Everything cannot be forced through rules and regulations because we are dealing with humans. Instead, we need to have a system in place which encourages people to do research and intellectual work.

"Interview of Dr. J.K. Das"

Profile of Dr. J.K. Das

Dr. Jitendra K. Das has avid interest in areas of developmental marketing, social marketing, environmental marketing, rural marketing, and application of quantitative techniques for developing robust marketing programs especially in the domain of Customer Relationship Management.

Dr. Das has received numerous awards and honours. In January 2017 he received the Award “One of Asia’s 50 Greatest Leaders 2016” in the Indo-Singapore Business Congress “Asia’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2016” held in Singapore. He has been awarded ‘Certificate of Excellence’ and the ‘Educationist of the year in Asia for Revolutionary Contribution in Education Award’ in the Asia Pacific Education and Technology Summit & Awards (APETA) 2016 held in December 2016 at Goa. In March 2016, Dr. Das received ‘Transformational Leadership Award’ in the LEADERSHIP Awards 2016 at Patna. He has also received ‘Jindal Global Business School-Top Rankers Excellence Award’ for ‘Institution Builder’ in the Best Academician Category at the 16th National Management Summit held in January 2015, and ‘India Education Excellence Award 2014’ forb ‘Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development’ by Worldwide Achievers and Headlines Today in April 2014 at New Delhi. Further, Dr. Das was honored with the ‘BEST DIRECTOR AWARD’ in the Asian Education Leadership Awards 2013 held in September 2013 at Dubai. He was a recipient of the most coveted Connaught Fellowship for three years at the University of Toronto.

He was empanelled on the ‘Distinguished Advisory Board’ of the 2007 INFORMS Marketing Science Conference held at the Singapore Management University, Lee Kong Chian School of Business, 28-30 June, 2007. He has widely presented papers to many national and international conferences/seminars. His contribution to the academia includes articles on systems analysis in natural resources and marketing that have appeared in national and international publications, such as, i) Proceedings of the International Symposium on Systems Analysis & Management Decisions-Monterey, University of California, Berkeley, ii) OR37 of UK Annual Conference, iii) Forest Policy and Economics (Elsevier Journal), iv) Ecology Society Economy: Life Sciences Dimension, Filander Verlag Press, Germany, v) Financial Express, vi) University, News, vii) Vikalpa – The Journal of Decision Makers (IIM Ahmedabad), viii) Business Research, ix) Marketing study reports to GWB, Germany, IDRC of Canada, and the World Bank, ix). Proceedings of National Seminars, etc.

He has taught Customer Relationship Management, Advanced Marketing Research, Marketing Management, Internet Marketing, etc. courses at the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow (IIM Lucknow). He has also taught various courses at SP Jain Management Center, Singapore, IIM Kozhikode and IIM Ahmedabad. Besides, he has been associated with teaching at Danube Business School, Danube University Krems, Austria.

He was Professor of Marketing and Founder Dean (Noida Campus) at IIM Lucknow and has conducted many Executive Training Programs at IIM Lucknow including many one to five day programs at client locations. Before joining IIM, Lucknow, Dr. Das has worked with leading corporate organizations including Shriram Chemicals, Kota and WIPRO Information Technology Ltd. at Bangalore and New Delhi.

He holds B.Tech. (Chemical Engineering) and M.Tech. (Management and Systems) degrees, both from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT Delhi), and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto.

Team MBA Rendezvous visited the FORE School of Management to meet Dr. J.K. Das, Director of FORE. Here is an excerpt:

Team MBA Rendezvous - What is your perception and visualization for higher education in MBA domain ?

Dr. J.K. Das - It is a fact that government institutions (IIMS, IITs and NITs)offer only 13% PGDM and MBA seats. The rest fall outside the government domain, and is fulfilled by what is termed as the private sector. The IIM Bill is being moved in the Parliament and once it is passed, the IIMs will be able to offer MBAdegrees. On the other hand, the PGDM Programme offered in India, is a result of the IIMs offering it traditionally. The IIM Bill would have a fallout, as the IIMs would start offering MBA degrees whereas the others would offer diplomas in management. Questions will be raised on the diploma that will be offered, by the students and the industry. I feel that the government should look at this scenario, as 87% seats fall outside the government institutes.

The fees of university affiliated institutes for MBA is Rs50,000 to Rs2 lakhs. In contrast the fees of PDGM is anywhere between Rs 3 lakhs to 18 lakhs. The PGDM programmes offered by autonomous institutions, have much more flexibility. They are much more in sync with the industry requirement and the quality of education is different.

The issue is that MBA programmes are not doing so well, as reflected by the low number of students enrolling for it. The MBA programme is affiliated to the universities under UGC. There is a constraint in MBA affiliated with universities, as they are not quick to adapt to the rapid changes.MBA has to be in sync with the industry,the curriculum needs to change, the teaching needs to change, the entire structuring needs to change. The government is looking at IIMs, in particular, which offer around 10000 seats, only a fraction of the total demand. The government’s entire focus is to reform the IIMs, but it needs to also think of the students outside the 13% bracket catered to by the government institutes.

Team MBA Rendezvous - How would you like to push perception of the students towards Institutes as job facilitator but to turn them as transformative professional?

Dr. J.K. Das - The one thing on the mind of students when they come to do the two year programme is to get a good job. Through that, they mean that they want a good life. And they know that only a good B-school can be their key to a good life. This is the thought process of a majority of students. However, there are a few students who do think differently and do not give much importance to jobs and instead choose NGOs. This depends on their upbringing and the financial status of these students that enables them to become agents of transformation. So, most of the students are not thinking too much to change society, they still have the short-term agenda of securing jobs on their minds.

Team MBA Rendezvous - Focused students look forward to listen and get time from Industry stalwarts rather than classroom lectures. How would you like to pre-empt this opportunity and execute?

Dr. J.K. Das - There has to be a mix of both. The professor in the class, would by and large refer to the concepts of the topic, the students need to understand the concepts, so that the application is not be jeopardised. This should be backed by industry stalwarts too to share their views on the same topic to optimise learning. Technology has aided this as even without the physical presence of the industry speaker, students can get access to the views of the industry specialists. At FORE, 10% of sessions of any course are taken by industrial speakers, who come into regular classes and deliver in person.

Team MBA Rendezvous - If Future depends on present then how would you like to create social behavioural skills which Industry is demanding?

Dr. J.K. Das - Social behavioural skills is a larger thing and cannot be taught in a two-year programme. The B-schools can only add a few things to the students’ personality. A whole lot of factors shape a student’s personality such as influence of family, school, college, friends, relatives and government. Still, all B-schools must, at least, teach them some basic skills. If the institutes enforce strict discipline, they can acquire a lot of these social skills that will help them become serious about their work later on. In IIMs, for instance, discipline is enforced strictly and penalise students immediately appropriately. At FORE, discipline is enforced and deviations tackled appropriately.

Team MBA Rendezvous - MBA domain belongs to higher education but in absence of research, the credibility is shaken and MBA has become another degree which gets you a job. Sir, how would you like to insulate this issue with surgical strikes of overhauling curricula & pedagogy?

Dr. J.K. Das - Everything cannot be forced through rules and regulations because we are dealing with humans. Instead, we need to have a system in place which encourages people to do research and intellectual work. Need to create a conducive environment backed by enough incentives. Research increases and improves the knowledge of the faculty and this is transferred to the students, which puts such students at an advantage over others. A lot of things have to be handled by 'market forces’. For example, if an institute demands a minimum fee of Rs 15 lakhs for the course, it has to provide proper facilities, good quality of teachers and other things, only then will the students pay. This is guided by the market forces. Policies should be such that allows the market forces to play a role to enhance the quality of education. To create quality, create an open space rather than a restrictive space.

Team MBA Rendezvous - Who will be your ideal MBA aspirant to join FORE?

Dr. J.K. Das - An ideal aspirant is one who is well aware of the world around him/her and is reasonably intelligent. An aspirant who has leadership qualities, has an amiable personality, is able to debate and discuss things coherently and comes up with bright ideas on handling problems is a good candidate, irrespective of the CAT score. CAT score is just another element in the overall things required in a good manager. It shouldn’t be considered so important.

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