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Tuesday July 28, 2009 TODAY

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Taking the Lead with a Doctor of business Administration

MDIS BUSINESS SCHOOL The MDIS Business School is one of the biggest business schools among private education organisations in Singapore. Through partnerships with universities from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and France, the school offers more than 40 programmes, ranging from certificates and diplomas to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, to groom students as corporate leaders. Drawing from the experience of its teaching staff, who are faculty members from the various universities and industry professionals, students will be able to gain insights into diverse business fields such as accounting, entrepreneurship, management, finance, international business and business administration. photos Jason Ho

A DBA is important for top entrepreneurs, says education industry veteran Dr T Chandroo


hile having a sharp business sense is necessary for building a company, having a doctorate degree may be one of the ways to stay at the forefront of the business world, as Dr T Chandroo found out. Dr Chandroo, a recent graduate of the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) programme from Southern Cross University (SCU) in Australia, is the chairman and CEO of Modern Montessori International (MMI) Group — one of the largest pre-school and early childhood education providers in Singapore. “If you want to run your organisation professionally, a doctorate helps a lot. When people look at you and your profile, credibility is established automatically,” he explained. The entrepreneur enrolled in the SCU DBA programme at the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) in 2004 because it offered a structured learning approach and an avenue to upgrade himself professionally. The Australian university specialises in industry-relevant education and is recognised for its ties with the business world. The degree, one of the largest DBA programmes in Australia, is a flexible and research-based management programme aimed at enhancing a candidate’s managerial capabilities.

Thirst for learning For Dr Chandroo, the decision to head for the classroom was born out of his thirst for learning. The 55-year-old, who obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) through MDIS in 1995, explained: “After my MBA, I focused on developing my business, but after awhile I felt that there was a vacuum. “I realised that this was because I was used to studying and it dawned on me that I should further my education. After all, a doctorate is the apex of the education system.” He added that the SCU DBA stood out because, unlike other less-structured doctorate programmes, it offered more interaction with professors, formal workshops and compulsory assignments. Outside of the classroom, the DBA programme facilitates networking between candidates and their supervisors

If you want to run your organisation professionally, a doctorate helps a lot. When people look at you and your profile, credibility is established automatically. Dr T Chandroo, chairman and CEO of Modern Montessori International, and recent graduate of the SCU Doctor of Business Administration

through the Doctoral Candidate Centre and the biannual Doctoral Symposia where candidates interact with faculty members from the Australian university. For Dr Chandroo, he especially appreciates the substantial contact he had with his thesis advisor, who guided him through the process of writing a dissertation. For his dissertation, Dr Chandroo chose to research on the efficacy of direct marketing and its impact on the early childhood education industry in Singapore. “I chose to research on this topic because I’d spent 25 years in direct marketing, and 20 years in the preschool industry. I wanted to combine the two areas and look at how direct marketing could enhance my preschool business.” Candidates on the DBA programme are given the opportunity to explore and develop research topics related to their careers. With guidance from experienced supervisors, they will also learn how they can better communicate the research results to their companies’ stakeholders. As part of his research, Dr Chandroo sent out questionnaires to parents and commuters, then compiled, analysed and presented his findings to SCU. The valuable market information he obtained from his research gave him a better idea of how he could position his business and reach out to customers more effectively. “Having gone through the research process for my doctorate, I now know what parents are looking for — quality curriculum and how it aids children’s development.”

For preview information, log on to To request for a brochure, SMS <DBA><Name><Email> to 73333. You can also call 6372 1000 / 6247 9111 or email

However, the best proof of his success lies in the feedback the school receives from its smallest customers. “Each time we have to cancel a class due to unforeseen circumstances such as the hand, foot and mouth disease, parents tell us, ‘My son is crying because he insists on going to school.’” Full circle In addition to using his DBA research to build his business, Dr Chandroo made it a point to “give back” to his alma mater, MDIS, by serving as a council member. He is currently the vice-president of the council. He explained: “My purpose there is to share experience and knowledge because I can bring in the entrepreneur’s perspective. “I believe in giving back to society, and that, having accomplished something, it’s always good to look back and lend a helping hand.” Having obtained his doctorate, Dr Chandroo is now intent on encouraging his family and friends to further their own studies. “I tell my friends to pursue a doctorate. You can use it to help your business, and when you talk to people, you command respect. I definitely think that a doctorate is important for top entrepreneurs.” — Melody Tan

Taking the Lead with a Doctor of Business Administration  
Taking the Lead with a Doctor of Business Administration  

A DBA is important for top entrepreneurs, says education industry veteran Dr T Chandroo.