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Sample Essays ISB MFAB

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Note: ABC Limited is a fictitious company name assumed for the purpose of writing sample essays.

ISB MFAB Essay 1 :  Describe an important initiative that your business has undertaken during the past five years. Explain why you consider it that way.

Sample Essay: ABC Ltd. is a 17 year old company with loyal senior management personnel working for the company since its inception and played a major role in the growth of the company. All strategic and day to day operational decisions were taken by them effectively leaving the mid-level management and employees as mere executors without involvement in the decision making process. Now the senior management people are approaching their retirement age and their retirement will create cavity of decision making in the company. Members of the family have identified this issue and took initiative towards professionalization of the organization.

Our business has crossed a threshold for centralized decisions. Ongoing success of our business depends on introduction of value added products that are new to the Indian market. Centralized control resulted in slower response from management which in turn resulted in a hefty product line without sufficient infrastructure and manpower to sustain it. Management’s initiative of professionalizing the organization by redefining roles & responsibilities and decentralizing control by establishing systems and process is helping the management in taming the problem.

Continuing the centralized decisions strategy will not only hamper the growth of the company but the company itself, as some decisions can only be taken effectively in conjunction with capable middle management personnel who are well aware of all the realistic parameters of the situation which might be difficult for the senior management to understand. Thus the company would like to give more opportunity to middle and lower cadres who are well aware of intricacies and issues.

Performance based recognition of employees rather than closeness of the employee to the business owners is helping talent to come up the ladder and hold key positions in the organization which in turn is benefiting the business. Proper training of employees and encouraging innovation across all departments is making the organization competitive in cut throat markets.

Establishing systems & process is ensuring a smooth communication between the departments as well as clarity of roles and responsibilities. Result is an amicable work environment leading to better performance of the existing employees, new talent joining in, sense of ownership by the employees and lesser attrition rates.

Professionalization of the company and bringing its work culture to global standards is the most important initiative taken by our management as it sets the business ready for organic as well as inorganic growth, foster tie up with multinational companies for geographical expansion while sustaining itself in the competitive home market.


ISB MFAB Essay 2 :  Why do you intend to pursue MFAB program?

Sample Essay :
 Joining family business after working for a corporate was a paradigm shift for me in terms of governance of the company as a whole, role played by the family in the business and different kinds of corporate cultures that exist in the same group. For me to get accustomed to the shift and then perform took some time.

Leading an organization having assorted teams with expertise in varied skill set, requires knowledge of those skills in order to understand the team’s requirements or concerns and guide them to accomplish the organizational goal.

With technical qualification and experience in professional firms, I joined family business as General Manager, ABC Ltd. My contribution to business started with assignments such as project planning and execution, identification of new products & technologies and studying their feasibility. This has helped me in learning the technical aspects of our business and further introduced me to other basics concepts such as finance, team building, motivating and guiding them to achieve the target.

Starting XYZ Ltd ( a subsidiary of ABC Ltd.). has deepened the understanding and gave me insights into new skills such as sales, marketing and people management. I learnt primarily by observing experienced team members with expertise in their respective fields or by reinventing the wheel by trail and error.

As a technical person, my decisions are based on past experience, intuition and logical reasoning rather than on value and people which is equally essential for people involved in business. At XYZ Ltd., my experience is helping me to lead a team. But leading a team in our complex family business with multiple products requires a holistic and deeper understanding of family dynamics and business concepts.

The MBA curriculum will give me knowledge of concepts such as finance, strategy and organizational behaviour which were not part of my previous education. I have realised that these areas are of utmost importance to understand the intricacies in finance, long term strategic planning and to enhance the people management skills. The structure of the course which teaches how to judge and take necessary steps for sustainability and future growth of the business. In addition, specialized courses such as change management, competitive marketing strategies, managing family portfolio etc., are concepts that cannot be learned easily through experience but are taught in class lectures by distinguished professors.

Family dynamics, its business environment and unprepared next generation are some of the main reasons for failure of family business. Professional education such as MFAB followed by class discussions between the peer group, experience and networking will give me ample exposure to improvise and deal with the future challenges of the business.


ISB MFAB Essay 3 : According to you, what are the main challenges faced by your business and how would you address them?

Sample Essay: In today’s fast paced world, I have identified some of the major challenges for our business and further could foresee the needs that have to be addressed in order to accelerate the growth trajectory of the business.

Professionalization of the business: Centralized control of the day to day operations by family members and their trusted personnel will help achieve good growth up to a threshold point after which it will become counterproductive. At this point the family or family appointed person should start taking the role of a mentor, rather than an instructor by establishing systems, procedures & performance metrics. Once established successfully, family should closely follow the performance metrics of the business and at the same time indulge in growth related activities of business. This can be achieved through continuous process innovation that can reduce the cost of production followed by advent of new products and technologies etc.

This process has already been initiated by the management, but professionalizing a family business is an evolutionary process and thus should be done gradually without risking the business itself.

Regional & Political uncertainties: This has become a major concern for business depending on a region for their income. One of the major issues lingering in Andhra Pradesh is Telangana issue. This risk can be hedged through geographical expansion and focusing on developing areas that have favorable business environment.

Intense Competition: Intense competition because of globalization, organized as well as unorganized sectors will affect the bottom line of the business. Innovation at all levels of business such as marketing, cost cutting, product development; etc. along with leveraging the brand image will improve the bottom line and lead to a sustainable business. Predominant focus should be on customer centric products.

Manpower: This resource which was abundant at one point of time has become scarce now. The objective would be to constantly evolve and strengthen the ‘HR Process’. Hiring the right people and creating an amicable work culture in the company will help reduce attrition rates. Leadership would play a major role in solving this problem. It is the responsibility of the leader to keep constant touch with the workforce, solve their work related problems and letting them know that they are doing a good job etc. will create a sense of ownership and work satisfaction among the workforce. Organization should thrive for ‘Opportunity for all’. Creating a sense of ownership among lower lever cadres by encouraging them to share their ideas would churn creativity within the organization. Automation of key processes will help the company in reducing the dependence on manpower.

Innovative products & Technologies: With the increase of competition, it has become crucial for business to introduce innovative products and technologies to survive in the market. In house product development as well as collaboration with local or foreign businesses to launch new products will help maintain competitive advantage over competitors.


ISB MFAB Essay 4 :  How do you plan to cope up with academic rigour of the programme which involves understanding of mathematical concepts while continuing to work in your business?

Sample Essay: I started my career as a consultant with leading corporates in U.S followed by joining family business as a General Manager at ABC Ltd. Having worked for professional organizations, I have been spending most of my time to develop XYZ Ltd. as a professional organization. For day to day activities, most of the systems and process are in place and company desires to achieve profitability in the year 2014 -2015. We are confident that given the initiatives taken, we will be among the top furnishing retailer in Hyderabad in terms of volumes. To take XYZ Ltd. to the next level, I need to upgrade myself and with utmost confidence I can state that programme such as MFAB will be an asset rather than a burden.

Because of my experience, I will be able to conceptualize the application of fundamentals that are taught in the class and adapt the same in our organization. With background in engineering and having completed courses such as parallel computing, I am always interested in mathematical concepts and their underlying workings. Moreover being an engineer, I always prefer to quantify results which give me better clarity of the performance of the company and will be enthusiastic to learn the same.

Having already done my masters in engineering, I am well aware of the commitment required for studying a masters level program and will keep consistent effort to achieve the same.

My absence for a week at regular intervals will have an impact on our business, but I will be managing the same as Mr. John Travolta ( Fictitious name), Director ABC Ltd. has accepted to lead the organization in my absence.

For the reasons mentioned above, I will be having sufficient time to cope up with the rigour of the MFAB program.