The Kellogg School of Management (KSM) is testing waters in India to help its alumni explore opportunities both in India and abroad.
Dr Jeffery S Vender, chairman of the Kellogg School of Management Alumni Advisory Board, is in India as part this effort.
He told M Rajendran that an important take-away for his team is the knowledge that the Indian democracy would understand that globalisation is not about business opportunities, but about carrying along the have-nots with the growth.
What is the Kellogg School of Management alumni association planning in India?
We are here to learn about India from a basic and human perspective. The thrust is to help build business not only in India, but also across the globe for alumni of the Kellogg School of Management.
Our visit has the basis in thrust given by our Dean Deepak Jain, who is also on board of various companies in India. We have not signed any memorandum of understanding or agreement with any business, corporate or management schools. KSM has a relationship with Indian School of Business and it is doing well.
You met business leaders in India. Can you share the discussions you had with them?
We met senior business people who represent India’s corporate growth and are keen to give back to society. Among the many business leaders our team of 60 delegates met includes Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani, and senior executives in Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys.
The discussions were centred around how they could give back to the society — not just in terms of benefit to shareholders, but as a social commitment.
You also had a meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. What message did he have?
He said India has become a laboratory of democracy. The message was important since the tests here will have an impact on democracies worldwide.
One of the tests is how India is preparing to bridge the divide between the haves and have-nots. The Indian Minister for Science and Technology Kapil Sibal also pointed to the efforts taken to use technology to raise the bar of the people who are lagging in terms of basic needs.
This is important for India to become part of the globalisation as the Prime Minister sees it — and not just the globalisation as we perceive it. I am convinced with this kind of a vision India will achieve what its leaders — political and business — aim to do.
How do you see the KSM alumni association playing a role in India’s efforts?
The idea is to help the not only India but all alumni across the globe to connect, suggest opportunities and help each other in the opportunities — across sectors.