T he A lumni Maga zine of t he Asian Institute of Management
The AIM Alumni Homecoming 2013
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F I R ST QUA RT ER Vol. 7 Issue 1
FIRST QUARTER VOLUME 7 ISSUE 1
Greg Atienza EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Susan Africa-Manikan ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Sherbet Katigbak-Manalili MANAGING EDITOR
Haji Zulkifly Baharom SENIOR OVERSEAS CORRESPONDENT
Maritess Aniago-Espiritu Bea delos Reyes Jennifer Jalandoni Annaliza Alegre Amy Nerona Jun Javellana
ALUMNI RELATIONS OFFICE STAFF
Teresa Abesamis Mildred A. Atendido Rene B. Azurin Troy Bernardo Rene Guatlo Isagani Eliezer A. Manikan Rose Cheryl R. Orbigo Elizabeth Peralta CONTRIBUTORS
NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Jay Mathew Dimayuga ART DIRECTOR
Jovel Lorenzo Amy Nerona
IN MEMORIAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 In Memory of Felipe Bacani Alfonso FEATURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Lessons from the Infosys Journey Reflections on Management Education
COVER STORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Connect: AIM at 45
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
HOMECOMING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 A Difference Made: AIM '73 Ruby Anniversary MBM '78: Reconnecting After 35 Years
Dr. Steven DeKrey PRESIDENT OF THE INSTITUTE
Dr. Ricardo Lim DEAN OF THE INSTITUTE
Mahendra Pratap Singh CHAIRMAN, FEDERATION OF AIM ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, INC.
SPOTLIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Marlon Young, MBM 1979: Managing Wealth with Passion, Energy and Drive Sanjay Sathe, MBM 1988: Fulfilling Dreams Ramon Opulencia, MBM 1983: Treasured Leader Rex Adivoso Bernardo, MDM 2002: The Eagle Soars
Eduardo Sison CHAIRMAN, AIM ALUMNI ASSOCIATION â€“ PHILIPPINE CHAPTER
Marvee Celi-Bonoan Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
GIVING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 AIM Acknowledges Generous Alumni Donors
Vice President, Institutional Advancement
SHOWCASE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Homecoming 2013 Golf Tournament Sets Record Small Screen, Big Lies A Difference Made: The Legacy of the AIM Class of 1973 Be A Winner!
The AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine (AIM Leader) is a quarterly publication of the Asian Institute of Management with editorial office at the Alumni Relations Office, Asian Institute of Management, 123 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, 1260 Philippines Telephone No.: 892.4011 locals 331, 540 and 533 Telefax: 893.7410 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
SPECIAL FEATURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Mahendra Pratap Singh, MBM 1976: On Leading FAIM
CLASS NOTES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: JOVEL LORENZO
Message from the AIM President Dr. Steve DeKrey
Happy 45th Anniversary! As the Asian Institute of Management marks its 45th year, allow me to look back and share my thoughts on my first homecoming at AIM. The Lead Host Class of MBM 1993 did a spectacular job in transforming the campus into a party venue last February 22, 2013. Coming from three business schools and five different universities, I have been to many homecomings but the Homecoming at AIM set a new standard! Congratulations to our celebrating classes and our very hardworking alumni, the husband and wife team of Jay (Homecoming Chairman) and Dina Bernardo, MBM 1993, Faiz Sheik, MBM 1993 and his Brand on Demand group, Beng Abella, Carlo Calimon, Julie Tanada, Ritzie Roldan, Marivic Sugapong, Gino Morando, Suzette Nuñez, Frechie Nieva, Teddy Villanueva (Homecoming Golf Chairman) and Felipe Diego, MBM 1973, Lebby Leagogo, MBM 1978, Francisco Gudani, MBM 1983, Henry Tenedero, MDM 2003, Tony Tengco, MM 1998, Ofel Odilao-Bisnar, MBM 1988 and Mark Chan, MBA 2008. I am truly amazed that under the leadership of Jay Bernardo, with the support of the celebrating classes, eight successful events were held during Homecoming Week and a total of PHP 4.5 million in alumni pledges was raised! In March, I had the opportunity to meet our alumni in Singapore. The AIM Alumni Singapore (AIMAS) Chapter generously donated a seed fund of S$1,000 towards an AIMAS merit scholarship. My thanks to its President Dr. Gan Cheong Eng and VP Renny Yeo for the warm welcome in Singapore. April saw me in New York where Triple A 2013 Awardee Marlon Young graciously hosted breakfast in his HSBC office. It was a wonderful occasion for me to meet the alumni in the East Coast headed by Mark Sanchez and Jocelyn BernalOchoa. I cap my roadshow with a presentation of our plans for AIM to be the Top Five in Five years to our Philippine alumni during the “President’s Forum” sponsored by the Alumni Association of AIM. It has been a busy but fulfilling past couple of months for me. You may have already heard about our new vision for AIM: “To become the global source for ASEAN talent, knowledge and wisdom.” In anticipation of the lowering of trade barriers between ASEAN nations by 2015, we want to maximize on this opportunity. By focusing on ASEAN, we are bringing expertise on leadership and management, family corporations and entrepreneurship that the global world
needs. We are launching a program called ASEAN 2015 with Professor Federico Macaranas and research produced by this project will be focused on ASEAN issues and developments. In order for us to achieve this, it is important to prepare AIM for the challenges that this will bring. I have detailed the plans on how to bring the Institute to be one of the top five Asian business schools by 2018 in my talks with alumni, students, faculty and the AIM community. This includes plans for a new building which we are currently negotiating with AyalaLand. Part of our strategy is to raise the quality of our students for this year’s September MBA intake by cutting down on the number of students from 150 to 75 to create a diverse and elite class and increasing tuition fees from $24,000 to $31,000 to allow us to be in the same league with the top business schools. Fundraising from the alumni will be a key factor in helping us rebuild the school’s reputation. We have launched a fundraising campaign to support our plans of bringing AIM to the “Top Five in Five Years”. The campaign, “50 in 50” aims to raise 50 million pesos (approximately USD 1,250,000) in time for AIM’s 50th Anniversary in five years. Support for this project will go towards an endowment fund that will allow 5 scholars to receive an AIM education every year. On a personal note, I turned 60 last April 16 and I celebrated this momentous occasion with a party with the staff at the AIM lobby. I felt that I AIM is all about quality needed to celebrate and AIM’s future strongly this milestone by relies on your support. I paying tribute to a invite you to make a gift, as I have done, and make a much beloved man at AIM. I made a gift of difference to the future of USD 6,000 to the Fil our school. Alfonso President’s Fund whose recent demise continues to sadden the AIM community. AIM is all about quality and AIM’s future strongly relies on your support. I invite you to make a gift, as I have done, and make a difference to the future of our school. I thank you for your strong partnership and I look forward to your support for our plans to increase AIM’s ratings in the region in time for the Institute’s 50th anniversary. I look forward to meeting more of you soon!
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
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 email@example.com or fax (632) 893-7410.
AIM Leader June 2013
ED I TOR - I N - C H I EF
Homecoming Week at our school was a joyful occasion to recognize outstanding alumni, acknowledge the generosity of donors and reunite with batch mates and professors who have influenced our professional and professional lives in the case rooms. As part of the class of 1983 celebrating our 30th anniversary, it was a delight for me and my classmates to support the eight events prepared by the Lead Host Class of MBM 1993 led by the indefatigable Jay Bernardo. From the Fun Run, Matinee, Poker, Golf, Chill out, Technology and Business Conference, Movie Premier and Homecoming Night, Jay and his class conjured up excellent opportunities for classmates and fellow alumni to network, reunite and connect. It was also a wonderful time to celebrate the achievements of our AIM Alumni Achievement Awardees for 2013, and confer the Triple A Award to Ramon G. Opulencia, MBM 1983 (Philippines), Managing Director & Treasurer, Ayala Corporation, Marlon Young, MBM 1979 (US- East Coast), CEO and Regional Head – Private Bank Americas, HSBC Private Bank, Sanjay Sathe, MBM 1988 (US- West Coast) CEO, RiseSmart and Rex Bernardo, MDM 2002 (Philippines), Director, Mabini Colleges. You will find their inspiring stories within the pages of this issue. We are also immensely thankful to the donors of the AIM Alumni Leadership Foundation Inc. who were recognized during Homecoming Week: The Class of MM 2002 (Red Leadership Award), the Class of MBM 1970, Augusto Antonio C. Serafica, Jr., MBM 1991, Marcos S. Hermoso, MBM 1980, Eduardo N. Sison, MBM 1973 and Tita D. Puangco, MM 1991 (Orange Leadership Award), Triple A Club led by Jesli Lapus, MBM 1973, and Robert F. Kuan, MBM 1975 (Yellow Leadership Award), the Class of MBM 1980, the Class of MBM 1978, and Jose Maria K. Lim, MBM 1978 on behalf of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation
(Green Leadership Award), and last but not the least, the Class of MBM 1992 led by Wing Bayoneta who were recognized with a Blue Leadership Award for their donation of PHP 1,000,000 from their profits in staging the Homecoming in 2012. As we reflect on our school’s 45th year and look forward to more success and reasons to celebrate, I invite you, my fellow alumni to support our president, Steve DeKrey’s goal of bringing AIM to the Top 5 in 5 Years. We shall be, after all the beneficiaries of this. The prestige of your AIM degree increases as the school advances in size and in standing. As AIM grows, so does its need for your support. We invite “As we reflect on our school’s you to make a 45th year and look forward gift to the AIM to more success and reasons Alumni Fund to celebrate, I invite you to for scholarsupport our president, Steve ships through DeKrey’s goal of bringing AIM our “50 in 50” campaign. Your to the Top 5 in 5 Years.” gift, no matter how small, will make a difference in securing AIM’s longterm viability as a premier graduate business school, and will also help a deserving candidate realize his dream of pursuing a degree at AIM. I look forward to celebrating another milestone with you, as we reach our goals together in our 50th year. 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.
P.S. Should you wish to make a gift now, do send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.aimalumni.org.
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AIM Signs Agreeement with Department of Finance
IM and the Department of Finance (DOF) of the Philippines signed an agreement last March 11, 2013, to launch the Executive Masters in Development Management and Public Finance (EMDMPF). Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and AIM President Steve DeKrey led the signing ceremony. Joining them were AIM Dean Ricky Lim, AIM Center for Development Management Dean Mike Luz, and the heads of DOF attached bureaus and government financial institutions. A 20-month program on managerial economics, public finance and budgeting, and statistics for strategic management, the EMDMPF is for government employees, particularly those from the
DOF’s attached bureaus and agencies and from other government financial institutions. The program will offer courses on budgeting and program analysis, revenue policy and administration, public debt and capital markets, benefit-cost analysis, governmental accounting and financial reporting, and public program evaluation, among others. AIM President Steven J. Dekrey said that "The program is designed to enhance skills and capabilities necessary for public finance employees to develop a world view of Asia and beyond." He added that the program’s curriculum will be continuously modified to “address current challenges.” The first batch will run from April 2013 to December 2014 with a total of 41 participants.
AIM President Dr. Steve DeKrey Meets Alumni in India The AIM Alumni Association India (AAAI), headed by MP Singh, MBM 1976 organized a series of events for AIM President Dr. Steve DeKrey last December 2012 in Bangalore and Mumbai. Anand Padi, MBM 1980, Chairman, and Sanjiv Sarin, MBM 1984, Vice Chairman of the AAAI-Bangalore Chapter, along with the AIM Alumni Relations Office organized “The President’s Forum” last December 12, 2012 at the Brig Hill Suite of the Banglore Club. Dr. DeKrey presented his five year plan- “Top Five in Five Years: New Directions for AIM” to over 50 alumni present, who received his goals with much support and enthusiasm. On December 13, 2012, Dr. DeKrey gave a talk with the Bangalore Management Association on “Emerging Styles of Leadership in Asian Context” at the Mangala Mantapa, NMKRV College Campus, Jayanagar. Over 700 participants came from the All India Management Association (AIMA), Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS ), Education Promotion for India (EPSI), and the National Institute of Personnel Management (NIPM). DeKrey then flew to Mumbai to meet alumni on December 15, 2012 for “The President’s Forum” held at the Taj Lands End, Band Stand Bandra, before attending the AIM Alumni Association India’s IdeaXchange at the same venue. The alumni met with enthusiasm DeKrey’s new directions for AIM as he spoke on the Institute’s global standing and credibility, and its impact on the Asian business landscape. Dr. DeKrey was also invited as a member of the panel for the IdeaXchange which discussed “Global Crisis: Has India Responded?” which reflected on how the crisis has touched Asian markets and how India has responded. The session was closed with a special address by Dr. Dhananjay Keskar, Vice President, AIM Alumni
Association India. FAIM board members Haji Zulkifly Baharom and Dennis Firmansjah, AIM Associate Dean Horacio Borromeo, and alumni Ravi Prasad and Farooq Zafar also participated in an afternoon discussion chaired by Ramesh Gelli. Dr. DeKrey receives a traditional Indian shawl and beads reserved for eminent guests
The AIM President receives a token of appreciation from the IdeaXchange organizers.
A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013
Aquino Government Welcomes AIM Team Energy Center for Bridging Leadership Initiative The Aquino government welcomed the initiative of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), through its Team Energy Center for Bridging Leadership, in conducting a program aimed at developing peace-building advocates as part of efforts in bringing progress to Mindanao. “We welcome the laudable initiative of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) and the Team Energy to conduct the Mindanao Bridging Leaders Program. The graduates of this program will join the growing network of leaders who will propagate the mindset and ways of peace-building that are essential in bringing progress in Muslim Mindanao,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said in a statement. The AIM-Team Energy Center for Bridging Leadership was established as an endowed institution in 2004, with the vision of “A Society Without Divides.” The endowed institution conducted the Mindanao Bridging Leaders Program (MBLP) entitled “Co-Creating Peace in Conflict Affected Areas in Muslim Mindanao,” that aims to develop cadres of bridging leaders who would help effectively respond to key societal divides in Mindanao towards peace-building and development. On March 21, 2013, the AIM-Team Energy Center for Bridging Leadership distributed the certificates of Program Completion to 22 new bridging leaders in a simple ceremony held at the AIM Building in Makati City on Thursday. The 22 new graduates from the government, academic community and the private sector had already developed platforms of actions to help address complex social problems in Mindanao, the Philippines, and the Asian region. “They (graduates) will serve as peacebuilding advocates in the various action platforms that correspond to the priority reform programs of the Aquino administration,” Coloma said. The program was primarily funded by the World Bank, through the State and Peace
Building Fund managed by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP). Ma. Nieves R. Confesor, AIM’s Team Energy Center for Bridging Leadership Executive Director, said 22 Mindanao Bridging Leaders from various government and private sectors attended the program that lasted for almost a year. These bridging leaders have shared their respective stories from the ground in Mindanao and developed projects aimed at dealing with violent threats and implement institutional and sustainable change in the region. Among the new graduates and bridging leaders are Major Franco Raphael Alano, Myra Alih, Major General Ariel Bernardo, Major Benjamin Hao, Jennifer Pia Sibug-Las, Rollie P. dela Cruz, Sherjan Kalim, Dr. Jeffrey Yasin Noor, Edwin To, Station Manager BBSDXSM Radyo ng Bayan Zenaida Masong, Susano Balais, Michael Kelly Tiu Lim, Engineer Marites Maguindra, Nassreena SampacoBaddiri, Sittie Jehanne Mutin-Mapupuno, Dante Eleuterio, Brigadier General Daniel Lucerio, Dipunudun D. Marohom, Abdul Hamidullah Atar and Atty. Agdul Gaffur Madki Howard Alonto III. The leaders presented platforms for actions namely, Assurance of Security and Protection of Human Rights, Improvement in the Delivery of Basic Services, Provision of Livelihood or Economic Opportunities, and Strengthening of Social Capital/Social Cohesion. Confesor said the over-all objective of the program is to build a cadre of Bridging Leaders in Mindanao, who can address issues like peace, education, health, land conflicts, poverty, and poor local governance, among others. It has two key components: Leadership Formation and Institutional Development. Source: http://www.president.gov.ph/news/aquino-government-welcomes-initiative-of-asian-institute-of-managementteam-energy-in-conducting-a-program-for-the-developmentof-mindanao/
AIM announces new VP for Institutional Advancement
The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) is pleased to announce the new Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Marianne G. Quebral has joined as Vice President for Institutional Advancement effective January 2, 2013. The Office of Institutional Advancement at AIM shall be responsible for the Institute’s philanthropy, alumni and resource development programs and external relations. Mayan is a pioneer in fund raising and had trained at The Fund Raising School in Indiana, USA. Mayan managed the largest non-profit direct mail campaign in the Philippines with over one million letters sent annually, raising more than 85 million pesos in less than four years. Formerly the Resource Development Officer of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Philippines, she initiated the first survey of the nature of gift-giving attitudes in the Philippines and has authored The Fund Raiser’s Guide to Fund Raising and the research article “Nongovernmental Organizations and Fund Raising: Why People Equals Power”. For close to 14 years, Mayan was the Executive Director and member of the Board of Trustees of Venture for Fund Raising. Under Mayan’s leadership, the Foundation completed the only Nationwide Survey of Giving in the Philippines as well as a 7-Country Study on Giving Motivations covering India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. The Foundation also provided consulting and training assistance to over 1,000 non-profit organizations in the field of fund raising in over 24 countries.
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The President’s Forum in Singapore
Alumni in Singapore pose for a souvenir shot. Seated from left: Suzette Cody, MDM 1990, Clare Yeo, MDP 1994, Marianne Quebral. Standing from left: Rohit Dixit, MBA 2012, Ahmad Magad, BMP 1982, Dhrubajyoti Das, MBM 1992,Cipriano De Guzman, MBM 1973, Derek Liew (partially hidden), MBM 1973, Anand Kumar, MBM 2000, Steve DeKrey, Renny Yeoh, MM 1981, Dr. Gan Cheong Eng, MBM 1982, Ramesh B, MBA 2004 and Greg Atienza, MBM 1983. Other alumni who also attended were Sunil Iyengar, MBA 2007, Amarjit Singh Wasan, MM 1981, Francis Goh, TMP 1991, Francis Puno, MBM 1991, Anand Ramachandran, Winson Lan, ME Singpore 2003, Koh Choon Hui, MDP 1972, Sunil Iyengar, MBA 2007 and Vikram Kumar, MBA 2006.
The AIM Alumni Singapore (AIMAS) Chapter hosted The President’s Forum at the Pines, 30 Stevens Rd. Singapore last March 21, 2013. AIMAS President, Dr. Gan Cheong Eng organized the successful alumni event. More than 20 graduates attended the lively discussion with AIM President Steven J. DeKrey, who discussed “Top Five in Five Years: New Directions for AIM”. DeKrey expounded on the alumni’s crucial role in actively supporting a fundraising campaign for scholarships, with plans to increase AIM’s ratings in the region in time for the Institute’s 50th anniversary. The alumni enthusiastically supported DeKrey’s plan with the attendees donating a seed fund of S$1,000 towards an AIMAS merit scholarship fund which was immensely appreciated by DeKrey.
DeKrey receives a donation from AIMAS. From left: VP for Institutional Advancement, Mayan Quebral, AIMAS President Dr. Gan Cheong Eng, AIM President Steve DeKrey, and AIMAS Vice President Renny Yeo.
Prof. Mendoza Named One of the Young Global Leaders for 2013 AIM congratulates Dr. Ronald U. Mendoza for being selected as one of the Young Global Leaders (YGL) for 2013. Already a multi-awarded scholar, economist, and development expert, Prof. Mendoza joins 198 honorees from 70 countries who were chosen based on their proven track record, leadership experience, ability to overcome adversity, and commitment to society. The honorees, all under 40, represent various sectors—from business, arts and culture, academe, civil society, government, media, and non-profit organizations. Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan headed the final screening committee for the awards managed by the World Economic Forum. Dr. Mendoza is an associate professor of economics at the AIM Center for Development Management and the executive director of the AIM Policy Center. He is one of only two Filipinos included in the YGL this year. The other honoree is Mr. John Echauz, executive vice president of Standard Insurance Co., Inc. The awardees will join a community of YGL honorees that will enable them “to turn their personal success into global significance through the scaling up of ideas that lead to impactful change.”
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AIM Diversifies by Hiring New Faculty
AIM welcomes new full-time professors: Dr. Robert S. Keitel and Dr. Veicheng Yu. Prof. Keitel has 20 years of experience in talent development and leadership. His research interests delve into the context of emerging employment opportunities in business process outsourcing. He has presented in UNESCO and ILO conferences, and published in academic and popular media. He was Industry Co-Director for MIT-Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s China Leaders for Global Operations. He worked with the Asian Development Bank, U.S. Embassy Manila, A.T. Kearney, and Ernst & Young. He taught Leadership, Organizational Behavior, and Advanced Research Methods at De La Salle University (DLSU) Manila. He was also an adjunct faculty at the Asian Institute of Technology’s Executive MBA programs in Laos and Vietnam. He earned his PhD from DLSU, his MA from the University of Illinois, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado. Prof. Yu was a visiting assistant professor at the Center for Chinese Research, Institute of Asian Research, and University of British Columbia. He was a lecturer at the University of Finance and Economics, Shanghai. He taught courses in accounting and financial management. He has published in the Journal of Modern Accounting and Auditing and Journal of International Finance and Economics. Prof. Yu graduated with a PhD in Business Administration from Tsinghua University, MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and BS in Chemical Engineering from ChungYuan Christian University.
A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013
AIM Recognizes Outstanding Alumni in the 2013 Triple A Ceremonies The Asian Institute of Management and the Federation of AIM Alumni (FAIM) conferred the AIM Alumni Achievement Award (Triple A) to four outstanding alumni in formal ceremonies last February 19, 2013 at the Stephen Fuller Hall at the AIM campus. The recipients of the Alumni Achievement Award for 2013 are: Ramon G. Opulencia, MBM 1983, Managing Director and Treasurer of Ayala Corporation and 2012 President, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX); Marlon Young, MBM 1979, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Bank, Americas; Sanjay Sathe, MBM 1988, founder of RiseSmart; and Rex Advioso Bernardo, MDM 2002, Professor and Director for Research, Marketing, and Promotion of Mabini Colleges. Ramon G. Opulencia is the Managing Director and Treasurer of Ayala Corporation, responsible for capital raising and asset and liabilities management. In 1996, as Ayala Corporation’s Deputy Treasurer, he engineered the successful flotation of two major convertible debt issues, signifying the corporation’s entry into global corporate finance. Euromoney identified Opulencia as the dealmaker that enabled Ayala Corporation to achieve “twin distinctions of being the tightest-ever spread for a Filipino Eurobond and arousing strong enough investor demand to be increased in size to USD110 million”. This is the first of numerous accolades, which recognized him as Ayala’s formidable dealmaker and which consistently led the corporation to be consistently part of a league of prime issues for over a decade. He also serves as the Treasurer of Ayala Foundation, assisting the organization in optimizing its funding to support various educational programs. Marlon Young was cited for his track record on growing revenues and assets, as well as building client relationships. His international corporate banking experience includes stints in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand, covering the commercial real estate, automotive, and energy industries. As the the Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Private Bank, Americas, he is responsible for its growth in the United States, Central America, and South America. Young is also the Chairman of the US-Asia Institute, which fosters deeper understanding between the United States and its key
From left, AIM Dean Ricardo Lim, Marlon Young, MBM 1979, AIM President Steve DeKrey, Rex Advioso Bernardo, MDM 2002 (seated), Sanjay Sathe, MBM 1988, Ramon G. Opulencia, MBM 1983 and FAIM Chairman MP Singh, MBM 1976.
partners in Asia, and has been given the President’s Volunteer Service Award by President Barack Obama. Sanjay Sathe founded RiseSmart in 2006, and it is now a leading provider of next-generation outplacement solutions. He conceived a proprietary technology and service platform designed to match jobseekers with opportunities and to help companies fill vacant positions. RiseSmart has won numerous accolades, including Gartner, Inc’s 2012 Cool Vendors in Human Capital Management Software and the 2011 American Business Award for the Most Innovative Company of the Year. Sathe has also focused on nurturing entrepreneurship in the Indian community for over 12 years, serving as a leader in The Indus Entrepreneur, which mentors individuals working to start their own companies. Dr. Rex Adivoso Bernardo is the research, marketing, and promotions director of Mabini Colleges, apart from teaching
management, human resources, industrial relations, and marketing. After completing his Master in Development Management degree at AIM in 2002, he returned to his home province of Camarines Norte to fulfill a promise of helping his fellowmen with the knowledge he gained. He has initiated various projects and events on leadership development and values formation, as well as activities aimed to address the needs of persons with disabilities and to promote inclusive education. He was recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines in 2008 and one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) honorees in 2009, receiving the award in Tunisia during the JCI World Congress. The awardees were presented their AIM medals and the traditional Triple A trophies by AIM President Dr. Steven DeKrey, AIM Dean, Ricardo Lim, and Chairman of FAIM, Mr. Mahendra Pratap Singh, MBM 1976.
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AIM Team Wins Regional Hult Prize in Shanghai, Represents Asia in Global Competition in September FOUR STUDENTS from AIM bested some 30 schools from Asia-Pacific, the Americas, and Europe in the Shanghai regional finals of the Hult Prize 2013 and will compete for a chance to win a US$1 million cash prize and an opportunity to start a social venture that will help address the problem of global food security. Raj Bordia, Saurabh Bathla, Shivesh Guarav, and Ravindra Rapeti of AIM’s Master in Business Administration program edged AIM President Steven DeKrey (seated, left), W. SyCip Graduate School of Business Dean Horacio Borromeo Jr. (standing, rightmost), and team mentor Prof. David Gulliver Go (seated, right) join the Hult Prize Shanghai Regional team composed of (standing, from left) Ravindra Rapeti, Raj Bordia, Shivesh Guarav, and Saurabh Bathla.
AIM Faculty Awarded as International Development Leaders AIM congratulates Dr. Ronald Mendoza and Ms. Maoi Arroyo for making it to the list of 40 under 40 International Development Leaders from the Philippines. Mendoza and Arroyo join other honorees all under the age of 40 working in international organizations, government, civil society, social enterprises, and media. The award, given by Devex, aims to recognize the important work of the next generation of leaders in the global development community. Dr. Ronald Mendoza Executive Director, AIM Policy Center Dr. Ronald Mendoza is an associate professor of economics at the Asian Institute of Management and executive director of the AIM Policy Center. Under his leadership, the center has been transformed into an institution that produces original, high-quality research. Before being appointed as the center’s executive director, Mendoza was a senior economist at UNICEF’s Policy and Practice Group in New York. He has done research work for the U.N. Development Program’s Office of Development Studies, the Economist Intelligence Unit and several nongovernmental organizations in Manila. Mendoza has published on international development issues in various peer-reviewed
economics and policy journals, including the Economic Journal of the Royal Economic Society, Journal of International Development, Development Policy Review, Global Economy Journal, Journal of Asian Economics, CESifo Economic Studies, Emerging Markets Review, Journal of World Business, World Economics, Singapore Economic Review and Global Policy. In 2012, the National Academy of Science and Technology recognized Mendoza’s contributions to economics and chose him as one of Ten Outstanding Young Scientists in the Philippines. Maria Antonia Odelia Arroyo Founder and CEO, Hybridigm Consulting Frustrated by seeing great technologies that could be scaled up to businesses sitting in the sidelines, Maria Antonia Odelia Arroyo decided to set up a company that will connect biotechnology innovators to venture capitalists and nongovernmental organizations. “It’s very frustrating when you have all this ingenuity, Filipino ingenuity and Philippine natural resources and you don’t combine the two,” Arroyo shared to Devex. “Our mission and vision as a company is really to harness our natural resources and our researchers, the intelligence of our research-
ers, and to change the world one company at a time.” The first biotechnology consulting firm in the Philippines, Hybridigm Consulting makes it possible for innovators to commercialize their technologies. The firm has since been able to serve 20 clients, developed policy for the Philippine government, facilitated more than $3.5 million in biotechnology investments and trained more than 15,000 aspiring entrepreneurs. For her work at Hybridigm, Arroyo was hailed by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top 35 entrepreneurs under 35, and a 2011 The Outstanding Young Men awardee. Arroyo is also an adjunct professor at the Asian Institute of Management, where she teaches innovation, entrepreneurship and strategy. Source: http://manila40.devex.com/
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out teams from over 30 other business schools, including China Europe International Business School, Tsinghua University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Melbourne, Australia National University, National University of Singapore, University of Southern California, and Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. The Hult Prize is a program for aspiring social entrepreneurs, where students from various schools and universities across the globe pitch their ideas for a chance to take a spot at the Hult Accelerator, a boot camp offering coaching, mentors, and methodology in starting their own social venture. This year’s Hult Prize challenged the teams to resolve the global food crisis. Currently, 870 million people lack access to safe and nutritious food, with nearly 200 million people of the affected population living in urban slums. A vast majority of these undernourished people come from the Asia-Pacific
and the Sub-Saharan Africa regions. As part of their groundwork for the regional leg of the competition, the AIM team visited communities in Bulacan and Navotas, and looked at the state of the food industry and supply chain in both India and the Philippines. Team captain Ravindra Rapeti noted that one of the insights they gleaned from the visits was the importance of family bonding, and its impact on choosing food sources. “When we went to the slum areas, we realized that the groundwork was different. The people wanted to cook food on their own, because of the bond they have with their children,” says Rapeti. “Also, what they were really missing were the nutrients in the food. Right now, food is just to satisfy hunger. The nutrient value is more important. Our aim was to bring nutritious food to them for the same cost they are spending now.” Another key learning that the team
incorporated into their proposal was the importance of providing a tangible link to good food and health. “We have an awareness campaign in our proposed project, to help people realize how a nutritious meal can help them live a better life,” says Shivesh Guarav. “How does it improve the quality of life— the kid is missing school because he’s sick, the father is missing work. His wages are important. If he’s not going to work, it’s a big trouble to him.” Adds Raj Bordia, “Our research on this topic and our experience in the slums helped us understand the reality of the situation, and our solutions were based on our experiences in those places.” “The support that we have received from AIM was invaluable,” says Saurabh Bathla. “They provided us with all that we needed to prepare and to come up with the idea.”
Philippine Embassy Hosts “Barrio Fiesta: A Gathering in Honor of AIM Thai Alumni” The Philippine Ambassador to Thailand and Top Management Program graduate H.E. Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia hosted a dinner for AIM alumni in Thailand, Bangkok last December 18, 2012 at the Philippine Embassy grounds, Bangkok, Thailand. Co-hosted by the Thai AIM Alumni Association and the Alumni Relations Office, the dinner gathered 34 Thai alumni and several guests who were pleased to have attended the special event. Attendees expressed their heartfelt gratitude stating that it has been years since there were efforts made to gather together the Thai Alumni. Nearing Christmas, the Barrio Fiesta was an opportune time for an AIM alumni family reunion to celebrate the loveliest festival of the year. H.E. Jocelyn Batoon-Garcia delivered the welcome remarks and gladly expressed her gratitude towards the Institute and to the alumni present that night.
The pre-Christmas event was well attended by alumni from Thailand and the Philippines. Federation of Alumni Associations of AIM (FAIM) Chairman MP Singh and FAIM Vice Chairman Dani Firmansjah flew in from India and Indonesia, respectively, just for the occasion.
Barrio Fiesta is a traditional Filipino way of celebrating special occasions, such as the foundation of towns or cities, or
of honoring a person or group of persons for their significant achievements in society. “The Thai alumni of AIM are special
to the Philippines because they are walking examples of the best in Philippine education,” says the Ambassador.
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NR Narayana Murthy Shares “Lessons from the Infosys Journey”
NR Narayana Murthy shares his lessons on the Infosys Journey.
n February 21, 2013, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Infosys Limited, NR Narayana Murthy shared his management lessons, experiences and wisdom during the 2nd Prof. Gaby Mendoza Lecture Series held at the Stephen Fuller Hall of the Asian Institute of Management. More than 200 students, alumni and guests attended the insightful lecture of the global icon and member of the Board of Governors of AIM. In his welcome remarks, AIM President Steven J. DeKrey acknowledged the presence of the late Prof. Gaby Mendoza’s family represented by his wife, Mrs. Lita Mendoza, and thanked Kelab AIM Malaysia President Haji Zulkifly Baharom for establishing the Prof. Gaby Mendoza Management Lecture Series in honor of the professor’s “Asian Way of Management”. DeKrey formally introduced the distinguished guest speaker citing Murthy’s numerous accomplishments in establishing Infosys as the first Indian firm traded on the NASDAQ in March 2000. In 2004 Infosys was named one of India’s top three IT services firms, with over 25,000 employees and record profits of $270 million on sales of $1 billion. “In spite of his success and wealth as a prime mover in India’s software-outsourcing industry, Murthy continues to live modestly and practice ‘compassionate capitalism,’ a
NR Narayana Murthy (second from left) is awarded the Washington SyCip Distinguished Management Leader Award. Joining him are (from left) AIM President Steve DeKrey, AIM Prof. Tet Manalac, and FAIM Chairman MP Singh.
philosophy that he has believed in, to create a better life for society as a whole,” DeKrey noted. “He has also given back generously to the community at large through the Infosys Foundation, contributing to the advancement of education through scholarships, and the construction of school buildings and libraries among many others.” Murthy’s inspiring journey enthralled the audience as he generously shared the many lessons and challenges he had faced as a “compassionate capitalist”. An open forum followed with Dr. Horacio Borromeo, Dean of the Washington SyCip Graduate School of
Business as moderator. In honor of his exceptional management leadership and excellence, the AIM Board of Trustees conferred the Washington SyCip Distinguished Management Leader Award to Mr. Murthy as a highlight of the program. The award was established in honor of AIM founder, Mr. Washington SyCip, in gratitude for his life-long support for the entire Institute and as a fitting tribute on his 90th birthday in June 2011. The Award is presented each year to an exceptional Management Leader whose life and achievements are aspirational and inspirational to the Institute’s students.
Members of the AIM community of faculty, students, alumni and friends gather for a souvenir picture with Mr. Murthy
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The 14 newly inducted members of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society with President Steven DeKrey after the oath taking ceremony
Beta Gamma Sigma: AIM Student Chapter Induction by President Steven DeKrey By the AIM Chronicle Team
On the evening of March 18, 2013, AIM President Steven DeKrey inducted 39 new members into the international honor society Beta Gamma Sigma. The Asian Institute of Management is the Philippines’ first business school to have members in the Beta Gamma Sigma society. Graduates, who achieved academic excellence in AIM in the past year, proudly showed off their keys pinned to their suits. The ceremony began with President DeKrey’s talk about the honor that comes with being a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. He reminisced about his membership into the society with great fondness before proceeding to administer the oath to those invited to join the society. The students who took the oath affirmed to stand by the society’s code of honor and incorporate it in their careers as business leaders. Following the oath, keys to the society were handed out to the members. This event officially marked the student’s entrance into a society, which boasts of 700,000 business
students and scholars from some of the most prestigious business schools across the world. The air of accomplishment gave way to a small celebration in the hallowed corridors of AIM’s administrative office. DeKrey talked to the AIM Chronicle team about the society and the honor that the membership holds. “It is the highest honor you can have in a business school accredited with the AACSB. It is an honor given only to those who graduate at the top 20% of their class. The members meet the Beta Gamma Sigma definitions and have exhibited leadership qualities. Beta Gamma Sigma was founded exactly 100 years ago and today we have opened its first chapter in the Philippines. Being a part of this society means that you are part of the elite, you are among some of the best in business education. I suspect there are benefits apart from just the honor of being a part of something so exclusive”. DeKrey also touched on an aspect that makes AIM students distinctively different. He said, “I’ve never been one to tell
students to be worried about grades. You can’t sacrifice personal growth for academic excellence. You have to be able to do it all. You have to learn to balance things out. Don’t sacrifice the other development aspects for grades because it is not about being able to memorize facts. It is about the learning.” To know more about the Beta Gamma Sigma please visit www.betagammasigma. org.
in memoriam COVER STORY
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AIM professor Felipe Alfonso passes away The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) community announces with deep sadness the passing of Professor Emeritus Felipe B. Alfonso on April 5, 2013, a week before he was to turn 76.
of the Makati Business Club and a member of several business councils and associations. He was also the vice chairman of the Lopez Group Foundation and a trustee of several socio-civic organizations. associate dean for Research (1982-1988) and With the passing of Fil, AIM has lost Fil, as he was fondly called, led his life for Development (1988-1990), spurring the one of its beloved professors and leaders. His giving and being of service to others. integrity, humility, compassion, sincerity, As a leader in education, Fil was an AIM creation of AIM’s initiatives in development management. selflessness, mentorship, and dedication to founding professor and was AIM’s president As a teacher, Fil specialized in human being of service to others will be missed and from 1990 to 1999. During his presidency, remembered. AIM became top ranked in Asia and won the behavior in organization, general management, and organizational development Beyond his professional accomplishRamon Magsaysay Award for International and corporate citizenship. In 1997, he was ments, his family was first and foremost in Understanding, the Asian equivalent of the his life. They were the pillars of strength Nobel Peace Prize. An advocate of corporate conferred the Asian Regional and Training from which he drew inspiration. We thank social responsibility (CSR) and corporate gov- Organization Asia Pacific HRD Award for ernance, he helped establish and led the AIM Individual Achievement in the field of human his family for sharing him with us. We extend our deepest condolences to Fil’s wife, Mary Ramon V. del Rosario Sr. Center for CSR after resources and training. As a businessman, Fil was the chairman Anne; his children Gina, Ping and Vic-vic, his retirement as AIM president. His work of Meralco (1994-2001) and served on the Miguel and Dea, Rina; his grandchildren Ines, in CSR helped elevate corporate consciousboards of many companies, including Jollibee, Jacobo, Amaya, and Quintin; and his loved ness in Asia and led to accolades for AIM Lopez Holdings Corp, PHILAM Funds, STI ones. such as the global Beyond Grey Pinstripes and Phinma. Award for Business School Innovation in As a civic leader, he was a board member http://www.theaimblog.com/ Social Impact Management. He also served as
Throughout our 42 years of AIM association, FIL always demonstrated his feelings for MBM 73 - sincere affection and highest esteem. His wife Mary Anne told me in today’s funeral services that Fil’s last social event was their joining the class reunion Concert in Greenhills. His presence is
always felt with his laughter and one-of-the-boys disposition. Although an effective MBA Professor, FIL exudes the personal warmth and guidance of a grade school teacher who readily gets love and trust from pupils who feel comfortable with and encourage by his sincerity. Not a few students credit him for saving
them from the brink of giving up from challenges of AIM studies or leadership positions. He was with us, hand in hand, as Class 73 spearheaded and pioneered crucial organizations like the Alumni Association, FAIM, etc. Even after he stepped down as AIM President, FIL would always be invited, and he would
always attend, important or exclusive events such as the Triple A Club meetings....thus, becoming a permanent pillar of strength to us who dare step forward to be counted. I remember when he went all the way to my office in the 70’s. FIL was having problems with what he called the “dysfunctional”
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Fil Alfonso’s Chosen Vocations By Teresa Abesamis, MM 1979
He was just a little boy when he felt a call. On his own, Felipe Bacani Alfonso would rush out of the house before 6:00 a.m. each day to serve mass as an altar boy. Soon enough, the young probinsiyano from Pampanga told his parents that he wanted to be a priest. He spent many years in the Jesuit seminary and had reached the major levels when he decided that he wanted to serve God as a family man. Fil then went to the Ateneo de Manila law school, after which he went to New York University for an MBA. Upon his return, he began to teach college students and eventually, when the Ateneo joined the consortium that set up the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), he became a case researcher and founding professor. I had the privilege and blessing of having been his student at AIM, and later as one of the professors when Fil had become AIM president. He was truly my mentor and inspiration as I made my way into an emerging career as a development management professional, quite a distance from my many years as an advertising executive. When I was a student, he was my “MRR” adviser (The MRR is the reality-based management research report, which is the AIM counterpart of the graduate academic thesis). He opened the door for me to the International Rural Reconstruction Institute (IIRR) by introducing me to its president, Dr. Juan Flavier, who welcomed me very generously and asked me to help him set new directions for a couple of their cooperatives development projects in Silang, Cavite, and later, for the IIRR itself. Big jobs for a student. I wondered what Fil had told him to give Dr. Flavier so much confidence in me. It inspired me to rise to the occasion. On Fil’s advice, I immersed myself in the barrios by actually sleeping in them, sharing the quarters of a farmer couple who were active in one of the coops. I also witnessed a late-night session under dim kerosene-fueled lighting in another barrio called “conflict resolution” where I discovered not a heated debate but poetry-like expressions of the “samaan ng loob” (hurt feelings) between members of the upland river homeowners, and the lowlanders who shared the same streaming water source. The approach was non-confrontational, and was called patalinghaga (meaning indirect or oblique). No explicit resolutions were agreed upon and I was mystified that the “conflict resolution” session ended with nothing, to my Western-educated mind, having been resolved. The IIRR field people who accompanied me to witness the session explained later that “hurt feelings having been shared with one another, the atmosphere was open for arriving at some consensus later on a fair “win-win” way to share the river water resource. What a fascinating way to resolve a conflict! I wonder
Alumni Board at that time and he asked me if the Class and/or the Frat could help by replacing the entire Board. It was indeed flattering and encouraging that the AIM President reached out to us as reliable enforcers of the Institute .... Even giving recognition to the formidability of the erstwhile underground Fraternity
which started with the class. With that HBO master stroke, his wish was of course granted as we made a comeback in the school politics, wresting an 11-1 victory in the elections. The mutual high regard existing between us and Fil became permanently cemented since. A fellow Pampangueno, he
how we can enhance and adopt the sophisticated technology on a wider scale toward national or even global peace! It makes me think the current exchange of threats between North Korea and the USA is so primitive and futile. Fil had advised me to first gain insights in the field, as if I was doing case research, and draw from these field insights to formulate my thoughts and recommendations on directions for more research toward formulating institutional directions. Fil said I should keep an open mind and not bring a preset framework into my observations in order to learn something. As a management professor in the emerging Master’s degree in Development Management (MDM), as part of the faculty task force to design the MDM, I was given the task of coordinating implementation of a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)-funded research grant undertaking to design and later, help present the proposed MDM to the AIM international Board of Governors, and later market it to providers of scholarships, and the right students around Asia. When the MDM was approved for launch by the BOG, and I had submitted the final report to CIDA, Fil took time to come to my room and congratulate me for my report, based on favorable feedback from CIDA. He was that kind of a boss. Aside from being a student, and subordinate on the faculty, I also found that Fil treated me like a friend, or kid sister. On a few occasions, he invited me to share dinner with his family in their home. I was extremely touched by this gesture. Before dinner, I joined his family for prayers, which was their custom. I was so impressed with the fine breeding evident in his wholesome kids, Gina, Ping, Miguel and Rina whom he introduced to me individually. His wife Mary Ann was always so gracious and made me feel really welcome in their home. I always felt like a kid sister to Fil, who it turns out, was only a couple of years older than me. He would often tease me; or at the very least, indicate he noticed me, even when he was talking to others. The last time I saw him was in January, when I was crossing over to AIM from Greenbelt in the rain, carrying an umbrella. He was in conversation just outside the lobby with someone; but he looked up and moved his eyebrows up and down and of course, smiled broadly. He was present, once again to me, even if only for a moment. As a teacher, boss, father and husband, Fil always impressed me that he was into all these with passion and commitment, like each of these undertakings was a vocation taken very seriously. His kids and Mary Anne felt as much. I was so touched when I flew to Manila to say goodbye to Fil, when I hugged Mary Ann and she whispered “mahal ka ni Fil”; “mahal ko rin siya,” I replied. I will surely miss you, Fil Alfonso. You will always be an incredibly unique inspiration. By just being yourself, you have taught me so much. Source: Business World Online, Grassroots and Governance.
would always and anywhere speak to me in our dialect; his most effective way to endear and to disarm. FIL naturally displayed sartorial elegance, had a critical eye for beauty and performance and loved good food. Mary Anne confides that as he lay in coma for days in the hospital, she kept repeating only two sentences to
him as she clasped his hand... “I love you. Thank you very much”, in his dialect, Kapampangan. Mary Anne’s know only these two sentences “Caluguran daca. Dacal a salamat!”. Indeed, the Alfonsos know that in the end, it will all be about basics! —Jesli Lapus, MBM 1973
in memoriam COVER STORY
He was one of the first persons I met at AIM when he interviewed me re a loan from the SSS. Without the loan, I could not have afforded to study at AIM. Even at that moment, he left me with a lasting impression of a man with such a warm personality and compassion. His wit and sense of humor is so unbelievable. Truly, he would be missed! —Ricardo C. Gutierrez, MBM 1973 and Wife Teri I remember Fil as one of the best liked professors of our class. He had a long history of distinguished and loyal service to AIM. —Roberto V. Garcia, MBM 1973 Fil was not only an exemplary teacher; he was a wonderful human being. He enjoyed life and the company of others, especially his students. I still vividly recall the upward lilt of his voice as he prodded, questioned and challenged us to think (Recall Joel Villanueva and the “Sea Hag” vs. Pretty Woman illustration) and most especially the loud laughter that would come soon after. I will miss him. —Benjamin P. Palma-Gil, MBM 1976 There are very few who have a quiet confidence, a sense of humor and a generosity of spirit and who therefore stand on a platform of their own from which to share episodes of life with the rest of us. I am glad that I was in AIM during his time and grateful to have benefited from the person that he was. —Janet Lueckenhausen, MM 1984 His energy level and crisp voice was just about the highest in our days-keeping the classroom fully alive and involved! Whenever we met of late during our BOT/BOG meetings in AIM over the past five years I found Fil had a lot left in him. He was alert and his deliberations measured, despite his having slowed down
just a bit. Well, I thank God for being so fortunate having reconnected and met with such wonderful professors after over three decades of severance with our alma mater! —Mahendra P. Singh, MBM 1976 “The demise of AIM Ramon V Del Rosario Center for Corporate Social Responsibility (RVR Center) Executive Director and Emeritus Professor Fil Alfonso, 76, on Friday April 5, reminds me of my interesting relation with him. Well, it started in May 1988 perhaps it was a ‘one-sided affair’ - he was a well known doyen in the field of teaching management education and leadership whereas I was only a student in the MM program. When I graduated in May 1989, he was already a towering figure there. Fil’s teaching and leadership career began when he joined AIM in 1968, and rose up the academic ranks to become an accomplished President in 1990 - 1999 and did serve for some time as Vice Chair of Board of Trustees. Despite his wealth of experience and eminence, having interaction with world leaders and participated in high-profile events in modern history, Fil was gracious and down-to-earth. Since Fil and I worked for different flags of AIM (he was with the faculty, I am with the alumni association, Kelab AIM), I remember that we attended many project management meetings when both of us together with his team mate, Ashok were collaborating to solicit for sponsors and increase number of paying participants for prestigious Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility (AFCSR) in Kuala Lumpur: the 4th in 2004 and the 9th in 2010 respectively. Evidently the attendance for 9th AFCSR recorded 342 delegates from 245 organizations in 27 countries. Perhaps as individuals we were not close; but one thing that made my heart close to him was his leadership. I like his style and sharpness in making decisions.
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Yes, he was my ‘guru’ in leadership; the irony of it was I had not even once attended his class or was coached by him; however, I have high admiration and respect for his writing, presentation, communication negotiation skills. I am not shy to say at times I ‘copied’ his style. I followed his leadership until his death, the last time I had the chance to speak to him and hear his thoughts was when he was invited to attend the breakfast meeting with the Prime Minister Datuk Ser Najib in Makati City on 16 October 2012 organized by Malaysia Philippines Business Council (MPBC) of which I served as its Honorary Secretary. He advised MPBC Secretariat to stretch to the maximum in their work with the time and opportunities allocated to them. “All work must be done systematically and with proper planning,” he said. Farewell Prof Fil who was a true Asian. —Haji Zul , MM 1989, President AIM Club of Malaysia I remember Fil as the professor who made everyone feel at ease in and outside of the classroom especially in the first few weeks of freshman class. In my later dealings with him, I found him supportive and, simply, a good and decent human being. —Philip Juico, MBM 1973 With his departure I have lost a mentor and a friend, leader and teacher. Society lost a good human being. “Good bye Mr. Chipps.” —Suresh Mahindroo, MBM 1973 Fil’s effectiveness as a professor and his heartwarming smiles and genuine interest to help are lasting impressions that I shall never ever forget. He will be missed. —Ramona Ang MBM 1973 I have worked closely with Fil for a long time. We were together for a decade in AIM’s Rural Development Management Program which he headed, then
we became Associate Deans in Gasty Ortigas’ deanship, followed by my Associate Deanship when he was President, and finally my being Dean also while he was President. Fil was always supportive of me and he displayed an empowering leadership style. Even if Fil was my professor when I studied at AIM (actually, he was our favorite professor), he treated me as an equal on Day 1 of my joining AIM. Fil was easy to get along with, always willing to help, generous with his time, and was a good mentor to me. We shared 36 years working together at AIM, and every time we met, he was always about serving AIM, country, and family. His loyalty to AIM never wavered, and he was always concerned with the issues confronting the Institute. Fil was a good and decent man, trustworthy and compassionate. He was also my friend, and I will truly miss him. —Jesus Gallegos, MBM 1973 Bidding farewell to a friend is never easy. The evening before last, some of you will remember Mary Anne speak about a couple of provincianos that courted and married two comely Marys – a Mary Anne and a Mary Lou. One of those two provincianos was Fil. I was the other provinciano. Both of us from sugar provinces. But he from Luzon…Pampanga. I from the Visayas…Negros… He was schooled by the Jesuits. I was a product of what Fil would call “that other school.” In age we were 6 months apart. It would not be until we were in our 50’s that we would meet. It was Jobo Fernandez that brought Fil into my life…Jobo was chair of an aspiring Philippine Committee of the Pacific Basin Economic Council in the 80’s. When he became Central Bank Governor, he asked me to take his place as PBEC chair for reasons I could never comprehend. Totally uninitiated for a job that I was completely unsuited for, Jobo told me not to worry…actually I was
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terrified...! He said his Director General would guide me through the workings of the PBEC . That Director General was Fil. Guide me he did! Like a Director and General. Not just to introduce me to the organization whose members were far more senior at the time, but to serve as my compass in leading the Philippine Committee in the International Council. Always self-effacing and avoiding center stage, Fil in fact was my teleprompter during those council meetings! Marvi Celi Bonoan will attest to that! Mary Anne, you will remember those PBEC meetings in Hawaii, in Vancouver, in Seoul, in Bangkok, in Washington, in Auckland, New Zealand, in Tokyo. You and Mary Lou were always there with us. Those PBEC years were particularly memorable for me and my wife because they were the years where we learned to know the Fil that you know. The humility, the integrity, the generosity, the passion to teach and to serve, the love for family. And those were the years we got to know… and to love…his Mary Anne and their gifted children Gina and Rina and Ping and Miguel. Travelling together, sharing anxieties, meeting challenges, and lots of fantasies and laughter! Gina and Rina recall how many packs of Cheetos Fil and I shared, and how many cups of Starbucks we had while waiting forever at parking lots for our wives to finish saving us money at every factory outlet and discount store they found! I need not speak of all the professional qualities of Fil about which much has already been said except to acknowledge the profound gratitude of Phinma and of the del Rosario Family for the counsel and the wisdom that he shared with us and for the selfless service he gave to the RVR Center for Corporate Social Responsibility all the way to his final days. I recently came upon a passage which I hope you will indulge me to read because it so aptly applied to Fil. I don’t know
you have given me to speak. Instead, I shall try to tell you what he meant to the Lopez Family and to the Lopez Corporate Family. Like me, my late siblings Geny and Robbie, as well as those still living namely Manolo and Presy all had the pleasure to be able to work closely with Fil. Our close association with Fil began during his incumbency, first as Associate Dean, then as President of the Asian Institute of Management. The Eugenio Lopez Foundation, Inc. is one of the founders and benefactors of AIM and has continued to support it through the decades. AIM achieved its highest standing in the world of management education during Fil’s presidency from 1990 to 1999. During his presidency AIM became ranked top in management education partly by winning the Ramon Magsaysay award for international understanding award, the Asian equivalent of the Noble Peace Prize. AIM’s high standing was also partly due to Fil’s ability in soliciting funding and support for the institute. You can approach philanthropists for donations once and you will often succeed in winning their support. But to be able to do so again and again, you must have a compelMy dear Anna, Fil’s wife and ling dream or vision for the institute you represent, and you his children Gina, Ping and Vicmust convince your benefactors Vic, Miguel and Dea, and Rina, of the worth and nobility of that and my fellow colleagues and friends of our beloved Fil Alfonso. vision. This was something Fil was very good at. You just couldn’t It is difficult to speak of a get yourself to say no to Fil, so long-time friend and associate like Fil in the past tense after so compelling were his plans and sudden a passing as his. And yet, dreams for a greater AIM, and so irresistible his charm. we must do so, for how else can Then, in the late 1990’s, once we properly honor him tonight he was through being president and celebrate the wonderful life of AIM we in the Lopez group that he lived. began to rely on Fil for guidance I will not even try to recite and advice over a diverse range of before you the many achieveconcerns and matters, includments of Fil and the many positions of great honor and responsi- ing evolving dogma on how to bility he held during his lifetime manage family-owned corporations for stability and longevity; of service and distinction. I am matters of succession, corporate sure that most of you here are familiar with his record because social responsibility, the developyou worked closely with him, and ment of a corporate learning besides, to list his achievements centre for the whole Lopez Group, would take much more time than performance management, and who wrote it. It is entitled LIVE A LIFE THAT MATTERS, and reads thus: “Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident. It is not a matter of circumstance but of choice…. What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built. Not what you got but what you gave…. It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant…. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed…. What will matter is not your memories but the memories that live in those who loved you… What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what…. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, or sacrifice that enriched empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example….” By all that measure, Fil lived a life that matters. As my good wife would say “Thank you, Fil , for your friendship” and thank you for touching our lives and enriching it.” —Oscar J. Hilado, Chairman, PHINMA Corp.
a succession of other HR-related subjects. In 2001, Fil formally joined the Lopez corporate family as Vice Chairman of Meralco and as Executive Vice President of Human Resources Development for Benpres Holdings Corporation, now called Lopez Holdings. From 2001 till his sudden passing, Fil was a valued member of our corporate family. It may be that our group values, and our dedication to the service of the Filipino people, resonated strongly with Fil. Certainly, his advocacy of national development, social justice and the responsibility of corporations to society resonated strongly with us. If I were to liken myself to a skipper and helmsman of a racing yacht, then Fil would at times have been my navigator, and at other times, my tactician. His guidance and counsel on any number of corporate and social concerns were always very well grounded in law, for after all, Fil was a very skilled lawyer, something that most people were unaware of, that aside from his business education, he was also a graduate of the Ateneo Law School. But they were also well grounded in what was politically defensible, in what was socially acceptable, and in what was considered sound management and governance. Most of all, they were consistent with our Lopez values. Yet, Fil was not just a counselor. At an operating level, many of you here enjoyed working closely with Fil on your HR or CSR assignments, or in delivering executive education and training to our high-potential managers. He had the gift of being able to simplify what were complex and convoluted issues, and articulate any problem so that we could all clearly understand what it was, and apply ourselves to looking for the right solutions. He had a network of contacts and friends, both here and abroad, in business, in the academe and in civil society, and he was never shy in “In Memoriam...” cont. on page 49 >>
Lessons from the
Infosys Journey Edited speech delivered by Narayana Murthy during the 2nd Gaby Mendoza Lecture Series, February 21, 2013.
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nfosys was founded in 1981 with US$ 250, mostly borrowed from our generous spouses. As of March 31st 2012, our revenues were approximately US$ 7 billion with a net income of US$1.7 billion, making us the third most profitable software company in the world after Apple and Google. Infosys’ headquarters is in Bangalore, India, and we operate in 75 cities spanning 33 countries. We have over 150,000 employees from 92 nationalities. Our market capitalization is about US$ 30 billion. We became a listed company in India in 1993 and on the NASDAQ on March 11, 1999. To me, entrepreneurship is about converting an idea into wealth and jobs. It is about transforming the world with new ideas and products. It is about courage. It is about making the plausibly impossible, possible! To describe entrepreneurship, I would like to quote the late Robert Kennedy’s words, which was first quoted by George Bernard Shaw, “Most people see things as they are and wonder why. I dream of things that never are and then say, why not?” This is the essence of entrepreneurship. An entrepreneur must have an idea whose differentiated value proposition to the market can be expressed in a simple sentence, not as a complex or compound sentence. And, with no ‘ifs’, no ‘buts’, and no ‘nevertheless’. The idea should result in at least one of the following: reduced cost, reduced cycle time, improved quality and productivity, enhanced customer comfort or enhanced customer base. It is very important that you, the youngsters, remember this mantra. When you come up with an idea, you should try and express the differentiated value proposition in a simple sentence. Now, why did I say that the power of the differentiated value proposition should be expressible in a simple sentence? The reason is that, today, we all operate in a cluttered market and consumers do not have much time. Hence, expressing our idea and its value proposition in a simple sentence will help you to gain your customers’ mindshare quickly and easily. Take the case of Infosys. Our idea was to develop customized software solutions for corporations in the developed world, deliver them on time and within budget, thereby, exceeding the quality expectations of our customers. In the late 70s and early 80s, the success rate of most large software development efforts was just 45%. So, we decided to create software factories in India leveraging the power of software engineering principles to improve this success rate from 45% to at least 90%. This, in essence, was our differentiated value proposition. Let me now share with you some of the
lessons that I have learnt in my exhilarating journey of building Infosys. First, it is all about strategy. To me, strategy is about doing whatever is necessary to create sustainable differentiation vis-à-vis our competitors to achieve better margins for the corporation. Sustained differentiation is the key operating phrase. In other words, you have to be agile, innovative, and flexible. As your competitors modify their own value proposition in the market place, you must adapt, introduce innovations and sustain your differentiation. We believe that such differentiation comes from the power of execution of great ideas. But strategy alone is not sufficient for a good leader. Creating strategy may perhaps take a week but the implementation of that strategy will take years. And while implementing it, you must be ready to make modifications required to strengthen the strategy. A good leader should have both views during execution — the 50,000 feet bird’s eye view of the world, and the ground level worm’s eye view of the world. At Infosys, we believe that leaders must have certain important attributes. First is courage —courage, in my opinion, is the most important attribute of a leader. I was once asked by the CEO of a Fortune 10 corporation to name the most important attribute of a good leader without which no other attribute will help him or her. It took me less than five seconds to say, “It is courage —courage to dream big, courage of conviction, courage to take bold decisions, courage to go against conventional wisdom of the vast majority of mediocre people, and the courage to travel the road less traveled or in some cases untraveled.” This is one attribute, which differentiates good leaders from the not-so-good ones. The second most important attribute of a successful leader is character. Character is needed for sacrifice, for hard work, for working with others, for suppressing ego, for integrity, for hope, for leading by example and for confidence. People look up to their leader and they
want to imitate him or her. Whether it is a corporation, a nation, or a community, a leader should weave a dream and exhort his or her people to make the dream a reality through hard work, sacrifice, and commitment. The rewards of such hard work, sacrifice and commitment generally accrue much later. Therefore, it is very important that the followers trust their leader. The best instrument a leader has is the trust of his or her people gained by leading them by example, or by walking the talk, or by practicing the precept. Therefore, if you want to have a large band of followers who believe in you, you should practice leadership by example. In fact, Mahatma Gandhi used to lead a very simple life and the joke by Sarojini Naidu was that it took a fortune to keep that man in poverty. A leader has to be generous to give credit to others for successes and be ready to take blame for failures. He or she has to encourage people to dream big and provide a safety net, should they fail. At Infosys, we use very simple and catchy adages to communicate such values. One such example is the adage, “Praise in public, prescribe in private.” You have to praise your people in public and give them credit for successes. If you want to criticize, you should do so in private. Such a mindset requires leaders to be generous. We have realized over the years that chance plays a very important role in shaping the future of a corporation or an individual. Chance is the ability to spot an opportunity when most others do not. We all would do well to remember the words of Louis Pasteur that chance favors the prepared mind. Such preparation requires lots of hard work. Yogi Berra, the famous American baseball player, put it in a slightly different way when he said, “I seem to become luckier and luckier as I work harder and harder.” Therefore, if you want to be lucky, if you want chance to smile on you, you have to be prepared and you have to work hard. A famous author once said, “When God is shy to announce His presence, he comes in the form of chance.” Therefore, it is very important to remember that chance and God’s grace play a role in your success. We have also realized that the biggest enemy to our progress is within us — our mindset. What is mindset? Mindset is basically a database of our experiences, our failures, our successes, our beliefs, our confidence, and essentially our personalities. Mind is the engine that gives us confidence to think of new ideas and helps us take decisions to make progress. Mind is all about your courage, your spirit of innovation, your ability to succeed in new situations and your ability to lead.
Feature We believe that differentiation comes from the power of execution of great ideas.
There is a constant battle between our mind and our mindset. Our mindset holds us back to the status quo while our mind urges us to move forward and make progress. It is very important that every one of the youngsters here should remember that. Only those of us who succeed in vanquishing our mindset by the power of our mind will make progress. We have also seen that innovations are short-lived. We have found that the best incentive for our employees to innovate is to enable them to take quick advantage of innovations and proactively make our own innovations obsolete, as early as possible. This is very important. Rather than allowing your competitors to make your ideas obsolete, if you have a planned obsolescence for your own innovation, then you are in control of your future. Today, the only constant is change. The days when a few countries had the monopoly on ideas and markets are over. Your best success is in competing globally, not just in Philippines, in Vietnam, in India or in China. Our competitors could be from anywhere in the world. Therefore, to compete globally, it helps to adopt global standards in quality, customer satisfaction, marketing, finance, human resources, development, technology, infrastructure, and in other such business functions and attributes. We have also seen that the only time-invariant and context-invariant attributes of a successful corporation are - fairness and justice in every decision, openness to new ideas — particularly to those ideas that come from people who are better than us, meritocracy in evaluating ideas, speed, imagination, and excellence in execution. Any corporation that measures these attributes and constantly improves on them will definitely go from success to success. The day we forget any one of these qualities, we will disappear like dew on a sunny morning. We believe that a CEO’s job is following a fundamental set of business principles that we call PSPD. The first ‘P’ stands for ‘Predictability’ of revenues by a reliable forecasting system that derives data from the trenches. The ‘S’ stands for ‘Sustaining’. Sustenance of prediction happens through ensuring sales, production, and delivering the committed products and services on time and with quality, raising invoices on time, and collecting money on time. The second ‘P’ stands for ‘Profitability’. I believe that there is
no point in running any business unless you can make adequate profits to invest in future growth. As I told you, we are the 3rd most profitable company in the world amongst all software products and services. And finally, ‘D’ stands for ‘De-risking’. At Infosys, we do not depend on a single customer, on a single technology, on a single employee, or on a single geographical area. In fact, our risk council collects data on more than hundred parameters and uses these to mitigate risks to the corporation. Let me elaborate on taking risks. All of you know that ships are the safest in the harbor, but they are not meant to be there. They are meant to cross the high seas, face the stormy waters, and reach the comfort of a safe and desirable destination. Likewise, a corporation has to take bold risks after analyzing the benefits and the costs of possible failures. Risk recognition and mitigation in every activity on a continuous basis is a very important function for the corporation to succeed. We subscribe to the adage, “Profit is just an opinion.” Any smart accountant can show a corporation how to be profitable or lossmaking. That is not a big deal. The real deal is the cash in the bank. Therefore, please ensure that your accounts receivables and your DSO (Number of days of sales outstanding) are minimal. I am very happy to say that Infosys has the best record in terms of DSO in the world in the software services industry. Internally, we use two parameters to decide when to distribute this cash back to the shareholders. First, the return on the capital employed, ROCE, must be at least twice the cost of capital; second, the return on invested capital, ROIC, must be at least thrice the cost of capital. If the ROCE falls below twice the cost of capital or if ROIC falls below 3 times the cost of capital, that is the time when our investors can generally ask for the excess cash in the company to be distributed to them as dividends. I personally do not believe in buy-back of shares. It is best that you return the money to the shareholders who can then decide the best way to deploy that money. They may invest that money in some other corporation. Why force them to invest only in yours? If you bought the shares back, then you are forcing a suboptimal decision on your investors. I also believe that the best metric for
measuring success of a corporation is the net after tax dollars added per employee. In fact, this is what adds to the cash in the bank and will allow a corporation to invest in its growth. It is not the net revenue productivity because I know several groups in Infosys which have high per-capita revenue productivity; but their net-after tax dollars added per employee is very low. Therefore, you have to measure the performance of a corporation in terms of the net after tax dollars added per employee per year. We have realized over the years that solutions to most of our problems lie within ourselves. Rationalizing failure is simply a sign of weakness. The easiest way to escape from accountability is to blame reality. It renders people and nations apathetic and justifies inaction. On the other hand, good leaders transform reality from what it is to what they want it to be. I want every one of you to become a leader who transforms reality from what it is to what you want it to be. True forms of courtesy, humility and grace are the ones you show when you are a leader. It shows in your treatment of people who have achieved lesser than you. The real courtesy of a corporation is revealed by how it treats its vendors. If we treat our vendors fairly and with courtesy when we are doing well, they will come to our aid when we are not doing well and are unable to make payments on time. Fortunately, that situation has not risen in the case of Infosys but I think it is a good principle to remember. I have also realized that putting the interest of the corporation ahead of my own personal interest in the short-term will actually further my interest in the long-term. Most corporations fail because the leaders take a short-term view and look after their own interest rather than that of the corporation. It is also a good practice to wish the very best to any employee who wants to leave you and maintain a good relationship with him or her. After all, he or she has been a part of your journey so far. You must show gratitude to him or her. This is what we have done all along. Many of them have come back. Once an employee returns to your corporation, he or she will become one of your best assets. A leader must have a good mental model of the business with a clear idea of the revenue generators and cost drivers. I would go so far as to say that he or she must be able
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to do sensitivity analysis on each of these parameters in his or her mind. Growth is the lifeline of any corporation. If you do not grow, you start to atrophy. Growth happens seamlessly only when scalability becomes second nature to the corporation through innovation, energy, enthusiasm, systems, processes, and technology. Along with scalability, key parameters for the success of a corporation are maintaining customer focus, quick response and good relations with customers, employee morale, entrepreneurial spirit, productivity, product quality, low bureaucracy, and investor transparency. In the end, it is the ability to maintain the soul, enthusiasm, camaraderie, and nimbleness of a small entrepreneurial outfit in the body of a large monolithic corporation that makes scalability possible. We have found that the customer is the only person in the world who puts food on the table day after day for us. The main ingredient for our success with our customer is our ability to enhance business value to our customer in everything that we do, even in the most technical stuff. In fact, we have realized that business value leverage ratio is even more important. Let me explain —if we charge a customer a dollar for the work we do and if we give back 2 dollars to the customer, the leverage ratio is 2:1. Every year, we ask ourselves how we can give a higher leverage to the customer. We have realized that growth comes from repeat business, which comes from relationships that are built on trust. Trust emanates from the belief in the customer’s mind, that we will not short change him or her under any circumstance. The day you lose the trust of the customer, the game is over. We live in a globalized world, our competitors could be from anywhere in the world; they could offer products and services at unimaginable service levels and prices. I define globalization as the paradigm where you source capital from where it is cheapest, you source talent from where it is best available, you produce where it is most efficient to produce, and sell where the markets are, without being constrained by national boundaries. Therefore, your competitors could hail from anywhere in the world. We have seen how China has done a fantastic job in demonstrating to the globe the power of their value addition to the customer. So, building repeat business in such a competitive environment requires that you exceed every promise you make to your customers. Therefore, I would urge you to under-promise and over-deliver with every stakeholder, particularly your customers.
We are in a knowledge industry which is a human resource based industry. In fact, I would say every industry is a human resource based industry. The only way you can bring differentiation to the market place is through the power of your ideas. And, the only way you can harness the power of those ideas is through the power of the human mind. And therefore, whether you are in manufacturing or in services, it does not matter what industry it is, it is the power of the human mind that will create differentiation for you vis-à-vis your competitors. And, that is also the reason why you must hire first raters in your organization. If you do not do this, pretty soon, the organization will be full of nth raters. Therefore, insist on hiring the best. Diversity of culture, gender and opinions ensure better progress. This has been our experience. There should be an environment of openness so that people are enthusiastic to share their bright ideas. There must be merit, fairness, and transparency in every decision you make. To do so, we have realized that it is best to start every transaction with your fellow employees on a zero base. We have found that using data and facts to decide every transaction eliminates biases and raises the confidence of your fellow employees in your decision-making. That is why we celebrate the adage, “In God we trust. Everybody else brings data to the table.” It is necessary to create an environment of courtesy, dignity and honesty in our transactions with fellow employees. Such behavior enhances confidence in every one of our employees to bring up even the most unpleasant fact to their seniors. That is why we believe in the adage, “You can disagree with me as long as you are not disagreeable.” We have found over the last 31 years that self-esteem matters a lot more to people than money. Therefore, a corporation that enhances their self-esteem, in addition to providing good hygiene factors like compensation, is likely to retain its employees much more than one that does not. Now, let me share some lessons that we learnt while dealing with our investors. Investors expect us to operate as trustees of the corporation. Therefore, there should be no asymmetry of information between the owner-managers and the rest of investors. They understand that businesses have ups and downs. They do not mind that. They want you to be honest with them at all times. They want you to bring bad news early and proactively. That is why we believe in the adage, “Let the good news take
the stairs, and the bad news, the elevator”. Another adage that we consider as important adage which we believe in is — “When in doubt, disclose.” We have learned over the last 31 years that it is very important to be trustworthy with every one of our stakeholders first, before being smart. That is why we believe that it is better to underpromise and over-deliver with every one of our stakeholders. We have found that the best index to gauge the success of a corporation is its longevity. Longevity arises from earning the goodwill of the society and maintaining harmony with the environment. Society contributes customers, employees, investors, bureaucrats, and politicians. Therefore, only those corporations that earn the goodwill of the society are likely to be the ones that earn the goodwill of each of these stakeholders and will make progress day after day. This is also the reason, why corporate social responsibility and sustainability become extremely important. Even a purist like Milton Friedman would have agreed with my analysis because, only when you spend a part of your profit to make sure that you earn the goodwill of the society — by genuine benefit and by genuine ideas — would the corporation become more and more profitable. We have found that it is not possible to achieve excellence in software, which is our main source of revenue, unless we achieve excellence in every other function of the corporation. We should demonstrate excellence in how we treat our stakeholders, how we treat our competitors, what kind of technology we use, how we develop our infrastructure, finance, human resources, sales and marketing divisions. We cannot say our software is world-class and the rest of it is not. We have also found that corporations should focus on satisfying customers, keeping employees happy, controlling costs, and following the finest principles of corporate governance, rather than worrying about the ticker tape or the stock price. Finally, youth is about dreams, daring, new ideas, energy, confidence and enthusiasm. Young people have a lot more at stake in the future than us, the older people. Unless we leverage the power of youth, it is difficult to do extraordinary things. The most strategic thing that I have done is to ensure that a significant percentage of every team, making important decisions in my corporation, are below the age of 30. These are the lessons that I have learnt in the wonderful journey at Infosys for the last 31 years.
Reflections on Management Education By Rene B. Azurin, MBM 1973
Not being given to attending alumni homecomings, I rarely find myself back at the Asian Institute of Management campus in Makati. I did show up last Friday, however, in the hope of reconnecting with my old Korean roommate who was supposed to have flown into town. Disappointingly, now big shot Yoon Dae did not make it, but being in that setting again after many years brought back recollections of young and foolish years and made me reflect a bit on whether I had learned anything there about management.
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Admittedly, it couldn't really have been much. Never having been the kind of model student who feels driven by the need to acquire the good graces of godimpersonating teachers, I had—by the time I got to graduate school—achieved something of a mastery of the art of doing as little as possible to pass. That, naturally, requires quickly figuring out the rules of the grading game. Here, I was somewhat handicapped by the fact that the ballgame in a graduate business school teaching management via "the case method" is a whole lot different from the one played at the University of the Philippines College of Engineering where I had come from. The fact is, an engineer who meanders into graduate business school—in my case, through the accident of an available scholarship—must make a "paradigm shift" (to use popular business school jargon). In engineering school, it is best to keep silent if one doesn't have the mathematical logic of what one is going to say reasonably figured out in one's mind. In a case-method business school, not opening one's mouth even if one has nothing to say can be fatal. In the amphitheater-like case room, the skill of apparent greatest value is loquaciousness, which I would define as the ability to express in a paragraph what can be expressed in a word. Truthfully, that can be discombobulating to an engineer for whom precision and conciseness is almost synonymous to elegance. Moreover, one has to get used to the fact that business case discussions never seem to reach definitive conclusions about anything. It's this on the one hand assuming this, or that on the other hand assuming that. That can be disorienting to someone used to the implacable certainty of mathematically derived answers. Anyway, I eventually did figure out that making some vocal noises in class once a week in each subject would be enough to get me through the semester. Accordingly, after determining that the assigned three cases a day was an unap-
pealing way to spend my time, I would speed read through just one of the cases every day until I marked a single issue that I could bring up in class. Introducing said issue at some point in the case discussions would merit me a check mark for "participation" in the professor's record book. After, I could simply take cover behind the insistent voices of the many model students competing vigorously for participation points. By thus compressing the amount of time I spent on class work, I could spend more time reading John Le Carre, playing high-low stud poker with my "can group" mates, and investigating the, ah, cultural offerings of establishments in the Burgos and Mabini areas with my Korean buddy. Periodically also, I could manage to cut morning class and hie over to the jai-alai fronton across town on Taft Avenue where I could strap a cesta to my wrist and take turns with budding pelotaris at whipping a stonehard pelota at a granite wall and trying to snare it as it hurtled back at speeds of over 100 kilometers per hour. (That was more difficult than getting an MBA.) But, notwithstanding such an irresponsible attitude toward a free business education, I did come away with two concepts that I found of particular interest. The first I got from a class in Managerial Control. It was the notion of "goal congruence," which basically meant that the nature and specifications of all subsidiary goals must be such that their realization would always contribute to the attainment of the main goal. That, I concluded, was the most important consideration in the design of a management system. The second was a concept called the "expected value of perfect information," or EVPI, which can be described, minus the probability arithmetic, as the maximum benefit that could be gained if one were to know precisely which of several alternative possibilities was going to occur. This was one of the topics covered in a class in Quantitative Analysis. Obviously, one
should never pay more than the EVPI even for certain knowledge of the future. On reflection later, however, I think that the most useful thing that I learned from business school was how to accept a group decision, even when one thought it inferior, just so that harmony is maintained among group members (and one can finally go out for a bottle of beer). Only later, when I was considerably less young and slightly less foolish, did I actually learn to appreciate the skill—which I did not have and could never really acquire—in building consensus and in developing commitments to even decidedly pedestrian ends. Overall, my management education made me realize that the typical MBA course is designed to teach students how to analyze, but not how to manage. Becoming a teacher myself after some two decades as a so-so manager, it became readily apparent to me that teaching analytical and problem solving skills was easy, but teaching people how to actually direct, motivate, and manipulate (using an emotionally pregnant word) a group of individuals into achieving a set goal was hard. It also became apparent to me that business school professors who never had actual-experience in managing large groups of people often did not fully appreciate what skills these involve. Ultimately, I think, the ability to manage can only be acquired from the experience of actually managing. To segue from this to a related point—because this is an election season—we voters must place great importance on such experience in our selection of the chief executive who will manage this country for the next six years. The management of government is a task considerably more difficult— given the multiplicity of objectives, the range and diversity of competing interests, and the dysfunctional-ness of the incentive structure—than managing any business enterprise. It shouldn't be entrusted to novices, even well-meaning ones.
By Troy Bernardo, MBM 1993
It was a Homecoming unlike any other. “Ever,” says Ms. Ma. Bella Buensuceso, MBM 1993, a member of the Lead Host Class of “Connect: AIM at 45”, a series of eight events spread over five days, culminating in the biggest party ever set up at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), well, ever. “This event not only raises the bar on how future homecomings will be held, but more importantly, it also shows how much can be achieved when AIM alumni get together.”
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She may be right; and, the timing could not have been more perfect. “Connect: AIM at 45”, which happened last February, coincided with “the resurgence of the AIM alumni community around the world,” as written by Mr. Greg Atienza, Editor-in-Chief of the AIM Leader Magazine, in the last quarter of 2012. “AIM graduates have made their influential presence felt in the U.S. West Coast, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, China, England and India. In no other period of AIM’s history has the alumni been as reinvigorated as it is today.” “If we’re riding on a wave of increased alumni activity,” explained Mr. Francisco “Jay” Bernardo III, Chairman, Homecoming 2013, “then let’s build on that momentum and find a way to share it with as many people as possible.” And, share the enthusiasm, he did. Together with a team of MBM 1993 volunteers, the Lead Host Class decided to change the way homecomings are done, junking a one-night only event into a weeklong celebration. “We made sure that there was something for everyone during Homecoming Week,” said Bernardo, who was at the kick-off event—a 5K Fun Run, “Takbo para sa Marinong Pilipino”, held last February 17, at the Piazza Venice, McKinley Hill—led by the Class of 2003. “We respect the various interests of our alumni, so we threw in a variety of events and even a conference into the mix.” The strategy seemed to work. Those who preferred golf, 97 people to be exact, chose to join the Homecoming Golf Tournament at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, led by the Class of MBM 1973. More than 30 people tried their luck at the Poker Tournament, led by the Class of 2008, at Resorts World Manila. Competition wasn’t the only offering that week. Some 60 participants saw “The King & I”, at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila, led by Class of 1978; while 80 people sat through “Lincoln” at the Newport Cinemas of the same complex, later that week. That event was led by MBM 1983.
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Put it on my TAB
But it wasn’t until the “Technology and Business (TAB) Conference” held on February 21, 2013 at the Stephen Fuller Hall, did the number of participants break the 100 mark. Led by the Lead Host Class of MBM 1993, some 150 guests and students listened to: Mr. Venu Raman Kumar, former Chairman/CEO and Board Director of MModal Inc.; Prof. Maoi Arroyo, Founder and CEO of Hybridigm Consulting; Mr. Jan Pabellon, Sr. Product Manager of APAC, NetSuite; Mr. Earl Martin Valencia, President of IdeaSpace Foundation, Inc.; Mr. Jojo Flores, Co-Founder and Vice President of Plug and Play Tech Center; and Mr. Ron Hose, Founding Partner at Innovation Endeavors. “Listening to the speakers, taking in business input, comparing notes… it really felt like I was back in AIM,” says Kieran Obsuna, MBM 1993, who flew in from Cebu for the Homecoming Week, to catch the morning session hosted by Ms. Julie Tanada and opened by Mr. Bernardo, both from MBM 1993. That feeling didn’t end at lunch. In the afternoon, Mr. Obsuna was back in one of the case rooms to listen to pitches from technology entrepreneurs chosen by IdeaSpace Foundation Inc., the first private-led comprehensive incubation program in the country. Moderated by Ms. Geraldine Bernardo and Mr. Troy Bernardo, both from MBM 1993, 10 start-up companies slugged it out with panelists: Mr. Jojo Flores, Mr. Prasun Chowdhury, Mr. Sachdev Ramakrishna, and Prof. Richard Cruz in one case room; Mr. Ron Hose, Prof. Titos Ortigas, Mr. George Kovoor and Mr. Bernardo in an¬other. Chowdhury, Ramakrishna and Kovoor, all from MBM 1993, flew in from India for Homecoming Week. Mr. Obsuna made it back to a packed Fuller Hall for the Prof. Gaby Mendoza Management Lecture Series featuring Mr. Narayana Murthy, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Infosys Limited, summing up the event in one sentence: “That was really something else.”
All Night Long
So were the parties. Though the week was peppered with chill out at Opus Club (led by the Class of 1998) and Bar 360 (led by the Class of 1988) at the Resorts World Manila, it was the “Connect: The 2013 Homecoming Night” at the AIM Campus, held last February 22, that sent the benchmark through the roof. “The homecoming this year was very hi-tech, far different from the previous ones. It’s amazing how the case rooms were transformed into cool places representing different generations!” said Henry Tenedero, MDM 2003, who was one of the hosts of the program. “I’ve never seen the case rooms like this,” says Crisostomo Bate, MBM 1993, as he chose from three themed rooms, each with its own DJ and fully-stocked bar: Chill Out, 80s and Rock and Roll. “Faiz did a good job!” “We wanted to use the technology available to us for the event and throw fun into the mix,” said Faiz Sheik, MBM 1993, whose company, Brand on Demand, conceptualized and executed the spectacle. Ushers greeted guests at arrival, where tablets were used to register, followed by a walk through a hallway lined with sponsors, and touchscreen photo booths where you can choose from an array of nostalgic backgrounds. Then, there were three huge touch-screens for the AIM Alumni Association-Philippines (AAAIM) first-ever electronic election. “We had a few glitches, but we managed to get the process smoothly early on. It’s all in a day’s work. Night’s work, rather.” Dining was held along the Zen Garden’s perimeter, with food and drinks from our Master in Entrepreneurship (ME) alumni. “It’s amazing how many food choices we had,” said Sherman Yap, MBM 1993, who flew in from Singapore to attend the CONNECT. “This was a nice surprise. It was totally unexpected!” Entertainment was a live show held at the Zen Garden. The first half of the show at the Zen Garden was hosted by Miriam Quiambao and Henry Tenedero, followed by a performance by the Bloom Broth-
ers, and a second part hosted by Daiana Menezes and Luigi Lardizabal from MBM 1993. DJ Mia Ayesa topped the night off with dance music at the Chill Out Lounge. “Who cares if I just had an operation, I just enjoyed myself dancing the night away,” laughed Ruth Go, one of the more vivacious women of MBM 1993. “We’re never too old for this you know. It’s all for a good cause.” It was. That night, 397 alumni came home to AIM, the highest alumni attendance in five years. But most noteworthy during the evening was the raising of more than the targeted P4.5 million in donations and pledges. MBM 1978 was the first among the celebrating classes who turned over their donation—P1,035,420.54 to be exact—to the AIM Alumni Leadership Foundation. “The homecoming this year was a phenomenal success. We felt good about raising funds for scholarships as these activities gave meaning to the celebration,” shared Mark Chan, MBA 2008. “And they had fun doing it,” added Go. “But really, tonight, seeing everyone, it was really about that, reconnecting.” “This week is more than just a reunion. It’s about connecting to, and reconnecting with, business contacts, classmates, colleagues, old friends, all of whom comprise the AIM family,” says Bernardo. “It was all about this dynamic community we all call home.” “I was energized being with my classmates 15 years ago in the very same case room where we honed our business acumen. It was the best I ever attended… Felt so proud to be an AIMer and part of a very successful undertaking. I give it a grade of Distinction!,” says Tony Tengco, MM 1998. “That night made us want to go back to AIM more often,” said Jun Palanca, MBM 1993, who flew in from Hong Kong to attend CONNECT. With that statement, CONNECT had served its purpose.
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The homecoming festivities would not have been made possible without the following sponsors: PLDT, Smart, Sun Cellular, San Miguel Beer, Meralco, Alveo Land, Ayala Land Premiere, Bizu, Antz Food Corp., Potato Corner, PhilRice, Carmen’s Best, TeleEye, Café 80s, Victoria Court, the AIM Conference Center Manila, Lapid’s, Tiarra Hotel, Reyes Haircutters, Hizon’s, Padi’s Point, Great Image, Zong/Jonas Pares Pares, Red Crab, Katinko, St. Peter, Bacolod Chicken Inasal, Oyster Boy, Mary Grace, Vente Vente Cuckoo, Urban Kitchen, Nano Coat, Baliwag Lechon Manok, Healthy Shabu Shabu, Blu Coffee Distributors, Samsung, PhilamLife, Harbour Center, Hugo Boss, Samsonite, American Tourister, Ocean Potion, Jack Nicklaus, Café France, Filinvest, Sudeco-Anvaya Golf Cove, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Broadcasting Corporation, AirAsia, Rene Barbier, RFM, Bugsay White Water Rafting, DHQ, Jaguar, Pepsi, Fern C, Bo’s Coffee, Benjabi, Esquire Financial, LSJ Real Estate, Jollibee, Business World, Manny O Wines, Slimmers World, UCPB, Arthaland, the Alumni Association of AIM-Philippines, Mr. Tito Serafica, Security Bank, Global Port, Digiwave Solutions Inc., Post 10 Worldwide, A.L. Yabut Management & Development Corporation, Gothong Shipping, Boysen, Lyle and Scott, Impact Magazine, Pinoygolfer, South Point Driving Range, Perez Optical, and Cinnabon.
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D I F F E R E N C E
M A D E
A nni v er s ar y By Rene Guatlo
Makati’s Early Years
Nostalgic features and blogs about Makati in the 1970s highlight the absence of pollution, the broad expanses of public parks, vacant lots, and the smooth flow of traffic. And when we see the (often) black and white pictures of Ayala, Makati Avenue, and Ayala Center (now Glorietta), we tend to agree that Makati was a much more livable city then than it is now. Makati City grew out of the grass fields and swamplands of the Hacienda San Pedro de Makati owned by the Ayala and Zobel families. It was developed after WWII by Ayala y Cia (later Ayala Corporation) under the guidance of Joseph McMicking (husband of Mercedes Zobel-McMicking). As managing partner from the beginning of the 1930s until the late 1960s, McMicking laid the groundwork for the massive expansion of Ayala’s real estate business and, along with it, the masterful planning of an entire city. By the late 1960s, Makati had become the country’s premier commercial and residential district. The biggest companies in the Philippines put up buildings on Ayala Avenue,
in the vibrant heart of the newly christened Makati Commercial Center. The first five star hotel, the Intercontinental Manila, was built at 1 Ayala Avenue, Makati. A succession of upscale residential subdivisions were quickly developed in the area—the San Lorenzo, Bel Air, Urdaneta, San Miguel, Magallanes, and Dasmariñas Villages. Two others, Salcedo and Legazpi Villages, were envisioned as a mix of commercial and residential areas flanking the central avenue.
The Birth of AIM
In one corner of Legazpi Village, near the intersection of Paseo de Roxas and Pasay Road (now Arnaiz Avenue), a two-story structure began to be built in 1968. It was to be the culmination of a dream to establish a modern school for postgraduate business management studies in the Philippines – the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). The course was patterned after the Harvard model, one based on case studies, and the professors were all Harvard trained. Initially a venture among the University
of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, and De la Salle University, the school later pushed through without UP because its charter as a state university prevented its participation. While the building was under construction, the first classes were held in the Ateneo campus at Padre Faura. One of the first to start and complete their studies at the permanent campus in Makati was the batch of 1973, close to 200 individuals from various backgrounds and countries, who started their MBM classes with the convocation on 29 July 1971. Derek Liew recalls how his Singaporean colleague arrived one day ahead of him, right in time to witness a shooting war on Paseo de Roxas, between elements of the law in hot pursuit of thugs, right in front of AIM. (This would be around the area where Greenbelt 1 stands today.) Ashok Soota, an engineering executive from India, remembers thinking: “this will be a challenge, with a staggering mountain of case studies.” Fresh from two years in SGV, 21-year old Jing Lapus says “the area we now know as Greenbelt was the grazing
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ground of Don Enrique Zobel’s (Enzo) cattle and horses.” Standing at the roof of AIM, an equally young Chris Gotanco “can see all the way to Ayala, as our building was the tallest structure around.”
The dormitories were composed of clusters of two bedrooms, with two students sharing each bedroom; four students sharing the common living area. All of the buildings were air-conditioned, one of the conveniences that made their stay generally comfortable. “Cafeteria food was alright – neither particularly good or bad. It was, in a word, adequate. For late night cravings, there was always The Plaza off Makati Avenue, where one can have a good meal or snack for less than ten pesos.” For those who did not want to step out, they would cook noodles and other simple recipes on burners that were prohibited by dorm rules. “Somehow, our Filipino colleagues found a way to get the staff not only to cooperate, but to clean up after the cooking,” recalls an amused classmate. According to one class member, “the AIM campus was literally a lovers’ hub when the MBM 73 freshmen would hold their Saturday night “jam sessions”. Dance floor activities were short lived and served only as “warm up” activities. Enthusiastic colegialas and the books-marooned AIM boys lost themselves in the dark roof deck, the poolside and gym and the “tour” of dormitory rooms! Many became married couples, such as the Nazarenos, Velascos, De los Reyeses, Fernandezes, Jazmineses, and many others.” Let it not be said that little Johnny did not know how to play. In fact, just a few weeks after graduation in 1973, Malaysian Johari bin Hassan married Minda, a local lady, with members of the class pitching in for their classmate’s big day. It was a memorable wedding, with a private ceremony at the Hilton in the morning, and a Moslem wedding in the evening at the residence of the Malaysian ambassador. The event was highlighted in the newspapers the next day. T.C. Lee was challenged by the need for participation in class, English not being his mother tongue. He “struggled for a long time, but eventually realized that the course made sense.” Amidst many nationalities, he felt “like I was in the United Nations.” With classmates from Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, India, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, among other countries, AIM was indeed a microcosm of the global village. Living and studying among the best of the best made for an interesting, and
debate on a range of issues. And while there is lively discussion in the case room, the group of Vic Lorenzo, Jing Lapus, Ben Sta. The Class Wars Catalina, Jopot Nograles, Polly Nazareno and Fil Alfonso, who taught HBO (Human Behavior in Organizations) recalls how his Irwin Jazmines would comment and criticize in whispers, coming up with superb analyses students would tend to focus on math and and conclusions that are unfortunately never the other ‘quantifiable’ disciplines, rather than his class which was considered a ‘soft’ heard by their other classmates and professors. A case of trees falling in an empty forest. subject. “But this is the course that they Apparently, the professors too had their remember. Angie Reyes, every time we quirks. The kindly Fr. Terry Barcelon of Fimet, would greet me with a booming ‘Pete Lazaro!’ one of our case study subjects. They nance would show pleasure when his favorite phrase “dilution of equity” was mentioned may forget the details, but the students remember the cases. In the end, the matters during recitation. The smart students would discussed are the real issues of leadership: therefore make sure that the phrase is used no matter how tenuous the connection with motivation, cohesion, among others.” the subject at hand. One of the truly memorable activities that Fil initiated was a “conflict/collaboration exercise,” a war game in other words. Formation of Alpha Mu Residents of the two dormitory floors were While still students in 1972, Jing Lapus, pitted against each other. The details may together with buddies Irwin Jazmines and now be vague, but the resulting strains on Bobby Garcia, formed the only fraternity interpersonal relationships are real. It is said in AIM, the ALPHA MU which was later rethat the leaders of the two groups, long-time named AMI (Asian Managers Inc.). Until the friends, did not speak to each other for some AIM Alumni Association became effective years afterwards. One of the foreigner class- decades after, the fraternity served as the mates sums it up in this manner: “one side strongest and most influential network for was pragmatic, the other relied too much on the alma mater. loyalty and friendship.” Fil describes his subject as “a means to Off to the Salt Mines self-understanding, which is the key to effecUpon graduation in 1973, the individual tive interaction with others.” graduates were hired by the biggest companies Quintin Tan, now 84, recalls the conboth in the Philippines, and abroad. Many of the fidence of the students of Batch ’73. “They graduates returned to their former employers/ were chosen on the basis of an examination, benefactors. Some started businesses of their an interview, and their submitted referown. The stories of their trials and tribulations ences.” There was a strong sense of commit- as they sought or created their corner of the ment to studies. “Since the students lived on sky are shared in The Treadmill Years. campus, there were hardly any holidays, and Derek Liew, diarist and letter-writer, classes were held even during the typhoon kept a record of his student life in his diary season, when classes are routinely cancelled entries, and in correspondence with wife Bee in other schools.” In addition, there was “the in Singapore. Later, in the 1990s, he returned desire for everyone to pass,” that fostered to AIM as professor. An accomplished wine deep friendship amidst the competition. connoisseur and chef, Derek started inviting Ambitious, driven and energetic, the former classmates to wine tasting at his classmates went through the rigor of daily home in Manila. “We brought people together classes, each one participating in his way. to appreciate good wine and good food. I even Some are remembered for their ‘quirks’ like arranged for wholesale purchases of wine.” the most senior class member, Rey Felizardo These shared activities reestablished the ties who would laboriously prepare 24-column of friendship among the classmates. financial projections on endless sheets of manila paper, thus earning the endearing Alumni Matters moniker ‘banig’ (Filipino for woven mats). The AIM Alumni Association was estabOthers like the PMA graduate and future lished in 1973 with Art Macapagal (MBM ’71) Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes would start as first chairman. Mon Enrile became head with a conclusion, followed by his loud and the following year. Mon Abad (MBM ’73) was patented “NOW WHY DO I SAY THIS?” and elected in 1975. Digoy Fernandez, also of his ‘barking’ analysis. the class of 1973, succeeded Mon the next Known for his detailed analyses, Nick year for an unprecedented three-year term, Melecio would enumerate topics “with litanies during which he created a formal organizaof sections and subsections” thus ensuring a tion with the able assistance of Mon, Connie
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class understood their lessons only too well, as shown in their record of excellence in various fields: 19 Triple A Awardees (out of more than 120 given), 10 Alumni Association chairs, the first alumnus graduation speaker, the first alumnus dean, the first alumnus president, the first alumnus chairman. Individually and as a group, they have supported AIM graduate students with scholarships, and endowments to create programs for the institute. The members of the class have also made a difference in their respective areas of influence. This is apparent in the individual essays in The Treadmill Years section. (This sentence will show only in the book but not in the commemorative flyer/memorabilia.) By way of summary, here are a few. Felipe Diego worked as president and CEO of two multinational life insurance companies for decades and was at one time president of the Life Insurance Industry Association before retiring and setting up several businesses on his own. He has since established a nationwide pesticide distribution company and a motorcycle dealership network, marketing and financing motorcycles nationwide. Both firms currently employ several hundred employees. A current project is the establishment of a large-scale hog farm in his home province of Nueva Ecija - agriculture, especially animal husbandry being a long time avocation - which he hopes will assist in the development of his parent’s home barangay. While envious classmates credit Jopot Nograles’ marriage to Baron Travel Girl Myra Anson as his greatest accomplishment, he has also attained high positions as EVP and treasurer of the Land Bank of the Philippines, and president of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation. Keeping in Touch Dulce Casaclang retired early from her Felipe Diego meanwhile, created the corporate job, and devoted her time to her Yahoo Group that became the virtual family, church activities, teaching at Adam“frathouse” of AIM’73. With class members in varied and faraway locations, the internet son University where she was chair of the Chemistry Department, and managing the site was a convenient communications link office staff of the AIM Alumni Association. and bulletin board for all. Getting everyone Chris Gotanco is president of Anglo Philto become members was also a means to keep track of where everyone was. From the ippine Holdings Corporation which was part usual holiday and birthday greetings, to sad of the consortium that built the MRT that traverses the length of EDSA from the North news of death and illness, the good news of recent accomplishments and awards, to lively Station in Quezon City to Pasay/Taft Rotunda in Pasay City. The line serves more than half discussions of visits to proctologists among other medical procedures, as well as political a million passengers every day and is a vital and social issues – [AIMmbm73] is the vital link for transportation in the metropolis. link to all the classmates. Recently, a forum He is proud to contribute to achieving his company’s “balanced portfolio of investments on stem cell therapy was initiated in the in natural resources, infrastructure and group site, and held at AIM. property development” which includes shares in the rehabilitated Atlas Mining in Cebu, the A Record of Excellence Trinoma shopping complex in Quezon City, It is obvious that the members of the Paulino, and friends and classmates like PK Yeap and Derek of Singapore, Johari of Malaysia, Piti Sithi Amnui and Teerachai Chemnasiri of Thailand, among others. In 1977, the group organized an international conference in Malaysia, with speakers drawn from the trustees and governors of the institute. During the conference, AIM alumni decided to set up the Federation of AIM Alumni Associations (FAIM), with its chairmanship rotated among the member countries – alternating Filipino and foreign alumni. The position of Secretary General was established, with a term of three years, always a Filipino based in AIM. In 1977, the charter of the FAIM was approved, and in 1978, Digoy was elected as its founding chair. In 1979, PK Yeap took over as Chairman, with Digoy assuming the position of SG for the next 3 years. During that time, Digoy, Mon, together with Butch Valdes and a few others – flew all over the region to consolidate the organization. Mon later took over the position of SG from 1982. Inspired by the Jaycee awards, Digoy, with classmate Chris Gotanco who drew up the criteria and mechanics, came up with the Triple A awards to recognize outstanding achievements by alumni in entrepreneurship and management. The first group of recipients included Robert Kuan, founder of Chowking, and was selected by an elite board of judges headed by Senator Ting Paterno. While judging was done in AIM at the onset, the award is now given by individual alumni associations in their respective countries. The alumni associations have since become active contributors to the success and vitality of AIM.
and Shang Properties, Inc. Through these projects, Anglo Phil is helping improve the quality of life of the people and communities that sustain their operations. T.C. Lee has the distinction of being the only banker in Taiwan who headed the country operations of four foreign banks: Bankers Trust (American), Deutsche Bank (German), DBS (Singaporean) and UBS (Swiss). Rene Azurin was a banker, manager, and teacher, before settling into self-imposed semi-retirement. He writes a regular column for a major daily, and exchanges opinions, vehemently-held and otherwise, in the AIMmbm73 group. Entrepreneur Manoling Cojuangco is responsible for Jewelmer, the country’s preeminent purveyor of South Sea pearls. With his partners, Manoling has improved the lives of many communities in Palawan: providing educational and employment opportunities to disadvantaged Filipinos who would otherwise have limited options in life. Jewelmer has likewise served as a banner enterprise for the country, providing a unique luxury product that brings prestige to the Philippine brand. Gavy Gavino, was already in mid-career at the Phinma-Bacnotan Group (where he was a plant manager), when he reluctantly agreed to enroll in the MBM course at AIM. Balancing the requirements of a full-time job, full-time studies, and the needs of a growing family, Gavy was the conscientious student personified. On top of the WACs, class reports and other top-of-mind concerns of AIM scholars, Gavy had to supervise the building of his house in suburban Metro Manila, as well as drive five hours each way to La Union on Saturday mornings and back to Makati on Sunday nights. Given all these constraints on his time and resources, it is noteworthy that he is one of only four who graduated ‘with distinction’ among the members of AIM’73. Aside from serving as mentor to AIM students, Mon Abad was an inspiration for the creation and strengthening of the AIM alumni organizations. He was part of the “backroom” that supported the successful presidential candidacy of Erap Estrada in 1998. Mon also served as chairman of the Development Bank of the Philippines. He is chairman of Monheim Group of Distributors, a trading firm, and concurrently Honorary Consul of Ghana to the Philippines. Angie Reyes, then Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, withdrew support from President Erap in January 2001, paving the way for the accession of then Vice President Gloria Arroyo to Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief. An energetic
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leader and trust operations professional, Angie is also credited for his capable stewardship of AFP-RSBS, the retirement fund of the nation’s military personnel. He served as secretary of a record four government departments: National Defense, Interior and Local Government, Environment and Natural Resources, and Energy. Ashok Soota led Wipro to become a world leader in the software and computer industry, before setting up MindTree (an Internet Solutions Integrator) at the age of 57. After leading that company to the most successful IPO in India’s IT services history, he started another venture, Happiest Minds, at 68, based on Aristotelian precepts of happiness. His journey brought multiple recognitions and awards, but Ashok is most satisfied by “building the culture of his three organizations, creating tens of thousands of jobs for knowledge professionals, developing people and helping many to realize their potential while I achieved mine.” Jing Lapus worked in 6-year phases: first helping make Ramcar the leading battery manufacturer in the country in his 20s, then making Triumph International (Phils) the biggest and best employer and taxpayer in the country in his 30s, transforming the Land Bank of the Philippines into one of the top performing financial institutions in his 40s,
and then improving the nation’s fiscal and educational infrastructure as a three-term member of congress and head of DepEd, the largest government department in his 50s. Currently an AIM trustee, Jing chairs the AIM Triple A Club that has granted full tuition scholarships to four AIM MBA students. In gratitude to his having raised P100 million of perpetual endowment for the AIM-ALT Center for Tourism in 2012, the institute created a “Jesli A. Lapus MBA Scholarship.” Bobby Garcia stayed put, moving up the ranks through more than three decades to become president of Ramcar, retired, and later accepted an appointment as chairman and administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. Appointed by his classmates as ‘President-for-Life,’ Bobby is a natural leader, and friend to all. He received in 2004 the Juran Medal for quality advocacy, the highest honor bestowed by the Philippine Society for Quality. He is also an incumbent trustee of AIM. Popoy Juico developed an early interest in sports and politics, writing in his college years about football and the meteoric rise of Sen. Ninoy Aquino. He served as secretary of Agrarian Reform: the youngest cabinet member of the Cory Aquino administration. Later, he chaired the Philippine Sports Commission in support of his first love. He has nurtured
thousands of students and managers through his stint as professor/dean of the De La Salle University Graduate School of Business and numerous consultancies. Prof. Jess Gallegos worked with Sec. Arturo Tanco of the Department of Agriculture after getting his MBA at AIM. He later returned as a full-time faculty member, eventually serving as dean and COO of the institute from 1995-2000, one of the more challenging periods in the history of AIM. He is the first alumnus to serve in this capacity. Euh Yoon Dae is currently chairman of KB Financial Group since July 2010. A former president of Korea University, Euh served as advisor to the Education Ministry, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Public Fund Oversight Commission, member of the Monetary Board, and president of the Korea Money and Finance Association, among many other prestigious posts. In 2011, he was named to the board of directors of the Institute of International Finance, the world’s largest industry group of financial institutions. Foo Kok Swee was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Singapore Armed Forces, and already married to Filipina wife Marieta, when he enrolled in the MBM course at AIM in 1971. Aside from management consulting services “MBM ‘73...” cont. on page 49 >>
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M B M ‘7 8:
Re-connecting After 35 Years BY Mildred A. Atendido, MBM ‘78, PhD
he late 70’s. Tight shirts, bell bottoms, long hair. Someone brought his copy of the 1978 AIM Yearbook and we’re looking at it with a mix of nostalgia and laughter. Who would ever think we’d be back at the AIM campus 35 years later, almost as though we never left at all? From today’s perspective, the 70’s was a great time to be young and bright, and hopeful. The future seemed assured, the possibilities endless. AIM was a shining jewel in Asia, and we were just so glad and proud to be here. MBM Class ’78 was a casual, fun-loving bunch. We did not seem to fit the profile of the hard-driven MBA. In reality, however, we could, and often did buckle down to serious business. Thirty five years down the line, it’s apparent that we were cut out of the same mold of achievers all along. Most of us have risen to high positions here and abroad. Others have successfully ventured into their own businesses. Then there are those who are in high profile positions, and are often in the limelight these days – prime movers and shakers. Easily identifiable nowadays through the sheer amount of media
Seated L- R Alex Lavina, ChitoAalarilla, Mila Guerrero-Barretto, Mildred Atentido, Marichu Ong-Dee, Lebby de la Fuente-Leagogo, Mon Balatbat, Koko Cayco Standing L-R: Jawed Kalam, Joey Lim, Jess Montemayor, Joseph Lee, Lito Machachor, Willy Pamplona, Tom Mahinay, Amiel de la Cruz, Bebot Congco, Art Garcia, Itos Chikiamco, Beng Mallari, Benny Sison, Francis Lim, Lala Fojas, Mario Sales, Ding Santico, Stephen Young, Apoy Go, Nestor Dolina
attention he gets, all of which he takes in stride, Sonny Coloma had it made even then, when he graduated from AIM “with distinction”. He is currently the Presidential Communications Operations Secretary, Office of the President of the Philippines. Dynamic lady, Lala Fojas graduated “with distinction”, the first woman to graduate with honors at the Asian Institute of Management in 1978. She’ still working hard these days as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Shangri-La Plaza Corporation. He’s got the vision, and the guts to make it happen. Coco Cayco has been the force behind the expansion and growth of Arellano University since he took over the helm in the 1990’s as President and concurrently Chairman of the Board. Behind that great sense of humor is a sharp intellect. Chito
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Alarilla’s name is as familiar as his latest multi-billion project. Chito is Vice Chairman and President of Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels, Inc. These are just some of the names that come to mind for now; no doubt there are other high achievers who will fill up our next feature articles. Seeing each other again made us realize how good it felt to connect with old classmates, and discover that despite their considerable achievements, at the core they remain the same. The humor is still free-wheeling and everybody still enjoys a good joke. Recalling the outrageous antics of our youth provide great laughs. It’s not clear why we had lost touch at all. Beyond the rare reunions and attempts to get together, we seldom saw each other through the years. Maybe there just wasn’t enough time. Between the demands of our jobs, of raising our families, of rising up to myriad expectations of peers, companies, societies, and publics, time somehow passed by without seeing our friends as much as we would have wanted. But then, a chain of events interfered with our routine, and this time around, one might say the planets were aligned. The AIM Alumni Office sponsored a mini-reunion for MBM ’78 last October 19, 2012 at the AIM Soriano Room. The purpose was to announce the annual AIM homecoming on February 22, 2013 and the activities that would precede the event. Out of an original class of 107 students, 28 were able to make it despite their busy schedules. Needless to say, it was a rewarding experience to catch up with each other. Some flew in from other parts of the country. Others who were abroad, or couldn’t make it, communicated through e-mail. During the mini-reunion, a fund-raising activity was announced to benefit the AIM Scholarship Foundation. The goal was to raise P500,000.00 by February 23, 2013. Lebby Leagogo, who had been actively coordinating the activities, urged the class, “It’s payback time. Count our blessings and give back.” And speaking of blessings, studying at AIM was undoubtedly one of the most positive influences in our lives, and probably the single most career-altering decision we ever made in our youth. We have our Alma Mater to thank for preparing us so thoroughly for the future. That day of October 19, 2013, our class realized that if we had to give back, what could be better than enabling a stream of future AIM graduates like us, who would in turn ensure the AIM legacy? By February 1st, a significant donation of P500,000 by Metro Pacific Corporation was turned over by Joey Lim, bringing the total donations of Class ’78 to P1,025,220.54. Joey Lim, together with classmates, was given an Alumni Leadership Fund Award
on February 19, 2013. On February 22, 2013 during the AIM Homecoming, Class ’78 was awarded a huge symbolic check for P1,035,420.54 for turning in a large donation to the AIM Alumni Leadership Foundation, Inc. Mind, this was not the end of the story. For Batch ’78, happy new beginnings and second chances were yet to come. After the homecoming event, everybody walked over to the nearby “Spring by Ha Yuan”, Joseph Lee’s resto at Benavides St., for a tasty variety of dishes. The next day, class members were off to Tagaytay Highlands for lunch at the Summer Place, followed by golf after lunch, and dinner at Tagaytay Highlands Steak House. The social media network, of course, wasn’t there for us in the old days, but we are making up for lost time. The class is now actively sharing e-news for the first time in more than thirty years. We’re even planning group trips abroad. For MBM ’78, the best is yet to come.
CLASS MBM ‘78 GIVES BACK TO AIM Celebrating their 35th anniversary as alumni of the Asian Institute on Management, the Class of MBM 1978 gave a generous gift of PHP 1,035,420.54 for the Alumni Fund for Scholarships through the AIM Alumni Leadership Foundation. During the annual alumni Homecoming held at the AIM campus, last February 22, 2013, the class turned over a mock check to AIM President Steven J. DeKrey. “Studying at AIM was undoubtedly one of the most positive influences in our lives,” shares Lebby Leagogo, who had
been actively coordinating the class activities for Homecoming Week. “No one can deny the boost to our lives and careers since graduating from the Institute in 1978. We have our Alma Mater to thank for preparing us for the future so successfully. It’s time we think of giving back by enabling a stream of future graduates, who will in turn ensure a sustainable place in the world for AIM.” For their generous gift to the Institute, the Class of MBM 1978 was recognized with an Alumni Leadership Fund award during the Alumni Recognition Ceremonies held on Homecoming Week.
homecoming SPOTLIGHT SHOWC A SE CL A SSNOTES
On Leading FAIM MPS: I never thought that when I joined the
Board of Trustees way back in 2009, I never realized that I shall have such a wonderful situation, that the Alumni Associations will play such an important role in the future of AIM. I think the Chairman, Poly Nazareno, Bobby Garcia, Ric Pascua, Gabby Paredes and others, I think we did a phenomenal job in making the Board realize the importance of AIM and focus on the things that were important in the survival of AIM at that point in time. We took some major decisions, including changing leadership. I can say with satisfaction that now that I’m going away, the situation is vastly improving, you can see the sun shine, and you can see the school getting on the right track now.
Mahendra Pratap Singh, MBM 1976 was recognized by the Asian Institute of Management last February 19, 2013 for his excellent leadership as Chairman of the Federation of AIM Alumni (FAIM). As he steps down to make way for the new leadership under Dennis Firmansjah, MM 1994, the AIMLeader gathers his thoughts on AIM, alumni, and the future of AIM. Interview by Greg Atienza
GJA: So your term as FAIM Chair was at the cusp of big changes at AIM. Do you feel that there’s a momentum? MPS: Yes, it has a very clear objective. The
Greg J. Atienza: Describe FAIM when you started as a trustee and how it has grown through the years, especially during your watch as Chairman. MP Singh: You recall in 2009 when I came in
everything, and cut down your costs and contribute. So that’s we did.
GJA: Along that line, what are your other thoughts on the AIM President, Steve DeKrey’s goal of bringing AIM to the Top 5 in 5? MPS: I think the main plank of Steve, being
and FAIM wasn’t really in a particularly good position financially. Fortunately, we realized the situation when it was just about to get out of hand, and you pitched in, everybody at school who mattered did pitch in, and Datuk Annas’ leadership really took some distance. By the time I became the Chairman of FAIM, I think we were only learning how to survive financially and be independent. And we took some good measures too and I think that I have to appreciate, Greg, your own contribution has been pretty much significant in that. For example, each chapter is now supporting itself, and it has been demonstrated that when you’re in a precarious financial position, you’ve got to really tighten your socks, belt and
to my heart. With your help, we could now manage to divide the chapters quite a bit. In fact, the latest example is the Bangkok visit of ours. The Thailand chapter is now almost getting revived and I really had to compliment you for that initiative. Plus, you have gone to the USA, the west coast and having to revive the US west coast chapter with Sanjay Sathe coming here and joining us in the Board, there was a significant kind of feeling of relation for me particularly being the outgoing Chairman. I’m very happy with the way things have turned out for the last two years.
GJA: How would you say FAIM sizes up today in non-financial measures? to join FAIM, Datuk Annas was the Chairman MPS: Pretty good, and that has been very dear
new leadership recognizes the fact that if AIM has to restore this image and come back among the top 5 schools, at least in Asia, we have to have some change, and change has begun. I hope it sustains.
a very good leader that he is, is that he wants alumni all over the world to be involved. In the last few months that he’s been around, he has already visited so many countries and he has met so many alumni. And I can recall your contribution in making him realize what he should have done and what should’ve been his priority. Like any other good leader, he realizes that you know the alumni population all over the world- that is a very important denominator for his activities that will demand success in the future that’s for sure. I think you know he’s on track, plus he has the capabilities and qualities in terms of fundraising, apart from the contribution that’s being expected from alumni. Plus, he has a GJA: As FAIM chair, you sat on the AIM Board of Trustees. Tell us about that unique wide-range of contacts and connections and one is so glad to see the re-connect of hard experience.
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work and having brought in some professors specializing in family-owned business and excellence among many others. I think Steve, along with the rest of the team members, is going to be successful.
dormant for awhile, Vietnam for that matter or even Taiwan, plus of course Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Dennis is a good leader, he has a good track, he’s solid and he’s very mature and he should be able to give you that kind of lead that you require to really make progress.
GJA: During your time as FAIM Chairman, what to you are the most meaningful projects that FAIM undertook? GJA: To complete DeKrey’s vision for MPS: I think one of the things that we did that AIM as a source of ASEAN global talent, was particularly very heartening was that we resource wisdom, what do you think about motivated and challenged Dennis Firmansjah Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar? to re-activate the Indonesian chapter. From MPS: I certainly had no doubt in my mind the logical stand point, knowing Dennis was the incoming Chairman that he is now. But Dennis has a lot do, fortunately for him and he knows it very well, that the donors of Indonesia should be on board. He really would like to extend his support, in terms of what could be done in Indonesia. Another was the revival of the Thailand chapter and your visit to the West Coast, for the revival of the US West Coast Association chapter, and your trip to Shanghai and other places. I’m sure Dennis will have his attention on the VIP initiativethe Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines- in the future.
GJA: If you were to rate alumni interest or enthusiasm, where does the chart go? MPS: There has been a marked increase in
the level of involvement of alumni even in the chapter level and the FAIM level because from where we were, we are now touching about 30 chapters so it’s just fantastic- from the past two years particularly that you have revived many chapters and we are going to really bring Thailand into life very soon. And I hope you keep getting the support from Steve, and I hope you keep getting the support from the local alumni here in the Philippines and from all over.
that that these are the countries that have potential. The ASEAN focus is with a very solid purpose, and the purpose is to emerge as the leading business school in this region, so that the population considers it important to come to this school other than going somewhere else. Even attracting one or two students from each of these countries will make the population of the students very interesting, and like when you and I were studying, we had many students from all over and that by itself was a big education for all of us. And that will happen- the focus is ASEAN for the right cause. It doesn’t have to mean that countries like India, Pakistan or even China would be neglected. No, the idea is to keep on getting good students from these countries, at the same time encourage other Asian countries to participate.
Indians are able to go to AIM in that respect. MPS: You know it doesn’t really bother me,
on a long term basis to be honest- I have to isolate myself as a part of AIM when I answer this question. And when I do that, I believe that any aspiring student from any country will find some school if he so wishes. But as to why the population of Indian students in this school has been reduced is because of very well-considered reasons, very rational reasons. I really admire that because this time, I had the chance to address the Indian students. I told them that the school now is moving, taking itself on a different orbit in terms of both quality of intake. And also they are taking a chance, and very calculated for that, to reduce the entire population of graduate students from 130 to 70- and that move will look very ridiculous to a layman. But the thought behind this totally focuses on quality and credibility of the graduate students. The idea is before they graduate, they should have been fixed with a job of their choice in some reputable industry, or they become an entrepreneur right when they’re here- one of the two. So from that standpoint, it doesn’t matter if the Indian population decreases to an extent, as long as it allows it to be more non-Indian dominated, I think I have very clear rules on that and I admire the move.
GJA: What are your plans as a member of the AIM Alumni Association India? You’re GJA: As an Trustee who is about to exit, stepping down as well as the President of what advice would you want to give Dr. AIM-AAI? What will happen? DeKrey as a CEO, or the rest of the Board of MPS: Everything is in place, systems are in place. When I took AA India, it was also not Trustees as a whole? in a great shape and there was a disconnect, MPS: Well, Greg, I’m too small of a man
to give advice to these very, very talented, experienced and very reputable members of the Board. But because of my personal admiration for Steve, I can eventually advise him that you started off very well and you need to sustain the whole thing. GJA: What do you think should be the priorities of the next FAIM Chairman, Dennis Just make sure you keep on computing your gains before you come up with extra miles. Firmansjah. Because you know the chances of somebody MPS: Unlike me, Dennis had the honor crashing cannot be discounted in case you of being my Deputy, and I didn’t have the Chairman in the past as Datuk Annas passed don’t consolidate, and you don’t make sure that your gains are well analyzed before you away. We had to write things on a clean slate more or less. But Dennis is always on the run, take the next further speedometer. I think Steve realizes that very well indeed. He is a he has the momentum required to further very mature leader and the whole board is accelerate himself and set out goals that we supportive of his initiatives. could achieve, and one of them is to revive the VIP triangle if you will. The other thing I would like Dennis to do is to stir the pot a GJA: As a member of the Indian Alumni little more in the north, to make sure that Association are you not concerned about our presence all over the world is felt a little this, the latest strategy for focusing better, and motivate potential students of MBA on quality- even in today’s attendance, to come and join AIM, like from countries numbers are being reduced. How do you feel such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, that have been about that? With this effort, maybe lesser
there was a disengagement, and I’m afraid there was a disinterest. So the first thing I did was to create a team of people who could engage themselves in various fields and form various chapters in India. I thought my communication as a new President upon taking charge was very penetrating. Many AIMers in our country welcomed the change that was made. And we didn’t lose any time in procrastinating or talking about what happened in the past but we did stop at the fact that there was a need for us to be put back on track. And on the hind sight Greg, it’s again a coincidence that when I’m leaving, I’m the one in charge to hand the presidency to somebody else in March. I’m very proud at the fact that the health of the Association has improved- social health, the affability, the camaraderie has improved. They’re forming a new chapter will be launched in Kolkata. (Ed’s note: Five new chapters were formed “On Leading FAIM” cont. on page 49 >>
Spotlight Triple A
Managing Wealth with Passion, Energy and Drive
energy and aggressiveness within. She was convinced that I would make a good student exchange Ambassador and that I would do well in an American environment. I came home proudly with the formal acceptance letter, brought it over to my dad and said ‘Dad I’m going to the US.’” Young’s senior high school year in Salem High School, South Dakota made him realize that school was not all about books- that he could speak his mind, be different, and excel not only in academics. He joined the school’s Track and Field Varsity Team as a sprinter, acted in the school play and competed in the State’s oratory contest. “I had a great experience and I gained more confidence and determination to achieve. I decided to stay in the US to pursue my undergraduate degree at the University of South Dakota.” In 1977 Young came back to the Philippines, and convinced by his father to try the Asian Institute of Management for his MBA, went for an interview at AIM. “I met Gaby Mendoza and Jun Bernardo [for the interview] and they wondered whether I was serious in my desire to pursue an MBA eduThe Energy and Aggressiveness Within cation. I had to work hard to convince them The lean, affable and dashing gentlethat I was deserving of a slot in the MBM man’s road to being at the top as CEO and class ’77 program.” Regional Head (Private Bank Americas) of As with any new student at the Institute, HSBC Private Bank was an extraordinary journey filled with passion, energy and drive. Young was faced with the unnerving rigor As a high school student at Xavier School in during the first semester. “After 3 months San Juan, Young felt that he was not achiev- I thought I was not going to make it,” he ing his full potential and knew that he could says. “I had no background in accounting, statistics and economics - I had to read so do better. “My cousin went on an exchange many cases and I was challenged to think program in the US and I told my dad I also of something profound to say in class”. At 22 wanted to be an exchange student. He had years old, he was the youngest student in doubts whether I would be accepted as the his batch with no work experience. “Looking exchange program was competitive and academically, I was only an average student. back, what I am most proud of was to graduHowever, dad thought it would be a good ex- ate in 1979 having received from the AIM perience for me in ‘getting rejected.’ We made faculty the Outstanding Leadership Award,” he states proudly. a bet – if I was accepted - he would let me When asked about what he remembers go,” he shares. “ I was determined. I prepared most about his AIM experience, Young for the interview knowing that I needed to impress the Program Director. She later told quickly shares, “My most memorable experime that she endorsed my application because ences all involve the group of friends that I have developed at AIM. Being together for she was impressed with my ‘spunk’ – the
t was spring in New York when Marlon Young received the email from AIM President Steve DeKrey, congratulating him on his selection as an AIM Alumni Achievement (Triple A) Awardee for 2013. The first thing that came to Young’s mind was what his father said 34 years ago when he first heard about the Asian Institute of Management. “I had just graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1977, and coming home to the Philippines for the summer, I was still unsure of what I wanted to do with my life,” he shares. “An option was to pursue an MBA degree. Without hesitation, my dad strongly recommended AIM. ‘It’s a great institution’ my dad said, ‘you’re going to learn about business management in an Asian context the future is Asia’. It’s amazing that 34 years ago, my dad had the foresight to see that the world economic center of gravity would shift from the developed countries to the developing countries.”
two years, you share happy and sad moments, develop support groups to help you get through the most difficult case studies and courses. To me, the relationships that I developed with my fellow students are just as important as the knowledge that I gained in the case room. It’s about forming long lasting friendships and building valuable networks outside the classroom. The fondest memory is cramming at night until the wee hours to finish reading the case studies and figuring out what to say in class to sound intelligent,” he reminisces. “AIM is an important part of my life journey. It has helped form the foundation of my knowledge in business, management and leadership.” On choosing a career after graduation, Young candidly shares that he never wanted to pursue a banking career. “My interest was in marketing,” he says, “so I thought [I would be working] either in Procter and Gamble or Nestle.” His MRR was on a five year plan for the Sheraton Hotel which had just opened at that time, and eager to find a job, Young was one of the first students to complete his thesis. Surprisingly all the job offers that came after his AIM graduation were from the banking sector- Citibank, Bank of America and other local banks. “I thought ‘what do they see in me that I don’t see in myself?’ Looking back, I realized that to be successful in the financial industry, its not about how good you can crunch numbers - it’s about how you use financial information to drive decisions, develop strategies and uncover business opportunities. That was very interesting for me.”
Zooming to the Top
Young advises that the success of your career is 50% the result of your own efforts, 30% the company you work for, and 20% luck. But in Marlon Young’s case, it seems that luck has been more generous in steering his life in the banking industry. With five job offers from banks in 1979, he took everyone’s advice and joined Citibank because it had an excellent reputation for developing talent. “Though it offered the lowest compensation at that time, Citi was well known for its management training program. The program was designed to rotate management trainees through all the departments- retail, corporate bank, operations, and treasury,” he narrates. With 10 trainees eyeing the “Managing Wealth...” cont. on page 56 >>
WORDS BY SUSA N A FRICA-M A NIK A N, M A P 2002 | PHOTO BY JOV EL LORENZO
A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013
Marlon Young, MBM 1979
Triple A Awardee 2013
Spotlight Triple A
Sanjay Sathe, MBM 1988
Triple A Awardee 2013
A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013
Fulfilling Dreams “Dream big!” These are the words Sanjay Sathe imparts to those who would listen. “With hard work and dedication, anything can be done.” Indeed, Sanjay Sathe has dreamt – and accomplished – big. Taking the reins in his hands, Sathe founded his company, RiseSmart, a global outplacement company based in America which uses a new technology and service platform to put displayed employees from corporations back to work. Sanjay’s company has received widespread accolades and recognition, including the title of one of the ‘Best Places to Work’ for three years in a row by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. “The way I see it, everybody wins,” grins Sanjay. “You could say that keeping everyone happy is my job.” In recognition of his exceptional achievements as a pioneer and visionary in the outplacement industry, Sanjay was conferred the highest recognition for outstanding alumni- the Asian Institute of Management and Federation of AIM Alumni’s Triple A or Alumni Achievement Award last February 19, 2013 during AIM’s Homecoming Week. In his acceptance speech, he thanked his classmate Kaushik Banerjee for nominating him, and advised the students “to believe in yourself and follow your dreams! You can turn them into realities.” The AIM Experience After taking his Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Pune, Sanjay found himself travelling to the Philippines in 1986 to take his Master in Business Management at the Asian Institute of Management. “I still have fond memories of eleven of us folks from India coming close together having largely not known each other at all before that,” Sanjay narrates. “And I also remember making some awesome friends in our Filipino classmates and folks from other lands. And who would forget the can groups!” he laughs. For Sanjay, the most important part of AIM’s learning process is the case study. As these are documented events of real life
situations, case room discussions about what can be done to solve issues can lead to new perspectives and fresh insights, and applied to one’s own mindset as well. “It’s only now that I realize it, but taking up case studies daily is very precious.” Another learning experience that Sanjay found most significant at AIM was the subject on Asian Business Values. “The coursework helped me develop my abilities to interact with other cultures, being sensitive to their values, and work in harmony. This is the future. The world is getting smaller and when you all go out there to work you will interact with people of different nationalities and cultures. The entire experience helps you develop a very culturally sensitive outlook which you will take along to every part of your life. “It’s really a vital lesson to be learned,” he reiterates. “From a career standpoint, AIM has been very helpful to me. But what AIM has given me is not limited to the workplace, but also extends to my social life, as one gets to meet, interact and live with people from radically different worlds, and the unity that that fosters helps ingrain the lesson that we should all live in peace,” he shares. Devising Innovative Solutions After his graduation from AIM in 1988, Sanjay launched into a spectacular career spanning over 20 years. He excelled in senior management roles across several countries and through a variety of industry sectors. Known for devising innovative solutions that integrate leading-edge technologies with the human relations factor, Sanjay excelled in operating globally in dynamic, complex environments and delivered results across projects running in parallel. Among the companies he has worked with are HSBC as Product Manager; Lufthansa, New Delhi as Marketing Manager- South
Asia; Lufthansa German Airlines, Frankfurt as Head - Marketing, Promotions and New Projects for Lufthansa Miles & More; Brierley and Partners, Dallas and London as Senior Vice President for Marketing, and PresidentInternational; and Sabre Holdings, Dallas, Texas as Vice President, Enterprise Data Management. But in 2006, the entrepreneurial spirit ignited in Sanjay, coupled with a desire to make a difference in society. “One day, I sat down and asked myself, ‘what do I really want to do with my life’?” he says. And that’s when he knew – he wanted to give back. With over 9 million unemployed Americans, it is estimated that at any given time, 40% of the working population is actively seeking a new job. To address the shortcomings of talent management programs that did not adequately focus on two critical transition points- the entry and exit of employeesSanjay founded RiseSmart in early 2007. His vision was to develop a business that would efficiently help people in transition find new jobs and assist companies with their workforce strategies. Building a business from the ground up has always been a great challenge, and it was no exception for Sanjay. “Initially, the greatest challenge “To stand out from I faced as the crowd, you must a manager differentiate yourself was recruitfrom the rest of them.” ing the right talent, as well has harnessing that ‘right talent’ and forming it into an effective team. This was a lesson I took to heart, and today, it is standard procedure for us to spend a lot of time during interviews to ensure that these standards are met.” To this end, RiseSmart has formed what it calls a FIT Index, which scores applicants in ten parameters based on what Sanjay and his team consider most important for anyone who wants to work with them – and to further ensure quality, this bar is constantly raised. Using technology to provide services for both corporations and the employees seeking new roles, RiseSmart is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people looking for work. And indeed, the numbers do speak of the difference RiseSmart is making – people who come to RiseSmart find jobs 61% faster “Fulfilling Dreams...” cont. on page 57 >>
W O R D S B Y I sagani E liezer A . M anika N | P H O T O B Y J O V E L L O R E N Z O
Spotlight Triple A
Ramon Opulencia: Treasured Leader
the Philippine capital market to be the main source of our funding amounting to USD 1 billion or PHP 50 billion. Ayala pioneered the structuring of longer-tenor bonds of up to 15 years, a three-fold improvement from a 3-5 year paper.” In 1996, Mon, as deputy treasurer, implemented the successful flotation of two major convertible debt issues that marked When Alumni Achievement Award (Triple A) winner Ramon G. the entry of Ayala into the highly competitive discipline of global finance. In the same year, Opulencia joined AIM as a member of the Master in Business Euromoney recognized Ayala Corp. as the Management (MBM) Class of ‘83, he was “a regular Joe”, quiet Best Asian Corporate Issuer, citing Mon as and serious. Although seen to smoke a cigarette or two in the the dealmaker. Mon was promoted to managcaserooms, (it was allowed then), Mon maintained his focus to ing director in the same year. From then on, Mon has been known in graduate at the top of his class. the industry as one gifted with excellent market savvy and the ability to read trends Mon entered AIM as a Constant Jurgens became one of the final 50 candidates (out and signs, forecast market course, and chalk scholar. He is an engineer by training. up profits for the institution. Mon’s favorite of 5,000 applicants worldwide) in the World In 1978, he finished 10th in a class of 60 Bank Young Professionals Program. In 1984, contrarian ploy is to borrow when awash with Mechanical Engineering graduates at the he was hired by the Ayala Group as manager cash to get the better end of the deal, once De La Salle University (DLSU) Manila. In again. in the Funds Planning Department of the university, Mon was selected governor of For example, “Mon was able to generate Treasury Group of Bank of the Philippine the Mechanical Engineering Society. Mon Islands (BPI). He joined BPI’s Bank Officers’ in 1993 a total of PhP3.9 billion in unsecured balanced his academics with volleyball and Development Program and was immediately credit facilities on terms that allowed Ayala karate, for which, like his scholarly pursuits, chosen to become reserves and liquidity Corp. to prepay outstanding obligations withhe also heaped peer recognition and awards. dealer in the Bank’s Treasury. Soon after, he out penalty and to ride the expected down“I thought early on that there’s not much got assigned to head the Liabilities Manage- trend in borrowing rates.” (Source: Triple A career in the Philippines for engineers, and nomination form of Ramon G. Opulencia) ment Unit. for me to make a career on that, I had to go From zero debt, Ayala was able to build a Eight years later in 1992, he transferred overseas, which I really didn’t want to do,” to Ayala Corporation as senior division man- debt arsenal of more than US$1 billion from confessed Mon. “I knew I had to gain some which Ayala drew to fund equity investments ager/assistant treasurer. In two years, Mon work experience to enrich my management was promoted to assistant vice president and to grow its subsidiaries. and business skills because I decided this “Ayala Corp., under the financial baton of senior assistant treasurer. His performance was how I’d like to shape my future.” Mr. Opulencia, has emerged to be a benchevaluations provide the neophyte graduAt AIM, he became classmates with Prof. ate a veritable compass on how to excel in mark issuer in the Philippine financial marGaston “Titos” Ortigas and Alumni Relations the workplace harnessing the disciplines kets,” wrote Francisco Sebastian, chairman Office executive managing director Greg of First Metro Investments Corp. “With his acquired from academia. Atienza. “I knew Titos to be as quiet as I am,” innate creativity, he has pushed the limits of recalls Mon. “We’re normal people, with lots The Dealmaker the industry in financial products innovation. to say. But really, after three cases, you can’t Prior to the 1990’s, Ayala Corp. practiced At the same time, he has rallied issue managspeak anymore.” ers like ourselves to deliver financial instrua no-debt policy. At the same time, the Prof. Ortigas remembers something ments that have been seminal in maturing Group had to finance massive investments else of Mon: “He didn’t speak much in class the domestic financial markets.” in the 1990’s. To finance their considerable because if he spoke at the beginning, the In February 2000, Mon’s efforts were investment forays, Ayala Corp. Treasury case would be over! Mon was very nice to again recognized internationally when he initially tapped the Philippine peso market. allow us to speak first. I remember he’ll take And, because of the steep Philippine yield was featured in the cover story of Asia Risk the nonsense out of what we said and pull it curve and the forecast of a downtrend in in- magazine as one of Asia’s Corporate Wise all together and say, ‘There you go.’ He was terest rates, Ayala Treasury elected to utilize Men. a great closer. Not to say that he couldn’t do “In many ways, he has been a capital bank facilities extensively. the details, as he mentioned. I don’t recall markets development pioneer,” noted BPI “The problem of the peso market in anybody daring to challenge Mon’s sense of president and CEO Aurelio Montinola III. the past is that it was relatively very small. logic as well as reason…we know better not “He has engineered several firsts: raising This thin liquidity, coupled with its shortto court disaster.” the largest amount of fixed income bonds, term horizon and insularity made it a very Mon’s excellence was recognized when challenging market to continually tap.” Mon developing a preferred shares/hybrid bond, he graduated With Distinction from AIM and, recalled. “In tandem with our fund-raising “Treasured Leader...” cont. on page 58 >> with endorsement from Dean Gaby Mendoza, objectives is our over-arching goal to develop W ords by R ose C heryl R . O rbigo , B M P 2 0 0 5 | P H O T O B Y J O V E L L O R E N Z O
A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013
RAMON OPULENCIA, MBM 1983
Triple A Awardee 2013
Spotlight Triple A
Rex Adivoso Bernardo, MDM 2002
Triple A Awardee 2013
A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013
The Eagle Soars
hen I was a kid, I had read a children’s story about an eaglet that grew up in the company of chicks. Even when he finally grew up as a mature eagle, he can only run and jump on the branches of the trees just like his “brother roosters”. It was only after watching a mighty flight of eagles that he wished that he, too, could also fly like them. And so he began to try flapping his wings and soon learned to fly. It was then that he discovered his full potential and also become one of them – a mighty eagle. It was a very touching story for me because just like the eagle, I too was isolated in the confines of my home in Daet, Camarines Norte. I was afflicted with polio at the age of five and worse, an incorrectly administered vaccine damaged my nerves at the spine and left me paralyzed in both legs and my right arm. Because of my frail condition, I was unable to go to school. An aunt, who is a public school teacher, taught me the basics of reading and writing. Yet it was my fervent dream to also taste the joys of formal schooling. Every day, whenever I saw my brothers and sisters hurriedly prepare for school, a tinge of bitterness enveloped me. Even if given the chance, my years in isolation and non-contact with the outsiders would present much difficulty for me to adjust in a normal school environment But just like the eagle, there was also something in me that will not give up. At the age of 20 and after an emotional plea to my parents, I finally took the placement test for the out-of-school youth. When the test result came, the skeptics and even I were surprised: I had passed the exam and did not have to enter the elementary and high school - I was accelerated all the way to the college level! Just like the eagle in the children’s story, I had finally learned to flap my wings!
When I was 20 and still unschooled, it was hard for me to imagine that I would be able to earn my bachelor’s degree and three masteral degrees at the age of 30, and now finishing my doctorate degree in my 40s – all of them only within the span of 20 years. The insight that I’d like to impart is that there is a mighty eagle in all of us - the ability to soar and achieve greater things if we only believe and set our hearts on it. Looking back at my AIM days, I have many fond memories and I’ll share some of them: My entrance at the AIM is quite a story. I just happen to come across an ad at the Philippine Daily Inquirer about the Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship Program for MDM at the AIM. I just cut the ad and saved it in my wallet, but did not really decide on what to do about it. Part of me did not want to pursue it, knowing the stringent admission process at AIM, aside from the added difficulty in applying for a limited scholarship slot. You see, the scholarship was also open to other Asian nationalities. However, the fighter in me still got the better of me – I said to myself that it’s better to try than not try at all. And so, after some dilly-dallying, I went ahead and took the tough admission exam. When the result came in and learned that I had passed, I was called for an interview for my scholarship application. The Center for Development Management faculty member who conducted the evaluation interview asked me what would be my plans after earning my MDM degree. I answered that I’d like to go back to my hometown in Daet and serve my townmates in any capacity. That answer I think was the clincher and I was granted admission at AIM as an ADB-JSP scholar. Later, I was told that the Scholarship Committee saw something in me and decided to give me the opportunity in spite of my “physical limitations”. I was forever grateful to that opportunity as it paved the way for my lifetime commitment to development work.
“There is a mighty eagle in all of us - the ability to soar and achieve greater things if we only believe and set our hearts on it.”
Being in a wheelchair and using only my left arm, it was a daily struggle for me navigating the AIM campus. My MDM 2002 batch mates saw this and secretly had a meeting and devised a schedule wherein one of them was assigned to serve as my companion and assist me on my daily grind. When I discovered this, at first I become uncomfortable as I did not want anybody to be inconvenienced because of me. But later, I was able to make the most out of it and used their “volunteerism effort” to foster close friendships with my classmates aside from those from my CAN group. As a live-out student, I could not stay at the AIM dorm because it was not ‘wheelchair accessible’. I did not have the “The focus should benefit of not be on what limits staying at me, but on what AIM and I’m capable of. That studying should define my with my personhood.” CAN group during the evening. When the dreaded four weeks of WACs or Written Analysis of Cases came, it became doubly difficult for me to study and analyze the cases by my lonesome. Having survived it, I still consider it a miracle to this day. But it is again a testament of what any of us can achieve once we set our minds to it. The intensive classroom discussions, the case method of analytical thinking, the competitive spirit yet genuinely humane disposition especially of my batch mates provided the impetus for me to work passionately and always strive to excel in my work and chosen advocacies. The AIM dictum “to do good, one must do well” is a truism to me. Yet, I must add that “to do well”, we should find our true passion and commit to the attainment of such goals unconditionally. This may be the reason why I’m quite contented and at peace in spite of the many challenges that I had faced. I am blessed to find my true calling and purpose in life: to be of service for others. Having the Triple A recognition never occurred to me. But yes, I do admit that I had also dreamed of receiving this when I first read about it in the AIM Leader Magazine. I think the important thing is do not hold back yourself from dreaming about the goals you want to achieve in life. This is very much “The Eagle Soars...” cont. on page 59 >>
Acceptance speech delivered during the T riple A Awarding C eremony, F ebruary 1 9 , 2 01 3
Giving RedRed Leadership Leadership Award Award
AIM Acknowledges Generous Alumni Donors The Asian Institute of Management acknowledged the generosity of major alumni donors during the Triple A and Alumni Recognition Ceremony held last February 19, 2013 at the AIM Stephen Fuller Hall. A total of twelve classes and individuals were presented the AIM Alumni Leadership Fund Award in recognition of their substantial gifts to the Institute. In his welcome remarks, AIM President Dr. Steven J. DeKrey noted that “the generosity of our alumni donors to the Alumni Leadership Fund and the AIM Alumni Leadership Foundation is remarkable, as I’ve heard that this is the first time that we are having a total of 12 Alumni Fund awardees today.” Dr. DeKrey also presented his goals to the outstanding AIM alumni leaders present, stating that “To be one of the top five b-schools in five years, your school needs support from all the graduates that make up the 40,000 population around the world.” He gratefully acknowledged the efforts of the AIM Alumni Leadership Foundation which has already started to raise its target of PHP 300,000,000 in time for AIM’s 50th anniversary. “There is no other time in AIM’s history that the school looks up to alumni support than now, as we reach this critical stage in our 45 year old story,” Dr. DeKrey added, as he invited the alumni to be engaged in AIM’s endeavors to teach, to mentor, to recruit fresh graduates and to help build a scholarship fund for future alumni. AIM Chairman, Napoleon Nazareno, MBM 1973, and Dr. DeKrey handed the AIM Alumni Leadership Fund Award to the generous donors. The following classes and individuals were given the AIM Alumni Leadership Fund Award for 2013:
The Class of MM 2002
AIM Alumni Leadership Fund for Scholarships
Red Leadership Award
Tita D. Puangco, MM 1991
Eduardo N. Sison, MBM 1973
Alumni Leadership Fund for Scholarships
GREEN Leadership Award
The Class of MBM 1980 receives the AIM Alumni Leadership Fund for Learning Space for their donation of PHP 500,000 for the renovation of the Washington SyCip Graduate School of Business Conference Room
The Class of MBM 1978
AIM Alumni Leadership Fund for Scholarships
AIM Alumni Leadership Fund for Scholarships Tito Serafica, Treasurer of the AIM Alumni Leadership Foundation receives an AIM Alumni Leadership Fund Award on behalf of Tita Puangco, MM 1991.
A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013
ORANGE Leadership Award
The Class of MBM 1970
AIM Alumni Leadership Fund for Scholarships
Augusto Antonio C. Serafica, Jr., MBM 1991
AIM Alumni Leadership Fund for Scholarships
Marcos S. Hermoso, MBM 1980
AIM Alumni Fund for Learning Space
YELLOW Leadership Award
Triple A Club
AIM Alumni Leadership Fund for Scholarships Jesli Lapus, President of the Triple A Club, and Triple A Club members Ric Pascua and Arturo Macapagal receive the AIM Alumni Leadership Fund Award.
BLUE Leadership Award
Jose Maria K. Lim, MBM 1978, on behalf of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation AIM Alumni Leadership Fund for Scholarships
The Class of MBM 1992
AIM Alumni Leadership Fund for Scholarships The Class of MBM 1992 led by Homecoming Chairman, Ms. Wing Bayoneta (5th from left) is awarded a Blue Leadership Award for their donation of PHP 1,000,000 from proceeds of “Ready, AIM, Fire”, the Homecoming they organized in February 2012.
Robert F. Kuan, MBM 1975
AIM Alumni Leadership Fund for Scholarships
Jesli Lapus, Triple A Club
President, accepts the AIM Alumni Leadership Fund Award on behalf of Mr. Robert Kuan
Thank you! The Asian Institute of Management would like to express its deepest gratitude to the following individuals and groups for their generous donations to the “Back to Greatness” and the Alumni Fund campaign: • AIM Alumni Association of Singapore (AIMAS) • Aldi Dexter Ampong, MBA 2008 • Marian Balcos, MBA 2008 • Ofelia Odilao-Bisnar, MBM 1988 • Virgilio Espeleta, MBM 1991 • Bibiano Garay, PPMC 2007 • Marcos Hermoso, MBM 1980 • Robert F. Kuan, MBM 1975 • Hari Vardhan Kuna, MBA 2010 • Jose Ma. K. Lim, MBM 1978 on behalf of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation • Ma. Teresita Luna (On behalf of the Class of MM 2002) • MBA 2008 • MBA 2012 • MBM 1970 • MBM 1971 • MBM 1973 • MBM 1976 • MBM 1978 • MBM 1980 • MBM 1983 • MBM 1988
• MBM 1991 • MBM 1992 • MBM 1993 • Napoleon L. Nazareno, MBM 1973 • Ayala Corporation through Ramon G. Opulencia, MBM 1983 • Ayala Land Incorporated through Ramon G. Opulencia, MBM 1983 • Bank of the Philippine Islands through Ramon G. Opulencia, MBM 1983 • San Miguel Corporation through Ramon G. Opulencia, MBM 1983 • Eustacio Orobia, MBM 1971 • Ricardo Pascua, MBM 1971 • John Plaza, BMP 1995 • Tita D. Puangco, MM 1991 • Augusto Antonio C. Serafica, Jr., MBM 1991 • Eduardo N. Sison, MBM 1973 • Kamrul H. Tarafder, ME 2003 • Triple A Club, through Jesli Lapus, MBM 1973 President • Ernest Villareal, MBM 1975
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>> “In Memoriam...” continued from page 17
always courteous presence,” has retained that inner reserve that has served him well in his career in offering us access to his network. the business sector. He is currently Over close to fifteen years, Fil was president and CEO of two of the biga valued comrade-in-arms as we gest corporations in the Philippines: fought our corporate battles and as PLDT and its subsidiary Smart we overcame adversity. Through Communications. He was voted Corour wars, he was always a cheerporate Executive Officer of the Year ful and calming presence, ever the (Philippines) for three consecutive gentleman. Even as we say good-bye to him, years, from 2004-2006, in the Bestwe salute a friend, a valued associate, Managed Companies and Corporate a brother. Some try to leave their mark Governance Polls conducted by Asia Money. He is the first alumnus to on this earth by building themselves be elected chairman of the Board of statues and memorials. But the real achievers are those who, even as they Trustees and Board of Governors of the Asian Institute of Management. pass from this life, leave their ideas, Abet Villarosa is president their passions, their advocacies and and CEO of Security Bank, recently their values alive in those fortunate awarded by The Banker, one of the enough to have worked with them, world’s most respected banking and in the DNA of the organizations magazines and published by the and institutes that they led. Such a man was Fil Alfonso. We will miss him Financial Times of London, as 2012 Bank of the Year for the Philippines. greatly. The Bank of the Year Awards is an an—Oscar M. Lopez, Chairman Emeritus, Lopez Group of Companies nual event that promotes excellence in the global banking community by recognizing the top financial institutions in the world. The award is a testament to the strong man>> “MBM ‘73” agement, sound business model continued from page 33 and prudent risk approach of each Aside from management consulting chosen institution. services in various business projects, Which is not to say that the he likewise served as president and alumni are interested only in mateCEO of the Export Credit Insurance rial rewards and financial success. Corporation of Singapore, as well as While they have achieved these, president of the Berne Union (asthey are also involved in attainsociation of world credit insurers). He ing spiritual and social objectives was also non-resident ambassador through church groups, clubs, NGOs, of Singapore to Ghana, Nigeria, and cooperatives. Slovakia. Boy de Claro serves on the board Francis Estrada has extenof Gawad Kalinga, building homes for sive experience in international the underprivileged, while continumerchant banking, cross-border ing his advocacy to provide the best mergers and acquisitions, corpoeducation for the poor through rate finance, direct investments Operation Big Brother, which has and general management. He lived been likewise embraced by the De la in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Salle community. and the Philippines; worked and Digoy Fernandez has been traveled extensively in Asia, the US, active in Defensores Fidei FoundaEurope and the Middle East for over tion, and other Catholic circles, 35 years. He currently serves as conducting talks and classes in member of De La Salle Philippines many parish-based groups. He has National Mission Council, which likewise been espousing his advocoordinates policy and strategy cacy for the environment over more among the seventeen (17) member than three decades, and worked on schools and universities. He has the first Debt for Nature program in served as Chairman of the board of the country. trustees at De La Salle University, Some are enjoying the company its leading member institution and of grandchildren while others paa leading private Philippine unitiently wait, in the company of loved versity. He serves as independent ones. director and adviser to a number of for-profit and not-for-profit Looking Back, Looking Forward institutions in Asia. He was the first In the forty years since AIM’73 alumnus to be elected president graduated, Makati has grown and and CEO of the Asian Institute of diversified. The vacant fields in front Management. of the institute are now filled with Polly Nazareno, described by condominiums, office buildings, and a former professor as a “quiet and Greenbelt 1 through 5. The edifices
on Ayala Avenue have been largely torn down and rebuilt, some a couple of times. Taguig, better known as Bonifacio Global City, is the new kid on the block, dotted with cranes that are testament to the building boom east of Makati City. Heavy traffic is the bane of commuters and drivers, and during the worst hours of the rush, walking is faster than driving. The quiet corner of Paseo de Roxas and Arnaiz is quiet no more. But the AIM campus remains the same, a beehive of study and academic activity, now with a larger student population, and offering a myriad of programs. AIM’73 plays a part in sustaining and growing the ‘home of their souls’ through active participation in the alumni organization, contributions to endowments and scholarships, and actual involvement in the institute’s programs and activities. Setting their targets in their various fields, cooperating with one another where their careers and lives intersect, AIM’73 has made its mark. Like the bare Makati landscape that they left, the scenery has changed, the vista has expanded. In things big and small, the members of the batch can rightfully claim the difference they have made in their companies, in their lives and the lives of their fellow managers and workers, and in the lives of their families and communities.
5 years time, to be the corporate source of the Indian Association. So lots of things that have been done was probably not my design but by God’s grace-such a sweet coincidence. I wait for the day when I will have the satisfaction to know that both the places of where I was in the leadership role have gone to the extent to what’s possible. I have tied with my people and in the FAIM level, we have been able to resolve differences here and there, and we were able to take people by large in the same direction. I think we have a very clear path forward now. GJA: How do you see FAIM in 5 years? MPS: I’m very optimistic about FAIM in 5 years time, and I’m sure you’ll continue to play the role that you have played which I believe is very significant. I think, any FAIM chairman cannot do without having you in complete confidence and having you work on the objective that we all decided on. And I see a big future for FAIM henceforth because of the increasing interest of the alumni population all over the world, and because of the fact that we have set a few things in motion that will be very difficult to diverse, unless there’s bad leadership which is not so. I think we’re on the right track, and I see FAIM playing an increasingly important role in the affairs of AIM, in a very constructive manner.
GJA: Any last words? MPS: I really want to say that I would have been a very sad man had it >> “On Leading FAIM” been the same story that was in continued from page 37 2009. But I’m a very happy man under MP Singh’s term in Bangalore, when I’m going away because things Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and have worked out very well. The Kolkata.) board has played its own constructive role, and the new leadership is GJA: Are we going to see a continunow taking the fact that the past is ation of your annual conference, behind it and the future is there to “IdeaXchange”? embrace. MPS: For sure it will continue. My last words of course: in any IdeaXchange is a brand of AIM-AAI team, in any such long journey, the and even though I’ll be taking a back members of the team are very imporseat, I’ll still be available for my new tant and I’m sure Steve has to work leaders. I don’t believe in imposing on the team a little more. And maybe myself or my ideas on anybody else he has to ensure that everybody is so it is now time for the new leader to on the same wave length and same determine how to approach this and page as him, and that there are no how he wants to harness the energy dissents of the kind which are not that’s available in the country to take constructive. He welcomes it you this association to a newer heights. know, I welcome it all the time in Here in AIM, you have the foundation my small setting that I have. But if for raising funds, for scholarship somebody tries to dislodge you or purposes, for providing grants to dislodge your plans or be disruptive, AIM, or for financial help to those in should you weed it out? Immediately, need. In India, we have formed a task no. Except, you should put it in place. force that to be run or controlled I’m sorry if I’m making such a bold by veterans such as Ramesh Gelli, statement but that’s my perception. I and the idea is to raise $1 Million in must make that.
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Opening the tournament with a ceremonial ball were (from left) Mr. Arturo Macapagal, MBM 1971, Mr. Francisco Gudani, MBM 1983, AIM President Dr. Steve DeKrey, Mr. Ricardo Pascua, MBM 1971, and Mr. MP Singh, MBM 1976.
Homecoming 2013 Golf Tournament Sets Record
▲ Class A Champion Mr. Ruperto Nicdao, MBM 1977 with Mr. Philip Juico, MBM 1973, President of Wack Wack Golf and Country Club
It just keeps getting better! We saw the highest attendance record during the 6th AIM President’s Cup; this year, the Alumni Homecoming Golf Tournament 2013 has set another—the highest number of attendees in a homecoming golf tourney in more than a decade. Led by the Ruby Jubilarian class MBM 1973, the homecoming golf tournament gathered 97 alumni and friends last February 19, 2013 at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, Mandaluyong City, Philippines. The tournament was part of the weeklong homecoming activities in celebration of AIM’s 45th anniversary. Aimed to raise funds for the AIM Alumni Scholarship Fund Drive, MBM 1973 successfully raised more than P400,000 from the tournament. The AIM Alumni Scholarship Fund secures AIM’s long-term viability as a premier graduate business school and helps deserving candidates realize their dream of pursuing a degree at AIM.
A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013
The golf tournament featured individual and batch competitions. Champions for the individual competition were: Mr. Ruperto Nicdao, MBM 1977 (Class A), Mr. Robert Tiu, MBM 1977 (Class B), Mr. Amando Dumlao, MDP 1988 (Class C); Mr. Sevie Oliva (Guest). MBM 1973 bagged the Team Champion award. Mr. Edward Unson, MBM 1993 got Lowest Net and Mr. Alvin Cabatit, PPDM 1994 was Lowest Gross. Fun Holes winners were: Mr. Rufo De Veyra, MBM 1974 (Nearest to the Pin), Mr. Luis Vistan, MBM 1998 (Most Accurate Drive) and Mr. Joe Fernandez, MBM 1976 (Longest Drive). MBM 1979 received the Biggest Class Participation trophy. Team Champion MBM 1973
The event was sponsored by Smart, PLDT, Security Bank, Toyota Pasong Tamo, Inc., Honda, Global Port, Harbour Centre, Meralco, BusinessWorld, the Alumni Association of AIM-Philippines, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Jack Nicklaus, American Tourister, Hugo Boss Parfums, Ocean Potion, Nescafe Gold, Lyle & Scott, Beaufort, Coca Cola, Gothong Southern, Boysen, Duty Free, Impact Golf, Pinoygolfer, Topserve Manpower Solutions, Inc., A.L. Yabut Management and Development Corporation, Primax Broadcasting Network, Inc., Post 10 Worldwide, DigiGames, The Real Bank, Robinsons Bank, Southpoint Driving Range, EEI Corporation, Perez Optical, Cinnabon, SGV & Co., Pocari Sweat, Alveo, and Anvaya Cove. Mr. Lilit Lim, MBM 1979 from the biggest class contingent with AAAIM Chairman Mr. Eduardo Sison, MBM 1973
showcase/ar t / bookself
Big Lies Kishore Daswani, MBA 2008, with publisher Wisdom Village, debut “Small Screen, Big Lies” on December 12, 2012 in New Delhi, India. The 210-paged book is a page-turner with its concoction of greed, power, lust and blackmail. “I love to observe people and the characters in my stories are inspired from the observation of different people and situations. The stories revolve around the lives of friends, family and colleagues who are battling for their future, lives and dreams and are intermingled in a complex web of deceit, blackmail and the struggle for power,” Kish commented on his book. He added, “I have made a humble attempt at regurgitating the myriad experiences that I have lived through in a thread of eclectic fiction,
hoping to weave my tapestry of dreams.” Praising the author, Anu Anand, Publisher of Wisdom Village, said, “The book is fastpaced with finely etched characters, seamlessly woven into a beautiful and an insightful story. It unravels crisply the underbelly of the glamorous world of television.” Daswani has also written and published short stories entitled “Lazarus” and “Survival” with Infective Ink. To know more about the author and his fiction, visit: http://downtownlegends.wordpress.com/ Source: pr.com, amazon.com
A Difference Made:
The Legacy of the AIM Class of 1973 A commemorative book published by the members of the AIM Class of 1973 to mark the 40th year of their graduation from the Asian Institute of Management, the book shares the memories of MBM ‘73’s student years, their friendship and camaraderie, their years on the treadmill, and the ties that bind the members of the class.Copies of the book are available at the AIM Alumni Relations Office at PHP 1,000. Proceeds from the book will be donated to the AIM Alumni Scholarship Fund. For inquiries and orders please contact: email@example.com.
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A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013
Ever wonder why some people are always in the right place at the right time? Achieving one success to another, overcoming obstacles and accomplishing their goals? These are the people who are moving forward in life. While some may have succeeded, others may just fail. And then those who have failed would insist that success is simply a matter of luck. Have you ever observed why some people are always in the right place at the right time? They move forward in life from one success to another, overcoming obstacles and accomplishing their goals. Ask any failure and he would tell you that this is simply a matter of luck. The key to win is not luck but in understanding what makes winners. If we study the life history of successful people we may find that they had common qualities Success is not a mystery but the result of developing qualities that will help you achieve it. This book will help you understand and develop these qualities to make your dreams come true. Our feelings, beliefs and knowledge emanate from our internal thoughts. We make use of both our conscious and subconscious level. We can be positive or negative, enthusiastic or dull, active or passive. We can choose to fly high or low. The biggest difference among people is their attitude. Some consider all activities enjoyable and exciting while some consider it as drudgery. Our attitudes are maintained by the inner conversations we constantly
have with ourselves. Hence, the first step in changing your attitude is to change your inner conversations. Once changed, these would be reflected in your actions and activities. And eventually helps you build a positive self-image. Furthermore, in order to change other people’s opinion, one must change his/ her outlook towards him/herself. Each of us makes plans to become someone in the future, but how many of us are actually able to achieve that? How many of us assiduously work towards it? We all have long-term goals but we forget to achieve the short-term goals. These goals bring us closer to our aspirations. We must make goals every day; fulfill them and converge these short term goals to your main goal. Acceptance and Rejection are two facets of our lives. It is difficult to cope up with both but what is critical is how one handles rejection. Most of us fear rejection and would just give up. But then, mastering rejection equals success in almost every part of our
lives. Those who succeed are those who have mastered rejection. Another aspect of success the book talks about is living in the present. This means that your awareness is completely centered on the present. You are not worrying about the future or thinking about the past. When you live in the present, you are living where life is happening; past and future are just illusions. As the saying goes “tomorrow never comes”. Tomorrow is only a concept; tomorrow is always around the corner. But around that corner are shadows, never to have light shed upon, because time is always NOW. Winning and succeeding requires no rocket science. To “Be A Winner” all you need is positivity and certain qualities, which are in this book. Do you have a dream? Then take risks and stir circumstances with effort and hard work. There is nothing you cannot achieve for yourself. Every aim is achievable; all you need is the will and the vision to live it.
About the Author: Aseem Juneja is an avid reader, traveler and explorer of different cultures. He is a professional scuba diver and water sports enthusiast. He did his Executive Masters in Management Program from the Asian Institute of Management, Manila. He is also a post-graduate from the Delhi School of Economics and a graduate from the University of Delhi, India. He became the youngest Senior Regional Head for North India of a top MNC within 6 six years for which he achieved many awards & and accolades.
From Memorial to New Memories, MBM 1976 By: Beth Peralta
On April 21, 2013 we held a Memorial Mass for Ronnie de Leon and other classmates who have gone ahead. Classmate attendees include Oli Lucas, Zeny L. Bautista, Beth Peralta, Tony Buenviaje., Jun Aristorenas, Sam Yap, Val John Perez, Eric Canoy, Abe Oca, Peter Binamira, and Mario Padilla. The officiating priest was Fr. Villegas and his homily started with Hodie Mihi, Cras Tibi -- It's my turn today, tomorrow- yours. A fitting reminder that we are all headed towards the same direction, thus, we better start preparing our best selves for that time when we meet our Maker. Tony Buenviaje received full marks for reciting the ten commandments perfectly, following which Fr. Villegas gave us a foretaste of an examination of conscience, the message being -- clean ups may be necessary because no one knows whose turn it's going to be tomorrow. A bit hard-hitting for us who expected to console and be consoled, but such is the way of the officiating priest-- using memorial masses to better prepare the living. Of course he expressed comforting words to the family and friends of Ronnie and our class joined him in that. Junar gave a fitting eulogy in our behalf and managed to bring Ronnie back to life with his stories and reminiscences and re-enactment of Ronnie's wedding complete with impersonations of the officiating official, former Pres. Joseph Estrada - and then Mayor of San Juan City. The family of Ronnie, his brothers and sisters, and eight children thanked our class and expressed their appreciation for the prayers and comforting words coming from all of us as a whole. We then partook of a sumptuous meal prepared by Ron's family. On April 21, 2013, we held a mass and picnic at the SVD Seminary Church and Grounds in Tagaytay (Sam's Alma Mater and Repository of his early Manhood Memories). That almost sounds like our classmate Mahmood Fayyaz (later in the day somebody actually asked how
he was). There were several intentions for that Sunday mass: Birthday blessing for Cecile Manikan and Nini Iljas Rasuman, and prayers, again, for dear departed classmates. I guess most of us woke up at 5:00 a.m. that Sunday to timely be at Tagaytay for the 9:00 a.m. mass. Early birds were Tony Buenviaje, Zeny Bautista, Cecile Manikan, Sam Yap, Peter Binamira and Beth Peralta. I think it was Good Shepherd Sunday so the gospel and homily centered on being a good sheep as opposed to being a cantankerous goat (although I must agree with Cecile who said dealing with goats can be more challenging and exciting - fulfilling?) Degustibus non est disputandum. (See what hearing too many masses can do?) After mass, Sam gave us a tour of his erstwhile home. SVD is a huge complex with a church, a seminary school, house for seminarians and teaching priests, a retreat house, a gymnasium, and lots and lots of green grounds replete with seemingly centuries-old trees. Pine trees remind one of Baguio, except that the summer heat belied the comparison -- still it was comfortable compared to the hot humid days we have been having down in Manila. Oli Lucas then arrived and together we trooped to a kiosk behind the retreat house. It was idyllic except finicky us had to give the pergola a once-over with walis tingting (broom made of ribbing from coconut fronds), a wet mop, and rags which we borrowed from the seminary kitchen -- all part of the fun. For such a small group, we had too much food: butch chicken (ask Zeny what that means), fish relleno (with stuffing), spare ribs, Chinese spring rolls, vegetable salad, Korean dish of spinach, garlic and sesame seeds, a chocolate cake, brazo de mercedes (baked meringue with custard filling), native cakes, chips, chicharon (crispy pig skin), peanuts and I'm sure many more that I am failing to mention.
A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013
At 11:00 a.m. JA Patag arrived and brought the missing drinks: water, colas and uncolas, and the favorite of the day "coconut juice in tetrapak". I won't mention the brand because JA is concocting his own version of the same for distribution to the huge US market. I hope that's not a secret. We took a leisurely lunch and by about 1:00 p.m. Oli bade an early goodbye. She promised to ferry retreat participants in nearby St. Scholastica Convent back to Manila -- ergo the van that she was driving. For a brief while, I thought she had angel wings. Pretty soon, Val John Perez arrived with more chicharon and four bottles of wine. Things really started to roll and one profound topic after another paraded in the discussion. Cecile offered to give a lecture on personal integration (feeling, sensation, thinking and intuition) and of course the word sensation (with its undertones circa 74-76) reminded us of more youthful times when green jokes and banter made the grueling AIM days more tolerable and fun -- perhaps the wine racked our brains and eased the process of retrieving the past. Getting back to Cecile's track, one needs integration to better deal with undeveloped and repressed selves and thus achieve wholeness. I may not be presenting this properly so you better attend her lecture if and when that happens. Sam offered the SVD retreat house for the lecture saying that it can accommodate all of us. Since it is big enough anyway, Cecile posited that in our older days we should all just live in the ground floor of the retreat house and every morning make a roll call of who managed to survive (or not survive) the night. Hodie mihi, cras tibi. Amen I said, "at least we will have caregivers while we talk of the same old things day in and day out" - if we could
EKA WARTANA, MDP 1994, writes: “My book, MindWeb is a national bestseller after 3 months since it was published in Feb 2012. Now there is an English version in the printing process for markets out of Indonesia. MindWeb introduces a new way of thinking: Think Without Thinking, using interconnectedintegrated-holistic concepts. This will be a revolution of the way people think. Hopefully, with the MindWeb concept people could have a much better utilization of their subconscious mind. “Hi Friends, how are you doing? It has been so long after we completed our MDP at AIM. Wish you are all healthy, wealthy and happy.” MARISSA PUCHE, MM 1992, writes: “My daughter, Marie Michelle Aimee E. Puche, was a full-term AIM baby. Her name reflects this. Marie Michelle stands for my course MM, and Aimee stands for AIM. She was conceived in July 1991, a few months after classes started, and was born on May 7, 1992, 3 days before our graduation. “Our class had a baby shower for her on April 30, 1992, with all my 39 classmates, and professors Titong Gavino and Etsu Inaba, as godparents. The global citizenship of her godparents influenced her to finish a Bachelor's Degree in Tourism Management course this March 2013.
still manage talking and remembering by that time. Pretty memorable those afternoons were guffaws at Peter's business proposition -- online counseling of depressed ladies of pleasure in Japan. Trust me his concept is a lot more outrageous than this sounds, and you must attend the next gathering to know the full details. Hopefully, he will have his Investment Memorandum (complete with discount scheme) ready by then. That can very well prove true as I overheard him on the side explaining his recently launched clubbnb.com, an online travel sharing and booking site. We sang happy birthday Cecile and forthwith, she cut the cake and we helped ourselves to it. It was not sinfully sweet but still managed to make us doubly physically whole. The camaraderie and joy of the moment was just so, we said goodbye with lighter hearts and fond memories of one day among the pines of SVD Seminary in Tagaytay City, Philippines. Tony drove back to nearby Silang where he stayed for the weekend and the rest, back to Manila. A group of us classmates have this yearly trip to Baguio usually mid-year and Tony is serious about making it happen again this year -- we'll see. Val is fortunate to be driving up next weekend and staying in the place of my dreams -- Baguio Country Club. But I guess Zeny tops it with her forthcoming northward travel where she would play Mary Poppins to children from her schools. Lucky children to see Banaue Rice Terraces and Sagada Caves at so young an age. We have been the stalwart travelers and hope the group would increase in number in the next trip. People, we still owe MP Singh and his India a visit.
Culture and New Environment. Fast forward, I have been involved in the “Asianization” of doing business and developing new products, markets and businesses for the company and our customers. This strategy helped morph our company into a very resilient one, at the same time became pragmatic considering the changes in business conditions in the US, Europe and Asia (the 3 major markets). “I also do volunteer services outside work through an NGO, the Suburban Chicago Volunteer Network. I teach catechism at our church, (one of the largest Catholic churches in the US) to middle and high schools teens. I bike and join Century rides to raise funds for MS (in coordination with MS “She has grown to be a beauty, her latest laurel being one of the 12 of- Chicago) and Parkinson’s (Fox Fund). ficial candidates for the Ms. Mandaue AIM has more than broadened my professional choices and opportunities; 2013, one of the prestigious beauty it also gave me an impetus to go out pageants in Cebu. Coincidentally, and serve the community and use my the pageant will be held on May 7. talents and skills to the betterment of Such is my daughter's character... the less fortunate.” the seed germinated in the walls of the classroom while she was in my womb, nurtured by an AIM alumna of a JAIME T. LICAUCO, MBM 1972, mother...and soon to walk the portals was awarded an honorary Doctor of of AIM to chart her own path to a mean- Humanities degree in recognition of his outstanding and unparalleled ingful career. Proud to be AIM!!!” achievements in the research and development of the inner mental JUAN ANTONIO VILLADOLID, MBM faculties of man, metaphysical 1990, writes, “ Coming to Chicago in 2003 proved to be a challenged. New phenomena and Philippine mysti-
cism during the 56th Commencement Exercises of the Marinduque State College on April 16, 2013. Mr. Licauco has produced 17 bestselling books over a period of 35 years (or almost one book every two years), some of which have been translated into German, Japanese and Polish languages. He also has written numerous articles in various newspapers and magazines in the fields of paranormal phenomena, extraordinary or extra sensory perception and Philippine mysticism. He has traveled and lectured in many parts of the world such as North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The granting of the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree to Mr. Licauco underwent a rigorous and strict process beginning with President Romulo Malvar’s endorsement to the school’s Committee on Academic Affairs, which scrutinized every detail of Mr. Licauco’s life and volume of work, then submitted it to the school’s Board of Trustees and lastly to the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for final approval. According to MSC President Malvar, “This is only the second time that our school had granted an honorary doctorate degree to a person during the schools almost 60 years of existence.” The first hon-
orary doctorate degree was given to Governor Dr. Carmencita Reyes six years ago for her outstanding contribution in the field of education and the second to Dr. Jaime T. Licauco for his great achievements in the field of parapsychology and psychic research which has advanced man’s knowledge of this relatively unknown field. Benedict Uy, ME 2012, Benedict Uy was appointed Director for Commercial Affairs of Manila Economic and Cultural Affairs (MECO) in Taiwan. Jose Roberto del Rosario Jr, MBM 1998, writes “I was appointed academic director of Raffles Design Institute, Manila starting January 2013. Prior to this, I was academic director of Raffles International College, Bangkok, Thailand where I served for 4 years. Raffles Design Institute, Manila is part of the Raffles Education Corporation (Singapore) network, one of the largest private education providers in the Asia-Pacific region. Presently, Raffles Design Institute, Manila offers 2-year international advanced diploma program in Fashion Design, Fashion Marketing and Management, Interior Design, Visual Communication, and Business (with specializations).”
Alumnus Md. Anwar Hossain Chowdhury MM 1998 and family namely, spouse Munni, daughters: Smita, Anita and son, Ahraf visited Malaysia for 8 days (February 27 to March 06) as special guests of Malaysian alumni. They enjoyed relaxing under the cool weather and theme parks at Genting Highlands hosted by Alumnus Ching Lai Huat. They had swimming and beach sports at Port Dickson and eating fresh seafood organized by Hajah Zarina. In Kuala Lumpur, they visited Petronas Twin Towers and managed to go up to the 86th Floor arranged by Haji Zul. They had candle lights dinner at the Sky Revolving Restaurant of KL Tower hosted by Adjunct Professor Haji Khaeruddin Sudharmin. The highlight of the visit for Anwar and family was the MM 1998 Class Reunion Dinner on 04 March at Seri Melayu Restaurant hosted
by General Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin (Chief of Army) and spouse Puan Sri. Other classmates present were Mejar General (R) Dato' Nordin Rahok and Datin, Kolonel (R) Mohamed Fadzil Yusof and Kolonel Alexander Endry Nixon. Invited guests were President of Kelab AIM Malaysia, Haji Zulkifli Baharom who is also FAIM Vice Chairman and spouse Hajah Zarina Ishak. They were well fed everyday with coconut jelly and supper with South Indian dishes. Ai Chin accompanied them for sight-seeing and shopping at Sunway Pyramid in PJ. Anwar said, " We will never forget such a well planned and memorable visit. Our real special thanks to Brother Haji Zul, Sister Hajah Zarina, Brother Ching, Sister Ai Chin, Kolonel Fadz for taking turns to play host and their safe diving during our 8 days stay in Malaysia. My family looks forward to reciprocate your hospitality in Bangladesh."
Haji Zulkifli Baharom, MM 1989, writes, "Convener of AIM Alumni Association of Bangladesh,
On April 16, 2013, during the 56th Commencement Exercises of Marinduque State College, Jaime T. Licauco, Ph.D. graduate of San Beda College, Elementary class ’54, high School ’56, and AB ’62, was awarded an honorary Doc-
tor of Humanities degree in recognition of his outstanding contribution and achievements in the fields of research into human consciousness, Philippine mysticism, and extraordinary phenomena, which are known not only in the Philippines but also in many parts of the world. During the same program the school also presented Mr. Licauco an 8-foot long scroll enumerating his accomplishments or achievements in his field of research. Photo shows Jaime T. Licauco (2nd from the left) during the 56th Commencement Exercises of the Marinduque State College on April 16, 2013 during which he was conferred of Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa). He is flanked beginning on the left by MSC President Dr. Romulo Malvar and Board of Trustees Member, Ms. Jeany Espanola. Seated at the back is Representative Hon. Juan Edgardo Angara, Commencement Speaker.
>> “Managing Wealth” continued from page 39
the most coveted role of Relationship Manager, it was Young who was chosen as the one who was blessed with the slot in the Corporate Bank. Starting as Account Officer in the World Corporate Group in 1980, he quickly rose to Assistant Vice President by 1984 where he managed, developed and serviced an assigned portfolio of multi-national accounts. This included an oil and energy portfolio with total risk assets of $400 million. With his background in education, Young pursued his other interest as a teacher, as the Assistant Director of Citibank’s Asia Pacific Training Center from 1984-1986 where he planned, developed and delivered credit, marketing, and trade finance training programs for Citibank and Citicorp officers and customers in the Asia Pacific region. “60% of my time was spent travelling around Asia and that was exciting,” Young shares of that experience. “Your colleagues remember you as the one that helped developed their skills and competencies. And it was nice seeing our trainees eventually become senior executives of the bank.” With the political instability in the Philippines in 1986, Young wanted to work overseas under the bank’s International Manager program. “The opportunity was extremely limited especially for a newly minted VP to land an expatriate position in Hong Kong or New York. My new boss in the Training Center, who was an expat himself, wasn’t very supportive,” he shares. Armed with his determination to make it in the big apple, Young went to New York for a vacation and knocked on some doors at Citicorp. Fortunately for him, his former boss in the Corporate Bank already based in New York offered him jobs in Chicago. “But I had my heart set to work in New York,” he says, “so my former boss arranged an interview for me with his colleague who ran the Commercial Real Estate unit in Manhattan.” The interview went extremely well and she offered me a job under the bank’s International Manager program. This was one of my career highlights.” Young worked as Vice President, Team Head for New York Commercial Real Estate from 1986–1989 where he negotiated, underwrote and administered $650 million in financings for acquisition and development of real estate. In 1990, he became Vice President, Group Head for the Real Estate Analysts and Development Group where he managed 54 analysts for Citicorp US Real Estate. From 1991-
A IM L eader Magazine | F IRS T QUA R T ER 2013
1993, Young was promoted as the VP, Senior Transactor for Corporate Debt Restructure for the Citicorp Real Estate, Inc. where he restructured $800 million in real estate loans to major US real estate developers and managed a portfolio of distressed properties valued at $460 million. In 1994, the US economy was depressed and the stock market suffered a bond crash under Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan. With its huge exposure to real estate, Citicorp was one of the first to go through the cycle. It was during this period when Young was offered a position in the Private Bank in Asia. Young found himself working in Hong Kong as Vice President and Team Head of the Hong Kong Ultra Wealth Segment where he managed a team of three private bankers responsible for Hong Kong clients with net worth in excess of $200 million. He personally managed 25 clients with $1 billion in assets and with his innate talent and private banking acumen, he grew assets by 16% and revenues by 45% through an aggressive client deepening strategy. “We did very sophisticated and complex structures during my career in Hong Kong,” he shares. “I was the first Private Banker to structure a billion dollar covered call facility against the Hang Seng real estate index for one of the richest Hong Kong tycoon.” Until the new millennium, Young stretched his private banking skills in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand, and eventually went back to the US as Head of Investment Finance where he led and developed the Investment Finance business for the US Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Region. He managed a staff of 40 credit professionals with significant revenue responsibilities, 700 relationships with $5 billion in total facilities and re-directed a no-growth business which doubled volume and grew the credit portfolio by 45%.
for our private banking activities in North and South America. So it wasn’t really planned, it was so soon!” he recalls. Barely three months into the job, was he appointed to his present role as CEO – HSBC Private Bank Americas. With HSBC, Young is responsible for managing the Private Bank’s businesses in the United States, Mexico, Central and South America. Young provided leadership and established the management and operating principles that drive business performance in the region. In less than 3 years in the role of Chief Executive, Young transformed the Private Bank in the US from a fragmented business to an international-led single Private Bank. He improved ROE from 9% in 2008 to 24% in 2011 and achieved 7% revenue growth and 18% PBT growth in 2011. The business currently manages over US$70 billion of client assets in 15 offices and 1000 employees across the Americas. Young’s excellence has been recognized in a to be published book entitled, “Whale Hunter Leaders: Daring to Get Bigger Results a Better Way”, where award winning leadership coach and management consultant Roslyn Courtney mentions him in a chapter: “Marlon Young, CEO of HSBC Americas Private Bank, is recognized for his track record of delivering aggressive growth in revenue, assets and client relationships. Throughout his career, Young has hunted and landed whales, which in his business are the bigger, complex clients. “At HSBC, Young embarked on a four-year strategy for transformation and growth that has been extremely successful. In 2008, the Americas Private Bank was rated below Euromoney’s top 20. It moved to #9 in 2009 and #4 in 2010. For the off-shore Latin American business, the Private Bank moved from the top 10, to the top 3, to #1 in 2010. Client satisfaction scores were best in class: 76% are completely satisfied or satisfied, and Hunting Whales 77% are likely to recommend the Bank After 27 years with Citigroup, to friends or colleagues. Interestingly, Young decided it was time to move. Young wants to move these client sat“HSBC had been aggressively recruit- isfaction scores even higher, to 88% in ing me but I never had the need to the future. In his mind, great ratings move until I worked for a manager are not good enough; let’s move the that did not have the right values,” standard higher. he narrates. His 20% luck manifested “How did Young drive this kind of again when he finally began his growth and transformation? Critical career with HSBC in March 2006 as to their success was a focus on how head of the company’s U.S. private to deliver an ideal client experience to banking operation. “One weekend, each of four defined client segments. I received a call from the Global The strategy works: the business has Head of Private Bank in London. He grown dramatically and his team is informed me that my boss had renow aggressively hunting whales in signed and he wanted me to take his the ultra net worth and quasi instituposition. I would now be responsible tional markets.”
When asked what is it that he likes most about his job, Young enthuses: “My job allows me to be creative and I am constantly being challenged either by the economy, our organization and/or the industry and our clients. The most challenging and the most fulfilling part of my job are leading transformations and turnarounds to create market-changing opportunities. I had to develop new structures, roles and business models to accelerate performance, re-set expectations and invigorate the business culture.” Young notes that past experiences are necessary building blocks to a successful career. With his exciting career, Young reflects on the lessons he has learned: “First, having had international experience both as a student and as a professional allowed me to be exposed to a variety of different ideas, opinions and cultures that helped me be an effective global manager,” he shares. “Second, I have learned that to be a successful leader, you must treat everyone with respect, be fair and maintain a culture where open communication is welcomed. And at some point in your life, you should give back to society: my focus is on children of need, education and equality.” Young has received numerous awards due to his dedication and volunteer work including the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award and the University of South Dakota Alumni Achievement Award. He is an active volunteer in Junior Achievement and the Doe Fund. He is frequently invited to speak on diversity and leadership by not-forprofit institutions including the Asia Society, the International Leadership Foundation (ILF) and Ascend. He also serves as Trustee of the University of South Dakota Foundation, Global Advisory Board member of the Philadelphia Orchestra; and is the Chairman and Trustee of the US Asia Institute. “I have been spending more and more time as I grow older focusing more on community, foundations and not-for-profit activities. When I retire, I would like to teach part-time,” he shares. For AIM students and fresh graduates, Young has these words of wisdom: “I would advise students and young graduates to take charge of their own professional and personal development. You should also maintain a high degree of curiosity at work or in your business - this way, you will always be ahead of your competition,” he says. And finally, “Do not compromise your good ethics and values for short term gain. It never pays in the long run.”
>> “Fulfilling Dreans” continued from page 41
than the BLS national average. This aid is paid forward and back to RiseSmart, which has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the outplacement industry, and is the fastest growing Outplacement provider in the United States, with a global ambition. Today, RiseSmart is disrupting the $1 billion outplacement industry, receiving industry-wide awards and recognition in the process. Gartner Inc. recently selected RiseSmart as one of its 2012 Cool Vendors in Human Capital Management Software Globally. LAROCQUE also recently named RiseSmart a #hrwins 2012 HR Company to Watch. The company has been recognized for two consecutive years as one of the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area by the Silicon Valley Business Journal and the San Francisco Times. Other awards include: American Business Award for the Most Innovative Company of the Year 2011; 2012 Red Herring Global100; 2011 Red Herring North America 100; Champion Diversity Award; Innovative Company of the Year Award by the 2011 and 2012 Golden Bridge Awards; The Stevies Bronze Award for Innovative Company of the Year 2012; and the 2011 TiE50 award. And just recently RiseSmart received the Bersin by Deloitte award in HR for the “Most Innovative Company”. In addition to his corporate success, Sanjay has also been focused on nurturing entrepreneurship in the Indian community for more than12 years. He has been a leader in and committee member of The Indus Entrepreneur (TiE), a global entrepreneurship organization focused on helping Indian entrepreneurs. Initially, he was part of the leadership team in Dallas, became a charter member, and has been on the leadership team of TiE Silicon Valley. Over the past three years, Sanjay has been part of the core team that runs the TiE Global Entrepreneurship Conference, the largest entrepreneur event in the world with more than 4,000 attendees annually. In addition, he is a mentor to several Indian entrepreneurs who are working to start their own companies. When asked about his role model, Sanjay immediately names Fred Smith, the man who went on to found FedEx. 25 years ago, when Sanjay was a student at AIM, he took up a case about Fred Smith. Smith tried something new – he leveraged the
hub and spoke concept, then fought the odds and eventually founded FedEx, despite dissuasion and opposition facing him at every corner. “It was something he believed in very deeply. He was firm in his belief that he wanted it to happen” says Sanjay. A few months ago, Sanjay personally met and spoke with Fred Smith. “It was very surreal” he said.
and CEO. “This was an awardwinning deal, recognized by many international publications such as IFR Asia, The Asset, CFO Asia, and Asiamoney.” In June 2008 and May 2009, Finance Asia magazine named Mon the 2nd Best Philippine CFO. Today, as both managing director and treasurer, Mon remains the prime mover behind most senior A Family Rather Than a Company issues of Ayala Corp. He and his To be immensely successful in staff of seven in the Treasury Group the Silicon Valley requires unique oversee around US$1.3 billion in management values that separate debt and US$970 million in liquid Sanjay from the rest. “Innovation is assets. a key trait that must be found in a Last November, Mon celebrated manager. Think like a customer. What 20 years with Ayala Corp. “During bothers you most, as a customer? these two memorable decades, I What can be improved? Following was at the core of the maturation this, think as a manager. Is there a of the treasury discipline at Ayala better way to do this? A faster and -- although reporting to different more cost-efficient way? To stand out bosses but thanks to my long tenure, from the crowd, you must differenti>> “Treasured Leader” being the constant mover behind ate yourself from the rest of them.” continued from page 43 the growth.” stated Mon. Sanjay also believes that there “To banks, Mon has been the is no such thing as an ideal manager. and listing the first corporate face of Ayala Corp. for the past “When we talk of ideals, we go into the bonds in the Philippine Dealing several years,” remarked Metrobank realm of the subjective; there can be and Exchange Corp. He is definitely chairman Arthur Ty. “One of the no such thing as a perfect one-sizeone of the country’s best corporate reasons why Ayala is so highly fits-all manager” he states. But, he regarded in the banking industry is treasurers.” notes, it is important for any leader “We were the first in the market the way Mon manages, plans for, and to be a good listener and coach, as funds its maturities and requireto issue in 2004 the biggest issue well as a protector and supporter, and size of PhP7 billion, about $150 mil- ments. In my experience, he is one who goads their staff towards always ahead of the curve, ensuring lion,” Mon also said. “Prior to that, that goal. appetites can match issues of only a that there is zero refinancing risk. This kind of leadership is best billion pesos or $20 million… I felt His work in capital market developexemplified by demonstration, not ment has been singularly formathe Philippine market was finally instruction. As a person whom emtive and supportive for its growth becoming a key competitor in the ployees look to, Sanjay must not only lead and lead well, but also exude pas- regional money markets. It was very throughout these years. In our dealings with him, Mon has been nothexciting.” sion for what he does – passion that ing but professional and upright, In May 2005, Mon completed will hopefully rub off his employees. and he has shown the highest levels This passion, however, should not be Harvard’s Advanced Management Program upon the sponsorship and of competence and expertise.” taken to mean ‘single-mindedness HSBC President Wick Veloso endorsement of his boss, Jaime towards one goal’, but rather, a adds, “Observing in 2012 that interAugusto Zobel de Ayala. genuine love and zeal for what must est rates are at an all-time low, “I can state, unequivocally, be done. Sanjay continually strives Mon aimed to lock in inexpensive that many of the recognitions that to provide the necessary structure funding for Ayala Corp. by again and guidance for his employees, while Ayala Corp. has received in the challenging the limits of the field of finance would not have been running RiseSmart with his own brand possible without Ramon’s ability to Philippine capital markets. He of parental management, which has worked with a consortium of banks led to most of his employees referring conceptualize, define, and implement the myriad imaginative finan- including HSBC to issue the longest to RiseSmart as a family rather than corporate bond issuance thus far in cial solutions needed to address a company. Sanjay Sathe, however great his our demanding operational needs,” the country. Ayala Corp. successfully issued a fixed-rate bond with a shared Mr. Zobel. “His attention accomplishments, is as human as tenor of 15 years, when previous corany of us. “It’s true that I’ve managed to detail, his ability to understand porate issuances have only reached to accomplish a lot of amazing things” and solve problems, and his ability a maximum tenor of 10 years. He he grins sheepishly, “but I don’t know to create value for our institution where I would be without my wife and through his sophisticated practice focused on lengthening tenors and of finance have been nothing short increasing the size of issuances. On two children. Even though helping the other hand, Mon also recognized people while solving a large economic of exemplary.” In 2006, Mon collaborated with the importance of protecting the problem is great, my family always investor and sought to achieve HSBC in “structuring the first cortakes top priority in my life.” It was greater transparency in the pricing porate hybrid transaction in Asia a challenge when the family had to in the form of preferred shares—a of corporate papers.” move to Silicon Valley. “It was a big Also in 2012, Mon was accorded template that became the standard adjustment for everyone, but we high recognition by his peers when were all in it together.” Sanjay credits followed by other large issuers,” elected President of the country’s recounted Jose Arnulfo “Wick” RiseSmart’s success to his family’s Veloso, HSBC Philippines President foremost financial services associasupport, as well as their indomitable ‘we can do it’ spirit and the unwavering support of his wife who has always stood by his side. Aside from spending time with the family, Sanjay unwinds by biking and watching TV, activities which must also be balanced with his responsibilities at RiseSmart as well as being the head of AIM’s US West Coast Chapter. “You can disappoint a lot of people, but never disappoint yourself” says Sanjay. Sanjay has, in all probability, not disappointed himself. What with his goal of helping people find jobs becoming a rock-solid reality, a loving and supportive family, and now the Triple A award, Sanjay has taken the star dust of his dreams and has made from them a grand castle.
tion of nearly 700 CEOs and CFOs, the Financial Executive Institute of the Philippines (FINEX). At present, he serves as President of the FINEX Foundation immediately after his one-year tour of duty as FINEX President. “He has greatly raised its profile through well-attended and wellreceived General Membership meetings” that had cabinet secretaries as speakers, observed Mr. Montinola “Mon has always tried to share best practices with his counterparts in his affiliated firms as well as the broader industry,” noted Mr. Veloso. “He continually invites HSBC strategists to participate in the CFO conferences of the Ayala group of companies, allowing the other firms to obtain broader understanding of the most recent market perspectives.” This year, 30 years after he graduated from the MBM at AIM, Mon returned as a Triple A awardee. No less than Mr. Ayala and Mr. Montinola, who were both at the award ceremonies, beamed with pride when Mon accepted his trophy. “I never thought that, after receiving my MBM diploma in 1983, I would return, 30 years later, to receive this distinguished honor,” Mon said in his acceptance speech. “I am overwhelmed and very much humbled, too, to be chosen. My deep thanks to AIM for giving me the foundation and the competitive edge to pursue a career in business management. I credit AIM for transforming me from an engineer with a specialized viewpoint to a general management person possessing a broader outlook of the organization. This proved to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. And I can honestly say after all these years that my AIM education is truly world-class. It has allowed us the key opportunity to compete in the more rigorous and highly competitive intra-Asian setting and reap our regional colleagues’ respect. “I owe a debt of gratitude to my professors at AIM,” he said in his speech. “You instilled in me the values of diligence, hard work, and excellence through the many cases we analyzed and discussed. Together with the values of integrity, professionalism, and concern for others which I learned later on, I was able to create my own brand of leadership style. It is through this leadership that I have been able to achieve my objectives.” Mon describes his management style as very hands-on. “My people sometimes cannot learn the same experience immediately, and op-
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portunities come up very rarely, and there is not much time to learn on the job. That is the reason why, and I pride myself that, at least in my shop, we haven’t had a failed deal or any disaster of whatever nature.” His leadership has earned profuse compliments from industry stalwarts. “He is a diligent and demanding professional, but he balances this with empathy and mentoring for his subordinates, and coordination and a team-based approach to problem-solving with his peers,” observed Mr. Zobel. “He has always been a caring person with a quiet, respectful sense of humor. Clear, forceful, and defined when his values are on the line and the environment demands it, but warm, sensitive, and caring when support and mentoring are needed.” “He is creative but responsible, competitive but fair, ambitious but always proper,” commented Mr. Sebastian. “He maintains good personal relationships, but always works well in a team. He is inspiring, but with feet firmly on the ground.” In April 2013, Mon was awarded by the Hong Kong-based magazine The Asset as one of Asia’s outstanding CFOs and Treasurers of the Year. “Your leadership at Ayala Corporation is a model for others”, noted Daniel Yu, editor in chief. “We particularly note the many years that you have been leading the development of the domestic bond markets enabling Ayala Corporation to not only be a leader in fund-raising each year, but also a trailblazer in market development for the country”.
God. All these cannot be separated from his professional success,” declared Mr. Sebastian. “I have known Mon to be a good family man who, despite his dedication to his field, always makes time for his wife, two sons, and daughter,” added Mr. Veloso. It is no wonder then that of all the accolades and letters of endorsement Mon has received, what he cherishes most is what he got from his youngest son, Alfonso, on his birthday in 2010. On a simple piece of paper, Alfonso wrote, “Thank you for teaching me things I would never learn from anyone else. I look up to you, Dad, and you inspire me to work hard and be successful.”
Mon’s Advice to Young Professionals Ever mindful of his life’s desire to help mentor the young, Mon leaves us with these friendly advices, mirroring his path to success: • “What you need to be able to succeed is to get the other person’s buy-in into your way of thinking or doing.” • “Get a good mentor. Mentors are not easy to find. They must have a deep concern for your well-being, for your improvement, for your success and security, among other things.” • “In one AIM class, there was an issue of ‘Is there a man for all seasons?’ Someone who knows everything because here you are taught everything: operations, marketing, strategy, mental discipline, etc. The professor wrote, man for all seasons. It immediately struck me. Up to now, is it really necessary Passion beyond Profession that you should know everything? Aside from his duties to Well, this is my answer: actually, company and industry, Mon gives you just have to know one thing back to society by donating to an very well, very deeply. That’s all it orphanage and rendering work at takes to be successful… But you a home for the aged in his home must have the other ingredients, province of Batangas, where he of course. There are many. You just studied from grade school to high have to choose which one works for school. Moreover, Mon and his high you… So life is not that complischool friends sponsored two needy cated. You just have to know who students through high school, while you are and want to be – go and he and his DLSU friends sponsored find your niche.” a needy but deserving Mechanical • “Your career starts after MBA. Engineering student. Pick a path—finance, marketing, His personal desire to help the where you want to make a career, disadvantaged was given further and learn everything about that. boost when appointed treasurer of And then move up. Later on, that’s Ayala Foundation in 2010. Using his when you will feel your MBA was market savvy and exquisite timing, useful— in short, the man for all Mon continues to improve the Founseasons. As you move up, that’s dation’s stock portfolio in the course when you’ll see more of the general of his duties for the Foundation. view.” In his spare time, Mon will • “Once you’ve settled down and likely be found playing tennis or taken your MBA, it is quite imporspending time with his children. tant that you are more decisive “Mr. Opulencia lives an upright in picking a career. In my case, it life, as a family man and a man of took me about two years to get the
right company and the right job. Definitely, these take time.” • “A b-school gives you the network. It opens doors for you, but it will never do the work for you. You have to do it yourself. You have to drive yourself; you have to work late at night. Where you graduate only opens doors. I’ve seen people from Ivy League schools also. Some of them are successful; some have done OK. The good news is, at the age of 50, you’re all equal. You’ve all reached the summit hopefully. Looking back, you know you all did your job well.” • “While I have been emphasizing innovation and creativity, there’s really also prudence that you have to overlay with this—to make an intelligent judgment, a calculated risk and not something that is not well thought-out. Always exercise prudence when addressing risks.” • “Where you should go is where you would be happy to be in the long run, taking advantage of innate skills and aptitude.” Summary Summed up in the preceding paragraphs is a profile of a man truly proud of his persona, his education, his accomplishments, his history, his beginnings, his life, his thoughtprocesses, his view of life and his humility, both as a Christian and as a man. Ramon G. Opulencia, at age 56, can look back and say, “That is a job well done. Thank You God!”
“A b-school gives you the network. It opens doors for you, but it will never do the work for you. You have to do it yourself.” >> “The Eagle Soars” continued from page 45
based on the principle that all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things. This means that we must dream or think about it first and then devote ourselves in making it happen. As they say, NOTHING HAPPENS BY CHANCE. That is why I could not believe it when I received the news from Greg Atienza. Looking at the roster of past winners, they are heads of international conglomerates or well known
personalities in their chosen field. But then again, Dr. Steven DeKrey’s congratulatory letter humbled me and dispelled my initial notions that I am unworthy to receive this recognition. Maybe they indeed saw something in me – just like the first time when I applied for the scholarship at AIM. I am greatly humbled to be even considered for the Triple A award. This recognition is an affirmation that indeed, I may be doing well in my chosen field. Yet it also spurs me to strive even better in my future endeavors. I owe a lot of my success to my family, especially my wife Marissa for the all out support given me personally and to my advocacies. Our active involvement with our local parish and Catholic movement like Couples for Christ also keeps us grounded, and makes us realize that at the end of the day, the family is still the most important aspect of our lives. Even if we are not financially well-off, we are still happy because we are living a simple life in the province and that’s what I aspired for from the beginning. Ed’s note: Rex Bernardo is currently the Research and Marketing Director of Mabini Colleges and also teaches in the College of Business Administration. Bernardo has consistently rendered outstanding voluntary services to the community and is active as area coordinator of the Alyansa ng may Kapansanan sa Pilipinas (National Alliance of Filipinos with Disabilities), and as head of the Provincial Council on Disability Affairs (PCDA). Under his leadership, he has rendered exemplary services to the community, organizing the 1st Jesse Robredo Youth Leadership Seminar, the 1st Social Enterprise Livelihood Award (SELA) for PWDs, the 1st Kabataang EntrePINOY Challenge for business students, and has helped build communities in Gawad Kalinga, provided assistance to the poorest of the poor through church activities, and manages a scholarship program for hundreds of poor but deserving students. His exemplary contributions to society have been recognized by national and international award giving bodies. These awards include the 2011 Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum), 2011 MDG Warrior (UNDP Philippine Millenium Campaign), 2010 Bayaning Filipino (ABS-CBN Geny Lopez Foundation), 2009 Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI World), 2008 The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (JCI Phil.), and the 2008 Apolinario Mabini Presidential Award.