Business Education for a VUCA World
Today we live in a world where volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) have become the new normal. Preparedness and knowledge to manage them have become pivotal to navigating through difficult times. With a view to provide some valuable insights, School of Business, UPES, organised an insightful and interactive webinar on ‘Business Education for a VUCA World’. The esteemed panel included Mr. MVN Rao, Group Head – HR, L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering Limited, and Ms. Shikha Swarup, UPES Alumni, and Senior Business Analyst, AirAsia. The webinar was moderated by Dr. Dr. Githa Heggde, Dean, UPES School of Business.
The experts enlightened the audience with the updates about the latest trends in the business world and answered the concerns of parents, educators and students from all over the world.
Some excerpts from the discussion:
Q1. What are the major trends and challenges being foreseen in the current business environment?
Mr MVN Rao: Every business has various stakeholders like consumers, investors, regulatory authorities, etc. Each category has its own set of expectations and the game is all about handling that well. Nothing is etched on stone in the business world; everything is relative to the changing scenario. As resources are limited in this volatile world, leaderships has to play a key role to ensure that their people and companies thrive. B-schools are an important part of this supply chain, they can contribute by developing agility in our future workforce and prepare them in advance to survive in this VUCA world.
Ms. Shikha Swarup: It is said that even in uncertainty there is opportunity. These uncertain times bring challenges that eventually lead us towards finding solutions. I foresee a lot of automation across all sectors, creating more opportunities for qualified and skilled managers. Currently, there may be crisis in logistics and transportation sector, but owing to an upsurge in supplies in the aviation industry, revenue management model is shifting from passengers to cargo. Cargo is going to be the area of action with ample requirement for domain specific talent.
Q2. The pandemic has impacted the global economy severely. There have been huge reductions in GDPs; business sector is facing a downside; is it the right time to pursue MBA?
Mr MVN Rao: India is growing and it continues to grow. Engineers and IT had a tough time during 2008-2009, but today the engineering sector is thriving. Market trends do impact our lives, but it is very important to make a career choice based on our passion and interest, not out of circumstances prevailing in the economy or business. So, identify areas you are passionate about, what you like to do, what you would love to do for rest of your lives. The B-schools today offer MBA with lot of specializations like Banking, Digital Marketing, Logistics, Aviation, Energy Management, etc. Follow your heart and go for it. This is the right time.
Ms. Shikha Swarup: Disruption is chaotic, but evolution is beautiful. This is perfect time to pursue MBA. Ups and down are parts of life but life goes on. In 2008 also the world went through recession, but we bounced back. Business education right now will not only be helping you to learn about solutions to current problems, but also new things coming in the industry, transformation in work force management and strategic management. Please go for your interest and your passion will take you to the right place. Go for it with full conviction. Your passion will create the magic, money and others things will follow.
Q 3 What are the most important skills B- Schools should inculcate in the future generation?
Mr. MVN Rao: The industry is looking for expertise in all the functions. We prefer candidates having strong domain knowledge, data interpretation skills, analytical bent of mind and a problem-solving approach. We expect cross-functional working ability, i.e., our candidates should be able to work in teams, should have a positive mindset towards life and people. We need people with leadership qualities who can drive actions and steer their organisations through the challenges. These are basic skills, but are taken for granted most of the times. We want our leaders to have agility, ability to unlearn and relearn quickly and flexibility as learning shall never stop.
(Compiled by Preeti Aneja)
To watch the webinar recording, click here: https://youtu.be/q2gmT3ZLoMs