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Educating Asia's business leaders

  • Story Highlights
  • More and more Asian executives taking U.S. business courses
  • Harvard Business School launches first Indian executive learning course
  • Columbia Business School hosts course for Chinese CEOs
  • Next Article in World Business »
By Peter Walker for CNN
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- While the center of the business education world remains the United States and, to a lesser extent, Europe, there is one area that every school is focusing on with ever-greater eagerness -- the emerging mega-economies of Asia.


China's business executives are signing up for US programs.

As well as teaching the lessons of China and India, and how to do business in the booming nations, schools are also realizing the hitherto untapped potential market of educating executives from those nations.

More and more, executives both from Chinese and Indian companies, and the locally-based arms of global corporations, are clamoring for the best executive education available to help cope with their countries' rapidly-changing economic conditions.

Among recent examples of this phenomenon are tie-ups between China and India and two of the best-known and most highly-regarded names in U.S. business education -- Harvard and Columbia.

Harvard Business School has just announced its first executive education program in India, organized in conjunction with the school's India Research Center.

The program, "Building a Global Enterprise in India," will be taught by HBS senior faculty in the central Indian city of Hyderabad.

Specially designed for senior executives from India and around the region, the program, taking place in February next year, will use cases tailored to the specific needs of companies operating in the country, and incorporate examples from the region.

It was designed "to address emerging challenges in the Indian business landscape as companies seek to manage and sustain growth in India," said Professor David Yoffie, chair of Harvard's executive education programs.

Fact Box

FT MBA Rankings
1. Wharton, U.S.
2. Columbia, U.S.
3. Harvard, U.S.
4. Stanford GSB, U.S.
5. London Business School, UK
6. Chicago GSB, U.S.
7. Insead, France/Singapore
8. Stern, NYU, U.S.
9. Tuck, Dartmouth, U.S.
10. Yale, U.S.
Source: Financial Times 2007

"Participants will focus on the major challenges of building a global enterprise in India, such as developing leadership talent, employing innovation-based growth models, and identifying strategic advantages to drive growth," he said.

It will be a two-way learning experience, according to Professor Krishna Palepu, the school's Senior Associate Dean for International Development.

"While the program demonstrates Harvard Business School's commitment to India, it also allows us to learn from the Indian companies we've worked with over the years as we continue to enhance our global curriculum."

Similarly, last month Columbia Business School hosted 25 senior managers from China for the school's inaugural China CEO program, including CEOs from companies such as the Nasdaq-listed Focus Media, as well as some state-owned conglomerates.

It was the latest stage in an international program organized by Columbia, top France-based business school Insead and the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing.

The aim of the program was "to impart a unique, global perspective to the participating CEOs and help Chinese entrepreneurs develop a keen sense of insight into a diverse multicultural, political and economic environment," according to Cheung Kong's dean, Xiang Bing. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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