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Train thy neighbour: After businesses, now B-schools scent opportunity in Pakistan

May 18 2013, 09:17 IST
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SummaryISB is conducting its executive programme at Institute of Business Administration in Karachi.

After agreeing to open its border for trade with India, Pakistan has now embraced Indian B-schools to train its business managers. Cashing in on this new-found opportunity are institutes like the the Indian School of Business (ISB) and SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), which have moved beyond the conventional student and faculty exchange programmes. While ISB is conducting its executive education programme at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in Karachi, Mumbai-based SPJIMR is offering its executive education programme for family businesses in cities across Pakistan.

Business school professionals say that an improved trade environment and quite similar ways of doing business would not only see the two B-Schools that have already ventured into the neighbouring country succeed but more such institutes are likely to follow suit in the days to come.

“We forged a collaboration with Pakistan because of similar markets and opportunities. There is business and economic potential for the faculties to work. We have started with executive education and non-degree programmes,” said Deepak Chandra, deputy dean at the Hyderabad-based ISB.

ISB has conducted three programmes with IBA in the last eight months. These are short-duration programmes that last for 3-10 days. Its two-day programme costs anywhere between R50,000 and R1.25 lakh.

On the other hand, SPJIMR — which offers a 12-month programme at the IBA in the form of workshops — has held more than 20 seminars in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The institute has planned a series of 10 workshops enabling family businesses to get on the fast track, starting from October 2012 to August 2013.

“The programmes we offer here are highly applicable to Asia. When it comes to family matters, most countries have to learn from India. We have made presentations in Dubai also,” said Parimal Merchant, director, Centre for Family Managed Business, SPJIMR.

Moreover, the Lahore University of Management Sciences has written to the institute for a collaboration.

Said Shobha Mishra Ghosh, director, Ficci’s education committee, “The environment in these countries is very conducive and they have a large diaspora of Asians. Though it is rare to find Indian and Pakistani institutions working together in this way, the way business is done in Pakistan is similar to India and enhanced trade relations have only improved the overall environment.”

Besides Pakistan, ISB is also offering such custom-designed programmes in Sri Lanka, Oman, Japan and Mauritius, while SPJIMR has partly begun its programme in family-managed businesses in Indonesia

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