Urging students to pursue research, Dr. Vibhor Paliwal, Dean of the School of Management Studies at Sangam University, Bhilwara enlightens about the crucial factors to heed over before beginning a start-up. With the Education Post’s Tanay Kumar, Dr. Paliwal shares how his department has implied the New Education Policy in full essence.
You completed your Ph.D. from MLSU University Udaipur. What was the subject of your Ph.D.?
When I started my career, research was not multi-disciplinary driven. So, my major was in marketing and I chose that for research as well. My topic was the study of brand preference in the personal care segment of FMCG sector and the audience hailed from Southern Rajasthan. FMCG has been a kind of growing sector in India. Many statistical tools were not very prevalent at that time as well. Along with that, my research area was the Industrial Organization Economy as well.
Due to globalization, all the core studies have got several branches. For example, Managerial Economics is your area of expertise. How is it different from other branches of economics?
There are two main branches in economics: macroeconomics and macroeconomics. Micro economics process the individual spending and households expenditures while macro economics deals in the country’s economics as whole. Besides these two, there is monetary economics, which addresses money supply, issues of Reserve Bank of India, etc. Further, Foreign Exchange and International Economics are also very potential branches of economics.
Managerial Economics largely addresses the economics tools and techniques in management. For example, theory of demand and supply entails functional working. So, managerial economics teaches how to frame a demand function, after which elasticity of the demand is calculated, based on those formulations. How an increment in the product’s price will cause the demand among consumers is decided by those demand function formulae and elasticity.
‘Entrepreneurship and Start-up Management’ is the book you have co-authored. In the Indian context, what are the key traits of ‘management’ that entrepreneurs must always heed over?
I must mention here that almost six to seven years ago, I used to believe that entrepreneurship cannot be taught. But now I believe on the other side that it could be inculcated as a separate subject.
So, the first important trait is that one should have an idea; Second, the idea should fulfil a crisis or scarcity. See the example of Zomato, Swiggy and other food delivery services. This idea came from the metro cities where husband and wife both work and children are at school. In this situation, how would they get time to dine at a restaurant? Answer was, the restaurants came to their doorsteps or offices.
Further, the social and economic power of the customers is another important aspect that one must heed over. Even if one makes a product and solves a problem but if its cost is not in synchronous with the targeted customers’ pockets, how will she/he make the profit and how will scale up the business? So, people’s pocket matters as well. Plus, the social environment of people and their spending pattern are also crucial factors before starting a business.
It’s positive that India has started focusing on the Industry Academia gap in academics. But why couldn’t the nation feel this urge in the past, not even in the early years of this century?
Somehow, the political establishments over long years didn’t feel its necessity. But fortunately, we have got the New Education Policy which discusses how to bridge the Industry-Academia gaps. This policy should have been implemented decades ago.
Second important reason is research, up to some extent. Research should have been boosted in the past two decades, which somehow we lagged in that as well. Impactful researches encourage for better industrial applications and thus shorten this industry academia gap. At Sangam University, our Vice Chancellor, Dr. Karunesh Saxena, has introduced an incentive-based provision for research papers and getting them published in prestigious indexes.
You played an important role in implementing the New Education Policy at Sangam University. What are the new things that the School of Management at the university has adopted from the NEP?
First, I would proudly state that the School of Management Studies were among the first schools in Rajasthan that implemented the New Education Policy 2020 the same year this act was promulgated in the whole country.
The Management School of Sangam University has implemented the NEP in its full existence. For example – the multiple entry and multiple exit provision of the NEP is very great. At Sangam University, suppose, because of some problems, if a student has to drop her/his study after two years of the graduation course, so we provide an Undergraduate Diploma certificate in Management to her/him so that her/his years of education go in fruition. If she/he has to drop after one year, we provide an Undergraduate certificate in Management for his/her whole one year.
If a student studies for one more year after his/her three-year course, she/he is eligible to get a BBA Honours degree, after which he has to only study for one more year to get an MBA. We also started BBA Research as well from this year and thus if a student studies this course, she/he won’t be required to do a post-graduation here, she/he would be eligible directly for the Ph.D. course.
Further, we have implied the choice-based credit system as well. The NEP keeps emphasizing on minimizing the industry-academia gap for better exposure and because of our constant interaction with the industry, placement of the university is over 95%. Plus, we take help from massive open online courses (MOOC) like NPTEL and Swayam and give appreciations credit to the students who complete those courses in line with their curriculum.
What recommendations and messages would you like to deliver to the students?
As far as the management students are concerned, I would tell them that the business environment is really changing and India is really shifting towards modernization, so study and opt for the opportunities accordingly. Plus, I would recommend them to read many case studies as they really add lots of practical knowledge to the students’ insights. Further, reading case studies enables one to learn how to solve a problem. And last but not the least, I would encourage and urge the youth to pursue a research study as it is one of the crucial reasons for developed countries’ strong economy.