Interview by Kritika Gupta
Prof. Alok Pandey, Director of Institute of Management Studies, Ghaziabad in conversation with Apoorv Srivastava shares his idea on the education industry in India and his suggestions to the millennials. Edited Excerpts:
Reasons keeping Prof. Pandey engaged to the education sector
Although I have held key positions with the Government of India also as the Director on the Board of CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd. (Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology), National Institute of Financial Management (Ministry of Finance-Govt, of India) and the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (Statutory Body under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs-Govt. of India) where I served as the Director of Advanced Studies, still my passion lies in education. The key factors that keep me connected with the education sector include – the satisfaction of contributing intellectually to the growth of the society, contributing to the development of the nation by enlightening its citizens and the urge of adding some new knowledge in the form of research and innovations.
Leadership philosophy and style of Prof. Pandey
Legendary Ratan Tata once said – ‘I don’t believe in taking the right decisions. I believe in taking decisions and making them right’. As a leader, I am an intrinsically motivated integrator who is not afraid of taking risks and confronting problems and also, a humanist with empathy for fellow human beings with a strong relationship orientation.
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IMS Ghaziabad provides the required exposure that assures good ROI
Expecting an ROI is a normal phenomenon and should not be objectionable. Parents bring up their children with the utmost care and, in return, they too have an expectation that the children will take care of them when they grow old. Similarly, if the students expect the returns of their investments in education, it is fair and reasonable. But it should be calculated in terms of both - financial and intellectual investments.
Any good college provides the students an exposure to countless opportunities to grow, but the hard work and sincerity are the key factors to avail the maximum returns. Any esteemed business school would prefer making its students employable rather than making them feeble by offering a spoon-feeding.
Prof. Alok’s take on how to improve education quality in Tier 2 & 3 B-schools
Knowledge and opportunities are all prevalent and all accessible these days. Thus, terms like Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 are only phases in the growth of an institution with a good vision and mission. To be a globally reputed B-school, the focus should be on –
- syllabi updation as per industry requirements,
- regular interaction with the top industry experts,
- hands-on experience through SIPs in highly reputed national and multinational companies and
- international exposure through foreign tours and SIPs abroad.
There should be a systematic process for developing the employability skills of the students along with the strong corporate connect for making the best placement opportunities available to them. The institutes must work for accreditations by reputed national and international bodies that lead to developing the institute to the global and standard parameters.
Upcoming goals for the Institute
As the Director, I am ambitious to see IMS Ghaziabad as the globally recognized business school. The institute, with a firm legacy of 30 years is already soaring high with more than 5000 alumni placed globally.
We further look forward to more international tie-ups for even more frequent student and faculty exchange programs. With an emphasis on quality and innovative research, we shall continue encouraging our faculty members for publishing and presenting their research papers on the prestigious international platforms.
Biggest challenge faced in the Present-day scenario
Answer: Deficiency of employability skills in youths is a global challenge. The need of the hour is to design the curriculum as per industry expectations and giving the students sufficient practical and international exposure. But, at the same time, the students must also realize the value of time and money and should keep a sharp focus on developing their communication, soft skills and the domain knowledge with a sound understanding of the industry requirements.
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Ongoing and upcoming International collaborations
We have signed several MoUs with foreign Universities including with ‘Northern Illinois University - a public research university in DeKalb, Illinois, USA’ and the other one with ‘Fort Hays State University, in Kansas, Missouri, USA’ to expand scholarly ties, educational exchange and promote closer academic collaboration. We have also signed an MoU with the University of Fredericton, Canada (UFred) for student and faculty exchange. Thus, the students and the faculty members of both organizations will have opportunities for mutual learning and international exposure through educational exchange programs.
We hope that all our students get plenty of international placements and SIP opportunities still we are in the process to develop some more similar international tie-ups that will serve as the launching pads for the global career of our students. We are also promoting our students to venture for new start-ups so that they emerge as employers rather than employees.
Establishing healthy relations with the faculty and students
We believe in the philosophy of ‘Sabka Sath –Sabka Vikas’. So, that is why we cooperate and encourage each other for mutual growth and development. We conduct research seminars at IMS Ghaziabad on a weekly basis in which the faculty members share their latest research ideas, works, and achievements. We conduct faculty council meetings regularly in which there is direct interaction between the Director and the faculty members for exchanging views and suggestions and deciding the mutually agreed path of action.
For students, we have allotted personal mentors who regularly keep an eye on the academic growth and prospects of their mentees and solve their personal and professional problems so that there is no hindrance in the path of their success.
Suggestions to the Millennials
‘Think big, think fast and think ahead” is a popular quote of Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani and I strongly recommend the same to the youths and MBA aspirants. We all need to be visionary if we really wish to succeed amidst the tough global challenges. In business, things change in every twenty-four hours, therefore, the companies expect the candidates to be skilled, vigilant and competent to handle the acute challenges and fluctuations.