Dennis is currently an entrepreneur, based in Southeast Asia, and a co-founder and Chief Business Officer at Siam Seaplane.
I chose to come to LSE’s School of Public Policy because I was looking to better understand how solutions can address systemic challenges in development, and in policy at large. I had previously completed a degree in social sciences, focusing on development, and brought with me work experiences with NGOs and NGO advisory from Asia and Africa. At the same time, technology has always been important in my life, and I had founded a web development and IT company several years before.The MPA allowed me to find efficient and rigorously methodological ways to combine my knowledge and new disciplines in order to analyse challenges, propose solutions, and devise practical ways to move forward. The applied nature of the MPA, and the Capstone consulting project with a ‘real’ client, was a big selling point for me in this regard. Beyond the coursework, a major benefit of LSE was the world-class network of people, experts, practitioners and academics. Many have remained close friends, and many have helped to open doors and enable opportunities.
After the first year of the MPA, I was offered a position with EBRD. What was supposed to be a summer internship resulted in a part-time role during my second year, and then a full-time position. Initially I could utilise my knowledge of financials, statistics, and technology to help the business advisory department with improving portfolio monitoring and analyses. Later my work revolved largely around finding systemic solutions for growth, while looking at the forefront of technology innovation. This led me to a telecommunications company with operating entities across Africa and Latin America. As a global investment strategist I obtained a broad but deep insight into how mobile technologies can address challenges and provide solutions in emerging economies. After several years I switched to another operator: moving bases to Thailand, but with global responsibility. In 2019, after a stint at a commercial executive role for a financial technology company, I took the major decision to become a full-time entrepreneur.
My guiding principles throughout my career have been that I believe in innovation and technology as an enabler, and that I like to work on designing the future. In my current work as an entrepreneur I deal with many issues and topics relevant to what I learned at LSE:
I work closely with the regulator to help draft new legislation related to my business in aviation, deal with businesses and policies in challenging environments, and apply thoroughly quantitative approaches towards business problems. I am now actively working on bringing new products and services to market, providing new opportunities and innovation, and remaining environmentally cautious. Aviation, technology and manufacturing are three of my focus areas at the moment. I look forward to keeping to help build the future in a more sustainable and sensible way, and believe that the MPA sets a fantastic foundation for just that.