Economy

It’s not all sun ’n sand for foreign executives travelling to India

Anjali Prayag Anjana Chandramouly Bangalore | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on January 15, 2012

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Following the success of religious and medical tourism in India, the domestic travel industry is seeing a surge in a new set of tourists: Executives who travel to upgrade their skills while on a holiday in the country.

Mr Iqbal Mulla, President, Travel Agents' Association of India says that there has been a rise in the number of corporate houses sending their executives, especially mid-level and above, to India for management programmes offered by top B-schools, chiefly because it means huge cost savings for them. “The courses and accommodation charges are 50-60 per cent less in India, and the courses offered are on par with those offered by universities in the US and Europe.” The educational tourism sector in India is gaining ground due to the cost-effectiveness of courses and for offering higher level of training standards, agrees Mr Ravi Kaklasaria, Director, SpringPeople Software Pvt Ltd.

SpringPeople Software is an exclusive master partner of SpringSource, a division of VMware APAC in India. The company delivers training on Spring Framework and portfolio projects and also offers customised solutions for clients' training requirements.

At SpringPeople, a certified training programme costs about one-third to one-fourth in India compared to the cost of the programme in the US or Europe. For example, the Core Spring training costs over $3,000 in the UK, about $2,800 in the US and less than $1,000 in India.

Growing importance

It's not just the cost factor that's attracting the executives, but also India's growing importance among the emerging economies, points out Prof Deepak Chandra, Deputy Dean, Indian School of Business.

For instance, recently the premier B-school had a group of executives from a Europe-based private equity firm for a programme to understand the industries that are booming in India, even though the PE firm has no direct presence in India.

Although US or Europe-based companies have the option of inviting professors from premier schools to visit them, they would rather come here for ‘immersion of practices,' Prof Chandra said.

ISB has also launched the ‘Inside India' programme that facilitates familiarisation with the culture while executives are taught the nuances of doing business in India.

Although the practice of overseas executives enrolling for training programmes in India is a trend that started five years back, it's only now that training schools and B-schools have started tailoring their curriculum, hiring faculty for this and arranging industry visits.

This is a growing trend now, though it would be difficult to quantify it, Mr Mulla said.

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Published on January 15, 2012
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