Executive MBA: Senior managers apply within
Voted Best Business School in Africa for a third consecutive year in November 2010 at the Eduniversal Global Convention in Prague, Czech Republic, the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) offers one of the most innovative Executive MBA courses in the world.
African Business Review takes a look at the programme which promises to develop a cadre of senior management with the capabilities and cultural empathy to build an exceptional career.
The EMBA course
Recently, The University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business’ full-time MBA programme moved up 29 places to 60th place in the latest Financial Times Global MBA Top 100 rankings. The UCT GSB degree is also ranked as the best value for money MBA in the world today.
However, an Executive Master of Business Administration program (EMBA) is used to meet the educational needs of senior management personnel, with students earning their qualification over two years while still working full-time. UCT GSB's modular course only requires that a total of 12 weeks are spent away from employment, with the programme consisting of six two week, full-time residential blocks and fourteen-week, part-time inter-modular blocks carried out in the workplace.
UCT GSB's believes benefits for students include "a deeper understanding of management from an international and local perspective. The programme acts as a career springboard to the executive level.” Not only will students be introduced into new ways of high-level thinking, interpretation and decision making - skills which are crucial in the tough world of senior management - but the Executive MBA will also encourage personal growth, self-reflection and introspection enabling students to become fully aware of their own strengths and weaknesses.
Comprising of six core modules, the Executive MBA is an interactive programme encouraging students to collectively contribute to themes and topics as diverse as the operational and strategic dimensions of business acumen, globalisation, entrepreneurship and critical management thinking.
Lloyd Darby, Marketing Manager at Hulamin, an independent semi-fabricator of aluminium products in South Africa, chose UCT GSB's Executive MBA due to the institution's established standing and the practical aspects of the programme.
“It is an institution with a very good reputation and the programme’s modular structure meant a small disruption of my work and family life.”
According to the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business, the EMBA learning experience is built around four key principles; accelerated learning, developing new theories, facilitators not teachers and action learning.
Students study their own actions and experiences in order to improve personal performance and gain a greater understanding of theories and concepts. Participants are also encouraged to develop their own contextual theories based on module teaching and practical experiences. Teaching staff are seen as facilitators, collaborating and interacting with students on a personal level to increase understanding.
EMBA student Rashid Toefy, CEO of Convenco, the holding company for the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), says that although the programme was challenging, it was an enjoyable experience which encouraged personal growth and strengthened his business acumen through appropriate assessment techniques.
“The Executive MBA was tough but I loved it and I found the content very relevant to where I was at – right from the start I was able to apply what I learnt and get the most out of each aspect of the programme. It made me question myself as a leader – and in that way it was incredibly reflective,” Toefy says.
“I really wanted grow and increase my leadership capabilities and particularly liked the action learning and systems thinking approach at the UCT GSB – the degree was a voyage into the heart of who I am as a leader.”
Information about dates, fees and application details can be found on the Graduate School of Business' website.
University of Cape Town's Executive MBA facilitates personal development and provides participants with a knowledge and understanding of transferable yet fundamental business theories and concepts.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.