Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Dr. Dinesh Hegde is currently working as the Dean of N.L.Dalmia Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai. He holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Economics with specialization in Quantitative Economics. He has taught Post–Graduate and Doctoral courses for 4 decades in India and abroad. He has guided several Doctoral and Masters Dissertations including summer/winter Projects.
Over the past four decades, Dr. Hegde has led research teams of prestigious projects in techno-economic areas (including Technology Matrix for Tanzania, Demand Side Management in the Indian Power Sector, Cost-Benefit Analysis of Cleaner Technologies in India, Estimation of the fair rate of return on equity for a PPP project) sponsored by SIDA, EERC/MOEF/World Bank and regulatory bodies. He has undertaken numerous consultancy assignments in techno-economic areas including restructuring, turnaround, and viability studies in diverse industries such as automobiles, continuous casting, industrial fasteners, agrochemicals, electronics and infrastructure sectors like air/seaports. He has published several papers in reputed national and international journals.
Dr. Hegde’s experience in the Education Industry
I have spent 40 years in the education sector. It has been an enjoyable career for me as we work on a larger canvas, mentoring a whole generation of students who will shape up and tend to take up responsible positions and often occupy a pride place in their respective roles in various service sectors. It gives us immense satisfaction being a part of this significant process and playing a role in the making of professionals as well as institutions. Needless to say, there are unprecedented challenges, going forward.
As technology is striding combined with changes in tastes & preferences, markets and organizations are increasingly becoming consumer/user-centric which, in effect, alters the nature jobs and work environment. In light of this, the kind of requirements the industry would seek can only be expected to be different. Thus, the urgency for management education to rise up to the occasion becomes all the more and give exposure to the latest developments such as Big Data, AI, IoT and Design Thinking in formats like seminars, conclaves and or short certification programs, etc.
Dean’s philosophy of leadership
I believe in inclusive and democratic leadership. I value it personally and have seen it working effectively over the years, besides bringing in the best from those involved to develop a critical mass moving forward. We have well qualified and competent faculty across disciplines with diverse viewpoints and when we work together, we strive for the optimum.
Talent acquisition and retention continue to be the biggest challenge across Institutes
We have a lot of requirement for the faculty and some specific requirements are very difficult to meet. This is not only true for NL Dalmia but across all management institutes as getting quality faculty is the biggest challenge. Fortunately, we have a good team of Adjunct and Visiting Faculty to make up for this gap as also bring in their rich industry expertise & experience.
We are working for creating more placement opportunities for students on campus
It has been good so far but we need to improve in terms of our reach as well as preparing the students industry ready. The rate of competition is very high and it will take some time to match the standards. Surely, over a period of time, with the ongoing collaborations/partnerships with Wisconsin and VirginiaTech, we should be able to establish ourselves as a strong brand.
Our infrastructure facilities make us stand out among all the other institutions
Our uniqueness is in terms of infrastructure and various enabling facilities comprising a rich Library including a digital one. Also, we have a Bloomberg lab with twelve terminals, a rare facility at that. We have a good composition of students coming from diverse backgrounds, with nearly fifty percent of the intake being engineers. NLDIMSR a preferred destination for management education.
An ideal school environment will focus on the relevance of studies to the present time
An ideal B-School environment would be a good combination of rigor and relevance. A lot of case studies are taken up for classroom discussion in addition to immersion experience projects. We also have live projects here undertaken by the Faculty with industry and social relevance. Recently, we have completed five research projects for the Police as well.
Now, we are also entering industry-oriented projects. We have already established interaction with the Mira Bhayandar Industry Association. So, very soon we will have more projects to work with. These are some assignments from the industry which are under discussion with our consulting /research groups. We have a long way to go but then we have made a good beginning.
As part of the nation-building exercise, we have also begun a long-term Logistic management program (LLMC) at INS Hamla for the Navy, here in Malad. We had done that earlier as well. Thus, we are making ourselves relevant outside institutes as well.
The Institute provides continuous exposure to students to match industry and global levels
We are at it, in addition to the regular curriculum, we have quite a few workshops, conclaves and other events. Recently, we have had an international marketing conclave, in addition to others on artificial intelligence, big data and the like. Just last weekend, we had an international conclave on design thinking as part of the ongoing endeavor toward industry-academia interface.
Well, it's an ongoing process of giving continuous exposure to the students on the latest developments taking place in the Global arena in respect of technologies and market; as a concerted effort to go well beyond the domestic boundaries.
Taking students’ feedbacks and solving their problems can build a strong student-teacher relationship
We constantly interact with the students and ask for feedbacks accordingly. They have a lot of activities, like Aakarshan and sports week and events like Utkarsh. So, we interact with them and we also sponsor them for events in other Institutions as well.
The availability of the faculty is very responsive in terms of solving the issues related to students. If they are approaching me, we keep the concerned HODs informed. We conduct regular meetings to discuss the issues that are affecting the students. We try to resolve them as quickly as possible and similarly, regular monthly faculty meetings are there in order to keep in touch with the faculty.
There’s a project called MSR (My social responsibility), where we have adopted a village called Kondawa. It is 90 km away from here and students are involved to address the issues related to school, health, hygiene, and livelihood by regularly visiting them. There is a professor-in-charge for student affairs in order to receive regular inputs. All in all, there are a lot of activities and students are made to feel the responsibilities not only in the corporate sector but also in a wider societal space. Then we have regular industry visits. So, there are many things which closely link them to real worlds.
Goals planned for the Institute
We have a growth plan for the institution, our ambition is to become a University with various schools. Environmental Sustainable Technologies could be another School. It is necessary to make the students more conscious socially, to match the standards of industrial and social levels.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students
Since this is the age of consumerism, it is essential for students to acquire values. It's so easy to be blown off on its feet which I think is a big challenge, not to look at packages but what sort of work content is there. You may also find them not being satisfied, “is this all?” every young person would feel so. Therefore, from the beginning itself, I keep telling them to choose the content.
In the long run, that's what matters as you are an internal part of the society. If you are divorced from that for whatever reason it will haunt you.