Exclusive Interview - Dr. J.K Das, Director , fore School of Management

FORE School of Managementā€™s Director, Dr. Jitnedra K Das talks about the need for a part-time PDGM.

Online PR News – 27-April-2011 – – With nearly three decades of mentoring and teaching under his belt, both within the country and abroad, Dr. Jitendra K Das has his finger firmly on the pulse of Management Education. He is Director, FORE School of Management and teaches Marketing Management and Strategic Internet Marketing. His other interests include CRM and Advanced Marketing Research.

With a keen eye on developments in the Indian market, FORE found the need for a part-time PDGM and is about to start its 20th batch shortly.

Here, Dr Das has answered some questions that are on many studentsā€™ and parentsā€™ minds.

1. An additional MBA seems to be a necessity today while, earlier, a graduate degree could land people a steady job. What advantages does an MBA offer?

The world has evolved into a global economy and India is a substantial contributor to this evolution. Human resources need multiple skills to manage such an economy. A degree in Management helps students understand all aspects of running a business or an organization. A graduate has academic knowledge but a person armed with a management degree has more practical orientation. The exposure to situations through the case study approach and first hand experience during internship equips them much more than a graduate to succeed on the job. In a competitive world like this, an MBA also gives the desired edge in employment opportunities and actually improves careers in many cases.

2. What made you decide on offering the Part time PGDM course?

We started Part-time MBA in 1992 to cater to the needs of working professionals who cannot pursue a full time program. The part time course equips professionals to develop managerial skills and add a competitive edge to their career while continuing in their jobs. As I mentioned earlier, we need skilled people to lead the country. This is our effort to make a difference to the workforce of the country.

3. What makes the FORE part time PDGM different from other B-Schools?

The part-time program at FORE is as exhaustive as the full time one with no compromise on the quality. We expose students to a variety of management tools and techniques to ensure that they develop their analytical and decision making skills. Apart from the academic gain, the part time program also inculcates values of social responsibilities of the participants through various activities designed towards achieving the goal. What makes the part-time PDGM at FORE truly unique is the mix of training methodologies. Students are exposed to the regular lectures, case studies, seminars and special sessions by professionals from industry & trade. The additional edge is the focus on experiential learning. This happens through role-plays, group discussions & presentations, management games, sensitivity training, management films, industrial visits and corporate interaction.

4. How do you go about choosing your students?

We choose students on the basis of CAT and a personal interview. However, the candidateā€™s academic performance and work experience also play an important role in the final selection. About 75% of the students who get selected tend to be from engineering. The simple reason for this is a majority of engineering graduates appear in the CAT to bolster their technical skills. We are actively looking at ways to ensure more non-engineering students getting admission at FORE. We are sure that the presence of more students with arts and science background would equally enrich the learning experience at FORE.

5. How do you meet the changes of the industry?

Change is constant and the best way to be prepared is to expose our students to current trends in the industry. Interaction with people from the corporate world including corporate supported projects that our students undertake gives them handsā€“on experience of the industry. It helps them understand how things have panned out within the industry under the influence of the changes in the outside world. Apart from that, our faculty brings in its unique contribution with their alacrity to help students acquire the needed attitude, skills and strategy to handle change.

6. Apart from academics, what are the activities that enrich students of FORE while having fun at the same time?

FORE is a hub of activities that help students learn and have fun at the same time. The student council, which has different committees, is run wholly on the managerial capabilities of the students. Events like freshersā€™ night and alumni meet facilitate breaking ice with the juniors and learning from the experience of the seniors. FORE has a unique ehub for students to network, chat and discuss academics in their free time. Also, FORE is situated at a vibrant location with eating joints that help foster ideas in students over a meal.

FORE believes that students must be socially responsible. Direct exposure to social projects like blood donation initiatives, providing education to the children of the less fortunate, sensitivity to the environment and society at large, etc add value to the education at FORE.

7. How often does your part time PDGM syllabus change?

FOREā€™s strength lies in its industry-driven curriculum that stimulates thinking and action. Innovative changes in the syllabus are incorporated from time to time to suit the changing needs of business and economy. We ensure that our course curriculum is dynamic enough to catch up with the demands of the industry and equip our students to face the challenges.

8. With so many B-Schools offering courses designed keeping the global scenario sharply in focus, why do students still opt for foreign universities for ā€˜further studiesā€™?

Perhaps, the misconception that a degree from a foreign university opens more doors of success is behind this choice. On the other hand, we also find foreign students coming to India for further studies. So it is an individual choice to choose the college from where one wishes to pursue higher studies. I believe that management colleges in India are equally equipped to groom future leaders as colleges in any other country. FORE has reputed faculty and competitive syllabus along with corporate exposure which makes it a business school to reckon with.

9. Does a working professional have a different perspective towards management than an out-of-college graduate? What do you attribute this shift to?

I think there is a shift in perspective. I would attribute this to the exposure that a working professional already has to the working of an organisation. Hence, he is more likely to have an open and practical approach towards management. He will be able to identify with the case studies and apply his knowledge to come with innovative solutions. On the other hand, a graduate might have a very academic approach to the program and look at it from an exam point of view. But the advantage is that, a management graduate will be equipped to face the challenges on the job having acquired the requisite skills before getting into the real world.

10. Some students have it all: the knowledge, the sharpness, the focus. Still they lack communication to put their thoughts across. What do you think about this?

Communication is a crucial skill for the future managers and the lack of it can affect performance at the workplace. FORE focuses on developing communication skills of the students through additional training in this crucial skill. Even during discussions, attention is paid to the presentation and communication of the students. Students are made aware of the importance of language skills and are encouraged to hone them.

11. How do you choose your part time PDGM faculty?

FORE has reputed faculty, educated and trained from renowned educational institutions with senior level work experience in industry. These people are exposed to the state-of-art-technology, contemporary business situations through live projects. The PGDM faculty are among the best in the industry. They nurture talents in students while contributing to the expansion of the body of knowledge in their field of expertise.