Interview Sachin Tipnis - HKU MBA & EMBA
Sachin Tipnis is Senior Executive Director at The University of Hong Kong Business School, overseeing three different programs including Master of Business Administration (MBA), EMBA- Global Asia, and Masters programs. Sachin graduated from the HKU MBA in 2004. Sachin started his career in advertising and has rich experience in brand management and strategy development across sectors and industries followed by 15 years in business education management.
He has played a key role in developing the HKU MBA and EMBA-Global Asia as one of the top schools; 9 consecutive years (2010-2018) ranked No. 1 MBA in Asia by The Economist and ranked No. 4 EMBA program in the world by the Financial Times in 2019.
HKU Business School is one of the leading universities with a worldwide recognized reputation. What is the goal of HKU Business School?
The School is deeply rooted in Hong Kong, fully engaged with China, and truly international. Our goal is to encourage and INSPIRE new ideas and initiatives; to EMPOWER students to excel; and to LEAD in the frontier of knowledge creation.
HKU Business School is known for having a distinct advantage of focusing on Asia and China business as well as evolving business environments such as Big Data and AI. What is the competitiveness of the HKU MBA curriculum?
As the Asian economy continues to grow and become the leading engine for growth of the worldwide economy, it is vital that business leaders from the region are exposed to cutting-edge business education that is tailor-made for achieving success in the dynamic and ever-evolving Asian arena.
The HKU MBA adopts an experiential learning approach, with a strong focus on China and Asia. Students learn how to apply business principles and models to real-world business problems in the region. All courses are taught by using context-rich business scenarios and cases based on actual experiences at well-known Asian and global companies. The extensive use of business cases enables our students to become effective problem-solvers and decision-makers, which is a required skill in today’s complex business environment.
Every year we look at our portfolio of courses to make sure they are aligned with the current business landscape, and make necessary changes to stay relevant. We work closely with all stakeholders including corporate partners, senior alumni, students, and professors to develop and enhance our MBA curriculum.
HKU Business School has strived to improve talent competitiveness in order to foster global talent. Through the HKU MBA, how can individual candidates add value to their professional careers?
This can be done through various means. The first is the knowledge that one attains through the courses. Secondly, the interaction and networks with classmates coming from different industries and functions, and lastly the soft-skill development.
We have a distinguished faculty with excellent academic achievements in research, as well as a group of adjunct professors from the industry – CEOs, Directors, and Partners of multinational companies – who will be able to bring in their practical knowledge to the class. This will accelerate our students to become very competitive in processing the right knowledge.
We do select candidates with strong qualifications and backgrounds, hence students may share ideas, experiences, and knowledge. This can also enhance the ability to work with others to network consequently.
We also offer a lot of soft-skill development programs for our students such as workshops, career services, training, and coaching for certain skill sets that are needed in the market today.
Considering all these factors, we do believe that individuals can take these into their professional careers by having a strong curriculum, mingling or networking with students, the community coming from diverse backgrounds, and developing soft-skills with the right attitudes.
Can you introduce the student profile of HKU MBA Programmes?
Our full-time students are truly dynamic and international with 15 – 20 different nationalities. They have an average of 5-6 years of working experience in different industries including Banking & Finance, Consulting, Advisory, Technology, Media, Government, Utility, Consumer Products, and so on.
Part-time students are also largely comprised of international backgrounds. While Hong Kong students have a relatively higher presence - on average 45% - part-time students have an average of 10-12 years of work experience from diverse industries.
A lot of MBA aspirants may be hesitant about the workload of both working full-time and studying, are there any insights or advice you can provide to them?
The part-time MBA will be a challenge having both full-time work and studying. However, we have done very well in terms of structuring our program for our students to equip them with time management.
For example, we provide both weekday and weekend mode. Depending on your work arrangement and schedule, you can choose the mode best fit for you.
Also, the location is very important. We have our Admiralty campus which provides quick and easy classroom access so you waste less time traveling after work for the weekday mode. The weekend mode is also very helpful as the commitment requires only Saturday.
The second way of providing structure is the program’s modular format. That means you study only one course for five weeks. This way you can go deep into a subject with one group for one task in one class at one time. You are not required to deal with several subjects and different groups of people in parallel.
Through these offerings, we help our students to have the right insight, knowledge, and ability to manage time effectively.
Can you provide any admission tips for HKU MBA programs?
With regard to the admission, I always believe that you have to be yourself. That is the best way as you can represent yourself really well. Concentrate on your strengths, and most importantly, please talk to the admission team to learn about the program, school culture, and so on. After that, you can prepare accordingly for the interview and match your needs with the program offers. Upon understanding this, you will naturally do better in the interview as well as the whole admission process. The key is to interact with the school as much as possible.