Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Mr. Devasheesh Mathur is currently working as the Senior Lecturer- Health care Management at Goa Institute of Management, Goa. He holds degrees like B.Tech, M.Tech, IIT Bombay and FPM, MDI, Gurgaon. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay where he conducted research on medical implants and biomaterials. His doctoral research is titled ‘Radical Innovations in Health Policies in India: an Exploration of their Successful Diffusion'. Through his research, he has come up with a theoretical model and a strategy framework to facilitate more and more innovations and transformative changes in Indian public health systems.
Mr. Mathur has published research papers in reputed international refereed journals and has also presented his research at the London School of Economics, Humboldt University, Germany and National University of Singapore among others while becoming a part of a global network of public health experts from various sectors-academias, governments, industries and civil society. He is a member of Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), International Public Policy Association (IPPA) and Asia-Pacific Public Policy Network (AP-PPN). His areas of expertise includes Public Health and Public Service Innovations.
The contemporary teaching practice in India especially in Management Education
I have observed that there is a mismatch between our research, teaching and practice when it comes to management education. As a society, we have unduly commercialized our Management education and unwittingly made it into a template replicated by almost all business schools. I would be satisfied if we were better connected to our grassroots as I believe India has a lot to offer and we need to be more confident in our abilities, be it science or humanities.
Our education system, especially management pedagogy could benefit a lot more from indigenous methods and ideas. Also, our Business Schools should feed more into public management by ways of research and evidence-building. Fortunately, GIM’s path has been different in that way as it is grounded in ethics and sustainability in business with a strong focus on giving back to the society. We have unique programs like ‘Give where the candidates work with an NGO on the ground and gain valuable experience on the social side of businesses. Similarly, for the Healthcare Management candidates, a program like ‘Know Your Healthcare Provider’ exposes them to all the stakeholders in this domain which is critical for the future leaders in healthcare.
GIM’s efforts to provide knowledge to the students in the best way possible
At GIM, we believe in transparency and sharing the best practices across departments. Faculty members participate in seminars, conferences and faculty development programs both nationally and abroad, which keeps them abreast with the latest methods of imparting and assimilation of knowledge.
We have a Teaching Excellence Forum which facilitates the dissemination of such knowledge within all the instructors and faculty members at the institute. Moreover, student feedback is given its due respect, and courses and pedagogy evolve as per the learning of the students inside as well as outside the classroom.
3. Prior to joining GIM, You also have hands-on experience with some startups. How do you think your industry experience helped you understand the needs of your students?
Management learning is primarily experiential and could seldom be taught through typical classroom teaching, relying on monologues by the instructors. The need is to equip the participants to deal with the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Agility) that any organization has to deal with. This is most pronounced in start-ups where the environment is the most dynamic. Through various courses on entrepreneurship and innovation, we try to simulate the real-life dilemmas an entrepreneur faces. We have incorporated developing a business plan, simulating investment pitches, etc. in our curriculum. Apart from this, participants are educated on business strategy and business analytics which is the bread and butter of modern-day entrepreneur.
Read more about faculty available at GIM
The changes noticed in the education industry
Education like semiconductors also exhibits the Moore’s Law! The world is getting smaller and smaller and the sources of information are exponentially increasing
The knowledge seeker is much smarter today and they have their career path figured out before they graduate. For a business school, the rate of change is immensely rapid and it should be flexible enough, retaining the appetite to experiment and institutionalize practices while unlearning older paradigms. The caveat is that because of increased democratisation of information and complexity of stakeholders, the provider should be wary of who to partner with while the knowledge seeker should be a good judge of the path that he or she needs to tread on.
Changes brought in the curriculum to keep it updated with the Industry’s practices
As business schools have a symbiotic relationship with industry at large, we invite generous feedbacks from the industry during all our interactions but especially during placements and summer internships. Based on this, we increased the focus on the use of data and analytics in healthcare and included more courses related to data analytics as electives. In addition, we started covering US healthcare system in detail as many students although placed in India ultimately work for US healthcare clients.
Because of the evolving nature of the healthcare industry, we significantly kept large numbers of ways in which students can practically experience the best practices of the industry. These
include study visits, live projects, inviting more and more industry people to interact within the face of guest lectures and panel discussions. We are also proud partners with six European business schools and a few candidates from these schools visit us for a term and this facilitates cross-cultural learning.
Placement opportunities being provided at GIM, Goa
We take recruitment as a talent solutioning for our industry partners and facilitate individual growth of each student by getting them exposed to as many sectors as possible. For our HCM program, we have observed about 400 % increment in admission applications over last 3 years. With diverse programs on campus now, from Healthcare to Big Data Analytics, there is a wide array of candidates that an organization can look for talent from. For our ‘Know Your Healthcare Provider’ (KYHP) program, we have 80 partner organizations in Goa alone, while within five years of its inception, our candidates are doing summer internships in about 50 different organizations. Our strong alumni base is present in diverse roles and locations and our enjoying enviable reputation for themselves.
Read more about placements opportunities available at GIM
Challenges faced in the Education Sector
A typical challenge is competing with an increasing number of Business schools across the country, but we treat it is more like an opportunity to stay relevant.
At a program level, there is an insufficient awareness and a misconception about the healthcare management program. It is generally perceived as a hospital management or public health program and many students fail to see it as a business management program with a focus on healthcare domain. The way we conduct the program, it is not necessary for a candidate to have a healthcare background, but only to have an aptitude and appetite to learn. There are program alumni who joined the program without any healthcare experience but they are doing extremely well in the Healthcare industry.
The process of assessing teaching and learning in GIM, Goa through students’ feedbacks
All students for all courses duly submit a detailed feedback on the course including curriculum, design and delivery. This helps in maintaining consistent quality of instructions. As GIM is a member of prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the concept of Assurance of Learning (AOL) breaks down the learning goals to learning objectives and maps them with the exact process that ensure outcomes. This is used across all courses and activities.
Strategies designed for the department of Health Care Management at GIM for the next 3 years
Healthcare program has already earned an enviable reputation since its inception 5 years ago; it has stabilised in terms of curriculum, student intake and stakeholders. Now, it’s time for us to take it a notch above.
We are executing a two-pronged strategy: curriculum and students. With the launch of Big Data Analytics more focus is to be imparted on healthcare analytics. In terms of students, the program is now attracting international participation to lend more international flavour to our robust program.
Suggestions for the students to become good leaders
Violin Maestro Yehudi Menuhin used to say, ‘to play great music, keep an eye on distant stars’, by which he meant do not let the world overrun your true instinct
The leaders of tomorrow need to put more confidence in ideas than people and circumstances. If you believe in something deep enough, do not let any data, any theory or any person budge you because to scale a mountain, one has to take the leap of faith at times.