Dream Big, Design Quick! – Design Thinking Course At SPJIMR Mumbai

Introduced as a first, for the batch of PGDM 2016-18, the design thinking committee is envisioned to serve as a platform where students not only learn administration through practice but simultaneously contribute towards improving the campus experience, for both the staff and the students, via creating and implementing frugal and effective changes which are outcomes of extensive design processes. Given that SPJIMR was one of the first b-schools in the country to introduce Design Thinking (DT) courses across all programmes, it was only a matter of time before the institute introduced design thinking into everyday lives of students beyond the classroom. According to Prof. Suranjan Das, who is currently heading the DT committee, “Design Thinking not only gives one an edge in the corporate world but positively impacts all aspects of life, both personal and professional”. This initiative, thus, prepares the students for corporate challenges of the future by allowing them to see, first-hand, the effectiveness of DT processes in their own lives at SPJIMR. At the inception of the idea “The brief was to pick up anything related to the Bhavan’s campus and think of something which could be useful to the institute. Think of the infra issues, the services, canteen / dhobi services, communication, and look at what benefits can accrue to the institute, and go through the process and then prototype”, explains Prof. Das.

Dr. Ranjan Banerjee, Dean at SPJIMR, finds Design Thinking to not be about working ‘for’ customers but about working ‘with’ them. Having a student constituted DT committee fits the bill exactly because the students themselves are major stakeholders in the campus ecosystem, and thus the committee naturally holds a vantage in terms of empathising and understanding student concerns and their deep-seated needs. The committee was able to exemplify this through a number of initiatives, take for instance, a competition among hostellers that required them to refurbish their rooms utilising design principles that they learnt through coursework. The event witnessed large participation and enthuse among students who came up with a number of inspired solutions that augmented the cleanliness and utility of their own, otherwise messy, rooms.

Students, engrossed in their hectic b-school lives tended to miss breakfast before their morning classes. The ‘grab-a-snack’ service initiated by the DT committee mitigated this issue by providing students with ‘on-the-go’ breakfast items which students could have while on their way from hostels to the academic block of the institute. Generating a number of quick and frugal solutions, for example saving power via awareness generation stickers, or avoiding wet floors by placing umbrella stands, has been characteristic of this committee. The formation of this committee is thus the first step towards Dr. Banerjee’s vision of making Design Thinking a way of working at SPJIMR.

Faculty In-charge

·       Prof. Lata Dhir

·       Prof Suranjan Das

 

Committee Members

·       Manoj Poduru

·       Madhur Sethi

·       Prachi Paliwal

·       Mukhar Ranjan

·       Arindam Datta

·       Kriti Gupta

·       Gazal Jain

·       Mubina Ladiwala

·       Yatin Gangwani

·       Govind S

·       Vaibhav Keskar

·       Syed Saif Rahman

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