Bangalore: On September 14, during the momentous occasion of the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, inaugurating the Rs.1.1 trillion high speed rail project, the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) is all set to deepen India and Japan’s bilateral engagement – especially economic and educational ties. IIMB will inaugurate the India-Japan Study Centre on campus on the same day. The aim of the Centre is to promote understanding of Japan in India and India in Japan through research, teaching and policy outreach efforts.
“At a macro level, there are complementarities between India and Japan in the sphere of economic development. We have a lot to learn from Japan on infrastructure and technology management, and we can offer them insights on the start-up culture,” said Prof. G. Raghuram, Director, IIMB.
Responding to the launch of the Centre, promoter-industrialist Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motors Pvt. Limited, said: “I am very pleased to hear that IIMB is setting up the India-Japan Study Centre. India and Japan have become not only business partners or trade partners, but also strategic partners. Japan is investing in India in a big way, in transportation – not just in cars but also in the bullet train. It is the perfect time to start such a Study Centre. It is not only about understanding management. The understanding of culture, psyche and thinking will improve bilateral business in a big way.”
“The India-Japan Study Centre at IIMB can also provide a synergistic platform for mutually beneficial academic and inter-governmental initiatives to contribute to the shared ethos of the ‘Resurgent Japan, Vibrant India’ agenda,” observed Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson, Board of Governors of IIMB, and Chairman, Biocon Ltd.
Highlighting the fact that IIMB has had an abiding and continuing interest in Japan, IIMB Director Prof. Raghuram said the school’s faculty have collaborated with Japanese institutions, conducted joint research and offered Executive Education Programmes. “The India-Japan Study Centre will build on these initiatives and take the collaboration to the next level,” he added.
IIMB has launched a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Sustainability in Japanese. The school already offers an elective course, ‘Business Planning for International Markets’, with specific focus on Japan, along with a Japan language elective course. Senior executive programmes have been conducted for Japanese companies. IIMB has an industry relationship with Mitsubishi for support towards classroom technology.
With the compelling business and national interests propelling the fast-evolving India-Japan business collaborations, IIMB conceived the idea of establishing the India-Japan Study Centre.
The Centre will facilitate collaborative initiatives among academia, industry and government agencies of both the countries to work on areas of mutual interest. These would include domains such as business environment, government policies, innovation, project management, sourcing, technology transfer, development and management, sustainability, intellectual property rights, and understanding of local culture and business practices. The sectoral focus would be on infrastructure including energy and transportation, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
Currently, there is no focused initiative in India among academic institutes, particularly, in management institutes, to create, share and disseminate knowledge in the relevant areas of Indo-Japanese business.
The Centre will explore offering dual degree programs with Hitotsubashi University and other universities in Japan, and customized electives and immersion programs for exchange students of the partnering universities. An Executive General Management Program (EGMP) for executives in Japanese companies in India is also on the anvil.
Announcing that the Centre would kick off its launch with a round table on the new bilateral relationship between the two countries, Prof. Krishna Sundar D, faculty from the Production and Operations area at IIMB and Chair of the India-Japan Study Centre, said: “The India-Japan Study Centre will serve as an intellectual gathering point for research scholars, students, government agencies and industry leaders of India and Japan.