MBA@UNC Global Immersion: Mumbai, India - Day One

Offered four times per year, MBA@UNC Global Immersions are unique opportunities for students to meet in major international business destinations, confer with top professors and industry leaders and collaborate with fellow classmates to apply what they have learned to real-life challenges. On day one of the Mumbai immersion, 37 MBA@UNC students learned about the evolution of the Indian business landscape over the past several decades, as well as the impact of India's economy on business strategy and entrepreneurship.

Session One: "India's Economy and Culture"

Ajit Dayal, Quantum Asset Management Company, Equitymaster and PersonalFN

About our speaker: Ajit Dayal is the founder of Quantum Asset Management Company and has over 25 years of experience in the investment management and financial services industry. As a multi-asset, India-focused portfolio manager, Mr. Dayal has worked to help individual investors make sensible long-term investment decisions. To kick off the immersion weekend, Mr. Dayal discussed the evolution of the Indian economy and business landscape over the past several decades. Mr. Dayal earned his MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Student View

Bryant Tam, Class of 2016

Immersions are just one of the ways MBA@UNC facilitates face-to-face interactions among students and faculty, which is a vital component of any business school program. The day’s events started off with Ajit Dayal, from the Quantum Asset Management Company, who gave us a fantastic overview of India, the country, the economy and the people. I was intrigued by the strong economic ties the U.S. government has with India and how India is quickly moving to become more economically independent. The lack of jobs in India is a very real and eye-opening problem—one that will continue to hinder the forward progress of the country unless a long-term solution is found. Ajit’s discussion effectively primed us for our time in Mumbai. Another speaker, Sanjay Anandaram, is a seasoned entrepreneur and investor who is well-versed on the current entrepreneurial climate in India. India is a capital-starved country, which creates a significant barrier to entrepreneurship in the region. While not impossible, it is difficult to obtain financing in India, compared to similar countries. Another issue that impacts entrepreneurs is the fragmented market within India; taxes and regulatory policies can widely differ among different regions. Even with these barriers, Sanjay was very optimistic about the future of entrepreneurial ventures in India and has personally seen a shift in attitudes regarding entrepreneurial ventures that are pursued by choice versus out of necessity.

My MBA@UNC experience continues to amaze me in how interactive an online MBA program can be. After just two quarters in the program, MBA@UNC has exceeded all my expectations. The stereotypes of online MBAs are long gone, and UNC has led the way by offering an immersive MBA experience to the smartest working professionals around the world.

Session Two: Strategy Formulation & Execution - India vs. the United States

Atul Nerkar, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

About our speaker: Atul Nerkar is a professor of strategy and entrepreneurship and associate dean of the Executive MBA Evening and Weekend Programs. Dr. Nerkar teaches two MBA@UNC courses, Corporate Strategy and Entrepreneurship, and is a two-time winner of the MBA@UNC Outstanding Faculty Award. His research focuses on the effect of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship on business and corporate strategy.  


Student View

Hrishi Shanbhag, Class of 2015

One of the best things about the MBA@UNC immersions is that we get to witness the topics that we focus on during our stay firsthand. Having grown up in India, I could relate with Professor Atul Nerkar’s personal experiences and perspectives on the changing economic and business landscape of India and how the dynamic growth in recent years has led to the emergence of some successful Indian businesses, such as IndiGo Airlines. The discussion around the topic of “Strategy Formulation and Implementation: India vs. the United States” was very interactive and engaging. It was a great learning experience where we shared perspectives on the five main points Dr. Nerkar laid out in defining a strategy framework that is key to any successful business venture.

This was a fantastic, energetic and fun-filled informative session that makes these global immersions such an interesting and exciting part of MBA@UNC.

Session Three: "Evolution of the Indian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem"

Sanjay Anandaram, Seed Fund, Ojas Ventures and Ennovent

About our speaker: Sanjay Anandaram has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, investor, corporate executive and mentor. Anandaram was a founding partner of JumpStartUp Venture Fund, a pioneering early stage US-India cross border VC fund set up in 2000 that invested in technology-enabled businesses. Read about day two in Mumbai.