Rendezvous with Dr. Rajesh Panda

Words of wisdom by young, enthusiastic, and experienced academicians help motivate MBA aspirants in the right direction. MBA Rendezvous recently got an opportunity to connect with Dr. Rajesh Panda, Director, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bengaluru. He talked about the following aspects

  • Views on present management education
  • Economic VUCA scenario impacting MBA graduates
  • Employability of MBA graduates
  • Role of B-schools
  • Idea of a new age MBA
  • SIBM’s pedagogical evolution & academic philosophy

About Dr. Rajesh Panda

Views on Present Management Education System Scenario

With thousands of B-schools that have mushroomed in India, only eighty to hundred can be categorized in the top category because they have:

The remaining bunch of B-schools do not contribute much to the management fraternity as they are not able to create ‘employable’ B-School graduates. They have:

Getting a degree from such an institute is not only futile, but the money spent on an MBA degree also has an extremely low and slow ROI.

Opinion on VUCA Scenario

Uncertainty and change have always been a constant, and they are at an all-time high right now. So rather than waiting for the transition to come about, we must brace ourselves to learn and adapt simultaneously. This applies to all - employees, employer, and academic institutes. Our learning curve needs to be steeper so that we are not left behind when technology takes over.

The New Age MBA

Until now, we have always looked at MBA – Marketing, Finance, HR, Operations and IT & Systems. Now when we talk about Industry 4.0, technology, and analytics in the MBA curriculum have become critical. We can no longer rely on the long-cherished laws of business, i.e., how to do business with marketing, finance, operations or HR. If today technology and analytics are not integrated into the MBA curriculum, we will be creating half-baked management professionals who would find it difficult to cope up in an organization or industry set-up.

Industry Expectations V/S B-School’s Challenges

Expectations: The industry today expects students to come with a strong base that helps develop sectoral knowledge and get integrated into the organization smoothly. While this may be slightly unjustified, B-schools can still play a critical role. Students are already trained in aspects like FMCG, FMCD, B2B, IT & Consulting. However, B-schools must provide the students with a strong foundation of sectoral knowledge as well. They should be taught about various aspects of management like marketing along with analytics and statistics etc.

Challenge: The biggest challenge in doing so is the lack of trained faculty members. The capability of faculty should enhance simultaneously, and they should be skilled enough to design and teach a curriculum that is evolving and industry-centric.

Employability V/S Being Employable

The B-school curriculum should be equipped to tackle the present employment scenario. The curriculum should not only talk about business but focus on business that is driven by data, analytics, and technology and business that can be disrupted by technology. Concurrently, for a student to be employable, they should understand how technology can disrupt business, shape business and the changes that have taken place in the last ten to fifteen years to remain relevant to a particular industry.

The X-Factor

To rule the roost, MBA aspirants should have an X-factor which is a combination of below qualities:

With these qualities, students can not only sharpen their analytical skills but become better decision-makers, people’s leader, and scale up in a corporate career by being relevant and in demand.

Future of MBA Education

The future of quality MBA education will not be a typical & traditional MBA education. It would be an MBA curriculum which is well integrated with technology and analytics without losing focus on the main functional areas.

In terms of delivery model, we could be witnessing technology disrupting education delivery very soon. In a decade or so we may just be left with top twenty to thirty B-schools and the remaining education scene may completely move online. I reckon a robust technological educational platform similar to Amazon could replace the thousands of B-schools in India. A platform for education delivery which connects students, faculty, and corporates and which creates a backlink and engages with (top) universities to award degrees might emerge. It could be one of the IIMs or Symbiosis or Google or IBM or a maiden player bringing about this change. The shift to an “online university” would break all traditional (brick & mortar style education) and geographical barriers. This could be ‘Education 4.0’.

SIBM Bangalore’s Pedagogy

SIBM Bangalore works tirelessly to evolve the curriculum and pedagogy, which is industry relevant and experiential. We follow case-driven and simulation-driven pedagogy. The salient features are:

Students today are smart, knowledgeable, and curious. They want something beyond the traditional ‘stand on the dais’ mode of teaching, and SIBM Bangalore provides the perfect platform to fuel that fire within them.

SIBM Bangalore’s Academic Philosophy

SIBM Bangalore’s academic philosophy is SEAT:

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