December 03, 2008

By Gemma Q. Casas - Marianas Variety News Staff

AMR team explores high tech opportunities in MicronesiaThe Northern Marianas could potentially be developed as a technology hub for U.S.-based companies looking for an alternative site to manufacture their products.

DMS Consulting, a team of five master of business administration students from the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management, arrived on island last Saturday to begin their research process regarding a new economic revitalization opportunity for the CNMI.

The five are Meera Damle, a Washington University graduate who is focused on UCLA's strategy and entrepreneurship program; Dave Eckardt, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 2007 focused on operations and consulting; Saurin Shah, graduate of the University of North Carolina Charlotte focused on finance and real estate; Sarah Unger, a graduate of Duke University who is focusing on strategy and finance; and David Wong, who graduated from Colombia University and is also focused on strategy and finance.

Their group was hired by Russ Snow, president & CEO of United Micronesian Development Association, to determine how Saipan can take advantage of its unique immigration and tax benefits to attract high-technology companies.

Shah said their research will take 20 weeks and they are now in the primary stage of "understanding the political landscape" of the CNMI.

After their brief stay on Saipan, the group's next step is to talk to different companies in California to consider the proposal.

They did recognize though that the idea may face obstacles because of Saipan's lack of reliable power supply, and the limited pool of talents who can be tapped for the proposed new high-technology manufacturing industry.

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About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management, established in 1935, is regarded among the leading business schools in the world. UCLA Anderson faculty are advancing management thinking through innovative research and teaching. Each year, UCLA Anderson provides management education to more than 1,700 students enrolled in MBA, Executive MBA, Fully-Employed MBA and doctoral programs, and to more than 2,000 professional managers through executive education programs. Combining highly selective admissions, varied and innovative learning programs and a world-wide network of 36,000 alumni, UCLA Anderson prepares students to become global leaders.

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