Despite the impact of the global economic slowdown, the economy of India is outpacing many other countries. That’s just one aspect of the country that makes it a fascinating and essential place for business faculty to experience firsthand.
Since 2008, the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at Florida International University (FIU) has done its part by offering a Faculty Development in International Business (FDIB) program to India. Organized by CIBER director Mary Ann Von Glinow, professor and Knight Ridder Eminent Scholar Chair in International Management, Department of Management and International Business; and her colleague Sumit K. Kundu, professor and Knight Ridder Research Professor of International Business, the program takes scholars from across the United States to India for intensive interaction with executives at multinational corporations. They also visit cultural sites and attend lectures delivered by their counterparts at Indian universities.
In 2011, a group of ten academics, accompanied by Sonia Verdu, associate director, CIBER, traveled to Mumbai and Bangalore from January 1st through 9th. George Washington University’s CIBER co-sponsored the program.
“Every time I go to India, I see a booming economy and a strong belief among the citizens that it is becoming an emerging power,” said Kundu, who led the FDIB for the third time. “This has been reiterated time and again by the top brass of Indian companies as well as multinational corporations operating in India. The depth of managerial talent is tremendous and India is on its way to becoming a world economic power.”
During their stay in Mumbai, the group toured Siemens and Welspun Limited. In Bangalore, they had a plant tour of Caterpillar, a presentation at Infosys Limited titled “Innovation Co-Creation for Building Tomorrow’s Enterprise” and a visit to information technology services company Mphasis. They also interacted with colleagues from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.
Experience exceeds expectations of first-time FDIB attendee.
The third member of the College of Business Administration contingent, Sungu Armagan, who teaches organizational behavior, signed up for the trip thinking she would learn more about how the country’s culture plays a role in business, an important aspect of her specialty.
“I certainly got that, and I got so much more,” she said. “The program is aptly named because it truly helped me develop as a faculty member. I even changed a course requirement to make my classes more practical, drawn from the companies and the culture we visited.”
Even a visit to a slum in Mumbai, requested by one of the participants, deepened her business perspective.
“I was struck by a recycling business that was operating there and got to see its impact on everyone involved,” she said. “It was amazing.”