Halfway through his NUS EMBA, Lee Sung Ho took an active interest in his classmate’s business – literally. Lee decided to invest in Benjamin Koh’s logistics service provider company. From that point forward, Lee and Koh worked in real time to directly apply knowledge from their course work to the venture.
“Benjamin and I have applied many interesting concepts that we have learned through the EMBA Program,” says Lee. As the warehouse portion of the business grew, they used lessons from class to determine ways to optimize space, which increased their storage efficiency by a minimum of 15 percent long term. “The spillover effect resulted in far more in/out movements and ultimately benefited the company’s bottom line by more than 20 percent.”
A Class Project
When Koh and Lee decided to venture into commodity logistics, mainly to develop a major river port terminal in one of the islands of South East Asian countries, their EMBA Program peers supported them in multiple ways – from helping to secure government funding to brainstorming ways to increase project feasibility to finding reliable contractors.
“Fortunately enough, many of the classmates have passionately contributed with their own cost-cutting and efficiency maximization ideas from their own experiences, which enabled the project to minimize the trial-and-error from the construction phase to the actual operations,” says Lee.
It wasn’t long before everyone’s contributions added up. The completed project yielded a return in excess of 100 percent ROI in over three years when another global strategic investor purchased their stake.
“Most amazingly, NUS EMBA has enabled the right synergy from the expertise mix of Benjamin (total integrated logistics) and myself (M&A) to materialize profit from otherwise impossible overseas projects,” says Lee.
Lee currently serves as executive director of the company in which he invested during the EMBA Program, Addicon Logistics Management. Far from its early days, Addicon now employs more than 200 employees in Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, China, and Cambodia.
Lee is a big advocate for the NUS EMBA Program: He has recommended the degree to multiple key co-workers. He encouraged many of his companies’ board members to consider the program with incentive to subsidize much of the tuition and fees by his company, and some of them plan to submit their application for future classes. His younger brother also has successfully finished the program at NUS.
“The true value of the NUS EMBA degree lies not only from the invaluable learning of concepts and case studies gained through classroom settings. It also lies in the valuable friendships and networking you create between the cohorts, as well as the entire alumni. It opens up so many doors otherwise not possible to open.”
(This story appeared in Executive Connections, a publication of the Executive MBA Council. Reprinted with permission of the Executive MBA Council.)