Photo: Aroop Zutshi
Frost & Sullivan yesterday (15 April 2014) launched its Growth, Innovation and Leadership (GIL) University in the Iskandar region in the southern state capital of Johor in Malaysia. The university, said Frost & Sullivan, aims to bring together great innovators, entrepreneurs, leaders and best practices to provide a unique and powerful experiential learning programme "which will positively change lives and create a significant impact on economic development, employability and visionary leadership," said Aroop Zutshi, its Global President and Managing Partner.
Zutshi also added that the siting of the university within the Iskandar region was due to a number of positive factors, chief of which was the support and endorsement from the government as well as the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) of Malaysia, and the availability of infrastructural support conducive to the establishment of the university. The close proximity of the Iskandar Malaysia to Singapore is also another key attraction, he said.
Established as a not-for-profit organisation, GIL University will begin operation in August this year, and is now open to accepting applications for enrolment and sponsorship. Ebi Zadeh, the university's Global Vice President, said that the university has already received some interest from both the public and private sectors, and has opened "sponsorship windows for key areas such as women in boardrooms, high tech and underdeveloped markets."
He also mentioned that the university welcomes co-investment partnerships with organisations hoping to use the university as a foundation to build their leadership organisation.
According to Zutshi, the GIL University's flagship programme is the Visionary Innovator Programme or VIP, which is intended to groom and develop world-class leaders for booming markets in regions such as Southeast Asia. Initiatives such as the setting up of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 (AEC 2015) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will create a single market comprising 40 percent of global trade, he said. As such, capable leaders will be needed to bring such regional cooperation to fruition—and that is where the GIL University will play a key role to help groom talents from the region.
"VIP has been designed to focus on mentoring by global leaders instead of relying on management theories and case studies," said David Frigstad, Chairman of Frost & Sullivan. He emphasised that Frost & Sullivan would bring the best from its global leadership team, together with its GIL community of global business leaders, to deliver the VIP programme.
When asked if the GIL University would confer qualifications similar to an MBA or post-graduate degrees, Zutshi commented that the VIP programme is unique in that much of the curriculum would immerse participants in real-life training to prepare them for their leadership roles in future instead of pure management roles.
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