10 Jan 2020 17:36 IST

VUCA is the new normal, says Michigan State Univ prof at MICA

Book launch

Dr Sanjay Gupta was delivering a speech during the International Communication Management Conference

“Students have to be their own CEOs, so that market forces do not eclipse them and do not throw them out of the job market,” said Dr Sanjay Gupta, Eli and Edythe L Broad Dean, Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University. Dr Gupta delivered the keynote address at the inaugural ceremony of MICA’s sixth International Communication Management Conference (ICMC). This year, the conference was organised with the Broad College of Business, US, as the partner institute.

As a precursor to the event, the conference hosted a Young Scholars and Researchers Colloquium (YSRC) that aimed at providing a platform for doctoral candidates, young managers and practitioners from the industry, as well as early career academics and post-doc candidates, to present their research papers. YSRC was inaugurated by Dr Ajit Mishra, Director, Institute of Economic Growth, a government think-tank.

The digital revolution

Dr Sanjay Gupta’s keynote address focused on industry 4.0, particularly the spread of digital phenomena and their impact on the employment market. There were lessons on how business schools should prepare their students to succeed in their career paths.

Speaking about digital phenomena, Dr Gupta said: “Digital disruption is going to have an impact on the labour market. We need higher productivity to find well-paying jobs. We are now in an era where this digital revolution is blurring the lines between the physical, biological and digital spheres in ways that make it clear that it is not temporary in nature.”

On the implications of industry 4.0, he said: “Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) are the new normal. Also, dealing with Gen Z can be a challenge, Their expectations are very different and they spend three hours a day, on an average, on hand-held devices. This generation is a ‘do-it-yourself’ generation. So we need to create an atmosphere where they can do things by themselves. STEM is not everything. Humanity, ethics, creativity and imagination play a significant role too. Cognitive skills and soft skills are more important than content skills.”

Strengthen human connect

As part of the inauguration ceremony, there was the launch of a book titled Challenging Discriminatory Practices of Religious Socialisation among Adolescents, authored by Prof Manisha Pathak Shelat and Kiran Vinod Bhatia.

Dr Shailendra Raj Mehta, President and Director, MICA, said: “Great teaching is for local good, great research is for global good. Therefore, having international conferences on campus is an integral part of who we wish to be — that is, leading knowledge creation and creating thought leadership.”

Dr Preeti Shroff, Dean, MICA, said: “In a digitally enabled world, human connections and relationships are as critical and important as before. We must continue to strengthen the human connect in a complex and uncertain world, and hopefully digital will enable a better and more humane world.”