2010 Projects

International Residency Programs,  May 2010


Students participating in the India Residency Project will work with a prominent manufacturer within India. The teams of GW MBAs are developing an intensive strategy proposal to assess the opportunities and threats of entering the U.S.  market.  Additionally, through company and site visits in Mumbai, Delhi, Agra, and Bangalore students will become familiarized with the economic and business  realities of India to deepen their understanding of the Indian business climate and further inform their recommendations to the client.

Leading the India team iss GWSB Assistant Professor of Decision Sciences, Dr. Sanjay Jain. Dr. Jain’s has extensive industrial R&D and consulting experience with various companies including General Motors.   Prior to joining GWU, he was a research faculty member at the Grado Industrial & Systems Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. Dr. Jain earned a Bachelors of Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Roorkee, India, and completed his graduate and post-graduate work at the National Institute for Training in Industrial Engineering in Mumbai, India and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he earned his PhD in Engineering Science.

(Map of India)



The Mexico IRP team is consulting with two microfinance institutions based in Monterrey, Mexico, applying financial and analytical skills to address 4 specific needs of the clients. Students working with Caja San Nicolas are developing a group lending and housing loan program in order to expand its ability to meet local market needs. Students working with Credituyo are focusing on technology development and implementation of a deposit-taking program.

Prof. Romi Bhatia has worked in various capacities in the microfinance field for the past nine years as a researcher, consultant and portfolio manager both in the U.S. and overseas. Mr. Bhatia did his Fulbright research in India on use of smart-card technology for the enhancement of microfinance operations with SKS Microfinance.  He received his Masters of Arts Degree in International Finance and Business from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in 2004. Mr. Bhatia has worked at Microfinance International Corporation (MFIC) for the past five years as a V.P. of International Operations with extensive due diligence on small-tier MFIs in Latin America and management of MFIC’s transnational loan program.

(Map of Mexico)



Karen Bulthuis is participating in and blogging from the Mexico residency project. She is a 2011 Global MBA focusing on economic development & international business, and has been working in non-profit management & development work for the last 6 years. Most recently Karen worked for a local microfinance NGO in Liberia for a year, and before that she worked five years at an NYC-based, fair trade development organization. She is planning to continue working in economic development following her MBA, and is very happy for the opportunity to explore and gain some experience in the Mexican microfinance sector, through the Mexico residency.



The Serbia IRP team is working with five agribusiness companies based around Belgrade. These companies produce consumer food products including: tea, fruit juice, frozen vegetables, jams and jellies, and mushrooms. Activities will include research, evaluation and preparation of a competitive landscape overview, market and trends analysis, SWOT analysis and fully functional marketing plan. In addition, and once these research-based activities are complete, students will liaise with Serbia-based creative service providers to develop and implement initial stages of the tactical plan including trademark development, packaging, public relations, sales literature, advertising and trade show display.

Prof. Jeffrey Spear focuses his strategic and creative efforts upon FMCG brands (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) and caters to both consumer and trade audiences. While originally trained as a graphic designer, and still working as Creative Director for Studio Spear, Jeffrey has become fluent and works as Director of Strategic Planning for his organization.

Spear’s history includes a working presence in Los Angeles for fifteen years, Melbourne (Australia) for eight years and has been headquartered in Baltimore for the past nine years. With numerous and ongoing consulting engagements with USAID (most recently Serbia, Russia and Montenegro) supporting economic growth in countries described as “emerging economies,” along with ongoing and active relationships with embassies, consulates, international trade offices and business support groups, Jeffrey is well positioned to help companies exploit growth potential.



Taylor Giroux is participating in the Serbia consultancy project and will be blogging in country. Taylor is a 2011 Global MBA candidate focused on marketing, specifically advertising and strategic communication. Taylor has four years of experience in legal marketing and accounting as well as extensive experience working in the fishing and tourism industry in her home state of Alaska. Upon completion of her MBA experience, Taylor is planning to continue working in marketing or advertising and she is very excited about the opportunity for a real-life marketing consulting experience in Serbia.


South Korea

The South Korean residency project is consulting with two companies, SK Energy and Hyosung.

Much like South Korea on a whole, both companies are looking to increase their presence in the green energy sector. Students consulting SK Energy will look at the company’s lithium-ion battery business and the  prospects of the electric vehicle market both in Korea and on a global level. The Hyosung team will look at the company’s wind turbine business, exploring the potential for entry into foreign markets as well as the current status of the Korean market. Both teams will study Korea’s green growth policy and explore ways in which the government can further stimulate economic development.

Leading the residency is Dr. Danny Leipziger, whose experience with South Korea goes back two decades. Dr. Leipziger advised governments over that period as the leader of the World Bank Emergency Bailout of Korea during the 1997 financial crisis. He served as a keynote speaker at the first Anniversary Conference of the Lee Myung Bak Administration in February 2009 and has authored numerous books on Korea.

(Map of South Korea)



Ian Cropp

Ian Cropp is participating in the South Korea consultancy project and will be blogging in country. He is a 2011 Global MBA candidate concentrating in finance and sports marketing. Ian worked for several years as a journalist in Colorado, writing for a small mountain newspaper.  Upon graduating from George Washington, Ian hopes to find gainful employment, though in which industry this may be, he is still unsure.



The Sweden IRP based in  Southern Sweden is focused on the Clean Technology sector. Sustainability is central to life in Sweden and the Swedes have decades of experience with successful and innovative companies devoted to energy conservation and other green initiatives. While there is clearly a mainstream focus on sustainability in the Swedish population as a whole, many of these companies are products of the cold, Nordic climate, the need to conserve energy, a strong focus on technology, and environmental stewardship. Students are working with several clients in the Clean Technology sector that have been identified in collaboration with the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce (SACC) . The consulting projects are focused on aspects and tasks such as market analysis in preparation of market entry into the US or other countries, the creation of a strategic marketing plan, building an integrated marketing campaign, and conducting research on product concepts, along with sales forecasts and budget recommendations. While in Sweden, students will be interacting  with representatives of the Sustainable Business Hub, a non-profit organization assisting its nearly 100 member companies whose products and services have a particularly high environmental profile.

Dr. Anna Helm, a Professorial Lecturer of  International Business at GW, who is currently teaching courses on international marketing management, is leading the Sweden IRP. Originally from Sweden, Dr. Helm holds a Ph.D. from Georgetown University, and in August, 2009, she completed the AACSB Post Doctoral Bridge to Business Program in Marketing and Management at the University of Florida, Gainesville. She is currently pursuing research on cross-cultural differences in consumer perceptions of green products, specifically comparing Sweden and the US.


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