Best Reasons to Get an EMBA in Singapore

The Executive MBA (EMBA) is an excellent opportunity for experienced professionals from all sectors to gain an edge in today’s managerial skills. And what better place to embark on this journey than in the multi-cultural city-state of Singapore, ranked as the topmost competitive economy in the 2020 World Competitiveness Ranking? Here are four reasons you should do your EMBA, and for that matter, in Singapore.

The business world is becoming more complex and uncertain. Wicked problems about sustainability and growth remain, while disruptive new business models are upsetting the status quo.

Jobs are becoming more flexible, and processes are more integrated. Digitalization and innovation are a priority, and if anything, COVID-19 has only accelerated the need for change.

Here’s how doing your EMBA will equip you to tackle these challenges head-on:


EMBA programs provide candidates with hard and soft skills to do business. Catered to professionals with over a decade of experience in their fields, the modules dive deep into strategies needed to take their organization to the next level.

This is relevant for all leaders in all sectors. At the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA Asia-Pacific, the sectors that participants come from are as diverse as their nationalities. Besides the usual finance and consulting backgrounds, some come from biomedical science and engineering, and a few with Ph.D.’s as well.

“These candidates may have 15 to 20 years of experience in one domain, so they are really credible and have huge competence in that area, but this is outside of their expertise. And as they have been in a company, they may know what management is, but they might not have practiced it this way,” Cedomir Nestorovic, Academic Director of the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA Asia-Pacific, shares.

Doing an EMBA will therefore equip them with a holistic view of management areas like finance, human resources, and strategy, he explains, which can help advance their careers, and supports a change of job trajectory.

A testament to the success of this, research from the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) shows that in 2019, 54 percent of EMBA candidates received new responsibilities during their studies, and 40 percent were offered a promotion. The benefits continued despite worldwide economic contractions. This year, the Financial Times found that of 3,000 EMBA graduates, most retained their jobs and reported increased remuneration despite the economic challenges.


EMBA programs are also incredibly relevant because they have also pivoted to meet the needs of modern business. While in the past, the focus was predominantly on finance and leadership; today, programs like the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA Asia-Pacific program offer a cluster of tailored modules.

This includes helping participants understand the digital aspects of a company’s strategy, equipping them with the know-how to grow and leverage corporate digital trends.

The importance of this cannot be understated. A report by McKinsey and Company outlines four main steps to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, and they are all digital: refocus digital investments, use data and AI to boost operations, modernize tech capabilities and increase organizational agility.

EMBA graduates with digital know-how are going to be essential players in leading their businesses through these transformations.


Doing it in Singapore, with the Asia-Pacific track of the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA program, also ensures graduates are Asia-ready.

60 percent of the faculty are from Asia, and there are region-specific courses like “Geopolitics in Asia from a Managerial Perspective”, or covering “Islamic Business in Asia: The New Frontier”. When covering topics like supply chain or finance, Asia-specific examples are used, and the professors are careful to explain the peculiarities and commonalities between the Europe and Asia markets.

Most importantly, Nestorovic observes that many people who say they are learning about Asia are focused on just one or two countries. In the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA program, however, “we don’t look at Asia from the prisma of just one country, or of one part of the region. We are to some extent, unfolding what Asia is.”

There is also room for picking up nuances through peer-to-peer learning. After all, the diversity of the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA Asia-Pacific program is not just seen in nationalities and industries that candidates hail from, but also in the gender of candidates – over 35 percent of each cohort is female, which helps create a more balanced perspective during discussions.


Finally, Singapore has numerous accolades that make it a prime place to access the Asian region. This includes being the most open and competitive economy globally, the smartest city, most competitive financial center — and these are just to name a few.                                                                     

Assuming that recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic relies on infection rates staying low and concrete containment measures, the fact that Singapore ranks as one of the top 10 most resilient countries means the country’s economy is likely to bounce back fast.

Of course, some may feel it is preferable to wait for travel restrictions to lift before embarking on an EMBA, but to this, Nestorovic matter-of-factly states: “you should do it when you are ready to do it, not when you have the ideal conditions because you might never achieve that ideal.”

There is no doubt that more leaders are needed in times of crisis. So with the benefits of an EMBA program, the new flexibility of work-from-home arrangements, and Singapore’s state-of-the-art digital infrastructure, perhaps there is no better time than here and now.

Interested in the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA Asia-Pacific program? 

Please fill out the form on the right to receive by email the link to download the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA Asia-Pacific brochure.


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