Setting Up Office Of Business Development And External Relations
Very good, I was really, you know, glad in some way. I think maybe senior management know that when I get bored, I start looking around about, whether I should be doing something else. And many of us do get headhunted and get approached by executive search firms and many universities are actually looking for deans and, you know, they will come knocking. So when Arnoud came on board in, you know, couple of, a year and a half back, he was going like, You know, Annie I think you've done exec ed for a long time, and on top of exec ed you've been doing many other things which looks very much like business development. But we have never properly recognised all your other things which you are doing new initiatives, new curriculum which gets parked under the school and nobody attributed it to you because they only know of you as the executive education dean. So why don't we formalise all these many things that you do, all the different touch points and give you an Office of Business Development and External Relations. So I actually scratched my head because what exactly is this role, you know. Because it didn't seem to come with it, a specific job description. So I asked Arnoud, Is it possible for some of the institutes that I have started to come under me?î Because I do need to look after them because my sponsors have actually told me in no uncertain words that they will not be there if I'm not there.
So ITI is very precious because we do need that twenty-three sponsors, it's a donor model. So, if the donations don't come in, there will be no ITC, so we needed to make sure that ITI has support. So Arnoud was very kind, he says, That is exactly business development and lots of external relations, so fine, that goes under you. So, I have the ITI under me, I have Financial Training Institute, which is a government-funded, competency-based training programs for finance and banking professionals. So that's also a six-year entity and it was started by me with MAS funding and it's now self-sustainable with a lot of back-end funding for the competency-stamped accredited courses, so that comes under me. So these two are older institutes that I've built. UOB-SMU Entrepreneurship Institute rightly should go under Provost because we needed to use students for projects. Although it was started by me, I decided that I have to relinquish that, so I agreed that goes under the provost office.
And last baby that we are going to be so excited about is my Business Families Institute. Chairman's family is part of my founding family, so we have gathered a total of fifteen business families to be founding and alliance family members. They are going to help shape us in terms of what they need. We will be doing research, we will be writing cases and we hope eventually to have a family business concentration, but not called family business, because then it will be parked under business school. It will be called Business Family Concentration and we'll park it under social science school, because what matters is the family unit.
We are now coming back one full circle, Pat. The country is going back to the family as the basic structural unit. We are coming back to talking about values and values cannot be outsourced. Values are best inculcated, learnt in a family and many business families can do wonders if they get their values right. Because not only do they build the business as a family, they can contribute back to society and community if they get that value right. So, if we have a program that can teach people what it means to build a strong, sustainable business family and teach our students what it's like to become a professional manager working in a business family, I would have built another niche that no other business community will look for their talent. We will have social science students with sociology major understanding the world of business. Isn't this exciting?
Never give anyone a business development title if they have not been in the business long enough. Business development is not marketing. Business development is not sales. Business development is knowing how to find an opportunity and knowing how to find internal and external partners to monetize that opportunity and turn an idea into a reality. And it has to come with many stakeholders, so I actually loved this title because not everybody can do business development.