Wharton Comes Calling To Enlighten Indian CXOs

by Amit Tripathi    Mar 08, 2005

If the recent collaboration of Wharton School and Indian School Of Business (ISB) is anything to go by, the CXOs in India get another chance to appreciate high profile enlightenment on management practices from management gurus across the globe.

Wharton Fellows is a network of 220 senior executives, the Wharton faculty and leading experts representing a diverse range of industries and countries. The network is on a tour of India as part of the India Master Class programme, under the aegis of the Centre for Executive Education (CEE) of the ISB and the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Speaking to CXOtoday, Yoram Wind, academic director, Wharton Fellows Program, said, “The Wharton Fellows - ISB program is unique in the sense that it is not about any packaged approach but an insightful exploratory mechanism to know and adopt the best practices and weed out the unnecessary practices in a corporate landscape.”

The institutes recognize huge tendencies amongst enterprises to tweak current management practices, which Wharton’s top executive learning network can contribute to a large extent. Neil Neveras, director, executive programs, Aresty Institute of Executive Education, said, “The program provides a platform for management practitioners and management experts to introspect and learn from each others experience.”

Shyam Vishwanathan, associate dean, executive education, ISB, says, “The expertise and experience of the Wharton fellows are put to use to brainstorm the existing practices of an enterprise, which helps in providing the much needed focus and renewed approach towards doing business as well as corporate governance.”

However, the important question here is, is there any need of another management orientation programme like the one under discussion, as bigger enterprises already follow one approach or another (Six Sigma, lateral thinking, etc.) towards attaining business efficiency. Douglas Frosst, (a Wharton Fellow), executive thought leadership, Cisco Systems, replied to the question saying, “Although corporates use some methodology towards attaining corporate excellence, there are still many areas that can be relooked through exchange of experience, which is where, programs like these can help a great deal.”

The programme is directed at executives of enterprises across verticals who usually influence the strategy decision making and the membership fee for this is $5,000 (For Wharton Alumni $5,000 membership fee is waived) with an additional $8000 as charge for attending one session. Each Master Class is limited to 50 participants.

Speaking of his experiences of the India Master Class, , Marcus Thompson (a Wharton Fellows), CIO, HSBC Private Equity (Asia) Limited, said, “The great thing about this program is that I can get under the skin of India in a relatively short time and get a deeper understanding of the investment opportunities in the Indian market. This could actually have taken me months of close study.” Remarking on the change that India is going through he said, “In my earlier visits I had encountered a sense of resignation of ‘we have always been like this’ but now I sense a huge optimism of ‘we can do it’.”

In their current tour, the Wharton Fellows have interacted with personalities like Gurcharan Das, noted columnist and former CEO of Procter & Gamble, Harsh Goenka of RPG Enterprises, Santrup Mishra of the Aditya Birla Group, K V Kamath of ICICI Bank, S Ramadorai of Tata Consultancy Services, Dr Meena Kaushik, Quantum Market Research and others for an overview of India’s cultural, social and political environment.