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IILM’s Commitment to Inclusive Education

Dear Students and Parents

Hope you all are keeping safe and exercising the mandated precautions.

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For over 2 decades IILM has focused on education which is Global, Responsible & Inclusive; we are delighted to welcome everyone who applies and gets selected to study the “well-known” & “industry-endorsed” MBA.

We believe that ‘Learning has no Lockdown’ & we are focusing on a ‘growth mindset’. IILM is planning to begin online academic activities and interaction with students from June 15. For our new students, we have planned pre-term and bridge courses that will help students connect with their peers and help them forge friendships. The education will have a strong blended learning direction, with a strong focus on the jobs of the future.

We also observe that students are facing many challenges such as uncertainty about their exams and results, admission processes, entrance exams for institutes of their choice, reopening of campuses and the pandemic is having a significant impact on their education and career, planning.

These are issues everyone is aware of and everyone is discussing in many forums but there is one issue that is not being highlighted enough and that is the impact of the economic downturn due to Covid-19 on the students.

The process of deciding on higher education is an important decision and there is a possibility, financial hardships are prevalent across many families, at IILM we understand these are difficult times, with a lot of uncertainty and disruption in daily lives.

So to enable education for all

  • IILM has decided to reduce the total fee payable for the MBA program for intake 2020
  • For the 1st year, we have waived off the program fee and we will be charging only the tuition fee

Even for the hostels, since the students might not be able to avail the facility immediately, the hostel fee is waived off. Only whenever a student decides to avail the hostel (boarding, lodging facilities) they shall pay only pro-rata (of the annual charges) calculated from the month they avail the facility.

Also for any student who is facing financial hardship and is constrained for the fees, we are evaluating & addressing, all such cases with a proactive solution, where student education is not hampered and remains continuous.

Hopefully, these measures will be helpful to our students and their families.

We are with you, stay safe and healthy.

CEO — Now Needs to be Disruptive, a Transformer

– to Reengineer by Creative Destruction

In a post COVID world, the CEO has to revisit the past, reengineer the present, crystal gaze into the future and possibly relook at what to keep and what to let go.

As everyone grapples with COVID which will not go away soon, the business model has to be “Unlocked”. The unlocking will take different dimensions, with different sectors, different regions-countries, and opening up in different ways and at a differing pace. The virus resurgence will likely bring about renewed restrictions.

In situations such as the Great Depression in 1920, the World War II, the Financial Crisis of the 90’s a CEO had to be adept at the P&L, productivity metrics & number crunching, spending time to decide on launches and reenergizing the PLC.

However today these factors are hygiene and the need is the ability to have an extremely high EQ and a personality to integrate with the teams as they get more result oriented, ready to experiment and more tech-savvy.

Integration is required across teams, which now meet on cloud meetings viz — ZOOM, across time-zones, departments with the absence of geographical boundaries. A CEO and an aspirant needs to be ready to disrupt, be tech savvy and highly EQ enabled to manage the emotional upheaval people will go through as everything around them changes — have the intellect to identify trends, be courageous to plan on what to keep and what to let go and be able to handle diversity of thought.

Mckinsey in its article, The Toughest Leadership Test avers “The pressures can seem daunting. Coping with the sudden shutdown of the global economy was hard enough; figuring out how to restart in such an uncertain environment is, if anything, even harder, many told us. CEOs are expected to show “deliberate calm” and “bounded optimism.” Everyone wants them to demonstrate empathy — and, at the same time, be highly engaged and fact based in their actions. They are expected to make a positive difference in people’s lives with their leadership and wield both telescope and microscope adroitly”

It is said that a crisis brings about the best & the worst in people and separates the men from the boys.

The moment of truth for the CEO is to- Reimagine the Business, to Reengineer and maybe destroy the “old way of working” and adapt to the NOW, and also manage the family at home and keep smiling.

As a CEO are you ready?

Reboot to a New Normal ? Some Trends

The world would have changed; dramatically after COVID settles down ; like the AVENGERS Endgame or an X Men movie the time-line for the future seems to have altered.

Disruptive Technology stock photos and royalty-free images ...

The world economic order would have changed, the social interaction, recreation, education and even relationships would have undergone a transformation. The most pressing question is – what will be the new normal?

I am listing some trends that have taken centre stage in these uncertain times, and might possibly become the new normal in a post-COVID world too-

Social Distancing –

Concerns on safety today will get people used to meeting less and interacting more through technology. There was a time when everyone felt that technology and apps were irritants and interruptions; they have now become the basis of any information and communication. Even “Social Distance” marriages are getting formalized and celebrated online!

Productivity & Efficiency –

Meetings on Zoom, Microsoft teams, Google Duo is making people understand that even through distances trade & commerce can happen… it is difficult to learn all of it immediately , but work from home and learn from home will be the new drivers of various business models . Enterprises and students are realizing that unnecessary travel, meetings at brick –mortar locations apparently has been a drain on “human energy & finance”

An Exploding Digital Economy –

The digital connect for commerce will be the way to go around and possibly the time of a global currency, “contact less exchange of value “will again take route. The penetration of smart phones and mobile connections which is over 80% globally is set to grow https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/technology-media-telecommunications/us-global-mobile-consumer-survey-second-edition.pdf.

Sweden has already started exploring digital currency, even before COVID took centre stage, it will only gain more traction. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cenbank-digital-sweden/sweden-starts-testing-worlds-first-central-bank-digital-currency-idUSKBN20E26G

Disruption in Industry Structures & models –

Travel agents will perish at the hands of sites like booking.com, Expedia and so will any industry which has middle-men as an integral part of their model. https://disruptive.asia/covid-19-digital-disruptor/

 Businesses and industries will be struck by creative disruption and even creative destruction.

Education will possibly evolve & have new online models, where the best of University education will be available from home and companies will build their recruitment along these lines, factoring in the practical experience which would be brought in by guest lectures and interactive gaming.

Shifts will happen from discretionary spending to essential spends, brand trends , online news will become the norm and so will be the association with social causes. Distribution reach will not be the key anymore, as market places like Amazon will help innovators reach to the consumers.

Consumer Behaviour Shifts –

Consumer behaviour will evolve and buying sentiment would change ; and it would be even more difficult for brands to build & retain leadership. Testimonials will drive consumer opinion and purchase patterns. Every consumer holding a mobile connection will need to be targeted individually and the product, pricing will become extremely customised. Possibly the only thing which will remain constant is the “brand look & feel”. Gen Z, Baby-boomers , Silent generation all of them being poles apart in their buying behaviour , will further experience  “distancing” as companies will strive hard to have “Audience Specific Marketing “  & product offerings .

The question is, are we preparing for it? Psychologically, technologically & upgrading our skill sets? Are we enhancing the skill sets of the ecosystem we live in , work in ?

Human Capital – An Imperative

Human capital is the collective resource possessed by the citizens and individuals in a country and can be measured over decades to actually gauge the development of a country; human resources play a most significant role in developing a sustainable competitive advantage and efficiency for an organization, society and the country. The collective human capital resources include the talent, skills, knowledge, education abilities, experiences, intelligence, judgment…and this forms the collective intellectual wealth in the country towards achievement of long term goals.

The concept of human capital is rooted in the economic literature (Becker, 1996). He also highlighted that human beings will always be associated with their skill, health, and values, thereby defining human capital; while they can be separated from their assets and properties. It is as important as infrastructure for economic development. Human capital complements physical capital (viz the infrastructure) in the production process and is an important input to technological innovation and long-run growth. Human capital is created through development of skilled, trained and efficient work-force by providing education, health care facilities; skilled people can create new ideas & so expenditure on education, health, on on-job-training are key instruments of capital formation. Human capital is what people accumulate over their lives, enabling them to achieve their potential as contributory members of the society.

The Scottish economist Adam Smith commented, “The acquisition of talents during education, study or apprenticeship, costs a real expense, which is capital in a person. Those talents are part of his fortune and likewise that of society.” Human capital adds up to large benefits for the economy of the country, the region and global development— some countries become more prosperous as more human capital accumulates.

Economists, like Harbison, Schultz, Kuznets, Kendrick and Denison all emphasized that a key aspect for the progressive growth of developed countries and America is their increasing spends on education, social health and reskilling resulting significant improvement in the level of human capital formation. On the contrary a major reason the underdeveloped countries suffer from lower economic growth, is the lack of focus and investments in human capital.

As per Prof. Galbraith observed, “The larger part of our industrial growth comes not from more capital investment but from investment in men and improvements brought about by improved men.”

As per the World bank report, 2018, more than 260 million children and youth in poorer countries are receiving no education at all. World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim highlighted in Foreign Affairs, “The world today faces a – human capital gap.” The Human Capital Project launched by the World Bank is a global effort to accelerate investments in people for greater equity and economic growth.

https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/video/2018/10/11/invest-in-me-the-human-capital-project

A report from the Economic times highlighted that the 15th Finance Commission, the HRD ministry has pitched for a Rs 36,000-crore higher education plan, towards the imperative of an employable workforce to be developed over the next decade . The ministry emphasized a ‘4E growth mantra’— educate, energize, employ and empower .The team also underlined the need to boost higher education with a focus on

  • Quality and cognitive skills, for e.g. a Choice Based Credit System has been recommended for the undergraduate students.
  • Energizing wellness backed with universal affordable health care, for e.g. initiatives of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) have been launched for the economically vulnerable sections of the society.
  • Increasing employability through linking of education and skills and focusing on higher skills integrated in education. Skill Based education through Universities have already been launched, with specialized labs, industry connect and centers of excellence.

The Organization for Economic development (OECD) further defined different ways to measure human capital taking a range of indicators viz

  • Skills and qualifications ,Education levels ,Work experience, Ability to innovate ;
  • Social skills ( Communication ,Intelligence ,Emotional intelligence ,Judgement, Creativity)
  • Personality – hard working, harmonious in an office ,Habits and personality traits
  • Geography – Social peer pressure of local environment can affect expectations and attitudes.

Basis a World Bank report between 10 -30 percent of per capita GDP gross domestic product (GDP) differences amongst countries are attributable to cross-country differences in human capital. Typically human capital also fosters social capital. Surveys typically find that educated people are more trusting of others.

Human Capital is an imperative and Economic growth is impacted positively in the long run as human capital develops, and indicators which are directly visible are good health, increased urban income generation and reduction in crime and social unrest (Carmeli & Schaubroeck, 2005).

Design Thinking : The 5 Stages

Uncertainty abounds nowadays- wars, oil prices, pandemics, start-ups – acting as challengers and disrupting businesses; during such times, being conscious of sustainability and ‘Design Thinking’ redefines business models.

The uncertainty constantly challenges businesses to review and rethink their focus, their business, and most importantly their survival. In such a state of complexity, there is possibly a need to question the basics and revisit the obvious, and that is where design thinking comes in. It offers a thinking approach to redefine all of this in a more human-centric manner.

So what is design thinking? It is purely being more humane and empathetic with the belief that the end-user is at the heart of all decision making

Design thinking is a process which integrates critical thinking, cross functional collaboration, empathy, iteration, & curiosity to deliver breakthrough-outcomes. Companies are increasingly leveraging design thinking to achieve quantum growth.

The thought process while starting with a consumer centric approach also has to pass through the test of technical viability and business feasibility.

The 5 stages of design thinking are-

Stage 1 Empathize – Research the Target Group-User (TGU) needs

We have to set our assumptions and biases aside when we investigate the possible problem that is being attempted to be solved. We have to immerse ourselves in the context of the problem and possibly talk to TGU, who faces it, and speak to the possible experts and even look at similar challenges faced by, and solutions of, diverse businesses.

There are ways to understand the same, namely, FGD, Focus Interviews, Storytelling and Empathy maps. Empathy maps are particularly useful as they map what people say, do, think and feel in the context of the problem. “Observe & Hear Closely”. It allows us to understand how people feel, behave, and experience the problem and possibly how they might see a solution.

Stage 2 Define – The needs & problems of the TGU need to be defined

The insights gathered need to be summarized in a “human-centric” problem rather than business goals. This can be done by identifying the frustrations and challenges that people face through empathy maps, and how people are solving problems and what we need to do for them to find newer and easier solutions to overcome their frustrations.

To exemplify, rather than defining how to get a 20% increase in online sales of juice in Gurgaon, maybe we need to understand the consumption pattern of a health-conscious consumer, which could mean that consumers looking for healthy food may need to be educated on the meaning of ‘health’.

Stage 3 Ideate – Challenge the Assumptions & Evolve ideas

Once the problem/pain-points are identified it is imperative to start ideating and brainstorming the possible alternatives and evolve ideas. Prioritize the breadth rather than depth while developing ideas, as we need to solve a larger range of challenges. The focus needs to be on developing ideas which lead us to formulate prototypes & test the hypotheses.

So basically ideate and evaluate, and sketch your ideas and brainstorm in order to develop possible metrics against which to assess them. A good way to evaluate is to put ideas on the table and ask for a vote.

The ideas post evaluation with maximum votes are put through a prototype test.

Stage 4 Prototype – Start by Creating Alternate Solutions

This is when the idea identified gets a physical form. The same is defined and put through a paper test where a ‘what-if’ analysis could also be done. This helps to ensure that significant gaps are debated on and plugged before the prototype is put through a test. The prototyping stage should be a realistic discussion on what will work and what will not and changes are incorporated in a circular and iterative process, until there seems to be a workable structure. Maybe at this stage it is a good idea to put multiple test cases in discussion as that allows the breadth of possible solutions.

Stage 5 Test – Test the Solutions you feel are the best in ground situations, simulations, pilots

This stage could be considered to be an extension of the empathizing stage .This stage helps to understand in more detail the pain-points of the TGU and explore if the possible solutions being offered are really giving the desired outcomes, those which really help TGU change their behavior or take different decisions towards finding solutions. The answer to gauge is whether a significant impact has been made. It is important to get a feedback; there are various ways in which companies seem to be doing it – simulations, pilot test markets, test groups.

The objective is to put the best possible ideas forward and be open to critical feedback towards finding the right possible solutions. In fact this stage may even reveal that the problems identified and/or solutions proposed were not determined correctly.

Design thinking is an intimate way to get to know the TGU and problem definition better, so that the possible solutions to identified problems have a higher chance of success.

Questions to reflect

  1. Do companies succeed with design thinking ?

-Yes they do. Some examples of successful deployment of design thinking are listed below-

https://hbr.org/2015/09/how-indra-nooyi-turned-design-thinking-into-strategy

https://www.bbva.com/en/airbnb-design-thinking-success-story/

  1. But do companies nowadays “really” use this approach and do they spend enough time in each stage before formalizing a launch or a solution?

-We see a lot of initiatives-launches which did not work due to incomplete efforts in stages of ideation, prototyping and testing…(discuss)

  1. Maybe design thinking approach is one of the reasons why Reliance Retail and Jio are hyper growth platforms?

Entrepreneurship – Job and Wealth Creation

Entrepreneurship – Job and Wealth Creation

(Entrepreneurism must be practiced to be learned)

Entrepreneurial success does not take place in a vacuum. Entrepreneurs exist in the context of their particular geography – be that their local, national, or even supranational economy and society. This mix of attitudes, resources, and infrastructure is known as the entrepreneurship ‘ecosystem’.

Having an entrepreneurial mind-set is critical to being successful as an entrepreneur. An entrepreneurial mind-set stands alone in terms of its importance. No other attribute, personality, inherent entrepreneurial proclivities, training, or demographic profile is common to all successful entrepreneurs whether Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, or the neighbourhood florist or grocer.

Family controlled businesses, both private and publicly-traded, are characterized by unique challenges that threaten their continuity and distinct core competencies.

The challenges are primarily the result of issues presented by the changing ecosystem, government laws, and interaction of family, management and ownership -particularly where the family wishes to perpetuate its influence and/or control from generation to generation.

A large majority of successful companies started as entrepreneurship and few survive into the second generation. Family Business Management has to undergo changes in order to thrive in India.

The leadership issues, adoption of technology, modern HR practices and corporate governance will help companies to become more competitive and relevant.

It is imperative that students learn entrepreneurship as a course to delve deep and understand “What is entrepreneurship” and what it take to have an “Entrepreneurial mindset”.

IILM University focuses on providing such an education to students through an entrepreneurial ecosystem. This course aims to give basic fundamentals to students towards understanding the ecosystem for entrepreneurship and startups and a direction towards developing a mindset for pursuing this as a desired program in as a specialization and an area to work on for wealth creation. The students are also given an exposure into understanding the fundamentals involved in ideation, researching the idea, knowledge about finances in the entrepreneurial space.

While understanding the entrepreneurial journey it would be of fundamental importance to understand the entrepreneurial and startup system in India which is aggressively promoted by GOI. The Startup India initiative launched in January 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered incentives to such ventures to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation

Students will explore some of the myths and key facts about entrepreneurship, and find out what it takes to be an entrepreneur, so that they can conduct their own self-assessment and identify priorities for their own growth as an entrepreneur.

Students will learn how to unlock creativity and innovation to help generate more and better entrepreneurial ideas. This course provides learners with insights to re-frame their thinking in order to maximize their chances for success.

The course provides learners with an understanding of the attributes and perspectives of an entrepreneurial mindset, and the process to acquire one. The course introduces concepts that enable a person to start a trans-formative process in the way they think generally, and in the way they think about business specifically. This new way of thinking has the potential to positively impact not only them, but their family, and community.

So what can a learner expect to gain from this course? At the end of this course a learner:

  • Will be able to argue effectively against all of the reasons for not starting their business (or reaching some goal);
  • Will be able to operate effectively within the new framework or model for starting a business (or any new endeavor), thus increasing their chances for success; and
  • Will be able to make the initial business startup decisions of what type of business to start, and what type of business owner to be.

Entrepreneurism must be practiced to be learned

  • Maybe a student knows and wants to be an entrepreneur, but you’re not sure where to start? This course is for anyone aspiring to be an entrepreneur – regardless of the industry or type of venture you might have in mind.

The course will enable a student to think and maybe start with a project and develop insights to pursue detailed learning towards job and wealth creation.