ESADE is the institution that attracts the most Indian students to Spain
The Leaders began the agenda for their last day in Barcelona at ESADE Business School. During the visit they took a tour of the facilities at the Pedralbes campus, where they learned about its 50-year history and had the chance to share experiences with exchange students in the city. ESADE’s Dean, Alfons Sauquet, listed a number of reasons why this institution is different from other business schools and which make it one of the most prominent centres in the world. “To begin with,” he said, “I believe the key is our commitment to internationalisation. We have 8,844 students, of whom 1,502 are foreign nationals.” Sauquet went on to say: “We also have a strong presence abroad thanks to our 32 international branches and over 50,000 alumni, who become our ambassadors, of whom 184 are Indian. Internationalisation does not only mean having Indian students here, ESADE must be present in India in its own right.”
After that, Sauquet gave an overview of social entrepreneurship at the school and its contribution to society. “Entrepreneurship does not depend only on individuals, but also on the ecosystem in which it takes place,” he said. “As an institution, we have a mission, a set of values and a way to pursue those; they are not abstract, they are defined in a guide.” He also emphasised the work done by ESADE to “foster knowledge creation through its institutes, the publication of articles by its professors and through organising events and workshops.” The Dean closed his address by talking about the importance of agreements with the private sector such as the ‘Momentum’ initiative, on which it is working with BBVA. “Momentum entails an investment of €3.2 million for projects carried out by a team formed by a mentor from the bank, an MBA student and an MSc student.”
After the speech, the Leaders expressed their concerns and inquired about the options available to students after leaving the school: “Any Indian institution would have opened the presentation with this,” Vidya Yeravdekar joked. “It is a valid concern, as students want to know what the return on their investment will be. Our rate is at 90%,” said Sauquet. Mary Granger, Head of Asia-Pacific at ESADE, added: “Whenever I hold informative sessions with candidates and alumni, they say that the return on the investment is justified by the experience and the chance to learn in a diverse environment and live in Spain.”
Pagan Agarwal asked about relations between ESADE and the different administrations. Alfons Sauquet clarified: “We receive no financial support from them. However, we have an excellent relationship with the national and regional governments, which support many of our initiatives and with which we cooperate as an institution and through our students on smaller projects.” He concluded: “We get along well, they are proud of us and tell us to keep up the good work.”
After the meeting, the Leaders had the chance to talk to Indian students doing an MBA at ESADE and hear about their experience first-hand. The Indian Leaders valued this exchange as it served to “put a face to these people, and learn about their personal circumstances and the reasons that brought them here. It is enriching for us because it helps us plan bilateral strategies better,” explained Ayeesha Banerjee.