This week SBS is virtually hosting the Global Network Week. The GNW is a program designed by the Global Network for Advanced Management for Executive MBA Students to allow the students and faculty to pursue intensive study at another partner school in a focused course that leverages the perspectives, programs, and faculty expertise of that school.
Alongside their counterparts from elsewhere in the network, students attend classes, tour local businesses, and meet with experts focused on current business problems.
Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM)
Launched in 2012, the Global Network for Advanced Management includes 31 leading business schools from diverse regions, countries, cultures, and economies in different phases of development. A common motivation of member schools to connect is to position their students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other constituencies so that they can deepen their understanding of differences and commonalities in their economies and increase their effectiveness.Member schools recognize that leaders in all sectors will be asked to contribute to the solutions for major problems that are typically complex and global.
Due to the current COVID-19 Pandemic, the GNW program is being offered online. To that effect, some schools among the 22 under Global Network Weeks had their programs canceled leaving a total of 17. This year we have 11 participating students from various business schools under GNAM:
The topic for the GNW 2020 program is Understanding Business Opportunities and Investments in Emerging Markets. The delivery model of this course consists of online classroom sessions, industry guest speaker sessions, use of live cases, company videos, project work within groups as well as individual reflections. On the last day, the students will be expected to complete a syndicate project which will serve as their academic assessment.
For the industry guest speaker sessions, the students were able to virtually interact with business leaders from across the region which allowed them to get a better perspective of business opportunities and challenges in East Africa and Africa as a whole.
Speaking during one of the industry leader sessions, Sanchita Singh from Bidco Africa highlighted lengthy and tedious government approval processes as a major challenge for new market entrants, especially in Uganda and Tanzania. Sanchita emphasized the need to maintain quality standards even when merging or creating partnerships with other companies. “When looking for partnerships in our expansion to Africa, we make sure to look for like-minded companies; those looking to build sustainable businesses and standards in the market,” she said.
Dr. Rosebella Chelagat, CEO Tulon Coffee gave her experience in entering new markets in East, West, and South Africa. She highlighted the ease of doing business and access to finance as some of the challenges. “Rwanda has very smooth and fast government approvals, the country is generally investor-friendly. Kenya on the other hand has very robust financial infrastructure as compared to the other East African countries,” she said.
According to Azariah Soi, Managing Director of the Kenya Seed Company, the greatest challenge they faced when expanding to the region was the lack of expertise. “In the beginning, we had to do everything from Kenya to the region, which was very costly, tedious, and time-consuming,” he said.
Various business opportunities can be explored within emerging markets, with these opportunities are challenges that are unique to emerging markets that must be understood.
Through this intensive one-week program the students have had an opportunity to engage with the SBS Faculty and Kenyan and East African Business Leaders giving them a deeper understanding of the region’s business landscape, in terms of opportunities and challenges.
Learn more about our Executive MBA Programme here
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