Ahmedabad University is a private, non-profit university founded in 2009. Amrut Mody School of Management (AMSoM) runs an MBA programme for entrepreneurial family businesses and part of the programme provided the students with exposure to international businesses to further broaden their horizons and add to the learning experience. The students are young graduates of Business and Commerce and are primarily sons and daughters of family businesses from Gujarat and Rajasthan, two states of India which are dominated by business families in construction, retail, jewellery and transport systems.
14 young MBA students, studying at Amrut Mody School of Management, Ahmedabad University, India, attended a Møller Institute programme in December 2016 to learn from the UK experience of how to successfully run family businesses. In particular, the student’s benefited from being able to compare and contrast this UK experience to the family business challenges and opportunities in India.
The group also specifically wanted to gain business connections and have exposure to Cambridge’s innovative tech cluster and other UK entrepreneurial ecosystems, including those companies run by people of Indian origin.
Design and delivery
The overall programme was four weeks long, with the first two weeks at Cranfield School of Management, where the students participated on the entrepreneurial finance module of the MSc in Management and Entrepreneurship. They were embedded with 25 students from around the world and particularly enjoyed the British methods of teaching and the international composition of the class. They also went on several company visits and met many family businesses from whom they acquired hands-on insights on issues of growth and development. The second two weeks were with Møller Institute, Churchill College at the University of Cambridge where the group focused their learning on the business areas of strategy and marketing with a particular emphasis on more behavioural aspects through personal development, creativity and presentation skills to generate support for their venture ideas.
The Cambridge programme was designed to provide the students with valuable exposure to UK technology innovation, as well as giving a historical context to the development of what has become known as the “Cambridge Phenomenon” and an understanding of how Cambridge, Europe’s Innovation Capital, is shaping the future of society. This part of the programme ensured a strong social and cultural context within the Møller Centre’s residential setting, along with certification upon successful completion.
Practical impact – programme learning outcomes and deliverables
Providing a practical thread throughout the programme was the ‘Lighthouse Project’, whereby all participants consolidated everything they had learned during the four weeks, presenting their business plans to a panel of business mentors on the final day. They were mentored throughout the four weeks by business experts with experience of the Indian context to ensure that their learning was contextualized to their own businesses.
Other learning outcomes included:
- Broadening participants’ understanding of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance
- Learning from insights of UK businesses through case studies
- High impact thought leadership in strategy, marketing and business models
- Learning from practitioners in international business
- Valuable bench-marking through meeting family businesses
- Practical learning from innovative entrepreneurs and technologies to seek to understand and anticipate possible futures
- Learning from a creative session using LEGO ™
- An opportunity to reflect on personal motivation, team building and presentation skills
- Exposure to creativity, decision making and professional behaviours
- Developing new business connections in London personal mentoring for participants by small business experts familiar with Indian business on the specific projects they are completing on behalf of their family businesses