Hollywood at Harvard and other Stories

I was at Taj Mahal hotel, Mumbai to participate in a Harvard Business School Club of India event on 5th January (two days back). It was an honour meeting the veterans of Indian business and few celebrities including Rahul Bajaj, Ajay Piramal, Nitin Nahoria, Ratan Tata, Ravi Venkatesh, Anupam Kher and Nandita Das.  Dean Nitin Nohria was exceptionally inspiring, persuasive & kept audience glued and even Ratan Tata concurred with what he had to say. A dean that thinks 100 years ahead instead of 10 years from now is truly exceptional.

Rahul Bajaj shared interesting insider perspectives on how parliament works.

During my interactions, I came to know of many interesting stories also like the Hollywood at Harvard.

Hollywood at Harvard

An interesting story was shared with e by one of the alumni, how starting online education like other MBA institutes would be beneficial or harmful. Finally it was decided to start only under graduate courses online. The online wing was branded as HBX and started as a small unit for video production. It is also called the “Hollywood of Harvard” because of an array of video equipment that’s hauled around to film business case-study protagonists on location. The case studies of business heroes and sheroes are filmed here.


The apology which went viral

(Harvard Business School Club of India event, January 5, 2014)

Nitin Nohria also shared some very interesting insights on diverse subjects from entrepreneurship to India’s glorious past, from women in management to Board of Directors.

I came to know of an interesting story of how the Dean of Harvard gave a public apology in January last year, which went viral. At a ballroom in the Ritz Carlton Hotel before 600 alumni and guests, Dean acknowledged that HBS had not treated its female students and professors at par. He agreed that there have been times, when women at Harvard felt “disrespected, left out, and unloved by the school. I’m sorry on behalf of the business school. The school owed you better, and I promise it will be better.” Currently 9 % of sheroes of Harvard case studies are on females and Nitin promised that he will take it to 20 % in the next 5 years.


Harvard and the India connection

(Harvard Business School Club of India event, January 5, 2014)

Indians are proud of the strong India connection of Harvard. Since 2007 (before an Indian became the Dean), Indians form the largest group after Americans among students. As is well known, about 15% of HBS’s faculty is either from India or of Indian origin, making them the highest international representation after the US. Many case studies on Indian companies like TCS, ITC e-choupal and ICICI Bank have been discussed. In addition, HBS also holds an India conference annually and invites business leaders from India to share their perspective. Also, as part of its plan to globalise its curriculum, in 2005, HBS opened the India Research Center (IRC) in Mumbai, one of the six research units across the world.

Bimage2I also came to know a surprising fact that Tatas have given HBS its biggest ever international donation of $50 million. This donation is funding Tata Hall, named after Ratan Tata (AMP ’75), the chairman of Tata Sons Ltd and will be utilized for Executive Education program.

Ratan Tata also shared his experiences at HBS and the transformation it brought in his life.

Taj  Mahal Mumbai experience is Fantastic as always..Great staff + culture for sure.



Neeraj; an entrepreneur & a visionary in the field of Railway, Defense & Automobiles, is a graduate in commerce and a Harvard Business School Alumni. He’s an expert in govt. liasoning & contracting and has an exceptional network & connections at both local as well as global level. He’s an expert in Market Strategy & Planning and has served number of overseas companies as an advisor/consultant. He takes a profound interest in upcoming startups & is very receptive towards ground-breaking ideas & innovations. He likes to brainstorm those ideas and if the values & philosophies matches; he is even ready to invest his resources, serve as a mentor or act as an incubator to futuristic businesses.

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