Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Dr.Suchismitaa Sengupta is currently working as the Principal of DSMS College of Tourism and Management, Durgapur. At present,she is an academic leader, management consultant, corporate trainer, management educator and also a Ph.D supervisor. She is an M.Com in Finance from the University of Calcutta and has an MBA in Public system Management from IISWBM and also a management graduate in International Business Operation from IGNOU. She was the recipient of a medal as a batch topper. She has been awarded Ph.D in Management from North Gujarat University. She is a First Class Commerce Graduate from University of Calcutta and during her graduation she was among few top rank holders and recipient of National scholarship at the University.
She has more than 23 years of experience in the industry as well as in academia. In addition she has a teaching experience of more than 14 years in various reputed B-schools like Army institute of Management, ICFAI business School Kolkata, NIT Durgapur, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management Bangalore and Indian Education Society. She has worked with a few good corporates in India like Shalimar paints, Castrol India limited, etc.
She is an active researcher and published her research papers in few national and international journals. She is a corporate trainer and visited Bangladesh to train the medical and paramedical staff as well as the administrative staff in the biggest and oldest eye hospital in Dhaka. She also does voluntary services for few organizations as a part of her CSR activities and she is an advisor to the micro small enterprises.
My career experience is a blend of industry and academia
To be honest I did not start my career in the education sector. I started my career as a consultant and later on, I developed an interest in research activities as you know without research you cannot do consulting activities. Out of my passion for research and development activities, I developed certain skills which eventually made me realize that I can contribute to the education industry and that is why I shifted to this sector.
Since I have worked in Industry, I have a good blend of academics and industry exposure which can be used in business education. As a business educator, one needs to have good industry experience to understand the business models, various operational and functional areas’ knowledge. So, after working in Industry and directly delivering the bottom line in few of them, I realized that I may have some potential which can be used in developing the skills of the young generation those who will serve the industry. This is the main reason why I developed my passion to become an educator.
Currently, in my new role as an academic leader, I try to develop an instrument, process and the framework by which we can educate and shape up the young minds best to serve in the industry.
I do believe in meritum ethicus- i.e merit with an ethical mindset. Without transparent governance and ethical values one cannot fully know how to unleash their potential.
I follow participatory and situational leadership styles
I always believed in participatory and situational leadership styles. If my team are smart enough to carry on the activities smoothly then I prefer to take a back seat but whenever there is any crisis and any kind of support is required I immediately go to the front. I always try to involve the concerned people while taking decisions.
I don’t believe in autocratic leadership style so preferably I may call it situational leadership.
I involve my faculty & staff members and take decisions together. The organization is like a macro system and students are our stakeholders so whatever decisions we take for the students, that should be beneficial for both the students Community as well as the organizations.
Market is a big challenge
Yes, of course, as we know that the market is highly competitive and expanding
We had to face a lot of challenges but had overcome many of them. For me, failure is just one step behind success.
We provide the faculty the required freedom to deliver the lectures
Well, we are running the courses under the university curriculum and also trying to include the industry challenges in our teaching pedagogy. We bring new methods in teaching and training the students to become managers and have a correct industry exposure after their graduation. We don’t design the course curriculum but as an authority, we give a lot of freedom and encouragement to the faculty members to incorporate additional inputs that are emerging and relevant to current industry practices.
Our students don’t face any problem in getting placements
We have 10,000+ alumni database. We really do not face any challenge in our flagship courses as we all know that DSMS is a very old and well known brand not only in Durgapur but also in the eastern India. There was a time when we didn’t have any competition. Industries always look for DSMS students because they are skilled and well taught and have certain standardized practices. They have good ethical state of mind, good etiquettes and good culture so that is why the industry requests DSMS for students.
I do believe in experiential learning. In classrooms, we teach them concepts but they should also be able to relate them in practical life as well. We always encourage faculty members to discuss some live cases, workshop, seminars, conferences so that there are holistic improvements among the students in terms of grooming and skill development. So, as of now, I can say for enhancing the employability quotient, we have certain challenges like soft skill, negotiation skill, product knowledge, etc.
I make sure that I am always there for the students
If students need our help, as a leader I’m always available and I personally make some occasional visits to classrooms. I’m approachable and reasonably fair as I try to listen to them. They also address their concern to the other staff members and teachers and if any important issues come up I am always there for the students and help them in every way possible.
Students should adopt a kaizen approach for their growth
An education institute should be like a knowledge-organization rather I would call it a high performing learning organization wherein people are free to share their thoughts, their innovations, their concepts, their knowledge and bring in a lot of changes in our daily life.
The learning curve of the student must be steep because every day they should learn new things and challenge their past performance. I dream of this kind of knowledge organization where people do believe in kaizen approach where
People have a continuous thrust to learn new things every day and keep their learning curve very sharp.
DSMS retains its legacy of producing the university toppers in the tourism and hospitality sectors
DSMS is three decades old education conglomerate. We have some flagship programs where we started our journey with a very different kind of niche course like Hospitality and Tourism Management. Till date, it has kept the legacy of producing the university toppers in every year in the tourism and hospitality course.
We would try to keep the legacy going forward and we would want to serve the industry and society at large by education through value addition. Not only we keep producing successful managers in the tourism and hospitality sector but we are committed to serve the society by creating the Leaders for Future.
Three messages or gems of advice from Dr.Suchismitaa Sengupta
If a person or a student has his/her own dreams then an external push is not required. A dream cannot be injected. We can teach them many things but it’s impossible to teach them how to dream big. So, my first message to the current generation is that they must dare to dream and chase the dream relentlessly till it comes to reality.
The second message is to be an ethical person because without good character and value system one cannot be successful.
And the third message would be that one must not stop reading as this is the first step of learning.