On every company visit, we were so welcomed, so well fed and given interactive lectures and extensive tours of their beautiful campuses many of which included pools, food courts, recreational facilities and food marts. On Wednesday afternoon we got to visit the TVS Motor Company. We entered a conference room where we were shown a brief video explaining how TVS began and how vertically sourced they are. As you drive around India, it is as common if not more so to see two wheel vehicles and auto rickshaws as it is a car. TVS is the third largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India and we toured the facility that assembles the vehicles. It was a remarkably clean and well organized facility optimizing on automation except where it is cost prohibitive. For example, we walked past the paint booth line which most of the production was done by robots except for the very end which had personnel performing the “touch-up” painting. Our guide told us because of the variation of parts, it is not cost effective to program the robots for all the variations and makes more sense for the human eye to catch and touch up missed spots.
On our last day in India it was incredibly hot and humid. Near the Red Fort in Delhi we visited Rag Ghat, a memorial honoring the site where Gandhi was cremated after his assassination in 1948. There are many memorials to others in the area but the shining attraction seems to be the one of Gandhi as he meant so much to India. You drive into hectic city life in Delhi where you are in the midst of crowded streets, gruesome traffic and vendors in your space trying to sell you their wares. Then you walk into a beautiful spacious garden area filled with grass and flowers and quiet and follow the path to his monument where you respectfully remove your shoes before entering as you would for a religious mosque. In the center of a brick enclosure stands the black marble monument on which burns an eternal flame in his honor and atop are five rings of flowers that our guide said each represents one of the elements. This visit seems to be a perfect example of the extremes we found throughout our trip to India.
On our first day at XIME, we were given a lecture by Mr. Chiranjiv Singh who is a former additional secretary. Hearing his lecture was a wonderful introduction to India because he effectively explained the vast diversity in language, religion and culture that we were going to experience. We often found ourselves looking for clues in people’s wardrobe that we saw that would point to the area they may have been from or what religion they followed. The information he gave was constantly reinforced throughout our trip. He explained some of the origins of the major religions and the key beliefs for each. We are used to diversity in the US because we are a melting pot of people from other countries. For India, it is the people of India embracing influences from so many other countries on their own culture over thousands of years. What a great way to inspire guide students to relate to another culture!
Company visits to India included, a cardiology hospital which caters to heart patients as young as three days old and also practices telemedicine which in short is being able to perform a medical procedure while being assisted by a medical professional who may be thousands of miles away.
Mahindra Reva, this is a manufacturer of electric cars that are charged at “charging stations” and run on electric rather than gasoline.
Timken who specializes in ball bearing and boasts of having no debt at the India plant and also has a headquarters in North Canton, Ohio along with other facilities.
The Infosys Campus which caters to top notch engineers for staff and students, and would put any other campus to shame with it’s floating restaurant, squash courts, swimming pools, bicycle ports, fancy movie theatre and beautiful landscape just to name a few features.
Parts of India looks as though it has gotten stuck in 1945 while other parts seems to have traveled forward in time. So many of the people seem to concentrate themselves into one area while other areas of India go uninhabited. they do seem to have done a great job of making an industry whereby some of the residents can make a living for themselves. The hospitality is great and every business that was visited served us cookies and coffee. Once a business served us coffee and I was thinking in my mind “where’s the cookies?” the people will go out of their way to make you feel welcomed.
Wednesday morning my plane landed and I’m back home from the trip. I’ve been trying to figure out how to properly convey my experience abroad but I can’t seem to be able to find the right words. I suppose I’m forced to use a cliche phrase– I had no idea what to expect. I tried my best to go in prepared but that’s not the easiest thing to do when you don’t really know where to start. Reading books, listening to stories, watching video clips, briefly meeting two students who went on the trip last year, discussing with a friend who has been to India before… Nothing really sets in that way.
Participating in the India study abroad program was one of the best things that ever happened to me. For anyone perusing a business degree, and many others who are not, working internationally is going to be something you’ll run into. I’m sorry to say that you can sit in a lecture hall for 10 years and not get a fraction of the knowledge learned by being there. I got to see first hand how the Indian society works by listening to professionals, visiting companies, and interacting with everyone I met along the way.
We were able to tour a hospital that has made great headway in the field of long distance medicine, a car manufacturer who I feel will have a decent impact in the electric car business, the Bangalore branch of Timken, a company that can provide all the necessities to get a distribution center open smoothly, and a breathtaking campus for an IT company that trains and employs professionals for outsourcing. Cardiology, IT, engineering– a glimpse into a diverse set of companies.
Of course during our time abroad we were able to visit some amazing sites. Seeing everything from temples to shopping malls, hospitals to mountaintops. High up on the impact list for not just myself was climbing a 470 foot tall solid rock mountain barefoot. Not only will the temple built on top with a 57 foot tall solid rock statue put you in awe, there’s something you can take away on a mental level from it if you choose.
I will definitely cherish this experience for many years to come and I am thankful to have been given the opportunity.
On Thursday 07/26/ 2012 we had a visit to Fortis hospital in Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore. We were hosted at a conference room where we had an introduction about the hospital with a power point presentation. The speaker gave us general information about the hospital’s history and the business model which it follows as part of the Fortis health care system. Fortis Hospitals are among the biggest Indian Healthcare Networks in India and is been awarded a JCI accreditation which is the golden seal as far as clinical benchmarks are concerned globally. The speaker explained the business model of the hospital saying that it mainly focuses on medical tourism where expensive surgeries worldwide can be done in Fortis in a much lower price than in other places in the world. He stated that Fortis offers a high quality service compared to those offered in USA and Europe, yet in a very competitive price, making it the place of choice for patients who are not covered by insurance all over the world to have their expensive surgeries. In this context the speaker showed us a table of comparison of the costs of surgeries in Fortis vs the USA and many other centers for medical tourism in the world including Egypt and south Africa; the competitors. Fortis prices were much lower than any of the mentioned centers, according to the data in the presentation.
A video was displayed showing stories of many patients who were unable to afford the costs of surgeries in their own countries and were very much satisfied by the quality and costs of services in Fortis. The video featured patients from many places in the world such as USA, England, Germany.
According to the speaker, Fortis hospital is remarkable in surgery especially, orthopedic surgery like joints replacement, cardio surgery and neurosurgery, where the best and up to date prosthesis are used in such surgeries and that the quality of the used devices or implants is not negotiable even if the client wants cheaper prosthesis.
Also the speaker explained Fortis international marketing process, using web based tools like the Fortis web site, youtube, facebook and twitter. He also gave highlights on the service integrity and transparency with clients together with providing all services that the incoming traveler might need, starting from a handsome pick up at the air port up to designing a suitable touristic and entertainment program for the client during his/her stay in India.
The presentation also showed the inpatient suits and rooms where a luxurious quality of residency and service is offered to each client in 5 stars hotel fashion.
One of the impressive things said in this speech is that the Fortis hospital that we visited in Bangalore has four PET scan devices, which is absolutely rare to happen in one hospital, since that these devices are extremely expensive.
After this interesting presentation we were escorted by a guide for a tour in the different wards of the hospital. First we passed by the outpatient department where we saw the clinics that were very much organized and beautifully decorated. Then we passed fast by the emergency department, then the radiology department were we saw the CAT scan room, with the radiologist working on the sections taken. Finally we visited an empty patient room which was extremely luxurious, just like the rooms in the best five stars hotels.
It was a really nice experience and I really liked the hospital, that I can recommend it to anyone thinking of travelling abroad for medical treatment.
After an exhausting day and half of flights, a nine and a half hour time difference and welcome lectures by the XIME University, we ventured off to our first company visit to Tata Bp Solar, a solar manufacturing plant. We walked into the building and sat for a few minutes waiting for the university students to clear our visitor passes. A few of us did not wear proper footwear which resulted in wearing mens work shoes that were about 10 sizes too big, a comical image that we all giggled at. They presented us with pink lab coats, hair nets and Bill Nye the Science Guy plastic glasses to shield us in the work areas. We looked like lunch ladies ready for the eleven o’clock rush. Upon entering through the double doors, we discovered a room mixed with man and machine power. We watched as each station had about 3 to 6 workers each doing their specialized task before handing off the panel to the next worker. Yes, to increase production and efficiency, the plant instills an assembly line. The machines help construct the baseboard of each solar panel and the workers double check and test each piece to make sure it can perform at it’s best when it hits the market. It was loud in the production room so it was often difficult to hear every piece of information. But what’s great about the company is that it not only markets strictly within the country, but also globally. The solar panels can be used in households and also as outdoor lighting like we saw along the walkway leading up to the building. It’s an up and coming renewable resource that the world can benefit from immensely. The tour was cut much shorter than expected, however it I think a lot of us needed that extra time to relax and adjust to the time zone.
Today we began our first class session, which would proceed our university breakfast. The introductions were nice from the President Dr. Philip. He gave a descritption of India’s economy, and an overview of what we will be learning in our courses. As a part of the introduction a student was welcome to express thoughts and expectations for the trip. I gave a small speech to thank the faculty of the XIME for setting up the program for us. We were expecting to see a very different style of teaching and practice of business in India. It is a rare opportunity for western students to see the functions of Indian business and schooling.
The first lecturer we had was Mr. Selvan George, the Chairman of 5E Surpraise. He gave a fantastic lecture on Indian Management styles. He had several anecdotal examples of management an public relations in Indian companies. The situations were real life examples and very engaging. I would consider Mr. George’s lecturing style better than most of the professors I have had in my college career. We had a short day for lectures today because it was our first day in India and we had arrived at 3:00 A.M earlier that morning. For the remainder of the week we would have three lectures a day. This one lecture and introduction was perfect for the first day, in that it allowed us to adjust to the time difference and our new surroundings. After taking a group photo with the President, Dean and Lecturer, we were scheduled to tour Tata BP Solar.
Dr. Mohamed EL Teriaky M.D
Full Time MBA program
University Of Akron.
July 26, 2012
The first lecture of the day was about security and technology issues in Indian IT by Prof. Anant Pophali, the associate Dean at Xime, who started by talking again about the three types of services which fall in the sector of IT industry in India: the applications (Apps), Business Process outsourcing (BPO) and Infra-structure and technology outsourcing which support the Apps and BPO.
Then he focused on the difference between offshoring versus outsourcing clarifying that Outsourcing refers to an organization contracting work out to a 3rd party, while offshoring refers to getting work done in a different country, usually to leverage cost advantages.
It’s easy to outsource work but not offshore it, but in both cases the security issues remain vital and important and companies must make sure that people in all places are equally qualified and the information are secured and protected. Discussing an example of a bank, the responsibility of security of information lies on the original site, the site of offshoring and outsourcing depend on the ability to provide a maximum protection of the information security can be insured.
As a result of the importance of this issue, a number of important issues became of equal importance in taking the decision of offshoring or outsourcing like risk management, financial and operational risk and finally the legal and regulatory issues.
Then he discussed the NASSCOM or the National Association of Software and Services Companies which is a non-profit organization, consists of a trade association of Indian Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, established in 1988 to facilitate business and trade in software and services and to encourage advancement of research in software technology.
Dr. Pophali focused on some of the security measures that must be adopted when a company wants to send some of its operations overseas and must keep all its stakeholders relieved, examples of those security measures include: Confidentiality of data, availability of data, integrity, continuity and physical security.
As noticed the whole process is about data which both the provider and the sub-provider must adopt various measures to insure the three main aspects to the information: the availability, confidentiality and integrity of it and this is what many companies take care of especially when signing a contract or master service level agreement (MSLA) like Infosys, in Bangalore, and do work in other places but it insures that all different facilities must replicate exactly the same environment and information security policies as the original company, which is called, (BCP), Business Continuity Planning, the responsibility of business to provide and ensure that all places and various locations complies to the same standards.
The Second presentation we had was about “ Trends in infrastructure development in India.” Dr.Rijo, the associate dean at Xime began by defining the infrastructure as the physical framework characterized by natural monopoly, high sunk cost, non-tradability of out-put, non-rivalness in consumption, and possibility of price exclusion. Then he talked about the importance of infrastructure especially for India because the productivity growth is higher in countries with an adequate and efficient supply of infrastructure. It is also an indicator of the presence of high life quality as poverty is linked to poor infrastructure.
By more focusing on Indian infrastructure, Dr. Rijo mentioned that the infrastructure sector accounts for 26.7 % of the Indian industrial output. Then we discussed the aviation, the railroad (India is the third largest railway in the world with 7083 railway station), telecommunication (over all tele-density has reached 78.71 %), roads, etc.
The final presentation was a brief talk about Indian manufacturing industry in which Mr. Naresh Palta, the CEO of Maini Global Aerospace discussed the historic background and the macro-perspective of manufacturing in India and he concluded by some federal and state-level regulatory scenarios affecting manufacturing in India.
Something I would never forget about this day is that , on the lectures they were telling us about the great infrastructure India got, the light went off 5 times in the lecture just as usual and we had no internet that day. I found that very funny and just completed the overall picture we had about india.