Bengaluru, 18 November 2016: The Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, was in India last week to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between India and Israel. He talked with pride about the deepening economic relationship and the role of ‘Israeli innovation in improving the lives of millions’ and the desire to ‘Make in India and Make with India’. Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) and Coller School of Management at Tel Aviv University have been collaborating over the last two years to contribute to these deepening ties. They jointly offer a course to IIMB students to develop technology partnerships between firms in India and Israel. While 28 students had enrolled for the course last year, this year 46 students have enrolled for the course.
This collaboration between the two top business schools has received a lot of support from the Consulate General of Israel. This year, the Consul General, Yael Hashavit, will address the students of the course on November 22, 2016. She is expected to emphasize on the need for India and Israel to increase engagement at the government-government level, firm-firm level and people-people level for mutual benefit, and also stress on the scope for Israel to help Indian firms with technology, and the scope for Indian firms to help Israeli firms to achieve scale.
The premise of the course is the needs and opportunities in India that are not addressed because of a lack of certain technologies, and there are technologies in Israel that might fill the gap if they find Indian partners who can help scale the business for India and India-like markets. The course enables the students to learn to identify technology opportunities in the global environment, particularly between India and Israel. In groups, they identify the technology needs of a company in India by interacting with key decision-makers over the term. Once there is some clarity, the groups contact companies in Israel to identify a potential collaboration partner. To make the partnership happen, a team of professionals with experience in the domain assists in the last stage of the search. Finally, the students visit Israel to interact with key decision-makers from the Israeli companies to work towards a partnership. Coller School offers a similar program that brings their students to interact with Indian industry. These two groups of students also get to interact with each other during the visits to deepen professional relationships. The objective of both courses is that after the efforts of the students, some of the linkages will result in actual business partnerships.
The course is anchored at IIMB by three faculty members, Abhoy K Ojha, Anshuman Tripathy, and Suresh Bhagavatula, and at Coller School by Gad Ariav. They worked together to develop and offer the first version last year and a newer improved version this year. According to Prof. Ojha, “This course itself may be seen as a partnership that has gone through different stages, with its ups and downs, and now is a living example of how such relationships can be forged given the right context and committed collaborators”.