"You gain a whole new understanding of academic theory when you are able to relate it to your own experiences.", Anders Norell - MBA, Founder, Fraktus AB.
Why did you decide to earn an MBA and what did you hope to achieve?
When I enrolled in the program I had worked as a sales manager at an IT company for over ten years. As much as I enjoy working with sales it still offers a limited perspective. I wanted to broaden my scope and take in the bigger picture facing a company.
How did participating in the SSE MBA program change you as a person?
Originally I studied information systems and business administration, but returning to studies after having worked for over ten years was gratifying in a new sense. You gain a whole new understanding of academic theory when you are able to relate it to your own experiences. In the classroom, I was surrounded by talented individuals from senior positions in a range of different industries and with varying backgrounds, and class discussions were both interesting and multidimensional.
How did it affect your professional career, and why?
It triggered me to set up my own company together with Mattias Nordlöf, a fellow participant. It all started with an assignment that required us to come up with a business plan for a hypothetical company. When we were finished, the concept and the business plan looked so good that we couldn't resist trying it in real life.
What kind of business did you start?
The company is called Fraktus and it's a problem solver and trouble-shooter in the field of transport and logistics. With my background in IT and Mattias' in global customer relations, we decided to apply our skills to a field that is neither very IT mature nor customer friendly, with lots of manual work and paper handling. Fraktus offers clients an overview of the global transport market and a user-friendly way of finding the best and most cost-effective transport solution, as well as help in keeping track on consignments.
Since the start in January 2011, we have grown to serve 600 clients with the help of eight employees and a turnover of 25 million SEK (2013).
What were the most stimulating aspects of the SSE MBA program, in your eyes?
The wide scope of the program and the number of topics covered. Skilled lecturers, exciting and creative participants paved the way for stimulating class discussions. Good cases from the academic world as well as real companies, many of which were the employers of the class participants.
My own employer, for example, gained qualified consultant input from providing a case, while I helped a forestry company develop its services portfolio. It was very interesting to gain insight into an industry that was new to me.
As self-employed, I have to tackle issues from more perspectives than when I was employed. Being trained to comprehend and acknowledge issues from a multi-dimensional point of view has proved extremely useful to me in running my own company. In class, we were frequently being taught the value of applying a scalable business model, something which has been very valuable to me and my partner in building up our own company.
What would you say to someone considering an MBA at SSE?
I would strongly recommend it, and I have in fact already convinced several former colleagues from different companies to join the program.