B-Schools are reacting to the pandemic-related acceleration of the digitization of companies. The IIMB introduced a new core course on Digital Enterprises this year, while electives such as Gamification, Web 3.0 and Metaverse respond to some of the latest technology trends. IIMA has started courses on digital strategy and transformation and digital marketing. “The traditional way of marketing, strategy or people management are all changing. Real-time data on what employees are doing is useful for understanding how giving a day off in the middle of the week can improve productivity,” says D’Souza.
Consultancy firm BCG India, one of the largest recruiters in the leading B-Schools, recently launched “BCG X” – a vertical bringing together more than 2,500 digital and AI experts, tech designers and builders worldwide to address client needs how to meet the nature of the companies for which they advise is also evolving. “We now work a lot with big start-ups that are digital-first companies,” says Sankar Natarajan, Managing Director and Head of Recruiting at consultancy BCG India, adding that the new industry is a mix of people with specific needs Technical and domain competence, but also requires management and consulting competence.
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Meanwhile, agility, an umbrella term for skills needed to tackle the challenges of the VUCA world (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity), is a key ingredient for managers who lead tomorrow’s companies are aware of the best B- Schools and companies in the country agree. “As post-Covid companies continue to think and execute long-term strategic plans, certain decisions need to be made with greater agility. For example, clients we work with have to reconsider decisions due to external shocks such as supply chain uncertainty, geopolitical developments, changes in commodity prices, etc. So companies and consultants need to be adaptable, and all of these elements are much more relevant,” says Natarajan. Varun Nagaraj, Dean of SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), adds: “The pandemic has exposed the whole world that someone somewhere is getting sick and suddenly the prices of auto rickshaw parts are rising. Hence an appreciation for people who can operate in such a world has worked.”
Institutes prepare students in different ways for unfamiliar and changing situations. According to D’Souza, the IIMA has introduced courses on innovation, including one on “Innovation, Live!”, a hands-on course designed to develop a student’s ability to create turnkey solutions, understand innovation methodologies, and learn business decision-making processes know. “In recent years we have thought a lot about divergent thinking, where there are different solutions to a problem. This has become a key issue for a number of courses on campus,” he says. For SPJIMR, one option is to focus on solutions in core courses. “For example, how do we implement a diversity, equity and inclusion solution in human resources in Afghanistan or in such a company?” says Nagaraj. The IIM Bangalore (IIMB) focuses on digital, data and ESG related skills to help students identify early trends in external changes contributing to VUCA. “When you see a change in demand or a new trend toward a new technology or other consumer or social trend, the focus on data helps students understand those types of changes,” says Rishikesha T. Krishnan. Director of the IIMB.