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"Interview with Dr. (Col.) A . Balasubramanian"

Profile of Dr. (Col.) A . Balasubramanian

  • Triple Post Graduate (M.A., PGDM, & MPM)
  • An ex-service man with 30 yrs experience with armed forces.
  • The only Indian in the history of India to be conferred with honorary rank of full colonel from the ranks by President of India.
  • Founder Director of Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (SIMS) & many more management institutes
  • Author of many management books
  • Chairman, Campus Placement Committee, Sri Balaji Society.

Team MBA Rendezvous met Dr. (Col.) A . Balasubramanian, President - Sri Balaji Society, Pune to discuss various facets of management education. Here are the excerpts :

Team MBA Rendezvous - Perception is that MBA is a specialized 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 overcome the quality issue? Would it be through route of curricula & pedagogy or something different ?

Dr. (Col.) A . Balasubramanian - Research, essentially, is to equip the professors to come and share their experience with the students. Students cannot do research, as he/she is a recruit who does not know anything about management. It should be understood that MBA gives you the base knowledge to work, as a Sales person, HR person, Marketing person and so on. An MBA student need not know research. We do tell them how to do research, through projects but it is not his/her job to specialise in research. They are more focused on jobs.

Team MBA Rendezvous - As a senior Professional Academician, how do you visualize the future role of MBA Institutes in this VUCA world ?

Dr. (Col.) A . Balasubramanian - It is again a fashionable statement to make. It was always like this. There was never a comfortable situation in India. If every day is a challenge, the standard is also going up. The companies do not just recruit, they scientifically test the candidate to test the capacity of the candidate. The Industry is capable of facing all challenges that the VUCA world presents. The support system also keeps coming up to assist in this.

Management institutes have and will face challenges. The real challenge for the institutes is to produce professionals who are employable and marketable.

Team MBA Rendezvous - Since, overall jobs are shrinking and Industry is not shying to raise the issue of employability with B Schools so how would you wish to rectify and reinforce skilled MBA pass-outs ?

Dr. (Col.) A . Balasubramanian - it is a myth that there is no job opportunity in India. For instance, the present government is creating smart cities, it will lead to several jobs. Jobs are available everywhere. The question is of skilled professionals. The industry on its part, chips in, for instance, Infosys, when they saw that engineers are not competent, they opened up colleges to give people the required skills. I feel that the education infrastructure needs to be improved. There is no way to evaluate the teachers, evaluators, management and so on.

As far as MBA is concerned, there is an acute shortage of quality faculty and the system is not doing anything in this matter.

Team MBA Rendezvous - If social behavioural skills are so critically demanded by the Industry then how can institutes meet this demand ?

Dr. (Col.) A . Balasubramanian - We call it soft skills. I believe that every student is a good learner, it’s about the faculty. Today, we have professionals, not professors. Behaviour cannot be taught, it has to be felt, observed, experienced. The way the lecture is conducted, the co-curricular activities and so on, go a big way in teaching these skills to students.

Team MBA Rendezvous - Sir, what is that you really wish to advice students ?

Dr. (Col.) A . Balasubramanian - To students, I would say,

  • Be responsible to yourself.
  • Don’t depend on anyone. Be self-made.
  • Be an initiator.
  • If you are good, nobody can put you down.

To Learn more from Dr. (Col.) A . Balasubramanian Visit Here

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