India Dazzles during Global Immersion Experience
There was the study of supply chains and manufacturing and multinational trade, but there was also Bollywood dancing and the Taj Mahal as 19 students in the Berkeley College MBA program ventured to India for a Global Immersion Experience recently.
The group – many of whom will soon complete the MBA in Management program that began in Fall 2015 – spent the last half of April in Mumbai and New Delhi, India, the financial and political capitals of one of the world’s largest emerging markets.
In collaboration with the Welingkar Institute of Management, Development & Research in Mumbai, students got both academic and out-of-the-classroom experience during a jam-packed fortnight that included meetings and presentations at large corporations like Microsoft and PepsiCo, as well as smaller manufacturers and service-oriented firms.
Students said hosts “rolled out the red carpet” for Berkeley College and Professor Maya Reddi, PhD, the professor who led the trip and has a large network of business contacts in her native India.
“It was very impressive,” said Bryan Hoppe of Parsippany, NJ, who works in the Registrar’s Office at Berkeley College and will complete his MBA in December. “Because of her we (had access) to the top corporate levels. We saw the importance of networking.”
The Berkeley College group toured Mahindra Rise and the PepsiCo bottling plant in Mumbai. They also visited DDB-Mudra Group, India’s largest marketing and communications services network, and Capgemini, a French information technology consulting corporation.
“I wanted them to get an exposure to all functional areas,” Dr. Reddi said. “They were able to connect the dots.”
The American students met with their counterparts and professors at Welingkar before heading off to New Delhi, where they visited FabIndia – a company started by an American to promote Indian handicrafts to the rest of the world. “Students saw how they sourced directly from the villages. They were able to see the supply chain,” Dr. Reddi said.
It wasn’t all business: There was the dancing, the varied regional cuisines, henna and rickshaw rides and visits to the grave of Mahatma Gandhi and, of course, the Taj Mahal.
“It helped me think globally and think about other cultures,” Melvin Montalvo of Stirling, NJ, said of the trip. Mr. Montalvo, who will earn his MBA in August, is Director of Sales for Marshwinds International, a business services firm in Secaucus, NJ.
He said the “chaos and the crowds” were unlike anything he’d ever experienced. “One of our tour guides said it best: ‘When you visit India, your hair will be dusty, your feet will be dirty, but your eyes will be dazzled.’ ”