Variety

XIMR expands horizons to Africa

By A Correspondent | Updated on: May 31, 2011

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Fifteen of the 60 first-year students pursuing their MBA from Xavier Institute of Management and Research (XIMR) are in East Africa for summer internships, research and immersion studies.

The trip, to Kenya and Uganda, was made possible as the institute had set up the Centre for Africa Studies in January, in partnership with Makerere University Business School, Kampala, Uganda.

“XIMR encourages its students to support India 's strategic focus on Africa as a part of its foreign policy. The Prime Minister, Mr Manmohan Singh, was in Africa for the Second India-Africa Summit. XIMR is already there,” says Fr. Paul Vaz, Director General of XIMR.

Such an initiative will enable students to learn more about the economy and culture of East. Africa, notes Vaz. The idea, he underlines, is to find commonalities between India and these countries, all of them emerging markets, and ‘develop sensitivity towards the multitudes at the bottom of the pyramid by providing value to them'.

International exosure

According to Dr. (Prof) K.N. Vaidyanathan, students in Africa will spend 10 weeks carrying out assignments for international companies in various sectors.

He says, “Students will get a unique experience of understanding country cultures — a rare experience for a summer intern. On their return, the Centre for Africa Studies will provide intensive inputs to prepare them for careers in this challenging continent.”

XIMR is seeking to become a melting pot of cultures —creating a cadre of leaders with a global mindset who can take on challenges in diverse environments, notes Vaidyanathan.

The students are obviously excited about the new prospects.

“This is an opportunity to learn about a new culture in an emerging market. We are looking forward to doing research work, which will have a blend of culture and business,” says Kenneth Sequeira, leader of the student group.

His team members Dillon and Bertilda will edit a newsletter on the African perspective, while Anuj, Kanishka, Edsil and Alhad will come out with a research magazine. For the magazine, all students in the delegation will chip in with their inputs, based on their experiences in East Africa.

Conrad Pesso, S.J., CFO of the Bombay St. Xavier's College Society, and core faculty member, says, “XIMR always encourages a spirit of inquiry and exchange of ideas. However, the visit to Africa by our students will further encourage a difference in thinking patterns. Students will view business markets with a different perspective, as they apply analytical tools, theories and business concepts in finance, marketing and human resources to actual business houses in Africa. They will develop holistic, evaluative skills in doing research which will enable them to brighter futures. Who knows — may be future employment in Africa too.”

Nirmala Mary Rego, Director Branding, XIMR, emphasises the need to create leaders with a global focus. Besides strengthening Indo-African ties, XIMR students in Africa will carry out in-depth socio-cultural, marketing and financial analysis of markets in East Africa with a management perspective, bearing in mind that trade, employment and development should be supported in emerging economies like East African countries.

Rego reiterates, “XIMR's new initiative will provide a rare opportunity for interface between India and African nations, weaving a brand culture of ‘excellence and forward-thinking' into the fabric of XIMR. This will lead to brighter opportunities for working in emerging markets. We will be moving to Latin America soon.”

Published on May 31, 2011
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