‘Future is about analytics and data driven kind of management courses’

Corporate Strategy & Policy Professor, IIM Indore in Conversation with BW Education’s Sreerupa Sil


Q: What is the next level of education coming in other 10-15 years?

The challenge is that lot of institutions have started investing on research but a lot of it is focused on publication. Publishing your research and good journals is a kind of a quality check. There is usually pressure to make your research more relevant. In the west, people are not necessarily worried about relevance because they think that in the long-run research will help somebody. But in India because of our preference for having things applicable, one of the challenges is how we orient our research in such a way that it follows best research practices but at the same time it is relevant and benefits somebody.

Q: So what exactly are you proposing?
Undoubtedly, in India given our large population, I would imagine that there will be multiple requirements. So, we will continue to have need for general MBAs. Sectors such as health care and infrastructure will be big in the future. We probably see more analytics and data driven kind of management courses.

Q: The incubation center in IIMs also connects to the entrepreneurial skills...

If you look at the typical research, many of our faculty directly relate to something that a start-up does. In IITs, for example: such buildings might be slightly better because some of the start-up represent ideas which have come from the lab. But in institutes like IIM you will find direct links between research and start-up is much weaker.

Q: IIMs is niche with just management courses. Do IIMs also help start-ups to develop?
IIM Ahmadabad has the center for innovation and entrepreneurship which does a lot of work with start-ups. So, it is a part of mini government programs, incubator, provide funding. Some of the IIMs are very active such as IIM Ahmadabad, Bangalore and Calcutta. They started incubation center couple of years back. We are undoubtedly late in this.

Q: What should be the role of public and private universities as private universities are pretty new and much nascent than the public one?
If you look at the broad trend in most of the states, there are management institutes which are closing rather than opening. So, the peak of private management education is probably cross-not. Having said that, there is definitely clear role for the private sector in management education. I think private institutions will continue to have big roles but we have to really focus on the quality. There are about 3,500 MBA programs in India beyond the first 25 or 30 falls off very sharp. So, the big challenge is how you improve the quality of the students.

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