International Research Colloquium 2021 Day-4

On Day 4 of the International Research Colloquium, we had the privilege to listen to 3 sessions by seasoned industry professionals and academicians.

The first session was from Mr. Arindam Mukhopadhyay, VP and Global Head of Consulting COE at Gartner. Arindam, after a short prelude, commenced his talk with the idea of innovation. He threw light on the fact that innovation was a cyclical process. He opined that despite it being a cyclical process, the observed time-period between subsequent events was reducing at a rapid pace. Which he felt would continue to do so indicating the survivalist and championing mindset of humans.

Arindam, then, delved into the area of expectations of employers from MBA graduates. He gave insights on the recruiters’ expectations from candidates and the areas to focus on, in order to prove themselves a proper fit for the organization. Business graduates must be aware of the skills and values they possess since effectiveness while working in collaborations and displaying a champion mindset will be the key differentiator. He then shifted the attention of the audience to the future of the workplace. He stated that we would witness the emergence of a purpose-driven workplace and the location of such a workplace would be irrelevant. Additionally, skills, agility and resilience will take precedence over conventional metrics, like efficiency. Moreover, in the future, workflows will become less rigid and more responsive paving way for hybrid workflows, prioritizing effectiveness over efficiency.

All in all, it was a very uplifting talk which gave a very fresh and positive spin to the banal and ubiquitous post-pandemic forecasts.

Next, we had the privilege to hear Prof. Constantin Blome from the University of Sussex, UK regarding the research advances in supply chain management (SCM). Professor touched upon all three areas of past, present, and future of the supply chain in his address.

Speaking about his past publications and experience, the professor put forth his views that Operations Management (OM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) research of the past were highly relevant for the current pandemic just that it needed to be understood and applied to the correct specific situation. With his enlightening examples of the supply chain in the pharma industry, he deduced that crisis management principles were the key in the development of vaccines as well as their distribution across countries. Speaking about the past crisis the world has faced, professor Blome made an impactful point that a combination of proactive and reactive risk management techniques is the key in SCM. On the contrary agility and adaptability are different second-order capabilities whose usage depends upon the context of the situation to deliver a pronounced outcome. He made students understand that any crisis is just an event where additional knowledge created through research helps us to understand the problem and develop better theories and better solutions. Finally, he took through the methodologies and approaches one should adopt towards exploring new research ideas of futures. Professor concluded his address by quoting “Be Bold or Italic, Never Regular” which implied students to follow their ideas, their unique way of thinking towards any goal rather than merely imitating others.

Finally, we had the privilege to listen to Dr. Garima Sharma, who is an eminent alumna of SCMHRD and holds a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. Currently, she is working as Assistant Professor at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, USA.

From her observation of the innovations happening in India and around the world, she commenced the session by stating the work of management scholars mattered now more than ever. She brought forward the point that the research gap existed only because the researchers and the practitioners came from different knowledge communities and faced difficulties when it came to studying relevant questions and sharing insights. She strained on academicians and managers to come together for resolution of problems of mutual interests, with each party positively influencing the decision of the other, ultimately eradicating the gaps. She coined this as “Co-creation”.

Dr. Garima then described the role of management researchers in and post-COVID and the changes that she had observed in research practice during the same era. She advised the upcoming management researchers to adopt a “systems lens” approach rather than a traditional one, as it aided in embracing interconnectivity, exploring causality, and rethinking change beyond time and scale. She emphasized the importance of engagement with the practice of creating relevant and real-world solutions by giving relevant examples and her own initiatives.

It was a great learning experience and privilege for us to learn from Mr. Arindam Mukhopadhyay, Prof. Constantin Blome and Dr. Garima Sharma on diverse and relevant domains. We thank our speakers for taking time off their busy schedules to enlighten us with their thoughts.

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