The vibrant growth of Asia-Pacific calls for equally dynamic business leaders. The bigger feat, however, lies in grooming such leaders - from young, ambitious individuals to skilled, well-equipped decision makers who can rise to the challenges of an increasingly globalised world.
"Education today must blend field experience with in-depth learning, and geographical mobility with an articulated understanding of cultural diversity," says professor Herve Mathe, dean of ESSEC Asia-Pacific. "This is the key to addressing the complexity of a globalised economy and developing the skills required to formulate and implement positive value-enhancing decisions."
Positioning itself as a facilitator of discourse and collaboration on co-creating innovative business strategies for the Asia-Pacific market, ESSEC Asia-Pacific is as focused on attracting talented students as collaborating with established companies and business leaders. It traces its roots to France-based ESSEC Business School, which is ranked No 2 worldwide in The Financial Times "Best Master in Finance" programme rankings in 2013 and 2012 for its Advanced Master in Financial Techniques. ESSEC Business School ranked No 5 for Master of Science in Management and No 7 for Executive Education open-enrolment programmes last year.
Headquartered in Singapore since 2005, ESSEC Asia-Pacific complements its acclaimed general management, specialised graduate programmes and open enrolment executive workshops with customised learning experiences.
"Our customised executive programmes are designed to equip executives, managers and officers of public agencies with critical-thinking skills, to stimulate creativity and allow them to keep ahead of economic and business trends," Mathe says. "We tailor-fit every content while tapping into the stock of our research findings and unique simulation tools."
ESSEC Asia-Pacific invests significantly in "learning-by-doing" methodologies and promotes immersion initiatives. For instance, its Asian Strategy Project programme allows students in their final year of the Master of Science in Management course to contribute to the development of innovative organisations operating in emerging economies. This project, designed and run in partnership with global consulting firm Capgemini Consulting, has expanded from China and India to include Vietnam and the Philippines. Through immersion in the field and under the dual supervision of faculty members and senior consultants, students formulate strategic recommendations and discuss implementation plans.
The school is actively engaged in academic partnerships in the region with institutions including Fudan University School of Public Health in Shanghai and Singapore Management University's institutes of Service Excellence and of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. ESSEC Business School runs 145 academic exchange and dual degree programmes worldwide.
ESSEC Asia-Pacific hosts specialised centres of excellence such as the Institute of Research and Education on Negotiation (IRENE Asia-Pacific), the Institute for Strategic Innovation and Services (ISIS Asia-Pacific) and the Institute of Health Economics and Management (IHEM Asia-Pacific). Under these institutes, relevant topics are explored by world-class academics together with policymakers and business professionals to exchange best practices and promote cultural understanding between Asia and Europe.
"Beyond training business executives, we help Asean diplomats learn how to negotiate, for example, with the European Union," says
Chao Ta Wei, director of development for Greater China and executive director of IRENE Asia-Pacific. "We take pride in facilitating international negotiations by supporting Asian policymakers in tackling critical issues such as free trade agreements."
Of equal importance, permanent faculty members often seconded by PhD students and colleagues from partner institutions also carry out inspiring research programmes. Thus, particular fields of expertise are nurtured within the school, including leadership and entrepreneurship in Asia, real estate finance, halal business, luxury brand management, business analytics and digital marketing or financial modelling.
Ushering in ESSEC's further expansion is the construction of a new campus in Singapore in Nepal Hill at one-north business park. Slated for completion by the end of 2014, the campus' first phase with its 6,500 square-metre facility will enable ESSEC Asia-Pacific to accommodate three times more faculty and students than its current size.
"Apart from increasing our teaching capacity, the next five years will see ESSEC driving more cutting-edge research, expanding academic and corporate partnerships, and carving a name for itself as a truly influential academic institution in the Asia-Pacific region," Mathe says.