Academia - Industry Linkage an Essential Cog for Quality Management Education
In India, academia and industry have since very long been operating in separate domains, but are slowly inching closer to each other. The dynamic shifts in management paradigms, with increasing complexity of the business environment today have compelled the need to bridge the gap between the two. The idea is to recognize intersecting needs which requires identifying means of further strengthening academia-industry partnerships.
Business schools have realized the importance of working closely with employers. With increasing competition for student placements and getting an industry mind-share, combined with rapid increase in the number of business schools in the country, time is not far off when strong Industry Interface will become a basic requirement for B-schools and not a factor to give any competitive edge.
Organizations today are looking for trained students who are industry ready and capable of taking smart and quick decisions. Historically, most of the thousands of management graduates churned out by hundreds of B-schools in the country have not been trained adequately and if and when they get an employment opportunity, the organization has to spend considerable time and money to get them to threshold level of taking the first steps in their career. This is an opportunity cost that companies are better off using in strategic business development.
Moreover, the family and cultural system aspect of our nation is to complete the education qualifications - from Pre-school to B-school, at one go. And hence majority of management graduates lack any industry experience whatsoever. Due to this, organizations rather than just being the recruiters of B-school graduates, have become stakeholders and strategic partners.
The major objective of academia-industry partnership revolves around getting lucrative and better job opportunities for graduating students. Companies demand more relevance today. To improve the quality of output, business corporations are looking to collaborate with business schools to create programmes, which can be customized according to company's unique needs and requirements.
Academia-Industry collaboration also aids the industry from project work and research and development activity at business schools. More opportunities need to be explored to the faculty through applied research, case writing and consulting to keep them abreast of changes in the business world and hence enrich the overall teaching-learning experience.
Kunal Mankodi Faculty - Business Strategy
Amrut Mody School of Management, Ahmedabad University