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Picture1“Marketing students at University of Hertfordshire in the UK and Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH) in India came together to collaborate on new service and product ideas for the Indian market. The cross-cultural teams collaborated through virtual platforms facilitated by in-class sessions and staff exchanges. Students developed essential global marketing skills, project management, intercultural communication and idea-generation”.

The module which was run across 3 consecutive years in the PGDM Services Management course in BIMTECH delivered by Prof Dhruva Chak jointly with the Product Innovation International course  faculty at University of Hertfordshire, was aimed at providing the collaborating students with a unique opportunity to gain insight into the world of new product and service development, design and launch. Taught by experienced academics with many years of practical experience in marketing, branding, communications and advertising, whilst also being active researchers. The module was based on a platform of experiential and collaborative learning. This module was designed to replicate a professional environment. As such students were required to undertake independent and group-based assessment that would reflect the desired professionalism of a future marketer.

IMG_1070The collaboration was between Indian student teams from Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH) in Delhi and the marketing students from the University of Hertfordshire   (UH). Together, teams had to develop a new product-based business to be launched in the Indian market.  Working in a real international, collaborative environment

The students gained experience of working in virtual, cross-cultural project teams facilitated through platforms including Facebook, Skype and StudyNet. To give the UH students rich insight into market and consumer opportunities in India they were ex posed to a staff exchange from BIMTECH. Professor Dhruva Chak who ran the collaboration at BIMTECH visited UH every February for a week across three years to give the UH students insight into new business opportunities in India.

2014-02-26 14.06.25Professor Chak delivered key guest lectures on opportunities and challenges for start-up companies in India, provided advice and guidance for all teams and took part in additional evening workshops. With India being the second fastest growing economy in the world (OECD, 2012) with an increasing middle class the market provides great opportunities for new consumer product and service providers.

It is important to emphasise that whilst the academic module team provided the necessary support and guidance, this was a student-led module where students were required to take initiative, contribute in class, prepare for seminars and in general have a proactive mind-set.  It helped them develop their knowledge and expertise, problem solving, team working and leadership skills.

Student Voices: India

 It was the first project to have global exposure for most of us. Indeed a great value addition”.

“It was a unique experience, working with different mind-sets across different nationalities”.

Student Voices: UK

Our student collaborators contributed with extensive local business knowledge that has proved vital to the project’s success”.

“Business is a global matter and understanding different cultures is important if you want to expand internationally”.

In early 2014 a faculty team from UH visited BIMTECH and delivered guest lectures to marketing

students of PGDM and set the context for the third year of collaboration.

The three year project involving a combined total of nearly 600 students from BIMTECH and the University of Hertfordshire received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in International Engagement 2013


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