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INSEAD Participant Interview

Interview With One of the First Recipients of the Certificate in Global Management

Gustavo Gracia Arruego

Operations Manager Asia Pacific for FACI

Gustavo Gracia Arruego is Operations Manager Asia Pacific for FACI, a medium-sized, family-owned chemicals company. He recently became the youngest ever recipient of the INSEAD Certificate in Global Management, which he was awarded for completing three programmes within just over one year: Supply Chain Management, the Asian International Executive Programme, and the newly re-launched International Management in Asia Pacific. A Spanish national with a strong background in chemistry and the global chemicals industry, he is now based in Singapore, where he answered the following questions about his INSEAD adventure…

Why did you decide to come to INSEAD?

I started to look into continuing learning, with a view to developing my career when I moved from Spain to Singapore in 2011. I knew of INSEAD’s reputation from my time working in Europe. And the fact that it had a campus and a well-established presence in Asia clearly made it the right school for me.

Which programme did you choose to do first – and why?

When I first moved to Singapore, I wasn’t travelling very much, so in fact I took the opportunity to sign up for all three courses at once. I started with Supply Chain Management, because it related to my current responsibilities and, in today’s economic climate is a critical part of business. The programme gave me great tools and a whole new approach to align our supply chain with our strategy.

And what came next?

As I wanted to learn from general management perspectives, the natural choice was the Asian International Executive Programme. And it really did provide a strong understanding of business frameworks alongside an insight into the Asia-Pacific mindset.

And the third programme?

That was Building the Business: Strategies for Asia Pacific, as I particularly wanted to gain the strategic outlook you need at higher levels in business – and again set it in an Asia-Pacific context. Again my expectations were high… and INSEAD more than lived up to them.

Do you think the Certificate was a worthwhile investment?

It’s quite a new qualification, so I’m not sure what impact it will have on my career. But the three programmes individually were well worth the time I invested. And I’m sure the INSEAD brand and network will be of great benefit to me in the future.

What was the highlight of the three programmes you took?

Without doubt, it was INSEAD’s cultural diversity. The complexities of culture are much more important in Asia than in Europe. The difference between, say, Japan and Thailand is much greater than the difference between Greece and Sweden. Singapore is a completely international country with very diverse professional profiles and backgrounds. In addition our supply chain stretches to North America and the Middle East. That means understanding the complexities of different cultures is essential in my day-to-day job. INSEAD has wonderful teachers and great organisation, but the opportunities to learn from and network with other participants – from all kinds of industries and countries – are absolutely invaluable.

To find out how you can gain the INSEAD Certificate in Global Management click here.

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