The Study Tour to Korea

As part of the international immersion programme, the students of EPGP at IIM Bangalore toured to South Korea to study and witness in person the marvellous devices of growth that the country has made. The international immersion programme was designed by Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Seoul, and the university’s Business school hosted the students during the tour.

Korea has made rapid strides in the world economy and has risen from the war period of 1950s afflicted by an abject per capita income to a state of affluence today. The technology encompasses every walk of life and the country is ever looking for new markets, new industries and newer capabilities to propel itself forward in the league of nations.

The intent of the study tour organised by IIMB and designed as part of the EPGP curriculum is to acquaint students with the developing economy and acquaint them with its culture, work ethos, education, industries, economic and business policies, which are instrumental in accelerated growth of the nation. Since the Korean companies like Samsung, LG, Hyundai make a prominent presence in India holding a large market share in their respective markets in India, it was all the more relevant to study the strategies of the companies and the economic policies of the Korean government which has jointly brought about this redoubtable ascendance. The students in the class learn how are companies grown and a tour like this is tailored to also impart to them the big picture of how an entire economy or nation is developed, grown and sustained.

The students derived valuable learning by the visits to the plants and sites of GM Daewoo, LG, Daewoo Shipping and Doosan Heavy Industries. They were also addressed by speakers from companies like LG, McKinsey & Company, Bain Consulting, Doosan Heavy Industries, and Korea Exchange Bank who offered keen insights into their respective sectors. The students admittedly found the pragmatic insights offered by speakers very useful which not only sharpened their learning gathered so far in the classes but also to be of use in future career roles. The lecture sessions were well augmented by lectures by professors of KAIST who variously spoke on sociology, economic policy, and culture to make the students understand Korean nation as a whole. This is particularly important because if technology and business policies pull a nation’s economy from the front, the social and cultural forces, and the individuals’ personal disposition moulded by these forces, push the nation from behind.

Summarily the students were offered a comprehensive view of the Korean economy and culture which has reinforced their classroom learning offered at IIMB. The Koreans were an excellent host, and the warmth, care, affection, wit and spontaneity they exhibited in making the students’ stay a memorable experience was immensely laudable. The students of IIMB and KAIST became friends by the end of the tour and new frontiers opened for students on either sides with this meeting and exchange of ideas.

IIMB strives to impart its students not only the pedagogical experience in the classroom but also wants to lead them into the world of reality where really the drivers of economy are fast at work, and where long-lasting strategic decisions are made amidst conflicting challenges and objectives.

Yogesh Kumar Singh
Student EPGP 2010-11, IIMB

Run from what’s comfortable.
Forget safety. Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.
I have tried prudent planning long enough.
From now on I’ll be mad!
~ Rumi ~

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