"In an ever-changing market scenario, neither is it possible nor should premier B-schools radically change the fundamentals of their syllabus."
Mr. Sanjeev Sukumaran,
Head (Talent) South Asia, Thomson Reuters
At ALPHA - The HR Conclave at IMT Nagpur
One of the most insightful speakers at ALPHA - the IMT Nagpur HR conclave held on the 2nd and 3rd of August this year - was Mr. Sanjeev Sukumaran, Head (Talent) South Asia, Thomson Reuters. Bringing an altogether different perspective to the entire 'Course Vs Competence' debate - the basis of the three panel discussions at ALPHA - Mr. Sukumaran noted that good managers would always be able to decide what would hold more importance for them at different points in their careers.
"They are interchangeable; the ultimate aim is to do the job well. When you are a student, it is course and competency, and when you are in your workplace it's a combination of application of course and competency. A manager automatically knows when he runs the risk of stagnation and needs to enhance his knowledge base. So Course and Competence run hand in hand. At some points in time, the course will be of greater importance, while at other points in time, building competencies will be more essential. It depends on where in your career you stand."
Mr. Sukumaran was of the view that the purpose of a B-school syllabus is to teach the fundamentals of Business Management. There was no purpose or need to rejig the entire syllabus with changing market trends.
"In the ever-changing market scenario, neither is it possible, nor should premier B-schools like IMT Nagpur attempt, a transition or radically change a syllabus. The application of this - building knowledge over the existing knowledge - happens when market conditions change. These can always be referred to in case-studies and discussions and will most certainly form a part of guest lectures and gatherings such as this in IMT Nagpur."
Mr. Sukumaran, regarded as one of the best practitioners of Talent Management in the country, believes that Human Resource behaves, as well as has the attributes, of regular commodities. Managers will find it easier to operate if they understand this business fundamental.
"Work-force is a commodity, and each commodity has a value. You have to have a brand also; so that when you are traded as a commodity in the market, you need to stand out. There is nothing to feel offended about in this. If you are tradeable, if you have a brand-value, and if people want to be associated with you, then you should go for it."
Mr. Sanjeev Sukumaran feels that this is just the beginning for ALPHA, and that this HR Conclave at IMT Nagpur has the potential of turning into a movement.
"What I've got from this IMT Nagpur campus is a lot of good friends. I've built good relationships with the IMT Nagpur Professors. I've come to know the diverse thought processes that exist in tomorrow's workforce. I have got a glimpse of the expectations of future employees."
Mr. Sukumaran intends taking back the expectations he has perceived at IMT Nagpur's HR conclave, ALPHA, back to the work-place. He hopes to quickly make the necessary changes to the systems he works with, so that they can adapt to tomorrow's workforce today!