Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Dr. Nimit Gupta is currently working as the Area Chair & Associate Professor of Fortune Institute of International Business, New Delhi. Dr. Nimit Gupta is a seasoned academician in the area of outcome-based management education. He is a certified marketing trainer, trained by Dr. Philip Kotler. He is certified by Harvard for case teaching. He has 15 years of experience in Teaching, Academic Administration, Consultancy and Research at reputed management institutes of Delhi NCR. He has worked with Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida and Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies (affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University), Delhi. He had worked in various capacities as Programme Director, Internship Coordinator, NBA Team Member, Marketing Club Coordinator, Governing Board Member (Faculty Representative), Examination Controller to name a few. He had authored two books on contemporary themes- Permission Marketing and Case Writing. He has presented 40+ research papers/cases/articles in National and International Seminars organized by IIM (A), FMS, IIT (M), BIMTECH, IMT etc.
Dr. Gupta has published 60+ research papers/cases/articles in journals of repute including Journal of Services Research, Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing, Journal of Digital and Social Media, Journal of Teaching and Case Studies, Journal of Marketing and Communication, International Journal of Customer Relations, Indian Journal of Marketing etc. He had served as a Session Chair/Track Chair /Moderator/Panel Member in 20+ national and international conferences. He had conducted 15+ FDPs sessions for faculty of reputed universities/colleges across India. He is a prolific case writer and his cases are used for classroom teaching by academic institutions like University of Newcastle Business School-UK, Qatar University-Qatar, Bologna Business School – Italy, ICD International Business School- France to name a few.
Dr. Gupta is recipient of several scholastic performance awards including Best Case Award: Case Centre (USA), Dr G.D Sardana Memorial Young Scholar Award- George Mason University, USA & BIMTECH-India, Best Associate Professor- PRCME, Shiksha Gaurav Puraskar-2017- CEGR, Educative Knowledge Contributor Appreciation – Shiksha, National Excellence Award for Innovative Teaching 2017- World Education and Skill Conclave, Education Excellence Award for Research 2017- GESA, Rastritya Srijan Siksha Ratan Samman 2017 to name a few. He is an Accredited Management Teacher from AIMA and has been instrumental in organizing MDPs in Marketing Management in association with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Govt. of India. He had conducted MDPs for organizations like TCI, Coromandel, NFL etc. as a corporate trainer. He is also a reviewer and on editorial board of national and international journals of repute like Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies (EEMCS), International Journal of Sales & Marketing Management Research and Development (IJSMMRD), ELK Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Retail Management (EAPJMRM) to name a few.
Work experience in the Education Industry
The education industry is one of the noblest industries of the world. I am happy to be associated with this industry for the last 15 years. I am pleased to articulate that during this tenure, I have gained experience in various types of educational institutions including a university affiliate institution, an institution having multiple academic locations, the institution having its own course curriculum and so forth. Also, the experience is multifaceted in regards to the UG, PG, Doctoral students, Faculty Development and Executive education.
I still recall, the resistance of my family and friends, to my decision of joining the education industry as to the corporate world. It was a norm to join the corporate world, once you are an MBA. I made a transference and joined an academic institution which was as new as I was. Therefore, the excitement started with the day one and is still continuing. Smiling, cheerful and fresh students, who are ready for contemporary learnings is the most important reason which makes this industry, one of the best industry. On a philosophical, but to an extent, practical note as well, Education industry is the only industry which is accountable for the smooth functioning of all the industries.
Philosophy of leadership
“Leadership is an action, not a position” – I am a firm believer of this quote and practice it in the actual sense. My philosophy goes very simple, “Do it Together and Enjoy the Success Together”. I make it sure that all my team members are involved in decision making and implementation of the decisions. My leadership style is a reflection of “WE” rather than “I”. I believe in open door policy and appreciate new ideas. I like to lead from the front by taking actions, I believe in open communication and capitalize on the strength of my team members by delegating the work, they deemed fit for. I usually allow my team colleagues to discuss and brainstorm on issues, which are contemporary but necessary for tomorrow. I appreciate my team members for their work and provide feedback for improvement.
The significant challenges faced by the Area Chair & Associate Professor-Marketing of FIIB
The most significant challenge for any academician as well as for an academic administrative head is to engage the current generation students. However, in my context, I don’t treat it as a challenge, but I treat it as a regular practice for academic excellence. As in FIIB, we believe in the philosophy of “Enter to learn, Leave to Succeed”. Therefore, all efforts are directed toward the shaping of a learned student, ready for the corporate world. Students at FIIB are encouraged to learn from three sources- learning by self, learning by peers and learning by academic and industry experts.
Enhancing student’s engagement is, therefore, a common goal, which is not challenging though interesting. Therefore, students are motivated to engage and succeed in their corporate career. Hence, I am confident in saying that this is not a challenge but an engaging opportunity.
The curriculum of FIIB ensuring the best practice of industry
The curriculum at FIIB is a crafted possession having multiple facets and dimensions, strictly in adherence with industry needs and expectations. The curriculum is jointly curated by the faculty, alumni as well the industry doyens. It is worth to mention that the curriculum is contemporary and progressive in nature. The curriculum has three building blocks i.e. classroom engagements, experiential learning and social concern. These building blocks are pillared on analytical skills and an entrepreneurial mindset.
The curriculum at FIIB has a sacrosanct academic value which is industry-oriented both in terms of design as well as in delivery. FIIB upgrades its curriculum every year, to incorporate the ever-changing needs of the industry and business. Therefore, the premise of the curriculum is centred to explore what lies beyond the familiar to develop a well-rounded perspective. The intent, therefore, lies in the application of concepts and practice-based learnings. The focus of the curriculum lies in making students employable, rather than giving them employment.
The Education Industry over the past few years and the skill set required by a corporate in a student
The Education Industry has gone through turbulent times in the recent years. The whole eco-system of the education has witnessed a substantial shift due to various factors- both controllable and uncontrollable. The mushrooming of new private universities has fueled the education industry with a new debate of survival of the fittest. Autonomy and granting of national importance to a few selected government and private institutions is another important aspect which is responsible for tremendous movement, particularly from the education quality perspective.
Education, as a result, has become more transparent, outcome-based and has a measurement value in terms of learning and its application as well. International academic quality standards are now the talks of the town- leading to the new world of Indian as well as foreign accreditations. Another important factor is the gap between industry expectations and potential candidate’s skills. This gap is widening each passing day, leading to educated but unemployed students. Therefore, a student who is looking for an employment in a corporate sector must possess the required skills; Communication Skills (Verbal & Written), Computing Skills, Persuasion Skills, Analytical Skills and Decision Making Skills.
Maintaining a relationship with the students being the Area Chair & Associate Professor-Marketing of FIIB
I believe in developing a positive faculty-student relationship. Building goodwill and positive aura in the mind of the students is what I look for in the creation of healthy learning relationship. Mentoring is one of the most appreciable processes on which I rely for making a change in a life of my student. This mentoring is often a leading block for a lifelong relationship. For today generation’s students, availability of the concerned faculty and area head is pretty critical from multiple perspectives. However this availability may not be always in person, with the use of technology, connect and engagement, leading to a learning relation can be built and maintained. I use technology to a great extent in developing and maintaining the ecosystem of beyond classroom availability at virtually any time, any place, anywhere. Using a Learning Management System for discussions and brainstorming is one of the most exciting ways. I connect with my students and ensure my availability along with the students almost 24*7.
Goals for the Institute for the next few years
In FIIB, we strictly believe in rigour and a no-nonsense approach to business education. I am sure this is one such big thing, which is enough in itself. Everything else is aligned with it. Therefore the goal is to continue the efforts of making students employable and ready for the industry. The goal is to continuously touch a student’s life to transform him/her as a business leader/business manager for the organizations. The big goal is to be a B-school of choice, which will be known for #NoHypeMBA.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students
Education is one of the most coveted forms of transfer of services which requires intellectual capacity on both the ends. Youths and students are required to be analytical and process-oriented in order to succeed in their career. Use of technology is an integral part of human’s life but the adequate usage is essential to avoid the tech trap. Money is good, profit is better, but society is the best- youths and students must develop an orientation of being caring and supportive to the underprivileged and deprived segments of the society. They must develop a sense for social responsibility. Youth and students must also appreciate and practice teamwork and collaborative ventures as success require multiple heads.
Students must give uppermost emphasis on learning means and ensure doing everything it takes to have learning happen. I quote Jim Rohn -“Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to an action”.