The Road From Cuba to MOOCs

Wharton’s online journal of business analysis launches a new line of e-books for business leaders.

In-depth reporting, timely topics, accessible explanations of new research—everything that readers have come to expect from Knowledge@ Wharton can now be found in e-book form. Knowledge@Wharton and Wharton Digital Press have partnered to launch a new line of e-books that leverages Wharton Digital Press’s nimble digital publishing platform.

The first e-book, The Road to Cuba: The Opportunities and Risks for U.S. Business, was released on Apr. 28, 2015, and three others followed shortly thereafter about massively open online courses (MOOCs), customer relationship management and workforce engagement.

We sat down with Knowledge@Wharton Executive Director Mukul Pandya to discuss the new line of e-books. The following is an excerpt of the conversation.

WHARTON MAGAZINE: Regarding The Road to Cuba, how is Knowledge@Wharton able to deliver such substantive research and analysis in such a timely manner?

MUKUL PANDYA: Being responsive to the news has been part of Knowledge@ Wharton’s DNA for a very long time. Once President Obama made his historic announcement on Dec. 17, 2014, about the possibility that the U.S. may change its policy and work toward establishing diplomatic relations, and perhaps start moving towards normalizing economic relations with Cuba, a couple of things happened.

The first is that in collaboration with The Road From Cuba to MOOCs Wharton’s online journal of business analysis launches a new line of e-books for business leaders. the Lauder Institute, Momentum and Tres Mares Group Inc., which is headed by Faquiry Diaz Cala C97 W97, we decided to pull together a conference called The Cuba Opportunity Summit that would be held in New York on April 1, where we would analyze some of the opportunities and risks for U.S. businesses as a result of Cuba opening up.

Because of the partnership that we have with Wharton Digital Press, it was an opportune time to leverage Knowledge@Wharton’s journalistic capability and Wharton Digital Press’ e-book publishing capability to publish The Road to Cuba in just a few short months, in time for the conference.

WM: What would be your one or two bullet-point takeaways from the book for business leaders?

PANDYA: The first is that potential normalization of relations between Cuba and the U.S. represents a historic opportunity for American businesses and Cuban businesses alike. Cuba is a very major market in the Caribbean; in fact, it is the biggest market in the Caribbean. The second takeaway is, don’t expect this to happen overnight.

WM: That said, is this book coming out too soon and contributing to the hype?

PANDYA: If the message in the book were to be, “Go to Cuba, and you’ll become a millionaire overnight,” then I would say yes. But that is not the message of the book.

WM: What can readers expect from the Knowledge@Wharton Books series going forward?

PANDYA: Knowledge@Wharton Books include three series, and we will continue to publish books in each of the series. The first is Knowledge@Wharton Originals. The Road to Cuba is a good example; the content of the book has not appeared before in Knowledge@Wharton, and the series allows us to report on timely topics in greater depth. The second type of book is a curated effort that’s called Knowledge@Wharton Essentials, which collects the best of Knowledge@ Wharton’s articles on certain topics. For example, Under Pressure collects articles on the impact of stress on employees and how they and their employers can deal with it. This fall, we are launching the Knowledge@Wharton Conversations series, which will collect the best of Knowledge@Wharton’s interviews on a specific theme. The first two books are Conversations on Success and Conversations on Leadership.

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