[photopress:MBA_kham.jpg,full,alignright]There is an eight-week project by MBA students from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University to help villages in the Tibet Autonomous Region. They are looking at tourism promotions, marketing strategies for local handicrafts, and educational and employment surveys for Tibetan youngsters in the Kham area on the border of Tibet Autonomous Region, Sichuan Province and Yunnan Province.
Adam Carley, one of the group members from the United Kingdom, told Shanghai Daily, ‘It’s the best experience I have ever had. I have been thinking about many things we learnt in the MBA class, but it definitely shook up the way we did things. . . we need to be practical.’
To test tourism routes and services they designed, students interviewed backpackers and package tourists and took them on a pilot one-night tour to collect their feedback.
Students designed and gave business workshops for 40-plus artists, teaching them basics about market analysis, marketing skills, pricing, and guidelines for exporting Tibetan handicrafts to Western countries.
Students will also be responsible for writing business study cases for Kellogg after returning to the United States. One hopes they will remember to get in the horse racing, seen in our illustration, which is one of the famous attractions of Kham.
Is this all business research worthwhile? Experience suggests so. One business advisor who helped the Laotians sell their handicrafts can now look with some pride at the organization which has developed from this. Possibly the same will happen in this case.