Recently, I visited Mumbai, India, as part of Wharton’s Global Engagement Series. Harbir Singh, Wharton’s Vice Dean of Global Initiatives and the Mack Professor of Management, joined me on my trip to this culturally and economically vibrant city.  Together, we announced Wharton’s new Accelerated Development Program (ADP),  a nondegree business certificate for high-potential business executives in India.

Over the past week, I’ve done several media interviews about Wharton’s new foray into India. A recurring question I’ve been asked is, “Why India?” My response has essentially been, “Why not, India?”

Despite the ongoing global financial crisis, India’s economy has been growing at a healthy rate. Meanwhile, Indian business executives who have received a graduate or undergraduate education in the United States are returning to their homeland in increasing numbers to lead or start companies amidst the burgeoning regional opportunities that now exist. Additionally, a large number of Indian executives have never studied or worked outside of the country but wish to expand their horizons and build a more global network.

As a result of these trends, the current conditions are ideal for Wharton to launch this new executive education program. Prof. Singh summed up the rationale when he said that there is “a growing emphasis on internationalization for organizations in India.”

“Business leaders must be well aware of the need to build globally competitive enterprises, and how today’s highly interconnected world affects everything from innovation to finance to leadership,” he said.  “You can’t create and maintain a competitive advantage without a global perspective.”

What makes this new program unique and sets it apart from the competition is that Wharton offers a personalized approach to participants’ career development. Besides offering courses in Mumbai and Gurgaon, India, in topics such as strategic thinking, finance, marketing and leadership, the Accelerated Development Program offers career coaching and professional career assessment. Participants will be awarded a certificate after successfully completing three of the Wharton courses within two years.

“Our program is led by some of the world’s most esteemed experts, who put their areas of expertise in a global context,” said Maria Pitone, ractice Leader of General Management Programs at Wharton Executive Education. “They bring deep knowledge of cultural differences and differences in modes of competition. ADP will help business leaders advance their thinking—and their organizations—with up-to-the-minute research and best practices.”

Beyond bringing Wharton expertise to India, part of the global dynamic of theAccelerated Development Program is that participants will be eligible to attend an executive education program at Wharton’s campus in Philadelphia.  Our goal is to give ADP participants every opportunity possible for professional development and career growth.

The Accelerated Development Program begins January 2012 in Mumbai, India. For more information, go to: