Before and After LBS: Success Story
MBA Strategy continues sharing inspirational clients’ stories. Our next hero is Mikhail Lizanets, London Business School MBA graduate.
At a Glance
I was born in Luhansk and lived there until I turned 17 years old. Then I moved to Kyiv, being admitted to a program in International Information Science. Besides, I have always been learning foreign languages intensively: I studied English and German in a specialized lyceum and even know Latin a little bit. When I had obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in International Information Science, I decided to go for the multicultural experience. I was intended to get to the UK, being sure that I would gain the best knowledge there. Besides, I was able to apply for Master in Management program even without substantial work experience, whereas MBA in the USA requires more.
I started my preparations in December 2010: the GMAT, essays, and so on. I got 650 points for the GMAT, 7.5 IELTS score and then began the application process. I applied to approximately 10 business schools, including UCL, Imperial College Business School, Cass, and LBS. To be honest, I was not guided by particular criteria and mostly relied on the Financial Times ranking. I received an offer from four schools and preferred LBS as the most prestigious one. In September 2011 the studies had started, then, after graduation, I worked for the London branch of VTB Capital and finally, in January 2013, I got back to Ukraine, where I established MoneyVeo.UA.
Being an Entrepreneur
My parents are entrepreneurs, and this is a kind of family feature, that is why I was determined to start my own company too. In fact, when I was applying to business schools, I assumed to become an entrepreneur in the long-term run, let’s say, in five or ten years, but it happened much earlier.
First, when I was working at an investment bank after graduation, I understood that it was not my cup of tea. Therefore I had to think over what I want to do in the future. I learned about a popular online credit provision model in the UK, conducted some research and realized that the market niche in the Ukraine was empty at the moment – it was time to take action!
Then I started gathering a team. We have a lot of talented IT specialists in Ukraine: I recruited the necessary people in April, and already in November we started operations and provided the first loans. Beginning from 500 loans per month, now we provide more than 20,000. In November 2015 we expanded operations to Mexico, and I have quite ambitious plans for Latin America, as a very promising direction.
Thus, in Europe this business segment is developing rapidly, and it is getting harder and harder to enter the market. One must either provide a much cheaper service than competitors do or launch fascinating marketing campaigns. When it comes to Latin America, there are very few competitors, and the market is relatively free. Moreover, the regulatory infrastructure there works great, being comparable with the USA and its capital markets. As Jack Welch wrote, there is a red, bloody ocean of rivals, and also a blue one, where you can come and act. If there are no competitors, you may concentrate on the product and customers.
Stay tuned for the second part of the interview, where Mikhail will discuss the differences between MBA and MiM and share some application tips. Meanwhile, schedule a free consultation with MBA Strategy experts!