AIB-MENA 2014 Conference

The Academy of International Business – India Chapter and Middle East North Africa Chapter

Invite you to participate in their joint Annual Conference entitled

"Inter-Regional Business Collaborations: Past, Present and Future"

Local Host & Organizer Indian Institute of Management – Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

February 9-11, 2014

Inter-Regional Business Collaborations have been driving trade, economic prosperity, innovation spillovers, migration or human capital corridors as well as money and capital flows. They determine the more visible economic and foreign policy but also affect soft diplomacy through aid, media propaganda and lobbying. Countries are constantly getting redefined, and borders are getting blurred. Geographic proximity or localization plays a big role in interregional knowledge spillovers though heterogeneity exists across industries and policies to account for geographic distance can be used to facilitate convergence (Ramajo et al, 2008)[1]. The AIB-India and AIB- MENA Chapter committees cordially invite you to participate in their joint Annual Chapter Conference in Udaipur, Rajastan, India to discuss research pertinent to the theme “Inter-Regional Business Collaborations: Past, Present and Future."

The conference aims to provide a forum that:

  • Examines and generates a complete understanding of the work of leading scholars from a series of diverse preliminary points in the perspective of Inter-Regional Business Collaborations and emerging markets.
  • Formulates and advances a multi-disciplinary research agenda, encompassing perspectives from a range of the functional areas of management studies
  • Facilitates the formation of collaborative research networks among scholars routed in an interest in the relationship between spatial and temporal differences in institutional framework and firm-level outcomes.

Recently, at the Academy of International Business Annual meeting in Turkey, Istanbul, a town-hall discussion was held on the domain of IB. This call to redefine the borders of international business is not new (Buckley, 2002; Beugelsdijk and Mudambi, 2013)[2] and continues to be an area of future interest as evidenced by the recent JIBS Special Issue Call for 2015 on “Internationalization in the Information Age." Some more emerging non-traditional theme's scholars might like to address at the AIB India-MENA conference are presented below:

Trade Relations: India and the MENA region have always had a close relationship which predates the Silk Road, Spice and Incense trade routes[3]. According to the Economist (2012), the world economic center of gravity has done a full circle and is heading to the east[4]. According to recent HSBC Global Research (2011) report, the reemergence of the South- South (which is bypassing Europe) and South-East trade routes will also impact the global economy[5]. The prediction is that the Middle East market will continue to be a key one for India whose exports are largely dependent on emerging markets, and the South-South trade in 2050 is expected to contribute 80% of its total exports (See Table 1). India is delivering 30 years of US economic advance every decade according to the same report.

India is the fourth-largest consumer of oil globally (three-fourth of its annual oil demand are met through imports), and 2/3rd of its energy needs are supplied by the GCC (Alpen Capital, 2012)[6]. The MENA region which also has 60% of global oil reserves and 45% of natural gas reserves (8 out of 12 OPEC countries are in MENA). Bilateral trade between GCC and India has increased from $145 billion in 2011-12 to $158 billion to 2012 - 2013 with a 9% growth[7]. The GCC accounts for over 20% of India’s total global exports, supply nearly two-thirds of India’s energy needs. The UAE continues to be the single largest trading partner of India globally. Part of managing trade is managing supply chain disruptions? Twenty percent of the world’s armed conflicts occur in the MENA region (Ibrahim, 2000). More research on security and managing trade relations is required.


Source: HSBC (2011) p. 60


Consumerism and Talent Management: India with a population of 1.3 billion plus, is the 3rd largest country in terms of purchasing power parity[8] and is one of the fastest-growing economies. If one looks at the MENA region, six percent of the total world’s population, live in the MENA region providing a human capital rich market. There are almost six million Indians who contribute to the MENA region’s economic development3,[9]’[10]. These Indians have invested sizably in the development of the GCC. For example, in the Emirate of Dubai, UAE alone there were over 21,955 Indian partnership and ownership companies1. Both MENA and India have challenges in managing the Bottom of the Pyramid. This area of research can also be extended to social entrepreneurship, which is an evolving area of research IB scholars should look at. The advent of Halal marketing provided interesting research opportunities in IB research as Muslims target 20% of the world population and the topic (Shafie and Othman, 2006)[11] overlaps with areas like Islamic Finance and Banking, the Islamic Index, which has similarities to socially responsible investments (SRIs) (Sayani and Balakrishnan, 2013[12]), Halal marketing and management of the global supply chain (Zailani et al., 2010)[13].

Another area of potential research is people migration. Three percent of the world are migrants – there is room for more research on  “deculturization”[14]. Top global competencies' employers are looking for global mindset to describe an individual whose outlook naturally considers wider global influences, and who sees themselves in relation to others (Gupta and Govindrajan, 2002; Kedia and Mukherjee, 1999). [15]. What is the ideal global mindset for MNCs that will allow them to succeed in an international versus globalized market? Are some more nations more ready for this challenge those others? Did you know according to the KOF 2012 globalization index; UAE (Rank 32) ranks higher than USA (Rank 34) & highest in MENA region and that the GCC countries rank higher than China (Rank 73) and India (Rank 107)? What are some policies or educational trends that can allow this cultural change?

IB can focus on nationalization policies and implication of knowledge flows, talent management in the face of crisis and mobility, gender empowerment. Nationalization policies and their impact on the workforce and managing talent are important areas of research. For example, The oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) labour markets are getting saturated, and the quandary is that these governments cannot afford to employ many more citizens, but by 2025, there will be another 160 million adults of working age waiting to be employed—this will impact expatriation and nationalization policies (Rodenbeck, 2000; Williamson & Yousef, 2002). This impacts expatriate management and repatriation.

Opportunities exist in international healthcare research. Whether this is integration of learning, certifications, crisis management or management of international service delivery – there are potential areas of future research (see, for example, Boor et al., 2003)[16]. Medical Tourism is an area India has great opportunities – for example for cardiac surgery -an Indian hospital charges USD 4,000 compared to USD30, 000 in the USA[17].  Hospitality and Tourism industry also is new areas that will be of interest for International Business. The WTTC says, “When a foreign traveler spends money in a country outside their residence, it qualifies as an export for the country visited.”[18] Emerging markets will give 1 billion more tourists. Travel and Tourism’s contribution represents 9% of total world GDP, 5% of total world investment and 5% of world exports and 1 out of 11 jobs[19]. Saudi Arabia and UAE constitute around 91% of the GCC branded rooms and more are in the pipeline[20]. Of the close to 500 flights that operate between UAE and India 64% of total flights are operated by UAE based airlines[21]. With Tourism (inbound and outbound) – nation branding plays an important role, whether it is to bid for events or manage reputations in the marketplace to manage brand origin, attract investment or people (Fan, 2010, Balakrishnan, 2009, Dinnie, 2008, Papadopoulos, 2004). [22], [23], [24].

Knowledge Spillovers and Innovations: Looking at 57 European regions, Abdelmoula (2009)[25] confirmed spatial dependency and positive R&D spillover's effects on factor productivity.  The absolute contribution of 'foreign' knowledge to a region's innovative performance is quite low only contributing to less than 2% of all patents (Bode, 2004)[26] and do not increase with R&D cooperation (Fritsch and   Franke, 2004)[27]. This raises questions on how do you optimize the knowledge spillover? Diffusion of localized and highly specialized knowledge may require close personal contact Breschi and Lissoni (2004)[28]; Gertler (2003)[29]; Morgan (2004)[30]; technological “sameness” (Orlando 2000; Greunz 2003) in addition to proximity (Abdelmoula (2009) and a differential in R&D capability where followers imitate (Bode, 2004)[31]. Greunz (2003)[32] finds that knowledge spillovers are mainly driven by the private business sector, and hence we see the role of MNE, Transnational, SMEs and government policies in facilitating this.  Very often knowledge spillovers are related to people migration and travel.

Money Flows and corridors: Tracing official and unofficial money corridors gives an idea of investment opportunities and areas of a security risk. Capital flows (FDI) from GCC to India cumulated to the USD2.6 billion during the period April 2000 to January 2012 but these form only a low 3% of annual bilateral merchandise trade flows (Alpen 2012). India is one of the major sources of FDI flows into the GCC and the third-largest investor in the UAE (Alpen capital, 2012). Remittances to developing countries are estimated to reach USD 401 Bn. out of  USD 514 Billion, according to the World Bank. For some countries, this can be 1/3 of GDP.  India is the world’s largest recipient of remittances, receiving USD55 billion annually.  Of this, remittances from the GCC accounted for a staggering 30% in 2010 (Alpen Capital/World Bank[33]). . The MENA Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), which accounted for 57 percent of all funds and 75 percent of the aggregate assets of SWFs (Hedge Fund Marketing, 2010)[34], are now being reinvested in MENA and more often used as hedge funds to manage risk. Unofficial corridor of money is often used to fund transnational crime, which is valued at USD870 billion - an amount equal to 1.5 per cent of global GDP or 7% of world exports[35]  (UN ODC, 2013). More research in management of this topic internationally is required.

Crisis Management: Volatility seems to be the hallmark of this decade. The region is prone to a crisis – natural and man-made. Crises impact decision making (Darling, 1994)[36], reputations (Coombs & Holladay 2006)[37], and security (Barnes and Oloruntoba, 2005)[38]. More research is required on the relevance of aid. Whether the debate is the relevance of 0.7 per cent of gross national income (GNI) to aid during recession (Clemens and Moss, 2007), the achievement or adequacy of the UN Millennium Goals or whether aid is effective (Lipton and Toye 2010, Roodman, 2007, Haines and Cassels, 2004)[39],[40],[41]. These topics are significant in the MENA region which has witnessed an Arab Spring over the last two years.  There are discussions to be had in management of NGOs and their internationalization and reach and impacts of public diplomacy in mitigating impacts of crisis (natural, technological, economic or manmade). This is important as we know the spillover can be rapid across industries, borders and is often exacerbated through media. How do you manage media and social media in the age of international business?

These are some areas we hope you will debate and contribute to during this conference.

About Udaipur

The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) were created by the Indian Government with the aim of identifying the brightest intellectual talent available in the student community of India and training it in the best management techniques available in the world, to ultimately create a pool of elite managers to manage and lead the various sections of the Indian economy.

Udaipur is located in the state of Rajasthan in north-west India. Founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in 1559, it was the first capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Mewar. Also known as the The City of Lakes, Udaipur is known world over for both its rich history as well as its scenic beauty. The city comprises of five major lakes, namely Fatehsagar, Rangasagar, Pichola, Swaroopsagar and Dudhtalai. Apart from this, Udaipur is also famous for its palaces from the Rajput era. Tourism is the foremost industry for the people of Udaipur. In the year 2009, the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine chose Udaipur to be the Best City in the World.Udaipur is well connected to the major cities of India by land, rail and air (Dabok Airport). There are daily flights from Delhi, and Mumbai on Jet Airways and Indian Airlines.

Udaipur is an ideal place to start your “Golden Trangle” journey (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur). Further if you plan properly you should be able to visit the Taj Mahal on Valentines Day. You have to plan early!

About IIM Udaipur:

See you soon in India.


Melodena S. Balakrishnan (Chapter President AIB MENA)




S. Raghunath (Chapter Chair AIB India)

Contact the Conference Organizing Committee by sending an e-mail to Information also is available on AIB MENA website:,4

[1] Julián Ramajoa, Miguel A. Márqueza, Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, María M. Salinasa (2008), Spatial heterogeneity and interregional spillovers in the European Union: Do cohesion policies encourage convergence across regions, European Economic Review, Volume 52, Issue 3, Pages 551–567

[2] Buckley, P. J. (2002). Is the international business research agenda running out of steam?. Journal of International Business Studies, 33(2), 365-373. Beugelsdijk, S. and Mudambi, R. (2013), The border-crossing multi-location enterprise, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 44, 413–426

[3] Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art. "Trade Routes between Europe and Asia during Antiquity". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–.  (July 7, 2013)

[4] Economist (2012)

[5] HSBC Global Research (2011), Southern Silk Road

[6] Alpen Capital (2012) Trade and Capital Flows – GCC and India

[7] http:///?

[11] Shafie, S., & Othman, M. N. (2006, September). Halal certification: an international marketing issues and challenges. In Proceeding at the International IFSAM VIIIth World Congress (pp. 28-30).

[12] Sayani, H. and Balakrishnan, M.S. (2013), Marketing an Islamic index: perceived value of KMI30 Index, Management Research Review, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 326-358

[13] Zailani, S., Arrifin, Z., Abd Wahid, N., Othman, R., & Fernando, Y. (2010). Halal traceability and halal tracking systems in strengthening halal food supply chains for food industry in Malaysia (a review). Journal of food Technology, 8(3), 74-81.

[14] Gudykunst and Kim (2003)

[15]Kedia, B. L., & Mukherji, A. (1999). Global managers: Developing a mindset for global competitiveness. Journal of World Business, 34(3), 230-251.

[16]  Bloor, K., Maynard, A., Hall, J., Ulmann, P., Farhauer, O., & Lindgren, B. (2003). Planning human resources in health care: towards an economic approach: an international comparative review. Canadian Health Services Research Foundation= Fondation canadienne de la recherche sur les Services de santé.

[22] Balakrishnan, M. S. (2009). Strategic branding of destinations: a framework. European Journal of Marketing, 43(5/6), 611-629.

[23] Papadopoulos, N. (2004). Place branding: Evolution, meaning and implications. Place Branding, 1(1), 36-49.

[24] Fan, Y. (2010). Branding the nation: Towards a better understanding. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 6(2), 97-103.

[25] ABDELMOULA, Myriam (2009). "INTERREGIONAL R&D SPILLOVERS IN EUROPE". Région et développement(1267-5059), 30, p.101

[26] Bode, E. (2004) The spatial pattern of localized R&D spillovers: an empirical investigation for Germany, J Econ Geogr (2004) 4 (1): 43-64. doi: 10.1093/jeg/4.1.43

[27] Innovation, regional knowledge spillovers and R&D cooperation ☆, Michael Fritsch and Grit Franke, Research Policy, Volume 33, Issue 2, March 2004, Pages 245–255

[28] Breschi, S., & Lissoni, F. (2009). Mobility of skilled workers and co-invention networks: an anatomy of localized knowledge flows. Journal of Economic Geography, 9(4), 439-468.

[29] Gertler, M. S. (2003). Tacit knowledge and the economic geography of context, or the undefinable tacitness of being (there). Journal of economic geography, 3(1), 75-99.

[30] Morgan, K. (2004). The exaggerated death of geography: learning, proximity and territorial innovation systems. Journal of economic geography, 4(1), 3-21.

[31] Bode, E. (2004). The spatial pattern of localized R&D spillovers: an empirical investigation for Germany. Journal of Economic Geography, 4(1), 43-64.

[32] Greunz, L. (2003) Geographically and technologically mediated knowledge spillovers between European regions, The Annals of Regional Science, December 2003, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 657-680

[33] World Banak (2013), Availbale:

[34] Hedge Fund Marketing, 2010

[36] Darling, J. R. (1994). Crisis management in international business: keys to effective decision making. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 15(8), 3-8.

[37] Coombs, W. T., & Holladay, S. J. (2006). Unpacking the halo effect: reputation and crisis management. Journal of Communication Management, 10(2), 123-137.

[38] Barnes, P., & Oloruntoba, R. (2005). Assurance of security in maritime supply chains: Conceptual issues of vulnerability and crisis management. Journal of International Management, 11(4), 519-540.

[39] Roodman, D. (2007). The anarchy of numbers: aid, development, and cross-country empirics. The World Bank Economic Review, 21(2), 255-277.

[40] Haines, A., & Cassels, A. (2004). Can the millennium development goals be attained?. BMJ: British medical journal, 329(7462), 394.

[41] Lipton, M., & Toye, J. (2010). Does Aid Work in India?: A Country Study of the Impact of Official Development Assistance. Taylor & Francis.

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