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Bangkok Automotive (A)
Edward Rubesch, PhD
Thammasat Business School,
Created Feb 2008 © NEN
Page 1 of 18
Ruby Edwards paused and sat back in her chair. She had been running a number of scenarios on her spreadsheet as she tried to predict future opportunities for her company in the face of a challenging economic and marketing environment. Every scenario going forward required her ask her shareholders for more money—again. She had already been forced to make a significant strategic change in the direction of the company, which had cost her shareholders dearly with no foreseeable return in sight. She knew she had better have a good argument of why they should invest in another business
“opportunity” if she was going to be able to keep her company alive.
An Engineer With Entrepreneurial Leanings
Ruby Edwards grew up with strong math skills and a love of technology. She attended a prestigious US engineering school earning both an undergraduate and
Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, but soon learned that many technical careers seemed narrow and limiting. As she joked with one of her classmates at the time, “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life getting better and better at designing car tail lights.” In seeking more of an adventure, Ruby began studying Chinese during the two years that she was also working on her Master’s. In her words, “I was in an engineering internship program which allowed me to see what it was like working in the real engineering world. Well, if that was what engineering really was, at least I wanted to do it somewhere exciting.”
Despite her foreign language studies and a desire to do something international,
Ruby’s first job after graduation was in a small high-tech firm where she learned firsthand the challenges and excitement of working in an