Friday, August 11, 2017

Dr. Hong teaches and observes during his Fulbright Scholar experience in India

Dr. Paul Hong, professor in the Information Operations and Technology Management Department in the UT College of Business and Innovation, has a lot of teaching, research, service and outreach activities through his five-month stay in India as a Fulbright-Nehru scholar.

“UT well trained me to have a professional work habit--five or six days a week,” Dr. Hong said.  “We have the American sense of productivity and innovation.  Two or three days a week I spoke at Christ University and other universities including the India Institute of Sciences and Indus Business Academy.”

Dr. Hong, right, with Thomas C. Mathew, Vice Chancellor of Christ University

“I had multiple project teams of various professors from business, international relations and economics, and for the first three months I conducted a weekly leadership cohort where we addressed such issues as Economic Growth Opportunities and Challenges for India, Digital India Issues, and Planning for Life for Integrity, Meaning and Contribution,” Dr. Hong said. Other lectures he made while in India included ones on economic growth and development; he conducted a productivity and innovation workshop; presented a lecture at a research workshop and spoke to MBA students about Building Skills for Tomorrow’s Work.

Dr. Hong also conducted research that resulted in three book chapters that he authored/co-authored; “Asian Innovators”--a book proposal with Springer; the publication/acceptance/submission of material for four journals; the submission of papers for two conferences; and worked on several research projects with faculty of Christ University Christ University at Bangalore, his base during his trip. He also spoke or gave the keynote lecture at a number of international conferences, spoke to the Rotary Clubs of Bangalore, and met with senior executives at major companies and professional organizations.

Following these very important endeavors during his Fulbright experience, he has several observations to benefit current and future students in UT COBI.

“Fulbright is about service engagement, and most people teach and engage in very small, very focused groups. The Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award, supported by both US and Indian resources, is one of the largest. Besides senior level faculty, many American students—with diverse backgrounds from sociology, business, engineering and medicine-- also receive this prestigious award. I would like to encourage UT students to go with Fulbright scholarship for research and engagement. From the beginning, I made a presentation about management, then to economics, international relations and different schools invited me…and that’s what I wanted. My growing interest is in entrepreneurial innovation, which is a hot topic in India.”

“Our UT COBI students are in a very good position in the growing global market.  My experiences in India has assured me of the increasing contribution potential with emerging markets such as India.  Students and business leaders in India are interested in pursuing opportunities with a US-based global network, because a lot of innovation comes from us.  Our potential to serve the world is very huge.  Academic and business leaders in India are very keen in creating and delivering value through global network efforts.  Fortunately, the US is still in the center of such diverse global network.   In this sense, I see increasing importance of linkage role to bring diverse stakeholders to interact, inspire and innovate,” Dr. Hong said.  

“One of the most rewarding experiences is to see that numerous American young business leaders stay in India with long-term vision. I met with a company that brings capital resources from US to support socially minded organizations.  One company I visited hires thousands of people who are blind, deaf and physically challenged.  There are no government grants but they are a self-supporting organization!  An American businessman was sponsoring such a company while providing sound financial services for growing middle class people in India and provide professional services for achieving market growth. It is not easy to practice integrity in every sense.  Yet, such firms maintain high level of ethical standards and integrity practices despite occasional losses. It takes time, but after a while, these firms are respected now. They make an impact in bringing constructive business environment in India.”

“One thing really amazing is the middle class there is growing; the projection is that by 2050, 60% or more of the global middle class will be outside of North America. Global companies will not be able to afford to lose sight of this global market reality.”

“My message to UT alumni is when they go to another country, see if they can find opportunities to engage and interact,” Dr. Hong said. “I was looking for UT alumni. I did contact the Rotary Clubs in India. ”

“The key is a global perspective,” Dr. Hong explained. “What I emphasize to students here is to go beyond a tri-state perspective; our students can work with companies from around the world because their technical and communication and relationship skills are very good. They are prepared to go anywhere. Once a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar, then I represent the United States and am connected to India and the emerging world hereafter. I strive to help our students engage with those students and companies, and this provides a great opportunity to further understand their growing market potential. Growth through global engagement; this increasing strategic initiative will continue to provide a lot of opportunity and will benefit students who work in the US.”

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