LMU EMBA program in a Highly Challenging visit focused on
Biotechnology in India, China and Thailand
Loyola Marymount University (LMU) operates a highly innovative and practical Executive MBA (EMBA) program in Los Angeles, California at their campus, which is in close proximity to Los Angeles Airport (LAX). The program each year hosts 25-30 executives primarily from companies in the Los Angeles and Southern California region who have committed to the 2-year program to help further prepare them for senior management positions. In general, the average participant in the program has 15 years of experience in business with most having 8 years or more in a mid-level management role. Generally the students represent a wide range of business experience with individuals coming from everything from their own companies, through non-profit or civic organizations all the way to large-scale multi-nationals.
The LMU program includes a group project focused on a particular industry and an international trip as part of the second year program to further prepare participants for the challenges of international business in the 21st Century. Runckel & Associates has worked with LMU for the last two years to arrange and organize LMU’s EMBA International trip. For the 2006-2007 program, Associate Dean and Director of the Center for Executive Learning at LMU Bill Lindsey, Professor Richard Stafford, faculty managing the trips and project and their team felt that the project and the trip needed to represent the trends in play today and worked with the participants to identify biotechnology with India and Asia in general as particular points of focus. The four teams used this mandate to develop programs focused on personalized medicine, bio fuels, diabetes drug development and related product production focused particularly on India but with consideration of fallback positions in Thailand or China should conditions dictate that India would not work for the business venture proposed.
Thailand has 40 private hospitals and is expected to have 60 by 2008. Out of the $4 billion that the region is expecting to receive in medical tourism, Thailand will attract nearly half of it (47% according to a recent report). Bumrungrad Hospital leads in this field. Founded in 1980, the hospital is the largest hospital in all Southeast Asia with 554 beds and the capacity to take care of 3,500 patients per day. It receives more foreign tourists than any other hospital in the world. Bumrungrad is the first hospital in the region to receive ISO 9001 certification, the first hospital in Thailand to receive the Thai hospital accreditation, which complies with Canadian standards, and the first in the region to receive specialty accreditations to treat complex heart diseases. Bumrungrad also has the largest clinical trial center in ASEAN. Newsweek magazine called Bumrungrad “ Asia’s first internationally accredited hospital and one of the most modern and efficient medical facilities in the world”. It listed Thailand’s largest single private hospital first amongst 10 “world-class destinations” including hospitals in Germany, France, the U.S. and the U.S.
Interestingly, although Bumrungrad is the largest single private hospital in Thailand, it is not as large as the Bangkok Hospital group that operates Bangkok International Hospital, Bangkok Hospital, Bangkok Nursing Home (the most expensive and exclusive hospital in Bangkok), Bangkok Heart Hospital (the largest free standing Heart specialty hospital), Samitivej and other hospitals in tourist locations like Pattaya, Hat Yai, Phuket and elsewhere around Thailand (click here for a list of hospitals in this group). One impressive fact about the Bangkok Hospital group and Thai hospitals in general is their close association with a wide range of insurance providers, which can simplify medical insurance claims. It is a measure of Thailand’s undoubted strength in this sector far exceeding that of any other nation in the region that this group, which vastly exceeds Bumrungrad in terms of total revenue from “medical tourism,” is still growing rapidly and promises to continue to be the leader in Thailand and Asia in the years ahead.
The LMU group was highly impressed by the quality of personalized medicine and high-level surgical operations offered. The executives were also impressed by the general high-level infrastructure in Thailand and the opportunities offered for scientific research and business development.
That evening the group transferred to Bangalore, India for the second stop on the trip. Bangalore, located in India’s south, is one of the two Southern hubs of biotechnology in India along with Pune/Mumbai. It is a chaotic mix of well-established call centers, business process outsourcing, computer software centers, manufacturing (both high and low tech) plus a traditional mix of handicraft and other cottage industries. In comparison to the well-laid out and modern system of mass transit, expressways, airports and ports in Thailand, Bangalore is more a “work in progress,” which readily shows its potential while still serving up many challenges and inconveniences more representative of earlier days in India.
In Bangalore, the LMU group met with Biocon, the leading bio-pharma company in India, where the group learned about Biocon’s extensive production of insulin and other products for the Indian market. Biocon gave a highly professional presentation of their companies' programs and products and of the challenges they currently face in terms of Human Resources and other issues.
Pictures: Inside the campus of Infosys in Bangalore
In the afternoon, the executives visited the Infosys campus, which really must be seen to be believed. In the midst of India is a campus that looks transferred from a University location in Southern California with green lawns, modern buildings and facilities and a young educated workforce, which seems as modern and experienced as found anywhere. Inside this center, Infosys works to provide worldwide solutions while a short distance beyond their campus perimeters old India continues to flourish in all its chaotic splendor both for good and for bad. At Infosys, the company’s Senior official on branding spoke to the group as did a Senior official in the Life Sciences division.
For all of LMU’s International EMBA visits, learning about a countries history and culture is just as important as the business components and as part of this the group visited Mysore and received a briefing on local culture and development. The group also received a highly relevant and interesting presentation by Dr. Narendar Pani, Editor of the Bangalore edition of the Economic Times on South India Politics and Economics – The Industrialization of Bangalore plus presentations on the Indian approach to bio fuels producation and related economic development for farmers from Professor Balakrishna Gowda from the Bangalore University of Agriculture and Science.
Pictures: Street of New Delhi, much wider streets, a more orderly flow of traffic and less chaos than is found in the South. However, some of the infrastructure (picture right) needs improvement.
On Monday, U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Geoff Pyatt, briefers Reggie Singh, Dr. Altaf A. Lal and Clayton Bond spoke to the group on Indian–U.S. relations, the developing business climate in India, Indian biotechnology and other subjects in a wide-ranging format that was a highlight of the New Delhi visit. Late in the afternoon, the group visited India’s “Pudong” in Gurgaon (just outside New Delhi) where most of New Delhi’s multi-national companies have located. Here we received a very excellent presentation by Amarjeet Singh, Uday Ved, Neetu Vinayek and Guarav Mehndiratta at KPMG, India, on tax and other consideration in new business set-up in India.
Picture: The group at Crown Bioscience
with President of
China operations William Pan (far left)
About the Author:
W. Runckel, a former senior US diplomat who served in many counties in
Asia, is a graduate of the University of Oregon and Lewis and Clark Law
School. He served as Deputy General Counsel of President Gerald Ford's
Presidential Clemency Board. Mr. Runckel is the principal and founder
of Runckel & Associates, a Portland, Oregon based consulting
company that assists businesses expand business opportunities in Asia.
(www. business-in-asia.corn) Until April of 1999, Mr. Runckel was
Minister-Counselor of the US Embassy in Beijing, China. Mr. Runckel
lived and worked in Thailand for over six years. He was the first
permanently assigned U.S. diplomat to return to Vietnam after the
Vietnam War. In 1997, he was awarded the U.S. Department of States
highest award for service, the Distinguished Honor Award, for his
contribution to improving U.S.-Vietnam relations. Mr. Runckel is one of
only two non-Ambassadors to receive this award in the 200-year history
of the U.S.diplomatic service.
Copyright, 2007 © Runckel
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