News & Highlights

  • NOVEMBER 2021

Dean Datar Receives Padma Shri

This November, Dean Srikant Datar visited India and received the Padma Shri Award in literature and education. The Padma Shri—one of the three categories of the Padma Awards—is given for distinguished service and is one of India's highest civilian honors. The award seeks to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.
  • AUGUST 2021

Revitalizing Management Education

Vinay Hebbar, Senior Vice-President, Head of International Markets at Harvard Business Publishing, and Anjali Raina, Executive Director of the India Research Center, both spoke at sessions during the Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) Annual Management Education, convention held from August 26 to 28. Anjali was a panelist at the session “Revitalizing management education from design thinking to actionable insights: technology as a game changer,” and Vinay was part of the Business Thought Leaders Panel, “Reinventing the management wheel for a better tomorrow.” Their speaking engagements were a part of Harvard Business School’s case centennial celebrations, marking 100 years of the case study method.
  • AUGUST 2021

Virtual Workshop on the HBS Case with Sri Lankan Academics

At a virtual workshop with 11 academics from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Rachna Tahilyani, Senior Associate Director at the India Research Center, talked about the case method ecosystem, the case writing process, and tips from her experience as a researcher. At the session, Dviwesh Mehta, Regional Director of Higher Education at Harvard Business Publishing, discussed the portfolio of services available. This year marks the 100th celebration of the case. Read more about the HBS Case method here.
  • MAY 2021

The Role of the Private Sector during COVID-19: A webinar

On May 26, 2021, the IRC co-hosted a webinar with the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health India Center, to discuss the role of India’s private sector in mitigating the pandemic. The panellists were HBS Professor Rohit Deshpande , HSPH Professor Joseph Allen, Ruzbeh Irani, President of Group Human Resources and Communications at Mahindra Group, and Dr. Rohini Sridhar, Chief Operating Officer at Apollo Hospitals Madurai Division. Some insights from the panel on how to manage the pandemic as people returned to work were: creating well-ventilated spaces; actively responding to customers’ safety and well-being needs (for example, contactless delivery); and the need for rapid vaccination.

New Research on the Region

  • December 2021 (Revised December 2021)
  • Case

PhonePe: Democratizing Payments in India

By: Michael Chu and Rachna Tahilyani

The co-founders of PhonePe, India’s leading digital payment platform are considering pursuing various growth opportunities in a huge country just entering the digital age. In a highly competitive industry, the founders are keenly aware that making the right choices is not only a matter of opportunity cost but critical to preserving the company’s market leadership. PhonePe began as an enabling platform between parties and, unlike some of its competitors, did not get involved up to now in the direct delivery of goods and services. But PhonePe’s brand and reach make it relevant now to revisit the question. In the next board meeting, three areas of obvious digital potential are likely to come up: lending, education and gaming. Another is taking the model international. What should the founders recommend to their board?

  • November 2021 (Revised December 2021)
  • Case

Praava Health: A New Model for Bangladesh

Launched in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2015, Praava Health (‘Praava’) delivered high-quality in-clinic primary and specialist care, backed by its own high quality diagnostic laboratories, imaging and pharmacy. Praava was founder Sylvana Sinha’s response to what she saw as a broken healthcare system in one of the world’s most populous countries, unable to provide efficient, reliable medical attention to the majority of its population. Centered on the patient, it had a flagship state-of-the art medical center in Dhaka, and digital channels, including Bangladesh’s first patient app, telemedicine, and e-pharmacy. Behind all this was a highly qualified medical, technical and management team, made possible by equity investments of $11.1 million. But raising funds had been a difficult and arduous process, even as Praava’s revenues were growing at around 20% a month. As Sinha proceeded to plan her next steps in Series B fundraising, she wondered if there were modifications that she needed to consider. Were there any changes—in the Praava business model, in the financing structure or in her messaging—that would allow her to break through in the capital markets?

  • Fall 2021
  • Article
  • Business History Review

Emboldening and Contesting Gender and Skin Color Stereotypes in the Film Industry in India, 1947–1991

By: Sudev Sheth, Geoffrey Jones and Morgan Spencer

This article examines how the film industry influenced prevailing gender and skin color stereotypes in India during the first four decades after Independence in 1947. It shows that Bollywood, the mainstream cinema in India, shared Hollywood's privileging of paler skin over darker skin, and its preference for presenting women in stereotypical ways lacking agency. The influence of film content was especially significant in India as audiences often lacked alternative sources of entertainment and information. It was left to parallel, and often regional, cinemas in India to contest skin color and gender stereotypes entrenched in mainstream media. As conventional archival sources for this history are lacking, the article employs new evidence from oral histories of producers and actors.

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Mumbai Staff

Anjali Raina
Executive Director
Rachna Chawla
Associate Director, Community Engagement
Anthea D’Souza
Associate Director, Financial and Business Administration
Kairavi Dey
Kalpesh Hedulkar
Radhika Kak
Mansoor Masood
Research Associate
Rashmi Patel
Research Assistant and Educational Coordinator
Malini Sen
Senior Researcher
Sanjivani Shedge
Executive Assistant
Rachna Tahilyani
Senior Associate Director, Research