Experiencing first-hand the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Asia was the aim of a recent trip to Singapore and India by 31 AGSM MBA students as part of the ‘International Business Strategy in Asia’ elective.
The students met with business leaders in the region to develop a working knowledge of the growing Asian economy and business environment, analysing macroeconomic trends, and furthering their understanding of social and cultural contexts.
Full-time AGSM MBA student Michael Yao, President of the AGSM Business in Asia Club, said the trip helped students foster relationships and engage with growth opportunities that exist in the region.
“Asia is the epicentre of growth. Studying the International Business in Asia course has given me the opportunity to immerse myself in the Asian experience – to walk the streets and interact with everyday consumers, talk to leading business people, and see the challenges and potential growth areas that exist first-hand,” said Mr Yao.
“It’s important that AGSM MBA students have an awareness of Asian markets as they are our greatest trade partner – what better way than to study this course and experience Asia first-hand,” he said.
The first destination was Singapore. There, students were given briefings on ‘Doing Business in Singapore’, ‘Doing Business in China’, and ‘Leadership Practices in Asia’, exploring how Singapore is in many ways a “smaller sibling of China”, but at the same time influenced greatly by business practices in the West.
After four days in Singapore, the group travelled to Mumbai, India. They attended a cocktail event where Mr Peter Varghese, High Commissioner to India, officially welcomed them to India.
At the SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, students heard from speakers on a range of topics including ‘Manufacturing practices and trends in India’, ‘Organised Retail, Indian Culture and Custom’s’, ‘The Indian Business Environment’ and ‘Outsourcing in India’.
Distinguished business executives from around India were invited to speak to the class, including Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India, Sanjay Nadkarni, Bharti Airtel Limited and Dr Nachiket Mor, President, ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth.
AGSM MBA (Executive) student Marc Cheah said doing the International Business in Asia elective had greatly broadened his knowledge base.
“I’ve really enjoyed having this real-life exposure to two of the most dynamic and diverse markets in the world today. With a background in China but not India, this course has given me insight into the one of the world’s fastest growing superpowers.”