22 Oct 2020 12:45 IST

Jagdish Sheth’s roadmap to globalising management education

The Padma Bhushan awardee and renowned academic shares his plans for the newly rebranded B-school

To have IFIM named after me is an honour similar to the Padma Bhushan. JAGS is my nickname and to call the B-school JAGSOM is highly-creative and a smart move,” says Jagdish Sheth, a globally-renowned scholar with over 50 years of combined experience in teaching and research in many renowned universities across the world.

Speaking at the Silver Jubilee celebrations of IFIM Business School, now recognised as Jagdish Sheth School of Management, Sheth shared some of his major insights on globalisation of Indian management education and his plan for the newly repositioned B-school. The B-school recently had its specialised master’s programmes in marketing and finance ranked in 51+ and 101+ categories, respectively, in the QS World University Rankings: Masters in Marketing Rankings 2021 and Finance Masters Rankings 2021.

 

 

This step, according to Sheth, is not just a nice thing to do but a necessity. India is getting globally integrated and if we measure by the metric of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), India is an $11 trillion economy, ranked third in the world, after China and the US. It is only destined to grow further, which therefore demands a global perspective in management education as well, and not just in the field of technology. The way we run businesses, non-profits, and governments, calls for a global vision, says Sheth. Moreover, the global managers worldwide in top corporates have Indian managers who have risen to become leaders of these large MNCs. This implies that India has rough diamonds that are polished outside of the country in many ways.

Another reason to step up the game is the global competition that the NEP 2020 has laid the premise for. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already announced that he would like to invite Harvard and Yale to come to India. The benchmark for education will rise and B-schools need to prepare themselves not just for the competition among Indian institutions, but for the world’s stage.

Here are the ways outlined by Sheth to globalise Indian management education:

Global benchmarks

It becomes extremely important to benchmark globally as the local versus global standard makes a world of a difference. Generating future leaders in India for global enterprises and for our domestic enterprises as they go global is the mission at hand. We have to go for accreditations worldwide, and for reaccreditations over and again. Global accreditations are a means of development and not just compliance. It nurtures outside expertise to guide B-schools in the right direction for the next five years.

Holistic learning

It is imperative to prepare leaders on a global platform to become holistic, well-rounded human beings. To imbibe the right fundamental values as a part of the management education becomes crucial. Because, in businesses, values are ultimately what matters. The questions around integrity, transparency, the role of business in society, and so on, still remain predominantly under-explored in our learning curriculum. The right skill set, know-hows, the approach of learning by solving, should be inculcated in the learning pedagogy. Students need to understand the underlying explanation behind the theoretical concept and always question the why of it.

Focus on faculty-abroad programmes

Although B-schools send students abroad for world experiences, our faculty members remain the same. Unless the faculty has received a global immersion experience of some sort, huge transformations cannot happen within the learning sphere. When faculty visit foreign nations and spend time longer than a visitor does, a whole lot of learning occurs merely by observation. Therefore, faculty-abroad programmes are as important as student-abroad programmes. Similarly, if research scholars are allowed to study both places, they tend to gain global exposure to excel in their chosen field and become top scholars and publish in revered journals.

Foreign collaborations

If we take a look at the history of IITs and IIMs, they were all created with foreign collaborations with countries such as Russia, America, Germany, and so on. The IIMs specifically was created with technical collaborations, and not just academic ones. For example, Harvard contributed to the creation of IIM Ahmedabad and MIT collaborated in the creation of the IIM Calcutta, the first one I visited as faculty to teach in 1968, he says. The nation needs more of these technical collaborations, besides the joint programmes that are sprouting these days.

As India gets globally integrated, it will become increasingly necessary for management schools to meet or exceed global benchmarks, global accreditations and global recognitions concludes Sheth.

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