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MICA, the school of ideas, is home to the best brains in the country - be it the professors or the students. The faculty acts as the backbone of any institution, and it is their wisdom and expertise that empowers the students and turns them into responsible and empathetic leaders of tomorrow. Dr. Subrat Sarangi has over 23 years of experience in the industry, management consulting, teaching, and research, with the last eight years spent in academia.

His jump to academics was driven by his passion and desire to teach and contribute to shaping young minds being churned out into the corporate world. He took up the Ph.D. program at XLRI Jamshedpur.

On his philosophy on leadership, he says, "I am not a leader at MICA, and I see myself as just a stakeholder and consider my role as a "Guru" to guide and mentor my students to the best of my abilities and unconditionally drive and motivate them towards excellence in life and careers."

His leadership is rooted in values of fairness and uniformity and always putting the institution ahead of oneself. As a professor at MICA, his contribution to strategizing programs and roles emanates through the administrative responsibilities handed over to him by the leadership and the deliberations held in different faculty meetings and committees. The philosophy is simple – prioritize the vision and objectives of MICA and the mandate from the administration and, based on that, plan the strategy. Strategizing is always in a context. Hence, based on the assessment of the environment (both internal and external), take decisions in the best interest of the stakeholders (present and future).

Based on his experience studying in two leading schools in India and having taught in some more with long-standing links with some foreign universities, Prof. Sarangi sees a solid differentiating factor at MICA. The diversity in the student group that chooses to be a part of the MICA family is the first differentiating factor for an inbound student. The opportunity to learn from others is significantly more diverse. Second, the culture in the school is very accommodative, provides various options to think, act and participate independently, and hence helps the student's decision-making power (in the absence of parents, etc.) and prepares oneself better for corporate roles. Third, the teaching pedagogy and the course variety are unique (very much different from a traditional business school), and hence the student is molded unique. This creates a unique positioning for the student for the future. Last but most important is the training provided to the students teaches them to empathize with gender, society, environment, animals, nature, and the list goes on.

MICA is aware of the happenings in the corporate world, given the share of visiting and adjunct faculty involved in teaching courses at MICA. The board, leadership, and faculty body constantly interact with the industry and ensure a constant and dynamic association through several platforms. Many industry-driven courses are offered to students as electives, ensuring that best practices from industry are shared with students. In addition, there are internships, entrepreneurial courses with industry mentoring that further sharpen this aspect. This ensures that MICA has an updated, robust curriculum in place that allows students to learn industry-relevant things from the best possible teachers, who are well versed with the industry's needs and requirements. MICA is not just a media and branding school, but its teachings stretch way beyond and dwell in analytics, strategy, supply chain, and sales functions. The school has all the necessary elements it takes to make well-informed and articulate business managers fit for today's world.

Additionally, MICA has always welcomed people from all races, communities, and different economic backgrounds. It is in the MICAn ethos to be sensitive towards gender, race, society, environment, etc. MICA takes pride in being one of the most diverse and inclusive communities. In addition to these measures, and to ensure that the MICAn community continues being just as diverse, there are scholarships to support those who need economic backing.

Prof Sarangi lives by a straightforward philosophy – to address the institute's roles and duties and the leadership to the best of his efforts unconditionally, in an unbiased and honest manner. He believes the students to be the key stakeholders and believes that if he delivers as per the institute's expectations, he does justice to the students. MICA's greatest strengths are its curriculum, pedagogy, and culture, which define the fabric of the institute in a "Gurukul" environment.

One of the biggest challenges that higher education institutions face today is the ability to bring in flexibility as the environment is changing faster than you can predict and develop yourself. Even corporations do not know what qualities they will need in an MT in two years. Hence every business school and its faculty members have these challenges. Additionally, the higher education sector is in a state of flux – governments and administrative bodies are also unsure of what steps to take. So any institution which can develop a model to predict changes in the environment and prepare itself in advance shall come out victorious in this race of keeping up with the fast-changing times.

Prof. Subrat's advice to students in their master's programs is to keep their eyes and ears open and be flexible in their approach to problems. Surface-level learning is not helpful, and there is a need to detail and prepare for long-term gains and not just short-term gains.

MICAT-I closes on November 20, 2023 at 11:50 pm.

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