The afterglow

Taj Mahal with Shreya and Shweta. FYI the outside > inside.

Hello again,

I am fully in the afterglow of the program. I’ll admit that the travel on the last few days of the trip was intense, but a few hours of sleep in my own bed and a proper home-cooked meal made me right as rain.

A good thing to note for future/prospective students is that you should try and get a few hour layover somewhere on there way there and on the way back. The value of the layover is that you get to stretch your legs and ideally you will have enough time to get a better meal than you would on the plane. Four other students and myself stopped in Munich, Germany for near nine hours, which was plenty of time to nap, eat, and rest before the final leg to Boston, Massachusetts. Airbrau, in the H terminal in Munich, is a great place to get some German food and drink to reset after 19 days of Indian food.

I want to thank both Professor Mehta and Professor Obal for their support and guidance through the coursework and travel. We had some bad luck with the bus rides. On separate occasions a tire blew and was punctured along with multiple police stops, and metropolitan traffic. The professors did not let the setbacks affect their outlooks even though in total it added an ~10 additional hours to the travel-time. I hope the professors who attend next year are able to be rocks for the students as well.

Another two people who need to be thanked are Shweta and Shreya from KLE’s BVB college. They were gracious enough to accompany the group to Agra, Jaipur, and Delhi. Their company and role as translators in times of distress cannot be understated. They were two people who were able to advocate for the group in situations where Professor Mehta’s Hindi was insufficient and so a BIG THANK YOU TO THEM. They also are just cool people to hangout with even when they are not getting us out of a bind. I wish them both the best of luck with their future endeavors. They are included in the group of students that I have kept in touch with (I know it has only been a few days), but still wanted to specifically address them here.

And a final thank you to Professor Nitin Kulkarni who has worked with Professor Mehta on developing the program into what it is. He is entirely responsible for the positive experience I had staying the the BVB Scholar’s house.

My final thought on the program is that it is a whirlwind experience. A two week intensive course with four days of heavy travel has me left with one thought, I need to go back. India has so much to offer and as I was only able to experience a small fraction of what looks to be worthwhile. Learning more about India from the other students showed me that there is such a rich and varied experience to be had all across the country from Hubli to Goa to Hyderabad.

I cannot recommend the experience enough. Thanks for reading.


P.S. This experience taught me that people are the same everywhere. A sentiment that is simple and seems to be a given, but there is a difference between knowing it and experiencing it.

Sources to be successful entrepreneur

Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program in Hubli, India finished. This program was what I wanted to join since enrollment for UML to obtain an MBA. While I learned a lot about business administration such as finance, organizational behavior or marketing, I didn’t know what additional sources are essential to be an entrepreneur. To be a successful entrepreneur, offering problem solutions to customers with creative and innovative measures are inevitable. As my goal is to run my business, I would like to consider these points I learned from the program while combining with pieces of knowledge I’ve intaken from the past MBA class.

Team Building

I knew that there are four stages in the team building; forming, storming, norming and performing. However, I’ve never met a storming stage at any projects in Japan. Japanese companies have strict hierarchal corporate structures and supervisors make almost every decision in a top-down manner. Also, we have rare opportunities to use a brainstorming method at our workplace. Another reason that Japanese have rarely experienced a storming stage is that we have a high context culture.

At this program, we met a storming stage during our project. One of the causes of the problem was that we were not able to proceed the forming stage properly. The other was that there wasn’t a team leader who considers establishing ground rules. As a person with the experience of the only project leader, I should have put on my own as a leader.

This program taught me not only pieces of knowledge about entrepreneurship and innovation but also how difficult team building is in diversified members.

Celebrating my New Years in India

Happy 2018.

As we approached the ending of 2017, I sat at outside the scholar house watching my new friends play an Indian game called Lagori which required a ball, and pieces that were stacked one on top of another. One member of a team was to throw the ball and trying to knock the pile over. The team tries to restore the pyramid as the other team tries to get them out by touching the person with the ball. Getting to watch them, reflecting on the year and enjoying the sun was exactly what I needed.  I reflected on how far I have come. I thought about all the things I was able to accomplish this year as well as the things I am yet to accomplish. I thought of the struggles I had to overcome as well as the long-lasting memories I was able to create. 2017 was a year of definition…

Later that night was our new year’s eve party. The scholar house quad area was separated into a dining area and dance floor. A DJ system was set up with two large speakers. Our festivities started around 7:30 pm. Everyone ate dinner and presumably gathered to the dance floor. We listened to all types of music while gathering in coordinated dance moves, pumping our fists up and down and taking pictures with another.

11:50pm came around and we all walked over to the field to perform some activities they have during their new year’s here in India. We watched as fire workers were set off by our peers at 11:58 pm. We hugged one another shouting Happy new year! We then all surrounded a delicious chocolate cake and three representatives from each country was to cut it. One from India, one from America and one from China. After cutting a slice of the cake the tradition is to feed it your neighbor. Each representative started it off my feeding their neighbor and from there, everyone was invited to cut a piece of cake and feed another person. I ate about 3 bites of the delicious chocolate cake and cheered with my friends. After the cake, we proceeded to light up lanterns and set them in the sky. It was beautiful to watch and even more fun to try out. After the lanterns and socializing we all headed back to the scholar house and were off to bed to prepare for the next full day of exploring Hubli; seeing the temple, malls, and bonding with our friends.

This new year has been my first new years away from my family and friends. It was different from what typically do No church, no Chinese food, and no afrobeat music to start the year but the experience I had here made me feel just at home.

Let’s make this year a great one.






Experience outside of the class

The Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation course provides not only learnings for the start-up but also the experience of the local culture.

Last Sunday, we went to a local theme park in Hubli called Rock Garden. There were many exhibitions and statues that show the traditional Indian life, house, and artistic works. My Indian friends kindly explained each exhibition and the history of India etc. The Rock Garden also has many activities inside such as the zip coaster and the house ride. Especially, the mud bath was the most exciting activity. I, unfortunately, did not have the clothes to change and could not enter it but everyone playing in the mud bath looked very excited.

During we stay there, there were a lot of children and we, especially student from abroad, were surrounded by them in many times. One of my friends said to me that the foreign people is very rare here and for some of the kids, we are the first and last foreigner they meet in their lives. I felt like I was a celebrity but sometimes felt fear a little bit.

The goal of the course is approaching but I want to stay more and don’t wanna leave Hubli!

Takuro Kusano


The most memorable experience

Our team visited a small village outside of Hubli last Friday to interview local farmers who have a small-sized holding of farmland. As I was probably the first foreigner who visited there, many local people showed interests to me, and they asked me to take photos with them.I was happy to be a favorite person:)

From an interview with local farmers, I was surprised to find out that farmers have problems in the shortage of labor in India, where population growth is significant. With Japan ‘s declining population, lack of farmers’ hands has become a severe problem. To solve this problem, I would like to do my utmost to this project collaborating with my teammates.

My Journey to India

As I got dropped off at the Boston airport, it hadn’t hit me yet that I was going to India! I began to get nervous, panicking hoping that I packed everything I needed to. Hoping that I would make friends and most importantly do well in this class in such a short period of time. I said my goodbyes to my boyfriend and headed to my gate E.

Shortly we boarded the plane. First to Frankfurt. I sat in the seat on the plane mapping out what I would do on this 6-hour plane ride.  I picked up my new read The Thing around your neck by Chimamanda Adichie. 2 meals and 2 snacks later we arrived in Frankfurt. The layover was long. I wanted time to fly by but it didn’t. I decided to finish my book to ease up time and soon enough it was 12:05 pm and time to board the next plane. We boarded and as I sat in my seat I knew that this would be it. Final stretch. After this flight, I will be in India! I braced myself with some music and watched movies. Girls trip, Wonder woman were my picks. 2 meals and 2 snacks later we arrived in Bangalore. I was one of the last people to get off the plane. I began to get nervous again. I walked around the corner and followed the signs that led me to the e-visa tourist line where we were to check in. After checking in I met up with the rest of the UMass Lowell team. We conversed about our journey, our expectations, and discussed currency in India. We were all happy to see one another but very tired as well. You could see it in our faces.

Soon enough we met up with Professor Mehta and his wife and boarded a bus to head to KLE Tech. As we embarked on the 7-hour journey in addition to the 24 hour one we just ended to get to India, I thought about how long this journey was thus far and how exhausting it was but I then thought about how amazing this opportunity was. Being able to meet all of these amazing people and having the opportunity to work with different people with different skills, backgrounds, experiences, and passions is something I dream of.

A little over 30 hours later we arrived at KLE Tech and were welcomed by professors, students, and kids. Everyone was so friendly! It was our first impression and set the tone for what this experience would be like. I am confident that it will be a great one.



What I learned while working on the Class Project


What I learned was one of the most important parts of understanding of global business and markets is the cost is EVERYTHING.

My group is working on a product called the ‘Handy Bandage’ which is a modified bandage designed to help prevent infection of trauma wounds while the patient is being transported to a medical facility. The product has a starting target market of the developing world and in this case, specifically India.

As apart of our research for the product market, my group visited a few hospitals to see what types of products are used now to help prevent infection in these specific types of wounds and to inquire about their costs. In these interviews with doctors, we learned that the price of the product would be valued in rupees not dollars because dollars are waaaaay too expensive for a product like this to even enter the market. We also learned that this product would be completed with a lot of commonly used home remedies such as using turmeric as an antiseptic powder and dehydrating agent (helping blood clots form). Turmeric is commonly used because it is a very cheap household staple that does the trick just fine.

Jen S.

Traditional Day


As we entered into our second week of classes, we prepared for the ‘Traditional Dress Day’ by venturing into the city and purchasing sarries. We went to three different shops for each of the different parts: the robe-like fabric, the underskirt, and the crop top.

We all decided that we loved this way of shopping because we got to sit on a nice cushion and the workers brought the fabric to us. Below are images of the sarry shop.

The next morning we were woken up to be dressed by the hostel housekeeping women who wear sarries every day. It took them about 15 minutes or so to wrap and pin each of us to their liking. Then some of the Indian girl students did our make up and gave us jewelry.

We had a lecture in the morning and then spent our tea break taking pictures. All of the colors were so beautiful.

Class ended up being moved to our hostel due to security concerns. A strike was occurring in the city just outside of the university by a minority group fighting for more equal rights. So, we took more pictures outside.

Then, we headed back to the hostel for lunch were a formal lunch was being prepared for us. There were women pounding the dough in the common room and the sound echoed like drums.

The meal was served on banana leaves which apparently is traditionally done at weddings. There were so many colors and flavors. Both sweet and spicey.

After some group (or rest) time, we took some more photos with the better evening light.

Overall, the day felt like getting ready for an Indian prom, except instead of dancing we did classwork. After my roommate and I were dressed by the housekeepers in the morning I turned to her and asked how are we supposed to be Boss Woman in these? The truth is, wearing those sarries was really difficult, so I give props to all of the women to do their daily manual labor in them!

Until Later,

Jen S.

Great experience in Hubli, India!

My name is Takurou Kusano and I am joining the Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation course from Tokyo, Japan. I am an online MBA student of Umass Lowell so this is my first experience of learning in a “real” class in the series of MBA program. 

Before I came to Hubli, I was a little bit nerves because only two students are from Japan and I wondered I can fit in the unfamiliar environment of India. Actually, other >70 students are from mainly India, and others come from China and US. We had very diversified multi-cultural, multi-discipline group!

The class has been really interesting so far and the lectures and activities on the Entrepreneurship are more than my expectation. Honestly speaking, I sometimes have difficulties to catch English spoken by Indian students thus I always ask my teammates to summarize the discussion and the instruction etc.

The course will continue until next Friday and I look forward to the learnings and experiences coming up.