News & Highlights

  • JUNE 2022

Creating Emerging Markets Interview: Runa Khan

Runa Khan is Founder and Executive Director of Friendship, an NGO founded in 2002 that supports remote communities in Bangladesh. Friendship pioneered floating hospitals, provides integrated services for climate-impacted communities, and delivers educational services. Friendship has also been active in the Rohingya crisis when Myanmar military persecuted and forced large numbers of Muslims to flee to Bangladesh. It became the second largest healthcare service in refugee camps. This interview begins with Khan describing the privilege she had growing up as a descendent of Jamindars (rich landowners) and tells the story of what prompted her to step outside of her privileged elite lifestyle to address rural poverty. This interview is part of the Creating Emerging Markets project which provides a unique research and teaching resource on business leadership in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East over recent decades.
  • May 2022

HBS Honors Naina Lal Kidwai (MBA 1982) with Alumni Achievement Award

Naina Lal Kidwai (MBA 1982) began her career in investment banking in 1982 at British-owned Grindlays Bank in India and rose to head it in 1987—the first woman to head an investment bank in India. She later switched from investment banking to retail banking as head of non-resident Indian services. In 1994 she moved to Morgan Stanley, where as head of investment banking she returned to working in the capital markets and mergers and acquisitions. In 2002 she moved to HSBC India to head their investment banking and capital markets business, and shortly after took over as CEO of the bank. Eventually she became chairperson of the bank’s India operations and executive director on the board of HSBC Asia Pacific. In 2013 she was elected president of the Federation of Chambers of Indian Industry—the first woman to head the organization in its 86-year-history. “The great thing about working in finance in India at the time was the opportunity to influence the evolution of the country’s financial institutions and regulatory structures,” Kidwai said of returning to India at a time when the sector was undergoing dramatic change. “Very early on, I was part of the group that helped set up a second, more modern stock exchange and developed the first policies on equity issues and insider trading.” Upon her retirement from HSBC in 2015, Kidwai established the India Sanitation Coalition, an organization that unites corporate, nonprofit, financial, and government stakeholders in a national effort to improve the health of citizens and reduce disease by ending open defecation, treating sewage, and re-using treated waste water.
  • March 2022

What They're Made Of: Secrets and stories of the leaders on the edge – A Conversation with Professor Ranjay Gulati and Anand Mahindra (HBS MBA 1981)

This March in collaboration with HBS Club of India, we virtually organized a conversation between Professor Ranjay Gulati, former Unit Head of the Organizational Behavior Unit, and former Chair of the HBS Advanced Management Program, and Anand Mahindra (MBA 1981), Chairman of the Mahindra Group. The discussion touched on themes from Professor Gulati’s new book, Deep Purpose: The Heart and Soul of High-Performance Companies, which describes how leaders inspire their teams and organizations to become courageous and more purposeful. Mr. Mahindra shared the genesis of the Mahindra Group’s Rise philosophy, which drives the actions of all its employees. He elaborated on how he personally uses the Rise purpose as his north star in making the right choices. He ended with a piece of advice for future leaders: to retain their humility as humility leads to curiosity, an essential value for surviving in today’s volatile world. A total of 130 participants watched it live and over 500 have viewed it since then. A recording of the discussion is available at this link.
  • January 2022

Case Centennial Celebrations

In January, the India Research Center hosted two events to mark the centennial of the HBS case method. The first was in collaboration with Executive Education, Harvard Business Publishing, and the Middle East and North Africa Research Center. It was a specially curated case discussion on Building World-Class Operating Systems led by Professor Stefan Thomke. Professor Thomke discussed the classic Toyota case. This was followed by an engaging and insightful Q & A with the faculty attendees and over 100 participants. The second event was held in partnership with the HBS Club of India. Professor V. G. Narayanan wrote the case, “Hybrid Classroom - an Opportunity or a Threat?” for this session. The discussion enabled the participants to understand the scale of technology investments made by HBS to create the hybrid classroom and evaluate the opportunities and threats the new classroom presents. Participants shared that while the hybrid classroom afforded many advantages such as lifelong learning for alumni and a more diverse cohort, it was important to ensure that the quality of learning was not compromised.

New Research on the Region

  • May 2022
  • Case

The Freedom Fund (A): Ending Modern Slavery

By: V. Kasturi Rangan and Courtney Han

The Freedom Fund founded in 2013 to end modern slavery had raised more than half its intended target (by 2025) of $200 million. In 2021, impressed by its decentralized-partnering style of operations, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott awarded the Fund a gift of $35 million over 5 years. The beauty of the gift was that it came with no strings attached. It was completely unrestricted for use the way the company’s management and staff deemed fit. Nick Grono, the organization’s first CEO was wrestling with the question of how to put the money to best use.

  • March 2022
  • Case

DealShare: Social E-Commerce for the Indian Mass Market

By: Krishna G. Palepu and Malini Sen

Launched in September 2018, e-retail startup DealShare has created a tech-enabled model for the Indian mass market that allows customers to buy together, save money on good quality goods, and at the same time have fun. It targets customers who are still getting used to the Internet for commerce and for whom big e-commerce players are not an ideal option. As DealShare transitions from a regional to a national company, the founders are at a crossroads. Until now, they have prioritized profitability at the unit economics level over growth. Now that they are confident that the DealShare concept can be profitable, should they relax their commitment to profitability and expand rapidly to preempt competition? Will the investments required and added complexity derail the company’s success?

  • March 2022
  • Case

Pakistan Rising: Bazaar's Growth Story (A)

By: Paul A. Gompers and Gamze Yucaoglu

The case opens in September 2021 as Hamza Jawaid and Saad Jangda, co-founders of Bazaar technologies (Bazaar), the Pakistani high growth B2B e-commerce marketplace, are contemplating whether the year-and-a half old startup should also venture into offering financing to its customers, the thousands of mom-and-pop stores around Pakistan. Since its founding in mid 2020, the company has been growing its core business full throttle and also launched a digital ledger app to help with customer acquisition. Meanwhile, the co-founders are growing the team and geographically expanding Bazaar’s operations beyond Karachi. Jawaid and Jangda need to weigh the pros and cons of branching out to financing and decide, with so much going on, whether this is the right time for such a move. The case provides a background on Pakistan, its retail and e-commerce space to then talk about Bazaar’s founding story and its founders’ ambitious mission to create a generational story in and for Pakistan. The case then talks about the company’s pillars: technology, warehousing and logistics, and culture in detail and provides details on its day-to-day operations. Next, the case chronicles the company’s growth both product -wise and geographically. Bazaar is trying to take a stake and solidify its place in the booming $170 billion retail market in the world’s fifth-most populous nation which is yet to see much deployment of technology, and is in hypergrowth mode with a number of competing priorities. The co-founders need to decide if venturing into financing now is a good idea and whether it would take away from the company’s sharp focus on the B2B business and its culture that the co-founders so passionately built. The decision is made more complicated, because the company has the funds to deploy and many think that financing will also fuel the growth of the core business.

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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