College of Business, IIT-Bombay Partner

From left, Shivganesh Bhargava, head of Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT-Bombay; P.V. Balaji, dean of research and development, IIT-Bombay; Marilyn Wiley, dean of UNT's College of Business; Manjula Salimath, associate professor of management, UNT; Audhesh Paswan, associate dean for academic affairs, UNT. (Photp by Bharath M. Josiam)

UNT's College of Business partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay's Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management to host the first-ever International Conference on Entrepreneurship and Family Business in Mumbai, India, in January.

The conference brought together scholars and researchers from different parts of the world to discuss the ways in which entrepreneurship can help individual companies and the larger, worldwide economy grow.

Manjula Salimath, associate professor of management at UNT, served as program chair alongside IIT-Bombay professor Shivganesh Bhargava.

Salimath says that organizing and chairing the conference was an intensive two-year process that included program creation, website development, calls for papers, worldwide marketing and more.

"This international collaboration between UNT and IIT-Bombay is the first of its kind," Salimath says. "It was a herculean task with many dynamic components coupled with the complexity of an international collaboration. The success of the conference and the positive response from the participants made this endeavor worthwhile."

Discussion at the conference centered on entrepreneurship and innovation as engines of economic growth.

"Everyone has entrepreneurial talent within, and that begins from the family," says Bhargava. "Organizations in the new digital era of knowledge economy will find it hard to sustain if people and leaders are not entrepreneurial."

Salimath says emerging economies are growing at a much faster rate than developed economies, providing opportunities for businesses to go global — but "the question is how they can do this most effectively."

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