|On the week-end – 13th and 14th of March 2010, students of the Executive MBA program in Great Lakes hosted student Managers from Bradley University, Peoria, IL, USA. Key Business and Cultural interaction during the visit are detailed below:The interaction started with traditional Troika and rose water for the students from Bradley University. After introductory speeches by the Dean of Bradley University and welcome notes by Prof. Sriram and Prof. Veeravalli, the students moved over for an ice-breaking business lunch. The teams charted out programs for the event and set off on course for a day and a half of interaction.
The teams were organized taking into consideration the education and professional backgrounds of students from both sides. The diverse backgrounds of students enabled quick and easier understanding of perspectives on the business side.
Fortunately, most of the Great Lakers had spent some time in the US and were not ill-at-ease while, for most of the students from Bradley, this was their first visit to India and for some, their first visit to another country.
The group started their exploration of India with a visit to the most tried and tested tourist destination — Mamallapuram. As the stories written in pages of history were being told, members were able to imagine the earliest forms of trade that happened – and how the place was a key destination on the spice and silk route that linked the Far East and Asia with Arabia and Europe.
Over dinner on Day 1, interaction and discussion revolved around the economic situation that faced the US. There were many exchanges on the Geo-political and Socio-economic structure that affected business across the globe. Members were also keen to know how India managed a very Socialist-Democratic structure, while maintaining a Capitalistic outlook but Socialistic in action. Some of the US counterparts wondered whether the lack of such a structure was indeed responsible for difficulties faced in the US.
Many students were interested in understanding development in the Rural side and some of them wanted to get a feel of the “Bottom of the pyramid” market, that the entire world is talking about.
One of the groups which consisted of a Bradley university student who researched non-profit development organizations, was then taken to a Hamlet, over 100 Kms from Chennai. The NGO that had adopted over 50 villages and had focused on development from the grass-roots and was instrumental in creating wealth was studied.
Thus two days of interaction proved extremely enlightening and many useful ideas were exchanged.
|Candid Bradley University EMBA ‘Take-Aways’ from the student exchange with Great Lakers:|
|‘As India evolves to be more western, I see them becoming very driven–they work very long hours!”’Relationship building is a long process if you are an American male and you are working with an Indian female. When we spoke with emotion at the presentation…I think that is when I gained her trust.”
“There is no idle conversation in India. If they ask how you are doing, they are sincere…they really want to know how you are doing.”
“I realized that as professionals and students we face similar challenges in India and in the US.”
“Working women in India are not afraid to hire help (driver, child care person, cook, etc.). In the US the women who work try to do it all themselves. We should adopt some Indian ideas on this front.”
“My Great Lakes host helped me make some great connections in India. I now know how the Peoria Red Cross and the India Red Cross could connect without going through international intermediaries.”
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