'Policy support for entrepreneurs is at its best': NMIMS SBM associate dean

Prof Chandrima Sikdar also speaks about the promise of AI and new courses

98-Chandrima-Sikdar Chandrima Sikdar

Q/ What kind of new courses are being offered by management schools to deal with current business challenges?

A/ Before Covid-19, certain aspects, like crisis communication, were not traditionally part of communication programmes. However, the pandemic highlighted the critical nature of crisis communication, making it a priority. Cross-cultural communication also gained importance, transcending geographical boundaries as regions became less relevant in the globalised world. Other aspects, such as understanding the psychology of the workforce, virtual coordination, empathy, and resilience, have also come to the forefront.

India is a significant bright spot on the world economic map. With the rapid changes in the business world, the rate of job creation and destruction is going to pick up.

We have introduced new courses to address the changing needs. Electives on emotional intelligence have witnessed increased enrolment. Mindfulness is now an integral part of our orientation, reflecting the changing dynamics of the business world. While the core hard skills of business, including critical thinking, tech integration and data fluency, remain essential, they must be complemented by a growing emphasis on softer skills. These softer skills, which are gaining prominence, are becoming an integral part of our curriculum to prepare students for the evolving business landscape.

Q/ Will technologies such as AI and ML help in bettering management education? How will it help improve decision-making?

A/ AI and ML have rapidly revolutionised the business world, offering advanced data-driven insights. These technologies hold great promise in improving decision-making for business leaders. However, it is now the responsibility of managers and leaders to effectively interpret and utilise this data for strategic decision-making.

The real value lies in how these insights are used. Therefore, it is important to educate students to master the art of using AI tools, but with human intervention. This ensures that technology complements human decision-making and helps strengthen strategic business decisions.

Q/ How does management education in India compare with international b-schools?

A/ I feel that we are pretty much the same, except that the emphasis of their curriculum on internationalisation, ESG, sustainability and climate solutions is more. Some have dedicated in-house units addressing climate and environmental concerns. Leading b-schools in India are consciously and swiftly moving in this direction. Everything has international implications in today’s interconnected world.

Q/ How has the entrepreneurial spirit shaped up in the country in recent times?

A/ India is one of the fastest-growing economies of the world and is a significant bright spot on the world economic map. New opportunities are around the corner. With the rapid changes in the business world, the rate of job creation and destruction is going to pick up. It is time to be innovative and think out of the box. The policy support in India, with all of Startup India, Skill India, support to women entrepreneurs, is also now in its best form for entrepreneurs.