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“National Summit – Campus Branding, Nurturing Talent & Beyond"

The “National Summit – Campus Branding, Nurturing Talent & Beyond” conference was organized on 23rd October, 2010 at Taj Vivanta, Bangalore.

I attended this conference with my colleague Prof. Mishra. This event was an attempt to build a true partnership between the academia and the industry which would help each other better understand and appreciate “needs in the real world”.

The keynote was addressed on ‘The future ahead’, by Harish Bijoor, brand strategy specialist & CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc, emphasized on the changes taking place in India Inc. According to Bijoor, Attitude, Skills and Knowledge are the three important silos for an MBA student. And only basic skills are developed in basic degree courses and the rest can be developed further on work. So MBA institutes must not act as skill development factories; instead, they must serve as venues for attitude development. He further added that campuses must have corporate teams developing their pedagogy to bridge the gap between what is required in the corporate world and what is taught on the campus.

During the session on ‘Career vs jobs: opportunities for students’, Sudheesh Venkatesh, head HR, Tesco spoke about the difference between a job and career. According to him, career growth is the responsibility, mostly of the individual and partly, the organisation. “To decide on the perfect career, one must assess one’s own self and become aware of the inter-relationship shared between self and occupational choice. Also, one must study and prepare for a career by investigating the world of work in greater depth, learning job market trends, getting assistance from a career counselor and talking to people who have ‘been there and done that’,” suggested Venkatesh.

The panel discussion on ‘The changing market condition: demand and supply’ was insightful. Ashok Misra, chairman – India and head of global alliances, Intellectual ventures & ex-director, IITB said that higher education in the country has to be of global standards. According to Mr. Ravishankar, Head COE HRO, Infosys BPO, in order to bridge the industry-academia gap, we need to think of a disruptive model and corporate, media and the society must become change agents. “Teaching as a profession must be given more importance; more investments must be made in teaching and we must bring a change in the mindset of teachers,” added Mr. Ravishankar.

The session on ‘What’s the qualifying criteria? Academic excellence v/s talent’ witnessed interesting discussions, both from panelists and the audience. Mr. Alok Ranjan, head OD, Sab Miller said that academic excellence should not be the sole criteria for selection. Both talent and academic excellence are complementary and must co-exist. Mr. Mervyn Raphael, MD, PCI said that the importance of talent or academic excellence varies and it depends on what you are planning to do in life and also on the profession you choose. But Dr. Mrityunjay Srivastava, GM, Wipro said that academic scores, degree and educational institute are important for the purpose of recruitment. “One must have academic intelligence and the emotional quotient to be successful in the corporate world,” suggested Srivastava.

During his talk on ‘The way ahead for India’, Dr Ashok Mishra, Chairman-India and Head of Global Alliance of Intellectual Ventures, Ex-Director, IITB, suggested that the role of higher education is getting more significant and it’s not just about going to class; it is more about one’s overall personality development. “There must be excellent interaction between institutions and corporate. We must upgrade the curriculum and must be done on an ongoing basis,” concluded Mr Mishra.

This event was a true success on concluding the need for better association between the industry and academia, to align industry expectations and academic skill-sets.

PostedBy: Prof. Ramesh Puttana