A historian passes into history

Obituary of Prof Dwijendra Tripathi

Getting up this morning to the news that a cherished teacher passed away was not a happy start. Prof Tripathi wrote the Oxford History of Indian Business, the Oxford History of Contemporary Indian Business and the Concise Oxford History of Indian Business among many others. He wrote one of the earliest articles on Indian Entrepreneurship in the Economic and Political Weekly. He probably held the first ever chair professorship on entrepreneurship in India, the Kasturbhai Lalbhai Chair Professor of Business History and Entrepreneurship at IIM Ahmedabad. He was instrumental in setting up The Journal of Entrepreneurship and the Biennial Conference on Entrepreneurship – both of which can easily be seen as visionary acts.

 

Beyond all his academic accomplishments, Prof Tripathi was a wise human being. I don’t Picture 209think there was anyone who disliked him. Anyone who came in contact with him left improved by his wise counsel. I have been one of those lucky ones. I had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with him on many occasions. I particularly enjoyed my conversations with Prof Tripathi when I was writing an article building on his work. They helped me not only develop the article but also become a better human being.

 

History and him remained inseparable. As a historian passes into history, Prof Dwijendra Tripathi will be remembered fondly for a long time to come.

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My FPM Convocation

As shared earlier I defended my doctoral thesis in April 2018. On 30th June 2018 Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) hosted the 19th Convocation of its Academic Programs. Happy to share that I participated in the convocation and received my “Fellow in Management” title. Incidentally I am EDII’s First Fellow.

Here are some photos from the event:

My First FT50 Publication

I am happy to share that my first FT50 journal publication just got online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0883902617308376

My paper (co-authored with Dean A Shepherd) is published in The Journal of Business JBVVenturing (popularly called JBV). JBV is widely accepted as the top entrepreneurship journal in the world. It is one of the top 50 journals in management too (an FT50 journal).

What is a FT50 journal? The Financial Times (FT) List of 50 Journals, popularly called “FT50” is considered the top journals in business and management. Publishing in them is considered prestigious. They are used to evaluate the research contributions while arriving at the top business school ranking. It is therefore not surprising that getting published in them is highly competitive and extremely rigorous. Here is a present list of the top 50 journals (FT50) – https://www.ft.com/content/3405a512-5cbb-11e1-8f1f-00144feabdc0 

Hope to write more FT50s 🙂

Creating an innovative organisation

I am pretty curious about what makes certain organisations sustain an innovative culture while most others struggle and stagnate. This led to me to explore Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship as one of my research areas.

Since teaching is a good way to learn, I also teach topics around my research interests. One such new course is what I recently taught titled “Designing and Leading the Entrepreneurial Organisation” for the post graduate students of The Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII). Since the course refers to a lot about how to create and sustain entrepreneurialness within organisations, our discussions revolved around two problems — stopping bad habits (those that stop innovation) and cultivating new habits (ones that catalyse innovation)! While most courses discuss the latter, very few discuss the former. Without taking care of the former, the latter may not really work. Is that really why many new initiatives to sustain corporate innovation not result in results?

Though the course is formally over now, here are links to two articles that I would have (will use in the next edition of my course) shared with my students:

How to banish bad habits from your company? — Link: https://www.strategy-business.com/article/How-to-Banish-Bad-Habits-from-Your-Company

Creating a culture of innovation — Link: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/creating-an-innovation-culture

While many of our readings are from journals and magazines, both my students and me keep sharing newer materials to supplement our learning. These also help us enhance the quality of our discussions inside and outside the classroom.

I thought it might be useful sharing it here so that we could hear from what you, the reader, thinks as well.

What according to you helps create an innovative organisation?

I am a Fellow in Entrepreneurship

What?

Thats what my friend asked me when I told him that!! 🙂

Here is my rather boring explanation: Fellow Program in Management (FPM) is a doctoral level program offered by various institutes in India. The FPM is an All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) approved four year doctoral program. When you complete the program successfully – which includes coursework, thesis and viva-voce/defence; you become a “Fellow”. The Indian Institutes of Management have been a pioneer in granting this title. In recent times many other institutes have been offered permission to run these programs. Note: All FPMs being offered are not AICTE approved. Kindly check.

Since I recently completed my FPM from The Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad, I am now officially a “Fellow” of the institute. Prof. Sunil Shukla (Director, EDII) was my research guide. Prof. Amit Dwivedi and Prof. Lalit Sharma (Faculty Members, EDII) were my thesis advisory committee members. Prof. Sasi Misra (Institute Professor, EDII) was my FPM Executive Committee Chair. Prof Mathew Manimala (earlier Professor, IIM Bangalore) was my examiner for the final viva-voce. Raj FPM Viva PhotoCompleting my FPM in front of an august group of Indian researchers, was both an honour and privilege. The photo on the right is a happy memory captured after the defence and viva-voce with my Thesis Examination Committee (the five people who sat in my viva-voce).

EDII was the first institute to start a FPM (doctoral level program) in entrepreneurship in 2014. Since the institute’s FPM is focussed only on entrepreneurship, I think I can tell people that I am now officially a “Fellow” in Entrepreneurship.

My thesis was titled “Corporate Accelerators: A grounded study of motives, manifestations and measures”. I have a couple of papers based on my thesis under review in “Top Tier Academic Journals in Entrepreneurship”.

Thanks to all of you who helped me go through this long and arduous journey. I am now ready for a career in academics.

The One Right Answer

We are all taught from our schooldays that every problem has “one right answer”.

As good children we learnt it really well. As we grew up this was reinforced by the high school teachers; undergraduate lecturers; and even by our post graduate professors. So we formed this mental model firmly in our heads. We made it stronger every time by listening to only those who reinforced it. Every time someone would question it or force us to think (basically question it) we resisted it (unconsciously).

But pause and ask yourself this question: Do situations in life have one right answer (really)?

You know the answer but your mental model makes you go for the opposite. Why?

Ask? Question? Think? Redeem yourself!!

Khalil Gibran’s “On Work”

A student of mine shared a poem with me early this morning. I started my day with a smile for two reasons: (a) a student thought to share it with her teacher (blessed); and (b) what i read was plain truth.

The below extract is from that poem. It is one of the many philosophical prose / poems of Khalil Gibran. Among the many famous works of Gibran, I am particularly a fan of “The Prophet” for it gives answers to many of our daily (so called) struggles. From the very interesting  piece titled “On Work”, I found myself reading the below passage over and over again. It captures in poetic form what many philosophers struggle to communicate. I couldn’t help but share it! Is that the power of Gibran has “on work”?

Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

This is only a small part of the poem / prose “On Work”. If you are inspired buy a copy of Gibran’s work and immerse yourself in the truths of life.

But remember “Work is love made visible”