01 Jun 2015


India Research Center: Connecting HBS to South Asia

Re: Anjali Raina (AMP 174); Ajay Piramal (AMP 110); Anand Mahindra (MBA 1981)

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Ajay Piramal (AMP 110, 1992), Rahul Bajaj (MBA 1964), and Dr. Swati Piramal (MPH 1992) visit the India Research Center offices.

“The India Research Center is like an embassy. We bring the best of South Asia—not just India—to HBS and the best of HBS to the region.”

Anjali Raina (AMP 174, 2008), Executive Director of HBS’s India Research Center

 

With the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund predicting that India will overtake China as the fastest-growing major economy within two years, HBS’s presence in this dynamic South Asian country has become critical to furthering the global understanding of the School’s students and faculty members. HBS opened the India Research Center (IRC) in Mumbai in 2006. It is one of nine Global Research Centers that expand the School’s intellectual footprint, benefiting faculty members and students, as well as alumni and other leaders in the region.

“The India Research Center is like an embassy,” says Anjali Raina (AMP 174, 2008), the center’s executive director. “We bring the best of South Asia—not just India—to HBS and the best of HBS to the region through research, Executive Education, and other programs and activities.”

Thanks to the generosity of Ajay Piramal (AMP 110, 1992), chairman of the Piramal Group, and his wife, Dr. Swati Piramal (MPH 1992), the IRC has a new home in Mumbai’s Piramal Tower. The 4,000-square-foot office accommodates 24 staff members, including representatives from HBS Publishing and Executive Education. Previously, the IRC was located in Mahindra Towers, courtesy of Anand Mahindra (MBA 1981), chairman of the Mahindra Group.

The responsibilities of the IRC’s staff have evolved through the years, as have those at the other centers. Their original focus was to facilitate research throughout South Asia, working with HBS faculty to lay the groundwork for cases and new course development. Now, staff members also help the MBA Admissions team meet with prospective students and work with Career and Professional Development staff to advance the career objectives of students and alumni. And with the introduction of the FIELD (Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development) course in 2011, the IRC has been developing partner relationships with local organizations to create opportunities for first-year MBA students to gain hands-on experience in this emerging market. This has had the unexpected benefit of strengthening HBS’s connections to the business community.

More broadly, through the “Best of Harvard in India” series of events, the IRC fosters dialogue among HBS faculty, alumni, business leaders, government officials, and academics around topics of relevance to South Asia.

“Borrowing from what Dean Nitin Nohria has said, the problems of the world are so interconnected and so large that the solutions can no longer be the responsibility of only one country or one person,” says Raina. “We need to work together to effect change.”

Learn more about HBS’s Global Research Centers at alumni.hbs.edu/global-research-centers

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