Industry visits a highlight of 2015 IIM-A trip to WBS

24 September 2015

  • IIM-A students visited WBS for two-weeks intense study
  • Trip included bespoke lectures and teaching
  • Students also visited Amazon, Compton Verney, JLR and The Shard
  • WBS MBA students set to visit India as part of partnership between schools

Being able to truly challenge and discuss opinions openly and a series of industry visits were some of the highlights for students from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad following their visit to Warwick Business School.

In total, 17 delegates arrived at WBS for an intensive 10 days of study over a two-week period. This acts as a fundamental component of the international immersion element of their course, the Postgraduate Programme for Executives, a one year full-time Executive MBA.

The teaching consisted of eight days of lectures, case studies, group discussion and assessment, where leading WBS academics delivered intensive sessions on a range of subjects, plus two days of company visits. This is now the seventh year IIM-A delegates have visited WBS.

One of the students, Karthik Kannan, felt the teaching, blended with a trip to WBS London at The Shard, really showcased WBS in the best way possible.

Mr Kannan said: "The experience at The Shard made me feel, almost literally, top of the world. I could not ask for a better place to learn luxury branding than inside the most luxurious building of Europe. Awesome."

Students also felt the module helped build a solid understanding of business in Europe and the challenges facing British businesses.

 IIM-A students at The Shard
Top of the world: IIM-A students pose at The Shard

For one of the IIM-A visitors, Harsh Sharma, a British citizen who has returned to India to focus on business in one of the world’s emerging markets, it also acted as a comparison to see how teaching is different in the UK and India.

Mr Sharma said: “I have studied classes here and in India now so it is interesting to compare the two. In India I wanted to understand the Indian market and its contexts, as I have mostly been based in the UK. The courses there are very rigorous; there are a lot of facts to learn, so there is a lot of theories and a lot of models to learn.

“But when I came back to the UK the teaching style and delivery of concepts is very different: examples are discussed first and its more tactically orientated, before then going on to the theory. It’s very much the opposite of what we were used to. It gives you a completely new view of things, a new view of concepts.

“Also the overall infrastructure here is great, the grounds and the campus; it’s a very good environment here. What I liked a lot was how the professors encouraged us to challenge them.

“Challenging authority is not always seen as the thing to do in India, so it is sometimes not taken in the right way if you question the teacher. In my personal view being able to do so is better. For many students that was quite a shock, you think more as a result, you can challenge the professor’s view and you can vet your own opinion.

“The professor could even see things from your prospective, of course most times they are right, but being able to challenge them is great!”

Lectures covered a range of topics including Global Business and the Public Realm taught by Michael Synnott, Economics of the Business Environment in Europe by Ben Knight, The Essentials of Branding from David Arnott, Strategic decision-making which David Elmes lectured and Organisational Behaviour taught by Jacky Swan.

The students also participated in a WBS Create workshop hosted by Piers Ibbotson before having to deliver a final 20-minute presentation to pass the module.

IIM-A group at Compton Verney

Trips were arranged to the likes of Amazon.co.uk, Compton Verney, DCS Group and Jaguar Land Rover and a number of networking events were included in the busy two-week schedule.

For Mr Sharma this element of the bespoke trip was a particular highlight.

“The industry visits were great,” he said. “I bumped into an old colleague at Amazon who was actually our guide and instructor around the Amazon site.

“This allowed me to challenge him on a few things, which gave confidence to the rest of the group to ask questions. I even met an old colleague from AirBus on the Warwick campus so it really was great.

“Overall the IIM-A trip to Warwick was a fantastic visit, I’m sure it will encourage others to look at studying here in the future.”

Rohit Nargunde, another of the student visitors and also part of the IIM-A Placement Committee, added: “I am responsible for building and developing our own version of the excellent CareerPlus department at WBS.

“They’ve provided a lot of help in establishing contacts and relationships. In my role I’m building for students to study or work in the UK or seek employment in UK companies within India, so this trip goes far beyond just the two weeks here.

“It was an exciting and exhilarating experience, alumni from previous trips recommended WBS over going anywhere else and the trips to places like Amazon were fantastic.

“Compton Verney was an interesting trip too as it was something very different: how to define a business strategy for them, really thinking outside the box.

“The Create session was marvellous too, applying the Merchant of Venice to a credit risk situation in Europe was eye-opening.”

Warwick Business School MBA students will be making a return visit to IIM-A in February as part of their module Doing Business in India.

Piers Ibbottson, the Module Leader for this year’s event said: “"It was a great pleasure to work with the delegates from IIM-A.

"The opportunity to meet and talk with people who have a different cultural and personal perspective and yet share the same challenges of doing business in the world today, makes the IIM-A a richly rewarding experience both for faculty and participants.

"I hope we can maintain the dialogue and continue to learn from from one another in the future."

IIM-A group pose outside WBS

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