News & Highlights

  • 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.
  • April 2020

Navigating the Crisis & Beyond: Perspectives for Leaders in South Asia

On April 11, 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the India Research Center, in partnership with Harvard Business Publishing hosted a webinar on navigating the crisis. HBS Professors Amy C. Edmondson, Ananth Raman, Herman B. ("Dutch") Leonard, and Robert S. Kaplan shared a vocabulary, framework and toolkit for business leaders as they navigate the COVID-19 crisis in South Asia. Professor Das Narayandas facilitated a conversation with Amit Chandra, Managing Director of Bain Capital; Sanjiv Mehta (AMP ’04), Chairman & MD Hindustan Unilever Ltd; Ravi Venkatesan (MBA ’92), Founder, Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship and Suneeta Reddy (OPM 28, 1999), Managing Director Apollo Hospitals. Over 4,000 participants attended virtually, including a mix of business leaders, alumni, HBR readers, and professionals from over 58 countries. A video recording of the event can be viewed here.
  • April 2020

HBS Club of India: Alumni on Air Webinar Series

In April 2020, the India Research Center debuted its series of monthly webinars co-hosted by the HBS Club of India. As a part of this series, alumni from South Asia share their perspectives on the current crisis, business frameworks, and leadership styles. Among those featured include Rishad Premji (MBA 2005), Chairman of Wipro Ltd., a global company supporting COVID-19 relief efforts in India, Ameera Shah (OPM 42, 2012), Promoter and Managing Director of Metropolis Healthcare, a diagnostics business in India’s health care sector and Ajay Bijli (OPM 28, 1999), Chairman & MD of PVR Cinemas, one of India’s largest multiplex cinema exhibition companies. The series ran episodes through June 2020 which can be accessed here.
  • JANUARY 2020

The Global Classroom: Student Immersion in China, Hong Kong, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka

As part of the elective curriculum within the MBA program, students have the opportunity in their second year to enrol in an Immersive Field Course – or “IFC.” These courses are driven by faculty research and industry connections, and provide students with an opportunity to get out of the classroom and put the skills they have learned to practice in the field. Typically, about 200 students participate in IFCs annually. In January 2020, Professors Willy Shih and Meg Rithmire led 45 students through China, Myanmar and Sri Lanka for 10 days. The course looked to understand the dynamics of international trade through a study of the China Belt Road Initiative. During their stay in Sri Lanka, students visited the Colombo and Hambantota Ports, a logistics factory, and participated in a symposium with government officials, think tanks, and business leaders to discuss Chinese investments in Sri Lanka.

New Research on the Region

  • September 2020
  • Teaching Material

Uber: Competing Globally

This case describes Uber’s global market entry strategy and responses by regulators and local competitors. It details Uber’s entry into New York City (United States), Bogotá (Colombia), Delhi (India), Shanghai (China), Accra (Ghana), and London (United Kingdom). In each instance, the case includes information about Uber’s strategy in that market, existing regulations on taxis and transportation in each market, the reactions of competitors and regulators, and regional information. The case allows for instruction related to competitive strategy, global expansion, nonmarket strategy, regulation, market economics, supply restrictions, and related topics.

  • Article
  • Academy of Management Perspectives

Crowdsourcing Memories: Mixed Methods Research by Cultural Insiders-Epistemological Outsiders

By: Tarun Khanna, Karim R. Lakhani, Shubhangi Bhadada, Nabil Khan, Saba Kohli Davé, Rasim Alam and Meena Hewett

This paper examines the role that the two lead authors’ personal connections played in the research methodology and data collection for the Partition Stories Project—a mixed-methods approach to revisiting the much-studied historical trauma of the Partition of British India in 1947. The Project collected survivors’ oral histories, a data type that is a mainstay of qualitative research, and subjected their narrative data to statistical analysis to detect aggregated trends. In this paper, the authors discuss the process of straddling the dichotomies of insider/outsider and qualitative/quantitative, address the “myth of informed objectivity,” and consider the need for hybrid research structures with the intent to innovate in humanities projects such as this. In presenting key learnings from the project, this paper highlights the tensions that the authors faced between positivist and interpretivist methods of inquiry, looks at the difference between “insider” and “outsider” categories of positionality and discusses in the quantification of qualitative oral history data. The paper concludes with an illustrative example from one of the lead authors’ past research experiences to suggest that the tensions of this project are general in occurrence and global in applicability, beyond the specifics of the Partition case study explored here.

  • Forthcoming
  • Article
  • Business History Review

The Cost and Evolution of Quality at Cipla Ltd, 1935–2016

By: Muhammad H. Zaman and Tarun Khanna

This article examines the evolution of Indian pharmaceutical manufacturer Cipla towards producing drugs that met the quality standards of European and U.S. regulators. It employs new research in Cipla’s corporate archives, the Creating Emerging Markets database, and interviews with Cipla employees, government regulators, and public health professionals in Africa, India, Latin America, and the United States. The article argues that, along with a longstanding corporate culture of self-reliance rooted in nationalism starting from its inception in 1935, major factors in Cipla’s strategy from the 1960s through the early 2000s included the early adoption and continued use of quality control technology, along with efforts to create global goodwill for affordable, high quality generic drugs during the HIV/ AIDS epidemic of early 2000s.

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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
Inakshi Sobti
Associate Director, Community Initiatives
Rachna Tahilyani
Senior Associate Director, Research