India’s economic growth is set at almost 8% until 2025. Its business, people, art, and culture are just a few of the marvels which lead to its tremendous success. Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business created its very first Doing Business in India course for students to explore such an emerging country during the University Spring Break, from March 5th to March 14th. As a business class, much more than Indian business was taught and learned during this voyage overseas.
The course began with informational sessions followed by mandatory class meetings. The informational sessions introduced all the vital aspects of the trip including the travel cost, traveling process, course requirements, and most importantly—the interested students. After much deliberation, especially after following the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, eight students committed to the journey. Students attended three class meetings during the month preceding the trip. It was during these meetings in which they took basic “India 101 training” to teach the essential parts of Doing Business in India before venturing abroad. Students were also informed about keeping a daily log during the trip, as well as writing a paper on Indian business ventures.
By March 5th, the eight business students who enrolled in the course—Joshua Anglero, Alberto Fong, Juliana Gutierrez, Kathy Masbang, Samantha Ring, Lucas Tomicki, Nidhi Tulli, and Shelly Verma—both graduates and undergraduates, were ready for the takeoff from Newark International Airport. Successfully guided by Dr. A. D. Amar and his wife, Sneh Amar, the trip was coordinated by Make My Trip (Pvt.) Ltd., an online international travel agency, specializing in India travels. Dr. Amar is a Professor of Management at the Stillman School.
The students spent their first three nights in the capital city of India, New Delhi. The group attended two classes on Indian culture taught and/or moderated by Dr. Pankaj Mishra, Dr. Sanjay Tiwari, Dr. Shashi Tiwari, and Dr. Vedawati Vaidik at Delhi University South Campus where the students of both countries co-mingled in a classroom setting. The afternoon was spent at the Executive Offices of Make My Trip understanding the business and technical workings of Internet business from Mr. Rajesh Magow, CFO of the company.
During their stay at New Delhi, the students visited historical beauties, such as the ruins of the 895 BCE Vishnu temple, Qutab Minar, India Gate, Central Secretariat building, and Parliament House. Experiencing retail and cuisine were also major part of the trip. The students shopped at Delhi Haat, an open-air art gallery, Connaught Place, New Delhi’s town center, and dined at various Indian restaurants each night.
The students then traveled to Agra and Jaipur to see more of India’s famous wonders of the world. Visiting Red Fort and Taj Mahal in Agra, they were able to experience the intimate and intricate details of such famous creations. The journey through Jaipur included a tour of City Palace, an elephant festival and ride, more shopping, and a celebration of Holi. The Holi festival engaged the students in real Indian celebration through color-throwing, traditional dancing, and social gathering with the natives. The elephant ride to Amber Fort was a first for many of the group.
The last two nights at Mumbai consisted of a visit to the Elephanta Caves and Bombay Stock Exchange. To reach the caves, a 1 hour 15 minute ferry ride on Arabian Sea and a climb of 250 flights of stairs were needed to visit a world heritage monolithic Shiva temple of 6th Century CE. A visit to the Bombay Stock Exchange, Asia’s oldest stock exchange, gave the students great insight into India’s “Wall Street equivalence” where the BSE has the greatest number of listed companies in the world. Students learned about the SENSEX, their value-weighted index of measuring the stock market movements. A lecture on Indian capital markets was delivered by Mr. Md. Nadeem Alam, Deputy Manager, Knowledge Management, Bombay Stock Exchange.
The Stillman School encourages its students to have international experience to prepare them for a globalized economy. It offers many study abroad programs which the students can count for credits as international business courses towards their graduation requirements. Doing Business in India is one of the most recent additions to the programs and has built great adventures for all of the students who embarked on this journey. The experience of India’s education, people, environment, business, religion, architecture, politics, food, fashion, customs and traditions has made the students more culturally aware of this emerging economy than when they left the U.S. soil. The students have created wonderful memories from the trip and have summarized India as “an amazing experience that will never be forgotten.”
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