This week BusinessBecause caught up with Nanyang MBA Abbas Mantri, who is from India, to hear his views on Singapore and MBA fees.
“I'm from Mumbai originally. I was schooled there and then I worked there for a couple of years for a small-to-medium company before moving on to Technosat in Dubai. I then got headhunted to LHS, part of the Ericsson group.
“Since my undergraduate degree an MBA was always on the cards, but I always wanted to go to a top school and so I gained four years of solid experience first.
“After graduating I hope to work for a consulting firm, ideally on internal strategy for international conglomerates. My background is in telecoms but I'm open to all areas. Nanyang allows students to skip internships in order to graduate early, so I turned down an internship offer from SAP so I could graduate in August.
Why I went straight into sales after studying engineering
“It was a very unusual decision, and I did have engineering offers. But while I was on my engineering course I was a part of the student committee, and we organized a lot of festivals. I was securing sponsorships, organizing industrial visits and so on, and controlling a team of 80 volunteers in a very successful year. We doubled our footfall and membership over the previous year.
“That was when I realized I was more of a team player and didn't just want a purely technical role.”
Why I chose to study in Asia
“I wanted to go East, not West. The decision took some time, and was based on a lot of factors.
“You have to consider the return on your investment, not just the money but also the time you invest. Schools in the US charge between US$130,000 and $140,000. Against that, the return on my MBA in Singapore was far better. The fee structure is Singapore $75,000 (US$55000). It's also a 15-month intensive course against two year one in the US.
Why I chose Nanyang over the Indian Institute of Management and other top Asian schools
“I was interested in CEIBS (in China) and schools in Hong Kong too. I chose Nanyang for its reputation for strategy and because I'd heard language was an issue in the other schools I had offers from.
“As far as jobs are concerned you can pitch for jobs anywhere from Singapore. I'm still thinking global. I'm open to everything.
“I chose against applying to the IIMs because I wanted an international, multicultural feel. The IIMs are nice schools but they didn't fit with the goals of my MBA. What I'm learning at Nanyang is different, not 'better' or 'worse'.
“Nanyang still gives an Asian feel, but in our batch we've got 40% Westerners - much higher than people expect. “
Singapore v. Mumbai
“I've been here since I started in July 2010. Singapore is a nice city, a good place to live. It's similar to Mumbai, except it's more organized. It's also got a cosmopolitan feel and people of all nationalities.
“It's not got the best nightlife, but it's still good (Mumbai is probably better in that respect). The best thing about Singapore is the comfort and orderliness of daily life.
“That said, customer service isn't really a specialty here. Another frustration is that they stick to their rules. They have a way of doing things and they go ahead and do it.
“My impressions are fairly typical of the place amongst Indians. But some guys are even more positive than me. Their excitement levels are higher because there are certain things you see abroad you don't see in Mumbai.”