Supply Chain & Operations Assistant Professor Mili Mehrotra answers five questions that reveal what she's researching, reading, and teaching. Plus a peek into the life she imagines, were she not teaching at the Carlson School. 

Q: What is/are your current area(s) of research? What business challenges are you helping to solve?

My research lies in the domain of socially responsible operations management. My effort has been to develop and analyze incentive schemes, and study coordination and optimization issues that arise in practice due to the actions taken by a wide variety of stakeholders for achieving broader social objectives. The objective is to understand how the consideration of social perspectives influences the operational decisions of the players in the supply chain.


My research lies in the domain of socially-responsible operations management. ... The objective is to understand how the consideration of social perspectives influences the operational decisions of the players in the supply chain.


In one of my studies, the goal is to achieve the "best" societal use of scarce water for agriculture in developing countries (often with significant populations to feed), namely that of extracting the maximum-possible productivity from the farming community as a whole. This is achieved in a decentralized manner by offering individually rational allocation schemes to the farmers of the community. In another application, I focus on understanding the impact of various actions taken by stakeholders in making healthcare affordable to a larger community by reducing healthcare costs and improving the quality of care. Another research project that I am working on focuses on understanding the role of large stakeholders in making supply chains energy efficient.

Q: What current business issues or stories in the news are you following and why?

I generally follow business stories related to my research interest and teaching.  

Q: What is your favorite class to teach?

I have taught courses at the undergraduate level as well as at the PhD level. Its difficult to select a favorite. I liked teaching all of these classes. I enjoy the process of teaching and believe in continuous learning. The satisfaction on a student's face of having understood a concept is a huge motivation for me.

Q: If you weren’t a business school professor, what would you be doing?

Teaching Mathematics. 


 The satisfaction on a student's face of having understood a concept is a huge motivation for me.


Q: What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

I  recently read the following book, Sales and Operations Planning: How to run an S&OP process everyone understands. It is an interesting book to read and provides a good perspective on the implementation of sales and operation planning process in practice.