Internship – Unique feature of IBS.

intern311Higher education is expected to make students ready for a career path. But in reality most of the students are unsuccessful in starting their career they dreamt of . The internships allow a student to test his career field, by giving his learning an opportunity to be applied. It is now an essential part of the curriculum which honestly tries to bridge the gap between theory and practice. They are work-based educational experiences that relate to specific jobs, positions and professions. (Stasz & Brewer, 1998).

An internship is a far better way to assess a student rather than a 30-45 minute interview during final placements, a view that is gaining currency among recruiters, institutes and among students.  It is a general feeling among the recruiters that B-schools do not give them an opportunity to assess the candidate thoroughly. Summer Internships give such recruiters time as students are with them.

Internships are the training and experiential learning component of a curriculum. They are career-oriented endeavors of practical application.  It is also an essential pedagogical tool needs no debate. Students receive on-the-job, one-on-one training in a work environment from skilled professionals, who provide the knowledge and expertise of their field which gives them opportunities to associate with the people and the resources that can make work real . Students participate in meetings and get a feel for what work days are like in their field of interest.

Students are evaluated and assessed by their faculty and their on-site professional supervisor using an authentic, systematized,  performance-based, seminars and presentations.   At the end of the internship, when the defined objectives are achieved, the student returns to school and prepares a final project report to summarize the internship experience. The supervising faculty, along with the site supervisor, carried out a final evaluation of the student intern, based on his performance during the internship period.

Internships many a time lead to pre-placement offers.  The hosting organizations have a sufficient time to monitor the intern.  If the intern is found to be intelligent, hard working, they are served pre-placement offers. Thus internship programs lead to a win-win situation where the companies get the project work completed at no or low cost, assesses the student over a long period to consider for permanent placement.  It is an equal opportunity for the student to acquaint himself with the work environment and the peer group.

On successful completion of internship a student will be able to learn work ethic and work values;  skills to help them compete effectively on the job and in life;  to improve their interpersonal relations and communication skills;  improve their organizational skills;  work independently and team working skills.

Internships provide invaluable experience to students and change their lives.  Internships can help students identify goals, deepen their self-understanding, apply classroom knowledge in professional settings and propel them into successful careers. They can increase the student’s maturity levels and can improve their self-confidence and self-concepts, if they are properly coached, guided and evaluated.  Internships govern the student career path. They not only benefit the students but also the companies.

IBS has a 14 week Summer Internship Program (SIP) which is the USP of IBS. Unlike other B-schools, SIP is an integral part of curriculum at IBS with close supervision from the faculty. Lot of transformation takes places in the student after he completes the Summer Internship Program and returns to the 2nd academic year.  It develops a sense of confidence in students and inculcates in them values of time management, priority setting, personality enhancement and relationship management.

Contributed By : Dr.P.Venkat, PGPM Program Head, IBS Business School.

Starting a Start-Up.

startupHow many of you, I wonder, would be leaving the portals of your B-School and be ready to start your own venture?

How many of you see yourselves as a pioneering entrepreneur, with a novel business proposition and rewriting the rules of the game?

How many of you would forgo the security of a steady income, a comfy job at a renowned company and enter into the uncharted and uncertain waters of entrepreneurship?

There is ample evidence to show that not even one percent of those passing out from the various management schools or engineering institutes in the country take that crucial step into self-employment.

Self-employed doesn’t sound so good, right? It sounds like you are sitting at home, doing some freelance work. Entrepreneur sounds better. Job creator is even better!

There are many reasons why young people in India do not want to strike on their own. For one, parental pressure. Fond parents who have invested a lot in your education and have made considerable sacrifices to put you through a prestigious institution are looking for returns in the form of a nice, stable job at a leading Indian or multinational company. They are entitled to their bragging rights.

There is also peer pressure. When you see your friends bagging nice, comfortable jobs and being offered mouthwatering annual salary packages, nobody would blame you if you wanted the same for yourself. After all, that’s why you’ve worked so hard, isn’t it?

For an average Indian, job safety and financial security is very important. Your own inclinations will lead you to a safe job and all the attendant perks that a management degree brings. Why shouldn’t you take it?

However, try to think of all those people who trod and tread a different path. The promoters of Ola Cabs and Taxi for Sure. Think of Pete Cash more who created Mash able at the age of 19 – he sat at home in his mother’s bedroom blogging on technology. He created a multi-million dollar media enterprise out of his passion.

The truth is that India needs more entrepreneurs; more people who can offer jobs; more employers. We have to change from an employee mindset to an employer mindset.

So what is the kind of attitude and other attributes that you need in order to be an entrepreneur?

The Temperament

An entrepreneur has to be a non-conformist and have a disregard for the opinions of others. This might sound revolutionary but you have to remember that there will be a lot of pressure on you to follow the conventional path. An ability to take risks and be very sure of what you want to do, are some of the traits that you need as an entrepreneur. Confidence in your abilities and a determination to go your own way are also needed.

The Business Idea

You may or may not have an idea – but you will certainly have a passion. Maybe you are mechanically minded; maybe you are a whiz at creating music; buildings and architecture fascinate you. Whatever it is, entrepreneurs always have something on their minds which they want to do above all else – and they want to do it on their own. It is this passion, which gets translated into a business idea. It may not even seem like a business idea at first.

The Value Proposition

Entrepreneurs are very hard-headed people. Once they have the idea,they look for ways to commercialize it. Entrepreneurs may be dreamers or visionaries but they are also practical. They want to sell their idea to the world. Look at Sam Walton, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet – all with unique and far-reaching ideas but profitable too.

Getting the Support Structure

If you are determined to be an entrepreneur, you have to get the support structure right. Get your friends and family to help you. It took playwright George Bernard Shaw 15 years to get recognition, during which time his mother supported him by teaching music. Or, if you do not have a supportive family, you should be prepared to support yourself, doing part-time or freelance work. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm, funded his venture and himself by doing freelance work in the evenings.

A word about funding here. The media is rife with stories about million dollar funding deals and fantastic valuations for start-ups, but these are all exceptions. For every venture that is funded, there are about a hundred others, which do not get funding and still manage to make a success of it. Funding usually comes from your family members, friends, good Samaritans and charitable patrons. Loan from a bank is an absolute no-no at this stage, unless you are sure of generating cash flows every month.

Open-minded and Flexible

People often have the notion that entrepreneurs stick to one idea and become a success with that. That is a total myth. Most entrepreneurs try various permutations and combinations before they strike the right formula. Kishore Biyani tried ten different things before he found success with Pantaloon. Your core idea is of course the seed for your future enterprise. But you have to be open-minded about how you get your idea to become an established business. If one strategy is not working, be prepared to backtrack and try a different tactic. Dedicated entrepreneurs are rarely deterred by failures. In fact, they do not even view it as failures but just as lessons to be learnt.

A certain amount of agility, flexibility and quick thinking is necessary if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.

Listen to Others and Take Help

Entrepreneurs may go their own way, but that does not mean that they are not listening to others. They are also keen observers of their surrounding environment. See what others are saying; watch what they are doing. Take your cues from what’s happening around you. Finally, you have to sell your products and services to the people around you and if you do not know what they think and feel – how will you know what to do? The external environment always influences an artist or a painter.

Do not be shy of taking help from others – whether it is in the form of ideas, advice or any other resources. Some people may offer you rent-free accommodation. Some may offer to do work for you for a nominal sum. Some may tell you where to find things that you want.

Its not easy being an entrepreneur but the rewards when you finally make it are so large that it is worth going to all that trouble.

Contributed By : Janaki Krishnan , An entrepreneur in the education and skills sector. Prior to this she was a business journalist. Writing continues to be her abiding passion.

Demographic Dividend or Demographic Crises – Challenges for India.

skill india copyMr. Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus of Infosys, raised quite a storm when he declared that 30% of engineering graduates were unemployable, a statement corroborated by the Nasscom-McKinsey Report “Perspective 2020: Transform Business, Transform India”. A similar survey by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India reported that only 10% of MBA graduates get a job immediately after graduating.

Quite a depressing scene. On the one hand, employers bemoan the lack of talent in the market; and on the other hand, millions of youth are unable to find a well-paid job after years of higher and professional education. Though the number of institutes has grown exponentially, there is a steep decline in the quality of education being provided. The course curriculum as well as delivery pedagogy are dated and testing is flawed. There is little or no focus on application of concepts as relevant in real corporate scenarios. So while they are “qualified”, they are not “skilled”. There is a desperate need to bridge the gap.

Another cause of concern is the career decision making process. Decisions are made based on job opportunities, most sought courses, peer and parental pressures, rather than interest and aptitude.

It is estimated that the population of India will reach about 1.3 billion by 2020, of which 0.8 billion (about 60%) will be in the working age group (15-59 years), which, according to economic predictions, may very well be a period of “Golden” growth as not only will India have enough manpower to meet its own need, but also surplus manpower to supply to the rest of the world. However, how can we reap the benefits of this “demographic dividend”? Can quantity be matched with quality? And this is the classic “Great Indian Talent Conundrum”. According to the pessimists, at the current pace India is hurtling towards a situation where there will be a skill gap of about 70-80% across industry sectors. There will be manpower with skills redundant as far as employers are concerned, and jobs for which the right talent is not available. There will be 108 million fresh entrants to the workforce. About 298 million existing workforce require additional skills through up-skilling or re-skilling by 2020. The social and economic repercussions of this scenario are humungous. Visualize a society with educated unemployed youth, with no direction and you have a perfect setting for a criminal society.

A concerted effort by government, employers and employees is the need of the hour. Prime Minister Narendra Modis’ ambitious Skill India initiative, launched in July 2015 is one such step in the right direction. It aims to skill 40 crore people by 2022.  The initiatives include National Skill Development Mission, National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) scheme and the Skill Loan scheme. The Skill India program, with the tag line Kaushal Bharat, Kushal Bharat’ (Skilled India, Successful India) will provide financial rewards to those completing the program, mostly workers in the unorganized sectors. Comparing India with China, Prime Minister Modi said that if China is recognized as the “manufacturing factory” of the world, India must be known as “human resource capital” of the world.

skill india coverIt follows close on the heels of PM Modis’ other campaigns “Make in India” and “Digital India”. What remains now is the aggressive launch and implementation of this initiative. A similar National Skill Mission launched by the UPA government in 2008, with a target of 56 crore workers by 2020, could barely achieve half its target. The challenge in up-skilling is upgrading syllabi and technology. The private sector can contribute in this mission. Maruti Suzuki, for eg has adopted a cluster of ITIs, which is a major source of vocational training. Similarly, Self Employed Women Association (SEWA) has been conducting sessions for women, a huge untapped workforce, in Ahmedabad to skill them on financial planning and business strategies.

The government is gung-ho about the project. The critics are skeptical. And we can but wait and watch.

Contributed By : Dr.Rachna Sharma (Associate Dean, IBS Mumbai).

A Boon for Digital Marketing.

digital-marketing-04Digital Marketing has become one of the robust platforms and plays a key role in purchasing decisions. Digital media plays a great role by bridging the gap between an organization and its customers. It is not just about advertising but building fan following by the means of paid, owned and earned media where the customers listen and respond. The interface is open for all as technology can help; but it’s not about technology, it’s the content which takes the upper hand.

Often we come across questions like: How to increase followers/fans/visitors? Why do my accounts not grow as much as I want them to? Why do I get nothing out of all my marketing efforts? Why do people not talk about my product in social media? And the answer is: It’s the Content!!

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” – CMI Report, 2015

To begin with, one needs to generate an endless stream of appealing, exciting, exceptional and valuable content ideas. You need to pen down your objectives and how it will fit into your marketing mix. It is important to define your target audience and strategy for creating and publishing content. The technology you want to use to publish content plays a crucial role. Finally lay down your workflow for it.

Half of your job is done by now, the next challenge is producing engaging content that gets read. Keep up with trends that are your target audiences’ interests:  What are they watching on TV? What books, magazines, and blogs are they reading? What ideas are they discussing with one another? You may perform a Google keyword search when your ideas run dry. Select the keywords that you want to target so you could create pieces of content for those keywords; search for unique angles about the topic; add them to your editorial calendar and release your creative ideas with brainstorming.

For new ideas and attractive content you may also join forums where people discuss a particular topic, this will help you to gain insights to read minds. Another interesting way is social media interactions, be present and engaged to understand your target market better. Last but the most important source is news, you don’t simply report the news but employ a trick of news jacking.

Creating relevant, interesting content ideas will never be a burden if you implement the tactics listed above. By employing these tactics, you will be equipped with the steady stream of ideas and could sense the new trends before they occur in market. However, setting this idea-generating system is not enough. You need to practice engaged listening to transform this information you have collected into usable ideas.

Your goal is to continually add content ideas to the list, that way you will never run out of the subject matter for timely, engaging content for your readers.

A Boon for Digital MarketingContributed by: Prof. Shweta Sharma(Faculty,IT & Systems at IBS Gurgaon).

Digital India.

Digital-India-Vision

India has witnessed green revolution, white revolution, IT revolution and now heading towards the digital revolution in order to achieve the slogan of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi “Minimum Government and Maximum Governance”. The idea behind this is to achieve inclusive growth with sustainable development envisaged in the earlier five year plan. This Government has abandoned the planning commission and initiated National Institute of Transforming India (NITI aayoag). To achieve this vision in time bound manner, a project DIGITAL INDIA has been initiated by the GoI, which enables to govern India effectively and electronically.

Digital India (DI) is an initiative of Government of India to integrate the government departments and the people of India. It aims to provide access to the government’s services in effective, affordable and transparent manner to every citizen. The initiative also includes plan to connect rural areas with high-speed internet networks. Digital India has three core components. These include:-

  • The creation of digital infrastructure
  • Delivering services digitally
  • Digital literacy.

The project is slated for completion by 2019. A two-way platform will be created where both the service providers and the consumers stand to benefit. The scheme will be monitored and controlled by the Digital India Advisory group which will be chaired by the Ministry of Communications & IT. It will be an inter-ministerial initiative where all ministries and departments shall offer their services to the public like Healthcare, Education, Judicial services etc. The Public-Private partnership model shall be adopted selectively. In addition, there are plans to restructure the National Informatics Center. This project is one among the top priority projects of the Modi Administration.

The initiative is commendable and deserves full support of all stakeholders. However, the initiative also suffers from lack of legal framework, absence of privacy and data protection laws, civil liberties abuse possibilities, lack of parliamentary oversight for e-surveillance in India, lack of intelligence related reforms in India, insecure Indian cyberspace, etc. However, Digital India project is worth exploring and implementation despite its shortcomings that can be rectified before its implementation.

Top CEOs from India and abroad have already committed to invest Rs. 4.5 lakh crore towards this initiative. This investment would be utilized towards making smart phones and internet devices at an affordable price in India which would help generate jobs in India as well as reduce the cost of importing them from abroad.  Digital India Program includes the following components: Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Phones, Public Internet Access Program, e-governance – Reforming government through Technology, e-Kranti – Electronic delivery of services,  Information for All, Electronics Manufacturing – Target NET ZERO Imports, IT for Jobs, Early Harvest Program.

The Government of India entity Bharat Broadband Network Limited which executes the National Optical Fiber Network project will be the custodian of Digital India project. BBNL had asked United Telecoms Limited to connect 250,000 villages through GPON to ensure FTTH based broadband. This will provide the first basic setup to achieve towards DI and is expected to be completed by 2017. DI will be one of the key initiatives to achieve ‘Make in India’ and robust Human Index criteria of the UNDP.

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Contributed by: Prof. Hemant Purohit