Interview by Sakshi Aggarwal
Prof. S. Ganesan, Director of the Firebird Institute of Research in Management, carries with him more than three decades of active engagement in teaching, research, and academic administration. Creating long-lasting academic systems, and faculty mentoring are his forte. The academic systems designed by him are inclusive in character and have built-in mechanisms for active consultations with all stakeholders. He has completed two post-doctoral research studies, and successfully guided 32 doctoral research works of his scholars. He has completed two major consultancy assignments.
Prof. Ganesan, whose specializations are Finance and Entrepreneurship, has authored 10 books and published/presented more than 50 research papers. He is a recipient of Teaching Excellence Award from Alagappa University, and ICSSR Award for his first book titled, 'Indian Publishing Industry'.
Experience in the education industry
I have little more than 30 years of experience in the higher education sector donning various roles like a teacher, researcher, dean, and administrator. The opportunity to add value to every student and researcher makes education as the best sector to work in for me.
Significant challenges faced as the Director of Firebird Institute of Research in Management
Working amidst the systematic risk faced by the Management Education sector is the only challenge.
Curriculum in Firebird Institute of Research in Management
Our curriculum has been prepared and updated through a continuous research involving industry veterans. Views on and ideas for improvement of the curriculum are sought through Focus Group Discussion with industry. In addition, the curriculum and pedagogy are set to international accreditation norms. Best practices in the industry are incorporated into every course of our programme and are taught by executives from industry. All these make our curriculum the best.
Goals in mind for Firebird Institute of Research in Management
The single goal that drives everybody at Firebird is to make our graduates leaders in their chosen field.
Quality of education in Firebird Institute of Research in Management
I ensure that all our processes are inclusive. Students are designated as Learning Associates and are provided with Business Cards. They are encouraged to get involved in all academic affairs, including assessment of presentations made by fellow students. The Institute has formalized regular involvement of students in the decision-making process pertaining to academic matters. One of the students, chosen by random, hoisted the national flag and delivered Independence Day Address on August 15, this year. The student was treated like how the Chief Guests are treated on such occasions. The inclusiveness ensured by the Institute has resulted in the whole-hearted participation of all students in all academic affairs.
Culture in Firebird Institute of Research in Management
Inclusiveness. This single strategy has created positive vibrations in every student.
Prof. S. Ganesan’s relationship with the students
Every student has an academic mentor who is encouraged to establish a winning relationship not only with the concerned student but also with the family members of the student. Mentors identify pertinent academic issues faced by the students and bring the issues to the notice of Director for resolution. Personal issues, if any, are taken to parents with the consent of students concerned.
Placement opportunities available at Firebird institute of Research in Management
Firebird has signed MoU with many top-rated companies in India and few companies abroad. The MoU paves way for providing industry internships and final placements to all students in the partnering companies. Students are selected by the partnering companies in the first Semester itself and are assigned with senior executives of companies for mentoring. The constant interactions between the student and the executive mentor help students in getting to know the nuances of practical management, while the internship period helps companies to effectively induct the student-internee in the company systems and culture.
Prof. S. Ganesan’s philosophy of leadership
I strongly believe in invisible leadership. I also earnestly believe that the colleagues would not get developed when the leader projects himself/herself everywhere. I have delegated every possible task to colleagues and handhold them to accomplish the delegated task with ease and efficiency. The system, created and carefully nurtured, takes care of smooth and effective administration without the need for my physical presence. Colleagues feel happy and forthcoming as they are empowered.
Suggestion for the current youth and the aspiring students
The Managers-in-the-making should be sincere in whatever they do in the travel to reach their career and life goals. Whatever failures I have witnessed, were only because of lack of sincerity. I also feel that they should develop an attitude that is expected by the corporates.