Dr. Asmita Chitnis, Director, SIIB Pune
Dr. Asmita Chitnis
Director, SIIB Pune

Dr. Asmita Chitnis is a Post Graduate in Statistics and holds a Ph.D. degree in the field of Operations Management. She started her career with National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM) as a researcher and has worked on different projects of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) during this tenure. Later, she moved into teaching and has more than 26 years of academic and corporate training experience to her credit.

Dr. Chitnis has been associated with National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM), National Insurance Academy (NIA), Open University of British Columbia (OUBC) and many more as Educator and Marker. Her research interests include Performance Evaluation, Benchmarking, Forecasting, etc. and have published papers in these fields of management.

“Chase quality and not money and it will automatically come through and will make your life beautiful and             successful.”
-Dr. Asmita Chitnis

You have a diversified career and variegated experience of 27 years in the field of Teaching, Research and Consultancy. Kindly tell us about your experience in the education industry and what makes it the best industry to work in?

Over the years, things have changed rapidly and so are the priorities for the young generation. Life has become very fast and there is too much of a pressure that they are facing. The new generation is quick, intelligent but impatient. Because of the internet, at a very young age, student knows what to expect from life. And then the rat race begins. As a teacher, the biggest challenge today is to meet the expectation of a student. But, a teacher can certainly play an important role in student’s life and help him to achieve what he has set out for.

This is a profession which is not only noble but gives you enormous power to shape the life of a student. For that, teacher has to lead by example. To bring in this change, our country needs teachers who are passionate and are in this field by choice and not by compulsion. This profession is one of its kind where you are surrounded by bunch of ignited and fresh minds which keeps you young and energetic.

Being the Director of Symbiosis Institute of International Business, what is your philosophy of leadership? How would you describe your leadership style?

There are different styles of leadership such as Autocratic, Democratic, Strategic, Transformational, Facilitative, etc.  As a Director of Symbiosis Institute of International Business, you have to wear different caps and need to exhibit different skill sets. Because, at the end of the day, you are expected to satisfy the needs of each and every stakeholder. So, I think the Director’s role requires a mix of above styles of leadership. More often it needs to be transformational. Transformational leadership is all about initiating change in organizations, groups, oneself and others. Transformational leaders motivate others to do more than they originally intended and often even more than they thought possible. They set more challenging expectations and typically achieve higher performance.

Being a Director at SIIB, what are the challenges you faced all these years?

Every profession has its own challenges. As long as you are sincere in your efforts, you should not fear about the final outcome. The success lies in the process and not in the end result. It’s a continuous learning process where you need to be open to changes. I am a teacher more than a Director and hence it’s an enjoyable journey.

What are the qualities, which over the year have helped you and the entire management, create a brand name for SIIB?

SIIB has invariably been working towards inculcating value based learning along with academia. We inculcate cross-cultural sensitization, nurture creativity, encourage entrepreneurship, enhance employability, and promote health and wellness to produce thought-provoking leaders for the society. I believe these qualities have been monumental in maintaining a distinct identity of our institute, thereby creating an illustrious brand name over the years.

What are the changes you have noticed in education industry all these years of your career?

Education industry has undergone many changes but the basic crux of imparting knowledge remains the same. Like I said, today’s tech-savvy generation is smart, intelligent but impatient. To bring in this change, our country needs teachers who are passionate about teaching and are in this field by choice and not by compulsion. This profession is one of its kind where you are surrounded by bunch of ignited and fresh minds which keeps you young and energetic.

What according to you should be the path in a student’s life to lead a successful life?

Any human being in his personal, as well as professional life, is remembered for his karma. In order to lead a successful life, students need to inculcate strong values like integrity, commitment and credibility. In order to satisfy material needs in your life, of course, money is important, but it should not be the only factor. I’d say chase quality and not money and it will automatically come through and will make your life beautiful and successful.

How do you look at the growth of students through placement opportunities available at SIIB and how does your curriculum ensure best practice of industry?

It gives me immense pleasure to see the growth of students through placements every year. It is due to the sincere efforts of students and able guidance from the faculty that we have maintained a remarkable placement record over the years. Our curriculum is designed in such a way that it ensures a smart personality along with instilling in them a holistic approach towards best industry practices which in turn help to hone their managerial skills.

How do you tend to establish a relationship with the students being the Director of the institute? How do you make yourselves available to them?

Being the Director of SIIB, it’s my prerogative to address student’s concerns, grievances and suggestions. I think it’s important to communicate with students on a regular basis and get to know them personally.  My office has been receptive to every student who wishes to voice his/her concern about academics and otherwise, and I try my level best to help them in any capacity that I can. We also conduct an ‘open house’ session in the college premises once in a month wherein I get an opportunity to communicate with students directly. 

What goals do you have in your mind for your university for the next few years?

At SIIB, the core strength has always been structuring and delivery of the new age courses that are drawn up with inputs from various industry experts and academicians. Recently, SIIB has completed 25 years and I’m glad for the wonderful journey that we have had so far. For the next five years, the goal will be to continue on the lines of the ‘hallmark’ which we have managed to achieve as a B-school and to constantly work on training young professionals who can take on the challenges of global commerce in the domestic as well as in the international arena.

Any suggestions you would like to give to the current youth and the aspiring students?

I would say, always believe in yourself and try to put your best foot forward in life. There will be times when life will be tough, expectedly in a stiff competitive world, just remember – Never back down and take it as a challenge with a positive frame of mind. I’m a strong advocator of maintaining a sound mental and physical health, and exercising regularly will not only keep you in the right frame of mind but also make you ready for the challenges that lie ahead in the world of skyscrapers with fierce competition.