Management schools and graduates can play a key role in building up the innovations pioneered during the COVID-19 pandemic, turning start-ups into multinationals and taking Indian products to a global audience, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.
He was participating in a virtual event to lay a foundation stone for the permanent campus of IIM-Sambalpur. The institution has been functioning from a temporary campus since 2015.
The Prime Minister urged the IIMs to document the innovations adopted during the pandemic and research how they could be scaled up and incorporated even after this period was over. They needed to grapple with real life problems in a country like India, he said.
He noted that despite the COVID-19 crisis, India had produced a large number of unicorns, or start-up companies, valued at over a billion dollars, over the course of 2020. “The start-ups of today are the multinationals of tomorrow. These start-ups need managers,” said Mr. Modi, adding that most new start-ups were starting in tier 2 and 3 cities, and would need managers from a range of backgrounds and experiences.
The change in the nature of work also needed a new kind of manager, he said, noting that the world had changed from a “global village to a global workplace”.
The Prime Minister also urged IIM graduates to take the lead in “taking the local into global”. He gave the example of Odisha’s rich heritage of Sambalpuri and Ikat textiles, and said that the new IIM could play an important role in giving them a global brand identity. This would also help in achieving the mission of a self-reliant India or Atmanirbhar Bharat, he said.