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

  • 2022
  • Other

Competitiveness Roadmap for India@100

The Competitiveness Roadmap for India lays out policy principles to guide India's efforts to move towards middle-income and beyond over the next 25 years. It covers a discussion of appropriate outcome ambitions, the underlying development approach, specific policy actions to pursue, and the implementation architecture to design and execute on policies over time. The Roadmap is based on an in-depth diagnostic of India's current competitiveness, including an assessment of the policy actions taken so far. The document has been developed upon a request of Prime Minister Modi and the Economic Advisory Council to the PM within Niti Aayog.

  • August 13, 2022
  • Article
  • Lancet

A Historic Opportunity for Universal Health Coverage in India

By: Vikram Patel, Shubhangi Bhadada, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Arnab Mukherji, Tarun Khanna and Gagandeep Kang

The milestone of India's 75th anniversary of independence on Aug 15, 2022, offers an opportunity to reassert the country's commitment to realising universal health coverage (UHC). The first such effort predates independence, with the 1946 Bhore Committee report. India's colonial ruler, the UK Government, had simultaneously commissioned the Beveridge Report (1942), which led to the birth of the UK National Health Service in 1948. The Bhore Committee recommended a similar national health-care system for India with guiding principles that have stood the test of time.

  • August 2022
  • Case

Rocket Learning: Evidence in Action

By: Brian Trelstad, Tomas Rosales and Malini Sen

Founders of Rocket Learning, an India-based nonprofit which focused on early childhood education (ECE), received an invitation from MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL), a development research organization, to test its intervention for ECE with a randomized controlled trial (RCT), the gold standard of impact evidence. Rocket Learning used classroom WhatsApp groups to provide parents access to byte-sized learning activities to help their children prepare for school. Since its launch in June 2020, Rocket Learning had reached over 50,000 low-income children in three states of India, in partnership with district and state governments. Though encouraged by the positive feedback from parents and teachers, the co-founders did not yet have evidence that Rocket Learning improved educational outcomes for early learners. They were elated to get the offer for a RCT in October 2020 but wondered whether the timing was right for the trial. After all, Rocket Learning was only five months old. Were the founders ready to do a largescale, rigorous evaluation and share the results publicly? If the results were negative, would it impact scaling? The founding team did not have much time in hand to decide.

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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
Rashmi Patel
Research Assistant and Educational Coordinator
Malini Sen
Senior Researcher
Sanjivani Shedge
Executive Assistant
Rachna Tahilyani
Senior Associate Director, Research