In July SDA Bocconi, the leading Italian business school, will open a new school in Mumbai, India. Stefano Caselli explains how the partnership to create the school came about and how it is likely to develop in the future.
SDA Bocconi started exploring the opportunity of launching a new venture outside Italy some years ago when an internal task force identified several concrete overseas options.
Those options were wide as the school has excellent international exposure in many countries around the world. However, the choice went to India and specifically Mumbai. The rationale behind the decision was to launch a new strategy in a well-known country. In other words, SDA Bocconi’s entry into the Indian market is based on two strong pillars: in-depth research and strategic analysis and an existing strong network inside the country.
SDA Bocconi has been working outside Italy for many years, both recruiting candidates eligible for its MBA programme in Milan and launching executive programmes tailor made for corporations, financial intermediaries and public administrations.
India represents a further and relevant step to enlarge significantly its presence in the Asiatic region, based on the strong fundamentals of India. Expected GDP growth, a strong entrepreneurial background, impressive numbers of students demanding high-quality education, and demographic and social trends are the key drivers of India’s educational attractiveness.
For many years SDA Bocconi and Università Bocconi have been building a relevant presence in the Indian market through several activities, including double-degree alliances, exchange programmes with leading schools, recruiting for all educational programmes held in Milan and opening a representative office in Mumbai.
This liaison with the Indian market is a fundamental requirement to starting the new venture, named MISB Bocconi, but the cultural links and strong similarities between Milan and Mumbai are even more fundamental to creating a successful venture.
Milan is a city that represents a blend of culture, business and finance and Mumbai is the same; furthermore, Milan is an incredible platform to leverage people towards Europe and Mumbai is an incredible platform to leverage people towards India and Asia.
In addition, some characteristics of the economic system promote these similarities between the two cities. For example, the presence and importance of family businesses, the large number of SME s, the large retail banking system and the transition from state control to an open market.
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