The Indian School of Business (ISB) and GLOBIS Corporation the executive training arm of Japan's fastest growing business school, last month signed an agreement to provide world class executive education to senior industry executives in Japan and India.
Japan nearly overtook the US as the world’s largest economy in the 1980s, but Tokyo’s property bubble burst ushering in a twenty year recession. Now Prime Minister Shinto Abe is trying something radically new—‘Abenomics’— described in the Financial Times last week as a bid to go “hell for leather for inflation” and as a policy that “may actually work”. Let us hope so. Certainly to climb out of recession Japan needs to develop its business leaders and its international partnerships.
Now, Japanese business leaders interested in learning about doing business with India—a massive and relatively nearby emerging economy—will not even have to leave their country to do so; and Indian executives interested in learning about Japan can stay put too, as the ISB-GLOBIS bilateral agreement will offer training in both schools’ campuses.
Speaking to IEDP about the new partnership, ISB’s Ramanathan Hariharan (Senior Director, Centre for Executive Education) stressed that the problems faced by India, and indeed most emerging markets, are unique. ISB’s faculty have a good understanding and awareness of these challenges through their relevant consulting exposure, and as such, the school is well-placed to provide Japanese executives with insight into doing business in India and other emerging markets.
This news comes at a time when, if the FT is right about Abenomics, Japan may at last start slowly finding its way out of its long recession. Will there be enough interest in management training programs during a tough financial climate like this? Well, contrary to received wisdom, that executive education loses out during a downturn, some schools actually reported an increase in applications during the financial crisis of 2009–10; for example UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, reported that their custom program revenues for 2010 were up more than 15% on the previous ‘crisis’ year.
Until recently Japanese executives have been less represented than their international peers on executive education programs. But this looks set to change in 2013 as IBS joins a handful of leading international schools to offer custom and open programs in Japan. One of the programs being offered by ISB-GLOBIS has already been successfully delivered on understanding India as a market, focusing on strategy and leadership from an Indian perspective.
The options for executives interested in strengthening their presence in Asia are rapidly expanding and it is encouraging that Japan is now joining this trend.