Study by NHRD and IFIM reveals the gaps between industry and academia


Bengaluru: IFIM Business School, Bangalore, India’s 6th premier AACSB accredited management institute and National HRD Network, today unveiled the findings of their six-month long AACSB-supported study for developing a graduate management curriculum for the Industry 4.0.

The report titled “Curricula 4.0 – Creating Future Managers”, stated that management graduates, today, face a gap between what the academia trains them for and how the industry expects them to perform.

IFIM Business School, Bengaluru, along with National HRD Network, took the initiative towards framing a model curriculum for B-Schools to produce gen-next leaders in India who can effectively help enterprises surf the wave of Industry 4.0 to unlock exponential value from the ecosystem.

The study was conducted, involving about around 300 senior managers across 13 industries such as IT, Consulting, Education and Manufacturing, who shared their opinions on what according to them should be the right skill set for future leaders. This was followed by a series of roundtable discussions, across the country, comprising heterogeneity of CXOs and the academia to further understand the unmet needs – present and future. The findings will be implemented into a ‘next-gen’ MBA curriculum.

The survey focused on identifying the relevance of the required skills mentioned in World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs Report 2018”. The survey also compared the gaps in the Indian industry the unmet needs as identified in the Harvard Business School’s Prof Srikant Datar’s book ‘Rethinking the MBA: Business Education at a Crossroads

Sharing his views on the survey, Dr. Atish Chattopadhyay, Director, IFIM Business School said,

“This is the first time that a Business School, in India, has taken the initiative to reach out to industry executives to find out the skills required for industry 4.0 and bridge the gap between industry and academia. It is encouraging that the senior level industry practitioners involved themselves deeply in sharing their perspectives to enrich the B School Curriculum. The ten needs identified for industry 4.0 along with the insights, will go a long way in aligning the future of business education with the future of work. We thank NHRDN for being our partners and Dr. Tom Robinson, President & CEO of AACSB for his support and encouragement.”

Dhananjay Singh, Director General, NHRD, commented on the survey, “India is in dire need of an upgrade in its management curricula to keep up with the rapid transformations across industries globally. The country’s youth are considered one of the most talented resources across the world. The survey will b e a platform for corporates in the country to share their views on the skills required for the future workforce. It will guide management institutions to adopt these practices in today’s curriculum to create job-ready and continuously employable professionals. This will keep India ’s academia and industry aligned, which has seen a phase of disconnect in the past.”

“I am pleased to see AACSB-accredited IFIM Business School deeply engaging business in this initiative to shape future management curricula,” said Tom Robinson, AACSB International’s President and CEO, “AACSB’s accreditation standards stress the importance of active engagement with the business community and innovation in programs to ensure graduates are future ready and equipped for tomorrow’s business world.”

The survey also revealed new trends in the Indian scenario. These are:

– Multi-generation workforce : Mixing of industry executives with younger MBA participants

– Need for continuous learning as against education as start and finish: This involves reskilling of practitioners at various levels

– Curriculum needs to be individualized based on learning styles, pace and career stage

– Integration of data, technology and communication in business

– Research as part of curriculum

– Wellness and fitness emerges as critical components of managing self

– Becoming solution oriented

Dr Tom R. Robinson, President and CEO – AACSB; Dr Jagdish Sheth, Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing – Goizueta Business School, Emory University; and Dr A. Parasuraman, Professor and James W. McLamore Chair in Marketing – University of Miami were also present at the unveiling of the findings.