Talking Heads - Sankaran P. Raghunathan, Dean, National Management School

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India’s growth story is unfolding

The National Management School (NMS) brings American students to India for them to understand how India’s growth story is unfolding. Thus informs the school’s dean Sankaran P. Raghunathan, PhD, who is also Professor of International Business.

“We have been doing this now for three years, and every year we get more and more students,” he adds. India’s ranking in the world scene, in the terms of American students coming to India, has been improving. Three years back we were at rank twenty-one, now we are coming closer to fourteen, Sankaran says. “About 4,500 American students are coming to India to do short-term programmes; and our biggest competitor is China, which gets about 20,000 students every year.”

The whole purpose is to present India in a way that they can understand the growth story here, explains Sankaran. “The visiting students do a couple of courses when they come here for the summer, for five weeks. One course is on international business, where they understand how India went from bankruptcy to become the third-largest economy in the world, over a period of twenty years.”

“We start with the pre-1991 reform period; and, then, post-reform 20-year period. In this, we take up a few industries to show how India, either by design or accident, achieved the growth that is currently on the way. We use the information technology sector as a good case study to show how private sector has contributed to the growth story which later got designed as the industrial policy of India. More importantly, we highlight how ordinary people could get into starting a new business and run a business, and how the power of entrepreneurship can fuel the economic growth in India.”

The other programme during the five-week period is for the students to independently to do a field-study under academic guidance, Sankaran continues. “It’s not a classroom study; each one picks a particular sector that they are interested in, like supply chain management in the garment export, or the impact of Internet on advertising in the newspaper business, and things like that, so that they go out and interview executives and prepare a field-study report.”

This, as Sankaran underlines, gets the students a good view of India, to meet with business men and women, to understand local issues in running a profitable business, and cost of running a company here. Also, they immerse themselves in the local culture. For, they understand India through the five senses: they smell India, they hear India, they see India, they taste India, and they feel India.”

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