вторник, 2 августа 2011 г.

SKOLKOVO MBA Corporate Module: Mysterious India

We’ll speak of India today. Dmitry Yusov, SKOLKOVO MBA student, is speaking about his experience from a corporate module in that distinctive country. You may also learn about students’ corporate projects in China in the article by Maria Fomina and in the interview with Igor Korotkiy.

- 2/3 of the students have chosen China to go for a corporate project. Why did you decide to go to India?

- Actually that was my fifth visit to India, that’s why I understood quite well what I was going to face there in terms of local culture and way of life. And I’d like to note that in spite of China’s intensive growth India keeps up – and soon may draw ahead of China in terms of economic development rates.

- Tell us something about the project, please.

- We worked for a large Charity Foundation that asked us to make a business model for a rural hospital so that it can become self sufficient. Our client – and the head of the Foundation – turned out to be a really unique person, and we were very happy to get to know him. Being a philosopher, a philanthrope, and a fashion designer, he is Gandhi’s follower and a very influential person in India. In France he was awarded a Blue Cross for his active support of Indian poor people. We were really happy to communicate with him, talk on various subjects, and he also seems pleased with the results of our work. What is of extra pleasure for us is the fact that our project will be brought to life, one way or another.

Last year the first class of SKOLKOVO MBA students already prepared a project for him, and they gave a very good account for their work. So we had to justify very high expectations for SKOLKOVO he had, and I think we managed to do so.

By the way, you can find my impressions about project work in my personal blog.

- Who helped you with the project in India?

- Our project manager was a professional consultant who headed a Chinese company in the past. It was interesting that he has an absolute financial and technocratic mindset, so he was pushing us towards building a strong financial model; but we also worked a lot on some general ideas and concepts of the project. As a result, we managed to present explicit financial readings and make the project deeply worked out. In those two months we have studied all the nuances of Indian healthcare. Besides, we were supported by the projects’ curator, Prof. Alan Kantrow, who will lead our next project module in the US too.

During the course of the project we had a lot of business meetings and discussions, organized by the client who was present there with us. Still, I wanted to add some more practical aspect to our project, that’s why I organized some additional meetings myself.

- That’s very interesting! Can you tell us more about that?

- Yes, sure. First of all, we met with Dr. Davi Shetty in Bangalore. He is considered to be almost a half-god in India, as he was the one to create a hospital for low-cost cardiac surgeries. He was Mother Teresa’s personal doctor. He organized an insurance system for farmers: they pay 10 rupees per month (app. 22 US cents) and have the right to receive a thousand various surgeries in a lifetime. Davi Shetty has created a whole “Health town” where together with the cardiac centre there are cancer and ophthalmology centers and specialized hospital for kidney surgeries.

Dr. Shetty was interested in the development of healthcare in Russia, so we had a very positive talk, though a short one as we had only a half an hour. I was also lucky to watch him working with his patients.

The second meeting was also in Bangalore – with a Marketing director of Novo Nordisk pharmaceutical company. As a result, we made an agreement for our Charity Foundation and Novo Nordisk to hold together some educational seminars on diabetes prevention.

And also I have a friend in Ladakh – that is a part of Small Tibet situated in the Indian North. I called him and told him about the project – and he said that he is eager to give some land for the hospital. I gave all the contacts to the Foundation and hope this cooperation will work. It’s very pleasant to know that despite the fact that we have already left India, our project is developing further and we have created some very useful starting points.

- Was two months enough for a good project elaboration?

- I would say, yes. I think, if we had more time, we would develop an additional system for the hospital’s quality and efficiency measurement; but for completing all the tasks that were set to us in the beginning, we had fairly enough time.

- It was your fifth visit to India. What new things did you learn from that “business” trip?

- Previously I’ve been to India as a tourist, and mostly saw the Northern part of the country. This time I had a goal to understand the life of people from within, study the local business environment – and I think I managed to do that. I was astonished by their dynamism, energy, their mindset free of barriers: they all are moving towards some better future, and you can feel that incredible dynamism of their movement everywhere.

- Do they still have a Caste system there?

- Yes, they still do – it is mostly spread in rural regions, but in the cities you can feel it too. And that semi-feudalism is a serious obstacle for the country’s development. Government tries to fight it, but so far they are not very successful.

- What are your main impressions from this journey?

- The greatest impression was left by our client. After we had some discussions on either work or philosophy issues with him, we all felt winged: he is a very deep person, a real philosopher. I think he combines the ideas of Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as lots of Mahatma Gandhi’s. His opinion on many issues was interesting to hear. That’s why he has left the strongest impression for me.

And speaking of my days in India…. My windows faced South-East, and when I opened my eyes I always saw the rising sun. That was wonderful and charged me with great energy for the whole day. Plus, there were yoga sessions in our hotel – though it seemed like only we, the Skolkovites, participated in them (I drew my fellows on to it). So the second month of our stay in India I got up at 6.20 a.m. 6 days a week and with the sun rising practiced yoga. That was a marvelous beginning of the day!

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