Interview by Yash Panchal 

Dr. Navita Nathani is presently working as the Professor at PIMG. She has been associated with Prestige Institute of Management, Gwalior for last ten years, with primary teaching in the field of Finance. Dr. Nathani holds an MBA in Finance & Marketing from Banasthali Vidyapith and obtained a doctorate in Project Management from Jiwaji University. Before joining Prestige Gwalior, Dr. Nathani worked in corporate for two years. Her research interests are in the area of Stock Market, Project Management, and Entrepreneurship. Currently, she is chief coordinator of AICTE approved Entrepreneurial Development Cell at PIMG.

Dr. Nathani writes extensively and has more than 70 publications spanning outlets that include refereed journals, case studies, book chapters, and edited books. She is a corporate trainer and has been training since last seven years in corporations; few of them are ICAI, ICICI Prudential, and HDFC. She is an approved guide of Jiwaji University and Banasthali Vidyapith, Jaipur. 9 students are pursuing Ph.D. under her guidance. Dr. Nathani is an editor of Indian Journal of Accounting and associate editor of Prestige International Journal of IT and Management, Sanchayan. In addition to this, currently, she has worked on projects sponsored by AICTE. She is a member, Faculty of Management, Jiwaji University, Gwalior and professionally associated with Indian Accounting Association, Gwalior Management Association and Junior Chamber of India.

Dr. Nathani is an active social worker and has a passion to promote the well-being of society. She has also excelled in culturally diverse, multidisciplinary, fast-paced environment and has studied the entrepreneurial growth in this area. She has been acting as a powerhouse to budding and existing entrepreneurs, school and college teachers and students for entrepreneurial education.

Dr. Nathani’s experience in the education industry  

The education industry is not only huge; it's also undergoing more changes recently than it has at possibly at any other point in time. Educational technology is succeeding in making learning collaborative and interactive. Apart from this, the problems that are still prevailing in the education industry in India today are unequal access, low rates of enrolment, poor quality of infrastructure and fake accreditation processes. 

The best part of education industry is that it empowers heart and mind by learning and exploring new things every day. Thinking skills and problem-solving are at the heart of successful learning and as a teacher, we have the chance to create innovative and exciting lessons that teach young people about resilience, good habits of mind, teamwork and, etc.

Dr. Nathani’s philosophy of leadership

The best way for an organization or a person is to lead an organization through collaboration, open communication, and with a well-organized structure. I believe in participative decision making.

I want to become a leader that encourages others and gain respect and trust from them and that’s why my leadership style is more like a transformational leader as this is one of the important ways to lead any management school for a positive social change. As a leader, I am committed to lifelong learning, encouraging leaderships, academic excellence and institutional growth.

Significant challenges faced as the Associate Professor of Prestige Institute of Management, Gwalior

Being the associate professor of this institute for last five years, following are the three major challenges I have come across:

  • Developing students as per industry needs who come from a diverse background
  • Enhancing number of students opting for entrepreneurship
  • Less autonomy in admission procedure to attract students of good merit

Insights on the importance of Finance for MBA Students

Being the professor of Finance, I can see a lot of opportunities for the students who opt finance as their major specialization.  Research proved that in next two decades, financial management will emerge as a major functional area as more emphasis has been given to developing a financial institutional mechanism. The small banks are coming up and universal banking is the need of the banks hence they require more employees in those areas.

Employment of financial managers is projected to grow 20% percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, growth will vary by industry. Services provided by financial managers, such as planning, directing, and coordinating investments, are likely to stay in demand as the economy grows. In addition, several special services like cash management and risk management are expected to be in high demand over the next decade.

Dr. Nathani on her time management

I think time management is one of the important hurdles in performing our work. I believe in making to-do list every day and evaluate same at the end of the day to check my efficiency. Teachers are the role models and if they don’t perform their task meticulously how can they expect the same from students. As senior teacher, the tasks assigned are blending of administrative and teaching activities and to complete those task on time I need to prioritize them wisely and judicious delegation.  I believe in the old adage that “work smarter than harder” and hence following are the tips for better time management:

  1. Plan
  2. Prioritize
  3. Delineate a time limit
  4. Turning key task into habits

Curriculum of Prestige Institute of Management

The Institute offers a wide variety of Post Graduate and Under Graduate degree program. The Institute introduces new program from time to time as per the changing market demand. The Institute on the basis of feedback of industry, students, and faculty members assesses the existing curriculum and sends recommendations to the affiliated University to remove/delete and/or add/include topics and subjects from time to time. We at Prestige involve industry, research bodies and society to ensure relevancy and industry readiness of its students.

Read more about faculty at PIMG here

Changes noticed in the Education Industry over the past few years

The online and open education world is changing how education is resourced, delivered and taken up. To set out a new framework for enhancing, learning and teaching new technologies and open digital content at all levels of education is the need of the hour. Following are the challenges and how these can be addressed by education industry worldwide:

  1. Changing culture through strategic leadership
  2. Quality assurance and accreditation
  3. Certification and recognition through foreign collaboration
  4. Digital skills for teaching and learning, etc.
  5. Developing set of attributes among the student namely industrial skill, managerial skill and personal skill required to make them employable in the corporate world is the main task.

Thoughts on the growth of students through placement opportunities available at Prestige Institute of Management

The Institute has well-structured placement cell and entrepreneurship development cell. The placement cell has been able to attract some of the good national and multinational organizations for campus placement every year and try to offer 200% placements to each and every student. Last year, more than 45 companies visited to institute for campus placements. Moreover, we also encourage students for self-employment as we want to make them ‘job provider’ rather than ‘job seeker’. For this, our large alumni base is now in a position to provide guidance and assistance to the students of their Alma mater.

The envelope further includes an emphasis on strong alumni base by forming associations at the national and international level and more exposure to students about industry needs.

Read more about placement opportunities available at PIMG here

Dr. Nathani on his relation with the students being the Professor and his availability for them

I think student engagement is built on trust, we the teachers as ‘brand pioneers’ of the institute deliver it as promised. We feel proud to say that for establishing this relationship we are available 24 hours to them and almost in all modes (emails, social media, mobile phones, etc.).

Ideal school environment for Dr. Nathani

A curriculum comprising of learning of academic and intellectual abilities, as well as social and emotional competence, is an ideal B-school environment. Learning of social intelligence should be imbibed in the curriculum in such a way so that each and every student can take the full advantage of this. Apart from academic education, the B-school should also work on overall personality development in order to help them in leading stress free life.

Top qualities that an aspiring Management Courses student must possess

The top qualities for management students are:

  1. A positive attitude
  2. Passion for the course
  3. An inquiring mind
  4. Ability to do creative things
  5. Good in the English language
  6. The ability to work in a team

Goals in mind for PIMG for the next few years

In the last decade, Indian economy grew very rapidly but still was unable to generate more employment opportunities. The passed out graduates are growing day by day creating a large gap between what is and what ought to be. The urgent need of the hour is to analyze this gap and make our education policy in such a way so that the right workforce can be produced at right time. For this, in next few years, the focus of Prestige Management Institute, Gwalior would be on developing a set of attributes among the student namely industrial skill, managerial skill and personal skill required to make them employable through:

  • Introduction of a vocational training program for the students
  • Introduction of certificate program of different functional areas
  • Incubation center
  • Collaboration with national and international universities
  • Strengthen alumni database

Suggestions to the current youth and the aspiring students

Believe in yourself, have a vision, manage your energy not time, I am damn sure you will touch the zenith of the sky.