Bangalore Company Visits Days 1 and 2
By: Brett Depenbrock, MBA Candidate 2018
The international component of the India program transitioned from chilly and smoggy New Delhi to the sunshine and coconut trees of Bangalore in Karnataka on January 7. The benevolent climate and beautiful My Fortune hotel greeted and energized our cohort. Bangalore is called the “Silicon Valley of India” and includes many software, electronics, and business outsourcing firms. The city currently hosts a population of 11.5 million that continues to grow as the cosmopolitan environment attracts talented youth due to ample work opportunities and a robust dining and drinking scene. For Smith MBAs our introduction to the inner workings of business in southern India began with a visit to public relations firm MSL Group. Viju George, managing director, walked us through his nearly 20 years of expertise with the firm, and shed light on the business of communications in India. George specializes in conceptualizing and planning high-profile campaigns, and has led several global executive programs for multinational brands. He talked specifically in depth surrounding the work the firm has done to support Netflix’s expansion into the Indian market. In our afternoon visit H.S. Ranganath, chief General Manager of defense contractor BEML Limited, presented to our group. Ranganath is the head of corporate planning at BEML, and gave our cohort a keen sense on the operations of firm with close government ties. 54 percent of BEML is current owned by the government of India while the rest of the 46 percent is held by the public, financial institutions, foreign investors, and banks. BEML serves defense, rail, power, and infrastructure sectors, and exports to more than 56 countries. Our subsequent stops in the Whitefield neighborhood of Bangalore included presentations by marketing and communications experts at Tata Elxsi and a chief innovation officer at the Titan Company. The Tata Elxsi team walked us through an interactive working session that included mockups of some of the produced outputs from their team. The tour also included a fascinating walk through their 3D prototyping lab. Tata Elxsi is an electronics and system firm that is making strong efforts to capture value in the internet of things and big data space. For the afternoon Professor Basu led us to the recently constructed campus of the Titan Company where head of innovation Sumant Sood presented. Sood spoke about the company’s formation as a joint venture between the Tamil Nadu government and the Tata Group. Though originally a watch company Sood detailed the firm’s effort to continuously evolve. This was especially apparent in that over 80% of the firm’s revenues are now derived from jewelry.