What is your view on Industry-Academia gap both at the graduate and at the post-graduate level?
There is a gap of talent in terms of employability. The main problem is not shortage of institutions but the dearth of quality. Industry should take an active stand to be part of the solution. We have seen many companies take active steps in building employability of their new joinees by creating a training program that starts before the employee joins the company.
What structural changes are needed at the MBA level for students to have a better industry orientation?
Industry needs to take ownership of the talent being employable. At ISB, we make intense effort to bring the industry to our students in a meaningful way that goes beyond just inviting them as faculty but also engaging industry and students to work together in projects. This industry interaction needs to happen as part of the program and should engage people at different levels across functions.
ISB’s Mohali campus is an interesting shift away from the generalist approach to management. Do you think this approach can be broadened to undergraduate levels as well?
The Mohali campus aims to bring greater specialization to MBA in different growth verticals. This specialization does not make sense at undergraduate levels. School and college should be generalist and provide an exposure that then creates the interest for specialization.
What is your view on industry consortiums running sector-specific schools on a symbiotic-competitive basis?
The success of industry consortiums depends on the objectives and expectations from the parties. If Industry gets into consortiums trying to get talent for their industry in the short run it will not work. Industry need to be donors and not owners of academia, they need to look at their investment with a long term view and leave the academia to run and administer.
Do you see a need for more collaboration between industry and universities in grooming talent together?
This collaboration is required. Education does not have the capacity by itself and there has to be a combination of companies and academia working together to develop and groom internal talent. ISB collaborates with many companies in helping in creating their development curriculums, assessing their impact and sometimes delivering the programs. Programs like PGPMax (PGP for Senior Executives) also help in creating that exposure while working as a full time employee.