Imbibing its "technovate" mantra, Globis and its founder Yoshito Hori rolled out the first live online MBA program in Asia.
Culture Spotlight

This Japanese business school is offering the first live online MBA program in Asia

Globis wants to bring its gospel of bucking classroom convention with technology to all of Asia, particularly to Filipinos, who the founder says is one of their most studious and resourceful students. 
Fidel Feria | Nov 07 2019

There is massive promise in a connected world—particularly, a world where innovations in technology bolster education systems, bestowing upon our budding titans of industry—of whatever economic standing—with a wellspring of knowledge.

It is the harnessing of that promise, however, that poses a challenge. One could say there needs to be a deployment of disruption, a shaking up, a jolting of the status quo.

Given these circumstances, an innovative Japanese school decided to implement change that was cognizant of our steeped-in-tech age. Disruption is the method by which Globis University, a Tokyo-based MBA school, sought to harness that potential in our digitally intertwined lives.

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From starting out in Yoshito Hori's apartment, Globis has now grown to having campuses in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sendai, and Fukuoka. 

Since its establishment in 1992, Globis University has taught over 6,000 MBA alumni through its entrepreneurship programs. The institution offers full-time, part-time, and online courses, touching on modern subjects such as technology-enabled business models, social media, and cybersecurity, to name but a few. Furthermore, Globis University offers what it claims is Asia’s 1st live online MBA program. According to its website, the two-year degree program holds its classes in real time with video-conferencing software. Here, the site adds, lecturers and classmates from around the world get to share insights on international business.

In a conversation with ANCX, entrepreneur and Globis University president Yoshito Hori advocates a concept he calls “technovate,” a cross between technology and innovate, which he believes is crucial to the betterment of the modern businessman.

“At this moment, all entrepreneurs and CEO’s need to have a great understanding of technology or ‘technovate,’” Hori says. “They have to understand what is the basic programming and basic algorithms and how the technology will change business models.”


Man with a plan

Hori graduated from Kyoto University with a degree in engineering. In 1989, he obtained a corporate scholarship and was accepted to Harvard Business School. Impressed with the quality of education there, Hori arrived at his goal. The vision—the one that birthed Globis—was born out of a desire to share MBA education to working students.

“I thought I should provide MBA education to Japanese people not for full-time but for part-time, so that people can study while working,” Hori says. “So we decided to create a business school right on campus in the center of Tokyo, the first one being in Shibuya. That was how it all started.”

Globis’ beginnings were modest. Hori first used his apartment as an office. After all, he had only 8,000 dollars as capital. There were only 20 students initially, and Hori had to send mail to each one of them so they would know to come over.

“Until 2006, we had been operating as an ordinary school without the license to issue MBA. But in 2006, we got license to issue an MBA, as we got the University status. We started providing MBA [programs] in Tokyo and Osaka, with only 60 students enrolled per year. Now, we have more than 1,000  students in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sendai, Fukuoka. Five campuses plus two half campuses in Mito, my hometown, and Yokohama,” Hori adds.                     

According to Hori, they only started with 20 students. Today, they have 1,000, which incudes an active Filipino alumni community.

The platform to implement “disruptive” improvements to education, as it were, did not come easily. Up until 2014, Globis University had never had ideal bandwidth speed, bogging down internet connectivity. “In 2015, we started to examine whether or not online live discussion or internet could be possible,” Hori says. “We found out that the satisfaction of Globis students was high.” Upon a faculty assessment, a decision was made to roll out a live, online MBA program because of its global potential. “We started with Japanese-only MBA for online, but later on we provided English MBA online and therefore we were able to tackle it globally,” Hori says.

Hearing the gentleman, it is apparent this titan of industry is open, nay, perfectly willing to let technology be the disruptor that it is. He recalls his humble beginnings, pre-Globis and midway through schooling, as though it were a period just on the cusp of life-changing discovery. Accept the gift of tech into your life, his message seems to ask of you.

Get with the program, or stagnate.

“27 years ago before I started Globis, I had to prepare my syllabus and read books. We don’t read books any longer. Book will become e-books. You want to see video clips, you want to see more lively presentations. You want to have more slideshow animation,” Hori says.

He goes on to add that, since everything has been digitized, the need for the old methods seems to vanish.  “You can communicate, you can do group discussions online. No paper, no classroom.”

As you read on via smartphone, draft a Tweet, and lose yourself in the newsfeed, it is perhaps a good a time as any to ask: Must we be so resistant to change?

To find out more about MBA courses at GLOBIS, visit the official website.