Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Dr. Ravi Jain is currently working as the Director of Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Hyderabad. He is a Doctorate in Business Management and holds a Masters in Business Administration (Finance) and PGD in ICT management. He has over 20 years of valuable experience in family business management, teaching and training, research, business consulting and academic administration. He has held various academic and administrative positions at ICFAI Research Center, Hyderabad; Symbiosis International University, Pune; and in the faculty of Finance at IBS- Hyderabad campus. He was the founding director of Symbiosis Institute of Research and innovation at Pune. He is the immediate past president of Indian Subcontinent DSI (ISDSI) and has been on its board for the last 6 years holding various positions.
Dr. Jain’s areas of research’s interest are corporate finance, valuations, market microstructure, Business Economics, and outsourcing. He is an avid researcher with more than 100 international and national publications to his credit. He has authored and edited several books in the area of business management, banking & finance, and ICT management. He serves on the editorial boards of reputed international refereed journals. He has conducted several successful international events and conferences and has been actively engaged in business coaching, faculty training and executive training programs at various organizations including L&T Metro, Indian railways, several banks and IT services companies, Indian armed forces to name a few.
Challenges faced by Dr. Ravi Jain as the Director of SIBM Hyderabad
The experience of setting up our new campus at Hyderabad had been a beautiful journey so far. No doubt there have been several challenges initially with respect to the location of our campus in a remote place like Mamidipally village, tossed away from Hyderabad city, lack of access to basic amenities, non-cooperation of the local villagers to name a few. Today, four years hence our inception, we proudly claim that we have turned every adversity into an opportunity by relentlessly investing in people, processes and infrastructure. We have converted our 40 acres sprawling campus into a self-contained world-class village with every conceivable facility of modern times.
Dr. Jain on enhancing student-industry interaction at SIBM Hyderabad
In fact, we always believed in having continuous rather than transactional engagement with the industry. Therefore, continuous Industry-institute engagement has been our agenda with the highest priority from the day-1 at SIBM, Hyderabad. With concerted and creative efforts, we have come a long way to establish connection with more than hundred corporate houses within pan-India, patronizing and participating in our initiatives including campus hiring, collaborative events, experiential learning programs, industry visits, case competitions, faculty engagement, field studies, corporate mentorship, experience sharing sessions, internships etc. to name a few. In short, student-industry interaction at SIBM, Hyderabad is active and is celebrated across the year rather than limiting it to placement seasons.
Read more about SIBM Hyderabad Placements
Dr. Jain on managing his time being the Director
That’s a tough question. I can only say that building campuses and temples of excellences like these from ground zero calls for a single-minded commitment of time and effort, and in the process, all other aspects of life become subservient to this singular objective. I personally make it a point that I and my entire team spend every bit of our time and energy on the clearly defined set of goals and deliverables. Clear marking of duties, responsibilities, and resources help us achieve more for every unit of time and energy spent.
Difference between the Indian education system and the education system in other countries
It is more of a cliché to talk about the shortcomings of our education system. I do hold a view on this, but more as a teacher rather than as an administrator. I strongly feel that the so-called ‘modern education system’ evolved in our country over the last several decades, with its roots in the colonial era, serving to produce conformist doers rather than thinkers who would question the status quo and engage in research and innovation. After decades of conditioning over several generations of country’s populace by such an education system, we, both as teachers as well as students, have perhaps developed a deep-rooted aversion and even intolerance to question ‘the given’, to engage in research and Innovation, to explore beyond the frontiers of current knowledge base in any given field.
This is quite opposite to the education system we witness in most of the developed and innovation led advanced economies, where a significant amount of resources is devoted to promote innovative thinking and engage in pursuits of creativity. In my experience of teaching students from advanced countries, I often found that most of the students don’t hesitate to ask questions, seek clarifications, and challenge their teachers.
The irony is, while India produces some really smart brains that fuel the global innovations albeit ‘away from home’, we do feel it is quite okay and reasonable behavior to memorize what has been told to us, operate within the bounds of Job seeking, job security and earning a livelihood. No wonder, this mindset is very well reflected in every aspect of our life and the entire ecosystem in which we are operating, including the kind of work/jobs we attract in the global job markets unlike in the advanced countries.
However, the good news is that the current generation, with the advent of technology, increased global exposure, and greater mobility of the workforce, has developed an appetite for assuming risks and go for creative work beyond the bounds of job security. Here is an opportunity for us as institution builders to imbibe and internalize all that it takes to promote research, creative thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
The qualities, which have helped in creating a brand name for SIBM, Hyderabad
Symbiosis is synonymous with excellence in academics for over four decades, more so for high impact management education. Brand SIBM-Hyderabad while harps on the rich legacy of Symbiosis International (Deemed University), reflects three things – 1) Rich Diversity of students, faculty members, pedagogy, resources and work environment, 2) world-class Infrastructure for wholesome experience of campus life with holistic development of personality, 3) plethora of Opportunities to gain & apply knowledge and build a rewarding career.
Read more about SIBM Faculty, Hyderabad
Message for the students pursuing higher studies under the influence of their peers and society
Gone are the days when peer pressure used to decide our choice of field to pursue our higher education, career, and life. This generation is fortunate for having at their disposal an unending list of choices of programs, institutions, career options, and locations not just in local markets but at the global higher education market. We also witness a rapid development of the start-up ecosystem that promotes entrepreneurship at all levels. Therefore, my message to all students/aspirants, who still are mired by the social/peer/parental pressures while making their choices of life, education and career, is to wake to the world of new possibilities, give yourself a well-deserved opportunity to try your hand at the field you find most exciting or most suitable to your natural skills and capabilities. Move away from a scarcity-mindset to abundance- mindset, shun the fear of failure for you belong to a world of unlimited possibilities and the world where people have started celebrating failures. So I would say ‘get up, gear-up and gallop to build the world you desire’.
The top qualities that a Management aspirant must possess
This is by far the most important question to ask but unfortunately has become a most clichéd question in the management education space. We see that every career development program, every student counselling session, every personality development module emphasizes mastering Attitude, Skills, and Knowledge (ASK). While the importance of ASK remains undisputed, I would like to mention, in the words of our beloved founder and Hon’ble President of Symbiosis, Dr. S B Mujumdar, that all the aspiring students/managers shall carry innovation in Mind, Compassion in Heart and Fire in the belly to be able to create not only a rewarding career but also design a meaningful life for themselves.
The growth of Management colleges in India
The management education space, globally and particularly in India, is at an inflection point. I must say, the past few years have witnessed a huge correction in this space with hundreds of institutions getting closed due to reasons not difficult to guess. On the other hand, we have witnessed much-needed capacity building among top management institutions to accommodate more and more aspirants coming through national level competitive exams. With more than 5000 institutions in India offering management programs, we see crowding at the bottom of the pyramid, we are staring at an inevitable long-term course correction. Therefore, no wonder if we continue to witness, in the immediate future, more and more scaling down at the bottom of the pyramid and more and more capacity building at the top institutions.
Goals and plans for the future growth and expansion of SIBM, Hyderabad
SIBM Hyderabad is working on a very clear vision of building a temple of excellence that promotes international understanding through high quality higher education. Our next few years are earmarked for building capacities in the area of high impact research, internationalization, and innovations in pedagogy. We propose to accomplish these goals by actively partnering with industry and government.
Message for students wishing to join SIBM Hyderabad in the near future
Best wishes. Be prepared for tough competition.