Instructor Insights

Course Overview

This page focuses on the course 15.232 Business Model Innovation: Global Health in Frontier Markets as it was taught by Professor Anjali Sastry in Fall 2013.

Entrepreneurs and leaders all over the world are pioneering novel business models for healthcare delivery right in the setting. Some of the most promising innovations are emerging in resource-limited frontier markets to scale up primary care, increase access to life-changing surgery, reduce maternal death, treat heart disease, and correct vision errors along with countless other needs.

This course explored success and failure in innovative healthcare delivery via cases, projects, and discussions with thought leaders. Drawing on strategy, marketing, operations, systems thinking along with other MBA tools and lenses, students learned to apply business thinking about scale, sustainability, and quality to one of the world’s most pressing problems: getting healthcare to the people who most need it.

Course Outcomes

Course Goals for Students

Students learn what works, what doesn’t, and why, in ambitious startups and leading-edge organizations that are remaking healthcare delivery across the globe.

Possibilities for Further Study/Careers

Some students go on to participate in 15.S07 GlobalHealth Lab (now known as 15.233), independent studies or theses to continue projects started in 15.232, and some even start new enterprises or change career paths to incorporate opportunities they have learned about in global health.

Instructor Interview

"I wanted to look at organizations that have figured out what works where that may be unexpected."
—Dr. Anjali Sastry

In the following pages, Dr. Sastry describes various aspects of how she teaches 15.232 Business Model Innovation: Global Health in Frontier Markets.

Curriculum Information


Non-business school students require instructor’s permission to take the course, and must have previously completed at least three business courses.

Requirements Satisfied

Graduate elective


First half of every fall semester


The students’ grades were based on the following activities:

  • 15% Managerial briefing assignment
  • 25% Class participation
  • 60% Mini-case portfolio

Student Information


40 students

Breakdown by Year

Mostly graduate students

Breakdown by Major

Approximately 2/3 were MBA students or international experienced mid-career executive MBA and Sloan Fellows, 1/4 were PhDs and other students from across MIT, along with several experienced students from Harvard and Tufts.

Typical Student Background

Students who took the course have worked at the IFC, Israeli Defense Force, Microsoft, and GE Healthcare. Others worked in corporate finance, marketing, strategy, and asset management, applying their skills to telecoms, retail, and energy sectors. They’ve been management consultants, managed investments, and managed ambulance services. Some are medical doctors or EMTs; others have worked in medical device, pharmaceutical, or healthcare companies.

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 6 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In Class

  • Met 2 times per week for 90 minutes per session; 12 sessions total; mandatory attendance.
  • Activities also included case studies, discussions with thought leaders, and the in-class presentation of projects.

Out of Class

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2013
Learning Resource Types
Projects with Examples
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments with Examples
Presentation Assignments
Instructor Insights