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

  • July 2020
  • Case

Gera Developments: Leadership at a Crossroads

By: Christina R. Wing and John Masko

For decades, Gera Developments (Gera) was a boutique family-owned real estate development firm in Pune, India. But since 2000, managing director Rohit Gera had turned the company into a dynamic innovator in housing solutions for urban Indian families. Over the 2010s, Gera had multiplied its area under development threefold; it had introduced its new ChildCentric vision of family housing villages (which incorporated children’s academies in skills from swimming to singing into the real estate complex); and it had expanded its operations from Pune to the nearby state of Goa. Meanwhile, Rohit’s brother Nikhil—a California resident—had invested company funds in several construction projects overseas in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2020, the company stood at a crossroads. With Rohit beginning to envision the end of his managerial career, Gera had several key decisions to make: Should it double down on ChildCentric, introduce new age-differentiated offerings to serve its customers throughout their lives, or return to a more commoditized style of real estate development? To what extent should Gera cast in its lot with Nikhil’s U.S. projects? Should the company consider other avenues for international expansion? And to whom would Rohit pass the torch of Gera’s leadership—his daughter Diya, or an outside professional manager?

  • July 2020
  • Case

Super 30: Educating the Elite Poor

By: Prithwiraj Choudhury, Tarun Khanna and Shreya Ramachandran

In the summer of 2019 in New Delhi, S K Shahi and his daughter, Meenakshi, faced a difficult problem. India had 19 centers of their non-profit, the Center for Social Responsibility and Leadership. Also called the 'Super 30' program, this offered free training for India's rigorous engineering entrance exam, the Joint Entrance Examination, to 30 - or sometimes 50 or 100 - high school graduates, selected by merit. Shahi and Meenakshi ran these centers using the corporate social responsibility funds donated by large state-owned companies in India, and some private companies. They had been operational for over a decade, with alumni working in academia, top tech companies, and education, having graduated from India's best colleges. They now had a difficult decision to make: should they expand in large metropolis cities - New Delhi; Kanpur; Mumbai - that would attract talented youth from all over India? Or else, given India's remote geographies and uneven distribution of income and educational benefits, was it best to expand to these tough regions to help those who most needed it? An additional source of concern was the operational and logistical cost of running centers in different parts of the country. What was the best way forward: city or town, urban or remote? New Delhi or Kashmir?

  • June 2020
  • Case

What IKEA Do We Want?

By: Cynthia A. Montgomery, Juan Alcacer, Emilie Billaud and Vincent Marie Dessain

In 2018, Swedish furniture maker IKEA was undergoing a significant transformation. Challenged by the rise of online shopping and changing consumer behavior, and mourning the death of its founder, the Company's top executives knew they had to step out of their comfort zones and embrace new strategic initiatives to stay relevant. But which initiatives, executed where, when and how, would enable IKEA to achieve its goals in a way that was profitable while creating an IKEA they would want to pass on to the next generation of co-workers and customers?

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
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