Get That Wow Factor with Asia’s Top Executive Education Programmes

Business leaders and management thinkers worldwide would want to up their stand in such a competitive market, and what better way to improve one’s knowledge and connections but with further education. “Developing good, innovative business strategies requires management capability, frameworks, domain knowledge and high levels of external awareness, diverse perspectives, as well as trends and ideas from other industries. Executive education will certainly enhance the ability of executives to come up with forward-looking strategies in often untested area. I believe knowledge gained can only increase the probability of success,” said Mr. Jai Arya, Head of Executive Education and Advisor to the Dean (Corporate Outreach) at National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School.

Whether you want to be promoted (or going to be), discover new information, or your employer wants you to go for the opportunity, this is a great way for self-reflection and improvement to show your boss that you’ve got more than the company expects.

Asia thrives in excellent executive education programmes that build impact on executives that wish to improve their business strategies, apply better employee relationships, and manage their organisations well.


The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) has been providing executive education programmes that are aligned with our mission to develop professional, entrepreneurial, and socially responsible Asian business and development leaders. They offer Open Enrolment Programmes (uses a range of learning methodologies that help build skills and knowledge efficiently and effectively) and Custom Programmes (offer customised training programmes to companies of any industry and size).1 

The Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) also offers unique executive courses that you can choose from and indulge in, such as Governance Courses that enable participants to have a critical understanding of the political, economic, and social dynamics in governance; Leadership and Management Courses that provide windows for interaction with emerging leaders in the public sector; Environment Governance and Climate Change Courses that develop its participants in thinking analytically and pragmatically about how the government, through its policies and laws, play their role in protecting citizens from damages brought by natural calamities and climate change; Policy Courses that focuse on transforming leaders in the formulation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of policy outcomes; Project Development and Management Courses that hope to integrate approaches and techniques in project planning and management aimed at developing and designing projects; and Local Economic Development Courses that utilise the LED Framework, concepts, and approaches towards building a socio-economic power base.2


For 36 years, National University of Singapore has been annually offering Stanford – NUS Executive Programme in International Management, taking its participants in a unique opportunity to immerse in the cultures of two of the world’s most respected institutions: Stanford Graduate School of Business and NUS Business School. This two-week highly intensive program aims to bring out your expertise with current insights and knowledge of global and Asian business, and structure your knowledge in business management, strategy and leadership.3

NUS also offers various executive programmes in the fields of Accounting and Finance (e.g. CAMRI Graduate Certificate in Applied Portfolio Management), General Management (e.g. Indian School of Business (ISB) – NUS General Management Programme for Asia), Innovation and Transformation (e.g. Mergers and Acquisitions, Leading Transformational Change), Leadership (e.g. Emerging Leaders Programme, Leadership Development Programme) and Strategy (e.g. Managing Cross-Border Trade and Value Chains in Southeast Asia).4

“We also have long-running joint collaborations on the NUS-Chicago Booth Emerging CFOs for Asia programme, again distinguished by global knowledge and Asian perspectives,” Mr. Arya said.

The London School of Business and Finance (LSBF)’s designed their executive education programmes for business leaders and professionals who wish to adopt the latest skill requirements in the business world. LSBF offers Face-to-Face Programmes that are developed to give participants a strong foundation of the subject area, participants can take away the insights gleaned from the programme and apply to their daily work for peak performance, and are divided in 10 series that each presents the necessary knowledge to make your career grow: Service Excellence, HR & Performance Management, Accounting & Finance, Communication, Security & Intelligence, Banking & Finance, Personal Effectiveness Master, Management & Leadership, Logistics & Supply Chain, and Business Process & Innovation.5

Their Customised Programmes are based on the goals of delivering improved organisational results, demonstrating greater innovation, and solving problems creatively. Some of their customised programmes are Business Process Transformation, Writing and Presenting Effective Proposals, Discovering the Agile Digital Leader, Next Generation HR, Financial Modeling for Start-ups, Social Media for Business Success, and Cost Control and Optimisation.6

But for those who don’t have the time to get out of their seats and go outside, LSBF also offers an online programme called agileLearning, that allows professionals to browse through their more than 800 online courses and gives you the flexibility to learn anywhere, anytime.7

ESSEC Business School also offers unique tailor-made educational experiences that effectively suit the specific needs of organisations and individuals. One of their most sought after program is the Luxury Brand Management Executive Program, which is designed to keep you on the pulse, providing you with solid grounding in the concepts and foundations of luxury and premium branding, and the art of delivering luxury experience and luxury service to customers.8

For 36 years, National University of Singapore has been annually offering Stanford – NUS Executive Programme in International Management, taking its participants in a unique opportunity to immerse in the cultures of two of the world’s most respected institutions.

Another executive program is their ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA – Asia-Pacific that caters to up-and-coming leaders and professionals with the expertise to handle a variety of challenges often associated with leadership positions. It helps to identify a combination of Asian insights essential to consider while conducting business in the region and make sure that the program incorporates a broad range of courses to cover both soft skills and hard skills.9 Similarly, their open enrolment programmes are designed to keep top executives, managers, and government officials ahead of business trends.10


Tailored for senior level management, Peking University – HSBC Business School offers the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) Degree Program, for professionals to not only learn scientific approaches in dealing with the financial and managerial demands of a managerial position while continuing to work full-time, but also take part in intensive classes for four days each month for the duration of the two-year program. It is conducted in Mandarin Chinese and attracts a wide variety of top businessmen and women from around Mainland China and Hong Kong.11

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) is unique in itself in offering programmes as it distributes programmes for individuals, companies and schools. Their Programmes for Individuals include: FinTech: Blockchain & Beyond which offers an opportunity to listen to and dialogue with the experts and the founders of blockchain companies from the US as well as from China;12 China Start which is a 5-day immersion program, taking place in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing, for global start-ups and growth companies to learn, network and pitch;13 Global Emerging Leaders (GEL) which is a select leadership development opportunity for entrepreneurs from American, Chinese and global family enterprises that prepares you for success as a next-generation business leader by connecting you with peers and innovators;14 Pharmaceutical China Immersion Program which is a flexible five-day blended learning experience that takes place at the CKGSB campus in Beijing, China’s Food and Drug Administration Center in Beijing, and across a number of industry-specific sites;15 Global Branding in the Digital Era which is a program in partnership with Yale School of Management, and WPP, the global leader in marketing services, guides CMOs and other C-suite executives from China, the US and elsewhere to build and lead customer-focused organisations for today’s digital era;16 Global Capital Markets & Investment Selection which is an advanced finance program held in New York and designed along with INCAE, that combines sessions on firm evaluation, investment selection and portfolio management;17 Sino-European 2nd Generation Family Business Leadership Program which is aimed at family business leaders of European and Chinese companies, provides a unique opportunity for a select European group to cooperate with an elite group of family business peers from China in addressing their respective markets, traditionally characterized by regulatory confusion, complexity and cultural remoteness;18 and Understanding China’s Next Move –– The Rise of China’s Innovation is an open enrollment for global leaders that provides a close-up view of China’s business landscape: the innovation, the entrepreneurship, the business enthusiasm.19

South Korea

If you’re a senior executive who is looking to learn new management theories, current business issues, and international casework, then KAIST Business School’s executive programmes are what you need. They offer the following: Advanced Innovative Management Program (AIM) which is targeted at CEOs and senior executives who want to lead in the global business environment; Advanced Program for Innovation & Change Management (AIC) which brings essential knowledge and expertise to mid and high level managers aiming to get promoted to higher levels; Global Leader Program (GLP) which is designed for expericned professionals who specialise in global business affairs, with one semester to be taken at KAIST while the other at the University of California – Irvine; Advanced Program for e-Government (AeG) focuses on carrying out IT-based innovation management and e-government initiatives; Advanced Management Program (AMP) for top level executives; General Management Program (GMP) for developing senior managers; and Global Business Program that provides not only theme-based lectures but also simulations and company site visits., which is a combination of an executive program and a customised management programme.20

International Data Corporation (IDC) gives CIOs, IT executive and Line of Business (LOB) leaders IT Executive Programmes (IEP) that contains research programmes that maximises the effectiveness of IT investments while identifying and capitalising on new opportunities. What’s unique about their programmes is that draws upon a global team of 1,300+ analysts (the largest global network of expert analysts in the industry) who are based in 54 offices around the globe, covering 110 countries, speaking 70 languages and able to assist IT organisation with innovating and optimising IT operations around the world.21

The premise of Executive Education is to learn in order to be more successful business people. Hence, the students require highly actionable insights,methodologies and strategies.


Keio Business School has five types of non-degree programmes for business executives and professionals and in-company seminars. Most of the classes in the executive programmes are conducted based on the case method. The five types of non-degree programmes are the following: Advanced Management Seminar, a nine-day intensive seminar for senior executives that has teaching staff consists of six to seven professors of Keio Business School, Harvard University, and other distinguished business schools abroad, and is held off-campus in summer, late July to Early August at Osaka; Middle Management Seminar, an 11-day general management program for middle management personnel, held off-campus campus twice a year, in September (Nagoya or Kyoto) and November (Izu-Shimoda); Global Competitiveness Seminar for Next Generation Business Leaders, an eight-day intensive seminar held at Hiyoshi campus for junior to middle managers who wish to have opportunities to contemplate on globalization in the field of interest; Issue Seminar, a course that focuses on specific issues such as the biotechnology-based business, management of technology, global strategy, and entrepreneurial ventures, and is conducted through the case method and lectures; and Weekend Seminar Management Development Intensive Program (MDIP), a program that mainly targets practitioners who have full-time jobs and no time to spare for attending the school curriculum during the weekdays.22


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Gain with World Class Management Education in Asia

As universities continue to develop and deliver executive education programmes, corporations are recognising the need to provide higher-level executive education programmes in partnerships with universities to expand the range of education programmes offered and to support the development of managers and future leaders for an operational focus and can be readily delivered by in-house trainers or competency-based training firms.23 Also, executive education programmes focus on a very different constituency than traditional MBA programmes do. Most standard MBA programmes are designed for young professionals, while executive education targets those in more advanced positions of leadership. Programmes tend to grant certificates rather than degrees, and they generally consist of short but intensive sessions.24 According to Mr. Arya, regular full-time MBA degree programmes are typically 1 to 2 years in duration. “They are great for early career professionals who are broadening their scope and analytical skills, in preparation for managerial roles or new careers and industries,” he said.

On the other hand, executive education programmes are typically short, 3 days to 2 weeks in duration, focused on specific development areas. “They are great for mid, senior and top management development at different points of their career. Many organisations also customise bespoke executive education programmes to meet strategic learning needs,” he added.

There are a number of ways for educational organisations to effectively differentiate themselves and thereby gain an important edge. Often a critical starting point is recognising what the participants are seeking. The premise is to learn in order to be more successful business people. Hence, the students require highly actionable insights, methodologies and strategies. They need information and processes that will empower them – if they make an appropriate effort to apply recent learnings – to more meaningfully contribute to the success of their companies. This in turn will, in many situations, make them more personally successful (e.g., wealthier).25

Mr. Arya explained that the most valuable, and perishable asset for executives is time.

“We have limited executive time in a year to invest, and we must invest it well to keep and sharpen the management team’s edge. Management education provides tools, best practices, solutions that can fast reach and enhance performance. It also provides a platform to learn from peers (and their successes and mistakes). Left unplanned, the tendency will be to under-invest. Progressive organisations and leaders will however, plan for one to two short programmes a year for high potential and loyal employees, longer, reflective program once every 2 to 3 years, and milestone programmes at key points of each manager’s career.”

Educational organisations are built on the notion of specialisation of knowledge, but the future innovation landscape requires a combination of deep expertise with equally deep forms of integration, which leads to the need for innovation that has economic consequence, and the education of innovation requires integrating them more closely into the learning process.26

There are emerging trends in this sector every year, depending on the needs of a company, or the preference of an executive. “Executive education trends tend to mirror real world trends that impact organisations. Disruption, technology, innovation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), FinTech, business analytics are some of the trending issues that leaders and senior managers need to understand and apply their intellect to,” Mr. Arya said.

He also mentioned that with the rise of the millennial working class and the capability in managing and nurturing them, business leaders and senior managers should possess such skills. Having less time at work to focus, learn and reflect on the issues, there are also trends towards new learning methods as well.

Variety can now be found within Asia and between each region around the world, when it comes to management education.

“With the rise of Asia, corporations from across Asia, Japan, US, Europe, Africa, and South America are now regularly turning to us for our expertise and for the Asia perspective. The discussions, learnings, challenges, debates, and case studies in our programmes are probably more representative of the environment that our participants face in Asia, doing business within Asia and with the world,” added Mr. Arya.

He also noted that a number of universities and business schools in Asia are now regularly represented at the top end of management education rankings by US and European publications.

Take the time to invest in management education programmes while leading your business to the top. 



1. https:// / programs / executive – education – programs
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12. fintech – blockchain -beyond
15. – china – immersion – program
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17. – capital – markets – investment – selection
18. – european – 2nd – generation – family – business  -leadership – program
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22.  Lindsay Ryan, The Growing Role of Executive Education In University-Corporate Partnerships,
23.  Katherine Noyes, What’s missing from executive education: women, http: // / 2015 /0 4 / 16 / executive – education – women /
24.  Russ Alan Prince and Bruce Rogers, How Executive Education Organizations Can Gain a Competitive Advantage,
25.  Abby Ghobadian and VK Narayanan, The vital role of management education,

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.