Archive for April, 2009

narasNaras Eechambadi is the General Manager of Quaero, a CSG solution. Quaero delivers multi-channel marketing solutions that help companies build long-lasting customer relationships and realize measurable return on investment. Eechambadi is the author of High Performance Marketing: Bringing Method to the Madness of Marketing (Kaplan Professional Press, 2005).

The old days when businesses took marketing spending on faith are over. But marketing doesn’t have to give up its finer side for the sake of accountability, argues Naras Eechambadi, author of the new book, High Performance Marketing: Bringing Method to the Madness of Marketing. CRMGuru.com founder Bob Thompson interviewed Eechambadi on Oct. 20, 2005, on the best ways to improve marketing performance. The following transcript was edited for clarity.

Bob Thompson
I’d like to welcome Naras Eechambadi, the CEO of Quaero Corp., to our Inside Scoop interview about his new book. It’s called High Performance Marketing. And the subtitle is quite interesting, Bringing Method to the Madness of Marketing. We’re going to chat with Naras about his book and some of his thoughts about marketing and how it relates to CRM. Naras, welcome.

Naras Eechambadi
Thank you, Bob.

Bob Thompson
Tell us a little bit about your background and what you’re doing at Quaero. What is the focus of your business?

Naras Eechambadi
Quaero’s been in existence for six years. I’ve been running it since I founded it in ’99. Prior to that, I was the senior vice president for knowledge-based marketing at First Union, which was a precursor company to what is today called Wachovia. And prior to that, I was with McKinsey and with BBDO New York. Essentially, I have been in the marketing business all of my professional life, which now spans almost 25 years.

With Quaero, itself, our mission is to help marketing departments and marketing organizations excel at what they do. Improving marketing performance is our mission, and we do that in a variety of ways but primarily by bringing information-based approaches to our clients and helping them not only think about how they can improve marketing but actually doing it for them.

Bob Thompson
That’s terrific. And by the way, thanks for all of your support on the guru panel for the last several years. I believe you were in the original group we started CRMGuru with back in January of 2000.

Naras Eechambadi
That’s right. It was soon after we started Quaero, and it’s been a pleasure. It’s been great being part of the panel, and I’ve learned a great deal from you and the rest of our colleagues there.

Bob Thompson
Let’s focus on your book, High Performance Marketing. Why did you write the book and who did you write it for?

Naras Eechambadi
Over the course of the last 25 years—but specifically, over the last three or four years—we have seen that marketing organizations are going through a very significant transformation from being organizations that are focused on outbound communications to being much more interactive with customers. But they’re also feeling a lot of pressure from inside their own organizations to be more accountable. People took marketing spending on faith. A lot of people spend money on marketing, out of either faith or fear. And that’s not sufficient, anymore.

Bob Thompson
It’s been almost like a black box, right? You put the money in and you hope something comes out, but you don’t know, exactly, what that was.

Naras Eechambadi
Exactly. And even when it does come out, sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got for it.

Bob Thompson
Like that old saying, “I know that I’m wasting half of my advertising dollars. I just don’t know which half”?


Naras Eechambadi
That’s exactly right. That saying, Bob, is more than 110 years old. It was from the late 19th century and we’re now in the 21st century. I guess I would venture to say that, perhaps, it’s not half the advertising, anymore, but it’s still a very significant percentage. I think CFOs and CEOs simply don’t find that acceptable, any longer.

There’s a lot pf pressure for more accountability, and marketers are feeling the pressure from inside and outside. The book was intended to help them have a framework and a guideline to respond to this pressure. It’s a guidebook for how do you work your way out of this box and how do you, in fact, make marketing an operational discipline like supply chain management or something else?

Bob Thompson
Is this focused on the chief marketing officer or senior marketing executive?

Naras Eechambadi
Primarily, the senior marketing executive. But we also expect that it will sell with senior financial people: general managers, who have to approve marketing budgets and other people who work with marketing, such as people in customer service or people that are in sales or IT. These are all areas that interact heavily with marketing and are, sometimes, perplexed by what they see in marketing.

Bob Thompson
I liked your tagline for the book: Bringing Method to the Madness of Marketing. It seems like there’s a dichotomy in, at least, some facets of marketing. It’s a very creative process. You’re trying to build impressions. There’s a lot of the advertising and so forth. And then there are also very disciplined processes that go on. It just seems to me like this might be one of the big challenges in marketing, much like how you get an artist to practice Six Sigma. Do you find that’s one of the conflicts within the marketing organization, this creativity vs. discipline?

Naras Eechambadi
No. As a matter of fact, I don’t think it’s a conflict. There is a great quote in my book from Cathy Bessant, who is the chief marketing officer of Bank of America. She’s got a marketing budget that exceeds $1 billion. I interviewed her for the book, and she said, “World-class processes set you free.” What she means by that is that if you really have very disciplined processes and if you kind of know what you’re doing, then you actually free yourself up and you have more time to do the creative things.

Bob Thompson
So they’re not mutually exclusive. You can be creative and disciplined at the same time.

Naras Eechambadi
Absolutely. In fact, not only are they not mutually exclusive, we would say that the more disciplined you are, the more time you free up to be creative. In fact, the one helps the other.

Bob Thompson
Then, together, that’s part of what brings this high performance marketing to life.

Naras Eechambadi
Absolutely. Yeah.

Bob Thompson
What does improving marketing performance have to do with being successful in CRM?

Naras Eechambadi
One of the aspects of improving marketing performance in this day and age is the fact that so many channels of communication with customers or interaction with customers, more broadly, have become very interactive. Traditionally, marketing talked to the customer through television, radio, print, whatever. The new channels all allow the customers to talk back to the marketer; whereas, we know in our personal lives, listening can be a very hard skill. Marketing organizations, in particular, don’t listen very well.

Bob Thompson
They’re used to communicating out.

Naras Eechambadi

Bob Thompson
This is the message we want to deliver to the market and to influence what they do.

Naras Eechambadi
Exactly. But they are not very good at listening to what the customers have to say. The high performance marketing, a lot of this is about: How do you listen better? If customers talk and companies listen, everybody wins. The company wins, and the customers win.

Bob Thompson
In the studies that we’ve done of successful CRM programs, those that build their strategy around being customer-centric—which, by and large, means this listening process, getting customer input, both systematically through data and through interactions with customers—are more apt to be successful. So it certainly, makes sense to me.

Naras Eechambadi
Absolutely. But all of that has to happen through a central organization or be coordinated by a central organization. And marketing, in most organizations, is the best placed department to do that.

Strategy execution gap

Bob Thompson
Then let’s talk about this planning approach. You say that there is a strategy execution gap in companies. I don’t know if you could share whether you believe it’s most companies or some percentage, but to close this gap, what approach are you recommending to handle that?

Naras Eechambadi
I’ll share an example with you that’ll illustrate, I think, the larger point that I want to make. We had a client work with us about a year and a half ago. It was a large financial services company that had changed their strategy, significantly, after 9/11. When the market was collapsing and things were pretty bad in financial services, they decided, “Hey, we want to shift our strategy from acquiring lots of new customers, which is what we’ve done for the last 20 years, managing our existing relationships and growing our existing relationships. While we want to continue to acquire customers, that won’t be the primary focus, anymore.”

This was the stated strategy that had been communicated all over the company, including to marketing. But there was some frustration within the organization as to whether marketing was really in step with that. Marketing claimed to be in step with that strategy. Well, we went in and took a look at the entire marketing budget and ignored the usual budget line items telling you, “How much is PR? How much is advertising? How much is direct marketing?” and looked at it in terms of where the money is going. Is it being used to acquire or to cultivate existing customers? It became very clear that the bulk of the money was still being spent on advertising, which, largely, was an instrument for increasing awareness and acquiring new customers.

Bob Thompson
Right. And we’ve seen that trend, as well, in some studies that we’ve done, where loyalty programs are invested. There’s kind of this feeling like, “Yeah, we want customer loyalty. We want to retain them.” But the monies—two out of three dollars, at least—goes to acquisition.

Naras Eechambadi
Exactly. One reason is acquisition is easier to count. It’s easier to declare victory and move on. Building customer relationships is much harder work. So that is one example of a gap. What we are saying is, if you have a planning approach where you absolutely link what your strategic goals are to the things that you’re spending money on—and make sure that you can explain why it is that each budget item links to the strategy, the declared strategy—then you start to narrow that gap between strategy and execution.

Bob Thompson
Let’s talk about strategy for a second. It’s one of the most overused and abused words in business. What does strategy mean, in the context of marketing? What would be an example of a strategy, well stated and clearly understood vs. the sort of muddled versions that we tend to see in many companies? Do they really have a strategy to begin with?

Naras Eechambadi
To me, in plain English, strategy is about where you want to go. And what that means, in marketing terms, is as you’re growing a company, how do you want to grow it? Going back to this previous example, do you want to acquire new customers? If so, what kind of customers? Do you want to grow your relationships? If so, which relationships? Because you don’t want to really be trying to grow all of your relationships. You have to be focused about it.

Bob Thompson
So acquisition is really getting to the customer strategy.

Naras Eechambadi
That’s correct.

Bob Thompson
Growing. Retaining. And what flavors are going to be in the best interest of the company?

Naras Eechambadi
Absolutely. Marketing strategy and customer strategy are heavily interlinked.

Bob Thompson
In your experience, how often do, let’s say, medium to large companies have a clearly articulated marketing strategy that has this customer orientation?

Naras Eechambadi
I would say less than half the time the companies that we work have clearly articulated the strategy.

Bob Thompson
Is the first step, simply, to get a clear strategy developed and defined? And then you work on the execution and gap issue you mentioned?

Naras Eechambadi
Yes, it is, and just one additional thought on that. The strategy has to be really crisp and focused. Part of the strategy could be, what are you not going to do? Too many strategy statements are too broad and try to do too much, and they end up doing nothing.

Bob Thompson
Can you dig just slightly deeper into this process? I think everyone would agree that executing your strategy’s a good thing to do. But you have a specific methodology you have developed. Can you give us the highlights of how that process works? People who are interested in the details, of course, can read your new book.

Naras Eechambadi
Sure. We use what we call a six-dimensional performance framework for marketing. It starts with what we call “actionable strategies,” which means the very specific strategies. Then we say, if you want to execute those strategies, you need to have good measurements to know whether you are succeeding or not.

To get good measurements, you need good information about customers and about markets. And to get good information, you need solid technology that is functional. Also, to get to your goal and your strategic objectives, you need good processes, effective processes, that are very clear, so everybody knows what they’re doing. And then you need organizational alignment, which means that your people have the right skills, you have the right people, you have the right incentives and they’re all in the right boxes in the organization. All of those things need to come together for you to really execute superbly.

Bob Thompson
How long does it take a company to go through this process?

Naras Eechambadi
Anywhere from three months to three years. Then, of course, for the most part, it’s an ongoing thing. But what we, typically, do when we work with our clients, is to identify of these six dimensions—where is the weak link for that organization? Let’s fix the weak links, and then let’s focus on your strengths and build on your strengths because all organizations have one or two dimensions that they are strong on.

Weak links

Bob Thompson
You’ve mentioned some things that, to me, sound very much like CRM-type issues when you talk about processes, organizational alignment, metrics and, of course, the strategy, to begin with. These are all things that CRM programs worry about in a larger sense, whether it’s service-related or sales. I wonder if you have a comment on where the weak link is. Does it tend to be that they have a strategy but don’t know how to measure their progress? The measurement metrics are not there. The organization’s not on board. Is there any sort of common theme that you see more often than another?

Naras Eechambadi
Yeah, I would say the three areas where most companies really fall short are measurements, processes and the organizational alignment. Of the six areas, those three are usually the weakest links. Unfortunately, most companies tend to spend time on the other three areas, which are strategy, information and technology.

Bob Thompson
So we know where we want to go and we can figure that out. Then we can go buy tools, and we know what information the tools can deliver. But it’s getting it implemented in the organization; the work processes; figuring out how to actually create and use the metrics; getting the people to do all of what they need to do.

Naras Eechambadi
Or getting the right people.

Bob Thompson

Naras Eechambadi
Those are all difficult things, and too many organizations like to avoid them, if they can.

Bob Thompson
These problem areas seem to be areas where the leadership of the marketing organization is extremely important. I notice that one of the things you’ve said in your book is that it’s very important to have a decisive marketing leader. Can you share an example of a company where you feel the leadership really made such a huge difference?

Naras Eechambadi
Yes. I think I would point out a couple of different companies that have had tremendous leadership in marketing, especially in terms of process. One is a financial company that has done a tremendous job on the marketing measurement and process front and bringing things together, to the point where marketing is now seen as a leader of all customer-related activities in the organization, which was not the case a couple of years ago. They’ve really done a very good job.

Bob Thompson
Is it due to a new leader coming in and making these changes?

Naras Eechambadi
No, it was an existing leader who reacted very positively to the pressure coming from the CEO’s office that said, “Hey, you guys really have to show us what it is we’re getting for all the money we are spending.”

Rather than just coming back with a simple ROI kind of thing, these guys actually stepped back and said, “Let’s look at the entire framework and what we are doing here.” They completely turned the organization upside down. It was internal leadership. They just completely stepped out of their comfort zone and were able to achieve some remarkable results.

Bob Thompson
It sounds like the impetus for this came from the CEO, and that, in many cases, may also be important. Isn’t this part of the accountability issue that you’ve been talking about, that CMOs are going to be accountable to the CEO and to the board to actually make sure that these marketing investments are delivering a return?

Naras Eechambadi
Absolutely. That’s exactly the case. I don’t know if you are familiar with this, Bob, but of all the C-level executives in large corporations in the U.S., CMOs have the shortest tenure.

Bob Thompson
What is the tenure?

Naras Eechambadi
Typical tenure of a CMO is less than 24 months, it’s about 23 months.

Bob Thompson

Naras Eechambadi
Less than two years.

Bob Thompson
So they’re competing with CIOs for their careers.

Naras Eechambadi
Yeah. Interestingly enough, for CIOs, the average tenure is 36 months.

Bob Thompson
Is that right?

Naras Eechambadi
So CMOs are significantly less long-lasting than CIOs, and it’s partly because they are not able to prove their effectiveness.

Bob Thompson
Let’s talk about the role of technology, because we know that strategy in these other software areas are the most difficult. It seems like everyone has a fascination with what the tools can do. From what I’ve seen, the marketing tools, especially in the analytics area, can do some fabulous things that you just could not do without technology. Could you highlight a couple of areas where you feel that the technology has enormous leverage in improving marketing performance?

Naras Eechambadi
Absolutely. Technology is integral. It’s a foundation for the high-performance marketing organizations. There are three specific areas that can help marketing organizations be successful. The first is just having the right information, whether it’s market information, comparative information or customer information. The second is having it all be clean, accurate, timely and available in a database of some sort. The third is having the right applications to leverage it.

There are three applications I’d like to mention. One is campaign management applications that allow you to dialogue with your customer on a regular basis, whether it’s through direct mail, email or the web. The second is business intelligence kinds of applications that allow you to understand what’s happening out in the marketplace and get reports out to all of the operating managers, so they can make better decisions. And third, data mining kind of applications that allow you to go in and mine the information so that you can figure out what your next strategy ought to be or how your tactics ought to evolve over time.

Bob Thompson
Could you give us a word of advice for an executive—a CMO, I would presume—who says, “I need to improve marketing performance. In fact, I need to do it or I’m going to be looking for a new job”? What would you tell that executive?

Naras Eechambadi
The advice I would give is, take a look at those six dimensions and make an honest assessment of where you and your company and your department stand relative to each of those dimensions. Then first focus on shoring up your initial weaknesses. Then, try to build on your strengths. I don’t want to make a plug for my company, here, Bob, but we do have a tool that allows our clients to do that in a very objective way. But many of your leaders could, certainly, do that on their own. It’s a little bit more difficult, but they need to make the attempt. That’s the first step. Understanding where you stand is the first step to figuring out where you want to go or how to get to where you want to go.

Bob Thompson
Naras, thank you very much. That’s great advice. And congratulations on getting your book out. I know that’s a tremendous amount of work. I appreciate your sharing some thoughts with us today on this Inside Scoop program.

Naras Eechambadi
It’s been my pleasure, and thank you for having me.


Read Full Post »

UNISA MBA Testimonials

Joe Amon With Uni SA offering MBA studies online, I was able to conveniently continue and complete my MBA after I had moved interstate (and even when I was overseas briefly). Offering the MBA online gives great flexibility to continue study no matter where a person’s career takes them around the world.

With so many organisations now going global, and so many collaborations performed internationally, teamwork and communications are increasingly being done remotely and electronically. Communicating online for group work projects and assignments is increasingly becoming typical of how many people conduct their professional business, and helps to develop the skills that will become increasingly important in future.

Joe Amon
Senior Projects Manager
CSL Limited

Jathin BalanMy MBA experience at UniSA changed my business outlook and structured my thinking process. The campus facilities, staff/faculty contributions and participative class discussions, all made the experience an invaluable learning process.

The IGSB’s MBA provides the right managerial tools to identify the problems, analyze the situation and formulate the appropriate strategies to deliver the best customer value, yield higher than average stakeholder returns, and ensure employee satisfaction.

Jathin Balan B.Arch, MBA
Architect and Project Manager
The Mossop Group

The practical application of theory that the IGSB advocates coupled with working in partnership with industry peers was invaluable, not only did it enhance the learning experience but it provided insight to the broader industry environment, locally and internationally. It also facilitated the establishment of strong networks within the business community.

The hard work was worth it and I would recommend the IGSM MBA to all of those seeking flexibility, practical learning, support and exposure to the broader business environment.

Sardi Calver
Team Leader – HR Assist
Shared Services Telstra, Adelaide

Peter CoryThrough membership of the Institute of Management Consultants and based on having over 35 years of practical industry experience, I was accepted into the IMC/UNISA’s on line MBA studies completing the Graduate Certificate in Management (2002), the Graduate Diploma in Management (2003) and the MBA (2004), despite having no previous tertiary education.

While finding the initial semester a bit daunting, I found the online interactive feedback with other students and lecturers preferable to classroom discussion, as it provided more time to research and formulate responses, rather than shooting from the hip. Overall I found that the online structure for receiving course notes, posting assignments and responses and comments to other students and lecturers easy to negotiate and use.

During the course I had contact with about 95 other students from a diverse range of backgrounds and industries, both within Australia and Internationally. Class numbers ranged from 6 to 22 students, with the larger classes increasing the work load required in reading and commenting on other students’ assignments throughout the semester.

As an Agricultural & Livestock Consultant, I spend a significant amount of the year travelling through Asia and Australia, however the fact that we were not required to sit examinations, with grades being based on assignments and response to other students’ answers, gave me the flexibility to combine work and study from wherever I was.

Peter Cory

Zhu DeshengThe most attractive part of this MBA is that it maintains a very high level of standard while keeping its flexibility.

The 12 MBA modules are very well designed and catered for professionals like me. They helped me greatly in my daily management activities. Finance, Corporate Strategy, Leadership and People Management modules are among the best. I am extremely pleased with this MBA experience.

Dr Zhu Desheng
Senior R&D Manager
Hewlett Pakard IPG Asia Research and Development Hub

I highly recommend the MBA program offered by the University of South Australia. This program has been a key contributor to my career successes. It supported me with successfully developing my previous organization which was recently sold to an international buyer. The MBA program has also developed my understanding of key business principles and given me the confidence and knowledge to tackle the tough issues. Anyone considering this program should go for it, you never know where it could take you!

Kea Dent
Managing Director
Kea Dent & Associates

Nick EdenI find the MBA experience adds value to me as a person, as a manager of Information Technology and gives me an array of tools to improve strategic business communications and operations.

The online method of learning means I can schedule my own class time, do the required exercises and access all the academic resources I need from almost anywhere at any time, something not otherwise possible for me. I can also stay in touch with fellow students and tutors via online classes and email.

The MBA course certainly meets my requirements for relevance to the business community and every unit completed provides a stronger base for my future and one step closer to completion of the qualification itself.

Nick Eden
Manager: Technical Support
Monash University

Choosing an MBA program is a complex process. I found all I was looking for at the IGSB. My career progression has seen me move overseas and I needed a program that was flexible to match my evolving career. The online program allowed me to continue my studies without interruption. The program is dynamic, with course curricula constantly evaluated to meet the changing business environment, and visionary in critical thinking and analysis of future patterns.

Stacey Ellul
Staff Nurse
Stanford Hospital and Clinics

Sally ElsonThe best thing about doing my MBA at the University of South Australia was the interaction with people from diverse backgrounds. The learnings that I achieved from the program were heightened by the communication that was encouraged with the other students.

Sally Elson
Human Resources Manager
AusBulk Ltd

Rosa HoI had the opportunity to study with high achievers from all kinds of professions and trades, make friends and make use of small group discussion, analyse and experience shared interaction. 18 months of complete and solid course content really reinforced the strengths at work I was lacking in, and helped me to open up a greater macro field of vision to bring about a new career.

Rosa Ho
2005 Chinese MBA Top Student “Sustainable Corporate Strategy”

Fen-Lan, HsuWhat benefits me most in studying the Chinese MBA is group work . Through classroom discussion , case studies and the constructive participation from the top professors and lecturers, we share our expertise in order to further develop our abilities. The program has been a key contributor to my career successes.

Fen-Lan, Hsu
Micro-Star Int’c Co., Ltd

Leigh GarrettI studied my MBA part-time over a number of years with IGSB. My goals in doing so were primarily to expand my learning on leadership and management, and find that crucial edge in gaining employment as a CEO. Both of these goals were achieved and much, much more. I recognised my leadership potential when I was about 35 years of age, and I believe that the IGSB MBA was a major influence in gaining my first CEO role in 1994. I really thought that it might not be possible at my age to win such a position. The learning environment at IGSB was very positive and the curriculum design and content changed to keep up with international best practice. Teaching staff were excellent, with a good combination of regular academics and leading external specialists brought in to cover specific areas. High standards of achievement were expected, and good support was provided. The learning environment recognised the pressures of work and family commitments and the camaraderie and support from fellow participants was vital. The networks and contacts made have contributed to sustaining me as a leader. IGSB graduates in leadership positions have been a vital resource for me over the last ten years.

Leigh Garrett
Chief Executive Officer, Offenders Aid and Rehabilitation Services, (OARS) SA
and The Centre for Restorative Justice
CEO of the Year 2002, Equity Trustees

Bev GaughwinAs a health professional with 20 years of management experience, I feel the MBA confirmed the best of what I have learned from experience, expanded my thinking, knowledge and business skills, and provided opportunities to explore and develop my full potential. The program developed strong strategic thinking abilities, analytical skills and systems perspectives and provided new frameworks for building the success and sustainability of a business. The MBA expanded my horizons and career opportunities and offered flexibility to specialize in several fields.

Bev Gaughwin
Director of Physiotherapy
Flinders Medical Centre

Megan GreyThe University of South Australia’s MBA was a natural choice for me as a busy working professional. The flexibility enabled me to structure the program to suit my work and life styles, while the practical ‘real life’ nature of the material was easy to apply and of benefit almost immediately.

Megan Grey
Manager, Office of the Lord Mayor & CEO
Adelaide City Council

Rod IrvineThe online MBA program provided me with the ideal way of advancing my education and skills. During the program, I had a heavy requirement to travel for my employer. This made it difficult to attend regular lectures or tutorials using a traditional learning approach. The online MBA allowed me to choose the time and place to study and interact with other students, making it easy to fit around family and work commitments.

Rod Irvine
Services Specialist
Hewlett-Packard Australia

Elly KwongThe MBA program with the University of South Australia has not only provided me with the advanced academic training but also has given me an all rounded management perspective for my own personal development. The program was designed with 12 different modules to cater for the need of professionals like me to meet the ever-changing demands of the business world.

Elly Kwong
Vice President & Head of Information Technology
AIG Credit Card Company

I found the IGSB on-line experience to be essentially flexible and convenient to my demanding professional lifestyle, while at the same time rewarding and stimulating. Despite being an online student, the open, personal and encouraging communication from all, including the administration department, lecturers and fellow students ensured that I felt very much a part of the University.

Ann MacLean
Stonecross Manor Hotel

Mahin MahjabeenMy interest in the financial market and business operations inspired me to take up business administration as my study field. The craving for learning new business tactics and the desire to get an overseas qualification like my brothers are some reasons that instigated me to pursue my MBA at UniSA.

Not only has my MBA Finance well equipped me to build up my career aspiration in the banking and finance industry, further it has given me the opportunity to think and act strategically in my personal life. My IGSB MBA has provided me with new concepts, theories, framework and most importantly ‘case study’ analysis approach upon which I can practice my business skills.

Mahin Mahjabeen
Executive Director, stockbroking firm
Dhaka Bangladesh

Devan NambiarThe MBA at UniSA has been a very rewarding experience for me. Benefits from the course to both the business and me have been great. I have applied many of the theories to practice and the returns have been: paradigm shifts, higher motivation of staff and a more productive environment. I had attended classes and participated in the online delivery and in both cases found the courses to be challenging and rewarding. Contact with both administration and teaching staff was always a positive experience.

Devan Nambiar
Information Technology Services Manager
Boeing Constructors Inc.

Julie PattersonI moved from ‘on campus’ to ‘on-line’ delivery in the second year of my MBA, and there was ‘no going back’. I loved the flexibility to be able to ‘log on’ for 15 + minutes from any computer and contribute to the on-line discussion/work on the group assignment/raise a question with the Lecturer. I found the communication lines were stronger using this medium of learning; there was ‘zero’ wasted time (no travelling, finding a car park etc) and I could much more easily coordinate work commitments and family responsibilities with my study. Most of all I gained more from the learning experience. As individual contributions and discussions are “in print” everyone seems to go to greater lengths to explain the points they are trying to make which resulted in a higher level of understanding of the subject matter and its application across a range of work settings and countries.

Julie Patterson
Project Director
Common Ground

Completing an MBA broadened my managerial skill set and provided me with specialised skills in the area of strategic problem solving; I also developed strong critical thinking and complex problem solving skills. The MBA program not only gave me knowledge from the latest management thinkers it also encouraged me to learn how this knowledge could be applied on the job. The professional and personal development that I gained from the MBA program has made me more transportable between industries and provided improved employment prospects.

Ian Pratt
Production Manager

Muralidharan RamakrishnanI found that not only could I learn in an online environment, but that I could apply this knowledge I was gaining in my particular workplace on almost a daily basis.

There are several kinds of diversity in this program. There is diversity in location and in types of people. You get a broader perspective on a lot of issues.

Folks that travel a lot would find the structured programme to work very well for them, just like it has for me.

PK Ramakrishnan
European Brand Manager – Onmipaque
Amersham Health PLC

Ken RichI have recently completed my Master of Business Administration Degree, having originally enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Business-Automotive Dealership Management course.

As an enthusiastic advocate for your post graduate courses I highly recommend them to anyone contemplating tertiary business study. The key aspects which appealed to me were the articulation from each successive course, and most importantly the efficiency of the online study.

As a busy professional with substantial work and travel demands I found the online delivery efficient, effective and relevant. I am delighted with the outcome.

Ken Rich
BDO Dealer Services

John Rohrsheim

I have found the IGSB MBA to be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

The course content was relevant and the structure flexible. The MBA has delivered newfound confidence; friends from other industries and cultures; and a variety of knowledge, tools and experiences I can draw upon throughout my career.

John Rohrsheim
Worley Projects – Chemicals and Minerals

Walter SchwalbeIn the current business environment we need to constantly look for ways to expand and develop our skills to maintain a competitive advantage. The unique learning process offered through the UNISA has enabled me to participate in a personal development program that would have otherwise been unavailable to me.

Walter Schwalbe
Business Development
Alcatel Australia Ltd

Darren SeahI have benefited both professionally and personally. I particularly like the UniSA MBA because of its flexibility and practical nature. The program at UniSA provided many opportunities for me to apply at my workplace. This practical component and the interactive nature of the program allows me to fully understand the theories and concepts presented.

Darren Seah
Teaching Strategies Inc

Peter StevensThe University of South Australia MBA programme provides a great combination of academic and practical experiences that have changed the way I think about not only my career, but also the broader context of industry, national and global issues. It has provided me the tools and frameworks to truly make an impact.

Peter Stevens
Human Resources Manager – South Australia
Organisational Change Management Lead

Nathan SuttonThe IGSB MBA online program has resulted in both my personnel and professional development being taken to a new level. Exposure to such wide reaching business environments and experiences both locally and internationally has been pivotal in my learning and growth as a business professional.

While the online delivery demands a high level of achievement, strong lecturer support and course flexibility greatly assisted in balancing my demanding professional and family requirements.

For those individuals striving for excellence in their professional careers I highly recommend the undertaking of the IGSB MBA Program.

Nathan Sutton MBA
Global Lead Organisation Development
BHP Billiton

2005 IGSB Online Top Student “Management Research & Consulting”

Since commencing my studies with UniSA in 2003, I have nothing but praise for the Graduate Certificate in Management program that they offer. I am impressed by the caliber of academic staff, who come from established positions within industry, providing a balance between theory and work life. The subjects that I took last year have really broadened my horizons, far more than I’d ever imagined. The learning experience is well worth it!

Patricia Thaggard
Human Resources Officer
Dana Australia – Salisbury

Leigh ThompsonI found the MBA and enlightening experience, it not only opens your mind to learning but also to share and consider a wide range of perceptions. The MBA encourages strategic thinking and most importantly the systematic influences of decision making, which in an ever evolving environment is fundamental to any organisations growth.

Leigh Thomspon
Operations Manager SA & NT
Parker Hannifin

Marco Totaro I was sure that the dynamic faculty at UniSA and the up-to-date courses would not only increase my knowledge, but also teach me to approach, analyze, and evaluate business situations from different viewpoints. I was convinced that the experience of working with diverse people and the mix of western with eastern management science would add great value to the program.

In the MBA program I improved my ability to focus which is very important in today’s dynamic business environment.

Marco Totaro
Business Planning & Systems Manager
Microsoft Switzerland

Sarah WhitelyStudying online was the perfect way for me to complete my post graduate studies while I pursued my career in various parts of rural Australia. Online study does not feel as “isolated” as traditional distance learning because of the regular interaction and online discussion with both classmates and the class facilitator which is an integral part of the course. Online study opened my eyes to new ideas, people and cultures I would not have otherwise experienced in my chosen field.

Sarah Whitely
Corporate Responsibility Coordinator
Whirlwind Print

Elena YeowOn the whole, the MBA experience has been an exciting journey of self-discovery. Apart from gaining new knowledge, it has also enhanced my critical thinking, analytical, people and presentation skills via the case studies, individual and group project papers, class discussions and presentations.

Studying and living in Adelaide has allowed me to build life-long friendships and networks with students from around the world.

I would also like to thank the lecturers for their guidance, advice and support during the MBA program as I could not achieve these results without them. Overall, this has been a wonderful experience.

Elena Yeow

Melanie YeoThe IGSB MBA program has contributed both to my personal growth and professional development by broadening and deepening my core managerial skill set. Applying the principles and practices taught in MBA courses to the managerial problems I was facing, my business showed improvement right from the start. Interaction with other managers from a variety of industrial, professional and administrative backgrounds helped me to see a wide range of perspectives and new ways of thinking about problems and issues confronting my business. Enrolling in the IGSB MBA program was the best professional development decision I ever made.

Melanie Yeo
Director, Donald Cant Pty Ltd
Winner of the Alex Ramsay Prize for “Most Outstanding Student in the
IGSM MBA Program 2002”

Irene YuI have reached a career and personal milestone with the completion of an IGSB MBA. I have developed the core skills required for managing a business, which will truly enhance my future career prospects. The range of courses undertaken have honed my business writing and communication skills and highlighted the importance of team dynamics in the workplace. When I applied the principles and concepts to my own business problems I discovered my ability to think strategically had expanded and was truly stimulated. An IGSB MBA has certainly added value to my marketability.

Irene Yu
Priorities Business Banking Manager, Westpac

Read Full Post »

itdI am indeed thankful to ITD for awarding me the ITD Presidential Scholarship Grant. The amount received will indeed help in alleviating the cost of the MBA from my own purse strings.

It is a presidential scholarship grant of up to a maximum MYR4000 which is made available to qualified candidates. Applicants to this grant must have shown good undergraduate results or track record of achievements. The rational is for the organizers to support and encourage excellent candidates who are committed, disciplined, talented and would excel on the course.

Read Full Post »

Company Name: Economic Development Board of Singapore
Company reg. no: nil (Government statutory board)

Company address:
250 North Bridge Road, #20-04 Raffles City Tower

About the organisation:
The Economic Development Board (EDB) is Singapore’s lead agency
responsible for planning and executing strategies to sustain
Singapore’s position as a compelling global hub for business and

Geographical Location of Company/Project
Singapore, South East Asia, North Asia, China, India, North America, Europe

Industry Classification:
Information Technology
Media & Communications
Education Products & Services

Stage of Development:
Generating revenue
Generating profit

Range of Investment
USD500,000 and below
USD500,001 to USD3,000,000

Company Contact Person :
Choo Voon Yim (voonyim@edb.gov.sg)

Read Full Post »

bobgilliverBob Gilliver will be in Penang 9th May 2009 to officiate the welcome, orientation and induction of the final batch of UNISA MBA students here. He is the Program Director – MBA. Bob works in the International Graduate School of Business (IGSB) where his responsibilities include Program Directorship for the Adelaide based MBA, the Online MBA, the Transnational MBA and the Chinese MBA. In this role he is also the Program Director for the nested Programs such as the Graduate Diploma in Management and the Graduate Certificate in Business. He is also Program Director for the MBA Double Masters, and the Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business.

He also serves on the MBA Board of Examiners.

Prior to his current appointment he was a Lecturer at the Adelaide Graduate School of Business (AGSB) of The University of Adelaide, and Program Director for the Master of Business Administration courses offered in Singapore. He is a highly experienced post graduate lecturer of Accounting for Managers and E-Business to MBA Students in Adelaide, Singapore Malaysia and Hong Kong.

He also teaches annually at the European Summer School of Advanced Management at Aarhus in Denmark, and represents the University as Consortium Member.

He is also an active international lecturer in Executive Programs focussing on the wine industry, presenting courses in winery business management, e-commerce and wine marketing in Australia, South Africa, North and South America. He also consults to a number of major Australian wineries.

His background is as Finance Manager, Controller, and Finance Director for a variety of Australian based public and private companies in industries as diverse as brewing, television, merchant banking, executive recruitment and paper manufacture. He also taught in Singapore on a full-time basis from 1996-1998. Bob holds the qualifications of Bachelor of Commerce from the University of NSW an MBA from Deakin University.

BUSS 5247 Accounting for Decision Making

Read Full Post »

Start of Term1 (SP1-2009) is my crucial step in resuming my studies. 16th May 2009 is the start of a better future for me. I will always remember this date in the years to come.

The 1st 2 courses that I need to complete successfully are Creative & Accountable Marketing and Accounting for Decision Making.

Creative & Accountable Marketing

Lecture Dates: 11th – 14th June, 2009. Exam Date: 25th July, 2009.

This course will give an overview of how markets operate, the contribution of marketing thinking and the role of the marketing function appropriate to contemporary organisations.

Core issues that will be covered in the course include how markets actually work, the marketing concept, the marketing management process, market orientation and profitability, market based performance, how firms relate to their markets, customer analysis and value creation, marketing in a social service arena, market segmentation, product/service decisions, market-based pricing, marketing communications and customer response, market based assets, gaining and using market intelligence, the benefits and pitfalls of market research, dealing with competition, marketing strategic analysis, strategy implementation and performance metrics, global marketing issues.

Accounting for Decision Making

Lecture Dates: 21st – 24th May, 2009. Exam Date: 1st August, 2009.

actAccounting for Decision Making has been designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge to be able to utilise accounting information to improve their performance as managers. The course assumes that participants have not previously studied accounting. In the course we aim to develop the skills necessary for students to understand, evaluate and make the best possible use of accounting information. These skills will be developed through an initial understanding of the principles, processes and techniques involved in preparing financial reports and other accounting information.

Students will then develop an appreciation of management accounting and the significance for business managers of understanding costs, cost systems, budgets, control systems and financial decision making principles. We include a focus on contemporary issues within the discipline so that students are in tune with, or ahead of, accounting developments within their organisations. And finally, our delivery approach aims to enable students to share practical experiences of a range of accounting issues with class colleagues.

Read Full Post »

I have just received news that my admission to the University of South Australia (UNISA) has been accepted for the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration and Masters of Business Administration.

This is indeed a joyous occasion as it means that I will not be constrained by others and their agendas. I can succeed so long as I persevere. I may eventually decide to take PhD someday in my family’s footsteps; 2 of my paternal uncles are PhD holders, and a few cousins with MSC or MBA.

I pray to God that He gives me strength and perseverance to complete this with perfect achievement. Without Him, I am nothing. With Him, I can fulfill my dreams.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »