News & Highlights

  • JUNE 2023

Alumni Event with Professor Mihir Desai

On June 21, 2023, the India Research Center, in collaboration with the HBS Club of India, hosted an alumni event with Professor Mihir Desai in Mumbai on “Navigating Economic and Financial Chaos.” Professor Desai shared a framework for business leaders to navigate today’s challenging economic environment where markets are sending conflicting signals, and advised leaders to think like “Bayesian statisticians” to emerge successful in the next decade. Referencing his opinion piece in the New York Times, he cautioned against “magical thinking” or the assumption that favored conditions will continue on forever without regard for history. It was an interactive discussion attended by 44 alumni who were delighted to be part of a thought-provoking session, followed by a networking event where attendees shared their perspectives on the topic.

Alumni Events with Professor Rohit Deshpandé

In collaboration with the HBS Club of India, the center organized two in-person events for alumni with Professor Rohit Deshpandé, the center’s Faculty Chair, who recently visited Pune and Mumbai. Anil Kumar (MBA 1974) hosted the dinner in Pune in January. In Mumbai, in February, in partnership with the HBS Club of India the IRC organized a soiree at Bombay Gymkhana. Both events were attended by more than 60 alumni, some of whom travelled from different parts of the country to interact with Professor Deshpandé and their fellow alumni. Professor Deshpandé gave an update on the recent events at the School and the AMP program, and the alumni shared their personal experiences from their time at HBS.
  • DECEMBER 2022

Research Roundtable with Professor Linda Hill

In December 2022, the IRC hosted the South Asia leg of a series of research roundtables with Professor Linda Hill. This was part of their ongoing research on Leadership in the Digital Era and focused on the changing role of leadership and workplace dynamics in the era of remote and hybrid work models. We had 6 participants – leaders from across industries – who shared their experiences and insights from navigating the post-Covid world. The participants' varied backgrounds, from veteran leaders of large legacy organizations to ‘digital native’ start-up founders, made for an enriching discussion with unique perspectives on how leadership has evolved with time.
  • OCTOBER 2022

boAt Lifestyle Case Study

A case study on boAt Lifestyle by Professor Rajiv Lal, co-authored by the India Research Centre’s Kairavi Dey, was taught in the MBA Required Curriculum in October 2022. The MBA class had the opportunity to interact with boAt’s founders, Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta, and CEO, Vivek Gambhir (MBA’97). boAt’s marketing strategy, which propelled it from a start-up to one of India’s most prominent lifestyle brands and the world’s fifth-largest wearables brand, has many lessons for leaders around the world.

New Research on the Region

  • September 2023
  • Article
  • Journal of Development Economics

Top Talent, Elite Colleges, and Migration: Evidence from the Indian Institutes of Technology

By: Prithwiraj Choudhury, Ina Ganguli and Patrick Gaulé

We study migration in the right tail of the talent distribution using a novel dataset of Indian high school students taking the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), a college entrance exam used for admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT). We find a high incidence of migration after students complete college: among the top 1,000 scorers on the exam, 36% have migrated abroad, rising to 62% for the top 100 scorers. We next document that students who attended the original “Top 5” Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) were 5 percentage points more likely to migrate for graduate school compared to equally talented students who studied in other institutions. We explore two mechanisms for these patterns: signaling, for which we study migration after one university suddenly gained the IIT designation; and alumni networks, using information on the location of IIT alumni in U.S. computer science departments.

  • August 2023
  • Case

Reimagining Hindustan Unilever (A)

By: Sunil Gupta and Rachna Tahilyani

In the fall of 2019, the CEO and MD of Hindustan Unilever (HUL), India’s largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) firm, is wondering what to do about their experiments to digitize distribution. Despite three years of intense efforts, their apps to empower retailers have not seen any traction. Is it time to shut them down and focus on another area with more potential for digital transformation?

  • August 2023
  • Teaching Material

Reimagining Hindustan Unilever (B)

By: Sunil Gupta and Rachna Tahilyani

In April 2023, as the CEO and MD of Hindustan Unilever (HUL), India’s largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) firm, prepared to hand over the firm’s reins to his successor, he proudly reflected on the last decade. His quest to digitally transform HUL into an intelligent enterprise that used data and technology to improve efficiency and effectiveness across the value chain had started yielding results. Many of HUL’s independent directors felt that HUL “looked more like a tech company which also sold FMCG goods.” While Mehta believed HUL “was still far away from that,” he was confident of handing over a “fertile business that his successor could keep growing.”

See more research

Mumbai Staff

Anjali Raina
Executive Director
Rachna Chawla
Associate Director, Community Engagement
Anthea D’Souza
Associate Director, Financial and Business Administration
Kairavi Dey
Kanika Jain
Research Associate
Radhika Kak
Tanisha Murdeshwar
Research and Educational Coordinator
Zarieus Namirian
Research Associate
Rashmi Patel
Manager, Operations
Malini Sen
Senior Researcher
Sanjivani Shedge
Manager, Administration
Rachna Tahilyani
Senior Associate Director, Research