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Making a More Empathetic MBA In the Mumbai Slums

Pairing tomorrow's captains of industry with Mumbai's neediest, one Indian Business School is putting its students through intensive empathy training.


Pairing tomorrow's captains of industry with today's neediest in boomtown Mumbai, one Indian Business School is putting its students through intensive humility and empathy training and turning out the next generation of socially-aware MBAs.

SP Jain Institute of Management and Research requires its students to spend several hours a month mentoring kids in some of the city’s most impoverished schools.


Since 2008, each student has put in the hours, and SP Jain Deputy Director Abbasali Gabula says it’s working, not just to make better people, but also better businessmen.

"The companies that take our students say they are humbler than other graduates," said Gabula. "That they roll up their sleeves, and are ready to work from day one."

Efforts have been made in the U.S. as well to increase empathy in MBA candidates: there's MBA Oath, a pledge for high ethical standards signed by thousands of students and dozens of schools, including Harvard Business School, UCLA Anderson and Duke University, and enrollment in social entrepreneurship courses have also been on the rise.

Photo (cc) Flickr user Ting Chen, Wing

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