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(November 2, 2000, Gazette)

Developing countries benefit from
visiting business professor

Dr. Sudhir SahaDr. Sudhir Saha

By Megret Yabsley

In June 2000, Dr. Sudhir Saha, professor of organizational behavior with the Faculty of Business Administration, visited Bangladesh and Nepal to conduct faculty workshops for business professors and senior government officials. As part of the Canadian International Development Agency-funded project, NETWORKS, the Canadian Consortium of Management Schools (CCMS) sponsors numerous such projects in developing countries around the world.

From June 3–5, 2000, Dr. Saha held a three-day strategic planning seminar for the Association of Management Development Institutions of Bangladesh in Dhaka. During this particular session, Dr. Saha learned that his professor of 37 years ago, Dr. Shamsul Haque, was attending.

“Developing and implementing a strategic plan is important for all organizations in the world,” explained Dr. Saha. “It is, however, especially important for those in developing countries. These organizations need any help that we can provide them with.”

Following his trip to Bangladesh, Dr. Saha traveled to Katmandu, Nepal, where he conducted similar workshops for the Association of Management Development Institutions in Nepal. Professors and public administrators from different regions of Nepal came to Dr. Saha’s two-day strategic planning and management workshops. Following these workshops, Dr. Saha met with a number of senior executives from Nepalese institutions for management training and development. In one instance, Dr. Saha provided free consulting service for the development and implementation of a strategic plan.

This is not the first time that Dr. Saha has been involved with CCMS projects. In the past, he has traveled to the Czech Republic to teach MBA students at the Czech Management Centre. In a reciprocal arrangement, a faculty member from the Czech Management Centre came to St. John’s to take refresher courses with members of the Memorial business faculty.

“As an educator, I feel incredibly valued when I teach in developing countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal or a country in transition like the Czech Republic,” said Dr. Saha. “It is not only giving what you can, but also learning from these places and people. I am very pleased when a person who is attending one of my workshops says that it is really important for them and their country to learn from my presentations.”

Not only does Dr. Saha assist developing countries by holding seminars and workshops, but he also organizes numerous book drives for management education institutions around the world. Recently, Dr. Saha organized a book drive for the Czech Management Centre and sent much-needed Western management textbooks to students. Oftentimes, the used books are being thrown away by students and professors who no long have a need for them.

“Building bridges between students, professors and managers from different countries is very rewarding for me,” said Dr. Saha, adding that it can be challenging to take his message and mission into an unfamiliar territory. “It can be very comfortable to remain in one place and to do the same thing over and over again; however, there is much to be learned by being in a different country and culture.”

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