News & Highlights

  • MAY 2019

Neel Ghose (MBA 2019) Wins Dean’s Award for Service to the School and Society

Neel Ghose (MBA 2019) is the founder of The Robin Hood Army, a zero-funds organization that distributes surplus food from restaurants to the hungry in developing countries and has served 14.8 million meals across 133 cities. Ghose brought his commitment to feeding the hungry to HBS, and during his time in the MBA program has increased his sectionmates’ awareness of the problem of global hunger. With the help of his classmates, the Robin Hood Army has been introduced into new countries including Indonesia, Nigeria, and Chile. Through his work with the Robin Hood Army and Robin Hood Academy, and through his actions on campus to bring awareness to the hunger problem in all nations, Ghose has been an inspirational role model while at HBS and impacted the quality of life for many communities, making him a 2019 Dean’s Award winner.
  • JANUARY 2019

Entrepreneurs Unplugged - Conversation with Sanjiv Bajaj (MBA 1997)

This January, alumni and a few select entrepreneurs congregated in Pune for a discussion with Sanjiv Bajaj as a part of the India Research Center's Entrepreneurs Unplugged Series. The focus of the series is to forge a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in South Asia. The series tracks the journeys of entrepreneurs who have attempted to launch new business models as they push scale and manage various stakeholders including investors, employees, customers and regulators. During the conversation, Sanjiv Bajaj (MBA '97), Managing Director of Bajaj Finserv, one of India’s flagship non-bank finance companies, shared insights on business strategy and the use of technology, data mining, AI and machine intelligence to drive innovation and long-term value creation. He also shared his perspective on developing a culture of accountability and entrepreneurship within a corporate set up.

Driving Digital Strategy Discussion with Professor Sunil Gupta

This January and February Professor Sunil Gupta, Edward W. Carter Professor of Business Administration, toured Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, presenting his research on the use of digital technology and its impact on consumer behavior and firm strategy. Alumni, business leaders, and entrepreneurs attended events where he discussed his recent book “Driving Digital Strategy, A Guide to Reimaging your Business.” His book provides a framework for companies to reimagine their business. Referring to numerous case studies and his own research, Professor Gupta demonstrated how the rules of business have changed and why it is no longer enough for firms to be better or cheaper to gain competitive advantage. He described how these new rules make it essential for companies to re-examine four fundamental aspects of their business to thrive in the digital era – their strategy, value chain, customer engagement, and organization structure.
  • September 2018
  • Club News

Exploring the Future of Work for Women

The HBS India Research Center, the HBS Club of India and the HBS Gender Initiative hosted their first joint conference devoted to exploring what the future holds for working women. The Future of Work: Accelerating Gender Parity Conference, held on September 21, 2018 in Mumbai, was an invitation-only opportunity for 200 CEOs and senior managers to convene with experts and scholars. Professors Robin J. Ely, Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration and Faculty Chair of the HBS Gender Initiative and Joseph B. Fuller Professor of General Management who co-leads the School’s Managing the Future of Work project presented their research. Professor Lakshmi Ramarajan, Anna Spangler Nelson and Thomas C. Nelson Associate Professor of Business Administration, gave a presentation on gender identity.

New Research on the Region

  • 2019
  • Working Paper

The Effect of Payment Choices on Online Retail: Evidence from the 2016 Indian Demonetization

By: Chaithanya Bandi, Antonio Moreno, Donald Ngwe and Zhiji Xu

The Indian banknote demonetization in 2016 was one of the most significant international events of that year. Overnight, 86% of Indian currency in circulation was declared invalid unless exchanged for new bills. The sudden and unexpected demonetization constituted a large shock to the entire Indian economy. One effect of the ensuing cash shortage was a large and sustained increase in the adoption and usage of digital payments. We use detailed sales data consisting of more than two and a half million transactions from a leading Indian online retailer to empirically investigate the effects of payment digitization on the online retail industry. We take advantage of the demonetization as a source of exogenous variation that induced a subset of consumers to switch to digital payments from more commonly used cash-on-delivery payments. We show that consumers who switch to digital payments maintain their purchase frequency but spend more and are less likely to return their purchases. Our findings show that firms in emerging markets may enjoy gains from consumer demand in addition to operational gains resulting from payment digitization.

  • 2019
  • Working Paper

Infrastructure and Finance: Evidence from India's GQ Highway Network

By: Abhiman Das, Ejaz Ghani, Arti Grover, William R. Kerr and Ramana Nanda

We use the construction of India's Golden Quadrangle (GQ) central highway network, together with comprehensive loan data drawn from the Reserve Bank of India, to investigate the interaction between infrastructure development and financial sector depth. We identify a disproportionate increase in loan count and average loan size in districts along the GQ highway network using stringent specifications with industry and district fixed effects. Our results hold in straight-line IV frameworks and are not present in “placebo tests” with another highway that was planned to be upgraded at the same time as GQ but subsequently delayed. Importantly, however, results are concentrated in districts with stronger initial financial development, suggesting that while financing does respond to large infrastructure investments and help spur real economic outcomes, initial financial sector development might play an important role in determining where real activity will grow.

  • June 2019
  • Article
  • American Economic Review: Insights

Debt Traps? Market Vendors and Moneylender Debt in India and the Philippines

By: Dean Karlan, Sendhil Mullainathan and Benjamin Roth

A debt trap occurs when someone takes on a high-interest rate loan and is barely able to pay back the interest, and thus perpetually finds themselves in debt (often by refinancing). Studying such practices is important for understanding financial decision-making of households in dire circumstances as well as for setting appropriate consumer protection policies. We conduct a simple experiment in three sites in which we paid off high-interest moneylender debt of individuals. Most borrowers returned to debt within six weeks. One to two years after intervention, treatment individuals were borrowing at the same rate as control households.

See more research

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
Mahima Kachroo
Research Associate
Rashmi Patel
Research Assistant and Educational Coordinator
Shreya Ramachandran
Research Associate
Sanjivani Shedge
Executive Assistant
Inakshi Sobti
Associate Director, Community Initiatives
Rachna Tahilyani
Senior Associate Director, Research