Interview by Yash Panchal
Dr. Paritosh Chandra Basu is currently positioned as a Senior Professor and Program Chairperson of MBA Law in NMIMS School of Management. Academically, he did B.Com (Hons.), M.Com and Ph.D. from the University of Calcutta. Dr. Basu is also a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a Cost Accountant from the Institute of Cost Accountants of India.
Dr. Basu was awarded 'Lifetime Achievement Award' at the Sixth Edition of the Big CIO Show, a national level conference of CIOs organized by Trescon Global, Bengaluru. He received 'Pinnacle Star' Award from Essar Group for performance excellence in redefining organizational standards in leadership roles. He also received Outstanding Performer’s Awards from Essar Group for years and Gold Certified International Presenter.
Dr. Basu has numerous professional memberships as fellow and lifetime members. He is also a Director and Trustee of a couple of corporate and social organizations. He holds consulting experience as well for several leading companies. He helped students in their presentation of Research Papers and Case Studies in all India Competitions amongst premier B-Schools. Several such presentations have received first and second prizes including rewards in cash.
His Ph.D. Thesis, “A study of Transfer Pricing System practiced in selected Multi-divisional Organizations in India” is kept in the Central Library of The University of Calcutta, for reference. His research interests are in Transnational Transfer Pricing, Disruptive Business Modelling, Blockchain, and Digital Transformation, Sustainability Management, Macroeconomic aspects of BFSI Sector, etc. Dr. Basu has chaired and spoken at numerous conferences, summits, and seminars at national and international levels. He has published many research papers and case studies. To his credit, Dr. Basu also boasts of many monographs and refereed journal articles.
Dr. Basu on the changes he has noticed in management education and the steps required to improve the education quality in India
At the outset, let me thank Collegedunia.com for this opportunity to share my thoughts on some contemporary aspects of education which may be of interest for students.
Several impactful transformations have taken place in last 3 decades. The first and foremost is application orientation. In this Industry 4.0 era, students are more interested to know how the imparted knowledge can be practiced for generating values than the knowledge itself. One can these days perceive enormous entrepreneurial aspirations among students. They also want to be more socially responsible and globally relevant than anything else. This has also called for substantial changes in designing courses and pedagogy. Enough and more literature are available in cyberspace, and many lecture sessions can also be viewed. Days are not very far if students will not come to the classroom if they find that their teacher is a post office of books. They can read it at home. Case and instance based teaching is, therefore, a must using examples and learning points from a contemporary business ecosystem.
Digital interventions are increasingly being brought in. Management students, from engineering streams, are being advised to go through some compulsory digital modules for familiarization with subjects like accounting before they join classroom sessions. Students also prefer to be foundation ready for the class for effective and contributory learning. Another critical change is an emphasis on courses for soft skills development, which is delivered through workshop and clinical modes. Irrespective of functional areas, learning remains incomplete without soft skills. As business ecosystem gets more shrouded with dynamic and risky elements of VUCA, superiority in soft skills will ensure functional effectiveness.
Dr. Basu’s philosophy of leadership being the Senior Professor (Finance) and Chairperson (MBA) Law Program of NMIMS School of Business Management
I strongly believe that the mantra is to first become a good human being. Do and say what you believe, believe what you say and do. ‘Stragility’ should be one of the keynotes for the success of a leader. By that word, I mean the ability to create agile strategies to ensure successfully treading through challenges thrown up by the dynamic elements of emerging business ecosystem in every next period, howsoever short or long the period may be.
A successful leader should have the ability to foresee the seeds in the womb of time and proactively achieve a state of readiness to deliver the next-in-class. He/she has to enthuse team members to make the best use of the opportunity with patience and commitment, think more to make the task of tackling challenges. A leader must compassionately facilitate the process of risk-enabled performance management for sustainable prosperity, aligned with the vision and mission of the organization. The leader has to ensure alignment of organizational goals with individual goals for shared development, also with the extended family called society. He/she should confer all credits to team members for the results delivered, and own up any gap and failure. In the processes, he/she must help to pick up of learning points to better prepare for the next tasks and challenges.
In my corporate life over three decades, I did try to share my dream with team members, lead from the front by example, collectively deliver, share the result with all, and also emphasize with all when we met failure.
Dr. Basu on how he manages his time and how time management plays an important role in a student’s life
I follow the axiom that thinking time reduces working time. Understand the work, plan before you plunge. My passion for whatever I do helps me to manage time. I believe what I do. Time management is a way of my life. Success depends on how you prioritize work in terms of impact that you will create when done. Even now being midway through sixties, I don’t feel like taking a break while doing a work till it finishes. One has to be a little more selfless and follow the axiom “Work is worship and devotion to work is religion.” I do strongly believe that surrendering of today’s self-benefits is investments for tomorrow. I do also control expectations so as to remain encouraged even when results fall short.
A student must remember that little achievements in early part of career will prepare him / her for challenging tasks of tomorrow in an effective manner with improved quality and speed. They must remember that in a study program, examinations are held after three or six months. In working life every day is a day of meeting challenges. Hence time management is essential not only for finishing tasks of the day and deliver more than what was asked for with speed and quality, but also invest some time for self-development to remain in a state of readiness for future.
Significant challenges faced by Dr. Basu in present role
One of the challenging tasks is to run a program like MBA (Law), which is the first of its kind in India and perhaps the second in the world. Corporate groups and legal consulting firms are taking some time to understand what the value proposition for both industry and students is. Another significant challenge is to get teachers for courses which are new, absolutely practice oriented, and should be taught by faculty members from industry. For example, courses like Laws related to Insolvency, Competition, Cybersecurity, Alternative Dispute Resolution, M&A, etc.
Curriculum of NMIMS School of Management
This is a very good question. NMIMS makes best efforts to reaffirm and ensure that all its curricula conform to best practices of Industry. Every single course structure for every program is first debated internally by a group of eminent faculty members, simultaneously with informal views obtained from industry. Thereafter, the course structure and detailed modular outlines for each course are reviewed, debated and recommended by the ‘Board of Studies’, comprising eminent senior professionals from industry and academicians from prestigious academic institutions. All these are finally approved by the Academic Council of the University comprising of very senior academicians, researchers, and practitioners.
The course structure and outlines are reviewed in full every alternate year so that new topics of contemporary relevance are brought in purging-off the obsolete ones. For this, feedback from students and visiting faculty members are also considered followed by the said two approvals. Pedagogical innovation always remains a focus area to ensure that courses are delivered in a manner that best suits the programme and purpose of industry. Program Learning Objectives (PLOs) and Course Learning Objectives (CLOs) are predefined. Assessment of Learning (AoL) is measured and tracked on a trimester basis to ensure that the outcomes are in desired levels and direction.
Dr. Basu on the opportunities that pass out students have and what kind of role they will manage
Let me first set the subject of the question relevant to the context. Multi-skilled professionals is the need of contemporary business ecosystem. Infusion of Legal and managerial skills are very much in contemplation by corporate and consulting firms. NMIMS, known for its innovation and industry-lead approach for program designing, is conscious about these new age requirements. We started MBA (Law) Programme in 2016. This is the first of its kind in India and perhaps the second after the Harvard University. It is a unique NextGen full-time two-year on-campus postgraduate program. Students can join with basic UG background of LL.B., CA, Company Secretary and/or CMA after passing through written test followed by in-person interview.
Students of this program are fully equipped and ready with skill sets essential for risk-enabled business management and value additions. They can be deployed to any sector and the functional group, viz., BFSI, Investment Banking, AIFs, Brick & Mortar Manufacturing, FMCG, eCommerce, Consulting Services, Infrastructure & Real Estate emerging Digital sectors in Industry4.0, etc. They fit well in areas of Strategy and Governance, M&A, Contract and Litigation Management, Fund Raising, Risk and Compliance Management. They are also equipped to handle all other work which an In-house counsel does with an additional advantage of multi-skilled abilities related to business management with needful knowledge input.
Suggestions to the current youth and the aspiring students
My request for all students, irrespective of the curriculum they are pursuing, is to first become a good human being. Students must also remember that ‘KASH brings Cash’. The former means Knowledge, Attitude, Skill and Habit. Each one of the four supplements and complements the other. One should continuously learn, unlearn and relearn to remain updated and relevant for ever-changing dynamics of time and changing the business ecosystem.
If you turn your mind to knowledge, the shadow of your ego and attitude will fall behind you. If you have the correct frame of mind, you will be able to remain in search of knowledge and hone skills to apply towards generating values for sustainable development, shared with society for inclusive growth.
Dr. Basu’s relation with the students being the Professor and Chairperson of the University
After34 years of corporate life and association of about 24 years with management training development and teaching activities. I have joined NMIMS as a full-time professor in 2013. Many people question me why? I could have continued with those highly remunerative jobs! I think the answer is loud and clear. I follow an open-door policy and remain just a phone call, a message or an email away to connect with students not only of NMIMS, but of many other institutions. I have jointly authored three papers with my students so far and one more is in progress. Students are of priority to me. I never ever feel that I am doing any favor to them. Rather, I am trying in my own limited way to work for all that I owe to the society which has given me so much. I won’t be able to repay that in this mortal life.
Dr. Basu’s ideal school environment
I think this is a very difficult question. No environment can be considered as ideal in this dynamic world. Again, the definition of ideal changes from time to time, place to place, nature and level of programs, students and geographical location, etc.
I do believe the environment should provide most of all that a student need to be successful in his / her pursuit of application oriented knowledge, develop critical soft skills, become socially relevant and responsible with a global perspective, etc. The school, its faculty members and the entire ecosystem should resonate with each one of them to inculcate into him / her cognitive skills and traits of a good human being, a creative leader, a thinker, an innovator, foreseeing seeds in the womb of time and a lifelong traveler in search of excellence.
Last but not the least, adequate facilities must be provided so that students can independently organize co-curricular and extra-curricular activities under guidance and mentorship of their respective faculty in-charge. This will help them to acquire various skills, viz. playfulness, collectivism, communication, management, team building, leadership and so on.