Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Monday, Oct 14, 2002
Management courses for geeks gaining importance
BANGALORE, Oct 13
AS THE software industry is working its way towards becoming a consultant for global customers, it is increasingly looking at a combination of technical and managerial skills among its employees.
In this scenario, IIM Bangalore's Post-graduate programme in Software Enterprise Management (PGSM), designed to offer management training with practical relevance, has gained new significance. "Companies today are encouraging their employees to go for PGSM," said Prof S. Krishna, Chairperson, PGSM, Centre for Software Management.
PGSM offers students (most of whom have a technical background) courses on topics such as international finance, management of intellectual human resources, global marketing, venture capital, cross cultural issues, and entrepreneurship.
"So far, the technical and management streams have been kept diverse in India," said Pros Krishna. IIMB believes in the "Microsoft model", which places equal emphasis on both skills.
The PGSM programme has seen a 20-30 per cent growth in candidates every year. Last year, there was a 40 per cent jump in the number of applicants. This may have been linked to the slowdown in the industry, but it could also have been a natural progression, Prof Krishna reasoned.
Encouraged by the response, IIMB is now planning to take the course to cities outside Bangalore. "We may start with a just a few projects in Chennai or Hyderabad in collaboration with local institutes such as IIT," Prof Krishna said.
The programme, designed specifically for working professionals in the software industry requires students to be based in the same city as it is offered. "Because it is so closely linked to the industry, we insist that the students take it along with their jobs," Prof Krishna said.
However, this restricts the intake to professionals in Bangalore. The Centre for Software Management is looking at building the same kind of relationship with the Indian software industry that Stanford University has with the Silicon Valley.
"Like Stanford, we would like to get the most productive people via IIM into India," Prof Krishna said. The model also benefits the academic world. Today, there is a worldwide interest in Bangalore's software industry.
With this kind of a relationship, IIMB academics can access companies, both Indian and MNCs, to do case studies, which have global relevance. This also makes sure that they are published in the top quality journals. In turn, the papers do their bit towards building up a brand for Indian industry.
Prof Krishna also noted that Indian academics had started getting media attention when they went abroad.
Television channels worldwide are actually interested in professors from India, something that would never have been thought of 20 years back, he said.
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