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University Relations

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June 24, 2005
Contact: Bart Redford, Center for International Business Education and Research, (785) 864-4616.

KU MBA students, faculty spend two weeks in India to explore top businesses

LAWRENCE -- A group of five graduate students and two faculty members from the University of Kansas School of Business got a glimpse of the inner workings of several of India's most prominent businesses during KU's first Business in India Program, a two-week program that concluded June 6.

Sponsored by KU's School of Business in cooperation with KU's Center for International Business Education and Research, the two-week study abroad program offered participants firsthand experience with today's business climate in India as well as the cultural, political and economic issues relating to doing business in India. The Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, where most classes took place, was the host.

Led by Sanjay Mishra, KU associate professor of business, the program featured lectures at ISB and visits there and in New Delhi to a variety of firms in industries such as information technology, communications, software development, pharmaceuticals, textiles and filmmaking. Dennis Rosen, associate professor of business, assisted Mishra. Both Mishra and Rosen focus on aspects of marketing in classes they teach in the KU School of Business.

Although many Americans associate India with call centers and outsourcing, the program's participants received a comprehensive overview of the business climate in India and the challenges associated with doing business in a developing economy.

In a meeting with the KU group at the U.S. Embassy's American Center in New Delhi, Donald Nay, deputy senior commercial officer, compared doing business in India with driving in New Delhi, stressing the importance of going with the flow, being persistent and occasionally looking the opposite direction from where you are headed.

Mishra noted that Hyderabad is one of India's fastest growing urban areas and is vying with Bangalore for the IT investments now pouring into the country. Several U.S. firms, including Motorola and Microsoft, recently have decided to locate centers in Hyderabad.

ISB is a project of several prominent expatriate business figures, including Rajat Gupta, former managing director at McKinsey & Co., an international management consulting firm, and now ISB board chair. Kavil Ramachandran, ISB professor of entrepreneurship and strategy, personally welcomed the students to India and, along with other ISB professors, lectured on various aspects of entrepreneurship and business strategy.

The students also learned about Indian social and cultural history and visited several historic sites and monuments, including the Taj Mahal in Agra between New Delhi and Hyderabad.

The KU students are all seeking master's degrees in business administration. They are listed below with their hometowns, parents' names, high schools and undergraduate degrees, when available.

From Leon
Alex Sphar, son of Gary and Patsy Sphar; Bluestem High School; bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Wichita State University.

From Overland Park
Steve Baru, son of Gerald and Evelyn Baru; Shawnee Mission South High School; bachelor's degree in economics from KU.

From Prairie Village
Erin McDonald, daughter of Larry and Chris McDonald; The Pembroke Hill School, Kansas City, Mo.; bachelor's degree in psychology from Truman State University, Kirksville, Mo.

From Shawnee
Alan Voss, son of Judy Voss and the late Edward Voss; Oak Park High School, Kansas City, Mo.; bachelor's degrees in biology and German from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

From Cresco
Vickie Herron, daughter of Don and Doris Reicks; Crestwood High School; bachelor's degree in information systems from Iowa State University.



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