Business Studies Field Trip

The AS and A2 business classes went on the biannual field trip to Chennai. While we were there we visited three different businesses – Ford India Limited, Mahindra World City and ESAF Microfinance.

With input from Nathaniel, Stephen, Avantika, and Synchar

‘Go Further’

Ford India entered the Indian automotive market in 1995 as ‘Mahindra Ford India Limited’ as a 50-50 joint venture. In 1998 the company was renamed as ‘Ford India Private limited’ as a result of Ford’s complete ownership. Presently, the firm produces 5 models, which are the Mustang; Endeavor; Eco sport; Aspire and Figo.

Ford India limits their production to two plants- One in Chennai and the other one in Sanand, where the sedans are manufactured, whilst the SUV’s in Chennai. The Chennai plant works at an automation rate of approximately 35%, whereas, the plant at Sanand operates at an automation rate of 95%, producing 200,000 engines annually. Presently, Ford has 376 sales and service outlets in 209 cities across India. 40% of Ford India’s engine production and 25% of its car production is exported. These exports are delivered to 35 countries. Some of them include: Mexico, Kenya, South Africa and the UAE.

Additionally, Ford India Limited is obligated to share at least 2% of its profits towards CSR. The CSR activities are focused on four key areas: Road safety; education; healthcare and the environment. Ford uses CSR as a way of promotion, through their schools and through their free driving classes provided to mostly college students as a way of warming them up to the company. Ford India plans to target the mass population of this market, tier 2 and tier 3 through the production occurring at both plants. However, on a more critical view of the company, Ford has now brought in their ‘Mustang’ as a way of targeting the Indian niche automobile market.

“Transforming urban landscapes by creating sustainable communities” is Mahindra’s motto when it comes to its World Cities. MWC Chennai has become a landmark on India’s Business map and hosts global corporate giants BMW, Capgemini, Dorma, Renault Nissan and Holiday Inn Express amongst 60 other. Its initial vision was not to become India’s first operational Special Economic Zone (SEZ.) The land was purchased in 1996 for an auto ancillary park in joint venture with the Ford Motor Company – the joint venture ended in 1998, and born from the break up was the Mahindra World City. The SEZ employs around 38,000 people, and has the residential capacity for 8,000 families. MWC’S sustainable initiatives are its most exciting components. Rain water harvesting and storm water drainage are used to improve the groundwater table. The abundant foliage is used to prevent the heat island effect, and is maintained through greywater alone. The City has established its own on-site common sewage treatment plant, to avoid the waste water streaming into any one of its seven water bodies. The water after treatment is used for toilet-flushing around the city. The city has pioneered Tamil Nadu’s first off-the-grid solar power plant at its commercial centre. A Bio-CNG plant that converts 8 tonnes of food and kitchen waste generated by the city into raw biogas to power street lights and buses, is arguably its most impressive feature. The residue of the waste is used as an organic fertilizer for farmers to enhance soil fertility.

Upon arrival, we boarded one of the local Bio-fuel buses for a tour of the city. We were introduced to the Paranur Railway Station – the first of its kind to be built in Public-Private Partnership. We had the chance to see the Mahindra World School, the multispecialty hospital, the commercial centre ironically named ‘The Canopy’ and its prime residential property named the ‘Aqualily.’ The Mahindra World School drove the community activities, and we were interested to know that a day later the Mindquiz was to be held, with an overwhelming 800 people participating. We got off the bus at the Bio-CNG plant, where the leading project managers explained to us the science behind the accomplishment, and we saw for ourselves the fertilizer that was produced and distributed to the neighbouring villages. We were able to see the villages, and the development they have undergone since MWC grew its roots – Mahindra actively encourages the villagers to sell their inherited land to developers and reap the profits for a higher standard of living. At the Sports and Leisure Club, we were served a delicious, balanced lunch that sparked our interest on its membership fees. Post-lunch we gathered in a conference room for Powerpoint presentations on the sustainable initiatives undertaken, and the company’s CSR.

The true business value of the city lies in its residential property – the 38,000 workers already provide a market for the convenient location of the property. The 1,000 acres of forest and seven water bodies provide a temperature lower than that of Chennai city. Besides saving time and money on commuting to work, there is also an appeal in ‘reverse commuting’ – having the luxury of entering Chennai city when the rush hour creates an exodus in the opposite direction. However, the apartments themselves could have mirrored the sustainability of the rest of the city, instead, they are strikingly ordinary. Mahindra could have pursued an idea of ZED homes – houses with low carbon emissions, sun-baked bocks, in-built renewable energy sources and a 70% drop in energy use – that grant higher profit margins. At the moment, the apartments suggest the sustainability plans of the city to be ‘half-baked’. While Mahindra has allowed for many villagers to increase their income through selling their land to developers, and is credited with hiring an agency to negotiate fair prices, the loss of heritage and status in selling is beyond compensation. Critics question the forgone tax revenues, the acquisition of vast amounts of farmland for development in a country where over 60% of the population depends on agriculture for their livelihood. Critics also argue that the model for development largely favours the private sector, and takes away the constitutional right of a rural majority to participate in the planning of their regions. However, Mahindra can be credited with providing India the solution to rapid urbanisation, and is in line with Modi’s vision for 100 Smart Cities – thereby, adding to its political credentials. That is not to say that the Chennai World City is a city per se, but this can be explained by the ‘city’s’ relative youth.

The Mahindra World City is not what it could be, but its sustainable initiatives are commendable when one considers that they are being executed in only a precious few other places in India.

ESAF was established in 1992 as a response to the social and economic needs of the people. ESAF stands for sustainable holistic transformation of the poor and the marginalized for a just and fair society. Today they have become a bank.

We visited the weavers at Kanchipuram and understood how they take small loans and build their business. They take loans in small groups called Sangam and each member has accountability to the other, so that everyone pays the loan back.

The weaver have improved their living conditions and are able to sen the children to school and earn a decent livelihood.

Music records for Hebron

Once again, Hebron School did really well in the annual ABRSM Music Exams. 116 students took a music exam, and this year all passed. It was very noticeable that this year there were more students taking Grades in higher exams than in previous years.

A number of “music records” were broken this year. Firstly, we had the highest number of Grade 8 distinctions, with four students achieving this high level of performance:

Jesse Y – Distinction in Grade 8 Trumpet

Chanmi K – Distinction in Grade 8 Singing

David C – Distinction in Grade 8 Alto Saxophone

Yohan Y – Distinction in Grade 8 Piano

David C was the first student to achieve Grade 8 in three different instruments: Clarinet, Alto Saxophone and Piano.

Lastly, we had two students gain their diploma in performance: Yein P for Piano and Joshua H for Cello. Joshua was the first student to ever receive a distinction for a music diploma.

Congratulations to all our music students and the music department staff.

 

Andrew Trythall, Head of Music Dept.

Hebron Chamber Choir at Magnificat 2016

On Friday 2nd of December last term, the Hebron School Chamber Choir hopped onto a bus and drove down to Bangalore to attend and perform in the Magnificat 2016 Concert, held at Christ University. The concert was held over two days and we were to perform on the second.

We arrived in Bangalore early the next morning and were escorted to the Christ University campus. Excitement was definitely in the air! As we explored the huge campus, we couldn't wait to see what the concert would be like. After breakfast, we got in some practice time, and at 6:00pm, we shuffled into the massive auditorium, which had a capacity of about 5000, and sat down and waited for the concert to begin. We were astounded at the number of choirs that performed, Christ University itself having about nine or ten separate choirs. There were a wide range of pieces that were performed, and needless to say we were entertained throughout.

The next day, we had another practice session before again heading out to the mall, and spent the afternoon there until it was time to get back to the campus to get ready for our big performance. There were more people that day than the day before! When it was our turn, we walked out onto the vast stage and gave it our all. The crowd actually started cheering and applauding during our performance (something that they hadn't done before!). It's safe to say that we were one of the choirs that the audience enjoyed the most. After our performance, we skipped the rest of the concert and headed back to our rooms for a well-deserved party.

The entire experience was exhilarating, and also a bit nerve-wracking! However, in spite of all the difficulties, we had an incredibly enjoyable trip away from school! It was an honour to perform at Magnificat 2016.

JUDAH M.

A Level

Principal Appointment

We are seeking an applicant with depth of faith, vision, and skill to lead our diverse school community of over 500 students and staff from over 25 countries in the challenging environment in which we operate.

The current principal will leave in June 2018. Ideally, the principal designate would be expected to join the staff in January 2018 or earlier, and take up the position after the current Principal’s departure the following semester, enabling a smooth transition.

Essential Attributes:
Committed, practising Christian, with a sense of “call”
Fluent in English
Suitably qualified – degree plus education diploma/certificate
Willing to participate fully in the life of a busy boarding school
Able to serve for a sacrificial salary

Desirable Attributes:
Some teaching experience in a cross-cultural context
Knowledge of the English National Curriculum

Distinctives of the School:
Co-educational English National Curriculum education for children aged 5-19
Affordable education for children of Christian workers based throughout Asia
A supportive residential environment
Indian and expatriate professional staff who sacrificially serve at the school as an expression of their Christian faith
Campus located high in the Nilgiri Hills of southern India
Consistently high scores on IGCSE and A Level exams
A strong music and drama program

Please send in a letter explaining why you are applying for this post. Please include reference to your experience, skills and sense of calling. This should be accompanied by a full CV (resume) that includes contact details of three referees – current employer, pastor and one other. All documents should be sent to the HR Secretary, Mr Ian McCabe, by email to hebronprincipalapp@gmail.com.

Applications close March 31, 2017