Interview by Bhawna Rawat
Dr. S.K. Mahapatra is working as the Director of Jaipuria School of Business since July 2016. He holds a Ph.D from Utkal University and is a Post Graduate in Political Science, Public Administration, Social Work and Management. Prior to his current role, for past 12 years, he has held Head-HR roles with top corporate brands like Tata, POSCO, Jindal & Bajaj. He brings with him over 35 years of professional experience including seven years in the Academia. He has taught as a full time Professor at XIMB and Visiting Faculty at IIT KGP Vinod Gupta School of Management for foreign students.
At Jaipuria School of Business, in a short span, Dr. Mahapatra has been able to transform the image of the Institute by bringing in disruptive strategies as one of the most happening campus in NCR. He has bought many conceptual innovations into the academic architecture and pedagogy that has started yielding remarkable success in the grooming of students, achieving fastest placement and a beeline for new admissions. His vision, leadership and positive energy has taken Jaipuria School of Business on a path to be counted among the best B-Schools in India.
Dr. Mahapatra is widely-travelled in India and abroad, and has operated in North, East and Western regions of India. He is Past President of National HRD Network, Bhubaneswar Chapter and has been associated with many professional networks and associations like NHHRDN, NIPM, ISTD, ISLE, CII, ISABS etc. He is an alumnus of Hindu College, Delhi and MDI, Gurgaon.
Imparting education to the younger education is our great honour & obligation
We don’t view education as an Industry. It is a great responsibility and an absolute honour to head an Educational Institute like the Jaipuria School of Business. For the house of Jaipurias, who are into education for the past 75 years, imparting education is a great responsibility. We owe this to the younger generation and it is a noble service in the process of nation-building.
Dr. Mahapatra’s leadership style is based on collaborative teamwork
I believe in the power of collaboration and trust. I believe in teamwork and networking. Networking helps to expand the strength of our team beyond the office premises and has limitless potential. I assign leadership roles to volunteers for their initiatives, be it our faculty or staff. My role is to empower and assist these leaders with the resource-support that they would need to lead their initiatives to success. In a way, I work on a collaborative leadership model and each one of my team members is a leader for some mission and member of some other missions. We achieve success with happiness, working as a Team.
Coping with the fast-transforming world is a real challenge
We are living at a time when the shelf-life of every product and service is shrinking and technological innovation is disrupting business in every sector. There is a revolution going on in the Internet World and an explosion in mobile applications. Business models are going bust with every startup that becomes successful in challenging the established market leaders.
The biggest challenge is to keep pace with the real world while designing curriculum and expunging redundancy from the syllabus.
The importance of time management according to Dr. Mahapatra
The most important and valuable resource that we have is TIME. We all get the same amount of time as a resource. If we plan ahead of time, we get more value from the time and if we fail to plan, time goes to waste. I plan my work and follow a schedule, and as an Institute, we plan our work for the entire year and announce the annual calendar of the most important activities on 1st July every year. We stay committed to our plan and get maximum value from available time.
The Curriculum is kept updated with suggestions from experts from Academy and Industry
We have an elaborate consultative process to keep abreast with time, in our curriculum design. Every domain area faculty has at least 10 domain advisors, five each from Industry and Academy. With the help and guidance of the Domain advisors, a draft curriculum is prepared and presented to our Academic Advisory Council in May. The AAC consists of eminent academics and industry leaders from all domain areas. The AAC guides in finalization of the syllabus and curricula for our PGDM program ensuring incorporation of all benchmarks.
JAIPURIA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS holds a proud record in students’ placements
We have a proud record in placement. We believe that each student has infinite potential to realize his/her career aspiration. We believe that there are enough opportunities in the market to meet the career aspirations of every student.
We invite companies to campus only after assessing the personality, skill-set, competency and work-interest for each student .
When a student gets a job in the area of his/her interest, it is the real head start for a career. Our students don’t look only at the compensation but also at the job-scope on offer. They know compensation is a byproduct of good performance and if they like and enjoy their work, they can perform really well, be happy as well as earn good remuneration.
Regular meeting and interactions help in building a relationship with students
Listening is very important in building good relationships. I keep meeting and interacting with students on every available opportunity. We organise a lot of functions in the campus and invite CEOs and CXOs, for delivering guest lectures and usually I chair these interactive sessions. I am myself a teaching faculty and take sessions as assigned by the Dean. I also follow an “Open Door Policy” to meet my staff and students. I have set aside one hour every evening from 5 pm to 6 pm for walk-in meetings with students, in my office. Any student can also meet me with any concern during class-breaks or with prior appointment.
An ideal school environment would involve students focussing on studies while ignoring the distractions
In India, we have too many holidays and these cause distractions from learning. The smartphones are also a huge distraction for students. Our team of faculty is trying hard to use technology for overcoming these distractions and continuing the learning uninterrupted.
Goals in the Director’s mind for the college for the next few years
- We aim to be among the tBest Business School in our City and among top 25 B-Schools in India within next three years.
- We look forward to 10 successful start-up business incubated from our Campus
- We aspire to become the best MDP and Consulting Center in Ghaziabad.
- In the next five years, we aspire to see five of our alumni occupying roles of Chief Executive Officer and CXOs.
Suggestions for the current youth and the aspiring students to achieve success
Aim for the stars and don’t even settle for the moon.
- Be courageous, stay courageous and overcome the fear of future-uncertainty with creativity.
- Convert the hurdles into good challenges and collaborate to win.
- Don’t be afraid of new technology, don’t avoid to learn, master the technology.
Share your gift with others. Be compassionate and sensitive to help people when you can.