By Sibongiseni Kumalo, Director of Regenesys School of Public Management (Director of Regenesys School of Public Management)
I recently took part in the International Study Tour to Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Mumbai, India. The experience was great and I have written this about the places we visited, people we met and possibilities we were offered.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Dubai
In the UAE, we went to Dubai and visited the following companies:
Dabur International: This company is in the consumer goods industry and produces health and personal care products across a variety of international markets. It is located in the Ras Al Khama area outside the Dubai CBD. This visit exposed us to the manufacturing process, from Research and development to packaging. Automation and project management were the underlying themes in this visit. Due to time pressure, we could only see the toothpaste line from mixing to packaging.
Standard Chartered Bank: We had three master classes organised by Standard Chartered. These were held at Dusit Thani, a conference facility in the CBD of Dubai. These lectures focused on the following respectively:
* Emotional Intelligence
* Digital transformation of Dubai
* Arab culture
These were highly stimulating and interactive sessions, and students absolutely enjoyed them.
India – Mumbai
Securities Exchange Board of India: Our first company visit was to Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI). This is the regulator for security markets in India. They “…protect the interests of investors in securities and promote the development and regulation of the securities market…” The presentation was very informative. Presenters provided information about SEBI, its role in India and the investor awareness campaigns they are running. This was also well received by the students and lots of questions were asked and answered.
Regenesys Institute of Management: We then attended master class sessions at the Regenesys office in Mumbai. These were as follows:
* Blended Learning Methods – This was presented by Dr Sajeev Nair from Reliance Industries. This session was very relevant to Human Resource Management within which issues of HRD, coaching as well as mentoring were addressed.
* The Essence of Incredible India – This was presented by an MBA student from Regenesys India. This was brilliant and the presentation showcased the beauty of India in all aspects. The kind of information shared here was befitting of government public relations. The delegates congratulated the presenter on a presentation that was well done.
* Doing business in India – This was presented by our external strategic management facilitator, Shannon. He shared the trends within leading industries in India such as Tourism, Telecoms, IT, Aviation, Banking, Financial Services and Mutual funds. This was highly interactive, indicating opportunities both for India as well as investors. (This master class was held the following day)
Cox & Kings Ltd: Described as the “world’s longest-established travel company,” they offer small group tours and private tailor-made holidays. Here we were taken to their call centre and shown around to see how call centre agents work and how their system operates. All agents are responsible for specific financial targets. They do respond to inbound calls, but largely make outbound calls. There was no structured presentation, but was rather a lively discussion around questions asked by students.
Netmagic: This is a multinational IT company that offers services such as; Cloud and network services, hosting, colocation, IMS, Disaster Recovery. We were fortunate to be addressed by the CEO Mr Sharad Sanghi. He invited the questions and his insights into business are mind-blowing. He talked in details about issues from technical, governance, environmental to human issues. We were then split into two groups and were taken on a tour of the building. Security in this building is top-notch with surveillance cameras in every corner and security personnel visible throughout. ID photos had to be taken and access cards were printed for each one of us.
RPG Enterprises. RPG owns companies in the core sectors of the economy, focusing on infrastructure, information technology, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, energy, and plantations. The company representative gave insights into the business and broadly the geo-economic context within which they operate. They own businesses across the world and they need to be vigilant about what is happening in countries where they do business and how they can leverage on opportunities and also minimise the risks involved.
These visits were really enjoyable. I can also mention that in all the sessions, it was difficult to stop the students from their interactions with company representatives!
We were warmly welcomed in all these places.