Why and How AI and Robotics Are Making Their Way into MBA Curriculum

19-09-2019

It was the rainy afternoon of July, one of the welcome days for the parched of Delhi NCR. We were sitting in a cozy office at 12th floor overlooking the vast green landscape and the overflowing Yamuna. The tea was served and the discussion veered towards MBA education, the purpose of our meeting. By then we exhausted the usual topics of weather, environmental challenge, economy and of course Stock market downfall.
My colleague and me were having open discussion with a CEO of a leading Publishing house on this subject. He has joined Publishing Industry after illustrious track record in other industries.

“If you leave aside few top rung institutes, most MBA graduates are useless.” He minced no words and continued “in good times and when Industry was growing anybody and everybody who had a MBA degree could get a decent placement. But not any longer. I don’t hire any MBA as they are useless for me”

“So what has gone wrong, is this lack of demand or something else?” I tried to smooth ruffled feathers. My colleague was getting uncomfortable with the kind of reaction the CEO was showing. But I had the job to understand the reasons behind his extreme reaction so that as an educator of MBA curriculum can take corrective action, his reactions notwithstanding.

“You groom them, they speak nice English, presentable, but when comes to delivery skills they fall too short!” he said. Now I gained more confidence to probe further, at least he appreciates some facets of an MBA graduate. I politely asked

“So what delivery skills you are referring to? They make good presentations, nice reports and conduct decent market surveys, what else?”

Cloud Computing with Prof Sanjiva Dubey, Head IT, BIMTECH

“Who wants these skills? Industry does not run on PowerPoint. The world is being disrupted using technology, all industries including mine. The book sale is down but online content education is growing. Platform companies in EdTech space are becoming fastest growing unicorn who have crossed Billion dollar plus valuation. We want MBA graduates with technology skills which they can use in changing the company’s processes and business model not juts recycles canned presentation of some over flogged case study!” The CEO sipped from his cup and said “Let me order a fresh one it has gone cold” I have similar opinion about the cup of Tea but did not want to raise it from being conceded an impolite guest.

“So you want tea from our pantry or chaimonk?” The CEO asked.  I knew about Chaimonk which is a Chai Monk, an IoT-powered chai robot that has fully automated the process of making tea.  So I said “chaimonk looks great.”

“So what skills MBA of today must have?”  I tried to pick up the thread once again.

“Look you have to give your students a heavy orientation of skills building in new technology such as AI, Robotics, Machine learning, and IOT. This list is long but these are must have. All industries are looking at adopting these technologies in some way or the other and if these fresh MBA youngsters can demonstrate these skills at the beginner’s level that will enhance their employability significantly.  They can think of innovative applications in the industry scenarios. The actual applications would be developed by techies but the ideas of what to do must come from business folks. This is a missing link. All MBA schools must include these topics in their curriculum.“ He has spoken briskly and now concentrating on his cup of tea that chai Monk has delivered based on his past preferences.

We were reassured of the need of AI and Robotics and all the new disruptive technologies need for MBA graduate. Hearing from an Industry leader made us feel good that it endorsed BIMTECH direction of using Technology as part of MBA curriculum.

“Are you on Facebook?” he nodded as if saying what kind of question is this. But I ignored his look and said why don’t you log in  www.facebook.com/etimbimtech  and see the AI technology in the class room.

 


He was curious and picked up his hand phone and punched few key stores. I was watching his changing expression in his face.

“We help our students build skills on such technology. This is developed by students themselves, we also have an IOT Lab for doing lab work.” I politely added.

He kept on nodding his head without looking at me. Perhaps conversing with the Chabot Eva on this Facebook page.

“This is exactly what I wanted skills from MBA Students”. Then he looked to his HR head and said “why not visit BIMTECH soon”.

 

Prof. Sanjiva Shankar Dubey
Professor and Head of IT Area, BIMTECH

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