In today’s interconnected world, where information flows effortlessly across borders and distances seem shorter than ever, global accessibility has become the norm. Consequently, students must embrace dynamism and adaptability to thrive in this rapidly evolving environment and meet the ever-growing demands of the job market. Situated in Greater Noida/Delhi, G.L Bajaj Institute Of Technology and Management stands as a beacon of quality education. It uniquely focuses on holistically nurturing students and equipping them with a solid foundation for a prosperous future. In this exclusive interview with Prof. Vikas Tripathi, the HoD at G.L Bajaj Institute of Technology and Management, we delve into a diverse range of captivating topics, ranging from the significance of international exchange programs to the essential factors students should consider when selecting an educational institution. 

1Q. Can you share your journey and how you became engaged in academics?

Ans: I have always been deeply engaged in learning, immersing myself in books, and engaging in discussions with others. This inherent quality of mine guided my career choices. After graduating in Science, I consciously decided to pursue management, as it offered a platform for expressive communication and meaningful exchanges among individuals. Following the completion of my MBA, my desire for knowledge continued to drive me, prompting me to embark on a Ph.D. journey. It was during this transformative period that I fully embraced the world of academia and delved into it wholeheartedly.

2Q. GL Bajaj has consistently maintained its respected status as one of the foremost institutions in the country for delivering education in technology and management. With your extensive experience at G.L Bajaj Institute of Technology and Management, what distinguishes this institution from others in the field?

Ans: From my personal perspective, I have embraced a philosophy that I call DAP, drawing inspiration from the agricultural world where DAP stands for Di-ammonium Phosphate, a substance used to enhance soil fertility. At GL Bajaj Institute of Technology and Management, we embody the DAP approach, focusing on three crucial elements: Discipline, Academics, and Placements (Including Entrepreneurship). Our goal is to provide students with a holistic educational experience that extends beyond the traditional classroom setting.

We believe in offering our students a well-rounded education that encompasses industry visits, expert lectures, and access to state-of-the-art facilities that enhance their learning journey. Our aim is to help students find employment opportunities and empower them to create job opportunities for others. Through our start up launch pad, numerous students have successfully launched their own ventures, and we provide them with the necessary guidance and support to do so. Furthermore, we have established collaborations with various government bodies to secure funding for entrepreneurial projects initiated by our students.

Moreover, we offer international collaborations for certificate programs that enable our students to pursue educational opportunities at renowned institutions in the United States, Australia, Singapore Such as California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), Griffith University, Management Development Institute etc. By fostering a 360-degree learning environment, GL Bajaj ensures that students develop the skills and mind-set required to make significant contributions to their communities and the world at large.

3Q. What are the five major benefits of an International Exchange Program for students, considering the global accessibility and inclusion of such programs in the post-graduation curriculum?

Ans: Before delving into the advantages, I find it essential to address the underlying motivation behind choosing an international exchange program. In today’s interconnected world, where distance is no longer a hindrance and communication is easily accessible, the significance of cultural diversity in education becomes evident. These programs provide students with the opportunity to gain insights into various cultures, expanding their horizons beyond national boundaries. This stands out as the primary advantage in my opinion.

The second advantage lies in the elimination of language barriers. Culture and language are intertwined, and participating in an exchange program facilitates smoother and more understandable communication. Additionally, it widens the scope of accessing and sharing information from external sources.

In the context of India, the delivery of academic education differs significantly from that of other countries. Students acknowledge the importance of practical and social aspects of education. Moreover, for those aspiring to pursue specific professions, exploring opportunities beyond borders can broaden their prospects for professional development.

Lastly, engaging in an international exchange program nurtures substantial personal growth. As individuals evolve, society as a whole benefit from their growth. These five fundamental advantages embody the essence of a cross-cultural international exchange program.

4Q. What do you believe are the three major factors a student should consider while selecting an MBA degree that has an element of an international exchange program?

Ans: I believe selecting the right institution for the post-graduation program is extremely pertinent. One crucial aspect to consider is examining the various rankings provided by reputable global organisations. It is essential to thoroughly assess where a particular institution stands, its age, and the reputation of its program. Additionally, the strength of the institution’s alumni network is a significant factor to consider. The support and connection with alumni can greatly contribute to a student’s professional growth and career development. As a student, finding a place where one can grow in all aspects of life is vital.

 Furthermore, the location of the institution also plays a pivotal role in the b-school selection process. Relocating to a new place can pose challenges, and it is important to ensure that the institution fosters a culture of adaptability. Having a supportive and inclusive environment that encourages adjustment and growth is crucial in making the transition smoother and more fulfilling.

5Q. What is your take on the traditional vs the online mode of learning? 

Ans: In my view, I don’t believe in categorising one as better than the other, as both online and offline education have their own significant merits. Online education offers valuable advantages, such as accessing content from professors affiliated with renowned universities. However, the effectiveness and impact of offline education cannot be overlooked. Both forms of education play equally essential roles in the learning process.

6Q. We have the startup culture booming in the country. Considering this, what do you believe are the three factors that make India an attractive destination for entrepreneurs?

Ans: India, the most populous country, has several advantages in various aspects. One significant advantage lies in the age group of 18 to 45, where individuals are willing to take risks and explore opportunities for personal and professional growth. This demographic positioning places India in a favourable position to serve as a launching pad for startups.

The startup ecosystem is thriving, and a budding culture supports entrepreneurial ventures. The government’s initiatives, such as Make in India, further support this growing trend. With a burgeoning startup culture, I envision India becoming one of the top five countries in startup development.

Another crucial factor contributing to this growth is the establishment of dedicated departments by the Prime Minister, specifically catering to various industries. This unique collaboration between private and government entities fosters an innovation ecosystem and facilitates business ideas’ growth.

Furthermore, entrepreneurs in India exhibit a positive and proactive mindset, constantly striving to move forward. This attitude adds to the overall dynamics of the startup culture, reinforcing the factors that drive its success.

7Q. Could you also help identify what challenges India could face on the road to becoming a startup-centric country?

I believe it is crucial for the government to establish a streamlined and efficient single-window system that caters to the needs of entrepreneurs. Currently, the progress in this area is ongoing, but we still have a long way to go. Having a centralised system where all necessary resources and information are easily accessible would eliminate the complexities and inconsistencies that entrepreneurs often face. Removing regulatory barriers through this single-window system is essential for fostering a conducive environment for startups.

Another significant challenge is the availability of funding. Many promising ideas and ventures fail to materialise due to inadequate financial support. Addressing this funding gap and providing accessible avenues for capital investment is crucial for the growth of the startup ecosystem.

Infrastructure is another area that requires attention. While progress is being made, there is still much work to be done in developing robust infrastructure to support entrepreneurial endeavors. Access to modern facilities, reliable connectivity, and a well-developed ecosystem is essential for startups to thrive.

Lastly, the issue of brain drain poses a challenge to the startup culture. It is crucial to retain our brightest minds within India and provide them with opportunities for growth and innovation. Efforts should be made to create an environment encourages talent retention and provides attractive prospects for individuals to contribute to the Indian startup ecosystem.

8Q. In what ways do institutions such as GL Bajaj contribute to nurturing the spirit of research and entrepreneurship among students?

In the advancing of the economy, I believe that three key partners play a pivotal role in driving economic progress. Firstly, we have the regulatory body represented by the government. Secondly, we have the industry, and lastly, we have the academic institutions. In the case of GL Bajaj, our institution provides a nurturing platform for students to cultivate their entrepreneurial qualities in a supportive and conducive environment. We are all working together towards the same goal.

One noteworthy accomplishment is that GL Bajaj has secured funding of 5 crores for the development of specific startup projects. This financial support reinforces our commitment to academia and empowers students to seek employment and create employment opportunities for others. We strive to instil an entrepreneurial mindset in our students, encouraging them to become not just job seekers but also job providers.

Recognizing the significance of entrepreneurship, we believe that it should be incorporated as a subject in every program and curriculum. It is crucial to integrate entrepreneurship theory and practical knowledge into the academic framework. By doing so, we equip our students with the necessary skills and understanding to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape effectively.

9Q. What are the essential qualities that individuals aspiring to pursue a career in management should possess?

In my opinion, there are several essential qualities for someone aspiring to have a career in management. Firstly, possessing critical and analytical thinking skills is paramount. Additionally, being a team player, having strong communication abilities, and displaying elements of leadership qualities are crucial. These qualities are instrumental in facilitating upward progression in one’s career. However, if these qualities are not naturally inherent, one can undergo training and self-development to acquire and enhance them.

10Q. What is the motivating mantra that drives and sustains you in your work?

The main driving force behind my work is my deep passion for academia. The opportunity to engage with a new group of students every year fills me with enthusiasm. I find great joy in witnessing and learning from the energy and enthusiasm of the current generation of students. Being able to contribute to their growth and progress in their careers is something I truly cherish and value.

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