Daniel Miller, a 2004 graduate, is the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished International Business Leader Alumni Award. Daniel works for General Physics Corporation (GP Worldwide), a training, engineering and consulting firm best known for training management and delivery for Fortune 100 customers.
According to Daniel, travel has always been a part of his life; he served in the U.S. Navy from 1979-1988 and has “always had a bit of wanderlust” to his personality. He began working for GP in 1988 as a staff instructor working in the nuclear power field. During his first year at GP, he worked with Ford Motor Company to implement self-directed work groups, which lead to 10 years of work in Detroit during a period “where the automotive industry was becoming very global in nature.”
In addition to his work in Detroit, he supported several projects in Europe, while he worked on projects in Canada and Mexico regularly. He eventually moved to Indiana, working in a role to support business development for GP. This new role included additional responsibility for the start-up of a new practice area: training business process outsourcing.
Around this time, Daniel earned his MBA from Anderson University, graduating in 2004. He chose AU, not only for its reputation, but because of the ability to work full-time while earning his degree.
“The MBA Program allowed me to round out my knowledge, and provided important skills and knowledge that I’ve been able to apply in my work,” said Daniel. “For example, in my current position, it’s important that we build business plans with supporting strategies as we plan expansion into a new region or country. We need to research the business environment, understand our potential customers and their needs, and ultimately make decisions on whether to invest in new business ventures. AU gave me the skills to do this.”
After receiving his MBA, Daniel moved into an operational role with GP, which included responsibility for operations in Canada and Mexico. According to Daniel, it was during this time that customers began to place a greater demand on GP to expand into Asia. “Specifically, we had a semi-conductor industry customer who was moving operations to India, and wanted us to support them locally,” said Daniel. “At the same time, we had made a decision to enter the Chinese market. It was offered that I take on our expansion into Asia, and continue my oversight of Canada and Mexico—this was my entry to the field.”
Daniel’s responsibilities now include income statement responsibilities, as “numbers are always a part of what I do.” He also meets with customers to determine solution requirements, and continue to support marketing and sales. At least once a week, he leads teleconferences with Asia to mentor and manage the business, but he travels to the regions regularly—during the past year, he has been to China six times, with side trips to Singapore and India.
Each entity is considered a subsidiary of GP, each with individual human resources, accounting, finance, business development and other departments. Daniel’s responsibility is to manage these businesses. He also serves on the Board of Directors for GP Shanghai Consulting, GP India Ltd and GP Asia Ltd (Singapore) in addition to working with GP in North America and Europe.
According to Daniel, the most challenging part of his job is working with business in Asia, specifically with tax and employment laws. There is no standard or common practice for taxes in Asia, which makes management difficult. Also, there are no existing trade agreements that stretch across the region (such as NAFTA, or similar).
In 2007, Daniel was selected as one of the Top 20 Most Influential Training Professionals in North America by TrainingIndustry.com.
To students pursuing international business, he gives this advice : “Always expect the learning to continue. Global business is a moving target and you need to grow and evolve with the markets.”