News & Highlights

  • FEBRUARY 2021

We the Possibility: A talk by Professor Mitchell Weiss

In a talk moderated by founder and CEO of Your Story Media, Shradha Sharma, Professor Mitchell Weiss discussed the tenets of a new way of governing, including involving citizens in designing solutions and testing and experimentation as a regular part of solving public problems. He shared findings from his recent book, We the Possibility: Harnessing Public Entrepreneurship to Solve Our Most Urgent Problems. Many in society might feel as though we have come to accept that government cannot solve problems like climate change, crumbling infrastructure, declining public education and social services. It's too big, too slow, and mired in bureaucracy. Not so, says former public official, now Harvard Business School professor, Mitchell Weiss. Entrepreneurial spirit and savvy in government are transforming the public sector's response to big problems at all levels. The key, Professor Weiss argues, is a shift from a mindset of Probability Government to Possibility Government - public leadership and management that's willing to boldly imagine new possibilities and to experiment.
  • DECEMBER 2021

Roundtable: Leadership in the Digital Era with Professor Linda Hill

On December 16, 2020, the IRC organized a virtual research roundtable on Leadership in the Digital Era with Linda Hill, Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration. This was one of a series of five roundtables conducted by Harvard Center Shanghai, the Japan Research Center, and the India Research Center. The goal was to bring together the diverse perspectives of large traditional companies and smaller, newer start-ups. The participants included founders of tech start-ups, and leaders from mid-sized organizations, large banks and FMCG and media conglomerates. Key insights were that in a world of fast-evolving technologies, the paradigms of leadership do not change, but leaders now need to be more comfortable with uncertainty and more accepting of experimentation and mistakes.
  • DECEMBER 2020

South Asia: MBA New Admits Event

This January the IRC organized a virtual event for newly admitted students from South Asia. Attendees had the opportunity to ask HBS alumni about career paths, recruiting opportunities on campus, and the resources and support that HBS and the HBS community provides during the MBA program and after graduation. Alumni shared glimpses into the HBS MBA experience, student life, their academic and career journeys post the MBA program, and alumni benefits.
  • October 2020

24 Hours of Harvard

Worldwide Week at Harvard showcases the breadth of Harvard’s global engagement through academic and cultural events with global or international themes. On October 7th-8th, Harvard broadcasted 24 Hours of Harvard, which featured 24 consecutive hours of around-the-clock and around-the-world events and activities. The HBS India Research Center, in collaboration with the India Center of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health , Harvard Business Publishing and the India Office of The Lakshmi Mittal and Family, South Asia Institute, curated “Dastaan è South Asia” (Narratives from South Asia, Part 2, Time stamp: 06:00:00). The presentation showcased the range of work Harvard has done in South Asia. This includes efforts to drive public health communication & policy translation, influence management practice and capability building in education, and adopting smart business models, leveraging technology and using business as a force for good. Using the visual story telling medium, “Dastaan e South Asia” shared stories from front line workers, leaders in business, academia, government, HBS alumni, donors and other stakeholders to showcase the diversity, development challenges and cultural context of the region.

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  • June 2020

Science, Business & Vaccine Development to Combat the Pandemic

On June 10, 2020 the India Research Center hosted a webinar in partnership with Harvard Business Publishing and The Lakshmi Mittal & Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University titled, “Science Business, and Vaccine Development to Combat the Pandemic.” Through the lens of a contemporary case study, Professor Tarun Khanna shared the geopolitics of how vaccines are developed, the funding and distribution that is critical to the effort, and the global alliances that facilitate this today. He also engaged Dr. Gagandeep Kang, Executive Director, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute & Vice Chairperson of The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations; Umang Vohra, Managing Director & Global Chief Executive Officer, Cipla Ltd and Dr. David E. Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics & Demography, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a discussion on the South Asia context. A recording of the webinar can be viewed here.

New Research on the Region

  • April 17, 2021
  • Article
  • Lancet

Reimagining India's Health System: A Lancet Citizens' Commission

By: Vikram Patel, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Gagandeep Kang, Pamela Das and Tarun Khanna

This commentary announces the launch of the Lancet Citizens’ Commission on Reimagining India’s Health System. The Commission is an ambitious, cross-sectoral effort to develop a citizens’ roadmap to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) in India in the next decade. Unlike previous reports, the Commission is guided by the principle that structural change towards UHC must be attained through consultative and participatory engagement with the diverse sectors involved in health care and, most importantly, with India’s citizenry. While the Commission will build on the vast existing literature on healthcare in India, it is set apart by a unprecedented effort to represent the diverse perspectives of India’s 1.3 billion citizens through nation-wide surveys and focus groups with those who deliver and receive healthcare. The Commission’s interdisciplinary approach is also reflected in its composition—with members including doctors, public health professionals, economists, financial scholars, consumer behavior experts, and social welfare workers—as well as in its growing partnerships with research institutes and independent organizations in India and abroad. The recommendations will be based on insights gathered through this consultative effort and published on the Lancet on Aug 15, 2022, when India will have completed its 75th year as an independent nation.

  • April 2021
  • Case

The Mahindra Group: Leading with Purpose

By: Ranjay Gulati and Rachna Tahilyani

India headquartered Mahindra Group is a multibillion-dollar federation of companies operating across the globe. It is ahead of its time in articulating its purpose and mapping its values, something it had first done at inception and then refreshed yet again as ‘Rise’ in 2011. Over the past decade, it has cascaded the essence of ‘Rise’ as a purpose through the organization. The idea was to “challenge conventional thinking and innovatively use all their resources to drive positive change in the lives of stakeholders and communities across the world to enable them to Rise.” As its senior leadership team contemplate Mahindra’s future, they wonder how they should balance the ‘Rise’ philosophy with a focus on financial returns that is critical for the group, especially in the aftermath of the health and economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and a leadership transition at the group.

  • 2021
  • Working Paper

Absenteeism, Productivity, and Relational Contracts Inside the Firm

By: Achyuta Adhvaryu, Jean-François Gauthier, Anant Nyshadham and Jorge Tamayo

We study relational contracts among managers using a unique dataset that tracks transfers of workers across teams in Indian ready-made garment factories. We focus on how relational contracts help managers cope with worker absenteeism shocks, which are frequent, often large, weakly correlated across teams, and have substantial negative impacts on team productivity. Together these facts imply gains from sharing workers. We show that managers respond to shocks by lending and borrowing workers in a manner consistent with relational contracting, but many potentially beneficial transfers are unrealized. This is because managers’ primary relationships are with a very small subset of potential partners. Counterfactual simulations reveal large gains to forming additional relationships among managers.

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Mumbai Staff

Anjali Raina
Executive Director
Rachna Chawla
Assistant Director, Research Services
Anthea D’Souza
Associate Director, Financial and Business Administration
Kairavi Dey
Research Associate
Kalpesh Hedulkar
Rashmi Patel
Research Assistant and Educational Coordinator
Shreya Ramachandran
Research Associate
Malini Sen
Sanjivani Shedge
Executive Assistant
Rachna Tahilyani
Senior Associate Director, Research