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Collaboration works better than competition, says IIM director

Chitradeepa A.
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Professor M.J. Xavier. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao
Professor M.J. Xavier. Photo: R. Shivaji Rao

Professor M.J. Xavier, the newly-appointed director of the Indian Institute of Management, Ranchi, is all set to take over his office in the first week of November. He now teaches at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai.

With more than 20 years of professional experience in teaching, academic administration and industry, Prof. Xavier specialises in marketing research and strategic marketing. His book, Strategic Marketing, won the DMA-Escorts Award for the best Management Book of the Year 1999.

In an interview with The Hindu Education Plus, he shares his views on management education and his future plans for IIM-Ranchi.

Has the academic year commenced at IIM-Ranchi?

Yes. IIM-Ranchi has launched its PGPM programme for the batch of 2010-2012 and the first session commenced in July 2010. IIM-Calcutta, working as its mentor in its initial years, helps in the admission process and curriculum development. Such a system enables establishing the IIM at a faster phase.

How do you rate Indian B-schools?

We are very good in knowledge dissemination. New concepts developed in the West quickly assimilate into our system and we are very sound in western management theories. What we need to focus more is in the area of knowledge creation. We have to create curriculum based on our own business models and take up more Indian case studies.

What are the advantages of Indian business case studies?

Indian management has much to offer to the entire world. Indian business methods are totally different. Business, family and spirituality are integrated in this part of the world. Local knowledge in business is vital. Indian business case studies have to be developed and globalised. The Indian way of management needs to be studied closely and popularised.

What according to you is the vital aspect of Indian system of management?

In the traditional Indian business system, money is not everything. Our value system builds loyalty, trust and dedication. Rewards come automatically.

In my opinion, the strong points of Indian management system is the way business and family coexist.

Also in the Indian system, I understand that collaboration works better than competition. Indian management students must learn a lot about collaboration. To bring out the best, go beyond competition. I have elaborated on this model in my book Beyond Competition.

What can revitalise management education in the country?

Constant innovation is the need of the hour. In the IT era, it is practice that comes first and not theory as it used to be in earlier days. IT-integrated management function is becoming a core function and therefore managers must understand IT.

Non-traditional areas such as film, health and sports marketing are gaining popularity now.

Do the traditional marketing strategies work in today's Internet era?

With regard to marketing in the IT era, we are rediscovering the lost values of the pre-industrial days, wherein close relationship existed between the buyer and the seller. Today, technology is bringing the buyer and the seller closer to each other and thus reinforcing the olden-day values. Mobile phone technology and the Internet have enabled wider reach. Marketing in the New Millennium authored by me talks only on this concept.

About your role as IIM-Ranchi director…

It is definitely a challenging role and I must work to differentiate it from the other IIMs in the country and make an impact. My stress here again would be on collaboration, not competition.

I plan to standardise the IT tools, by implementing latest technology and thereby enable access to all IIMs. Teaching methodology will revolve around experiential and activity-based learning. Focus will be on strategic management and analytics, the two emerging areas in management.

Your vision for IIM-Ranchi?

I want to encourage knowledge creation and de-emphasise competition. I do not wish to create just elitist management graduates, but socially relevant managers who will contribute to regional development. It is my desire to improve management education in the country by training the faculty and by using technology to reach out to smaller B-schools.

Chitradeepa A.

Indian business case studies have to be developed and globalised. The Indian way of management needs to be studied closely and also be popularised.


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