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Creating and Developing New Opportunities in India

08 Nov 2011

The participants of the University of Sydney Business School's innovative new Global Executive MBA have returned from Bangalore, India where they have advised a group of Australian start-up businesses about how they can make a real difference to the lives of millions of Indian people.

The group were in India as part of the third module of the Global EMBA program called Creating and Developing New Opportunities.

As part of the program the cohort was divided into consulting groups and assigned to companies including medical device providers Aimedics, Atomo; literacy agency, Read What You Want and clean energy providers, Barefoot Power.

This module is one of three units offered as part of the Global Executive MBA focusing on different stages of the business opportunity lifecycle. It focuses on the early stage business opportunity with particular emphasis on the context of developing and rapidly growing economies such as India.

As the unit name suggests, participants were introduced first-hand to the challenges and issues facing entrepreneurs or managers who have created new ventures and are seeking to enter the Indian market.

The major piece of assessment for the group involved developing a business plan (or investor memorandum) for emerging Australian businesses that have identified India as being a massive opportunity.

The module was lead by Dr Richard Seymour. Seymour said while the experience is very intense participants found it very rewarding and considered it a once in a lifetime educational experience.

"It is a huge challenge to launch a new enterprise whether that business be developing a new product, entering a new market or leveraging a new business process," said Dr Seymour. "This challenge is further complicated by the current global environment and the issues particular to emerging economies such as India."

The cohort spent two weeks in Bangalore, India. The first week was at the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, and the second at Infosys, one of the largest and most respected IT companies on the subcontinent. As well as participating in a series of seminars about the Indian economy and culture, the Indian consumer and strategies for new ventures in India, participants enjoyed networking events and talks from local business leaders.

Global EMBA participant Brett Burgess, General Manager, Premium Support Services at Telstra said the experience was a bit like being on the television program, The Amazing Race.

"We were given a mobile phone and a car with a driver and were told to get to it! We had to organise our research and analysis, acquire local intelligence and insights. It was quite daunting but empowering at the same time" said Brett.

"The Indian market is completely foreign to me so this was a huge learning curve. With so much of India's growth driven by domestic demand, it was critical we got close to the consumer and I took a lot away from that experience.

"Learning the theory of business is all well and good but nothing compares to actually getting your hands dirty on a real life project."

For more information visit the Global Executive MBA website.

Claire Robbs

Global EMBA participant, Claire Robbs takes time out to meet some of the young residents at the Angels Orphanage in Bangalore. The group took time out from their busy schedule to visit some disadvantaged children and understand more about Indian culture.

Michael Goh

New friends: Global EMBA participant, Michael Goh here with some of the children at Angels Orphanage