Business School Teachers Should Have Quality Work Experience In Industry

Dr. S K Mahapatra, Director General of JK Business School shares his insights with Education Post’s Tanay Kumar on how private sector has opened numerous opportunities for students.

Question QYou are a leading example of a Professor of Practice, an industry leader who transited seamlessly to the role of Academic Leader. Do you think academicians should also work for some stint in the industry?

Yes, business school teachers should have quality work experience from the industry. But before entering full-time academics, and similarly, industry professionals should test the ground as visiting faculty as well.

Question Q

At the peak of your corporate career, you returned to academics in a leadership role once again. What motivated you to enter the industry and coming back to academics?

I enjoyed career both in academics and industry as I always believed that practice based on a strong foundation of theory will surely be a success, and relating practice to theory, brings a lot of confidence, authenticity and encouragement to students to believe in knowledge-based decisions as managers.

Question Q

It is evident that your wide corporate experience has been helping students at JK Business School. What‘s your view on a notion that heads of academic institutions must hold at least a decade of industry or corporate experience?

This has certainly helped me, but there are other ways to learn about corporate changes for a good faculty to develop leadership potential and skills. What matters is a willingness to learn with an open mind about team development, an agile mindset and innovation. Over emphasis on any single factor, such as research credentials or industry credentials, should be avoided. Leader should have an all encompassing mindset and not carry any skew in designing growth strategy for the Institute.

Question Q

Different sectors of corporates have their own way of management. In your experience, how should a business school train its students so that they could be worthy of majority sectors? What strategies does JKBS adopt?

There is no one-size-fit-all formula for training students for corporate careers. The syllabus of management takes care of the fundamentals and conceptual understanding. The co-curricular training, corporate talks, value-added workshops take care of specific skill training for developing corporate readiness. The extracurricular activities, especially in sports and culture areas, provide holistic grooming with teamwork, which are essential to internalize and excel in situations to pool strength of diversity.

Question Q

JKBS has in its faculty some outstanding teachers who have taught in the USA for years. How tough or time-taking is on boarding of an international academician is for an Indian institution?

Selection of good faculty is the foremost challenge for the Leadership. It’s an elaborate but essential process.

Question Q

BBA is a three year-program and MBA or PGDM has a two-year duration. In your own views, which education has a better advantage in context to the corporate and industry sector?

The undergraduate program, BBA, is an intermediate stage in management education while a PGDM is the finishing stage, and it completes the understanding at specialization levels. Corporate recruiters have requirements for both, for different roles.

Question Q

When you joined SAIL back in 1983, was there any placement culture in those days and how the placement situations are at JKBS?

Back in 1983, SAIL conducted all India level selection tests for recruiting management trainees each year. In our batch, out of 10,000 graduate applicants, only 100 were selected. The job was considered next to the IAS. There was no Campus Recruitment culture. Few private sector recruiters were going to IIM-A, B & C, XLRI and TISS for direct recruitment from Campus. The private sector has grown exponentially since liberalization in 1991. The first batch of JKBS graduated in 2008, and ever since, all graduates have been placed from campus in the private sector.

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