Friday, February 17, 2012

School of Business offers students chance to spend winter break in India

Eighteen business students traveled nearly 10,000 miles during winter break to study abroad in India.
Nick Alexander, a senior in marketing, climbs a coconut tree during some free time. 
The Asian School of Business (ASB) in Trivandrum, India hosted a group of students led by University of Kansas School of Business faculty, Kissan Joseph, Stockton Faculty Fellow and associate professor, and Joyce Claterbos, alumna and lecturer. The group of undergraduate and graduate students visited Trivandrum, Bangalore, Mysore and Kochi, learning about the business practices and economy of India. The faculty at ASB lectured on topics including advertising, branding, e-commerce and innovation in India.
"India is an exciting part of the world because there is a lot of innovation taking place there," Joseph said. "India has a solid middle class now. It's the market for all kinds of goods such as education, tourism and entertainment. If a student here is thinking about a market, India is a very attractive and growing market."
In addition to the classes, students visited such businesses as Infosys, an international information technology company, and TVS Motor Company, part of the TVS Group and one of the largest two-wheeler manufacturers in the world.
"In the manufacturing and IT sectors, I saw a lot of CEOs and managers who thought outside the box," said Erica Collins, a senior economics major and vice president of the Undergraduate Business Council. "Despite all the restraints from their infrastructure, they found ways to prevail. It gave me a competitive advantage to think the way they did."
Collins said she had a great time. "We saw eight different companies, travelled to two or three different cities and met with locals. It was a good balance of leisure, business and overall travel experience."
Students and faculty in front of Infosys,
an information technology and consulting company.
India is part of what economists call the BRIC: Brazil, Russia, India and China. These countries have similar economic growth and are expected to become important players in the international market. Arnobio Morelix, a sophomore double-majoring in marketing and economics, is a transfer student from Brazil who plans to go into international business. Morelix hopes to do a similar study abroad program with Brazilian students in the near future.
"I figured since I am Brazilian I might as well learn about other BRIC countries," Morelix said. "It was an amazing country. It was interesting to see that, although it's half a world away, it shares similarities with my own country."
The three-week-long program also gives students the chance to learn about Indian culture and visit with people like the State of Kerala's Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. "Both countries should strengthen their relationship and foster greater openness to solve the problems of the world," the chief minister said during a meeting with the group, according to a news release from the ASB.
Oommen Chandy, chief minister of the state of Kerala, speaks
to the group. The students spoke with CEOs and high-ranking officials.
At the same time, the program strengthens the academic relationship between India and the United States. "Encouraged by the enthusiastic responses of the student delegates who visited ASB last December, a new team is visiting us this year," said S. Rajeev, director designate of ASB in an interview with The Hindu. "Our phenomenal reach into the industry, impeccable program design and execution capabilities have made the India Study Abroad Program an annual feature."
For more information on studying abroad, visit the IIB homepage.