In an increasingly global economy, international experience for Indiana University MBA candidates comes from hands-on work in the field as much as the classroom. A group of students, led by Dr. Phil Powell, travel to Peru to help local entrepreneurs tackle business challenges using cutting edge business practices. The Kelley MBA GLOBASE initiative provides a unique social enterprise experience by partnering with Peruvian businesses to make a global impact.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Touring the lab and selling to Mexico's former health minister

The intersection of GLOBASE and personal transformation promised by the MBA journey is receptivity to what the experience brings you. In graduate management education, we faculty link high productivity to meticulous deciphering, forecasting, planning, and implementation – in other words, we teach managers to control their environment.

Innovation and creativity, though, occur when a manager allows the environment to deliver new observations, adaptations, and solutions to her mind in an unforced way. Generating value for a family-owned business in an emerging market like Peru with an unfamiliar language and unfamiliar culture disciplines the minds of our MBAs to balance revelation with control. My hope is that everyone leaves Peru a bit different than when they arrived and that a piece of Lima goes with them into their internship and career. This mental export is the ultimate value of GLOBASE.

Yesterday, our generic pharmaceutical team toured the site of their client Keyfarm. By Friday, they must recommend a plan on how to make unused production capacity profitable, either through development of an internal growth strategy or to contract as a supplier for a larger pharmaceutical partner.

Last night, the management team of technology client Dirose met with the former health minister of Mexico to explore sources of financial capital. Dirose used information it had already received from the MBA team to sell its business model. The MBA team will use insights from this meeting to generate final suggestions for Dirose’s commercialization of its harvesting technology. Now that’s real time consulting!

On this Tuesday morning, most teams are in the hotel refining their ideas and analysis based on insights gained from their client orientation yesterday. They will reconvene with their clients for a long Peruvian lunch to move projects along.

It is another enjoyable, productive, and warm day in Lima for the Kelley School in Peru!

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