By Abby Green

This fall, 14 EMBA students and international business director Dr. Raj Iyer traveled to Dehli, India. The 12-day trip allowed the students to experience both international life and business.

The group first traveled to Delhi, where they were provided a briefing on India by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. While in Delhi, the students explored culture by visiting popular tourist destinations such as the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, India Gate, Humayun’s tomb, Jama Masjid, Raj Ghat and Chandni Chowk.

Prior to the trip, the group was presented with the challenge of providing strategic marketing initiatives to help increase occupancy and revenues for both Texvalley — a wholesale textile market in Chennai — and its dealers. Students presented a detailed report to the company’s board of directors outlining strategies to increase revenues.

While in Chennai, they visited the Great Lakes Institute of Management, where they met with EMBA students and alumni from GLIM. The group also visited Apollo Hospital, which is the leading super specialty hospital in the country. At Apollo, they met leading surgeons, learned about medical tourism, observed the facility’s state-of-the-art technology and compared India’s health care to the U.S. Health care practices. These were a few of the many differences students noticed between Indian and American culture.

One of the students, Elizabeth James, who journaled each day of their trip, shared the differences were evident all around them. The smells, pollution, traffic, and dining experiences were different than in America. When the group visited Old Delhi, she noted, “Old Delhi is characterized by being dirty, loud and crowded by our standard, but it was also an incomparable experience to feel so immersed in the culture.”

The group was most impressed by hospitality they felt as visitors. James recounted a woman the team met at an airport. A couple of the students got to know this woman and through doing so, the woman wanted to offer them a gift even though she didn’t have much with her. The group did a small three-way trade of the items they had in their belongings. The airport encounter was one of many examples of the kindness and hospitality the group experienced in India.

“The trip was a great opportunity for the students to observe and learn firsthand the history, culture and business of India,” Iyer said. “If they are going to be global leaders, it is important for them to have an understanding of one of the largest economies of the world.”