Pop the champagne and raise a glass to Mongolia!
As I write, I’m looking out the window at the steel and cement skeleton of a commercial building rising across the street. The view is a fitting background for this post. Mongolia is abuzz. If you stand in Sükhbaatar Square in the center of the city and stare out at the skyline you can see tower cranes in every direction. There is a continuous stream of ribbon cuttings and champagne toasts. Thursday we attended a reception to commemorate the nation’s first wind farm. Friday we attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for a new hangar built to accommodate Eznis Airline’s expanding fleet. Eznis the nation’s largest domestic airline was established 6 years ago and is run by Munkhsukh Sükhbaatar, a 2008 Berkeley-Haas MBA. Last night we went to a reception at the Law Offices of Minter-Ellison to mark the grand opening of the Australian Firm’s first office in Mongolia. The pace of growth is astounding and the optimism of the business community is palpable.
Our client, America-Mongolia University’s Center for Executive Education also commemorated its own new facility earlier this week. America-Mongolia University, or AMU, is seen as both a symbol and future facilitator of the country’s growth. Rapid expansion has led to a shortage of young Mongolian business leaders. The long term vision is for AMU to provide westernized education to help fill that need. However the AMU groundbreaking is still a couple years away, and the Center for Executive Education is viewed as a critical bridging strategy until AMU produces its first class and begins to deliver on the long term vision. Our team has been given the opportunity to help craft a business plan for the Center for Executive Education. We’ve attended each of the ribbon cuttings with the purpose of speaking with Mongolia’s current business leaders so as to better understand the educational needs that their companies face. Many of those leaders see challenges and skill gaps that the Center for Executive Education can address, but they’re all bullish on the future.