Dr. Arya Kumar’s Interview : Director – LBSIM

1. Having extensive experience in the Banking sector, how do you look at the current banking sector in India and sort of skill set industry is expecting from PGDM graduate.

            Some of the vital changes that have occurred in the Banking Industry, particularly during the last one decade are advancement in technology, e-business applications, introduction of plastic money, inclusive banking, complexion of business mix etc.  Most of these changes require greater focus on introduction and strengthening associated risk management systems which did not keep pace with the business developments in the past.   The emerging changes have resulted in great business opportunities to professionals having skills in the areas of Investment Banking, Credit Appraisal and Management, Merchant Banking, Risk Management, Financial Derivatives, Forex Management, Infrastructure Financing, Behavioural Finance, Financial Engineering, Information Security, Software Solutions to Banking needs, Business Analytics, etc.  Future Banking operations would require more and more specialist at the induction as well senior positions. 

            We at Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management (LBSIM) are proactively responding to these needs of the Financial Sector future requirements through our PGDM Programmes by preparing our students in above mentioned areas through imparting knowledge, understanding and skills for application.

2. Do you feel that management institutes in India are lagging behind their global counterparts in encouraging Entrepreneurs?  What is LBSIM doing to encourage entrepreneurship?

            I agree that management institutes in India are lagging behind in inculcating entrepreneurial mindset amongst students, as compared to their global counterparts like Stanford, London Business School, MIT, Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard etc.  The greatest challenge for Indian Economy to emerge as an economic power in the 21st Century would revolve around promotion and development of entrepreneurship amongst young minds.  Entrepreneurship would be the key factor and the fulcrum for the creation of wealth and employment opportunities in the coming years.  LBSIM had a good pool of entrepreneurs – around 10%-15% of its alumni who have become entrepreneurs sooner or later through their own zeal and initiative, without having an opportunity to inculcate entrepreneurship spirit through educational system.  We are making conscious and deliberate efforts to create an eco-system on campus that encourages students to plunge into the journey of ‘job providers rather than job seekers‘.

LBSIM has set-up LBS Entrepreneurial and Incubation Centre to build a support system for providing mentoring, seed funding, and interacting with entrepreneurs for students having innovative ideas to create their own ventures. Course curriculum on the one hand and E-cell activities on the other are contributing to build an eco-system for promotion of creativity and innovation among students.  Students organize business plan competition, participate in entrepreneurship driven events organized by institutions and industry.  Above all, our alumni entrepreneurs are taking a keen interest in strengthening E-cell activities on campus by extending mentoring support as also are planning to set up a seed fund for start-ups.

3. What according to you has been the most significant progress LBSIM has made in the last one year?

            We have been continuously gearing up our endeavour in imparting management education to make it relevant and purposeful to build future value based leaders.  During the last one year some of the key initiatives taken in this direction are as under:

– Introduction of minor specialization in the area of ‘E-Commerce‘ with new courses such as Digital Marketing, Business Analytics & Optimization, Business Intelligence and Data Mining, Information Security and Risk Management, E-Venture Start-ups, etc.

– Strengthening the use of Bloomberg Lab to provide hands on experience to students in the area of Financial Analytics and Modeling.

– Collaboration with IBM to set up Business Analytics Lab to inculcate skills in the area of Descriptive, Predictive and Big Data Analytics.

– Ensuring that 20-25% of new companies visit every year for campus placement.

–  Bonding with alumni and networking with industry to strengthen entrepreneurship development initiatives on campus.  LBSIM has joined hands by becoming a member of National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN).

– Adoption of village for its overall development that provides learning experience to students by spending time with rural fox as also to identify opportunities in the area of Social Entrepreneurship.

4. How does LBSIM provide holistic learning curve to their students to become industry leaders?

            LBSIM keeps experimenting and innovating in the field of management education that gives its students the courage to face the unknown, inculcates virtues and values for pursuing excellence and attitude of ‘Can Do‘ spirit.  The basic focus continues on imparting management education with Shastrian values.  A balance between inside and outside class room learning through students driven activities is emphasized in the whole learning process. 

We keep strengthening our linkages with industry through outreach programmes, institutionalized internships with deeper involvement of faculty members in guidance and evaluation and continuous up-dation of curriculum.

5. How much emphasis does LBSIM lay on factors like diversity, work experience, demography etc. for the PGDM batches?  Why is it so important?

            LBSIM, for building a holistic personality of students gives due emphasis through a rigorous process of admissions, experimenting with different pedagogies in classroom learning with emphasis on ‘learning by doing‘ to factors like diversity, work experience, demography etc.  As such, these factors play a critical role in overall quality of learning inside the class which faculty members consciously take care, to make a learning process enjoyable by invoking active participation and involvement of students in class room learning.

6. How do you foresee LBSIM growing in coming years?

            LBSIM by remaining alert and proactive to fast changing Global and Indian business environment would like to create its own distinct image and niche in imparting purposive and relevant management education to corporate needs.  We have put in systems in place to be ahead in curriculum enrichment and imbibing best of the pedagogies for teaching and learning.  We would like to collaborate with business schools abroad for providing global experience to our students. 

Our emphasis in the coming years would remain to give due importance to western approach towards management that emphasize on efficiency, dynamism and striving for excellence along with Indian values in management that emphasize on holistic attitude that is ‘welfare of many for the good of many‘.