Recently, Mr Yu Minhong, Founder and Chairman of New Oriental Education & Technology Group, a private educational services provider in China, led his team of senior executives to Singapore on a learning journey. Through a custom executive programme, the week long knowledge exchange addressed the current marketplace realities, trends affecting competitive advantage as well as effective management practices.
Outside-in speaks to Mr Yu in between his classes as he shares the importance of continuous learning and training, even when you become a boss.
Dean Bernard Yeung chatting with Mr Yu Minhong before class
Led by Alumna and Adjunct Professor Chen Chunhua (Department of Management & Organisation), a group of 55 Asia-Pacific EMBA (Chinese) alumni, has embarked on a mission to build cafes in China that double up as incubators for entrepreneurs.
The Hangzhou cafe
The Hangzhou Cafe
The group recently opened its second café in Hangzhou in early December 2016. The first, based in Nanjing, opened in May 2015. The alumni adopted the brand name “Dreampresso” for the cafes.
There is a group of Business School students who have come together to establish a foundation that builds schools in the poorest regions of China. The Inspiring Sunshine Foundation’s (ISSF) goal is to build 101 schools by its tenth year and to educate and equip these children – to help them break out of the poverty cycle. Since the initiative began seven years ago, 61 schools have been built.
Four of them, which were fully or partially funded by alumni donations, bear NUS’s name:
Hunan Province Shuangfeng County NUS Hanpo Hope Primary School
Jiangxi Province Suichuan County NUS Shatian Hope Primary School
Sichuan Province Puge County NUS Sunshine Hope Primary School
Chongqing Municipal Changning County NUS Qingshan Hope Primary School
ISSF started with a simple spark. While at Business School, Chen Jianguang (EMBA APEX-C 16) remembers a professor remarking that the budget for education in Singapore is second only to its budget for its national defence. This left a deep impression on him, that that was the difference between China and Singapore.
It made him think about the uneven distribution of resources in China, especially to the poorer areas, and towards education – that thus, the children from the poorer areas are unable to break out of the poverty cycle and change their fates.
NUS Provost and Deputy President Academic Affairs Prof Tan Eng Chye (with the flag) crossing the finishing line with fellow NUS participants
Some 50 NUS Asia-Pacific EMBA (Chinese) (APEX-C) students, along with more than 10 faculty, staff and alumni, took part in the 11th edition of the Business School Gobi Desert Challenge from 22 to 24 May. NUS was one of 40 schools competing in the gruelling 112-km race, where the competitors battled with harsh elements and arid terrain in the Mo-Kia-Yen Gobi Desert.
“We encourage everyone to participate as part of our transformational learning initiative,” said Ms Brenda Cao, Head of APEX-C & Master in Public Administration and Management at NUS Business. NUS was presented with the Shackleton Award, which honours teams with 100 per cent completion rate. NUS had won the award in 2013 and 2014, and the hat-trick is a testament to the strong bonds of cooperation within the team.
APEX-C alumna Chen Chunhua was ranked 19th on the list. She is Co-chairman & CEO of New Hope Liuhe Co. Ltd. Since she took on its leadership reins in 2013, the share price of New Hope Liuhe has more than doubled from its lowest point in 2013, and now has a market value of 55 billion yuan.
Today, New Hope Group is one of the most diversified agricultural enterprises in both China and the world. A top executive of the rival company commented that Ms Chen Chunhua was instrumental in bringing about the renewal of New Hope Group.
It was a wonderful night of music and friendships at the Liang Zhu Charity Concert held on Sunday 4 October at the Singapore Conference Hall, which also raised substantial funds for students who are facing financial hardship.
It brought together talents from China and Singapore to make music together. Maestro He Zhanhao, one of China’s most acclaimed composers, led a 70-strong youth orchestra from the Singapore-based Chinese Music Academy. He personally conducted his popular “Liang Zhu” or “Butterfly Lovers” violin concerto, which is one of the most recognisable pieces of Chinese music worldwide.
What does NUS Business School have in common with a Buddhist Monk?
The answer? An insatiable thirst for knowledge; the determination to walk the talk; the will to overcome all obstacles to attain their goal; and a shared journey trekking across the Gobi Desert. It was at Mo-Kia-Yen Gobi Desert 1,300 years ago that the Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveller and translator, Xuangzang, was chased, abandoned, and almost killed as he traversed the desert to India in pursuit of original Buddhist scriptures.
The chairman and founder of China’s top real estate firm, Vanke, is now an NUS-practice track professor. Wang Shi, a visiting scholar at Harvard, joins other prominent practice-track professors at NUS Business School, such as former CapitaLand chief executive Liew Mun Leong.
The announcement was made at a joint seminar organised by the School and NUS Department of Real Estate.