MIT Sloan Launching Collaboration with Indian School of Business

Posted by: Louis Lavelle on August 5, 2010

Fifty years ago, MIT’s Sloan School of Management (Sloan Full-Time MBA Profile) made its first foray into business education in India when it helped start the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta. Since then, while Sloan has collaborated with B-schools around the world, it hasn’t had an Indian partner.

“India was a gaping hole that existed in our strategy,” says Sloan Deputy Dean S.P. Kothari. But all that is about to change.

Kothari, also a professor of management at the Cambridge-based school, is heading up a new partnership between Sloan and the Indian School of Business, in Hyderabad. ISB is India’s top business school, and the deal, cemented in early April, will create exchanges of both professors and students between MIT and ISB. ISB is itself the product of international partnerships. It was founded in 2001 in collaboration with Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management (Kellogg Full-Time MBA Profile) and Penn’s Wharton School (Wharton Full-Time MBA Profile).

Beginning in about eighteen months, ISB will send up to two professors a year to teach at MIT and two to four Sloan professors will teach at ISB, Kothari says. The exchange will also allow the professors to conduct research abroad and get to know the faculty at the partner school, Kothari says, helping them bring a greater understanding of international business to their home institutions. “We have a strong desire to further MIT’s mission, which is to build management education capacity and also be a catalyst for research around the globe,” Kothari says. Two to four teams of up to six Sloan students each—mostly graduate students—will also go to India to do projects with ISB students, he adds.

Sloan professors will also help ISB start institutes dedicated to manufacturing and infrastructure management, according to Kothari. The MIT faculty will manage the institutes and help recruit faculty from around the globe to teach in them, he says. Additionally, MIT and ISB will jointly organize an annual conference that will likely focus on either manufacturing or infrastructure management, Kothari says.

Kothari said Sloan chose to partner with ISB to expand its global footprint without compromising its core values. MIT has shied away from opening satellite campuses abroad, even as other B-schools have planned international outposts.

But even as Sloan and other schools look to expand in Asia, the game may be changing. Some top Asian schools, including ISB, are now working hard to recruit American students.

-By Zachary Tracer

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