Study by NHRD and IFIM reveals the gaps between industry and academia



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89% of the CXOs believe that research and business incubation can provide great learning to students
The study, based on World Economic Forum’s Report on ‘Future of Jobs’, is a guide for academia to prepare students for Industrial Revolution 4.0
90% of the industry experts believe that holistic development and lifestyle management skills are important for future managers

Bengaluru, January 8th, 2019: IFIM Business School, Bangalore, India’s 6th premier AACSB accredited management institute and National HRD Network, today unveiled the findings of their six-month long AACSB-supported study for developing a graduate management curriculum for the Industry 4.0.

The report titled “Curricula 4.0 – Creating Future Managers”, stated that management graduates, today, face a gap between what the academia trains them for and how the industry expects them to perform.
IFIM Business School, Bengaluru, along with National HRD Network, took the initiative towards framing a model curriculum for B-Schools to produce gen-next leaders in India who can effectively help enterprises surf the wave of Industry 4.0 to unlock exponential value from the ecosystem.

The study was conducted, involving about around 300 senior managers across 13 industries such as IT, Consulting, Education and Manufacturing, who shared their opinions on what according to them should be the right skill set for future leaders. This was followed by a series of roundtable discussions, across the country, comprising heterogeneity of CXOs and the academia to further understand the unmet needs – present and future. The findings will be implemented into a ‘next-gen’ MBA curriculum.

The survey focused on identifying the relevance of the required skills mentioned in World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs Report 2018”. The survey also compared the gaps in the Indian industry the unmet needs as identified in the Harvard Business School’s Prof Srikant Datar’s book ‘Rethinking the MBA: Business Education at a Crossroads

Sharing his views on the survey, Dr. Atish Chattopadhyay, Director, IFIM Business School said,
“This is the first time that a Business School, in India, has taken the initiative to reach out to industry executives to find out the skills required for industry 4.0 and bridge the gap between industry and academia. It is encouraging that the senior level industry practitioners involved themselves deeply in sharing their perspectives to enrich the B School Curriculum. The ten needs identified for industry 4.0 along with the insights, will go a long way in aligning the future of business education with the future of work. We thank NHRDN for being our partners and Dr. Tom Robinson, President & CEO of AACSB for his support and encouragement.”

Dhananjay Singh, Director General, NHRD, commented on the survey, “India is in dire need of an upgrade in its management curricula to keep up with the rapid transformations across industries globally. The country’s youth are considered one of the most talented resources across the world. The survey will b e a platform for corporates in the country to share their views on the skills required for the future workforce. It will guide management institutions to adopt these practices in today’s curriculum to create job-ready and continuously employable professionals. This will keep India ’s academia and industry aligned, which has seen a phase of disconnect in the past.”

“I am pleased to see AACSB-accredited IFIM Business School deeply engaging business in this initiative to shape future management curricula,” said Tom Robinson, AACSB International’s President and CEO, “AACSB’s accreditation standards stress the importance of active engagement with the business community and innovation in programs to ensure graduates are future ready and equipped for tomorrow’s business world.”

The survey also revealed new trends in the Indian scenario. These are:
– Multi-generation workforce : Mixing of industry executives with younger MBA participants
– Need for continuous learning as against education as start and finish: This involves reskilling of practitioners at various levels
– Curriculum needs to be individualized based on learning styles, pace and career stage
– Integration of data, technology and communication in business
– Research as part of curriculum
– Wellness and fitness emerges as critical components of managing self
– Becoming solution oriented

Dr Tom R. Robinson, President and CEO – AACSB; Dr Jagdish Sheth, Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Marketing – Goizueta Business School, Emory University; and Dr A. Parasuraman, Professor and James W. McLamore Chair in Marketing – University of Miami were also present at the unveiling of the findings.
About NHRD Network
The National HRD Network is an association of professionals committed to promoting the HRD movement in the country and enhancing the capability of human resource professionals in order to enable them make an impactful contribution to enhancing competitiveness and creating value for society. Towards this end, National HRD Network is committed to the development of human resources through education, training, research and experience sharing. NHRDN functions through its chapters all over the country. Currently, there are about 30 chapters, which together have over 8,000 members.

About IFIM Business School, Bangalore
Established in 1995, IFIM Business School, Bangalore became only the sixth management institute in India to receive the prestigious accreditation from the AACSB International and is currently among the seven AACSB accredited institutes in India. IFIM Business School is uniquely positioned to cater to the needs of ‘Beyond Tomorrow’ by providing innovation-led solutions. The institute currently offers three AICTE approved and AACSB accredited programmes: One – two-year, full-time, residential Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) that is a bouquet of PGDM Finance (recognized by CFA Institute), PGDM Marketing and PGDM International Business; Two – Executive PGDM; and Three – PGDM for Working Professionals (WP). The school also offers various open and customized short-term Professional Development Programmes through on-campus, online, and blended delivery modes. IFIM Business School is also accredited by the South Asian Quality Assurance System (SAQS) and is ISO 9001:2008 certified.

Today, it is a proud alma mater of more than 2500 alumni comprising of eminent entrepreneurs, academicians, artists, writers, CXOs and thought leaders amongst others, in many countries of the world. For more information, visit

In the backdrop of the dawn of Industry 4.0 and the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs’ report, the IFIM Business School, Bangalore and the National HRD Network set out on a comprehensive, multi-stage, rigorous, and scientific AACSB-supported study (involving both quantitative and qualitative methods) in July 2018, for developing a model curriculum for the graduate management education in India.

Phase 1:
Based on multiple small focus group discussions with experts from industry and academia, and
review of reports on future of business by WEF, Deloitte, McKinsey, Nasscom / FICCI / EY, a set of items were created pertaining to Future of Business; WEF identified skill sets; other relevant skill sets considered important and aspects of a desired curriculum. Through an online survey
questionnaire, response to these items were sought from the senior leadership in industry and
academia. An established validated scale was chosen for the study. The team considered strata
sampling and collected responses from 292 respondents spread over the country, chosen
based on their level of industrial engagement. The team attempted to ensure that the
respondents well represent the entire country with their regional diversity, culture, industry
readiness across different sectors of the industry.

Phase 2:
The data collected from the survey was then analyzed by the analytics faculty of IFIM. In this
phase an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted on the responses to a list of ten future skills identified by the WEF into fewer clusters, establishing convergent and discriminant
validity. Similar exercise was carried out on another set of nine skill not mentioned by WEF but
cited as critical for industry 4.0 by the experts from industry and academia during the focus
group discussions. The demographic data of the respondents and findings of Phase 1 and 2 are
shown in Annexure l.

Phase 3:
Three Round table discussions were held in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore. CXOs representing a
heterogeneity of industry domains and a select senior representatives from academia were
invited to participate. The round table discussions were anchored by a senior research faculty
from IFIM and a senior member from the corporate world. The aim of each round table
discussion was to explore ‘what are the unmet needs in Indian context’ and ‘what next’ as we
start working on developing a gen-next MBA curriculum.