Philadelphia students have a taste of India

PhilaU MBA students catch a ride in a rickshaw.
PhilaU MBA students catch a ride in a rickshaw.

Three Philadelphia University students are continuing to explore new opportunities for food system business models in Philadelphia and India following a six-day trip to Delhi and Mumbai.

Students Myeshia Townsend, Andrienne Remener and Julianne Allman, accompanied by associate professor Natalie Nixon, collaborated with six students at ERA Business School in Delhi and four students at Welingkar College in Mumbai to research, interview experts and observe the Indian manufacturing and street food systems. The trip was part of a course called Opportunity Finding in Emerging Markets.

The students are now in the discovery phase of the project, collaborating with students in India via Skype and Google Hangouts. On their trip, their research led them to discover “pain points,” or problems, with the food systems, which will inform projects for proposed business opportunities.

While in Delhi, the students visited Haldiram’s, a major Indian snack-food company, talked to employees and interviewed the director of quality control. They learned how the company evolved from a small business to a large-scale sweets and snacks manufacturer.

The students also conducted ethnographic observations at two open-air markets to learn about how people access their food. “India is known for having one of the most ancient forms of commerce — the bazaar — and so they saw the diversity of products that were out there,” says Nixon.

Allman was surprised to see how familiar some things were on their trip. “I didn’t realize it was more of a food court-style system, like we would see here in the United States at malls,” she says.

In Mumbai, the students focused on the dabbawallah system, where bicycle riders transport homemade lunches from their spouses to workers at their jobs, then deliver the lunchboxes back to the customers’ homes. Students interviewed the head of the dabbawallah association and visited three customers. Bicycle riders apply to become part of the dabbawallah association and own a stake in the company.

Remener was interested in the importance of home-cooking in India. “Here in the U.S., people focus a lot less on home-cooking. So if that existed in the U.S., it would probably be like a restaurant-delivery system, which we already have,” she says.

Do the research

Nixon explains that students used ethnography and design thinking for their projects. “This style of understanding business opportunity by using ethnography [and] design thinking is something that is becoming more relevant. We saw that there are majors in India at some of the schools that utilize a more integrated approach — qualitative and quantitative research,” she says.

Students from PhilaU and two Indian Universities interview the VP of quality control at Haldiram's.
Students from PhilaU and two Indian Universities interview the VP of quality control at Haldiram’s.

News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Breaking: Local

Judge rules Tsarnaev can view victim autopsy photos

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can view the autopsy photographs of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Local

Police warn of attempted assault on woman near…

Police in Cambridge issued an alert after a woman said she was the victim of an attempted sexual assault after leaving Porter Square early Wednesday.…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

MLB

Injury bug tearing holes in Red Sox

Red Sox fans will recall that last year the bullpen was decimated by injuries. From Franklin Morales to Andrew Miller, from Craig Breslow to Andrew…

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.