Building Socially Conscious leaders through value-based learning in cross-cultural groups

By Suneha Manna (Batch 2021-24)

SCMS NOIDA collaborated with FIU(IBHS), USA on Bandhwari Women project of Incentive Foundation to aid financial independency to the women of Bandhwari village and impart value-based learning to students. This unique collaboration with FIU on women empowerment also aimed to develop cross-cultural sensitization of students. Students of Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies (SCMS), Noida worked with the students of Florida International University, International Business Honor Society(IBHS),USA at the Bandhwari Village Center in Gurgaon from Feb 26 to March 03,2023. The Bandhwari Women project’s objectives were to comprehend the global market and develop some new products that would aid in capturing a larger market.

Working with FIU students in India did require some adjustments, as cultural norms and expectations may differ from what one is used to. However, it was a great opportunity to learn from each other and broaden one’s understanding of different cultures.

In order to determine the most recent developments in the market for fashion accessories globally as well as the preferences of the intended market for these goods, the FIU students had already done market research. Students from SCMS examined the findings of their research and found a need for bags made of softer material in subtle tones as well as a gap in the market for high-quality accessories.

Utilizing this knowledge, we all worked together to create a variety of product concepts, designs, and material selections. We also worked to refine the items’ softness and texture in order to make them easy to wear and comfortable. The students focused primarily on addressing the issue of product sizing. Size information was given in order to manufacture laptop bags and sunglasses cases with various measurements.

In order to accomplish a shared objective, both university students worked exceptionally effectively together in coordination and camaraderie. The school’s students were pining for attention since they felt trapped behind its boundaries. So, it was wonderful for all of us to interact with them through learning as we studied Basic Maths, English, Storytelling, book-mark painting, played football, tug of war, kho-kho and even taught them dancing. The FIU students were equally engaged in the activities and took part. As we made our way to the bus that would take us back home, we could see the children’s dejected faces and the tears that were rolling down their cheeks. Even after we made a vow to see them again, they followed us, clutched our hands, and then let go.

Working together on this project with Florida International University was way beyond our expectations. A week with a busy schedule did not seem to be strenuous at all for us; rather, it was an excellent chance for us to deepen our bond. The attitude of companionship, joviality and informality profoundly benefited each and every participant. The program also inculcated our inner faculty in order to invigorate the enthusiastic zeal that is culpable to facilitate any kind of challenging issues. Our collective efforts to support the Bandhwari women’s initiative from the grass root level to field surveys, and hands-on experience, would undoubtedly be helpful. We had an incredible time together over the course of these few days, and we look forward to working together again soon.

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