An Interview with Dean of Dr. V. N. Bedekar Institute of Management-Dr. Prabhakar Kelkar

by MP-Devesh Pillewan on Wednesday 30 January 2013, 1:30 PM | Category: Interviews| View: 1939 views


 1. Please help us with a brief introduction about you, your institution and your latest work or achievements.

I am Dr. Prabhakar M. Kelkar, Ph. D. (Technology), University of Mumbai, Dean of Dr. V. N. Bedekar Institute of Management, Thane (W) 400601. I was the Director of the same institute from July 2008 to August 2011.Before that for 30 year, I headed Research, Quality Assurance, Corporate Health/ Safety/ Environment, Corporate TQM, Technical Services and Regulatory Compliance Depts. of 3 top Pharma MNCs in India, Singapore and in Asia-Pacific countries. I have 8 publications in peer reviewed journals, chapters in books, articles in magazines and 1 Indian Patent to my credit.

2. What according to you is the biggest challenge for the Indian management education system?
 The biggest challenge is to integrate students from various disciplines such as engineering, science, commerce, arts, biotech, IT and others to bring them at same level of understanding in management education. 2nd Challenge is provide good placement as supply of MBA graduates is more than demand affecting opportunities for employment. 3rd biggest challenge is to get faculty which has industrial experience and ready to be a full time teacher as required by the AICTE.
3. What have been constant challenges to keep the curriculum up to date in the changing Indian business environment?
Mumbai University current syllabus was made in July 2007. Means it was designed sometime in 2005 making it pretty old. It is left to the individual teacher to teach updates during regular lectures bringing in a lot of subjectivity and variation in the standard of output. There is a fresh effort this year to update syllabus but implementing changes other than the new credit system may take 2+ years.
4. Do you think there is competition from foreign universities opening up their branches here or colleges coming up in remote places?
No, there is not much competition from Foreign Universities primarily due to cost of such education. Students today want best education at the least price (except places like IIMs and IITs which are highly subsidized by the Govt.)
5. How much is important to think global and act local in terms of course designing and exposure to the students?
This global and act local is extremely important since many high paying as well as responsible jobs today are both local and global as a result of globalization.
6. What is your opinion on whether a student should be given a flavor of local business environment and what is the role of B-schools in creating that local flavor? 
Yes. Students must be given flavor of local business environment through summer projects, specialization projects, visiting faculty from corporate, guest lectures, summit and thematic seminars as we do. While IIMs and some top business schools may expose their students to best Indian Corporate, others like us provide students the exposure to work in MSMEs in India because they are the ones who work under maximum challenging environment. 
7. What kind of industry participation should be there in designing the curriculum and active participation in providing field training to the budding managers? 
Industry managers should be part of Advisory Board for updating syllabus. We conduct meetings with them to take their inputs for including state-of-the art in every subject. They are also on our Governing Board. Yearly at least 50 specialist managers from leading organizations in Mumbai come over to our institute and share their experience with students during guest lectures, functional summits (Finance, Marketing, Operations, HR and IT), 1 thematic workshop and seminar. 
8. Do you feel that the courses should be oriented towards exams or case-studies? 
Courses do need exams to separate different levels of students as per merit. However, practical understanding can come only through discussion of old and new case studies. So, there should be judicial mix of both and knowledge delivery. Plus, 20% importance need to be given to doing and learning, experiential learning. We are committed to conduct at least 150 case studies for benefit of students during 2 year curriculum.
9. Do you think there should be some sort of government initiative where it should be mandatory to have some industry experience before joining B-Schools? 
At least 1 year experience in industry should be made mandatory, without which students take post-graduate education in a same way as under graduation. Plus, they do not get to know how management education is used in real life.
10. How can we keep the pace up with technological advancements? 
It is the role of management, advisory board, governing body and teachers. We should have best library and research facility to expose students to new technology. Industrial Visits and use of Virtual Industry Visits are a must. Projects should be given in industry and not just paper projects. Management and teachers need to work together for this round the year.
11. Increasing social media, internet, intranet, and mobile communication has created much impact on employees. Do you think this has facilitated the students too?
Yes. Students are using these mediums with great ease making education a fun and not a boring exercise. The quality of videos our students make for every summit and seminar is very high and they need to be appreciated for that.
12. What is your management mantra? 
Work Hard as Well as Smart to Beat Competition! Students and Regulators also should understand that Good Things in Life Do Not Come Free!
13. Any feedback for 
Management Courses Fees in Maharashtra are relatively very low. High quality education needs many more resources and there should be mechanism for unaided institutes to justify and charge higher fees to compete with IIMS and IITs and stand out in the market.
14. Any mode of contact or link. 
More information on our institute and its programs can be obtained from our websites. My email id is: [email protected] and phone number 91-22-25339878 (Direct), 25364492, 25446554 (O)


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