Harvard Business Conference 2013

April 18, 2013 | By Afief Baasir

On 13th of April, the Asia Business Club attended conference called Harvard Asia Business Conference which held at the Harvard Business School. This year’s theme is “Uncertainty and Opportunity” which examined the state of business in Asia, with an eye toward the uncertainties that lie ahead, as well as new opportunities for business. Various political, economic, and social forces are shaping the future of business in Asia, and these forces can at times portend instability. But it is these same forces which also create unique opportunities in sectors ranging from healthcare to energy. And as these sectors address the challenges of Asia’s dynamic markets, they will draw on the resources of designers, security experts, legal counsel, and other professionals. The conference also explored trends in the region and provides students and local professionals with a unique glimpse into the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Asia.

Here are some of their take away from the conference:

Hannah Zheng 

I felt so honored to be the representative of the Krannert Asia Business Club to attend the Harvard Asia Business Conference this year. During the meeting, I can feel a lot of attentions were put on the economic growth in Asia area.

The meeting covered several areas including investing, entrepreneur, investment, and real estate, etc. We discussed both the opportunities and challenges of the Asia business. The speakers are either the experts of the particular areas or from the leadership teams of the well-known companies. All of them are very nice and happy to talk with the students. They not only brought out the real issues they are facing in the business, but also provided with the solutions. It was a very efficient way for a B-school student to gather the most recent information and get to the frontier.

In addition to getting a deeper insight of the business situation, the meeting is very helpful on building up the networking as well. All the speakers and attendees are enthusiastic about the business in Asia and all are very open to discussions.

Ling Zhang

I felt very excited as a participant of the Harvard Asia Business Conference for the first time. As it has been into 22nd year, Harvard Asian business conference is the largest Asia-focused business conference in North America. Holding series of sessions, keynote speeches, topical panels, it brought great opportunity for me to broaden horizon on the business and legal issues in Asia. Having been working in Asian Pacific extensively for 6 years, I once again gain some insights from scholars and professionals, and also shared some of my personal ideas.

During this conference, I can clearly feel the environmental difference on job opportunities and aggressiveness students are searching for jobs. I am eagerly looking for another chance to go back to Boston for networking opportunities. Expecting going back to Asia market after certain years of professional development in North America, I am always keeping close eye on what’s happening in Asia. Harvard Asian business conference provides a channel by which I can bridge my capabilities with real networks in Asia. Harvard Asia Business conference was definitely a fantastic opportunity to find such channel or build up a channel with other students or professionals who are also looking forward to going to Asia for greater opportunities.

Sheng Qiang

Krannert Asian Business Club sponsored four of our members to the 22th Harvard Asia Business Conference on Saturday, April 13th, 2013. I am honored to be one of them who get the opportunity to network in Boston with a lot of great speakers, planners, and participants from different business area and different places. The theme of the conference is “opportunity and uncertainty”. There are speeches and panels about the topics of doing business in Asia with integrity, the rise of Asia healthcare, the foreign corrupt practice act and etc. One of the most impressive sessions is the “future of Japanese Robots” by Dr. Sankai, which shows us how to use robot technology to help disables people to walk and other physical activities. I truly believe if the technology become mature, it will be widely used in healthcare and benefits a large group of people who are disabled. In the whole conference, we do not only see a lot of successful Asian business people and professionals, but also see a lot of people who are interested in investing Asian market. Hope the growth of Asian market could bring people from all over the world more benefits.

Claire Gong 

The conference host invited a lot of speakers from different industries to discuss the opportunities in Asia, from economic, politics, to social issues. Among those topics, I was very impressive about the speech from Doctor Nathaniel Lin, the recognized leader in marketing analytic and business sciences. He introduced how to win Business Analytics. He mentioned that analytic was not to show how intelligent the company but to solve the problem and drive value. He used his first-hand business cases as examples to exhibit the analytical application on marketing function. Also, as a HR student, I was more curious about the application on HR function. To my surprise, the biggest analytic investment from corporations is for HR functions, especially for the staffing and workforce planning area. Although as a HR manager, we might not need to conduct the analytic by myself, understanding the value to HR functions and business is significant for HR practitioners.

Afief Baasir
Afief Baasir
MBA 2014 Operation, Finance, and Strategy