Guest post by Mike Lawrence, Foster BA 2012 and Certificate of International Studies in Business Student Custom/Italian Track
Boeing Market Outlook Report was the focus of 2011 Foreign Market Strategy Project. Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) tracks competed in the fourth annual Foreign Market Strategy Project in winter 2011. Made possible by the Boeing Company with CISB alumna Ya-Han Brownlee-Chen as project manager, the project tasked students with examining Boeing’s Current Market Outlook Report and looking for both general and region-specific improvements that could be made to the report. In addition, it challenged students to improve the usefulness of the report to Boeing’s numerous supply chain partners around the world. CISB students had approximately five weeks to complete their research and then present their findings to a panel of judges which included Boeing Company representatives, Associate Dean Steve Sefcik and CISB alumni.
At the suggestion of Ya-Han, a coach from Boeing, Helly Hansen and Samskip IcePak were brought into the tracks to provide an industry perspective and guidance to the teams. Tracks got a lot of help and advice from the coaches. One student said, “Not only was our coach extremely helpful, but she invited us to tour her workplace this spring.”
All of the presentations were a delight to see, with each group bringing unique and often very creative ideas to the table. In the end, there were three awards distributed among the eight presenting groups. The Chinese team (Chinese Track) received the Grand Prize for Best Recommendation, while the Middle East (Custom Track) team received the reward for Best Presentation, and the Europe (German Track) team for Best Teamwork. In all, the project was an excellent experience for CISB students and Boeing alike, with Boeing receiving some quality ideas on how to improve their report.
The Chinese track presented their strategy to senior management and campus recruiters at Boeing on April 8. They also went on a VIP tour of the Everett facility, met with recruiters at a networking lunch and had the privilege of meeting with Ian Chang, VP, China Operations and Business Development for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Machu Picchu We took a bus, a train, and then a bus again to reach the top of Machu Picchu Mountain where the ruins are. My headache left me, which is fortunate since the first thing I did upon arrival is sprint across the ruins to get my name on the list for the Huaynu Pichu hike. Only 300 visitors are allowed at a time and I wanted to catch up with my classmates who had taken earlier buses than I. The climb forces me to do a solid hour of stair-stepping but rewards me with a majestic view of the Machu Picchu ruins.
Microfinance and women entrepreneurs Our first company visit is with Credivision, a WorldVision-owned microfinance company focused on lending to women in Peru. They have medium-sized operations, having fewer than 200 active accounts but always expanding. A stringent application process ensures high-quality borrowers on their portfolio and a high repayment rate. A minimum of 10 women are required to apply for a loan together as a group—this is to encourage the borrowers to help each other out with their businesses, whether it’s giving advice or pooling funds. Because they’re on the hook together, they will often cover for each other’s payments should one borrower’s business fail and peer pressure the delinquent individual into solvency.
Peru stock exchange We visit the stock exchange, a nondescript commercial building in one of the business districts of town. The presenter is regrettably too incoherent for me to learn anything, though I do recall from an earlier presentation that Peru’s stock market is over half mining capitalization. Their goal is to merge with Colombia’s stock exchange, which is dominated by textiles, and Argentina’s stock exchange, which is dominated by services, to create a unified and diversified stock market.
Paragliding over Peru On my last day, I go paragliding off the cliffs of Lima by the shoreline. For the first time, I’m able to see across the endless city of Lima, home to 8 million, and I immediately forget all that’s on my mind. I look down the coast until the beach meets the horizon and begin to feel very relaxed. The paragliders and I head back to the hotel and meet up with our classmates, all of whom venture into the city for one last shopping adventure. Feeling tranquil, I instead opt to lay by the waterfall pool, dozing off to the sunset, waiting for the hour that I must board the plane to whisk me away from my Peruvian dream.
Silicon Valley of Peru Microsoft Peru rents space from an unassuming office building in the heart of the city. Because this particular satellite branch only does Sales, it does not have the need for a sprawling complex like that in Redmond. The immediate surrounding area has a new and modern feel to it. The architecture of the buildings showcases their glass and clean concrete. Because Microsoft’s neighbors include HP, Cisco, Oracle, and Google, it’s no wonder they call this area the “Silicon Valley of Peru.”
Coffee co-op We visited Café Villa Rica, a co-op of coffee-growers in the Villa Rica region. Headquarters were located inside an unmarked office building in a sleepy residential area of Lima. Café Villa Rica is a privately owned and privately funded since local banks do not trust farmland as good collateral for loans. They grow, pick, and process their own beans to ensure quality. Unfortunately, Peru does not yet have a big coffee-drinking culture, so most of their beans are exported to coffee-drinking nations like the United States. Café Villa Rica sells about 60% of its beans to Starbucks, where their acidic, earthy beans are mixed with Kenyan beans to balance out some flavors for Starbucks’ customers.
Copper mining We walk around the corner to visit the headquarters of Southern Peru Copper Corporation, a copper mining corporation with extraction sites in Peru and Mexico. The copper industry enjoys high margins and an accelerating demand from developing countries like China. Year over year EBITDA is in the triple billions for this particular company despite issues with strikes, corrupt unions, and increasing environmental backlash.
Though recent demand slowed in 2009 due to lagging construction needs in the global sphere, demand has picked up pace again in 2010. As one of the largest mining companies in the world, Southern Peru Copper Corporation mines a diversity of minerals and metals, like molybdenum, zinc, and others.
Peru’s national economy We began one day with a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Relations, where we are treated to an exposition on the strengths of Peru’s economy.
Many of the charts convey dramatic increases of key exports in the past decade, highlighting Peru’s rapid expansion and growing presence in the global trade arena. Peru’s modern approach to global economics has earned it crucial free trade agreements with a large number of countries, including the United States and much of Europe. The impact of these decisions has improved the standard of life for Peruvians substantially, as evidenced by the poverty level dropping from 50% to about 35% over the past decade.
One major weakness of Peru’s economy that they are trying to remedy is overreliance on exporting to the United States and other developed nations. The other major weakness of Peru’s economy is heavy saturation of mining companies. This trait of the Peruvian economy makes it vulnerable to fluctuating commodity prices for metals and minerals.
Black Bengal Meats Company: A just not for profit social business targeted towards providing nutrition and employment at the Base of the Pyramid in Bangladesh. Black Bengal Meats Company will use rural poor to generate low cost goat meat to sell to the urban poor. University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Hamara – Free Sanitation Facilities for Rural India: Hamara’s goal is to improve community health and fostering economic growth in rural India by providing free hygienic sanitation while making available the same product offerings and purchasing opportunity as in cities to rural populations. Revenue generation will be mainly through sale of advertising space and advertiser products. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Innovative rabbit breeding: The production of affordable, high-quality rabbit meat on efficiently managed mini-farms. The innovative business model maximizes farmland use and output, provides employment opportunities, and produces hormone/pesticide free rabbit products. Sumy State University, Sumy, Ukraine
LIFT Investments: Improves the lives of the working poor and provides investment capital to high-potential businesses in Africa. Profits+ aims to provide working poor with part-time education programs that create access to higher paying jobs. The programs are financed by capital invested in the businesses that employ the low-paid workers; profits generated from this investment fund the programs. Columbia University, New York, U.S Watch Final Presentation video
Low-Cost Electronic Health Records Can Improve Prenatal Care in Peru: EHR Peru will implement low-cost electronic health records in regional clinics serving impoverished women and with time among a larger population of pregnant women. Use of electronic records is expected to significantly improve accuracy and quality of maternal health care by reducing antenatal morbidity and improving clinic efficiency. Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru & University of Washington, Seattle, WA, U.S.
NextDrop: Leverages the recent proliferation of mobile phones in India to provide households with accurate and timely information about water delivery that reduces the time waiting for water and will enable better rationing of stored water supplies. NextDrop sources this information from the water consumers by providing incentives in the form of micropayments. University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California, U.S Watch Final Presentation video.
Omnihaler – The Inhaler to the Poor: Asthma is a severe global problem with very high morbidity and mortality rate, medication of which is very costly to avail for the poor. To ensure affordable asthma medication among the poor segment, Omnihaler Inc. introduces an inexpensive inhaler in Bangladesh, prepared from dhatura, a locally abundant phytomedicinal plant. University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
One4OneIT: E-power promises to develop skills of unemployed youths and create employment for them through online outsourcing jobs and work platforms. University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Online PayStation: To extend the benefit of online bargain shopping to the world’s poor by accepting cash. Our vision is to increase the accessibility and purchasing power of low income communities worldwide by establishing a network of pay stations that will provide savings on and online access to items such as school books, food, medicines, and water. University of Washington, Seattle, WA, U.S.
POCiT: is a nonprofit business with the mission of creating accessible medical technologies for use at the point of care in developing nations. We envision the development of accurate, affordable, user-friendly, and mobile medical solutions that transform the landscape of point of- care diagnostics by providing the potential to reach millions of patients. University of Washington, Seattle, WA, U.S. Watch Final Round Presentation video
Sanergy: Sanergy produces electricity and fertilizer through providing safe, affordable sanitation across the slums of Kenya. In these areas with no infrastructure and limited resources, we are pioneering a model providing sustainable sanitation services by combining low-cost technology developed at MIT with an innovative deployment strategy. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, U.S Watch Final Round Presentation video
Tilapiana: To create, manage, and scale sustainable micro fish farming ecosystems in the developing world to close nutritional gaps and leverage local production and distribution. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, U.S.
Wello – A Simple Design Can Change the World: Wello aims to improve global access to water and reduce the physical and time burdens of water collection by manufacturing and distributing a water transportation tool, the WaterWheel. Our innovative Business in a Barrel model enables our customers to improve their economic status while improving the health of their communities. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, U.S. Watch Final Round Presentation video
The UW Global Business Center hosted a full-day workshop on the University of Washington Seattle campus designed for smaller regional firms desiring to enter the Chinese market.
During the workshop, China business experts shared their knowledge about doing business in China—the challenges and opportunities, failures and successes, plus insights and practical advice about building lasting business relationships. Each session has been posted below:
Establishing an Effective Supply Chain
Human Resources Strategies
The Art of Getting Paid in China
The Dragon and the Elephant: China, India and Global Economic Leadership in the 21st Century
Establishing an Operating Presence with the Right to Do Business
Building Trust, Integrating Business Styles, and Observing Protocol
“How do we help make social innovations scale? It’s through visibility, encouragement and investment,” said GSEC award banquet keynote speaker Dan Shine, senior innovation advisor at the Office of Science & Technology at USAID.
Grand Prize of $12,500 went to Sanergy. Led by a diverse team (of engineering, business, urban planning and design students) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA), University of Cambridge (Cambridge UK) and Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, CA), Sanergy addresses both social and economic issues among Kenya’s poor by making sanitation safe, affordable and accessible through innovative technologies—such as small-scale toilets—that collect waste and convert it to energy or fertilizer. Their business model ultimately seeks to reduce sanitation-related disease in Africa. Sanergy also won the new Rotary Prize for Social Impact of $1,000.
Global Health Prize of $10,000 went to Wello. Led by University of Michigan MBA students, Wello provides clean, affordable water to rural India communities through their innovative, mobile WaterWheel that alleviates the burden of carrying water from source to house while also providing entrepreneurial opportunities for rural residents via delivery service.
A new Information & Communication Tech Prize of $10,000 went to NextDrop led by a diverse team (of business, engineering, public policy and information technology students) from University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University. NextDrop addresses clean water scarcity in rural India by improving the distribution of information about water availability via mobile phone technology. NextDrop works with both local water utilities and consumers to provide more predictable water supplies and improve water management.
“GSEC is a gem among University of Washington programs. Global health is a quest that relies on new tools and alliances… to alleviate disparities,” said Dr. Judy Wasserheit, professor and vice chair of the University of Washington School of Public Health.
The Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition is organized each year by the Global Business Center at University of Washington Foster School of Business.
Teams from around the world gathered for the 2011 Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition. Last night, Wello won the People’s Choice Award at the trade show, where more than 50 investors and the public heard about novel business ideas to solve global poverty.
People’s Choice winning company: Wello Team: Ross School of Business, University of Michigan Business idea: Using their WaterWheel, Wello provides affordable, clean water to rural India. The wheel is a tool to retrieve clean water without heavy lifting and can be used directly by families or employ people to work their way out of poverty by serving as water distributors.
Teams are still competing for grand prize at the UW Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition. Later this week, we’ll announce finalist winning teams who will leave Seattle with seed money for their projects.
Guest post by Ryan Kelley (UW international studies student) and Adrian Chu (UW engineering student)
Why is an international studies grad student engaged in social entrepreneurship?
I am a second year student at the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies with a focus in political economy. Both politics and economics have developed to a point of interconnectivity that cannot be ignored, as political issues often are economic issues, with the reverse being true as well.
I see the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC) at the UW Foster School of Business as a focal point where bold global contestants—each having a unique window to a concept as broad and penetrating as “poverty,” represent the vanguard of beneficial changes that can be made to the world. What about each team makes their project the most apropos to how they see poverty? Does this say something about where they are from? Does their solution have a regional impact or transferability beyond a region?
If questions such as these have the possibility of being answered, what this means to me, as it should to anyone currently in international studies, is that GSEC is a global lobby where the problems of the world are brought to light in the context of their possible solutions. What the contestants ultimately bring to the table will in some way be a representation of the future in a way that we have not seen before. I believe that that promise alone begs the attention of everyone.
Ryan Kelley is a UW international studies graduate student fluent in English, Japanese and Spanish who is serving as a 2011 GSEC ambassador to foreign teams who meet in Seattle to compete.
Why is an electrical engineering undergrad student engaged in social entrepreneurship?
Growing up, I have always had a passion for entrepreneurship. The concept of social entrepreneurship occurred to me a few years ago when I came across the paper entitled “Social Entrepreneurship: The Case for Definition,” by Sally Osberg and Roger Martin on the Stanford Social Innovation Review. In the past few years, I have become increasing interested in entrepreneurial endeavors. I have been participating in a number of competitions offered by the UW Foster School of Business’ Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship: the Environmental Innovation Challenge, Business Plan Competition and the Science & Technology Showcase. Each of these activities taught me valuable lessons on the pathway to creating a successful business.
My own curiosity drew me further. Being environmentally friendly is one thing, but how can something be “green” and at the same time improve social welfare around the world?
My motivation to participate in the UW Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition was driven by the desire to apply my past professional and academic experiences in order to learn new things, meet new people and play a role in saving the world one step at a time. As an engineer, our primary occupation is to solve challenging problems. A typical business venture consists of identifying a problem and proposing a solution, while trying to maintain a profit. Social entrepreneurship is an amazing feat, where its success synergizes traditional principles of business and the ability to make a positive difference. Serving as the 2011 GSEC marketing co-chair and team ambassador for Sanergy, I am looking forward to seeing how an idea can transform into engineering design that can be developed into a product that will make a positive difference in the daily lives of people in developing countries.
Adrian Chu is a senior in electrical engineering at the University of Washington and the marketing co-chair and team ambassador for this year’s GSEC.
India is a country where women are widely undervalued—a bride is burned every two hours. And where, equally counterintuitive, far fewer women go into banking, so the pool of qualified females is smaller.
Our first visit was with top female executives at ICICI Bank in Mumbai, the country’s largest private bank. ICICI has been the training ground for most of the top women in Indian banking. Why? It grew rapidly beginning with India’s economic reforms in 1991, providing opportunities for women. It also paid less than other banks and so attracted proportionately fewer men than other banks.
“We don’t do anything special for women,” says CEO Chanda Kochhar. “But we are in a way special because we don’t have any biases. When it’s an employee, we go by the merit of the employee. When it’s an entrepreneur, we go by the merit of the entrepreneur.”
Women also work harder even in an organization of hard workers, explains Abonty Banerjee, general manager for ICICI’s global operations. “We work very long hours, typically 12 hours per day, six days per week. That is a function of our population. If you don’t do it, there are so many others to fill the job.” There is no daycare, though relatives often babysit. Women are generally expected to manage households and children regardless of career. “Women succeed because they work harder at home and at work.”
We also visited with one of ICICI’s prominent alums, Veena Mankar. Veena founded Swahaar (“self-support” in Hindi), a bank and finance organization dedicated to making tiny loans to Mumbai’s urban poor—especially women—and teaching them how to manage money.
Inspired by the plight of her own household help, Veena is determined to make a difference in the lives of poor women. The challenge, she says, is to change their mindsets, to convince them they are as deserving as men and that their daughters as well as sons should be educated. Once they realize this, their girls often go to college, marry later, delay childbearing and have healthier children, thus ensuring a better life for future generations and the community.
This is where it comes full circle. Highly-educated and affluent women in banking use their success to change the context for women at other levels of society. “It’s not just about giving a woman a loan. It’s about giving her a place in society and her family,” explains Veena.
Guest blog post by Cate Goethals, UW Foster School of Business lecturer
I first noticed it on the plane before I even reached Mumbai when I sat next to a woman who owned a handicraft business. I told her I was bringing a group of 22 students to India. “Come to my home,” she said. “Let me cook for you.” Her sister-in-law, who ran a different business, came to sit in our row. “Please let me host your group,” she said.
University of Washington students and I (their faculty trip organizer) had set out to study women’s leadership in India. I expected the accomplished women we met to be powerful, visionary, confident, charismatic, any number of traits. What I had not anticipated was generosity. Extreme generosity. The more responsibility someone had, the more time and attention and respect they gave us. Some more examples:
Rohini Nilekani, who runs a multimillion-dollar foundation in Bangalore and is known as “the Melinda Gates of India,” spoke to us and then had to go to a meeting. After the meeting, she returned and gave us another hour of her time. Half of that was spent asking us for our ideas.
Poorvi Chothani, well-known attorney often seen on Mumbai TV, not only agreed to brief my group on women and the law in India – but went on to spend many more hours organizing a special session of the Ladies Wing (!) of the Mumbai Merchants Chamber to gather dozens of women in our honor. She turned what could have been a personal platform into an exchange of ideas.
Veena Mankar, leading banker and co-founder of microfinance institution Swadhaar, had to cancel our visit to go to a funeral. She then rearranged her schedule and spent more than an hour driving across Mumbai to meet with us at our hotel early one morning. “Young people have the best ideas,” she told me. “I talk to them whenever I can.”
Amma, “the hugging saint” and most well-known female spiritual guru in the world, heard that we were rushed through our first session with her. Although she hugged thousands of other people that day, she invited us for a second session, asked that we sit at her feet and personally answered our questions about women’s leadership. Then she asked her swami to give us back the money we paid to stay at her ashram. “Students should have pocket money,” she said.
Women of the world-famous Self Employed Women’s Association greeted each of us several times with a personal flower, a special bindi (red dot pressed with rice on our foreheads to nourish our spirits) and a bit of sugar to eat.
I was struck by this generosity on nearly every visit. It may be part of Indian culture, it may be related to gender, it may be a function of the exceptional people we saw. In any case, it is an overlooked and undervalued leadership trait – and one that is infectious, making the students and I want to give back…and give elsewhere…and do it again, creating new cycles of generosity even now that we’re home. The ripples are still being felt.