BOSTON—Harvard Business School (HBS) today announced the launch of the new amphitheater-style classroom, built and owned by the Taj Lands End, owned by the Indian Hotels Limited. Unlike the temporary spaces in Hyderabad and Mumbai where the School previously offered programs, the new space replicates the classrooms on the School's Boston campus, giving participants and students a true Harvard Business School case method learning experience, for the first time in India. The launch of the classroom kicks off with a series of activities including research conferences and executive education programs. This is the latest milestone in the School's deepening engagement in India that over the last decade has produced a growing body of research on Indian companies and management practices.
"India is a key component of Harvard Business School's global strategy," said Dean Nitin Nohria. "Our aspiration is to expand our intellectual footprint by working with business, government and academic leaders from across the country, all the while contributing to important discussions about India's long-term economic growth."
The new classroom, with a seating capacity of up to 82 students, will offer state-of-the-art multi-media facilities that augment the educational experience of the students. The room, a first of its kind in India, is virtually indistinguishable from the MBA classrooms in Boston. Using the new classroom, Harvard Business School faculty will offer programs and symposia to leaders in business, government and academia on a wide range of subjects such as Corporate Social Responsibility, Building a Global Enterprise, and Case Writing and Course Development.
The Taj Lands End Hotel is an ideal location for the classroom with it's proximity to the airport and the downtown area. The Taj Lands End was incorporated by the Tata Group, currently headed by Mr. Ratan Tata, a graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program.
"I can think of no greater investment we can make in our collective future than education," said Mr. Tata. "India is capable of great things but we will only be able to realize our potential by continually studying and learning about what has succeeded here and elsewhere in the world. Harvard Business School and Harvard University more broadly have a tremendous amount of knowledge to share in that endeavor."
India's rapid emergence as a leading economic power on the world stage has increased the demand for business education and insights. Harvard Business Review is widely read in India along with business books published by Harvard Business Publishing. Indian business schools extensively use Harvard Business School cases in the classroom and over the past 4 years some 100 Indian faculty have participated in the School's Global Colloquium for Participant Centered Learning, where they learn from HBS faculty how to teach using the case method.
"So many things in India are evolving with bewildering speed, there is much to learn by bringing models from the outside to India, and equally much to learn from India's development trajectory," says Professor Tarun Khanna, faculty chair for HBS activities in India and Director of the Harvard South Asia Initiative, which engages faculty and students across the University to advance and deepen teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. "Our engagement in this region is imperative. We are working to build an infrastructure that provides thought leadership, education and coaching to emerging managers, and that positions the University to contribute to and learn from further development." The Taj has also designated the classroom for use by South Asia Initiative at various points throughout the year.
Harvard Business School has historically strong ties to India through its faculty, students, and alumni. Over the last decade, HBS professors began traveling to India for research and teaching with increasing frequency. In 2006 the School opened its India Research Center in Mumbai and HBS faculty have written 90 new cases on companies in South Asia that are taught in HBS's educational programs and distributed worldwide. In 2008 Harvard Business Publishing established a wholly owned subsidiary in India and the School began offering executive education courses in Hyderabad and Mumbai.