Emerging Markets: LSE Students Explore Startups And Marketing Strategy In Bangalore, India

London School of Economics’ alternative MBA takes students on international trips to emerging markets

In June this year, students on London School of Economics’ Executive Global Master’s in Management (EGMiM) explored emerging markets during a week-long international module in Bangalore, India.

Students visited a leading online fashion platform and various software providers in India’s foremost tech startup hub, as well as a nonprofit-turned-waste-management-company, and Team Indus – what started out as a pipe-dream of a group of colleagues, now India’s sole representative competing for the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE to place a robot on the Moon.

The module, which focused on marketing strategy and entrepreneurship through the lens of an emerging economy, also included a visit to a local university, teaching sessions, and guest lectures from high-profile speakers like Dr. Pramod Varma, who’s leading a project to provide every Indian with a unique identification number.

“The idea is to give the students exposure to a milieu that is profoundly different from what they are used to,” says Professor Om Narasimhan, faculty lead for the India module. “They get to appreciate the sheer scale of some of the challenges and opportunities [in India].

“The fact that a mobile carrier achieved its goal of signing up 100 million subscribers in a year; the fact that over one billion people have been registered for a biometric identity card; the fact that hundreds of millions of children are still classified as malnourished, or that hundreds of millions still do not have access to decent education,” he continues.

“By the end of the week, students should appreciate the most momentous areas of change in contemporary India, and understand the implications of these changes, for India and for business in their own environments.”

BusinessBecause caught up with two current LSE students – Claudia Velez-Diaz and Benjamin Colton – to find out more. Both students only applied to LSE’s 17-month, part-time EGMiM, dubbed the alternative to the traditional MBA.

Claudia Velez-Diaz

After four years as a project manager working for an insurance broker in Madrid, Claudia now works in financial risk for a major insurance company in London. clausia

On choosing LSE’s EGMiM… LSE is a world-renowned institution which has promoted leaders in a wide variety of areas, from politics and economics, to art, business, and academia.

LSE’s EGMiM offers a unique combination, where social values and concerns are presented as an inherent element of business management. This approach is, unfortunately, frequently ignored. But it is the only way to move forward and grow as an individual, as a company, or as a society as a whole.

On the India module… For me, Asia was a complete unknown before joining LSE. The India module offered the chance to get a first-hand impression of what is going on in one of the world’s most dynamic, complex and growing economies.

It was an incredible enriching experience – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from diverse sets of opinions, management styles, goals and strategies, invaluable in today’s global business environment. 

Most interesting was the presentation given by Dr. Pramod Varma, architect of Adahaar, a project to provide every Indian resident with a unique identification number. Dr. Varma took us through some of the technical challenges he faces, but also stressed the potential impact of the project, in terms of transitioning to a formal economy – a turning point in India’s development.

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Benjamin Colton

Educated in the US and Norway, Benjamin works for the asset management unit of the Norwegian Central Bank, based in New York. bencolt

On choosing LSE’s EGMiM… The international focus of the EGMiM program appeals to my interests and career ambitions, and directly influenced my decision to pursue it over a traditional MBA. It offers a collaborative learning environment with a global focus, and internationally diverse student body and faculty. 

Additionally, the program offers a platform for me to develop a network with and be a part of the world-class faculty and close-knit community at LSE. The modular format was another essential element to meet my needs.

On the India module… I believe that the only way to truly understand a foreign business culture is by immersing yourself into it. There is a lot of useful information that can be learned in a classroom, but true insight comes from seeing how things work with your own set of eyes.

The company visits and scheduled speaker sessions in India provided valuable perspectives on various aspects of the overall economic landscape in the world’s largest democracy. We were provided with a structured and comprehensive program that allowed us to dive deep into the challenges and opportunities of doing business in India. 

I greatly benefited both personally and professionally from learning about the Indian culture and economy, but the most interesting perspectives came from listening to and learning from my classmates.

It was fascinating to see how individual members of our diverse cohort contributed to the discussion with their unique viewpoints. The module brought everyone closer together, and I’m confident that many of these bonds will last a lifetime.

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