.E.D. (Work Innovation through Resource Enabled Development), a work-fromhome platform for persons with disabilities utilizing ICT to provide better employment opportunities for the sector. This October, the Bernardo family (Rex, Mariz and son Rexmar) was a recipient of the 3rd Jollibee Family Values Awards (JFVA), a nationwide award sponsored by Jollibee, the Philippine’s largest fast food chain. The award is given to the families who demonstrated good family values and performed notable acts for the betterment of their communities.

Jerry Quibilan, MM 1976 writes:

“Ed de Guzman, one of MM 1976's Distinction awardees, had been residing for many years in Ft Myers, Florida. Despite the long and tedious trip with so many stops and long layovers, he still makes the extra-ordinary effort to visit his homeland every year and be with friends. He should receive from his batch mates an award of distinction or at least he could allow us to pay for his food and drinks every time we dine together like what we did last April 8, 2013 at Jay-J's Restaurant at Metrowalk but he would not hear of it. It is good enough for him that we get-together and further cement the bond that has made us close through all these years, 38 years and counting.”


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Ramesh Gelli, MBM 1972 writes:

“I am very happy to inform you that the solar unit set up by my son,Girish Gelli (MBM 1998) at Laddagiri, a rural place, in Kurnool District has been declared as the best plant among all solar power projects commissioned under the first phase of Solar Mission. At a special event in New Delhi, Honorable Minister Shri Farooq Abdulla presented him with a trophy and a plaque in the presence of Shri Ratan P.Watal IAS Secretary MNRE; Shri Debashish Majumdar CMD, IREDA; Shri Tarun Kapoor IAS, Jt Secretary MNRE; Shri N.K.Sharma CEO, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam; Shri AN Srivatsava, Director National Solar Mission and a number of producers and others connected with Solar Industry. Girish was also asked to address the gathering. “This is indeed a remarkable achievement which recognizes the highest quality of components and materials used, smart design choices, proper erection and efficient maintenance of the plant. Girish achieved this with hard work, in depth knowledge and close supervision. We have recently taken over a sick solar unit in Rajastan and Girish has turned this too to be a profitable and efficient unit within a short period of 3 months.”

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Teerachai Chemnasiri, MBM 1973 writes: “Bernard ‘Bernie’ Lam MBM'74 from Malaysia spent few days in Bangkok last July 2013 and met with his long lost classmate Associate Professor Jirapar (Emasitthi) Tosomboon, formerly a member of the faculty of the Commerce and Accountancy of Thammasat University. I arranged the breakfast meeting for them at the Ambassador Hotel. Jirapar is married to Vanchai Tosomboon MBM'75, former SVP-Production of Siam City Cement Company and now advisor to the company. Last time I met her was over 20 years ago.”

Sushil Poudel, MDM 2012 writes:

“Once I returned to Nepal from Manila, I managed to join my previous job in the municipality but couldn't sustain it for some reason. I was anxiously looking for new opportunities. Finally, after a few attempts, I joined one of the Finnish bilateral projects in Nepal as an 'Integrated Environment Management/Solid Waste Management Expert'. The project will last till the end of 2014. I appreciate my AIM experience, finding myself more confident, analytical and focused. I will ever remain indebted to what my professors have offered during my AIM stay.”

Ric Pascua, MBM 1971 writes: “I am proud to announce the birth of Lareese at St. Luke's Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City, the first child of my second son, Rics Jr. and his wife, Vanessa, after ten years of marriage. She was born at around 9:00 pm Manila time last June 30, 2013, and was 6.6 pounds at birth. We praise God for our 10th grandchild!”


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FAIM Heads Elect New Officers The Federation of AIM Alumni, representing 30 alumni country and city chapters around the world held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the AIM campus. Present were the heads of various FAIM chapters: MP Singh, MBM 1976, FAIM Chairman (India), Dani Firmansjah, MM'94, Vice-chairman (Indonesia), Haji Zulkifly Baharom, MM'89 (Malaysia), Eduardo N. Sison, MBM’73 (Philippines), Patrick Hsiao, MM’90 (Taiwan), Sanjay Sathe, MBM’88 (USA West Coast), Jack Niu, MM'98 (China- through Skype) and Greg Atienza, MBM ’83 (Secretary General). Also present by written proxy were Dr. Gan Cheong Eng, MBM'82 (Singapore), Nguyen Thi Thuan, MDM ’98 (Vietnam) and Md. Anwar Hossain Chowdhury, MM’98 (Bangladesh). The members held the election of FAIM Officers for 2013-2014 during the AGM and the following members were elected: Dani Firmansjah, MM 1994, Chairman; Haji Zulkifly Baharon, MM 1989, Vice – Chairman; Eustacio B. Orobia, Jr., Treasurer; Sandeep Ghate (Chairman, Alumni Association India), Jack Niu, MM 1998 (Chairman, AIM Alumni Association Beijing) and Greg Atienza, MBM 1983 (FAIM Secretary-General) as members. During the meeting, the FAIM heads enthusiastically reported on the various activities of alumni in their countries. FAIM Chairman, MP Singh was proud to note the Dani Firmansjah, MM ’94 is New FAIM Chairman significant developments that transpired during the year namely the revitalization of the Thailand chapter and the reconstitution of the Kolkata Chapter. He was also pleased to recognize the efforts of alumni in Australia and the United Kingdom in establishing chapters in their respective countries. The board members also warmly welcomed Sanjay Sathe, head of the AIM Alumni Association West Coast Chapter, who attended his first FAIM meeting as he was in the Philippines to receive his Triple A Award. All the members present expressed their gratitude and appreciation to outgoing chairman, MP Singh, who was given a token of gratitude by the Institute during the Triple A and Alumni Recognition Ceremony, held last February 19, 2013. He was recognized for his excellent leadership and unparalleled dedication which enabled the reinvigoration of country and city chapters all over the world. The new FAIM Chairman, Dani Firmansjah, invited his alumni colleagues to work towards bringing AIM to the top five business schools in five years, in support of the vision of AIM president, Dr. Steve DeKrey.

Three AIM Alumni Finalists in Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 Alexander Bangsoy, ME 2008 President and CEO Goshen Land Capital, Inc.

Airfreight 2100, which has grown to become one of the country’s leading logistics solutions providers. Today, its domestic service handles over 170,000 shipments a day and is in the process of expanding operations to international markets.

his company, he aims to help SMEs become sustainable businesses and achieve longterm growth. Tony Tan Caktiong, TMP 1983, Chairman Alexander L. Bangsoy and CEO of Jollibee Foods Corporation was understands the imporchosen as one of the judges in the Ernst & tance and security that Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 awards. comes from having your Mr. Tan was Entrepreneur of the Year Philipown home. Experiencing pines 2003 and World Entrepreneur of the his family’s eviction when Year 2004. he was still a child left a deep impression, The Entrepreneur of the Year was and it inspired him to found Goshen Land, Rajan Uttamchandani, ME 2008 founded in the United States by professional Inc., one of the largest real estate developers President and CEO services firm Ernst & Young in 1986 to recogin the Cordillera region. Over the years, the Esquire International Financing, Inc. nize the achievements of the most successful company has become known for its innovaRajan A. Uttamchanand innovative entrepreneurs worldwide. In tive, well-planned, yet affordable homes and dani believes in creating 2001, Ernst & Young expanded the program condominiums. value. He founded Esand launched the World Entrepreneur of quire Financing, Inc., not the Year awards. The SGV Foundation, Inc. only to provide financing established the Entrepreneur of the Year Alberto Lina, FAMCOR 2008 for small- and mediumPhilippines program in 2003. Chairman sized enterprises (SMEs), but also to add Airfreight 2100, Inc. value to those businesses through guidance, Source: http://www.bworldonline.com/content. Alberto D. Lina founded a small customs financial and IT management consultancy, php?section=TopStory&title=Who-will-be-thebrokering and freight forwarding firm, and operational process refinement. Through next?&id=77938


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AIM Leader December 2013 Issue