[photopress:Carrefour.jpg,full,alignright]Students enrolled in the Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) program at the University of Navarra’s IESE Business School in Barcelona travel to China. Professor of Economics Pedro Videla takes the 35 or so students in the program to Shanghai. There they compare prices at a marketplace shop at Carrefour’s flagship Chinese store in Shanghai’s Pudong (the splendid illustration is of a car sales event), are encouraged to get haircuts in Shanghai and visit factories.
The idea is to get students to understand why low-wage workers, for now, are happy to work for such little pay, and how that is helping the country’s economy. It also gets students thinking about the future.
Jorge Morgadinho, a recent student, said ‘The wages will go up, and they’ll have to charge more eventually. What will they do when prices are not as competitive with other emerging markets?’
The class is one of the few on emerging markets that is not intended to help students come up with ways to make money in the country or to solve any problems with outside help. Professor Pedro Videla, said, ‘If I knew how to do that, I wouldn’t be standing in front of you. The solution to these problems is not to dump money on these emerging-market countries but to let them get rich on their own.’ He says he wants to let the students see the future and how the development of countries like China will affect their lives.