09/05/13 – Stories From the Field: This team of MBA students in the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise program describes their adventure in India learning first-hand the maternal mortality challenges facing Indian communities – an experience they found infinitely more effective than reading a case study from the comfort of their desk. Read their first post here.
At most business schools, students spend their time working on case studies that analyse problems faced by a business. Students then make suggestions for the business, referencing statistics in the case and brainstorming creative options. While case studies are good practice, creative solutions without consequences are not representative of what MBA students will face in the real world.
In the GSSE MBA, students work on ventures at various stages of development. Some teams have products in need of a target market, while others are helping develop more effective supply chains or business plans for social ventures. At Team Janani, we have the unique opportunity to work on a project in India that is in the very beginning stages of development. At the beginning of the program, we were given a problem and asked to seek out a solution. The problem that we chose to tackle is a condition referred to as postpartum haemorrhage, or PPH. PPH is the number one cause of maternal deaths worldwide. Diagnosis techniques and medical treatments are available, yet the problem still persists and continues to kill women daily. Our job was to identify gaps in the current treatment of PPH; after identifying these shortcomings we would offer suggestions on how our partner, ayzh, can continue to pursue markets for a PPH solution, while applying our assessment and recommendations.
This experience of a real life case study in India was something that we would have never been able to experience inside a classroom. We saw how medication is administered, we learned the methods used to diagnose PPH, and we were immersed in the problem-solving techniques affecting our potential customers. We worked with experts in the medical field and we became aware of the horrible consequences of PPH. Additionally, through this practicum, the GSSE MBA gave us the opportunity to experience real world entrepreneurship. We have been able to apply lessons from the classroom while working with local experts and customers to understand what products they will use and which solutions will work best.
Beyond our personal education, we also worked to add value to our partner by developing creative solutions to assist with the treatment process for PPH . We hope that our work and research will help connect some of our in-country contacts to other like-minded professionals focused on creating a solution for PPH. We believe that by working to solve this real-world case study we not only improved our professional and personal skills, but we are contributing to the solution of the global issue of maternal mortality.