“The Executive MBA gives you answers to questions you couldn’t have imagined before.”
When Visar Fida, who originally trained as a technical electrical engineer, says that today he enjoys reading financial statements and leading people, you have to wonder, how so?
He was sponsored to study an Executive MBA (EMBA) and experienced a transformation. His improved financial understanding is just one enhancement from a long list that enables him to succeed in his role. When studying at London Business School (LBS) Visar was promoted to Minister for Foreign Investments of the Republic of Macedonia and it’s his job to encourage strong and sustained investment to the country from a higher position in the government.
Macedonia has undergone considerable economic reform since its independence, but today, it’s in good shape. The World Bank’s ‘Doing Business in 2016’ report ranks the Republic of Macedonia 12th out of 189 economies, up 82 places since 2006.
Visar chose an Executive MBA at LBS when he was CEO of Invest Macedonia, a government institution focussed on attracting foreign investments and export promotion, for two reasons. “First, LBS is a well-known school, it is a brand of its own,” he says. “I thought I could widen my business network which would help me develop investment opportunities in Macedonia. Second, and possibly the biggest reason, was to gain a new personal approach.”
For some years Visar planned to further his education, but when the Macedonian government sponsored him, he thought, “Okay, now is the time to do it.”
“I chose London because it’s one of the financial market capitals of the world. It’s an advantage for the work I do. The network of LBS alumni would bring more opportunities than anywhere else.” His thinking proved right, as through alumni he’s already connected with potential leads and organised visits to the country.
“The School gave me financial knowledge that I didn’t have before – knowledge that, as a leader, I need.”
Visar is also putting people management theory into practice by refining his organisation’s mission and embedding a culture. “I enjoyed the courses in organisational behaviour: the art of managing people, which is really what I do at work. It helped me a lot – I’ve found completely new ways to organise and lead people.”
He explains that no matter whether you’re a technical, people, or numbers person, faculty draw on their own experiences to bring concepts to life. “I can remember another class focussed on corporate turnaround, which is very relevant in today’s world. Being able to redefine a company and bring it back on track is an important lesson to learn.”
Armed with renewed skills, Visar has many paths to consider. For now, he says he’s better equipped to help business and government advance economic development in Macedonia, no mean feat at all.