22 August 2018 16:05:36 IST

A class, a market and an observatory

On Day 6, the IIM-B group visits an observatory and the local market, and takes in a cultural performance too

It was about 9 am on Day 6 of our IIM Bangalore group’s international immersion experience in South Korea. After breakfast, we boarded the bus to KAIST College of Business. The first lecture was delivered by Haeseok Lee, Associate Dean of External Affairs at KAIST. He started off by asking: “Who is ‘Number 1’ in our class?” The unanimous reply was: “Dada” (referring to Indranil Paul). He then asked whether he was number 1 compared to other colleges as well.

The point he wanted to make was that even though Samsung was at one time the leader in Korea, it barely had an international presence. So, it decided to have a stretch goal to crash its product development time from 32 months to, say, 20 months. Five Key Performance Index factors were noted and benchmarked against the world’s best at that time, such as Toshiba and Sony. He also explained the difference between execution and exploration. The class was concluded with a discussion on general business trends and how Korea and India should join hands to grow stronger. He said, “Let’s go together and beat China!”

The lecture was followed by amazing Indian food arranged by KAIST. We were then split into groups and had our project discussions. After the post-project meeting, we headed to Myeongdong, where we went to a beautiful market offering delicious street food and a variety of clothing. After about 40 minutes of walking through the market, we gathered to watch the Nanta Cultural Performance. It was a gripping non-verbal performance, with the perfect mix of humour and energy. The performers engaged the audience for over an hour, and language was no barrier to our enjoyment of the piece.

We then headed to the Namsan N-Tower Observatory. All of us took pictures and bought souvenirs to remember the day. We saw Seoul from the top and the day ended with beautiful memories captured forever.

(The author is an Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Management student at IIM Bangalore.)