Three news items I read in the past few weeks gave me a feeling of how much Indian Education needs to change if it has to truly live its purpose. Here are the three points:
- At the Policy Level: Rajya Sabha roll call: Only 37 out of 245 MPs were present for debate on education. Link: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/rajya-sabha-roll-call-only-37-out-of-245-mps-were-present-for-debate-on-education-2786597/
- At the Leadership Level: Under cloud for long, Pondicherry University vice-chancellor Chandra Krishnamurthy resigns. Link: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/under-cloud-for-long-pondicherry-university-vice-chancellor-chandra-krishnamurthy-resigns-2794418/
- At the Execution Level: EdTech Startup Purple Squirrel shutdown. Link: https://inc42.com/buzz/purple-squirrel-shuts-down/
While the above news items are only a sample of what probably appeared in the papers over the last fortnight, I believe it is indicative of how much needs to change. So, I don’t want you to look at it as negative news, but as changes that are needed if we want to see the sector contribute to its potential.
India is a land of intellectual potential. But research and teaching are lagging. How do we resurrect Indian Education to its original glory? Simply by giving it, its due at every level. At the policy level we need our leaders to take education very seriously. They need to spend more time discussing (progressively) how to take education forward. At the Leadership level, we need more honest and academically inclined administrators. In a transparent world, it will be embarrassing for faculty members to hide their poor credentials. Either they must whip themselves up or move aside for better people to take on the mantle. At the execution level, we must be prepared for more experimentation by entrepreneurs and Universities alike. We cannot expect our entrepreneurs to succeed with innovative solutions unless the ecosystem supports experimentation. And we must allow poor ideas to die so that better ones can be birthed and grown.
Overall the three articles are indicative of why Indian Education is plagued and behind. It is also in the same three articles that I see potential for a resurrection.
I hope you see it as much as I do.
A number of working executives don’t wish to take a two-year break to do an MBA. But,
they do realise that possessing a good MBA can help them scale new heights in their careers. Here is a program from IIM Trichy that can possibly help such high-growth seeking working executives.
This two year PGPBM program is well designed keeping in mind the time-constrained working executive. Individuals will find value from the rigour and relevance of the courses.
You can look up information from here: http://www.iimtrichy.ac.in/pgpbm
While there is a lot of hoopla around entrepreneurship the world over, two trends seem to be heating up:
- Reducing valuations of high growth ventures
- Slowing down of venture investments
I personally see this as a positive thing. Like all things in the world, entrepreneurship and associated investments go through ups and downs. During the ‘down’ phase there is a tendency for situations to become closer to normal. I think this is happening to this sector.
Reducing valuations is also good. This reduces the pressure on the entrepreneurs while also keeping valuation close to value creation (read more on the difference here).
I recently came across an article that spoke of the virtues of a possible decline/slowdown in Venture Capital (VC) Funding. Link: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/how-entrepreneurs-can-weather-the-drop-in-vc-funding/?utm_source=kw_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2016-05-04
Think about it.
Most academics agree that their research reaches less people than it deserves. One of the reasons is that academic articles are not shared widely on social media. SAGE has created an interesting initiative called ‘Management INK’. It is a blog that shares interesting academic articles from the vast range of SAGE Journals. The editorial staff present a short review, and indicate its potential. I have been following this blog and enjoyed identifying useful articles.
Happy to share that ‘Management INK’ has reviewed and shared my article titled ‘Indian Entrepreneurship through a historical lens: A dialogue with Dwijendra Tripathi’. This article appeared in The Journal of Entrepreneurship Volume 25 Issue 1 (March 2016).
The article offers number of areas for further research in Entrepreneurship. Doctoral Students, Academic Researchers, Teachers and Policy Makers will find useful insights in this article.
DOWNLOAD PAPER FOR FREE! ‘Management INK’ and SAGE also allow a two week free access to the article on their blog. So, go ahead, download, read and use this article in your future research.
iPod – ‘Music’ and changed how we listen to music
Xbox and PlayStation – ‘Gaming’ and changed the way we play video games
Kindle – ‘E-Books’ and changed how we read
Are you making the next one? Which industry are you disrupting? Which market are you creating? Which product or service are you making redundant?
If you are a corporation and not doing any of these, think again, for soon some one will do it. It might make you redundant.
These are all the result of ‘Corporate Innovation’ and the entrepreneurial abilities of their people. While innovation and entrepreneurship is the talk of the town, is it being spoken off in your corridors? What can you do to make ‘innovation’ thrive in your enterprise?
It is probably the only sustainable competitive advantage!
Think about it.
It is a fact that most Universities / Research Labs (publicly funded) produce research, publish their findings and have a roster of intellectual property. This is business as usual for them. They do little in terms of commercialising their discoveries.
Corporations on the other hand have ‘innovation’ as the mandate. They attempt to commercialise inventions and profit out of creating value. Since their focus is on commercialisation, they should not be spending too much effort on ‘Research’, but sadly they do.
Most ‘research’ functions have been blamed for not being effective. This is due to a number of reasons. Lets not get into it. Many corporations also do not have the muscle power to sustain long term research activities either! Hence long term sustainability of corporations is under serious threat. Enhancing innovative ability of their organisations is ‘Top Priority’ for the CEOs / Top Management Teams.
Hence it makes sense for corporations to focus on their core activity of making innovations happen while tapping into academic research for gaining access to new inventions. I recently read an article on this topic (Link: https://hbr.org/2016/04/innovative-companies-get-their-best-ideas-from-academic-research-heres-how-they-do-it?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=harvardbiz).
There are a lot of reasons why this may be difficult to practice in a developing economy. Here are some top of the mind reasons:
- Low public funding for research
- Poor research infrastructure
- Low quality research output
- Poorly documented / published research
- Little research of practical value
- Little interaction between industry and academia
And so on… But one is bound to be surprised by the number of useful ‘intellectual property’ that lie dormant in our (India) public universities / research laboratories. Some smart companies are already beginning this…
As a corporate looking to stay relevant in the future, it is useful to include scanning academic research as part of your strategy function. Number of interesting ideas are presented in the article cited above.
Read, access and explore the academic world to find inventions that can be commercially valuable for your firm / organisation.
This could be one way of enhancing corporation innovation.
Punit Soni, a senior hire from Silicon Valley quit Flipkart. As always there has been a lot of speculation on him and Flipkart. But that’s not the point. Business Insider interviewed him and I find that his answers reveal a lot about Indian Entrepreneurship and Ecosystem. While I let you enjoy the details of the interview (Link: http://www.businessinsider.com/flipkart-punil-soni-explains-why-he-quit-2016-4?IR=T) here are few points worth noting:
- Indian E-Commerce is a big opportunity; the winner will have to be a large player
- Innovation in E-Commerce is behind the scenes and its tough work
- Mobile is a mindset and not a channel strategy
- Restructuring is a strategic matter
- ‘I think the Indian Media is a bit of a circus… way too much is written without substantiation’ (read the interview fully before saying anything)
- Startups and Media should focus on ‘strategy’ not ‘personality’
- MUST READ: Incident from Bay Area on Hero Worship
- Its definitely getting easier to setup a company in India, though it can get much better (Government is trying a lot)
- Valley’s big difference is its support and mentorship; this is lacking in India’s entrepreneurship ecosystem – needs a big fillip
- A Google / Apple type of Company will come out of India (Optimism in India’s entrepreneurial potential) – lets live up to it.
I know the above is like dissecting an interview, but I think we should learn to read into what is being said. This is only for learning how to improve, not to generate more ‘gossip’, there is enough of it anyway.
Lets not waste the potential of Indian Entrepreneurship
Happy Reading and Happy Entrepreneuring!