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
News

Turkey: Voting begins in country's first direct presidential…

Some 53 million people are able to vote in the election, including 2.8 million citizens abroad. Until now, Turkish presidents were elected by parliament.

News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Gossip

Chris Martin dishes on 'conscious uncoupling' with Gwyneth…

"The thing we told everyone at the beginning of the year is true," says Chris Martin about Gwyneth Paltrow. "We are very close. We are not together."

Television

'Game of Thrones' livens up Comic Con with…

By Piya Sinha-RoySAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Laughter and death did battle on Friday at HBO's "Game of Thrones" panel at Comic Con, one of the…

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Sports

Kevin Love becomes third NBA player to pull…

Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves became the third NBA player to withdraw from consideration for Team USA in next month's World Cup, USA Basketball.

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.