We had the opportunity to interview Dr.Bramh Pakash Pethiya, Campus Director, Doon Business School (DBS)-Dehradun. Given below is the excerpts from the interview:
1. What are the challenges you faced as a Campus Director in Doon Business School?
The Doon Business School (DBS) Dehradun, has emerged over the years from just merely a Business School to a full-fledged, mature and research-oriented leading Business School of not only India but of entire Southeast Asia. We have the philosophy to consider the word, “Challenges” synonymous with ‘Opportunities” in delivering effective and efficient relevant academic inputs in desired fields.
The DBS has exponential progress over the years by successfully crossing all the hurdles through the hard work and foresightedness of its leadership. The management of DBS has augmented both its intellectual assets along with the required physical infrastructure with most modern and effectively designed constructions with required safety of buildings and other required IT, effective and modern infrastructural facilities, combined with the equally most important trained and updated intellectual resources (Faculty with heavy corporate experiences along with fully equipped library with latest books/ ebooks and periodicals). These all efforts have led to the emergence of the Doon Business School, Dehradun as the most sought “Management education destination of Southeast Asia” within a span of less than a decade.
The challenges will always be there when you would like to climb the ladders of success. At the same time, equal opportunities will also be there, provided we recognize them. I am happy to share with the readers that at DBS, we did that.
In DBS, the challenge was leading and promoting a culture of responsiveness and collaboration amongst the diversity of various functional departments of management, faculty from various corners of the country with different culture but I am happy to report that we have overcome all these challenges and we have very good team efforts with a diversified faculty in terms of functional and geographical diversions. The continuous challenges also include a continuous process for reviewing and assessing the existing procedures/ policies and incorporate changes as per the demand of the time.
There is robust continuous capital construction expansion plan for the expansion of the Institute’s activities which may result in expanding academic and Research activities for the benefit of the students. DBS is also maintaining a very good relationship with the government entities as well as various organizations who are pairing with the DBS in the final placements. As a team, we effectively overcome challenges to ensure that efficient and best practices are followed in the DBS.
2. How do you manage a healthy relationship with the students?
This is one of the most important tasks of the leadership, particularly to know the value of having a good relationship with the students. I believe that establishing and maintaining a goodwill among the students certainly help to minimise classroom destructions, increasing the efficiency of students engagement in Academics and most importantly- reduces the stress for the faculty as well as students. I believe in offering positive reinforcement being consistent and smiling, listening to the concerns of students to gain their trust and friendship, we collectively inculcate the culture to know the students and maintain communication with students’ parents through the process of class coordinators.
Further through the Class Coordinators, we initiate conversations with them for their interest and thus identifying their interest in extracurricular activities like cultural activities/ sports etc and periodically compliment them for their achievements. One thing I tried to observe dealing with the students is that at this very sensitive age is not an easy task. Therefore I ask my faculty colleagues not to criticise/humiliate them amongst other students so that this should affect them by any means. We also have to keep in mind to preserve their dignity and therefore no sarcastic or derogatory comments for the students. Whenever possible, I try to handle the discipline issues by talking positively until unless we are pushed against the wall. One also has to be not only fair but have to earn the confidence of the faculty and students that you are fair for everyone.
3. What is your philosophy of leadership?
I believe that being a Campus Director, I should not lose the site of broader strategic priorities in order to have the temptation of managing day to day operational affairs.
I have to look up the ladder for going up and should work on strategies for expansion, acquiring best human resources and their development, equal opportunities, infrastructural management and the most important the contribution to the quality education along with the satisfaction to the management/ stakeholders.
4 What made you inclined towards education sector?
I believe that the education if expanded in a right manner and direction, will lead to the most effective way for the economic development of our country on one side and reducing the poverty on the other.
The education should not just be confined to awarding the degrees but it should include the skill development training, to enable more and more women from rural areas to identify and use their full potential in parity with men. Therefore the education sector should achieve gender equality and empower the women. We feel proud that we have almost 40% of girl students.
5. What is an ideal education environment?
It is necessary for us to create an ideal learning environment so that it should become the stimulating factor for Higher Learning intellectuals. It should reflect strength and culture of all students. DBS has been successful in taking care of the extracurricular interests and culture of all students with diversified cultural backgrounds so that students stay motivated. We utilized spare time very effectively and productively in DBS.
When our students are not having the regular engagements, we get a space for other extra-curricular activities. We at DBS believe in learning with interest, fun and challenges. We make sure that every minute spent by the students in DBS should be used for the student's all-round growth and learning.
6.What is the curriculum followed by DBS and what makes it stand apart from others?
Our syllabus of autonomous educational programmes is totally driven by marketing forces, keeping the society and Government priorities in focus. We do enrich all academic programmes by transforming according to the Corporate requirements and students interest, by offering a number of value-added courses.
In our autonomous programmes like PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management), we transformed the students totality by molding opportunity of imparting education with personalized attention and required unique and market relevant syllabus so that our students should shine in the crowd.
We have a dynamic syllabus, totally driven with an industry-focused program with specializations offered in:
We have our own curriculum for non-university courses, duly developed in collaboration with the Industry experts. The courses include:
7. A piece of advice to the youth and aspiring students in India?
Based on my four-decade experience in Corporate and Academics, I feel that today’s’ youth really don’t need any advice or guidance due to easy proximity to have all answers to their anxieties on fingertips. However, I always have been advocating to choose a field of your own interest as every field has an opportunity but only thing required is to have a capability to harvest the ‘Excellence” from that field.
This transition from general studies background to professional courses is a really tricky one and needs full dedication towards the choice made by the students for the chosen profession. They need to be ready for totally changed daily routines which are not full of sentences like “ I don’t get time” but one has to find out the time within 24 hrs and hence be ready for better time management with full dedication to the chosen professional courses.
Students should not doubt about their own capabilities for the transition phase at the beginning and then very further step becomes easy with full confidence. There are a lot of study material to read and understand, be ready for the same and such habits of reading a lot, can provide useful frameworks for thinking and widening learning about your chosen profession for higher studies.
Do not hesitate to ask questions, the moment you have not understood anything. Do not postpone the same for future. Thus you can very well make the future for yourselves.