News & Highlights

  • MARCH 2019

HBS India Impact Series

The India Research Center recently launched the HBS India Impact Series. This series will hold discussions with change makers who are using their leadership, networks, and problem-solving skills to address fundamental challenges facing society. The first conversation was held with Zarina and Ronnie Screwvala, well-known entrepreneurs and philanthropists. The discussion focused on their efforts to facilitate rural transformation in the Indian state of Maharashtra through the Swades Foundation. The interactive discussion brought together 28 alumni to learn about the 360-degree model of change used by Swades, the scale and impact they have achieved, milestones, challenges, and future outcomes. We hope conversations in this series inspire thoughtful action and serve as a catalyst to building a community of like-minded and socially responsible leaders.
  • 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.

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

  • September 2019
  • Case

Teaming Up To Win The Rail Deal At GE (A)

By: Amy Edmondson, Ranjay Gulati and Rachna Tahilyani

In 2012, Nalin Jain, then head of GE aviation for South Asia, was given the added responsibility for GE’s transportation business in India, including bidding for a $2.5 billion contract to manufacture, service and maintain 1,000 diesel locomotives for state owned Indian Railways (IR). The deal, which would have been “the largest deal on the planet” for the transportation business, had been under discussion for six years, and many within GE had given up hope that it would materialize, but Jain persisted. In February 2015, when IR requested companies to submit a financial bid in six months, Jain quickly built an autonomous team, sequestered from the rest of GE, with people from multiple businesses and functions. His team overcame internal resistance from people at headquarters and stiff competition to help GE win the deal by a narrow margin. Jain was then tasked with executing the deal. As many of his earlier team members had moved on, Jain hired new people and built a new diverse yet integrated team for execution, with members able to put aside their many differences, look beyond their functional silos, and focus on the project deliverables. However, 2017 brought a series of challenges. GE changed India’s organization structure, making India business leaders report only to their respective global business leaders instead of reporting to both their business leaders and the India country leader. Jain’s mandate was expanded to include the entire international operations of GE’s transportation business. And, sub-optimal company performance forced GE to announce cost cuts of $2 billion. In the face of this turmoil, Jain wonders, “Have I created an agile team that can succeed in GE’s matrix environment and deal with the internal challenges? Do the team members have the maturity and motivation required for the project to succeed?”

  • 2018
  • Article
  • Strategic Management Journal

Prior Ties and the Limits of Peer Effects on Startup Team Performance

By: Sharique Hasan and Rembrand Koning

We conduct a field experiment at an entrepreneurship bootcamp to investigate whether interaction with proximate peers shapes a nascent startup team's performance. We find that teams whose members lack prior ties to others at the bootcamp experience peer effects that influence the quality of their product prototypes. A one-standard-deviation increase in the performance of proximate teams is related to a two-thirds standard-deviation improvement for a focal team. In contrast, we find that teams whose members have many prior ties interact less frequently with proximate peers, and thus their performance is unaffected by nearby teams. Our findings highlight how prior social connections, which are often a source of knowledge and influence, can limit new interactions and thus the ability of organizations to leverage peer effects to improve the performance of their members.

  • Forthcoming
  • Article
  • Journal of Law, Economics & Organization

Do Managers Matter? A Natural Experiment from 42 R&D Labs in India

By: Prithwiraj Choudhury, Tarun Khanna and Christos A. Makridis

We exploit plausibly exogenous variation in the staggered entry of new managers into India’s 42 public R&D labs between 1994 and 2006 to study how alignment between the CEO and middle-level managers affect research productivity. We show that the introduction of new lab managers aligned with the national R&D reforms raised patenting and multinational licensing revenues by 58% and 75%, respectively, and scientist research productivity, including a 16%, 10%, 11%, and 22% increase in h-indices, number of coauthors, publications, and citations per scientist, respectively. Using natural language processing (NLP) techniques on the set of research abstracts produced among these scientists, we also find that overall mood and sentiment increased by 8.5% following the first managerial change.

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