“Companies should serve the greater good”

Aushim Merchant shares his story on how the Swedish Institute Management Programme Asia supported the strategic development of his companies in Thailand, Australia and India and helped him build meaningful business relationships in both the Asia-Pacific and Sweden.

Aushim applied for the Swedish Institute Leadership Programme (SIMP) Asia while working as the Director of Operations & Strategy at “MK Aromatics Limited”, a company reprocessing non-recyclable plastic waste into hydrocarbon derivatives and other useful products for industrial use. He saw the programme as an opportunity to get an international perspective on sustainable business practices and connect with other leaders sharing the vision of a peaceful equitable future.

– SIMP expanded my network of friends and peers across the top-ranked industries in the Asia-Pacific Region. It is also an amazing platform to connect and collaborate with leading Swedish business and government executives, learning from their challenges and best practices.

According to Aushim, the knowledge and experience, acquired during SIMP, have had a profound impact on how he and his team approach their business strategy, with more focus now being put on the core company values.

– My biggest takeaway was a single question: “Where do I want to see my company in the next twenty-fifty years?” This question became a key guiding factor in our decision-making process. Companies should serve the greater good. Business is not about making a million dollars; it’s about winning a million hearts.

He adds that the highlight of the programme for him was the business development component, where the participants had to work on their own projects to lead positive change in their organisations. Driven by a desire to empower rural farmers, Aushim chose to work on converting a barren piece of land in Chiang Rai into a model farm by applying the new learnings from SIMP.

Aushim has a lot of great memories from his time at SIMP. Among other things, he particularly enjoyed the process of co-learning through sharing knowledge and ideas.

– SIMP is more than just a program, it is a lifelong journey that brings together brilliant young people from all walks of life who care, take actions and sincerely believe that, with the resources we have at hand, we can contribute to shared prosperity.

He also mentions that the design of the programme could not be better. There is a lot of emphasis on the key needs and aspirations of business leaders in a rapidly changing world. SIMP gave him tools for harnessing uncertainty and using it as an opportunity to lead a company to the next level. Aushim encourages everybody to apply for SIMP.

– It is a once in a lifetime opportunity! I highly recommend it to every business leader that nurturers the dream of building a business that will continue to serve and be in service for generations to come.

Find out more and apply to the Swedish Institute Management Programme Asia.
Application open until March 31, 2021.