Asia School of Business

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I run a technology company, managing a team of 8 people. We focus on developing mobility technology solutions such as fleet management for commercial trucks and e-scooters for security guards. Before I joined ASB, I was concerned about how the time away would impact my business. Is it worth earning an MBA and spending 20 months away from the company?

I thought, If I hand off the company, how would employees react? Would they still believe in my vision and continue to work for me? On the other hand, if I continue to run the company the same way, would the company grow into what I dreamed for it? If I applied the knowledge and network I gained at ASB to my company, would it make a difference? Would I move toward my dream?

My company’s growth was facing a bottleneck. I was desperate for a breakthrough. So I chose to believe that ASB would be the right next step. The decision came with a cost and eventually a fruitful payoff for my business of at least RM 500K in the first year of my MBA. Needless to say, it was the right next step. I still remember the day when I first announced my decision to earn a 20-month MBA. My partners and employees were shocked. Some of them lost faith and left the company the next month.

One of the employees told me that the founder is the soul of the company, and that if the founder is not there, the team will not hold together. It was tough for me to see multiple team members leave the company. Despite the hardship caused by the departures, I could more easily identify who my most loyal partners and employees were. I knew I could entrust those left with the handover of my responsibilities while I was away. The shakeup was part of the cost of earning my MBA.

On the other hand, I have gained an important asset in the ASB network. During my first semester, I worked to raise a seed funding round for my company in my free time (not during class time). I asked for company evaluation help from one of my classmates, who was a finance analyst pre-MBA. With their help, I managed to close a seed funding round of RM 300K for 15% of the company’s shares.

It was exciting for me to achieve my first funding milestone for the company. During my second semester, I was referred by a classmate for a software project which was valued at about RM 200K, which I passed to my team to execute. ASB is full of potential business opportunities, both within its own community as well as its robust ecosystem of corporate partners and Action Learning hosts.

Further, ASB’s MBA equipped me with the SMART and SHARP skills that I needed. One of the most useful courses for me was in negotiation. I learned how to prepare for negotiations using a systematic approach, one I now use for negotiating share disputes and contract terms in my business. Another valuable skill I gained was financial modelling using Excel. It is useful for me to simulate the profit and loss of my company based on different product sales estimates.

Additionally, the Disciplined Entrepreneurship course gave me a better sense of direction for the company through utilizing Bill Aulet’s 24-step market validation framework. The list goes on and on.My MBA has been a life-changing experience for me. ASB is an extraordinary and unconventional school where we can design our own goals and  experiences. This is my MBA, and I believe this could be your MBA too.

Have questions about Michael’s story? You can connect with him on LinkedIn.