With the corporate visits over and final presentations done with,  students were asked to sit back, relax, and reflect on their learnings over the past eight days. Unsurprisingly, what stood out most to the Haas group was the quality of operations that the firms based in India have developed. Majority of the students’ takeaways involved their amazement of the effectiveness of open innovation and cost efficient business models.

At Xerox, for example, students were exposed to the company’s expansion (and transition) from offering printing products to providing services in various industries. They also thought it was immensely commendable how a growing company like Xerox continues to invest in research and development, supporting its researchers in their various pursuits; ultimately resulting to powerful solutions such as the LA Express Park innovation and the use of laser or light to detect early stage cancer. Read about the students’ Xerox tour here.

On the other hand, students saw a different kind of open innovation utilized for the local design company, IDIOM. Through DREAM:IN, a nonprofit project under IDIOM, the company emphasizes changing the cultural mindset regarding entrepreneurship. DREAM:IN records the dreams of myriad Indian participants and make them available and accessible on a national level via the program’s website. Students looked back to the rewarding experience of witnessing the DREAM:IN employees’  passion and motivation to go beyond themselves for the betterment of underserved Indians. The Haas group recalled IDIOM also as a relevant example of open innovation as many parties are involved, like the Manipal Foundation in India.

In refreshing their memories of traveling to different company headquarters the past week, students recognized the recurring theme practiced in Apollo Hospitals, IBM, SAP, SELCO, Philips, GE and Citrix. All had incorporated open innovation, but all in varying ways. The recap concluded with a brainstorming session about the semester challenge that the students will confront and collaborate on once back in California, as well as highlights of the program and their feedback for future trips.

Everyone agreed that being able to see, taste, hear, smell, and feel India was an invaluable experience and contributed a great deal to their understanding of their respective challenges.