Prior to the U.S. presidential inauguration, the College of Business Administration, through its Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), had an inaugural event of its own: the first Professional Development in International Business (PDIB) program in India.
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From December 28, 2008 until January 4, 2009, two members of the Department of Management and International Business, CIBER Director Mary Ann Von Glinow, professor and Knight Ridder Eminent Scholar Chair in International Management; and Sumit Kundu, Knight Ridder Center Research Professor, led a contingent of nine professors from the United States and one from Finland on a trip that combined company visits in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and Bangaluru (formerly Bangalore) with sight-seeing excursions.
“The goal was to provide a group of academics the chance to observe the ‘Indian miracle,’” Von Glinow said.
Organizers parlay contacts for trip that is a “re-visit,” not merely a visit.
Both Von Glinow and Kundu had in-depth knowledge of India acquired during prior trips. Von Glinow frequently travels to Bangaluru for consulting and research purposes. Not only was Kundu born there, but also in 2005 and 2006, he led the international trip for the college’s Executive MBA program to Mumbai and Bangaluru. Each drew upon established business contacts to pack the itinerary with opportunities for interaction with high-ranking business leaders.
In Mumbai, the group visited German-based Siemens; the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service; India-based RPG Group; and GlaxoSmithKline Limited, headquartered in Great Britain.
“The presentations by senior vice presidents and CEOs of these multinational corporations gave participants the chance to see firsthand how such companies manage global challenges,” Kundu said.
The time spent in Bangaluru at Shining Consulting, a boutique consulting firm since 1996, particularly struck Von Glinow, who was intrigued by their use of behavioral criteria in aligning personnel with a company’s strategic intent, and their flamboyant, colorful image.
MphasiS, an India-based business process outsourcing company on whose board Jose de la Torre, former dean of the Chapman Graduate School, sits; and Infosys, a global leader in information technology at which Von Glinow has “extraordinary contacts,” also generated ample interest.
Planning for next trip already has begun.
In early 2010, Von Glinow and Kundu plan to offer the PDIB again. Mumbai and Bangaluru exert a strong pull, though they are considering substituting Chennai (formerly Madras)—one of the largest cities in the south with IT and manufacturing strengths—for Bangaluru, if they can establish contacts of the same stature as those they have cultivated in Bangaluru.