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Qualifications are elixir to employment; it started with a graduation and with passage of time came Engineering and than the MBA'S. Today, the connection between the educational degree and the job is very little. An IIT degree is followed by an IIM post graduate diploma merely to increase the probability of finding a good job. The result, as noted by Dr. Pritam Singh, “most business schools are basically grooming job seekers, job hoppers and careerists.” Management education, especially from a premier institution gives you a foothold and an excellent opportunity to land a good job. In India the selection process of most of the companies barring the IT, ITES or PSU, is still largely based on personal interview and the easiest way to hire is to rely on the stringent filtration process of the premier management institute.
Some of the important facets of management education are curriculum, faculty, practical orientation research, compensation and industry interface. Service industry on the other hand relies heavily on people and processes and the challenge lies in implementation and continual customer satisfaction.
The curriculum is designed by academics and ‘one-size-fits-all' is the underlying principle. E.g. - subjects like Operation Research continue in its original avatar with no customisation for service industry. As a result knowledge of plant layout has very little relevance.
Faculty development is limited to concept paper publication with negligible exposure to practical solution to problems facing the industry. The faculty's role ends in most colleges with delivering a stipulated number of lectures and in some rare cases with placement of students. Faculty safely coexists with industry by not interfering in each other's internal affairs.
•E.g students are graded on the reproduction of the theoretical knowledge and assessed by a bunch of academics than by industry practitioners.
Summer project happens with any industry, where learning is purely incidental and practical exposure is left to chance. People from the industry are invited more for the position they hold rather than their expertise on the subject matter. The net result is that the ‘finished products' are not considered ‘finished product' by the industry who can be put on job within a month. Corporate houses have thus started their own business programs as they see the limitation of the modern day management education.
Given the cultural filters, vocational education is still a taboo and is for the intellectually downtrodden; hence it is left to the management education to fill in the void.
The first step is to have a global mindset which the Indian industry has started practicing post the liberalisation.
Secondly, the faculty must have exposure to some key industry in their field of specialization during their first ten years of employment. Since management is a science, practical's in a lab is a must. Corporates happen to be our labs.
Field visits can be one of the ways of engaging management students to practical's with 50% weight age to be given on field visits for his performance and gradation to be based on the industry feedback for the student. This will help us in creating a pool of operational managers with strategic mindset.
Connection between the roles they play and the big picture is seamless. Emphasis on organisational behaviour with the industry will help us in creating professionals who will understand the company DNA and evolve it to meet its customers' needs. Curriculum should be vetted and certified by professional bodies than left to UGC. E.g.: Consumer behaviour could be best certified by a professional body of advertisers, performance management by society of Human Resources professionals in India and so on. Else we will never forgo our colonial habit of seeking testimonials from foreign universities.
Lastly, research and industry integration will help us create a curriculum for the industry by the industry.
At the moment our business schools are busy validating western theories which ironically have Indian origin & global ethos.
We need to be creators of cutting edge knowledge for the unique set of challenges we face, otherwise we will go down the spiral as a teaching shop where the wisdom of knowledge creation is missing. Mere borrowing of western theories will not teach us how to apply it since theories are derived from applications and we are not aware of the same. This holistic mindset will help us create institutions & effective managers which will go a long way in breeding our own tribe.
Aegis Global Academy,
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