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Striving for sustainability: Albert Ishak on working towards the future

Albert Ishak | IE Business School International MBA 50th Class

Born in Australia and raised in Indonesia, Albert Ishak’s international experience inspires him to make the world a better place one business at a time. Currently working as the CFO for Airbus Indonesia, he is committed to helping the company’s continuous journey towards sustainability.

Albert graduated from IE Business School’s International MBA in 2017, and only two years later, he established Neorizon, the first prototyping-as-a-service company. Neorizon, which is based out of Munich, is a joint venture between Airbus and LM Industries. Having served as its first CFO and Co-Managing Director, his role in the company was fundamental.

Just like with any other startup, Neorizon had its ups and downs. And Albert accredits the International MBA for helping him gain the tools necessary to turn his vision into a product while facing difficulties. Although the initial days were full of challenges, at the end of it all, the Neorizon team—a group of prototypers, creators, innovators and communicators who love what they do—has made strides and found success. Combining the flexibility of professional digital manufacturing with the expertise from Airbus and LM Industries, Neorizon develops physical products through prototyping, proof of concept and minimum viable product quickly and efficiently.

Becoming an industry leader also means embracing sustainability. Inspired by his generation’s dedication to this issue, he continues to be conscious about how he can be sustainable both at home, and in the office.

“Everyone has their place in the world. I see myself in the business world, but this doesn’t mean that I can’t contribute to the world as a whole, too. So, I make sure that whatever I do in the business world is sustainable and as good as it possibly can be for the world.”

As the CFO for Airbus Indonesia, incorporating both his commitment to being a responsible citizen and his passion for sustainability is an important part of his role. With the main goal to make the company more environmentally friendly, he is going back to basics. The initial stages include conducting research and collecting data to understand where Airbus Indonesia stands in terms of sustainability, which is essential to strategizing how to move forward.

Having worked across several industries, his professional experience is diverse and wide-ranging. He has, however, found a common truth across each industry: a company’s biggest asset is their workforce. More often than not, he notices that when there is a team of people working towards a common goal, the company thrives. Therefore, it is key for management to motivate their employees and pull the workforce together in order to inspire their teams and allow different visions to come together.

Apart from sustainability, employee well-being is incredibly important. As something he aims to enhance in modern corporate settings, Albert explains that, now more than ever, companies need to look at employees holistically—not only at work, but also at home.

Working to cater to colleagues and help the team perform well from wherever they are located is another important factor at Airbus Indonesia. Most importantly though, Albert highlights that it is key to be human and to create a space where everyone can share what they’re going through. Through this, work teams can create stronger bonds and collaborate together more closely, efficiently and effectively.

Reflecting on his time studying at IE Business School, Albert highly valued the case studies. These real-life situations allowed him to consolidate his knowledge and think creatively about a solution. In particular, he found that the discussions with his classmates were the most beneficial element of this exercise—to this day he uses tips, tricks or advice that he learned from his peers in his professional life.

As advice for incoming or current International MBA students, he notes that everyone will have a different journey throughout their individual studies and should come into the program knowing exactly what they want to achieve. This way, they can tailor the program to their career goals while also finding events and activities that will allow for personal and professional growth to maximize their experience.

“You never know whether you will enjoy something, or if you’re good at it, if you never try. So always have an open mind. Try to do something new. Then, you might unlock or experience something you never would have found otherwise.”

To celebrate the 50th intake of the International MBA at IE Business School, we’re sharing stories from our impressive alumni. This impactful leader is just one of the stand-out International MBA alumni who have passed through the doors of IE Business School. To read even more inspiring stories from graduates of the International MBA, and to learn more about the program, click here.