In memory of Professor Patrick Turner - INSEAD

This weekend we heard the sad news that our beloved INSEAD professor Patrick Turner passed away aged 66. Most INSEAD students knew Patrick as the man behind a course called "Your First Hundred Days" where teams of students went through a simulation of the first 100 days of running a venture.

I was fortunate to spend a lot of time with Patrick outside of class as I explored a number of entrepreneurship opportunities during the year. I was just going through my INSEAD inbox and found an email I received from him after we met during my first week on the programme. We had chatted about my venture at www.captain-cv.com and he gave me some very frank feedback about my branding and plan to acquire new clients. In the meeting he promised to introduce me to 5-6 entrepreneurs and about 30 minutes after our meeting, my inbox was filled with a "who's who" of entrepreneurs in SE Asia. Patrick was always so generous with his introductions and advice and even to this day I still do business/am coached by some of the people he introduced me to that day.

The period when we really developed a friendship was when I ran the Entrepreneurship Club with Susie Sun. Patrick always had great ideas about who to invite to speak at Campus. I was able to tell immediately how well respected he was as the people we wanted to bring to campus would always reply to him right away. Their responses were always warm and characterised by phrases such as "anything for you Patrick" or "glad to be able to repay the favour Patrick". He would always offer frank feedback on events and would always go way beyond what would be considered normal support/guidance.

During "Your First Hundred Days" one of the scenarios involved us (the CEOs of the fictional company) being interviewed by him (the aggressive journalist) after an accident at the factory. Patrick played an obnoxious journalist who aimed to get under the skin of all us fresh and naive CEOs. I remember completely messing up the interview, falling for his trick questions and being undone by his tough questioning. I always remember this episode before I speak to the press or am involved in any panel/speaking events!

My lasting memory of him was an email exchange we had about 18 months ago. I wrote to him reminiscing about his famous catchphrase "never ever ever run out of cash" as I had been dealing with a company that was at risk of bankruptcy. He reminded me that I had dropped this phrase into my 11D graduation speech and that I still owed him royalty payments for using his catchphrase!

Patrick - many thanks for all the advice and guidance you gave to so many of us students. You helped me explore the possibility of various entrepreneurial adventures and introduced me to a lot of people who still to this day help me get things done in and around SE Asia. Thank you for everything - we will miss your energy and enthusiasm dearly.