As we complete three decades of shaping management professionals at our institute, it gives us an opportunity to introspect as we try to keep pace with the dynamic ascent of management thought and practice during the last three decades. A quick look at the metamorphosis attained in these decades apparently exceeds the achievements of the three waves spread over three centuries as painted by Toffler. Undoubtedly, automation driven by digital systems /AI /IOT appears to build up capabilities beyond the known competencies of professionals limited by the capacity of the human mind for tackling complex variables in real time. No wonder the first law of such disruption was written by Steve Jobs, who aimed at building machines to “read things not yet on the page”! Welcome to the fourth industrial revolution and the necessity to develop new skills and competencies for Management 4.0!
When we launched the Master in Management Studies and MBA programme in the 90’s, the computer literacy was already growing beyond the labs as laptop was chosen to be the principal weapon of destruction of business ignorance. Global brands like Apple–imac and Dell were flaunted as symbolic empowerment tools by the managers and this necessitated shaping the management students to meet the challenges of the workplace at business management. The standard verticals had to be redesigned and reshaped to meet the ever expanding corporate dimensions of eBusiness. This obviously led to the rechristening of management courses verticals as eMarketing. eFinance, eHR, eLogistics while ERP, SAP, SPSS became the buzz words of the champions of the digital era. Tab and smart phones also muscled into the tool kit to compose and fine tune the genre, nay the symphony of the web world. Despite such disruptions many global corporate behemoths appeared to keep pace with these changes… but only just.
And then as fresh avalanche of disruptive technologies rode into the global corporate arena, the big guns started falling silent. Garage based start-ups rose top of the global corporate matrix while the Indian start-ups like OYO, Paytm, Justdial and Zomato opened up new business spaces turning into the unicorns of the market place. Hit rate of the archetype customer rose to unbelievable levels by a synergistic combination of AI, mass analytics and big data while robotic operated logistic systems cut time, cost, slippages thus heightening the customer delight. While we find sixty plus applications on the smart phone, the pace of development of bots has already overtaken the rest of the applications. No wonder the Bard would proclaim once again….
The challenge to the B-Schools therefore is to identify areas and domains which are disrupting the business world wide as they are transforming the business management matrix. Technologies like AI, IOT Smart devices, Cloud-based services, Blockchain, Edge computing etc. are likely to affect scores of industries ranging from Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail, Advertising, Hospitality to Financial services and Logistics. In fact soon every segment of business and industry would be dominated by these disruptive technologies. Therefore, industries are forced to adopt an adaptive approach to such disruptions by incorporating them as a part of their core business strategies to ensure sustenance and growth. As B-Schools are tasked with the shaping leadership and management skills of the youth crossing the corporate threshold, it is critical that they are updated with the outreach and sharpness of these new technologies. While some of the roles of classical managers may undergo a change, there is no doubt that advising, motivating, re-deploying and re-skilling the employees while focusing of stakeholder welfare will continue to be the sole domain of the managers.
Welcome to the evolving paradigm of Management 4.0 as it shapes the future of business management professionals already entrenched in the corporate world while offering a formidable barrier for the aspiring professionals to cross! As we enjoy a great masters degree of academic flexibility and space to update the students, we at MET are engaged in offering choice based inputs in the digital space so as to raise their level of comfort with the new technologies on the horizon through interaction with industry experts and “Professors of Practice”. Through their summer internship and a semester long industry apprenticeship, they seek to rub shoulders with the corporate honchoes thus familiarizing themselves with the corporate ethos. Through these exposures they have a ringside view of studying this transformation taking place in industry as it affects the internal and external customers and stakeholders.
Our effort at METIOM is to build skills and competencies in the students to absorb the rapidly evolving e-Business scenario through lifelong learning capabilities and be prepared to deliver appropriate responses. These technologies are not only transforming the corporate and business management scenarios but their impact on communities, societies and national economy is profound. Through internships, live projects and simulation exercises, they get an opportunity to build alternate scenarios and business model. Through exposure to CSR activities in the institute involving development of Warli, Tribals in Konkan as well as active participation in UN Sustainable Development Goals, they are exposed to the mainstream of the economy vis-a-vis a challenges of Business Management 4.0.
However, shaping the young professional is only the first step toward a successful corporate career as we believe that corporates will have to build these professionals to build their businesses. On our part we try to shape a multifaceted professional whose scholarship is enriched with ethics, dignity and purpose to make a difference to the company of choice. Our eight thousand plus alumni serving thousands of corporates worldwide are a testimony of our efforts in the past decades.
But, we are not resting on our laurels. We have set up a start-up Accelerator in collaboration with CBA Ventures (South Korea) hoping to familiarize the students with the building up of Unicorns. Exchange programmes and exposures to B-Schools from abroad are also in place. Through the UNGC programme we try to initiate climate change dialogues with global community so that they play a positive role as “architects of future and not victims” (B. Fuller).
We hope and pray that our students live up to the adage of John Ruskin.
“The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it”