This annual program was initiated in June 2014 with a service designed to support SMEs to develop their business by working with MBA students from one of the top business universities in the world. This was an exciting opportunity for them to get an informative and impartial insight into their business and to explore innovative ways of future development at no cost to their business. Cranfield MBA students were a diverse group of experienced professionals from over 40 different countries. As a part of their programme, all students take part in an international assignment every year.
• In the year 2014 - 25 students came to Sri Lanka through Challenges Worldwide, UK and Infotechs IDEAS were selected to manage the this assignment.
• In 2015 – 27 students arrived in Sri Lanka through Challenges Worldwide, UK where Infotechs IDEAS successfully managed the assignment.
• In 2016 – 16 students arrived in Sri Lanka. The full program was directly coordinated and implemented by Infotechs IDEAS
• In 2017 – 22 students arrived and again Infotechs IDEAS was very successful in coordinating and implementing this program for Cranfield UK.
• In 2018 – 18 students participated in the program and Infotechs IDEAS successfully implemented.
Each SME was given a team of 3-4 MBA students. Each team initially conducted a business diagnostic (BAQ) exploring: Leadership, Organisation & Staff, Product/ Service, Processing, Sales & Marketing, Financial Management and Triple Bottom Line Impact, etc. The team then developed a project, which was either a business plan, financial review, or similar, providing the SMEs with a mini-consultancy. The output was required to be of a high standard, delivered within a strict timeframe, and supervised and supported Cranfield and Infotechs IDEAS. Therefore, the SMEs were given assurance of quality and confidentiality of the end product that the students were professional and will endeavour to understand their business and environment in a sensitive and open-minded way as trust, confidence, communication and a willingness to share and learn on both sides were essential to the success of the project.