Interview by Shivangi
Dr. Nilesh Rameshchandra Berad is presently serving as the Director at MET’s Institute of Management. His qualification includes – Ph.D. in Marketing Management, MBA in Marketing and B. Pharma, all from Pune University. He has 20 years of educational and Industrial experience.
With this, Dr. Berad also has international teaching exposure, having invited as a guest lecturer in UAE. He has also published more than 30 research papers in various national and international journals. Apart from this, he has also published a total of 9 textbooks. In an exclusive interview with collegedunia.com, he shares his views on the education sector in India and his upcoming goals for MET.
Thoughts on the Education Industry in India
The education industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in India. Globally and as per the statistics, this sector is amongst the largest, with an extensive network of more than 14 lakh schools (with over 20 crore students enrolled), more than 850 universities and 40,000 higher education institutes. The industry is expanding rapidly in light of rising income levels and growing demand for quality education in the country.
The sector has witnessed a paradigm shift in recent times. Once operated primarily as a philanthropic or a nation-building activity, it has since transformed into an industry in its own right. So far, basic primary education and individual-specific institutions for higher education, like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have been prominent parts of the Indian education sector.
However, due to an increase in competition coupled with the increasing need to provide quality education and generate positive learning outcomes, the Indian education sector is slowly but steadily moving on the reforms track. Due to the continuous reforms and an abundant population in need for education, it is evolving, and as they say, “recession proof” industry to work in. Imparting knowledge in a noble profession with institutes like ours is making strides in shaping this nation.
Dr. Berad’s philosophy and style of leadership
“I like to lead by example. I lead from the front by taking action, demonstrating what needs to be done, and keeping my team organized to make sure we’re all on the same page and contributing equally.”
Example, I personally take some demo lectures for faculty members and show them how to deliver effective lectures, which is based on innovative teaching pedagogy like case study discussion, webinar, application base teaching.
“Communication is one of my greatest strengths. I lead by facilitating open communication, and trying to bring out the best in every team member”.
I have a lot of open discussions with faculty members and my students about the development of institute system, process, and various ways for organizational development. We do the brainstorming on various issues and respect the opinion of each individual and select the best alternative for implementation.
“I’m great at delegating and finding the strengths of other team members. I try to give each person a chance to do what they’re best at and create a team effort that delivers a result that’s greater than the sum of its parts”.
Sense of appreciation is a must, I always see to it in some way or the other, the staff who takes extra effort is rewarded. Everybody works to be noticed, recognized and respected, I think we have to work on this. Emotional Quotient is another area where I concentrated. It really helps a lot.
Significant Challenges faced as a Director
There are several challenges faced as a Director of MET’s IOM. Challenges are like change in the character and structure of management education. It means to ensure quality faculty, promote research culture, faculty development programs, develop reading materials relevant to the Indian context, develop interaction with the industry, evolve a proper system of accreditation & rating; create an independent institutional mechanism.
The stakes and challenges are quite high; they require everyday innovations, creativity, research, and practice-oriented approach to teaching and curriculum and all other relevant aspects. Therefore, I always believe that to acquire good people, develop the people, and retain the right people.
Institute is not recognized by hardware (infrastructure)
Institute is recognized by Software (human Intellect)
We should take care of human intellect in education institute because the institute is known for that human intellect.
Taking MET-BKC to Greater Heights
Good management education can provide a stepping stone to lucrative and promising professional careers for ambitious youngsters. Now that the world is truly a global village, business in this environment is becoming increasingly competitive and complex, calling for multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional skills.
Keeping in mind, the need for top-class intellectual capital and infrastructure that define the excellence or absences thereof in a Business School, our efforts at MET-BKC have always focused toward attracting the best of in-house as well as visiting talent. Classroom lectures are interspersed with live cases, industry exposure, and interactions with corporate stalwarts, who share their experiences perspectives with our students.
Another dimension emphasized here, is the all-round holistic development of the students' personalities. We, therefore, lay particular emphasis on communication and foreign language skills, giving our students a head start in the global arena that they are required to face today. With the kind of structured, contemporary inputs delivered to our students, I am confident they shall prove to be an asset to any organization.
These are just a few ways to take the university and the MBA Program forward, and we at MET Institute of Management have and always will try to inculcate our sound values in our students thus resulting in the program, university, institute and students all reaching great heights.
MET-BKC’s well-rounded curriculum
The institute is affiliated to Savitribai Phule Pune University. The curriculum is designed and developed by the University, and it is delivered expertly through a systematic process. As a BOS Member of SPPU, Pune, while designing and updating the curriculum, I always consider the changing needs of the industry.
Syllabus framework is always a matter of how you implement it practically. As a responsible Director, we brainstorm, plan – case studies, visits, make programs, and take the theoretical level to the most practical level.
Each subject faculty prepares ‘micro plans’ of their concerned subject/s at the beginning of every academic year. ‘Micro plan’ is a detailed session plan covering primary and subtopics. Taking into consideration the needs of the subjects taught, various pedagogies are used for delivering the curriculum, which includes; chalk & talk, power-point presentations, case studies, role-plays, video lectures, live projects, field-visits, models & posters, book reviews, desk research, and more. The faculty members decide the appropriate combinations of the pedagogies in consultation with the theme.
The evaluation of the effective delivery of the curriculum is ensured by conducting Concurrent assessments, class-tests, Multiple Choice Questions tests, assignments, mid-term, and end term exams. The feedback of the evaluation is discussed with faculty members by me.
Weak students are identified, and remedial classes are organized for them. The fortnightly meetings are conducted to track the status of course completion. The comprehension of the subject by students is also monitored through their direct feedback about the faculty member and overall subject. The inputs are shared with faculty members for improvement.
Curriculum delivery is further supported by optimum utilization of resources available. Use of computer labs helps them in providing a platform for online learning (e-learning) while the language lab opens the gateways to explore new areas in the arena of communication and soft skills. Also, various value-added courses are proposed for the students. They are based on the specializations, industry requirements, and feedback from multiple stakeholders.
Industry-Academia Interface is another area of interest for the institution. To update, upgrade the students, the Institute is always in search of excellence by arranging expert lectures, workshops, etc. from industry, relevant fields. To give them exposure, national and international seminars, conferences, and other programs. Internships, projects, learning by doing ensure experiential learning with the skill-based approach. Being part of society, students are proactively involved in various campaigns and connected through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Go Green, Eco-friendly campus, financial literacy awareness program, the help of poor and needy people of society are taken into account.
Courses like Forex Trading, Human Rights, Cyber Security, Personality Development, Leadership Lab add value to make the students versatile. Both technical and non-technical skills are provided through offline and online modes of learning. Inputs from IITs, IIMs, NITs are directly accessible through NPTEL courses. Counselling, coaching, and mentoring are available for students for regular interactions.
Bridging the gap between students from different graduation backgrounds
Institute has students from different graduation backgrounds, and to bring them all at one platform before the actual academics start, the institute gives them an Equalizer Programme. Special classes of subjects like Accounts, Economics and Statistics where we teach them the basic concepts. Students of Commerce background would be weak in Statistics & Research, and those with Science background would be weak in Accounts.
This program thus has two effects – one is making the weak students confident about the subjects they generally fear from and identifying the students with high potential in case they come up with some innovative concepts.
Institute also conducts “16 PF Test” and “ABC Analysis” for the students. These are the psychometric tests, which again is a special way of identifying the personality traits of the students and thereby assigning them to the respective mentors based on their personality traits. This way, the students are mentored as per their strengths and weaknesses from the very beginning of their journey in the MBA course. At the end of their first semester, the institute takes up a “Specialization Inventory Test,” which is another psychometric test that helps students identify their interests in opting the specialization based on their personality traits.
Institute selects Internal/ electives subjects which are common for all but then apart from these subjects they are also taught some extra subjects depending on their caliber. In case, a student is weak and not confident enough in communication, the institute gives classes for English and Personality Development as well.
Placement opportunities at MET-BKC
Unlike most of the local B-schools, MET is highly focused towards placements. We have a placement cell which periodically interacts with students and provides grooming sessions to not only improve the student’s personality but also to bridge the gap between the industry and education.
The path for MET’s placement office is bifocal, not only to ensure that students receive adequate placement assistance but also to develop an MBA student into a more aware and well-equipped professional for a successful career ahead in the corporate world.
Successful candidates from recent MBA-batch of MET-Nashik received offers from internationally acclaimed companies such as Amazon, ICICI Bank, Volkswagen, IDBI Bank, Kalpataru Estate, Reliance Money, Bajaj Capital, HSBC, HDFC, Yes Bank, Wockhardt, Powerdeal, Ultratech cement, Synergy, Mahindra & Mahindra and more.
Read about MET's Institute of Management Placement
The highest offer in the year 2012 was made by ‘Times Analytics’ for students of MBA-marketing worth Rs. 6 LPA. And the highest package in 2018 has been Rs 7.80 LPA. These are some great packages only possible due to the relentless efforts of my placement team and also the hard work of students.
Methods to establish a healthy relationship with the students
I have one Mantra to establish a relation with the students, faculty, and staff i.e. “As a leader, be accessible” for the stakeholders 24x7. Have a policy of hearing what others are trying to say. Be able to take bad news, too.
On the first day itself, I share my personal mobile no. and email-id with students, and parents to know their feedback on each and every activity. I am always taking the lectures on the different aspects of life and management. Apart from this, we have a special initiative as counselling, training and grooming dept. I talk to experts to get an analytical report of all the students. I try to mentor them.
Dynamic approach towards both student and faculty development
Post-Graduation comes at the top of the hierarchy that a student generally strives for in his educational journey. By this time, they have already gone through different modes of teaching and learning process. Hence, it becomes inevitable to impart knowledge with innovation and creativity. Rather than adopting traditional methods of teaching, the Institute adopts some innovative teaching methods and tools that will enhance their knowledge, interest and will be helpful in their careers in the future as well.
Faculty members participate in various FDP conducted at National and international level. They use student-centric methods, such as experiential learning, participative learning, and problem-solving methodologies. We try to add innovation and creativity in the teaching-learning process.
In order to inculcate entrepreneurial skills in management students, Institute takes an event called – “Epoch – The Urban Haat”. It’s a group activity for students where they are supposed to select a product that will be manufactured, marketed and sold by students themselves.
In management education, the most effective tool of teaching is the case study approach. Teaching management becomes effective with the use of live cases of corporates. It helps students to develop and apply their analytical skills to various problems encountered by the management in the organization. Video lectures and webinars are conducted for the students in order to get insights from professional with rich expertise.
Goals for the next five years
I would really like to take all my managers to the level of leaders and global citizens. I want them to be independent thinkers and make our institute compatible with world-class management requirement.
Main focus: “broaden the specialization”, “create a global mind-set”, and “Internationalize Management education” in the next few years.
We want to develop “Farm to Foreign” courses (Micro Courses, Need base courses). I am in the process of “MOU with foreign university” and student exchange program with a foreign university. I wish to offer “International Placement and Project” to my students in the coming years. Now the institute is affiliated to the university but in the coming years, we will shape institute as an autonomous institution. Apart from this, we want to create “distinctiveness of Institute” in “Entrepreneurship Development” in the local and global market.
Suggestions for the youth and aspiring students
Today, in the age of smartphones & internet the average student is more vigilant and does his homework before deciding his/her career path. This is a good thing but at the same time, there is a lot of false information which can lead to confusion and even wrong decisions by students. They must always cross-check information and make decisions based on their needs and not on the word of anyone else.
In India, students have a tendency to follow the crowd but I strongly suggest they should consult councilors and go for reputed institutes like MET and not newly mushroomed colleges.