Transformational EMBA Discovery Expedition to India
News Stories · Economics

Transformational EMBA Discovery Expedition to India

Executives experience Indian business world up close
March 2017

“One word: transformational”. That’s what the IMD EMBA class had to say about their recent Discovery Expedition to India. 

The group of 55 executives from diverse backgrounds, 30 nationalities, and a wide range of industries spent 7 days in Mumbai, focusing on leading global transformation. 

About 25 companies were visited, from start-ups, NGOs, the healthcare and high-tech sectors, social initiatives and more. 

“The company visits were extremely valuable. The speakers were of very high quality. The tempo of the week was high but the group structure was great and we had access to a lot of interesting people. I learned a lot about India and the way business is done there – it was an eye opener for me and will be directly applicable for my work,” said one of the EMBA participants. 

IMD faculty and experts led the expedition which was focused on how Indian executives conduct business in a globalizing world. The class worked to identify social, economic and political factors that are unique to India and how the country contrasts to other business contexts. The experience was intense and offered rich learning insights. 


“It was a wonderful experience,” said a participant who compared the trip to a “Walking Adventure”. Many of the EMBAs agreed that it was great way to get a sense of the culture and engage with the locals. During the company visits, participants met with senior executives and had ample time to really discuss challenges without being rushed from place to place. “Well done! The Mix of companies was excellent,” said one of the EMBAs.


In conjunction with the expedition, each candidate is coached by IMD to relate their own learnings from the readings, the visits and the assignments into the complete EMBA program experience in order to integrate the insights and enhance their ongoing development as a leader.

EMBA participants testify that this leads to immediate and powerful impact:

“It was an incredible leadership experience. I was able to put in practice what I have learned so far related to leadership. The outcome was great.”

“I have to say that it was a great personal and team experience, and an excellent opportunity to use what we have learned so far in the IMD EMBA. I particularly have used what we studied related to group dynamics and self-behavior.”

“The connection of the assignment with a real company was highly valuable. Also the engagement with the executives was priceless. Thank you for making this possible.”

The discovery Expedition was led by Anand Narasimhan and Jayanth “Jay” Narayanan.

Anand (British / Indian), Shell Professor of Global Leadership and Dean of Faculty and Research & Development at IMD, advises organizations on transforming their leadership capability and on dynamics of boards. Anand’s research focuses on institutional change, organization design, social networks, and emotion help in organizations. 

Jay (Singaporean / Indian), Professor Organizational Behavior and Leadership, has research and teaching interests in the areas of decision-making, negotiations and influence.

“Jay and Anand were great leaders during the expedition, always available to listen and to advise.”

“The learning was enriching on so many levels,” said the participants. “I am already missing the discovery expedition!”

Find out more about the EMBA.

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