A Journey of Discovery in Asia – The AGSM MBA IBSA Elective

As is clearly visible from the statistic, Asia today constitutes 60% of the total world population and is fast emerging as global powerhouse in almost every Business sector. In such a scenario, it is vital for any MBA graduate to be well aware of the opportunities and challenges in Asia as it is impossible for an organization to establish a global footprint and make a true contribution to the world without having strong operations in Asia.

To impart this knowledge to its MBA graduates and prepare them to do Business in these countries the AGSM MBA Programs has designed a new course offering called the International Business Strategy in Asia (IBSA) Course.

The focus of this program is to allow participants to work and travel together as a select cohort to explore and gain greater understanding about business strategies and growth opportunities across Asia. The subject offers an intensive international ‘live-in’ residential study program and cultural learning experience across Sydney (Phase 1), Singapore (Phase 2) and Mumbai (Phase 3).

Its aim is to broaden students’ international business perspective and knowledge, and introduce challenging business cases in each of the countries visited. It was formed as a result of the emerging ties the AGSM MBA has developed with SP Jain, one of Asia’s leading business management teaching schools.

The subject currently involves 5 weeks of classes held across the 3 cities within a tailored timetable that enabled part time students to fully undertake the course with only 10 days away from work.

In its initial year (2009) the course contained 30 MBA Students (22 part time, 8 full time).

An excerpt from Anthony Burrows and Jennifer Killian's (two full time MBA students from the AGSM Class of 2010) article for the AGSM Star (eNewsletter for full-time MBAs) provides a student insight into the course.

“Our first stop during the two week journey of discovery was Singapore where we were warmly greeted by quality speakers and students at the SP Jain Centre of Management (SPJCM). AGSM Alumni, veteran CEOs and government officials on the Singapore Development Board rounded out the morning lectures. During several of the afternoons we headed out to visit some local companies including a number of logistics companies (including YCH group and UPS) and toured the Asia Pacific Breweries, home of the famous Tiger Beer. The evenings were spent duelling with the local Chilly Crabs and working our way through the list of recommended night spots.

We also enjoyed a networking lunch hosted by SPJCM and its local cohort – sharing stories of inspiration and testing our coordination with an Indian dance-off! “

The students also took away great insights from their visit to Mumbai, as Anthony says

“On arriving in Mumbai, we dove head first into a routine of morning presentations from some amazing speakers and afternoon tours, including the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Gateway to India and the famous Taj Mahal Hotel to tread the same steps as Gandhi himself.

The Mumbai Slum tour was a highlight for those that dared. Interestingly the friendly and welcoming people living in the Dharavi Slum were very proud of their existence and entrepreneurial spirit. We saw whole industries running within the confines of the slums such as plastic recycling, bakeries and machinery and clothing manufacturing, all contributing toward a staggering $US 665,000 annual turnover for Dharavi Slum alone."

Overall the course was an unqualified success and all students took away a tremendous amount from their experience. Universally they felt that they were more enriched MBA students and better future business leaders as a result.

To learn more about the AGSM MBA Programs at the Australian School of Business, UNSW visit the AGSM MBA BusinessBecause Page and connect with current students and Alumni.


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