10 Dec 2020 20:46 IST

‘Not just industry-ready, ready to lead industry’: SIBM Director

Giving students data-driven decision making tools makes them good business leaders, says Dr Ramakrishnan Raman

MBA graduates are actively seeking to learn analytics, data science and business intelligence, design thinking and related subjects, says Dr Ramakrishnan Raman, Director of Symbiosis Institute of Management (SIBM) Pune. “At SIBM Pune, irrespective of the specialisation in marketing, operations, or human resource management, all students learn data analytics, and are also given hands-on data-driven decision making tools. They also get trained in R programming.” This, he says, makes every SIBM student, “not just industry-ready, but also competent to lead industry.”

What is the industry looking for in young graduates of today?

The industry is always looking for problem solvers who have the ability to apply their skills and knowledge to solve complex issues. They also need students with excellent communication skills. Corporate houses are on the lookout for graduates with problem-solving skills, people management skills, and tech skills. Having resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility, are also some of the qualities that are always appreciated by corporates who hire talent from B-schools.

What are innovations that are coming out of your college that industry can take up?

SIBM Pune is one of those institutions which brings innovation to products and services that can be of great help to both industry and society. This has been possible due to the crème de la crème students who join our B-school. The students who join MBA in innovation and entrepreneurship programme do not take up job offers at the end. They build their own start-ups or bring innovations to existing products or services in the company.

Some examples such as ‘CaneRas,’ the long-lasting canned sugar cane juice; ‘Envirevo’ focusing on environmental friendly bio-fertiliser; ‘PawshBox,’ a start-up which is into pet supplies; ‘Vedic way’ for A2 milk supply; ‘EduPristine,’ an edtech company; and the famous ‘HelpUsGreen,’ a social enterprise which was mentioned by the Prime Minister Modi. All of these have been started by students of SIBM Pune. Hence industry and society benefit from these innovations.

What is the research agenda of your college to meet the requirements of the business houses?

SIBM Pune has always been focusing on consulting and research. We have taken assignments from corporates and have helped them solve perennial problems. Our strength and focus lies in marketing, sales and HR, along with analytics. The output from research has helped industry, as they have implemented the outcome in real-time. In the future we plan to focus on applying the tools of analytics to business problems that exist in marketing, sales, HR and operations. This will immensely help business houses to get great insights and solutions to the real-time business problems and challenges they face.

What about placements for your students in the industry? How many go for employment from each batch and how many opt for higher studies?

At SIBM Pune, we offer three programmes. MBA, MBA (Innovation and Entrepreneurship) and MBA (Leadership and Strategy). All of them are fully residential post-graduate programmes.

The MBA programme offers specialisation in marketing, finance, operations and human resource management. Almost 99 per cent of the students in the MBA and MBA(L&S) programme opt for placement and only 1 per cent of them opt to set up their own start-up. In the case of MBA(I&E) programme, 100 per cent of them create their start-ups or opt to innovate in their existing businesses. Hence, only a very small percentage (approximate 0.5 per cent) opt for higher studies.

What are the challenges you see before the management education sector?

One major challenge that B-schools would face is the lack of highly-qualified and experienced faculty. The next big challenge is to bring out quality research output from B-schools that is relevant to the industry. Moreover, facing the competition from best B-schools that would set up their campuses in India. Regulatory issues, cost of management education, attracting the best talent to join B-schools, and running the rat race of ranking, and the costly global accreditation which is not affordable by many Indian B-schools are some of the hurdles.