A New Zealand student investigating business networks in promoting Māori entrepreneurship has won a scholarship to India.
Jess Templeton, completing PhD in management from University of Canterbury (UC), is visiting New Delhi to study business issues after winning an Education New Zealand scholarship in conjunction with the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.
She says India is a priority country for New Zealand’s trade and economic future. The Indian population in New Zealand increased by 48 per cent to 155,000 people in the last seven years, according to the 2013 Census.
“India’s influence on the global distribution of economic power will continue to become more significant over time. As a small, independent nation, New Zealand has acknowledged the importance of building robust relationships with neighbouring states to support prosperity and security.
“Sustainable business success can be achieved through compromise, collaboration and cooperation of cultures, disciplines and perspectives.
“Exposure to potential practical applications for an India-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement is a critical factor for learning and exploring opportunities and benefits of developing the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the two countries.
Of Maori-Indian descent, Jess believes that the similarities between Hindu and Māori cultures, specifically within language and customs, could help ease cross-cultural tensions and instigate innovative strategies moving forward.
“Māori business has significant commercial potential in the greater Asia-Pacific region through India. As a young Māori-Indian management doctoral candidate, I am excited about this opportunity to network with Indian industry leaders, and top executives.
“India’s importance to New Zealand is growing. This reflects India’s expanding economy, its growing geopolitical importance and its increased openness to the rest of the world. India is currently New Zealand’s seventh largest export market.
“Its economic growth has sparked the expansion of bilateral trade and economic links. There is potential for growth in both goods and services – agriculture products, tourism, education, and consultancy services.
“Being bi-cultural in a multi-cultural world, studying business and visiting New Delhi is an opportunity to develop both my business insight and academic perspective.”
As part of her PhD studies at the Ngai Tahu Research Centre, Jess is evaluating existing tribal business systems to help Māori.
Jess moved back to UC and Christchurch last year after working with New Zealand’s major oil and gas company in New Plymouth.
Her supervisor Associate Professor Venkataraman Nilakant says her trip to India will provide her valuable exposure and skills that will be useful not only in the PhD but also in her future career as an emerging Maori leader.
“This venture will enhance her leadership capability and develop her research skills. It will also help define fundamental characteristics that will allow Jess to demonstrate that she is work-ready, culturally aware, willing to play an active role in the community and globally connected.
“UC wants all graduates to demonstrate these characteristics on top of being critically competent in their core academic discipline. Jessica is an outstanding example of this.”