Prof. Prakash V Unakal,
Dean/Prof. - Business Design and Innovation,
Last decade has seen an improvement in efficiency, continuous innovation and faster rate at which businesses are scaling in India due to revamping; economy upgradation of information technology and infrastructure. Thus, the rate at which knowledge gets created, disseminated and consumed is becoming obsolete faster and faster, that too in such a short span of time that whatever seemed to be relevant a few months ago seems to be out of sync with emerging new models in businesses. With ever changing environment of today’s business world – the new landscape needs perhaps new skill sets – beyond what is currently being offered in management course. This has changed not only the way business is done but has also changed the way business schools are nurturing the young talent.
In this changing scenario, the kind of specialisation being offered by business management schools have also changed drastically and they are more and more aligned with what industry is looking forward to hire. This means besides the traditional subjects offered in management school, there is need for new subjects to be introduced regularly in order to keep pace with changes in markets. Since the IT boom the data created is so huge and ever growing that in order to understand this huge information flow one needs specialist who can decipher the heap of data flowing in by analysing using analytics, building teams that are constantly churning.
Understanding customer demands, needs and aspirations has always been a major challenge for most companies, be it large, medium or small. This requires innovative ways to analyse markets, competitions and various channels through which the companies offer their products or services. After understanding the markets business needs to come with innovative solutions; which means that it needs professionals who are able to understand, analyse and design solutions for varied market conditions and customer segments. The challenges that emerge are not only at product level but also encompass process, people and profits. The Industry 4.0 is seeking talent pool which is capable of having progressive mindset and not fixed approach.
Following areas are top most skills or specialization needed to stay relevant:
Business Analytics is an area which is in demand from industry in order to understand – complex data coming from multiple channels in digital world. In order to make sense of the massive information flowing in and out of companies it requires someone who is trained in business management with an analytics basics, advanced tools and techniques. Fundamentals of statistical concepts, advanced analytics and predictive modelling techniques, plus machine learning, along with analytics tools, like Excel, Tableau, SQL, Python and R.Demand for data science skills needed in India happens to be Predominantly in BFSI, e-commerce and telecom sector. Since mature analytics ecosystem exists already in Bengaluru, hence 24% of analytics jobs in India happen to be in Bengaluru followed by NCR/Delhi. Few of Institutions wherein business analytics are is a part of programme – IIT Kharagpur, IIM Kolkata, WeSchool Mumbai/Bengaluru, Praxis Business School Kolkata, Manipal Global Academy of Data Science, Bengaluru, International Institute of Digital Technologies, Tirupati, S P Jain, Symbiosis Pune, etc.
Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Design Thinking
Since start-up ecosystem has been growing in India from past few years there is a demand for skills in entrepreneurship, innovation and design to deal with uncertainty in entrepreneurship. The approach of quick prototyping helps these start-ups to develop minimum viable product which can be tested to receive feedback and improvise. Innovation is the new mantra which helps to decode using design to unlock various stages in the maze of customer needs and competition. India has tier 1 cities like Bengaluru which is the third highest number of tech start-ups among global cities, needs business professionals who can be innovative and apply design thinking. WeSchool, Mumbai/Bengaluru is pioneer in offering programme like Business Design and Innovation Besides, this some other places where this part of curriculum is inculded are National Institute of Design (NID), Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology - Guwahati, Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, Symbiosis Institute of Design Pune, MIT Institute of Design, etc.
The rate at which new technologies are emerging is amazing, which mandates that graduates from business school have familiarity about these new technologies emerging like Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).These are going to become critical components more and more in the near future according to research report by Forrester. The traditional thin line between engineering, technology and management is getting blurred and hence redefined the interface between professionals from engineers, technologists and managers. The leaders of these new emerging areas not only have to be knowledgeable of this diverse domain but have to be multi-skilled.
Traditionally media existed mainly in print, radio and TV but now with new social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and internet as the backbone, the media has to be managed differently. This means rise of opportunities in the media industry; the job prospects are also expected to increase in the functions of sales & marketing, operations, human resource management. PwC mentions that the total worldwide entertainment and media revenues will rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% over the coming five years, from US$1.74trn in 2014 to US$2.23trn in 2019. Managing and creating content for this new media needs to be addressed, managed and curated professionally. Since these new media platforms are where information pertaining to businesses such branding, promoting and addressing grievances, etc. are to be showcased and managed judiciously by media managers through weighing the impact of such communications, the programmes where in these skills are imparted in courses offered by education institutes would be sought after by media industry.
Another area which looks promising from employers and market perspective is Digital Marketing –a modern avatar of traditional marketing roles typically being offered by businesses even today. With new digital footprint of customer being the most valued asset, most companies wish to connect with online customers – be it in retail or B2B space. Hence in the coming era, digital marketing is not only going to become very much relevant but also affordable for reaching out in terms of sales, promotional or even resolving image of any company. Most education institutions have understood this aspect hence are offering courses in digital marketing – as a new millennium tool for reaching out to the young population.
In management education Finance as specialisation is yet as usual an evergreen choice to be looked into while choosing specialisation as this area in India needs skilled professionals who can fit into multiple roles and besides it offers better pay packages. Finance sector in India is seeing growth which is unprecedented in new areas such as FinTech - which needs tech-savvy skills-sets in financial management-be it for planning, controlling or monitoring financial resources for banking, money market, capital and international finance besides traditional financial analysts, financial advisory associates and auditors. Few colleges in India in finance specialisations are: IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, FMS Delhi, XLRI Jamshedpur, IIM Lucknow, JBIMS Mumbai, SPJIMR Mumbai, MDI Gurgaon and WeSchool Mumbai/Bangalore.
Healthcare ManagementAnother sector which has seen rise in the corporate culture is healthcare, beyond traditional small clinics and diagnostic centres. Now the entire value chain in healthcare - right from patients’ healthcare, data management, hospital infrastructure and medical professionals needs to be seamlessly connected, created and managed – which needs innovative healthcare professionals. This is where the health managers, the new kind of professionals are needed – those who can understand various aspects of health care business from procurement of supplies, delivery of medical services to creating experience for patients. Thus, healthcare managers keep the healthcare business running efficiently making positive changes in environment to provide services which are world class by understanding people, process and procedures. These professionals understand changes in regulations, laws and technology to manage operations, collaborations with research entities besides administration of human resources, finance and marketing of health care system. The demand for healthcare professionals is going to be ever growing in near future.