Learning from the global cities

Source: Education Times, April 1, 2013

By: Ruchi Kumar

Students from London Business School recently visited Mumbai as a part of its Global Business Experience programme.

International B-schools are putting special emphasis on the study of Eastern markets through various exchange programmes and cultural immersion projects. Following this trend, London Business School recently visited Mumbai with a group of management students this week, under the aegis of their programme, Global Business Experience (GBE). “We hope to explore and interact with thought leaders from sectors such as business, government and creative pursuits. The intent is to expose students to perspectives of leaders who are driving change,” explains Amelia Whitelaw, associate director, GBE.
The programme, in its first year, will take participants to five global cities to get an in-depth experience of what it will be like to do business in those markets. The theme of the Mumbai programme focused on understanding, driving and adapting to change.

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“Our learning objectives for the week were to understand some of the most momentous areas of change in India; how individuals and organisations are driving and adapting to this change and its implications for businesses globally. It allows students to build on the tools and frameworks they
have learnt,” adds Rajesh Chandy, professor of marketing at LBS.
“GBE is tailored to its location, offering an opportunity to gain insight from local systems and culture. Students are pushed outside their comfort zone and made to work in unfamiliar environments.” In addition to Mumbai, the programme will be conducted in Boston, New York City, Johannesburg, Hong Kong and Istanbul, each focusing on a range of issues relevant to that nation’s industries. In Mumbai, students interacted with business leaders like Gita Piramal, Kumar Birla, Srinivasan Vardharajan of Axis Bank, Pramit Jhaveri of Citigroup India and Sanjay Ubale of Tata Realty; and also visited various industries to study their business applications.
MUMBAI EXPERIENCE Clichés notwithstanding, on their visit to the Capital of Indian cinema, the students experienced Bollywood, firsthand. A special lecture called Emerging Bollywood was hosted by Farhan Akhtar, Sanjeev Lamba and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Vikrant Vig, associate professor of finance at LBS, explained, “Thought leaders from the film fraternity discussed with us the magnitude of change in the industry, in terms of speed and scale and the contradictions that underlie this change.”
Taking forward their Mumbai immersion, students also participated in a tour of the business ecosystem of Dharavi, followed by a panel on urban renewal and social impact. Besides, Raymond Bickson, MD and CEO of Indian Hotels Company and some of the staff of Taj Mahal Palace hotel shared their experiences of the 26/11 terrorist attacks.

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