An MBA degree is irrelevant if it is not aimed at resolving the issues faced by people: Dr. C Joe Arun
A visionary with valuable expertise in running B-schools and the man with a mission, meet the Director of Goa Institute of Management (GIM), Rev. Dr. C. Joe Arun SJ. In this interview he shares his views on various topics about B-schools, management education and its relevance.
Here is what he had to say…
1) How should a student look at management education?
Management education should look at MBA degree as the time in which a student is exposed to an ecosystem where (s) he forms his/her character to become a responsive and responsible leader. Before specialization every student should look at MBA education as integral formation of personality, well-being of the person, first.
Therefore, GIM is a residential institution, where in the development of a student personality is honed with interactions from people throughout the country and respectable faculty.
2) How does an MBA help students to connect with the issues people face?
While doing MBA, B-School should help students connect with the people and social reality. Students should be exposed to lives of people by which their courses in MBA curriculum become relevant. If MBA studies is not related to what issues people face in the country and how his/her studies does not aim at solving their problems, then the degree would become useless and irrelevant.
One of the unique things we have at GIM is the Corporate Social Responsibility course which is a 4 credit course. This course, also known as Give Goa, looks to give back to the society. Students have a day specially allocated to do their project of CSR.
3) What can B-schools do to help students who want to try their hand at entrepreneurship?
Many students want to become entrepreneurs instead of becoming employees of a company. They have great ideas but they do not know how to commercialize the ideas by which they solve social issues, at the end of the day, it contributes to the development of the nation. B- School must connect the students with investors and venture capitalists. Each B-School should have an incubator for developing entrepreneurs. B-schools should produce more entrepreneurs who would start business enterprises after their studies than get them employment in companies.
We at GIM encourage budding entrepreneurship as much as we can. We also have an Entrepreneurship cell which arranges for many events and competition and invites entrepreneurs to have interactions with students.
4) Are MBA institutes successful in bridging the gap between academic learning and industry requirements? How ready are the future managers for the corporate world?
B-Schools should have a strong and organic connect between the industry and themselves. The reality is that MBA institutes produce graduates who have no grasp of what really happens in industry. Even after two years of studies, many companies spend enormous money and resources to train them to become company-smart. For example, HR head of a company should be asked to teach a course on human resources management. A minimum of forty per cent of courses must be taught by people who work in industry.
At GIM besides the permanent faculty with a rich experience we have a lot of visiting faculty who are still in the field to give their valuable inputs.
5) What would help MBA graduates to start sustainable businesses? And how should they go about with it?
B-Schools are reforming their perspectives to form and train leaders who develop sustainable global thinking. Sustainability should become the key factor in every discourse of management education that would help MBA graduates to start sustainable businesses, suitable to environment and people.
6) What do you think management education should essentially focus at?
Management education should focus on helping students developing practical wisdom. This practical wisdom helps me to make decisions based on deep notions of what is good, not only for me and my growth but good for the global community of which my business remains a part of.
We make sure our curriculum is such that, with the required theory the students also get the best practical training as well. We have trainers coming to our college to aid the students. We also have a state of the art finance lab and a library that matches up to international standards. Also, we encourage our students to participate in competitions to get a real feel of the world.
7) MBA studies are quite expensive and very demanding. How is GIM helping students in financing their studies?
Very few B-Schools offer scholarships and collateral free student loans. But GIM has arranged with Bank of India (BOI) and State Bank of India (SBI) to offer a loan of ten lakh rupees without security or collateral. This actually eases burden of the students and their parents in financing the management education. In addition, GIM offers fifty scholarship to the tune of 2.2 crores to meritorious students who join GIM.