Interview by Sakshi Aggarwal

Dr. Adya Sharma, Director of SCMS, Pune

Dr. Adya, director of SCMS, has been part of the academic team instrumental in restructuring Marketing syllabus at the university level. She brings with her rich practical experience from the corporate world which perfectly blends with the theories as an academician. She has been connected to the corporate industry as a corporate trainer in companies like Goldman Sachs Women Entrepreneurship Program, Tata Motors Development Centre, Amdocs, McDonald's, CPHR Services Pvt. Ltd, Konnet Solutions Pvt. Ltd. among others.

She brings with her a missionary zeal to keep the learning environment vibrant and energized. The curriculum is rigorous; the approach is refreshing so that education remains relevant which is one of the main reasons why SCMS is continuously ranked as best business schools in the country under her leadership. Dr. Sharma is committed to infusing excellence in a learner-centric environment that excites and inspires Millennials who can then contribute to society as managers and thought leaders. 

Her area of interest lies in the consumer behavior towards purchase decisions. An avid researcher, she has a number of case studies to her credit which is based on real-time companies. She has also written research papers in reputed journals including Scopus indexed journals and has authored chapters in books. She has also been the second supervisor for master thesis of students conducted under Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany.

Dr. Adya Sharma’s experience in the education industry

I have been working for more than 2 decades. I had spent first 10 years in the corporate field but 12 years back I joined the academic field. I had joined the education industry because this is a field where we can help groom the next generation to be ready to take on the world and bring significant changes for the betterment of it and this is the best part of being in the education industry. Here you get to interact, groom, learn and help in the growth of the future of this country. This is the industry where two-way learning happens, we learn from young students and we teach them as well. Being in the education industry helps to learn a lot in life.

Goals in mind for SCMS for the next few years

SCMS is part of family Symbiosis. Motto of Symbiosis is वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् which means the world is one family. Being a part of that family, our goals are on similar lines. We would like to continue to be rated as one of best institutes of the country. For that, we would like to continue taking innovative steps that we have taken. Be it giving freedom to students, the choice-based credit system, to provide exposure of latest trend and technology to students. We continue to respect a student as an individual and hence we are not here to turn out a group of students all behaving in the same way. For us, each student is important and we believe each student has talent. When an SCMS student walks out of BBA, there is a leader walking out in every student depending on his or her talent. We say SCMS is a place where leader start young and we will continue to do that by providing opportunity in every space. Our goal is, that we are here for the students and will continue to be here for them to support them, nurture them, and help them in their growth. Let me not put any quantitative figure in picture because the student is about quality.

Dr. Adya Sharma on how SCMS is different from other colleges in India

SCMS has always focused on areas beyond academics. We believe that in this age, we work to provide exposure so they have knowledge and experience which can help them in the future life to make a decision. We allow a student to choose the subject which they like. A student in SCMS can do single specialization, dual specialization or general BBA. We believe in freedom so when have given freedom to student to choose their subjects, with knowledge, with support, and with counselling. SCMS has 12 clubs- theatre club- Dramebazz, dance club- Step up, NGO club- Initiate, music club- Encore, research club and many more. We encourage the student to join sports club also.

We promote an interdisciplinary approach and tell students that apart from studying business, you also should learn from other specializations. So, we take up law course, media, design because you need to have a complete perspective of things. I am proud of the diversity of SCMS. We have students from 30 different states and several different countries. Here, the students learn to respect different cultures and live in a peace together. Respecting different culture is the most important thing in the present scenario of the world. To understand we can co-exist with different culture different idea and get synergy by this.

Dr. Adya Sharma on student-industry interaction at SCMS

Our aim is to make students acquire the skills which can help them grow after doing BBA either by taking up a job or by being an entrepreneur. For this, we have a lot of industry interaction. We organize workshops where we have industry people coming to college and interacting with students.

In 2016-17 we had more than 50 guest lectures. Last year, we had Phoenix mechano project, this year we completed AIFI industry project. We encourage the students to be part of live industry project. We have a compulsory summer internship. We are one of those few BBA colleges in India which offer entrepreneurship as a specialization course at the graduation stage. We encourage our students to try, learn and implement everything. We have an event like Sympulse, where 500 students work for the event. It is entirely student-driven and is one of the most famous student festivals of the country. Recently, the shurawat bus had halted at SCMS where students from different school pitched their ideas. In short, we encourage entrepreneurship at every level.

Read more about the placement opportunities available at Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies here.

SCMS, Pune

Dr. Adya Sharma’s relationship with the students

Being in touch with student for us is one of most important thing. A decision in SCMS is taken in the most democratic way where faculty and students are involved in decision-making process. We are one of the few colleges in India where we have elected student council. I keep a very active interaction with elected student council members so that I know what is happening in college. We meet class representative once in every month. I myself take classes that keep me connected to students. We have open door policy where students can approach any faculty or in any case the Director for any concern.

We strongly believe that we may agree or disagree but we need to have a conversation. SCMS has reached where it is today because we have a regular conversation with current students and alumni of SCMS. Today, we rank one of the best institutes in the country because we are in touch with our students. We believe in communicating with our students. In fact, we have Alumni AMA (Ask Me Anything) where the students connect with alumni who have travelled the same journey. Alumni are invited and they take a session with the students. As SCMS alumni are in every corner of the world so we also conduct sessions online. Once a year we have alumni meet, though alumni can come to their college any time they want.

Know more about the faculty at Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies here.

SCMS, Pune

Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students

Always have the positive attitude. Never ever shy away from hard work. The route to success will have barriers, hindrance and that is alright. Learn to work hard and break those barriers to achieve your goal. Never ever let the student in you die. Keep learning at every step from whom so ever you can. World is beautiful place and you will definitely succeed.