Ravindran Navaratnam


Motivated by 25 years of experience in carrying out large complex distress restructuring, I embarked on my DBA journey to undertake applied research to provide a fresh and distinct viewpoint on complex restructurings, leveraging on solid Management Science principles. The proposed research intends to examine topics that have not been extensively covered in the current literature on restructuring, which usually focuses on issues related to Banking, Finance and Law. The roles of psychology, bargaining power, and power dynamics of different participants in restructuring outcomes fascinated me, influencing my decision to delve deeper into these topics.

My preference for HKUST DBA program was due to its unique advantages. Hong Kong's proximity to the greater China region provided unparalleled access to insights that enriched my understanding of an area which is important to ASEAN, but also globally. In turn, I find myself contributing a lot of South-East Asian news and development in classroom discussions, which adds to the variety of perspectives. Although what initially motivated me in choosing HKUST was it’s ranked as a leading business school, I have since learned the university's high business research excellence ranking reassured me of its reputation as a leading business school. The rankings, coupled with talented peers and accomplished faculty members, instills confidence in the quality of education I receive. Additionally years of visiting Hong Kong on business trips had left a lasting impression on me as Asia’s most vibrant city and offers an unmatched environment for cultural, social and gastronomical experiences which adds to enriching the experience of the DBA program. 

Compared to a MBA program that heavily relies on case studies, the DBA program adopts a more comprehensive approach. It equips students with research methods to tackle business challenges with a rigorous scientific approach. This focus appeals to me greatly, as solutions are developed through tested theories and empirical evidence carry more weight than just observations and opinions. Initially skeptical given my engineering background and exposure to natural sciences, I have come to appreciate the scientific rigor underlying the business/management research methods which we are being taught and trained on.

The program has exceeded my expectations in several ways. The sense of unity and camaraderie among my peers has grown through shared activities, creating a strong community that extends beyond the classroom. The caliber of professors has been exceptional, with their expertise and dedication which is supportive to learning and importantly inspiring. They have a remarkable ability to effectively convey complex concepts, which I would have found impossible to grasp otherwise. Guest lecturers, who are close collaborators of our professors, have exposed us to global projects that are making a real-world difference. This holistic and in-depth approach, encompassing organizational and behavioral factors, has provided me with greater clarity of business and management issues. Reflecting on my journey, I can't help but feel a sense of wishing I had undertaken this program 20 years ago!

My biggest takeaway from the program extends beyond personal gains. I aspire to share the valuable knowledge and insights I've gained with younger members of our firm, providing guidance and support for their career advancement. Moreover, I hope to leverage this knowledge to contribute to policy work that enhances the economic well-being of society. Unlike a PhD program, the freedom to choose a research subject which I am passionate about in a DBA program has been a key motivational factor and would be an enabler for a successful outcome. The program has equipped me with tools and perspectives to make a meaningful impact in understanding the phenomena in successfully concluding a large complex distress restructuring and beyond.

Managing Director and Executive Director
Sage 3
Office Location:
Class of:
2021 Intake