by Zaria Sulaiman (Singapore)
When I bid for this class, my sole intention was to clear another module under technology & entrepreneurship. I came into the class with very little expectation and when prof Pamela mentioned that we are going to start a new business in 15 weeks, I remembered thinking skeptically that it was an impossible feat to achieve given the time frame. However, soon enough, our business started to take shape. I learnt that indeed, it is possible to start a business in 15 weeks. All it takes is a group of ordinary people coming together to start something extraordinary, faith and tenacity to succeed.
I was quite perplexed when prof once said during a lesson that we should never give out our business plan to anyone. I thought that it is a perfectly valid move to give out your business plan to every interested investors out there. However, prof told us of stories where the potential investors might screw you over and take your idea to a competitor. That is why you need them to sign the NDA : non disclosure agreement (I have to shamefully admit that I had never heard of it before this class). If I were to open a business without taking this class, I would most probably be conned.
Another lesson I learnt from this class “Connections, connections, connections!” All you need is one contact, and that may lead to someone who may enlighten you on your business, loopholes or might even help build your business. For example, one of my group mates, CK, contacted a girl from NUS as part of our market research and she in turn referred us to Nicole who is the head of FoodXervices, a leading food distributor in Singapore. It is from talking to her that our group found out that the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore has very lax regulations because one of our group?s concern was that we might get sued if we did not adhere to the AVA’s rules and regulations.
Overall, I think the MGMT324 class is useful even for students who are not looking to pursue their own business in the near future as you learn practical information with regards to businesses so that if you plan to be an investor, you know what to look out for. In addition, prof sharing real life examples of her experiences makes it a less dry class.