News & Highlights

  • 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.
  • DECEMBER 2019

A Discussion with Professor John Kim

In December 2019, Professor John Kim addressed a group of educators and relevant stakeholders on the Public Education Leadership Project (PELP). A joint project between the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and the Harvard Business School (HBS), PELP uses the art and science of management to help public schools and school systems in the United States improve student performance. Professor Kim discussed the possibility of creating a similar program for school leaders in India and South Asia.
  • NOVEMBER 2019

HBS India Impact Series: Conversations with Dr. Devi P. Shetty and Mr. Amit Chandra

The India Research Center’s HBS India Impact Series features discussions with change makers who are using their leadership, networks, and problem-solving skills to address fundamental challenges facing society. Last November, a conversation with cardiologist Dr. Devi P. Shetty and philanthropist Amit Chandra showcased how the power of purpose could make the seemingly impossible happen. Dr. Shetty shared his perspective on the goal of medical care - to not turn anyone in need of treatment away for want of funds. He stressed the importance of developing scalable, affordable and high quality business models through process and technology innovations. Mr. Chandra shared vignettes of his journey leveraging networks to take action to impact millions of lives.
  • NOVEMBER 2019

Alumni Tour in Bangladesh

The HBS Club of India in collaboration with the IRC convened an alumni study tour to Bangladesh last November with 15 alumni in an effort to forge a deeper understanding of the region. HBS South Asia Advisory Board Member, Munir Merali (AMP), facilitated this immersion. Over a two-and-a-half-day visit, the group met government officials, business leaders, alumni, entrepreneurs and leaders in the creative economy. The study tour proved to be a unique convening where alumni from India, GCC, and Bangladesh were able to connect, understand varied perspectives, and identify opportunities to collaborate and build deeper bonds of friendship.

New Research on the Region

  • April 2020
  • Case

Amazon in China and India

By: Krishna G. Palepu and Kairavi Dey

Amazon has been unsuccessful in its efforts to develop a business in China. Even though Amazon was an early entrant into China’s e-commerce space, its domestic rivals, especially Alibaba, created innovative business models uniquely suited for the conditions in China. Amazon’s failure to adapt to the local conditions in China ultimately led to its exit from the country. Determined to learn lessons from this experience as it developed its business in India, Amazon made a number of innovations in its business model in India. By 2020, Amazon established a strong presence in India. However, the company faces a number of challenges because of changes in regulation that challenge its hybrid business model of both being a seller of its own goods and a marketplace for third party sellers, the rise of strong local rivals, and its own ambition to expand beyond top tier cities and upper middle class customers in India.

  • April 2020
  • Case

Uber: Competing Globally

By: Alexander J. MacKay, Amram Migdal and John Masko

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 (New York), 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.

  • March 2020
  • Case


By: Krishna G. Palepu and Kairavi Dey

Hotstar was an online video streaming platform owned by Star India Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Walt Disney Corporation. Since its launch in 2015, the platform had grown to offer over 100,000 hours of TV content, movies in nine Indian languages and live coverage of popular sporting events to its 300 million viewers. Although most of Hotstar’s content was offered as a free advertisement-based service, users could access exclusive movies and TV shows by paying for a monthly or annual subscription plan. Hotstar’s appealing content and high-quality technology made it one of the most popular video streaming apps but it now faced increasing competition from both domestic and foreign players. The company also had to accelerate the conversion of customers who used the free advertising-based streaming service to a subscription based streaming service. At the same time, there was a need to create more unique content leveraging its digital platform, as opposed to repurposing the content created for broadcast TV for digital streaming. Given all these challenges, the company’s CEO Uday Shankar wondered, how should Hotstar evolve in order for it to become a profitable and sustainable business in the next few years?

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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