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© Neena Bhandari, Indo Asian News Service

Sydney, Sep 12 (IANS) About 20 students from University of Sydney will be in Bangalore for two weeks in January to get a "hands-on" understanding of doing business in India.

Over the two-week intensive programme to be held at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) and Infosys, the students will develop a business entry strategy for the Indian market.

"There have been study tours to India by Australian Universities before, but we are immersing students in the opportunity of intense contextual based learning in a foreign country," says Richard G. Seymour, sesquicentennial lecturer in international entrepreneurship at the university.

The approach to learning will be "hands-on", requiring students to be immersed in the business industry and environment. The approach also facilitates the integration of the cultural, social and environmental aspects of business.

"This programme would provide me with the opportunity to understand the market, the challenges of doing business, and the key to successful strategies in India", says Akash Agarwal, who is doing a Master of Logistics Management at the university.

"It is a very interesting concept and way of learning. It gives me an opportunity to learn and think in a very practical sense," says Agarwal, who plans to return to India, join his father's business in Bangalore and explore opportunities for new projects and businesses.

"The International Business Special Project: Growing into India - the Entrepreneurial Challenge" aims at shifting the mode of programme delivery from the current "campus-based-lecture-tutorial" approach to a "problem-based learning-within-context" mode.

Antonio Villani is another student who will be travelling to Bangalore in January 2008. He says, "It will give me the opportunity to understand better how business is done in India and prepare me for a future career in the business field, where India will offer great potential for entrepreneurs through its size, potential demand, and also through the innovative and fast growing businesses there."

Villani is doing a combined degree, Master of International Business and Master of Commerce with majoring in Entrepreneurship at the university. He says, "I believe that employers will view my experience in India as a further asset to add to my qualifications and it may open particular jobs for me where the Indian market is most relevant."

Students will interact with people from the government, business and academia. "We are seeking six business projects for the students to work on. With this trip in September we are hoping to identify companies who would be interested in proposing projects, organise guest speakers and cultural visits," says Seymour, who is heading to India for two weeks to thrash out the details.

The cost of the course will be A$2,600 including ground travel, accommodation at IIMB and Infosys, all meals and cultural visits within India, in addition to the return airfares.

"In January, the students will face the challenge of developing a business around an early stage opportunity, such as a new product launch, or the entry of a business into the Indian market. The students will develop the marketing strategy, operations planning, and funding options and 'pitch' to a panel of professionals," Seymour explains.

The ideas and concepts that students have worked on in Australia include a meningococcal vaccine, sports energy drink, coconut oil from East Timor, designer seating, sheepskin teddy bears, fake landscaping rocks, an Internet "portal" for divorcees, pure soaps, renewable energy for lighting in the developing world, and a suite of business concepts for remote indigenous Australia.

Seymour is hoping to identify a number of interesting business opportunities for the students to develop in the Indian market. "It is as real as we can make it, with students signing intellectual property and confidentiality agreements with the entrepreneurs and inventors," he adds.

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