Enlightening on the changes in the financial education due to 1991 economic reforms, Dr. Ramasastry Ambarish emphasizes on learning, un-learning and re-learning. With the Education Post’s Tanay Kumar, Dr. Ambarish shared that why emphasizing on a particular ‘Career Path’ would give more fruition to students, compare to just opting for an entry-level job.
You completed your Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Administration after doing Engineering from IISC Bengaluru, India’s most prestigious institution of engineering. Please tell us your rationale behind studying a course in business after engineering?
Well, to say it clearly, those were the times of 50 years of the past. And in those days, parents used to decide important things in their children’s lives. At 17, I had a degree in physics from Mysore University and then I got the admission into the Institute of Science, Bengaluru to complete my B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering and Electronics.
I would say that I was fortunate and blessed to have opportunities to study and work at some of the finest institutions in India and abroad. Answering to the question, I completed my engineering in 1976, and back in the decade of 1970s, a professional management course had taken a hold in India. At that time, it was really competitive, as still it is.
You were working at the World Bank when India had liberalized its economy in 1991. How have those reforms changed the study of business and management in India as compared to the time when you studied business back in 1976-1978?
I would say there is a sea-change in the studies these days like day and night. Like, I learnt macroeconomics from Professor C. Rangarajan at IIM Ahmedabad who later on became the governor of the Reserve Bank of India when Dr. Manmohan Singh was the Finance Minister of India. In 1992, I was in the group that came from the World Bank to India after the economic reforms. I had just joined the World Bank a year before of that.
Besides opening the economy, another big thing happened in the Indian economy was Building of Institutions. Just after the economic reforms, reform in SEBI occurred, SEBI got more autonomy for regulating the market, National Stock Exchange also got more wings and many other institutional reforms happened in India. So, because of those reforms, the study of the finance and management has also changed accordingly. Majorly, what we studied was basically accounting.
Start-ups and entrepreneurs are rising in India and you are also a successful venture capitalist; several colleges have also inculcated entrepreneurship in their curriculum. Would you share some core things that students must heed over before embarking on this journey?
Here, I would say that every government in India has always encouraged for entrepreneurship and it has got a boost in the past seven-eight years as there is a strong need for job-providers rather than just job-seekers. Entrepreneurship is a combination of two things. First, it is about spotting a business opportunity, and that is actually a kind of innate quality. So, the people who hail from a business family have this smart quality of sensing a business opportunity. That can only be a kind of innate quality or observational one.
Second, after spotting an opportunity, a term in business–Minimum Viable Product, comes into the picture which fulfils the needs of the customers. Then after that, how does the product achieve the product market fit is really important? After that, transitioning of a proprietor based business to a professional business must also be heeded. So, one can teach these things and intricacies in schools.
MYRA School of Business has started the program on entrepreneurship and we are also unveiling the centre of small business and entrepreneurship as well in a couple of months to nurture the idea of entrepreneurs here. Plus, to be a successful entrepreneur, one has to have conviction in her/his idea.
MYRA School of Business has a program named – Careers Services Program. Please shed some light on this course and its help for the students.
One of the important things we do here under this program is that we want to prepare them for the industry when they graduate. Besides all the activities and necessities of teaching in classrooms and labs, there is another world that must also be taught.
So, we first map and assess where they are at and what level they are at. In the very first couple of weeks, all the students go through a psychometric profile like introvert, extrovert, etc. After that, we put them through proficiency test, from language to the soft skills.
After this whole process, we start training them. The best of our training is we teach students to how to manage their time, which is very crucial currently. Besides that, we teach them in all the required skills that are really indispensable for the industry. Meanwhile, in every three months, we assess where they are right now.
MYRA School of Business is a quality-driven institute. Our teacher-to-student ratio is in a single digit and it really enables us to focus on each student of the class. Plus, we expose them to a minimum of five new and upcoming industries like 3D printing, Internet of Things, etc.
How do you see the culture of ‘placement’ and please enlighten us about the methods that MYRA has adopted that it has an excellent placement record?
Whether one likes it or not, placement is an important activity. Because of teacher to student ratio being in single digit, Myra Business School enjoys giving full attention to each student of the class.
One thing I must really emphasize here is that we focus on teaching students to have a bright “career path” over choosing just an entry-level job. We ask students themselves that which industry they foresee their future in or at least want to see and where would they like to be after five years after graduation with relevant skills.
From Deloitte to all the top firms, to even start-ups, MYRA school receives diversified industries for the placement. Further, besides having a 100% placement record, I take pride in stating that we advise students to choose a “career path” and that’s why our students are still excelling in their career.
This business school trains its students in Python, R, Excel, SPSS, Six Sigma and Value Investing as well. What are the challenges that the management and business students are facing today or might face in the coming future?
Compare to 50 years back, skills have become really important today. Ability to learn, unlearn and relearn is vital for students today. You mentioned about Python, Excel, R, SPSS and other softwares but I also have to train students for that time if these softwares will not be required anymore. So, answering to the question, artificial intelligence might be really challenging for not only students but common people as well. Therefore, students must have the ability to relearn and reskill herself/himself.