пятница, 24 декабря 2010 г.

First SKOLKOVO MBA Alumni

15 December will go down in history of SKOLKOVO School: it was the day when a long-awaited graduation party of our students of the first SKOLKOVO MBA Programme took place! In September 2009 they received student cards from Dmitry Medvedev, President of Russia. How fast those 16 months of hard studies, work and activities have passed!


During their studies MBA students have visited several continents, acquired new friends and business partners, created their own start-ups and, of course, got a lot of valuable knowledge and advice for the future from prominent businessmen, politicians, culture and sport celebrities and, of course, from their personal mentors.

You could watch the development of events in our social media platforms :)

Wilfried Vanhonacker, School Dean, opened an official ceremony and reminded of all important events of those months. Ruben Vardanian, SKOLKOVO President, emphasized in his ceremonial speech that the graduation was just a beginning. Andrei Volkov, SKOLKOVO Dean, wished the students to follow their own way and move forward in spite of any difficulties.


During an official part special SKOLKOVO Awards were granted. The awards in different nominations were received by
Sultanbek Khunkaev – The Most outstanding work
Gamid Akhmedov – The Most socially aware student
Marina Parfenova – The Most creative student
Alexander Khomenko – The Most entrepreneurial student

It’s difficult to find words to describe emotions that filled the guests at the graduation party – both happiness, and excitement, and pride, and sadness, because the first class of students leaves the walls of the SKOLKOVO Campus to start free floating!

We do not say goodbye to our alumni and will report their activities further.

среда, 15 декабря 2010 г.

Is Low Wage Manufacturing in China Disappearing? - is a new research of SKOLKOVO

Growth in Chinese manufacturing has been the critical element in that nation’s ability to achieve average annual real GDP growth rates of approximately 10 percent since the early 1980s. And it has been “cheap labor”, more than anything else, which has fueled China’s competitiveness and growth in this sector. Higher profile strikes and rapid wage gains in China over the past year have given analysts speculation that the era of cheap labor may finally be coming to an end.
While China is bound to eventually lose its competitive advantage as a low-wage producer as it continues developing and moves toward higher “value-added” manufacturing and the production of services, the fact remains, however, that it is far from reaching that stage. And this is fortunate because China currently lacks real advantages in higher education, efficient markets and enterprise and a capacity for innovation and still requires low wages to drive economic growth.


The study also finds that China’s working-age population will not peak until around 2020, roviding China with sufficient labor input.
The highlights of the report include:

  • Taking into account the increasingly large number of workers employed in the “informal” economy, China’s average wage levels in manufacturing currently remains competitive against most other Asian developing countries.
  • SIEMS’ estimate for the average hourly compensation in China’s manufacturing sector is RMB 7.1 in 2010 (or $1.05 at the current exchange rate), with the corresponding monthly compensation running RMB 1,652 ($244).
  • Chinese real wages in manufacturing, after accounting for inflation and labor productivity gains, are actually lower now than they were in 2001.
  • While China’s supply of 15-24 year-old workers (the ideal age for the lower-end manufacturing that China’s has specialized in) has recently peaked at 228 million in 2010, the total labor supply in this age cohort is estimated to be a solid 200 million by 2015, more than they numbered in the year 2000.
  • China’s working-age population (16-59) will not begin falling until 2020, providing China with sufficient surplus labor and keeping a lid in the growth in labor compensation over the next decade.
  • China’s “interior” provinces, possessing lower wages than the coastal regions and endowed with a large labor reserve, is likely to become the most immediate recipient of global manufacturers looking for competitive locations.


понедельник, 6 декабря 2010 г.

Central Bank Independence and the Global Financial Meltdown - is a new research of SKOLKOVO

Central banks have been both blamed and praised for their part in the global financial crisis, but how much did their independence in setting policy actually affect a country’s economic performance? This study shows that countries with more transparent central banks were more prone to higher credit and, for the most part, lower interest rates, in both developed and developing countries. Despite much of the hype over central bank independence and its supposed benefits for an economy, it appears that bank independence didn’t matter that much for how an economy weathered the crisis, and may actually have contributed to the asset bubbles in developed countries.

This study is based on an examination of 91 countries over 1989-2008 and the effects of an independent central bank on different variables, including growth rate of GDP per capita, inflation, and credit to the private sector extended by the banking sector. The study breaks new ground in utilizing several different measures of bank “independence,” including using a “transparency index” that measures the openness of a central bank to public discussion. The key results from the study include:
  • A long history of both central bank independence and transparency lowers interest rates for all economies, while rapid turnover of central bank governors raises them by a large amount;
  • Over the long run, an independent and transparent central bank should create the right conditions for growth, but in the short-term, price stability may lead to lower growth than would have been achieved if a central bank were acting politically;
  • Growth in bank credit appears to be much higher with transparent central banks than with non-transparent ones, possibly because a central banker still has the incentive to please his audience, which is more “the economy” and less “the government.”
  • Looking specifically at the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies, central bank independence from 2003 onward correlates with a strong positive effect on bank credit, meaning that independence appears to have fueled the root causes of the global recession rather than stemmed them.
In sum, the paper concludes that central bank independence may not even matter for growth or inflation if the policies pursued still are erroneous. If central banks were independent during the credit boom of the early 2000s, perhaps it’s more important to wean both developed and emerging market bankers off bad models rather than make them more independent. Experimentation with different term-limits for bank governors, as well, may help to avoid some of the problems seen in the run-up to the crisis, removing the temptation to play God with the economy.

среда, 1 декабря 2010 г.

Advice on business literature from Helen Edwards

We congratulate you on the first day of winter! We hope that in spite of frosty weather, you will get warm with a cup of hot tea reading some interesting books. It is books that we will tell you about today. A traditional column of advice on business literature guided by SKOLKOVO Library project manager Helen Edwards.

1. Anywhere: how global connectivity is revolutionizing the way we do business
Emily Nagle Green.
McGraw-Hill, 2010.
281 pages.
ISBN: 9780071635141

Imagine a world of total connectivity where people, ideas and products are instantly and seamlessly connected. President of the Yankee Group, Emily Nagle Green, explores the business opportunities offered by the wireless world. The book shows how to evaluate and then exploit business activities by their "anywhere" characteristics - from those like music which already live in the virtual space, to devices with intelligent components, to physical services rendered more efficient by the technology, to RFID tracking of assets- and points out the profit potential for those businesses able to "collapse time and space" by taking advantage of the anywhere technologies.


2. Brand society: how brands transform management and lifestyle
Martin Kornberger
Cambridge University Press, 2010
308 pages
ISBN:9780521726900

Kornberger uses evidence from sociology,anthropology, philosophy, aesthetics and mangement and his own experience in a branding agency to develop a theory of brands. He identifies brands as the organizational lifeline between the company and the external environment, the force which both links and reorganises the relationship between production and consumption The book is organised in three overlapping concentric circles: the concept of brands and how they are made: how brands are used by companies to manage and organize and indeed formulate the company identity and how brands transform consumption through the concept of lifestyle.


3. India, Inc.: how India's top 10 entrepreneurs are winning globally.
Vikas Pota
Nicholas Brealey, 2010.
232 pages..
ISBN: 9781857885248

Who are the most relevant role models in business today? This book identifies ten top Indian entrepreneurs from sectors as diverse as IT, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, banking, manufacturing, entertainment and green energy and describes their personal histories, vision and values and approach to business. The book also draws conclusions about factors within the Indian business environment - the approach to corporate social responsibility, the advantage of the fast growing domestic market at the time of global recession - and their contributions to these successes.