News & Highlights

  • MAY 2018

Creating Opportunity for Indian Entrepreneurs

Harsh Bhargava (MBA 1977) was visiting his hometown of Jaipur, India, in 1999 when tragedy struck. In the midst of an unemployment crisis during the Kargil War, the government advertised for 120 open positions in the nearby town of Jhunjhunu. More than 100,000 young men showed up looking for work. The government was not prepared to handle the number of job-seekers, resulting in matters becoming out of control and police killing three young men. The incident ate at Bhargava, and led to an idea: Why not create job creators instead of job seekers through an entrepreneurship training program at the grassroots level? Inspired, Bhargava founded I Create, an organization that teaches entrepreneurship skills to students at the secondary level and also works with disadvantaged women, youth, and discharged soldiers to provide comprehensive training and mentorship.
  • NOVEMBER 2017

HBS Alum to Expand Company's Automotive Operations to Detriot

Anand Mahindra (MBA 1981) has plans to expand the automotive operations of the Mumbai-based company, Mahindra Group, into Detriot in early 2018. The company will begin producing off-road recreational and work vehicles that will contribute to their current U.S. production of tractors.
  • SEPTEMBER 2017

An HBS alumnus and his City of Dreams - Colombo, Sri Lanka

With a clear vision and big dreams for change, HBS graduate Nayana Mawilanda (MBA 2005) shares his plans for turning Sri Lanka's capital city of Colombo into a megapolis that resembles other major international port cities. His master plans for transformation include housing, transportation, water, and environmental priorities, and he talks about how his unexpected career path led him to have the skills he needs to make these big changes.

New Research on the Region

  • 2018
  • Working Paper

Homesick or Home Run? Distance from Hometown and Employee Performance: A Natural Experiment from India

Companies often assign workers to far-flung locations to fill critical roles and to develop human capital. Yet little is known about how workers perform in assignments to locations far from their hometowns, which may subject them to increased cultural distance, information costs, and effects related to social attachment to hometown/workplace. By exploiting an Indian technology firm’s policy of randomly assigning entry-level employees to eight widely scattered locations, we empirically assess how distance from hometown affects workers’ performance. Our results suggest that distance from hometown has a positive effect on worker performance in the short term and a negative effect over the longer term. We offer evidence on a key mechanism: how employees allocate their time to work-related activities and to visiting distant family. To do so, we use field interviews, sub-sample analyses, and micro-data on the number of optional skill-development courses employees complete and on leave taken during the major Indian festival of Diwali. We find evidence of heterogenous effects based on the location of the production center and on gender.

  • Forthcoming
  • Article
  • Journal of Medical Internet Research

Reimagining Health Data Exchange: An Application Programming Interface-Enabled Roadmap for India

By: Satchit Balsari, Alexander Fortenko MD, MPH, Joaquin A. Blaya PhD, Adrian Gropper MD, Malavika Jayaram LLM, Rahul Matthan LLM, Ram Sahasranam, Mark Shankar MD, Suptendra N. Sarbadhikari PhD, Barbara Bierer, Kenneth D. Mandl MD, Sanjay Mehendale MD, MPH and Tarun Khanna

In February 2018, the Government of India announced a massive public health insurance scheme extending coverage to 500 million citizens, in effect making it the world’s largest insurance program. To meet this target, the government will rely on technology to effectively scale services, monitor quality, and ensure accountability. While India has seen great strides in informational technology development and outsourcing, cellular phone penetration, cloud computing, and financial technology, the digital health ecosystem is in its nascent stages and has been waiting for a catalyst to seed the system. This National Health Protection Scheme is expected to provide just this impetus for widespread adoption. However, health data in India are mostly not digitized. In the few instances that they are, the data are not standardized, not interoperable, and not readily accessible to clinicians, researchers, or policymakers. While such barriers to easy health information exchange are hardly unique to India, the greenfield nature of India’s digital health infrastructure presents an excellent opportunity to avoid the pitfalls of complex, restrictive, digital health systems that have evolved elsewhere. We propose here a federated, patient-centric, application programming interface (API)–enabled health information ecosystem that leverages India’s near-universal mobile phone penetration, universal availability of unique ID systems, and evolving privacy and data protection laws. It builds on global best practices and promotes the adoption of human-centered design principles, data minimization, and open standard APIs. The recommendations are the result of 18 months of deliberations with multiple stakeholders in India and the U.S., including individuals from academia, industry, and government.

  • Forthcoming
  • Article
  • R&D Management

An Exploratory Study of Product Development in Emerging Economies: Evidence from Medical Device Testing in India

By: Budhaditya Gupta and Stefan Thomke

Recent research has studied innovation in emerging economies. However, microlevel product development processes in these economies are relatively unexplored, and the mechanisms by which the emerging economy context might affect such processes are still unclear. In this paper, we explore the testing routines fundamental to product development in one emerging economy. Based on an exploratory field study of medical device development projects in India, we observe the frequent, iterative testing of prototypes in clinical settings and investigate the related learning process. The observed testing approach is distinctly different from the comparatively linear and sequential approach adopted by medical device development teams in developed countries like the United States. Further, we suggest that such testing is feasible in India because of the prevailing regulatory flexibility, the cognitive orientation of device development practitioners, and the normative orientation of medical professionals.

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Mumbai Staff

Anjali Raina
Executive Director
Namrata Arora
Associate Director, Special Projects
Saloni Chaturvedi
Rachna Chawla
Assistant Director, Research Services
Tanvi Deshpande
Research Associate
Anthea D’Souza
Associate Director, Financial and Business Administration
Kalpesh Hedulkar
Administrative Assistant
Mahima Kachroo
Research Associate
Rashmi Patel
Research Assistant and Educational Coordinator
Sanjivani Shedge
Executive Assistant
Inakshi Sobti
Associate Director, Community Initiatives
Rachna Tahilyani
Associate Director

HBS IRC - Conducting Research, Fostering Dialogue, Building Community