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Academia and Industry Collaboration to Thrive Tech Evolution

Prof. Bikramjit Rishi, Professor, Marketing Management, Shiv Nadar University, is a distinguished academician with extensive research contributions to the industry. Holding an MBA and a Ph.D., he further enriched his academic journey with a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the European Union. Prof. Rishi has made substantial contributions to the academic sphere with 30 research papers published in National and International Journals, along with two published books and a third one underway with Routledge, UK.

He serves as a Visiting Professor at esteemed institutions such as University of Liechtenstein, Varna School of Management, and IIFT. Prof. Rishi’s global footprint is further evident in his roles as Guest Faculty at Grenoble Ecole de Management and as a Faculty Fellow at AMA-Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium in both IMT Dubai and IMT Ghaziabad.

Beyond academia, Prof. Rishi has played a pivotal role as a Program Director for various training initiatives, including the HCCBPL Business Leadership Program, the ASPIRE III program for Apollo Tyres, and an Effective Selling Skills program for APL Apollo.

In an insightful interaction with The Interview World at SEEDS 2023, an event jointly organized by Jaipuria Institute of Management and Middlesex University Dubai, Prof. Rishi delves into the realms of technology adoption and industry-specific skill development. The ensuing discussion has yielded key insights that we share below.

Q: How the enterprises, mostly retailers and others, are benefiting through the adoption of chatbots?

A: One significant advantage that technology offers to industry and enterprises is cost reduction. Previously, the evaluation of new technologies centered around their affordability compared to existing solutions, aiming for increased benefits and a positive impact on the bottom line. This is a key reason why enterprises embrace technological advancements.

However, it’s equally crucial to assess the benefits technology brings to consumers. Consider the retail industry. Consumers actively choose to adopt certain technologies for their advantage. Take online shopping, for instance. People opt for it because they gain specific benefits, such as discounts, shopping convenience, and the ability to compare products easily. This dual advantage – benefiting both corporations and consumers – highlights the compelling reasons behind the widespread adoption of technology by companies and customers alike.

Q: What sustainable measures do you suggest for addressing the potential elimination of a specific layer of employment?

A: Examining the introduction of any new technology to the market inevitably brings about changes in the job landscape. Take, for instance, the shift towards computerization in the 1990s. This transition generated considerable concern about job losses and potential challenges.

Similar concerns are now arising with the increasing integration of AI, robotics, and other technologies. The key takeaway for both corporations and individuals is to understand how to adapt and upgrade our skills. It’s crucial to recognize that, despite the transformations, new job opportunities will emerge.

This realization places a significant responsibility on educational institutions. They must reconsider and redesign their curricula to ensure that graduating students are well-prepared for the evolving demands of the industry. Adapting to change becomes imperative, as certain types of jobs may diminish while others rise in prominence. Are we ready for this shift? This is where the importance of upskilling becomes evident.

Q: What initiatives Shiv Nadar University is taking to re-invent the curriculum?

A: We are a research-oriented academic institution with four distinguished schools: engineering, science, management, and humanities. Each school engages in unique research endeavors. For instance, the engineering school deeply steers technological advancements. Similarly, the business school is actively contributing to the field of technology, exemplified by my presentation on chatbots.

Our research extends beyond academia as we collaborate with industry partners to understand their practices, discuss implications for both students and consumers, and relay valuable insights. We actively seek input from consumers to comprehend their perspectives and convey this information back to the industry. Moreover, industry-academia collaboration fosters a symbiotic relationship that brings about numerous benefits for both sectors and society at large.

Industry brings real-world problems and challenges to academia, fostering research that is relevant and impactful. Academia provides a fresh perspective on industry challenges, offering innovative solutions and contributing to problem-solving. Industry professionals can engage in continuous learning through collaborations with academic institutions, staying updated on the latest advancements in their field.

Being a research-focused institution, it is our responsibility to offer meaningful insights to both society and organizations. This ensures that informed decisions positively contribute to societal development.

Q: What kind of innovations you are interjecting into the curriculum to enable students to become industry-ready?

A: We are transitioning away from traditional classroom instruction and embracing a more immersive and experiential approach to teaching. Our pedagogy now focuses on real-world scenarios through the use of case studies and situational-based learning. This allows students to not only comprehend concepts but also immerse themselves in practical contexts, fostering effective learning and the application of skills in the industry. In conclusion, industry-academia collaboration is a powerful catalyst for driving innovation, fostering skill development, and addressing complex challenges.

A Blueprint for Industry-Driven Academia in the Skilling Landscape
A Blueprint for Industry-Driven Academia in the Skilling Landscape
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