Technology is making sweeping changes in businesses globally, requiring managers with newer skills and strong understanding of technologies. In India, many of the business graduates fall short of this requirement leading to long gestation in employment and lower RoI in investment made in the education. MBA education in US universities is increasingly re-orienting itself to incorporate the needed changes, whereas Indian universities are lagging far behind. Courses like MS in Business Analytics, MBA – Technology Management have recently been added as degree courses by renowned business schools, and even within the traditional MBA program, greater emphasis is being laid on technologies.
For instance, even the newly launched undergrad business program at a renowned management institute in India has over 4 courses in pure computer science. If the institute has to stay relevant, there is a need to bring in changes which will improve the core skills of the graduates and at the same time make them more relevant for current and emerging job market in India. “As business move away from ‘gut-feel’ based decisions to data-driven-decisions, it is imperative that our new manager knows how to harness the benefit of technologies.”
1. Global Educational Transformation
1.1 Technological Trends impacting Business
Innovation has always been on the forefront and is one of the key drivers behind the evolution of mankind. The industrial revolution led to the rise of a global economy and ever since then the pace at which technology and its impact on business everywhere has been growing phenomenally. Technological disruptions have increased significantly over the last few years. Today, we live in an era in which an organization’s capabilities to harness the real power of technology will determine its future in any industry. There have been several innovations and developments in the technological space which impact businesses. Some of the major businesses with their respective technologies impacting them are:
Manufacturing has been one of the oldest and most primitive sources of business. Over the last few decades, manufacturing has undergone a phenomenal transformation. A plethora of innovative processes and techniques have led to considerable cost cutting and have led to improved quality of production and efficient operations. Automation, Smart Electronics, Optimized Supply chain using RFID, Internet of Things
b. Banking & Finance
The BFSI sector has been the backbone of economies ever since their inception. The financial system of a country beholds the actual potential for the upgradation of the living standards of its residents. The banking sector around the world today has been impacted by several technologies whose true potential is yet to be unleashed. Algorithmic Trading, Blockchain, Crypto Currencies, Internet Banking, Payments Bank are some of the commonly known technologies that impact the traditional banking industry. As per a Gartner Report, by the end of 2020, the banking industry will derive $1 Billion in business value from the use of Blockchain based crypto-currencies.
Technology-based innovation is arriving faster than most organizations can keep up with. Before one innovation is implemented, two others arrive. The IT/ITES industry is the perfect demonstration of the pace at which technology has been disrupting businesses. The advent of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence has forged a new base on which companies strive in the digital era. The application of Soft and Hard robotics has significantly improved the efficiency of the outputs by reducing the down-time for processing and improving the quality.
d. Media & Entertainment
From Digitalization to Free Lance Resources, the Media industry is being impacted from every front. Newer mediums of communication like the Social Media have resulted in enormous shifts of consumer behavior and opened the floodgates to an interactive medium of communication. Other technologies like Video On Demand, Augmented Reality – Virtual Reality are transforming the way viewers consume media. Recommendation systems (collaborative filtering) have enabled organizations to adequately understand a user’s behavior, track their usage and predict future buying patterns.
Thus, it is important that the working population of any nation is equipped with the appropriate skill sets and know-how to empower themselves to achieve business milestones. This leads us to a very important question – Are Management Institutions ready to embrace technology and blend themselves into a Techno-Managerial organization?
The key observations over the last few years show that Globally management education is shifting from a generalized liberal program to a tech-skills (CS) based one. Commonalities in Maths-Stats-Computer Science-Electronics are increasingly becoming inter-operative and a new discipline: “high-end technology management” is emerging. Graduates with low or no knowledge about high-end technology are encountering severe hardships while hunting for jobs after the MBA program. Most of the traditional decision-making is shifting towards analytics and therefore emergence of Data Science. Indian B-schools are still contemplating how to incorporate „‟engineering‟‟ subjects into course curriculum. The significant GAP in learning outcomes and desired Skills can be fulfilled by a modern B-School.
1.2 How can a Traditional B-School bring in High-tech?
There are plenty of approaches which can be adopted, some of them are as follows:
Option 1: Look at an MBA+. Student takes non-credit Hi-Tech courses
Option 2: Introduce Hi-Tech courses as electives within the program
Option 3: Students take additional certificate courses in Hi-tech along with the normal MBA course.
Option 4: Student does his thesis project in „‟Hi-tech‟‟ area, lending additional credibility to this CV and improving his overall skill-sets
Option 5: Offering graduate level (BS/MS/MBA) in “Hi-Tech”
Option 6: Offering Summer Programs (leading to graduate credits) in Hi-Tech (open to any student qualifying)
Option 7: All of the above
A robust combination of the aforementioned approaches backed with high quality delivery and infrastructural capabilities would definitely lead to a techno-managerial transformation. Strong Infrastructural capabilities lead to the requirement of Centers of Excellence. A center of excellence is nothing but a dedicated facility with cutting edge tools and contemporary intellectual resources. As an example, we can consider the Nikola Tesla Laboratory of Hi- Technology (Tesla Lab):
The lab would facilitate enhanced learning of concepts like Internet of Things/Internet of Everything, Automation (excluding Industrial Robotics), Cloud Technologies, Computer Vision, Big Data Technologies, Supply Chain Technologies, IoT & Wearables, User Experience (Web, Social, AR-VR, Mobility) etc.
2. Case Study: Impact of Big Data Post Graduation Programs on Traditional B-Schools
2.1 Need for Professional Courses in Big Data
There’s no denial of the fact that companies backed by strong Big Data capabilities are bound to dominate the markets in the near future. Artificial Intelligence, Mobile, Social Media and Internet of Things are driving Data complexity in various forms and from a variety of sources. The importance of Big Data doesn’t revolve around how much data an organization has, but with what all they do with it. The combination of Big Data with High-powered Analytics enables managers to accomplish business related tasks that aim at cost/time reductions, optimized product offerings and majorly smart decision-making. The use of advanced analytics techniques like text analytics, machine learning, predictive analytics, data mining, statistics, and natural language processing has empowered companies with the ability to make numerically backed and quicker decisions by using data which was previously inaccessible or unusable. Today, Data is omnipresent; almost 95% of the data that exists today has been created over the last 5 Years. This figure itself demonstrates the humongous potential that can be unleashed by efficient processing of this data. The Big Data Industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23.1% during 2016-2020. India currently contributes to 12 per cent of worldwide analytics and data science job openings, making it the largest analytics hub in the world, outside the US. But, as per TeamLease Services – A leading HR Services Agency, India will face a Demand-Supply gap of 2 Lakh Data Analytics Professionals by 2020. This leads to a huge demand-supply void that essentially needs to be fulfilled by management experts and traditional management institutions.
2.2 Situational Analysis – Indian Analytics Offerings
India’s leading B – Schools have recently initiated the acceptance to transit from a myopic traditional mindset and incorporate essential courses in emerging technology. One of the most coveted amongst these offerings is the one from a joint venture of IIT-ISI-IIM, a two-year post-graduate diploma which costs around INR 16 Lakhs. India’s internationally renowned ISB Hyderabad offers a blended certification course of 15 Months for INR 7.5 Lakhs. Great Lakes offers 12 months blended post graduate certification effectively priced at INR 4 Lakhs. IIM
Bangalore offers a blended one year certification in Biz Analytics which is priced at INR 4.4 Lakhs. Other institutes like Praxis Kolkata and NMIMS Bangalore offer similar certifications of 9 months and one year respectively. The fees for these courses are INR 4.75 Lakhs and INR 2.5 Lakhs respectively. The most economical offering is from IIIT – Bangalore + Upgrad which charges INR 1.75 Lakhs for 11 months online post graduation diploma.
As per an Analytics Vidhya report, Great Lakes is currently ranked at the first position followed by IIM Bangalore and ISB Hyderabad. The key observations from the above analysis can be summarized as follows:
1. Almost all programs in Analytics in India are “shrink-wrapped” and geared towards business analytics.
2. No institute provides Placement Assistance as a key reward.
3. Learning outcomes of students are questionable, particularly in the areas of Big Data (Apache Hadoop and Spark), Machine Learning and Data Mining and Computer Science fundamentals majorly in Data Structures and Algorithms.
The market is open to new players in offering quality training programs in data science and Universal Business School is offering a unique pathway program in Data Science & Analytics which leads to a MS in Business Analytics at University of Dallas. The program is quite cost effective and will have SAS as technology partner to provide base SAS International badge as one of it’s certifications recognized the world over.
2.3 Situational Analysis – Top International Programs
Majority of universities in US have been providing full time two year courses in Analytics with a focus on developing both the technical as well as management skills required to succeed in the fast paced digitally revolutionized world.
2.4 Current Scenario of Indian Job Market for Analytics
A majority of Big Data professionals are recruited in the domains of Consulting, Finance, Telecom, Retail Startups and IT. As per Glassdoor and Monster India the common roles and remunerations offered are of business analysts with an average package of INR 6-9 lacs and data scientist with an average package of 9-12 lacs or more approx..
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. This is the apt ideology that any institution should believe in. Technology has announced its arrival for a long time now and it is highly significant that educational institutes who wish to hold still their strong footholds and grow beyond leaps, evolve themselves with the changing times. An amalgamated approach of management and technology is the way ahead. The skill level of our country relies in the hands of such institutes which makes it even more mandatory for them to transform themselves. The partnership with leading technology solution providers can always be the first stepping-stone in the journey towards achieving the perfect blend of Technology and Management. Through the interchanging usage of the individual core competencies, management institutions can thus impart knowledge and skills that would pave a path for India’s future leaders and contribute towards the dream of transforming India into a developed nation. The article has been written by Dr Raja Roy Choudhury, Director Academic Affairs, Universal Business School and he can be contacted at 9372868220 and firstname.lastname@example.org, www.universalbusinessschool.comTechnology