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January 22, 2008

On the Road: The Dean in Asia

Glenn Hubbard
Dean and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics
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My road trip through Hong Kong, Singapore, and Manila is revealing continued opportunities for Columbia Business School in Asia. And interest in the School’s inaugural Pan-Asian Reunion, to be held October 24-26 in Hong Kong, is very high. Columbia Business School's network in Asia offers unmatched access in finance, media, real estate, consulting, and manufacturing.

Whenever I travel for the School, I meet with business leaders — alums and nonalums — to ask about current and trend opportunities and challenges in their businesses. Last night, Chris Cheng ’79, chairman of Wing Tai Corporation Ltd., hosted a dinner for me in Hong Kong with government officials and banking leaders.

After a particularly nasty day in the Asian financial markets, we had a lively dinner discussion about whether Asian economies have decoupled from the U.S. economy (I argued they have not), subprime-related credit losses (all agreed there are more to come), and whether the U.S. would suffer a recession this year (my Hong Kong friends are more pessimistic in that regard than I am).

Particularly interesting to me was the observation that today’s MBAs may be the smartest ever, but the key to success in the region — as elsewhere — lies in thinking like an entrepreneur and developing the qualities of a leader.

Many topics, and the 13-course meal permitted a wide-ranging conversation!


by Manish | January 22, 2008 at 5:32 PM

I hope you come to India soon, its the nation of tomorrow! Plus it is very different from most of the other Asian economies.

by seeking more AsiaPac alumni | January 24, 2008 at 1:21 AM

I would love to see Dean Hubbard/CBS Admissions Committee make a trip to Australia, Bangladesh or Indonesia. The later two are populous nations yet I don't recall more than a couple of students from the above three countries that was in my graduating class at CBS.

by Jagjit Singh | January 24, 2008 at 7:39 AM

I do agree with Manish. I'am an Indian who had never been to India for 25 years. Last year my company sent for a project to New Delhi and I was amazed how fast India is changing. I saw people from around the globe. I think region plays an important part. To give another example;I guess everyone must have heard of this place called "Dubai" in the Gulf. Ohh ya, for most the people when you say "GULF", they think Iraq and Iran. But I recommend people to do a bit research on Dubai. The country's economic is growing at 11 percent every year. Projects worth billions dollars are in line. You will be surprised to see, what the desert has turned into. The same goes with India now. I used to hear from friends and family, India is poor, no infrastructure. But check out the new India now. But again, good education is required to reach the top in todays world.

by R. Glenn Hubbard | January 24, 2008 at 9:41 AM

Thanks for your comment. India is a region of enormous interest and opportunity to us, and the School does have lots going on there. In fact, a group of our students just returned from India — you can read about their trip at http://socialtripindia.blogspot.com/. We also recently launched a partnership with the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A), which has sparked a student immersion and exchange program. And some of our experts have a book forthcoming this year from CU Press: Sustaining India’s Growth Miracle, edited by Professors Jagdish Bhagwati and Charles Calomiris. Stay tuned to the blog for more on these topics!

by Michael Wilson | January 25, 2008 at 1:51 PM

There are more and more Asia-Pac alumni graduating every year. There are currently five Australians in the class of '08.

by Sanjeev Sharma | January 26, 2008 at 4:29 AM

I have a bit of contrarian view about effect of tie-up of CBS with other educational institutes in ASIA. For eg CBS is tieing up with IIM-Ahmedabad (BTW, I live next door to IIM-A). IIM-A's ranking globally is quite low, the acedemic standard and professors are ranked nowhere compared to CBS. Further the fees charged by IIM-A is only $7000. IIM-A has increased its brand value purely by managing a demand-supply gap of MBAs, by taking in only 350 students an year. Due to the demand-supply gap, each student is getting multiple job offers and the offered salaries are starting from $60 K and could be as high as $200 K per annum for international placements in UK and US. CBS, by having a tie-up and student-exchange program with IIM-A, would help IIM-A to increase its brand-value. My impression has been that in earlier days, students graduating from a top business school in US used to get good leadership and management type of job offers, whereas the jobs they are getting these days are mostly 'skill-oriented'. To maintain its brand value, CBS along with all leading MBA schools in US may do a study on the real-demand of the type of jobs they wish their graduating students to take, and thereby reduce the student intake accordingly.

by Olawale Akintayo | January 27, 2008 at 11:02 PM

Congratulations to your Dean Hubbard in your trip to Asia, it is nice to know that the CBS committee is taking a particular interest in the World Economies. In particular, I would implore you to take a trip to Africa especially in the developing economies of Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa. The level of entrepreneurial activities and business awareness would surprise you when you visit these regions. In Nigeria, universities like the Lagos Business School are partnering with schools in the United Kingdom in creating executive programs that train high level employees for Multinational Corporations like Accenture, Chevron, Coca-Cola, and Deloitte Consulting providing innovative ideas useful in penetrating unexplored financial markets. Presently, economists at the World Bank have projected an increase in the U.S flow of FDI in Nigeria from $ 2.1 billion to $5.2 billion by the year 2015. Likewise, Nigeria provides about 11% of overall U.S oil imports with the number projected to increase by 20% by 2015. It is said that knowledge is power, and power the key to success. Tapping into a region like Nigeria, shows the CBS commitment in achieving its longstanding tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship.

by Glenn Hubbard | January 28, 2008 at 4:29 PM

I agree there are huge opportunities in Africa. In fact, one of our students just blogged from Nigeria about a recent project by our Entrepreneurship in Africa Master Class. Our Social Enterprise Program also funds International Development Club pro bono consulting with students who travel during winter and spring breaks to such countries as Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and many others. Because private sector development is vital to Africa’s economic and social ascent, participation of academic institutions like Columbia Business School is destined to keep expanding.

by Olivier Do Ngoc | January 30, 2008 at 5:25 AM

I agree about India but would also like to encourage Columbia's faculty to come and check-out what is happening in Vietnam, not only a historical transition from a communist economy to a market based economy but also the scond fastest growing country in Asia after China! I recently moved there to set-up an investment business with another CBS alumni and would love to welcome all Columbia alumnis there (contact us through www.dynastyinvestments.com in HCMC).

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