International Practicum with University of San Diego, USA (USD)

The International Practicum, an initiative by the International Relations Committee was a collaboration between the Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad and the University of San Diego, USA which saw students from both institutes working together on live corporate projects from leading companies located in New Delhi.

An important part of management education is putting theory into practice, to experiment, test the waters and then use this experiential knowledge to build on an existing platform or create a new one. At IMT, Ghaziabad, students have these very opportunities by taking up live projects in the industry and learn by experiencing first-hand, the rigours of finding solutions to a business problem.

One such industry project was with Cox and Kings, a market leader in the Indian travel industry, which required the IMT- USD team of Madhavan Sriram, Bhawya Bhawam, Wajid Ali Mirza and Gina Stavrakakis to identify emerging markets using trends in the MICE (Meetings Incentives Conferences Events) industry. The student team worked at close quarters with the top management, government agencies and competitors to come up with a strategy for future growth by identifying markets, the company needs to focus on in the long and short runs. The unique cross-cultural mix of students performing the consulting work proved to be added advantage in finding accurate market trends for the travel industry in India within the duration of a week. On the final day, the identified patterns were presented to the senior management who lauded the performance of the team as the findings had high correlation with the research the company had initiated in this area.

Another team of students comprising of Nick Alvarez from USD along with Praveen Vemuri and Akshay Deshpande from IMT, worked on a project with Blue Dart Express Limited, one of India’s major logistics players and a premier courier and integrated express package Distribution Company in South Asia. The objective of the project was to come up with recommendations for improvement in two key areas: on-time performance and minimizing transportation costs, specifically for Northern India’s ground express services. The team worked extensively by studying and analyzing the company’s warehousing and logistics network in NCR (National Capital Region) and proposed three models to improve capacity utilization of their transport trucks. These models proposed to reduce cost per kg and also presented a solution to improve on-time performance at the warehouses.

Annik Prasad, a Post Graduate Program student from USD teamed up with Megha Agarwal, Ishan Pratik and Priyanshi Kejriwal from IMT to work on a project to analyze the portfolio management services of Alankit Group, New Delhi and on devising the communication strategy for customer acquisition and retention. Evolving from largely a Financial & Share Broking Company into a diversified business house, Alankit offers financial services, wealth management, e-governance as well as health care services. After a week of brainstorming and analysis, the team presented their ideas to the Managing Director and CEO of the company. The students were highly appreciated and the management was in full support to implement some of their recommendations.

The experiences gained from these interactions in the travel, logistics and financial sectors were very valuable in understanding management dynamics and working in cross-cultural teams. Inputs such as these helped the students achieve a greater level of effectiveness as professional business practitioners in the making.