Prof. Clemens Bechter

Clemens Bechter has been an Associate Professor in the School of Management, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, specialising in e-commerce, m-commerce, e- marketplaces and e-business infrastructure.

 

He joined the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), a Bangkok based university. He has been an organiser and speaker at many workshops and seminars throughout Asia. He received his PhD from the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland for his dissertation on computer-aided product controlling through the use of expert systems.

 

Clemens is involved in the MaastrichtMBA programme as instructor at the Online MBA course on International Marketing.

What is your connection with Maastricht?

I used to teach in the former EuroMBA programme and we always kicked off my course introductions in January during the residential week organised by Maastricht University. Therefore, I was lucky to visit Maastricht once in two years.

What motivated you to become a professor?

I started in the private sector in London and afterwards, got a job offer at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok. I moved to Bangkok, because I was looking for a sunnier place to live. The position of professor is a great, because you work with young people that want to learn.

What is your role within the MaastrichtMBA programme?

I am the instructor of the International Marketing course. Marketing is the coolest topic of them all! When I started teaching in 1996, topics like branding and positioning were hot. Nowadays, it is more about analytics and neuroscience.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your lectures in the programme?

I believe in peer learning by sharing real life experiences. I also believe in choices for my students and therefore, when it comes to the assessments there are many options available. In the group assignment we do a role play whereby groups take on the role of a company (client) as well as the role of an advertising agency (for another group). This way the participants see things from different perspectives.

How do you think the world will look in the next few years regarding your teaching focus area?

Crises will always happen. Expect the unexpected! Having lived in Asia for more than 25 years I know what I am talking about. Moreover, technology is progessing fast. For example, advertising may change because of deepfakes. One cannot be sure whether a brand is really endorsed by a celebrity or a fake person. Trusting someone or something will become more difficult.

What lessons have you learned during the last couple of years?

I see more customer orientation of which applies to all types of organisations. Take for example universities; the days when one was lecturing and an entire class was listening are over. In a setting of a university, it means gamification and peer learning. Professors are service providers and have to put themselves into the shoes of the customer – the students. The same applies to the private sector.

What are you particularly proud of professionally?

Since I have started teaching, I must have had more than 2.000 MBA students. When I meet the alumni, most of them still remember me. When I ask them what exactly they remember, hardly any marketing topic comes up. Most say: “Ah, you were the guy with the funny videos” (before each lecture I always showed some funny commercials).

Would you like to share something personal with the readers?

I recently moved from Bangkok to the Algarve. Without the COVID-19 situation, I would still lived in Bangkok. Here in Faro I feel happy and just bought a house. Guest rooms are available for free for those who want to come and talk about marketing. Marketing is everything and everything is marketing!

Prof. Clemens Bechter
Professor
International Business
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