‘Guru Gyaan’ – IIM Indore UAE initiative featuring Prof. Srinivas Gunta

The role of quality teaching and interacting with the best B-School Professors in the country plays a major role in an individual’s MBA journey. MBA aspirants generally tend to undermine and overlook this aspect. Thus, the Media and Corporate Communications Committee of IIM Indore UAE Campus launched the ‘Guru Gyaan’ series to spread awareness about the importance of focusing on the ‘Gyaan’ aspect in the MBA journey. This initiative will feature interviews with professors who have set very high course delivery and teaching standards in the GCC region.

The 5th article in this series features Professor Srinivas Gunta who offered the 2nd part of the Strategic Management course at the UAE Campus. Prof. Gunta has completed his Phd from IIM Bangalore in the area of corporate strategy & policy.  He was the recipient of the Infosys Fellowship for research in Information Technology. A paper co-authored by him was selected for the Best Paper Proceedings and nominated for the Carolyn Dexter Award at the 2008 Annual Academy of Management Conference. Excerpts of his interview with the Media and Corporate Communication Committee are as follows:

How do you feel to be a part of IIM fraternity?

It is a great feeling to be a part of the IIM fraternity, first as a student, and now, as a faculty member. I believe that interacting with bright minds helps me stay young.

As a faculty of Strategic Management, how would you like to define the importance of the subject for the budding managers?

While Strategic Management is assumed to be relevant in the long term, the long term is but a series of short term moves. As the capstone for all the functional areas of management and the cornerstone for competitive advantage, I would argue that strategic management has relevance not only for established businesses but also managers’ outlook to life.

How was your experience in offering a regular PGP course in the UAE campus?

This has been the second year running that I am offering the second core course in strategic management at UAE – the experience is not only interesting but also intense due to the pace and the structure of the programme.

How was your interaction with the PGP UAE batch where profile of participants is very diverse as compared to the regular PGP programs?

As the PGP UAE batch has been having significantly higher work experience, the nous exhibited is of a different variety with emphasis on the pragmatic.

In your opinion, what value does international exposure add to the overall experience of a PGP student?

International exposure is important as all businesses today are impacted by happenings globally. This exposure can help in sensitizing students to differences in regulations, means of doing business, and understanding regional diversities in terms of culture and language.

What in your eyes are the qualities a student should possess, to be successful in such a unique and highly demanding programme?

I do not feel that it is enough for a student to do a programme in an international location. While the location and the programme structure by themselves can help a student in picking up broad differences, the students should immerse themselves in the local milieu so that they can also pick up nuances. This calls for the students to have curiosity, sensitivity and patience.

Any message for prospective applicants to PGP UAE program.

The UAE environment is different from the one in India that the students are possibly exposed to. It is important that students are open to these differences. Also, as placements are a key decision variable, students need to understand and appreciate how the UAE market is different – from my limited understanding and experience, I believe that this locale is more suitable for applicants with strong, consistent prior work experience vis-à-vis India. All the best to them!

Professor Srinivas Gunta’s course was the highlight of the final term of PGP 1 where the class discussions were very interesting and informative. IIM Indore UAE thanks Prof. Srinivas Gunta for the interview and also for delivering a fantastic course on Strategic Management.

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IIM Indore UAE (Dubai)

Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indore's flagship Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) offered at UAE