INSEAD Dean Ilian Mihov On CNBC

INSEAD Dean Ilian Mihov was on CNBC recently to discuss recent trends in business education and the school’s expansion plans. You can watch the interview here.

Some highlights below:

  • His background: He is an economist by training and has a PhD from Princeton University. He has been based in Asia for 15 years and is the first INSEAD dean to be based in the region. INSEAD opened its campus in Singapore in 2000 and, since then, they have seen growing demand for their MBA program from students globally who want exposure to Asia.
  • On the school’s plans in the region: INSEAD plans to add another building to its Singapore campus within the next 3-4 years. This would result in the Singapore campus being of a similar size to the school’s original Fontainebleau campus. Mihov says Asia could contribute ~50% of revenue in the next ten years (in terms of its MBA and executive education programs).
  • On entering China: The school is exploring more ways to engage with China and Chinese companies but currently doesn’t have any plans to open a campus there. A key consideration is the school’s ability to preserve its DNA of internationalism and diversity.
  • On increasing competition among business schools: They are making a number of changes to the curriculum, but he still feels the core INSEAD experience is unique because of the diversity of the class. The MBA class typically consists of 90+ nationalities and they deliberately try to “maximise friction” so students get meaningful experience working with people of other cultures.
  • On changes to the curriculum: They are rolling out a number of changes in September 2017 including a new personal leadership development program, “super course” to cover ethics, political environment and public policy as well as new electives on digital initiatives and ethics. He also foresees greater use of technology in the classroom going forward.
  • On leadership: The “old model” of leadership is becoming less common. Organisations today have flatter structures and leaders have to evolve their style. Talent is also more mobile and demanding of what they want from the workplace, something leaders have to contend with.
  • On business as a force for good: There have been growing tensions between business and society in recent years. Government and other players (e.g. non-profit organisations) will still have some role in solving the problems we face today, but the majority of the responsibility lies with the business community.
  • On the growing threat of protectionism: We will have to see what happens with Brexit and relations between China and the United States. Despite the focus on trade barriers by the Trump administration, it would be impossible for everything to be produced in and by the United States.