Interview by Sakshi Aggarwal
Dr. Satish Ailawadi is a graduate in Chemical Engineering from University of Roorkee, now known as IIT, Roorkee and MBA from University of Poona with dual specialization in Marketing and Operations Management. He has also completed M.Phil in Entrepreneurship from Madurai Kamraj University and Ph.D. in R&D Management from Pandit Ravi Shankar Shukla University, Raipur. Dr. Ailawadi has worked in the areas of Sales Administration, Product Management, International Trade, Vendor Development, Materials Management, Supply Chain Management and General Management for 27 years in reputed business organizations such as Mitsubishi Corporation, NELCO, NIRLON, and Bombay Dyeing and Mfg. Co. Ltd.
Dr. Satish has an experience of 15 years in academics in institutions like Vivekanand Education Society’s Institute of Management Studies and Research, ICFAI Business School, and K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. Prior to joining IMT, Hyderabad he has held the position of Director at K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai for four years. He has authored books on ‘Logistics Management’ and ‘Entrepreneurship’ which are referred to as text books in various management programs. He has also published and presented several research papers in journals/ conferences of repute.
Apart from this, Dr. Satish is a Fellow of The Institution of Engineers (India), Life Member of Indian Institute of Materials Management, and a Member of Indian Institution of Industrial Engineering. His interests in research are mainly in the area of Supply Chain Management and Total Quality Management.
Dr. Satish was nominated by the Government of Maharashtra as a part of delegation to the South Asia Initiative of Harvard University, USA for a workshop on ‘Multi-disciplinary Approach to University Development’. He has also participated in a MDP on “Innovating for Excellence: Program for Leaders in Management Education” organized by Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. In the year 2014, he was also given the “Best Director” (West India) award by MBA By Choice.
Challenges faced by Dr. Satish as the Director of Institute of Management Technology, Hyderabad
There were quite a few challenges which have been leveraged into opportunities instead of looking at these as obstacles. A few of the major challenges were quality of students’ intake, the executive education, and the number of companies offering ‘Analytics Role’ to the students during their final placement.
Student-industry interaction at Institute of Management Technology, Hyderabad
The USP of Institute of Management Technology, Hyderabad has been identified as ‘Corporate-Connect’. An ecosystem has been created wherein an adequate student-industry interaction is provided by ensuring 15-20% sessions in each and every course including advanced level electives are facilitated by Senior Corporate professionals. We have also introduced a 14-16 weeks Summer Internship Program where the students are closely mentored by industry guides under the close supervision of faculty members.
Apart from this, we invite CXOs on regular intervals to interact with students on industry specific issues and challenges that they faced and how they overcame those. These interactions are invariably sector specific.
Interestingly, an annual sports event ‘Ace Connect’ is organized by our students every year wherein we invite corporate professionals who compete with our students in various sports such as Basketball, Volleyball, Cricket, Table-Tennis, etc. This enables our students to get connected to the corporate professionals.
Dr. Satish on time management
I do not find any difficulty in time management as I strongly believe in delegation and empowering my team members. Once the goals and targets for each and every activity/process are set with timelines, my job involves providing adequate resources to facilitate the process owners to complete the task in time. Faculty meetings are held regularly to review the progress and suitable steps are taken immediately if any deviations are observed.
Dr. Satish on how the Indian education system is different from the education system in other countries, both with respect to students as well as teachers/professors
The Indian education system is quite different as compared to the one prevailing in the western countries. This difference starts from the primary level itself which continues to affect the quality of education at both graduation as well as post-graduation levels. Though the situation is changing in certain elite schools at primary and secondary level, the education system remains more or less same across the country. Since we emphasize on rote learning at primary and secondary school level, the creative thinking skills of the students remain dormant and it becomes difficult for the teachers/professors at the graduation and post-graduation levels to make students’ think out of the box and be more innovative.
There is a heavy emphasis on research by faculty members in western universities whereas academic institutions in India have not yet been able to achieve high quality standard in research and publications. It is important that academicians in India get involved in serious research both scholarly as well as application-based research.
Qualities, which over the year have helped Dr. Satish and the entire management, in creating a brand name for IMT, Hyderabad
It is my firm belief that for building an institution, the essential ingredients in leadership style should be-ability to empower the faculty members and the support staff, inspire and facilitate the team members to stretch themselves and come out of their comfort zone, and ability to benchmark and continuously improve upon the existing process.
Message for the students pursuing higher studies under the influence of their peers and society
The parents must understand that their children should be permitted to pursue the vocation which their wards are passionate about, because in the long run that helps a person to grow in his/her career and feel happy about it.
In my experience, pursuing higher studies under the influence of their peers and society is very myopic approach. This is so obvious that if a student takes up a program in which he/she is not interested, in all probabilities they will not be able to perform well on the job and hence their growth will be stunted. On the contrary, if a student takes vocation of his/her interest, he/she is bound to perform well and become successful though he/she may not get a high paying job initially.
Message for the students wishing to join Institute of Management Technology, Hyderabad in the near future
The only message I would like to give students aspiring to join Institute of Management Technology, Hyderabad is to be ready for undergoing academic rigor during their two years’ stay with us and be able to withstand the pressure meeting deadlines and do not worry on mundane aspects such as ‘Return on Investment’, etc.