Jindal B-School to focus on grassroots solutions

Vinay Kamath Chennai | Updated on January 09, 2018

Tapan K Panda, Dean of the Jindal Global Business School,

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Dean Tapan Panda wants to use new business models to solve problems at the bottom of the pyramid

It’s induction day at the OP Jindal Global University and the sprawling, lush green campus in Sonepat, Haryana, is teeming with new students streaming in to join the varsity’s various schools. It’s a busy day for Tapan K Panda, Dean of the Jindal Global Business School, but he finds time for a quick interview. Panda, who has spent over 25 years as a Professor of Marketing in various business schools such as BML Munjal University, Great Lakes School of Management and IIM Indore, moved to Jindal last year. He talks about the differentiators of the JGBS.

What are the key differentiators for JGBS?

The focus of the programme is global in character. We expose our students to how the world is changing. Being a multi-disciplinary university, we get the opportunity to invite faculty from various disciplines to talk to the students. Our key differentiator is analytics. We are big on big data analytics. IBM has set up a lab in our school. With the focus of Haryana and Punjab on SMEs, we have set up an SME network so that any student who wants to start an SME can gain experience through this course.

Could you please explain more about the IBM analytics programme?

We have created a domain area of business analytics. A student has to take eight courses during his MBA programme. Next year, it will be a full course on IBM business analytics. IBM is training our entire faculty on analytic methods. I have created a domain group inside the school, which is working on analytics. Since I come from the quantitative analytics stream, I have contributed to the course as well. We also partner with large corporates, dating sites, banks, and so on, so the original database of transactions are brought to the school and faculty and students work on analysing that data. IBM is also responsible for creating and delivering the course. It handles four of the eight courses that are taught here now.

What are you doing beyond the pedagogy of the case-based system of teaching?

We have moved ahead of the case-based method of teaching. When I was with the IIMs, that was the key word. But if you look at two recent books on how management education should evolve, The Golden Passport and Rethinking the MBA, they talk about experiential learning. So we are moving beyond a case-based system and do a lot of business simulation, as well as experiential learning programmes. Our idea is to blend inside- and outside-the-classroom learning. We do have case-based pedagogy, but a case puts you in a particular period of time, while a simulation changes the environment frequently. It is more dynamic as it’s a series of cases from the same company.

What is your vision for JGBS?

Our vision is for JGBS to be the number one knowledge resource centre on management practices at the grassroots level in South Asia. There are many schools that focus on the corporate sector to solve their business problems but it is possible for countries like India to use new business models to solve problems at the bottom of the pyramid; try to use technology and different business models to bring prosperity to them. In those domains we want to be the leading school in South Asia.

Published on August 11, 2017

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