Doing Business in India

MET has benefited from a unique collaboration with Infosys Technologies Limited, which is located in India. Each January since 2010, graduate students in the Administrative Sciences course Doing Business in India attend classes on the Infosys campuses in Bangalore and Mysore. Cofounded by S. D. Shibulal (MET’88) + Read an interview with S. D. Shibulal in the Commencement 2008 issue of Metropolitan., who is also CEO, Infosys is a $7 billion company with 66 offices and 69 development centers around the world. Overall, Infosys employs over one hundred-fifty thousand employees.

Under the guidance of MET Administrative Sciences faculty member Tareq Rahman (MET’91), as many as twenty MET students—enrolled in programs such as the MS in Administrative Studies, the MS in Computer Information Systems, and the online master’s degrees in management—participate in Doing Business in India, traveling to Bangalore and Mysore to learn from the upper management of Infosys and explore the economic, cultural, and historical nuances of Indian business practices.

We asked Mr. Rahman to answer a few questions about what it means to travel to India, and the learning experience that occurs there.

Metropolitan: What is the importance of studying business practices in India?

Being one of the bright spots in the world economy (GDP of over 6 percent compared to around 2 percent in the United States), and with 1.2 billion people, India is creating, and will continue to create, new business opportunities for multinational and other U.S. and European companies. Understanding its culture, social structure, and economy will give students a leg up in doing business in, and with, India.

What makes Infosys a unique educational partner in hosting this course?

Infosys has one of the largest technical and professional education programs in the world. As one of the larger global IT products, platforms, and services companies, Infosys has more than 150,000 employees across 32 countries. Infosys is also known for its high ethical standards and strong corporate social responsibilities. This educational partnership allows BU students to learn from Infosys executives who bring a unique blend of global and local (Indian) perspectives.

What are the educational facilities at Infosys like?

Infosys has a state-of-the-art campus in Mysore, India, that is over 350 acres. The facility is designed to train 15,000 employees a year, while providing their room and board. The location also includes sports and entertainment facilities, and is designed for long-stay education programs.

What are some of the key lessons to be gained from the management at Infosys?

Use of technology and creative management practices can significantly reduce the barrier that geographic distance creates for dispersed work teams. High ethical standards pay off in terms of customer and employee retention. Continuous improvement of behavioral and managerial skills is as important as learning new technical skills. 

What should students hope to take away from this course?

I hope they develop an understanding of Indians as customers, competitors, and business partners.

In what ways are students’ perspectives altered by this opportunity?

Creating mutual trust is the first step for setting up a business relationship. Informal relationships are as important as formal relationships.

What kind of eye-opening experiences do you want students to have in India? Is there a more general experience you hope they take away?  

Indians are very friendly and always willing to help. I hope our students come away with an enhanced appreciation for the importance of humility in life, in both personal and professional settings.

An Interview with the Dean

Dean Halfond sat down with InfyTV to discuss the MET’s partnership with Infosys, a global leader in information technology and consultation. He traveled with a group of students to Infosys campuses in India as part of a course Metropolitan College created for the partnership: Doing Business In and With India. While visiting, students received a comprehensive overview of Indian business trends as well as a global economic prospective.