Business & Economy in India

Module Overview

A burgeoning democracy of 1.34 billion people (18% of the world’s population), India is built on an ancient foundation of innovation and inspiration. A peaceful but powerful player in the world economy, India rests at number seven, according to GDP, and number three, according to purchasing power parity. India’s economic success in recent years has helped to ensure that South Asia is the fastest growing region in the world; yet facing significant challenges alongside its opportunities for further growth. India has risen from its roots in the Bronze Age civilization of the Indus Valley to be a cutting-edge supplier of the world’s information technology. From salt to steel business empires like the Tata Group to social entrepreneurs in urban and rural India, from tech start-ups and incubators to business process outsourcing, online or offline – the Indian spirit rises to any challenge.

This program explores key aspects of India’s growing economy and provides a unique opportunity for business students to study a developing market where social and environmental mindsets are embedded within business values. Meet with leading business conglomerates, multi-nationals, multi-generational family-run business empires and thriving SMEs from various sectors that make up India’s economy – these include IT, manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, banking and government organizations. Hear from thought leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs about the impact of key – and sometimes controversial – policy decisions (e.g. demonetization), government initiatives such as “Make in India” and “Digital India”, and how they are shaping their institution’s strategies to adapt to the challenges and opportunities ahead.

In addition to these inspiring meetings and visits, students will also have a chance to immerse themselves in local culture through a variety of meaningful activities that stimulate learning while also being fun and interactive (e.g. guided cultural tours of historic monuments and buzzing bazaars).

 

Location

The summit begins in a major metro city such as Mumbai, New Delhi or Bangalore. This gives the students an opportunity to get oriented with the country and its cultural nuances via lectures, workshops, language and cultural immersion activities. Once acclimated, the students move into a rural setting where they immerse themselves ethnographically into the environment of a rural community. In this manner, they observe the local lifestyle at close quarters and work on designs and prototypes, sharing their designs with the community and eliciting feedback. The summit finally shifts back to an urban setting where the students have an opportunity to reflect upon what they have learned and accomplished.

Key Elements of the Program

  • Meetings with business leaders and entrepreneurs from various industries and sectors who provide in-depth understanding of their sector and shed light on the reality of the business environment in India.
  • Visits to factories to see manufacturing operations in action.
  • Facilitated reflection sessions to evaluate and reflect on the experience.
  • Cultural immersions to experience and understand the local landscape, context and society.

Educational Outcomes

  • Become familiar with the business landscape, the abundance of economic potential that India offers, and the challenges that hinder economic growth. Critically compare it with one’s own country’s business landscape and challenges.
  • Learn first-hand how businesses and organizations use home-grown innovation to their advantage, and scale from big to bigger while providing valuable products and services for the country’s development.
  • Understand the creative strategies deployed by successful start-ups and gain insight into the ethos that drives these companies to grow as social entrepreneurs.
  • Learn about the functioning of India’s most influential businesses by meeting with senior management within the organization.
  • Develop cross-cultural competence by connecting and communicating with business leaders in the country in both formal and informal settings.
  • Gain personal inspiration and motivation from the powerful stories of successful entrepreneurs who share their stories of motivation, struggle and success.

Module Length

This program ranges from a minimum of 2 weeks to a maximum of 4 weeks. Longer programs will involve a larger scope and/or additional locations.

Logistics

Stays are in comfortable guesthouses or hotels.

Transport is by plane or train for intercity transfers and air-conditioned coaches for intra-city movement.

Featured Cultural Experiences

Note: Specific cultural experiences will depend on the location and duration chosen for the program.

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