Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Dr. Purushottam Bung is currently working as the Director of RV Institute of Management. He completed his PGDM at Melbourne Business School, one of the top ten business schools in the world and MBA at Monash University, one of the best universities in Australia. He was awarded Doctorate (PhD) by Karnataka University, Dharwad, in Management studies in 2011. He has a valuable experience of 22 years as an academician at various renowned Institutions along with 3 years of rich experience in the industry.
Dr. Bung is an engineer with a rich experience in various departments of production at ‘VIDEOCON’ and also at some of the Australian companies in various capacities during his stay at Melbourne, Australia. He is on the expert panel of many Institutions and Universities to examine and evaluate Doctoral thesis and other courses in management as well. He is a member of the advisory committee of various Institutions and journals. Dr. Bung has presented and published 16 research papers so far in nationally and internationally renowned and refereed journals. He has written a book titled “Current Status of Indian Fruit Processing Industry vis-à-vis Brazil” and edited two more books.
Dr. Bung’s experience in the education sector has been satisfactory
I have been working in the education sector with various Institutions at different positions since May 1996. It is one of those sectors which is undergoing sea change and hence is very challenging. Lot of innovations like; MOOCs, Flip learning, action learning, experiential learning, individualized learning, Project based learning, hybrid courses, immersive learning, etc., are happening in this sector. Further, this is the only profession which gives a lot of satisfaction and hence is labelled as the noblest profession.
Leadership philosophy for academics cannot be conventional in style
Academic leadership is a different ball game altogether. As the leader is leading the knowledge workers, conventional leadership styles are not the right options.
A Leader has to try and evolve the right style which is suitable to a particular context and situation
which again will be a rich blend of different styles.
My style of leadership is mostly people-based than being task-based, i.e. the style that is driven by trust, relationship, empathy, participation and of course to some extent task-orientation or outcome-orientation. As it is reflected in our punch line “we prepare you for life” we want to see a holistic development in all our students and that can only happen when we believe in collaborative style driven by a good team spirit.
Major challenges that the Director has to face for the growth of the Institute
Bringing in cultural change/shift/transition within the Institution to make it a students’ friendly Institution (driven by the students or student-focused) par excellence was the biggest challenge that I faced. I need to convince all the stakeholders like the students, parents, management, faculty, staff, Alumni, etc. and take them along.
RVIM’s curriculum ensures to include Industry-experts’ suggestions
Frequent updating of the curriculum, involvement of the experts from the industry and practitioners while designing the curriculum, consulting existing and potential recruiters on the competencies that they look for while hiring then tailor making the program to achieve those competencies and having a strong advisory board to validate all our assumptions and guiding us in the right direction are some of the things that we do to ensure that our curriculum meets the industry requirements.
RVIM’s endeavor has been to create a conducive learning environment which is innovative, personalized, trans-disciplinary and flexible for millennial students so that on completion of their MBA course they are ready to cater to the needs of Industry 4.0 or Business 4.0. We ensure that the students who graduate from our portals will be the problem solvers / innovators/entrepreneurs / collaborators with abundant knowledge, a huge pack of skills and the right attitude and not just managers. This is the reason we engage students in various kinds of activities like outbound training, soft skill development workshops, industrial visits, interaction with the people from industry, management fests/events, pre-placement training, etc.
Steps taken by the Director to build a relationship with the students
We at RVIM follow an open door policy wherein the students can meet the Director whenever they want. On top of this, the specific time duration of one hour i.e. from 04:00 to 05:00 PM is earmarked for only students. Further, as a Professor, I take classes too (One subject of 4 credits every semester and guide them in their internships and dissertation work also) and make sure that I listen to them and their grievances. Quite often we call for an open house discussion with the students wherein they can air their grievances, issues, problems, etc. This is what I think strengthens the bondage between the Head of the Institution and the students.
The Director’s idea of an ideal environment for students’ growth
Creating a conducive learning atmosphere which is fearless, student-friendly, disciplined, process driven, outcome-oriented, flexible, trans-disciplinary and serene is of paramount interest to me as the Director of the Institution.
This is where the cultural shift – about which I was talking about, becomes very essential. All the stakeholders’ interests need to be aligned in that direction and then only we can bring in the required cultural change. We are working in that direction and it is a continuous journey.
The changes that the education industry has seen and is going through
As mentioned earlier
The education industry has undergone and is undergoing a sea change
Entry of foreign universities into the Indian subcontinent has changed the way we used to look at this industry. Technological advancements in the way that the courses are being offered (MOOCs, virtual learning platforms, hybrid learning, etc.) are changing at a very fast pace. Now, the students can create their own degree by choosing the subjects that he/she would like to study at her/his pace and at her/his convenience. The Internet has made all this possible. Webinar based lectures, huge content that is available on the net available at free of cost, YouTube guided lecture series, etc., are some of the common things that a learner is using to make the learning more meaningful.
As mentioned earlier, a lot of innovations like Flip learning, action learning, experiential learning, individualized learning, Project based learning, immersive learning, etc., are happening in this sector and as an Institution, we are expected to adopt all these innovations. A technological innovation, the game changer, is another driving force that is bringing in a lot of changes in the way education is being delivered. As an Institution, we need to embrace these innovations.
The top qualities that an aspiring manager must possess to stand out and succeed
- Critical thinking
- Global orientation
- Decision making
- Cognitive flexibility
- People management
- Entrepreneurial approach
- Negotiation skills are the key competencies that are demanded by the Industry 4.0 or business 4.0today.
Planned goals for RVIM for the next five years
Over the next five years, we want to get the program accredited by the NBA (National Board of Accreditation) and once accredited
we want to become an autonomous institution par excellence
within five years. We have already started working in that direction and will accomplish the set target.
Motivational words from the Director for the students
Do the job or choose the career that you like and love and enjoy it every moment” is the secret for any successful career and mine is not an exception. I enjoy what I am doing and the enjoyment gets quadrupled when I see my students thriving in their career.
Although some of the things or developments happening in the students’ community that sometimes bothers me are:
- Excessive use of social media, mobile phone and internet
- Ignoring health
- Unfocused mind
- The obsession to achieve too much in a very short time
Otherwise the students today are very smart. If they could keep the aforementioned things in check I am sure they can create miracles.