Monday, December 10, 2007

B-schools, MIT to partner for poverty solutions

from The Business Standard

Archana Mohan
Nancy Barry, president of NBA Enterprise Solutions to Poverty and former president of Women�s World Banking (WWB), is set to have an Ahmedabad connection.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Barry, who has been ranked among the 100 most powerful women in the world by Forbes magazine, has undertaken a move to bring her alma mater Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, (IIM-A), for partnering with her in offering enterprise solutions to fight poverty.

Barry�s NBA Enterprise Solutions to Poverty is an initiative undertaken jointly with the Inter-American Development Bank that looks at six countries to begin with � India, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, China and Kenya.

The initiative has been formed to develop innovative and competitive models of business, to encourage micro-entrepreneurs and to mobilise masters� students in business schools towards investigating enterprise solutions that fight poverty.

Under the initiative, which is set to be kicked off in January 2008, students of IIM-A, Harvard and MIT are set to take up joint feasibility studies, research papers and case studies on subjects like supply chain management, micro-finance, agri business, enterprise solutions for inclusive growth for top companies interested in the development sector. Already six to seven private sector firms have signed up to partner with the educational institutes.

Vijayendra Haryal, a second-year Post Graduate Programme (PGP) student of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and co-ordinator of the initiative from the institute says that the programme is an opportunity to learn strategising on live projects related to inclusive growth in India.

�Already close to 25 students from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, have got associated with the initiative in teams of five each. Similarly, 16-18 students from Harvard and MIT will be a part of the joint projects,� said Haryal.

Around three to five faculty members from IIM-A, two from MIT and three faculty members from Harvard will also be involved with the initiative. The teams from Harvard and MIT will arrive at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad campus by January-end

Things were set rolling in August this year when Barry had come to the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, to interact with the students and decided to collaborate with the institute on projects that her foundation is working on.

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