02 Aug 2020 12:59 IST

Write new playbooks in biz and management: IIMB Director

Inaugurating two-year PGP batch, Krishnan says previous assumptions on economy being questioned

The current time has seen a lot of previous assumptions on business, management and economy being questioned. This may prove to be an exciting time for you students, who can embrace the changes and write new playbooks in business and management,” said Prof Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director, IIMB, while welcoming students to the two-year full-time MBA programmes: Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) and the Post Graduate Programme (Business Analytics) of IIM Bangalore, on Saturday, August 1, according to a press release from the B-school.

Highlighting the silver lining in the current situation, the Director said that analysts expect a recovery in the economy by mid-2021. “Moreover, manufacturing growth is projected in India with new schemes, so you people will come to the job market to take advantage of such changes and initiatives.”

He also hailed the outstanding faculty of IIMB who play an important role in business, government and society, in enhancing the institute’s excellent rankings, both nationally and globally, and in ensuring that the students have a great learning experience at IIMB and a bright future going ahead. He pointed out how well and fast they have adapted to the digital medium. He also read out few poems penned by the new students and urged them to retain these skills, hobbies and interest through life.

Life a swinging rope

Prof Padmini Srinivasan, Chair of the two-year full-time Master of Business Administration programme, while welcoming the new batch, said that there are students joining from not only all parts of the country this year, but from Korea as well. “You are here today due to your hard work, determination, perseverance and fighting spirit. You must realise that today learning has changed - in fact, life is not the same anymore.

“In the following days you will experience glitches and self-doubt, and life will seem like a swinging rope with no predictability. But we need to adapt to the new normal. So, take a pledge today to be kind to yourself and those around you, avoid digital fatigue and try to spend time away from the computer monitor, take care of yourselves and engage in physical activities, be in positive frame of mind - remember you are more privileged than many others. Also, take part in activities and build strong ties and networks. Do not forget the importance of time management. I am sure at the end of the pandemic you will emerge stronger, more resilient and as better individuals.”

Change for the better

Prof Ashis Mishra, Chair, Admissions & Financial Aid, urged the students to treat the new mode of learning as a different, but amazing experience, and treat it as an opportunity to change for the better.

He discussed the batch details: for PGP, he said out of the 488 students, 423 are from engineering background; there are 146 women and 342 men; the average work experience is about two years, and the average age 25 years.

For PGP BA: out of the batch of 46, there are 86.96 per cent men and 13.04 per cent women; the average age is 23 years; the maximum number of students are from engineering background - 53 per cent from the IITs/NITs and rest from deemed universities. However, there are also students from other backgrounds such as Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, Economics, Biotech, and so on. A total of 54 per cent of the batch have some work experience, while 45 per cent have no experience.

Supply-demand gap

Professor U Dinesh Kumar, Chair, MBA (Business Analytics), pointed out the IIMB has introduced a two-year full-time MBA (PGP BA) after almost 47 years. “There is a supply and demand gap in talent pool in Data Science, Analytics and AI in organisations, and hence IIMB has come up with this programme. Do not worry about the current changes – just focus on learning, IIMB has all the systems in place and we will discuss your career prospects in detail in days to come. As and when you are able to come to the campus, you will enjoy that as well.”

Prof Abhoy K Ojha, Dean, Academic Programmes, thanked the new batch for the faith they have reposed in IIMB in the current scenario. “Your interest is foremost in our minds and we will ensure you get the best of education. The new environment may prove to be an excellent opportunity for you. There are changes in workplace, role definition, careers, as even organisations have realised that the old format was not necessarily the best. Acquire new knowledge and skills which will make you well-equipped for the new environment, roles and a whole new world.”

He highlighted how IIMB was quick to adapt to changes. “The school held a virtual convocation, invested in technology to provide online education, for both faculty and students. We have support staff to help the cause of digital education. Collective knowledge will help more without hurting education.” Referring to change management, he said, “For every big unanticipated change we first go through denial, then resistance, followed by exploration, and the last phase is commitment to the new system. Rest assured, in the long run all glitches will be cleaned up and you will be settled.”

Professor K Kumar, Dean, Alumni Relations & Development, briefed the students about the alumni’s involvement with the school and vice versa. “Alumni are a great source of social capital - being part of the alumni network will help you advance personally and professionally. Leave aside your anxieties and you will have a great experience at IIMB,” he encouraged the new batch.

The ceremony also featured inspiring speeches by Rajiv Srivatsa and Deepika Warrier, both alumni of IIMB.

Friends, failure, fun

Sharing thoughts from his own experience and philosophy, Rajiv Srivatsa spoke about friends, failure and fun. He recommended that the students make friends, build networks outside their comfort zone and create genuine bonds. He pointed out that the power of alumni network is great, and may prove beneficial as the years go by. Next, he urged the students not to surrender to failure, pointing out that things go wrong for even the best, both professionally and personally. Again, a strong network will help, he said. “Have a mentor, a therapist and do not hesitate to seek help if needed, and bounce back.” He concluded by endorsing the fun element, while learning. “Do activities that you enjoy, take courses that you want and experiment, and do not do these for resume points only.”

Deepika Warrier started on an optimistic tone by quoting that the ‘night is the darkest before dawn’. She pointed out that online learning and its various challenges may actually help the students stand in good stead in life and career. Other than subject matter expertise, she said it was equally important to focus on building various skill sets, learning analysis, learning how to collaborate-influence-bargain-compete, and how to deal-introspect-learn from failure.

She also added building networks, being grounded and abject humility to the list of necessary attributes. “As you speed ahead in your careers, do not let social responsibility take a back seat - keep human values, ethics and integrity active, be inclusive, agile and vigilant, and be lifelong adapters and learners. Acquire digital skills and drive digital transmissions. This degree will not make you who you are; your upbringing and social values will define you.”

Break some rules

Deepika also had a special word for the women students, “You have beaten all odds to get where you have - do not always follow age-old advice, break some rules, be curious, be less tough on yourselves, demand opportunities and create a stronger ecosystem for each other.”

The day’s events also included an address by the Students' Affairs Council (SAC) President on Life at IIM Bangalore. Presentation of the Director’s Merit List and Director’s Honours List were also made. The inauguration ceremony ended with a musical presentation by Manasi Prasad (alumnus, IIMB): In tune with inspiration.

The orientation programme from August 2 (Sunday) to August 4 (Tuesday) will cover interaction of the new students with faculty members, alumni and other senior officials (Deans, Chairs) of the school regarding an introduction to the programme, learning online, administrative matters, IIMB’s other programmes, activities, centres, committees and facilities, as well as invited talks, case discussions, outdoor activities and more.

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