Course Details

NBA5920 International Business Projects (India) 

Information for the 2009 Trip:

Basic program objective: to acquaint you with one of the most rapidly growing and complex economies in the world and to provide you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in depth in a business issue in India. Each student’s program includes a real business project that he/she will be expected to work on with an Indian MBA student for about 1½ -2 weeks. To the extent possible, the project will be related to the student’s interest. The program also includes visits to a wide range of companies and government agencies. There will also be opportunities for some typical cultural experiences. 

Course Issues/Requirements: This program is a real course that will be listed on participants transcripts during the Spring ’10 semester. You may take this course even if you are enrolled in an Immersion and if it is not considered a conflict. NBA592 is a 1.5 unit course. You are eligible for the credit if you participate in the full program and make a presentation with your teammates to the company concerned and write the your presentation up as a course paper. On return to Cornell you will be expected to give a second presentation to course members as well as those who may have visited other countries. There is also a few hours of required course work and reading in the fall semester as preparation regarding India and it business history and culture. The course is only offered on a grade basis.

Dates/Times: The schedule is not yet written in stone. We have a tentative one. The course will begin formally around December 14 in Mumbai. Many second year MBAs could begin their projects earlier. Most students will remain in Mumbai working with an Indian MBA student in a company on a project until Christmas when we will begin have a one-week holiday, until January 3 when we will travel from Mumbai to Pune for company visits Jan 4-5. We will conclude the course with company visits in Bangalore January 6-8. and back to Mumbai for final project presentations to concerned companies and entrepreneurs. The course will end tentatively the evening of January 8. If you leave India on the morning of January 9, you can arrive back in New York on at the end of the same day. Because students have their own travel and vacation plans during the course and may have different plans afterward, each person is responsible for his/her own travel arrangements to and from India. Hotel arrangements from December 16 until we leave will generally be organized for you. All variations should be scheduled in advance. Once the internal schedule is finalized for visits to Pune and Bangalore, you will be notified and asked to purchase tickets.

Language: The language of much of business and government in India is English. Obviously, if you wish to master a regional language or Hindi, it will be helpful, but it is not required.

Schedule of Events: Once students confirm their participation we will begin planning projects. Company visits will be wide ranging. We should be visiting companies and/or organizations in the following industries: IT, chemical or autos; pharmaceutical or biotech; cinema or TV; real estate/property development/ textiles; finance. Projects will include some working with entrepreneurs, some working with major Indian companies in a number of sectors. We will try to match student interest with relevant companies, but the choice will boil down to the companies with most important and challenging issues for students to address.

What things must you arrange?

Flights: Because of different schedules and preferences, each participant makes his/her own arrangements.  You must make arrangements to fly to be at the start point of the course, Mumbai, by the morning of December 14 for first year students and earlier for second year.

Food and Entertainment: As well, you will be on your own for most of the lunches and dinners (and any other evening entertainment that you want).

Visa: This is available at the Indian Consulate in NYC. Information is available on-line. It is pretty straight-forward but sufficient time should be allowed.


What is arranged for you?

Hotels: We will make hotel reservations in (we will need to discuss any variations you need). A student committee and a TA will help in this regard. Students will be responsible to pay their hotel bill.

Classes and Corporate Visits: Everything is arranged about the projects, company visits, transportation to/from companies, etc.). If you have any ideas for companies that you would like to visit, however, feel free to send those suggestions to me.

City Information: You will receive information that explains how to get from the airports to the hotel and other similar information. 


Costs: You will pay for your visa, airfare, transportation to/from the hotel, hotel room and most food. Plan on about $50-70/person/day. I have used Gowri Vadyar as an agent in the past who frequently has very good deals to India and some students used her last year. She can be reached at; telephone-732-257-3846. Students generally find much better buys than I can suggest. Last year, a student of Professor Katz suggested where she found a flight significantly lower than other online fares. If you know of other consolidators, etc. that might be less expensive, please let me know and I will send the information to the group.

Please consider whether your air ticket can be exchanged for a future date in case you don’t go. I don’t expect to cancel this trip, but several years ago, JGSM was planning a trip to Turkey and it happened to be during the trial of a Kurdish separatist leader and the news suggested their might be problems. Against the professor’s suggestion, students decided to withdraw from the trip. If, for any reason, a trip is cancelled or you cannot go, we do not pay for unused plane tickets.

Inoculations/health care, etc: Please check to see if you need any special inoculations, etc. particularly if you plan to travel elsewhere before or after the class.

Attire: Be prepared to wear respectable business casual dress for most visits. Ties for men may be useful for bank visits.

How to confirm a spot in this class: As soon as possible, please send me your resume and a summary of your proposed interests. Spots for this class are confirmed only after you have purchased a plane ticket. Please only purchase a ticket after confirming with me (Melvin Goldman, mhg24 or 607-279-6068) that you have a spot and that all is formalized. When you have done that, let me know and I will mark you as confirmed. If enrollment begins to approach the maximum allowed, I will send out warning e-mails to tell people that they will have to make decisions quickly

Can you bring significant others? Several people have asked me this question. The answer depends on what that person hopes to do. The answer in general is yes, but if a company restricts the number of people allowed to visit, obviously those registered for the course get first priority.  The student will be responsible for bearing any extra cost that may be incurred by their participation in any particular activity. In any case, you must obtain approval to bring another individual.