Every year IMD send its MBA cohort on a Discovery Expedition to international business hotspots. This month, the cohort of 90 participants will go on one continuous journey with stops in Bangalore, Singapore and Silicon Valley. 

In each part of the excursion, the class learns about the unique location, its economy and its community. These are not touristic treks, but are opportunities to visit companies, entrepreneurs and government institutions, and learn about the locations as business, technology and innovation hubs. 

The Bangalore trip will be led by Dr Hischam El Agamy, IMD’s delegate the Middle East, Africa, South and Central Asia. He has been working with companies and business leaders in these regions since 1999.

The MBAs will consider the social and environment trends shaping India, including growing socio-economic inequality, growing life expectancy and quality of life, but also declining water quality and degradation of the natural environment. 

Over the expedition, the MBAs will work hands-on with faculty and local experts to discover life and business in Bangalore. There will be visits to leading companies on the sub-continent, including FlipKart, the ecommerce business which Amazon invested $16bn into in May. Other trips to top firms will take place, such as the global IT leaders WIPRO; fast growing IT outsourcing business Mindtree, the unique success story in biopharmaceutical field Biocon, and BlackBuck, an online marketplace for freight. 

The trip will include a keynote speech by Ravi Venkatesan, on India’s response to and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or digital revolution. Venkatesan is chairman of Bank Baroda and former chairman of Microsoft in India and Cummins India. 

IMD’s Dr Hischam El Agamy said: “New technology, economic and business model disruption, ever increasing volumes of data and high-speed information flowing across borders means that uncertainty is more complex and relentless. As a result, business is operating under increasing levels of pressure never experienced before.” 

The MBAs will ultimately be tasked with considering how the driving forces of India’s economy might converge and change the future and what that means for Indian enterprise – including technology, politics and the environment.