The Telfer Executive MBA Class of 2018 have completed their research, analyzed market frameworks and strategically narrowed their market entry opportunities to one: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The cohort challenged each other during the week of June 5th to think strategically about the six market options as they narrowed down the short list each day to single in on one destination for their International Business Consulting Trip. Candidates were instructed to think about the business implications of their decisoin and focus on four key aspects of the markets including the strategic importance to Canadian sectors and the importance that each respective market would have on the cohort’s global market experience, career progression and global resume going forward.
This was the final step of the International Market Evaluation & Strategy course that started in March. The course mirrors the strategic approach that an organization would take when evaluating and making a decision on a specific international market on expanding its global footprint. The process forms the compelling nature of the Telfer Executive MBA program, a program that strictly focusing on a Global, Practical and Relevant curriculum by anchoring key learnings on the Signature Series of Six Business Consulting Projects.
Diana Prenoveau, Class of 2018's president, celebrated the news of the market announcment with her cohort via email, recalling the class highlights from the past year and those to come, “From the Silicon Valley trip and client engagement; to the community involvement of our Junior Achievement Day on June 7; and finally, to our fantastic international market selection process and announcement of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; we have so much to toast to and to celebrate.”
The Class of 2018 will be working with Canadian companies on exploring the Vietnamese and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market as it marches the client organizations to Ho Chi Minh City in April 2018.
“We have chosen an amazing destination full of potential for our capstone international business consulting trip. ” Says Prenoveau.
This is the second time a cohort of Telfer Executive MBA program has chosen Ho Chi Minh City as a market destination for their International trip. The Class of 2018 arrival in Vietnam will mark The Class of 2013 anniversary of their capstone projects in the area.
Located along the South China Sea, Vietnam is home to a population of 90 million. The rising population of educated youth within the country is supporting the rise of the middle class and one of the key factors driving it`s growth. The country falls just behind Singapore inwith a 94% literacy rate iamoung it's youth in 2016.
Other factors driving Vietnam to be one of the most attractive locations for foreign investors in the ASEAN market are low wages, political stability, new FTAs and subsequent integration into the global economy, infrastructure commitments and its location on the coast with access to inland countries.
Vietnam's integration into global economy took multiple strides when the country entered the World Trade Organization in January of 2007. Prior to entry, the country took significant measures to revise it`s regulatory systems. The overhaul opened up the country on the global market by creating a friendlier investment environment more transparent business environment. These revisions have continued since which bring both challenges in keeping up with these changes as well as opening up new opportunities as the Vietnamese market becomes more accessible to global opportunities.
Vietnam's evolution in the global marketplace since entering the WTO has not gone undetected by Canadian organizations. Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Vietnam has increased at a steady rate over the past decade and has more than doubled since 2013. Canadian organizations have entered the market in multiple sectors, including: Agriculture and Agri-Food, Education and Training, Aerospace & Defence, Oil & Gas as well as Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Ho Chi Minh City is the largest commercial city in Vietnam with it`s thriving energy and manufacturing sectors. It is the largest contributor to the nation's growth, contributing an average 20 percent to the country’s overall GDP. Numerous infrastructure projects and initiatives are contributing to an ever-changin landscape as they try to keep pace with the commercial growth in the area. This includes improved roadways and rail systems to ease transportation woes, a intercountry highway system and growth of sea ports. The improvements to the roadways and ports will support further growth in multiple sectors as this access opens up new market entry to inland neighbouring countries.
The Next Steps for the Class of 2018
Over the course of the next eight months the Telfer Executive MBA teams will be engaging with six Canadian organizations that are looking to increase their business footprint in the Vietnamese market. This global component of the Telfer Executive MBA curriculum focuses on leveraging both primary and secondary sources to conduct a market and business analysis, and to validate the market potential prior to the teams traveling to the area. The Class of 2018 will be in Ho Chi Minh City in April 2018, respective teams will leverage other data gathering methodologies including in-country meetings with key stakeholders to validate the market potential.
Telfer Executive MBA consistently provides compelling business value to respective client organizations that multiple senior-level client representatives choose to join the teams for the in-country portion of the project.
Candidates consistently agree that this project, which encapsulates their learnings throughout their 21 months, increases their confidence overall as they actively engage in consulting internationally. They learn that international business is not difficult with solid planning and precise implementation.