Prof. Veronica Vecchi, Director of Executive Education, speaks to us about SDA Bocconi Asia Center, and the pioneering IEMB program offered there. Read on for more information.
Q&A with Prof. Veronica Vecchi | Director of Executive Education
SDA Bocconi Asia Center in Mumbai to offer world-class executive education and custom programs for senior executives
MBA Crystal Ball: What are the trends in the executive education in India and Asia?
Prof. Veronica Vecchi: Many Asian companies are growing fast, and they are gaining a share in the international markets. So, more and more managers are promoted to senior level positions or they are desirous to reach there. This means both individuals and corporates are looking for executive education programs delivered by international business schools, to get a global outlook and to understand how businesses work in different countries.
I’ve seen that Asian executives and above all Indian professionals love to learn. This is, undoubtedly, a great drive for executive education and international university-based business schools.
Designing and offering programs in India and Asia, either customized ones for companies, or short-duration or master ones for individuals, is a great innovation opportunity for business schools, especially for those that decide to invest directly in Asia, as SDA Bocconi has done in the last six years.
Particularly, the effectiveness of custom programs is defined by the partnership between the business school and the company. Programs must be designed based on the company’s values and the close collaboration between managers and professors who have a strong academic and professional background. This can generate a lot of innovation. However, and again, to make this is possible, business schools must be close to their clients and participants.
MBA Crystal Ball: What is the value of choosing SDA Bocconi Asia Center?
Prof. Veronica Vecchi: There are a lot of reasons to choose us. To start with some history, SDA Bocconi School of management was founded by Bocconi University to support the rapid growth of Italian small and medium enterprises and large companies. Since then, SDA Bocconi has been preparing entrepreneurs and managers who have become part of the Made in Italy success story of internationalization. Our-century-old collaboration with companies is the reason why the school is among the top ten in the world for the quality of its custom and executive programs.
SDA Bocconi presence in India, since 2012 with MISB Bocconi, and now through SDA Bocconi Asia Center, has allowed us to understand deeply the needs of companies and managers here. Our faculty has made great investments to prepare content and teaching approaches to meet the needs of Indian companies. Certainly, India represents our main priority and the focus in the short term.
MBA Crystal Ball: What are the programs offered by the Asia Center and the plan for the next years?
Prof. Veronica Vecchi: In 2015 we launched the International Executive Master in Business, a program with a curriculum equivalent to an Executive MBA, designed to offer Indian high potential professionals the opportunity to get the managerial and leadership skills to work globally. The enrolment for the 4th batch is open and it starts in October 2018.
Starting from this year, the program will award a Diploma issued by SDA Bocconi. This is a great plus for Indian professionals, since they now have access to a world-class education at their doorstep with the opportunity to get a Diploma by one of the top business schools in the world. SDA Bocconi is actually 7th in Europe and 11th worldwide in the Executive Education combined Rankings 2018 issued by Financial Times, the most prestigious ranking for Business Schools.
We are also preparing our 5th edition of the Executive Program in Business Analytics, since we want to offer a deeper managerial experience to business analytics professionals and not just analytical skills. The program will be addressed to business analytic professionals who want to strengthen their managerial background and their leadership skills to get prepared for a career advancement or for launching their own business.
We are working on a number of new initiatives, among them a program in art and culture management, based on our successful Master that we run in Milan, in partnership with many Italian and Indian cultural institutions. It will be a truly international experience, with participants from across the world.
Our center in Mumbai is also a true international crossroads. We host Asian tracks of many of SDA Bocconi’s flagship masters, such as those for the Global Executive MBA and the Master in Corporate Finance, and we host many of SDA Bocconi and Bocconi University partners, such as ESSEC from France and Rotman School of Management from Toronto.
We are also preparing some study tours for European companies that are willing to explore the innovations offered by the Indian market, in the field of, among other, digital transformations and corporate social responsibility.
MBA Crystal Ball: Can you tell us more about the International Executive Master in Business (IEMB) program?
Prof. Veronica Vecchi: IEMB is designed for high potential Indian professionals, who want to advance their career, by attending a truly international program. The program is a great option also for expatriates who want to complement their professional experience in India. It is a 15-month week-end program, conceived to get the most from class interaction with SDA Bocconi international faculty.
Online programs are a good option to strengthen technical skills. Business acumen and Leadership, on the contrary, must be nurtured with intensive programs, based on a deep interaction in class. It is a weekend program to fit with the agenda of busy professionals, and here we have to break a taboo. A program or master for professionals must be part-time because taking a leave for a full-time program is too risky and the learning is also compromised.
The strength of any executive program is rooted in the continuous learning, in other words in the continuous interaction between in class and on ground learning, which is possible only if participants go back to work on the next Monday.
International exposure is guaranteed by the interaction with our faculty. Moreover, participants spend two intense weeks in Milan where they have the chance to meet and learn from the best Italian managerial and entrepreneurial experiences. The international dimension is a good opportunity also for those who want to think globally and act locally.
Every year, we shape the program of the two weeks in Milan according to the features and expectations of our participants. The third batch of the IEMB just came back from Italy and they got the chance to see some of Italian most successful brands and best practices: such as Alessi, for it design, Tenaris, for its supply chain, and Else group, that has been recently nominated as one of the most innovative start-ups worldwide, by Gartner, for its Augment and Automate Supply Chain Decision Making with Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.
Students also had the chance to be trained by DevoLab faculty. DevoLab is SDA Bocconi Digital Enterprise Value and Organization, which offers competencies and capabilities necessary to support digital transformation. DevoLab is a successful example of how a business school, in partnership with companies, among them Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IBM, Capgemini, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, SAP, SAS, Accenture digital, just to cite some of them, can generate innovation for supporting manager capacities to face and navigate digital transformation.
MBA Crystal Ball: What is the enrolment process of IEMB?
Prof. Veronica Vecchi: Enrolments for IEMB are now open and the program starts in October this year. At SDA Bocconi Asia Center in Mumbai we are always open to support candidates in understanding the strengths of the program and how it suits their particular needs.
During the application process, candidates can apply for a tuition waiver as well. We have a number of tuition waivers available based on professional and academic merit. We also have a special tuition waiver for women. The fees for the program has been conceived for the Indian market, and therefore it is very competitive if compared to other international options, to give Indian professional the opportunity to get access to an international education and to be awarded an international Diploma.
MBA Crystal Ball: So, in a nutshell, why should one choose IEMB?
Prof. Veronica Vecchi: Because SDA Bocconi has been training and educating Italian entrepreneurs and managers for a century. Because the deep national roots of Italian companies are pretty similar, in the values, to Indian companies. Because, the Italian approach to business has always been very sustainable, far before the word sustainability has entered the business vocabulary. Because we offer an international education from our center in Mumbai. Because we are in India.
About SDA Bocconi Asia Center: The SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, Italy, inaugurated its presence in India in 2012 through MISB Bocconi catering mostly to the Indian audience. As MISB completes six years, the Mumbai-based school gets a new name, SDA Bocconi Asia Center, and a new scope, becoming SDA Bocconi’s pan-Asian hub, with a broader reach across India, the Middle East, China and the rest of Asia. SDA Bocconi, Italy recently earned the distinction of being 7th Worldwide in the Financial Times Rankings (2018) for Customised Executive Education
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