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Faculty Focus | The EMBA Experience in India

Volume 19, Number 1
January 2013

Watch a 3-1/2-minute interview with Ivey Professor Jean-Louis Schaan, field director for the EMBA 2013 International Trip, on how the EMBAs' upcoming trip to India will increase their global awareness.

With India expected to become the world's second largest economy by 2050, it's truly living up to its "land of dreams" moniker in terms of business opportunities.
That's why Ivey's EMBAs are preparing to spend 10 days in India in mid-January so they can get a sense of the opportunities for Canadian companies in burgeoning sectors such as transportation, infrastructure and renewable energy, and learn how Indian companies are operating.
"We have a strong belief at the School that some of the best practices of business are acquired by looking at what companies in emerging markets are doing," said Schaan. "Indian companies have been really good at preparing for the entry of foreign multinationals into their markets. I don't think we are as prepared to compete with Indian companies as they are to compete with us."
As part of the EMBA course, the students are working on consulting projects for Canadian companies considering expansion to India. While in India, the students have to validate their information and analysis and explore potential relationships with suppliers and alliance partners to determine if their clients should execute on the projects. Some of the students that travelled to India last year even created companies to pursue the projects they started in India, said Schaan.
"If you want to compete in India, you cannot come with the attitude that what works in the West is going to work in India," he said. "You have to come in with an open mind and a blank sheet of paper and create Indian solutions to Indian problems."
Another important aspect of the trip is the cultural experience.
"We take the students out of their usual surroundings and put them in a culture that is totally different. Many of them come back enriched by this experience," said Schaan. "One of Ivey's goals is to train global managers. We want people to be at ease in doing business internationally and working in cross-cultural environments."

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