And the IIP begins...

By Reita Hutagalung, Global MBA student 2013-2013, Indonesia

With the end of Brand Anthropology, our third term ended. International Immersion Program (IIP), the next part of our program, has come to challenge us. After excitement and anticipation of the projects in this year’s IIP, confirmed projects and the corresponding countries were announced. This year the projects take place in Bolivia, China, Djibouti, India, Morocco and South Africa, each with different period and type of projects. The period ranges from two weeks to two months depending on the need of the party providing the project. The projects cover topics such as development of Small-Medium Enterprises, innovation models with Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP), renewable energy market development, dairy company strategy, etc.

So, for some of us, our project starts immediately on the following week after the last class. I’m going to the renewable project with Infosys in India with Rae, plus Leo and Matthew who are going to work in the innovation to BOP project. For the four of us, this would be our first time to go to India! In between excitement to explore a new country and work on a new topic that is different from our previous professional experiences, we pack our bags and ready ourselves to go. The journey was tiring, but everything went well. The three of us, Leo, Rae and I, arrived on Sunday night in India.  We found another friend from SUPELEC that is going to do internship at Infosys as well and turned out to be on the same team. Although dying to hit the bed, we had to go through super security check at the gate of the campus. These security procedures were something that we needed to get used to as there are many security procedures every day – and when I say many, seriously, many! Infosys being one of the leading IT and consulting companies ensures everything complies with its ISO certified procedures and to ensure safety of its employees and perimeters. Being in Infosys campus is like a different world when you step out of it. Anyway, after finally checked in at the residence, we ordered a good big cheesy meaty pizza (all credits go to Leo for the super big order hahaha…) to ensure we’d have a very good sleep.

The four of us had different professional experiences than our projects’ scope that we’re going to work on in India: legal, banker, education executive and risk analyst. We also had to fast track our knowledge on our specific subjects; however we are sure we could contribute to the success of the project assigned: how we could develop the green power market in India and to develop innovative business model targeting the BOP customers. To do our project, both teams went and will go to meet or contact business leaders to map their interests. For example, we the renewable energy team met with industrial consumer and provider (developer) side of renewable energy, also regulator and financier entities to map out and propose a business model. The BoP innovation team would contact microfinance leaders in many countries of the world such as Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa, Indonesia, etc. to research info on the models used and thus build on a proposal. These are very exciting projects but very challenging! However, having had interest in sustainability issues, we hope that our work could concretely contribute to promote renewable energy and innovations to BoP in India.

So that’s a little heads up of our first touch to our IIP. Stay tuned for updates from Team India!

À toute à l'heure!

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