It is common understanding that a PGDM / MBA degree prepares you for Business Administration, so you study Management, Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, Finance, Marketing, Operations, International Business and a range of other subjects. However the 2 year programme at IILM also prepares you with certain other skills such as Effective Communication, Research and Analysis, Critical Thinking, Change Management, Ability to leverage technology, Dealing with pressure, People management, Teamwork, Decision making etc. which may be called soft skills but are actually life skills. Let me explain here how these are so relevant in the context of Covid – 19 which all of us are grappling with today.
The current crisis is a situation that almost no one living today may have faced ever in his or her lifetime, hence there is absolutely no way that anyone could have been prepared for, in advance. When it struck, the reactions were quite similar among most, ranging from brushing it off to disbelief to despair, businesses were no different. However during these times of crisis, Effective Communication is of paramount interest. At IILM, students learn who to communicate with, what to say, how to say and when to say. Your stakeholders are the ones who need to hear from you to have that continued trust in you, how you are managing their interest is what you need to tell them and tell them early on. Any message that is delayed looks like an afterthought, so communicate early and communicate regularly. Keep it short but relevant and regular.
The times are different, the challenges are different, hence the solutions also have to be different. IILM teaches its students to read, research and analyze what is happening the world over and make sense of it and how it affects our businesses and organizations. It teaches them critical thinking skills and inculcates a sense of judgment and positive thinking to manage any crisis situation. As a manager / leader it is important to know that we must be able to adapt to change as per the situation. In the current situation when there is a complete stop to everything around us, it is imperative to follow what is required at this moment, which is staying safe and staying at home. If there is life, there will be a tomorrow and we can always plan and rebuild ourselves. There is just no point in being restless, take this time to spend with yourself, review what you have done so far, how you would do it differently, what you could have done better.
Technology they say is a leveler, the digital march is going to make it even more uniform. As millions of people are homebound, their major source of information, inspiration, communication, distraction, entertainment is through technology. IILM encourages its students to be technology savvy and Leverage Technology to bring in effectiveness to their work and business. A case in point, in the times of Covid, technology has moved up a few notches, K-12, Higher education and a good number of businesses have gone online, organizations are rethinking the Work from Home concept, also as an effective cost saving tool. All classes at IILM have been conducted on zoom through paid licenses ensuring security and privacy of teachers and students online.
This is a situation which has put everyone under pressure, be it the government, the police, the doctors, the medical supply chain, the food suppliers, the transport for continuing the work assigned. All others are under pressure to stay at home, manage their job, remain balanced, remain strong, stay calm and help others in whatever way possible, big or small. The MBA / PGDM programmes at IILM by the very nature of its being fast paced with classes, tutorials, assignments, simulations, meeting industry experts in Round Tables or Guest sessions, Summer internships, Live Projects, Placements creates the right kind of pressure with tight deadlines and helps students manage time and manage themselves by dealing with pressure.
People are the most valuable resource that one can have. IILM students develop skills of working in teams and learn to respect one another, value their competence and contribution. People Management is what management is greatly about. Students learn through cases and role plays, how to take people along, how to keep them motivated and engaged with the organization when the chips are down. How to make people feel wanted and part of your team are skills that come with practice. As a manager, you are required to take decisions, most of the times with limited resources, limited information and in limited time. IILM teaches Decision making as a process, a step by step approach to make good decisions. With practice, one becomes adept at following the steps and can still be quick. But if you miss some part of the processes in order to be quick, you will be prone to making mistakes, costly ones!
Most importantly, IILM has an NGO club through which students learn to help and support the marginalized sections of the society. We believe empathy is something, which need not be understood and expected when you are in a spot, but the continued will to share and care for others whatever the situation be. IILM is proud of its 12000+ alumni who as Managers and Business leaders running their businesses responsibly and building the nation.
Prof.(Dr.) Kakoli Sen