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Banker braces for the ‘aha moment’

Published on Saturday, 11 Jan 2014
Dennis Bancod
Photo: Kellogg-HKUST EMBA

To take part in the upcoming 2014 Kellogg-HKUST EMBA classes starting this month, Philippine-based banker Dennis Bancod will need to jet back and forth between Manila and Hong Kong. But to him, that’s no great sacrifice because the world is getting smaller anyway.

“Barriers to do business across countries are breaking down, and markets are unifying. By 2015, we will see the beginnings of a unified Asean economic community. That’s why as an industry leader, I understand the need to prepare for the new normal, where it’s crucial to be able to work across diverse cultures and business practices,” says Bancod, chief information officer (CIO) and senior executive vice-president of Manila-based RCBC, one of the largest Philippine banks.

“While there are good MBA programmes in my home country, I needed one that would expose me to the nuances of doing business without borders,” he says.

“I chose Kellogg-HKUST Executive MBA because it has consistently been ranked the best in the world. My key considerations were the quality of the faculty and staff, programme curriculum, mode of teaching, and alumni network. I also look forward to case studies, where I would be able to work with like-mind individuals coming from different parts of the globe and learn not only from the programme, but from my classmates as well,” he adds.

Bancod says his two main objectives in the next 18 months are to expand his business knowledge and skills, and to boost his business network.

He looks forward to the lively discussions and debates resulting from the differing perspectives of students with diverse professional and geographical backgrounds, as well as world-class learning from the programme’s top faculty.

As the CIO spearheading RCBC’s IT and operations arms, Bancod hopes the programme will help him transition to the revenue side of banking.

“My goal is to be able to shift to the ‘other side’, to be able to manage my own balance sheet, work on the revenue side of the equation and to have my own P&L,” he says, adding that because the programme is grounded in current business trends, it will allow him to apply his newfound knowledge, skills and insights immediately to his current job.

As a senior executive at a major bank, Bancod expects to act as an informal mentor to other students. “I intend to share whatever I know with my classmates, and I hope that I equally learn new things from them. I look forward to what I call the ‘aha moment’ – that time when a great idea just lights up in your head and you can share it with your colleagues and see the smile on their faces,” he says.

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