B-Schools need to innovate with advanced technology to produce future leaders

Technological advancements of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and even robotics are sweeping the business sector. This is why budding managers need to keep up the pace. Here are some ways in which B-schools can help future leaders

Published: Nov 23, 2021 03:38:15 PM IST
Updated: Nov 23, 2021 03:53:18 PM IST

Budding managers of tomorrow must have a deep understanding of the benefits of such technologies and the boost that they can bring for their business and recognise what technology can achieve
Image: Shutterstock


With pandemic induced national lockdowns bringing the country to a grinding halt over the last two years, two significant values have come to the fore: resilience and adaptability. This has led to the rise of advanced technology and innovation. Artificial intelligence (AI) and Robotics are some tools that have already started to challenge the conventional methods of businesses. Robotic technology has slowly made inroads in almost all aspects of everyday functions like operations and finance to human resource management. Businesses, across sectors, have incorporated these technologies and are leveraging them to enhance business efficiencies. Therefore, the budding managers of tomorrow must have a deep understanding of the benefits of such technologies and the boost that they can bring for their business and recognise what technology can achieve. It is imperative to realise what is a short-term technological impact and what will be its long-drawn change.

Virtual learning has become an integral part of education in which professors also have begun to adopt smarter technologies to impart better in-class engagement and effective after-class learnings. Even though robotic technology can’t take over human experiences and interactions, it will improve the quality of education along with traditional teaching. Be it students, teachers, school management or the administration, everyone comes together to rise to the mounting challenges posed by the pandemic to classroom teaching and learning.  

These innovations are creeping into the daily life of today’s MBA students as well, and sometimes in surprising ways. For instance, there are plenty of AI applications that can help MBA students. As a result, many B-schools in India have started to innovate with these advanced technologies in their curriculum with the purpose of holistic development. Here are some ways in which B-schools can help future leaders.

Bridging the gap:

B-school students get the opportunity to pursue a plethora of techno-managerial courses where beyond theoretical frameworks, case studies from the past are reviewed and discussed in minute detail. The B-school curriculum across the globe should highlight how AI, robotics, and IoT are inseparably linked within that innovation economy. Some of the world’s highly reputed B-schools and Universities offer MBAs with specialisation in AI and/or robotics. The coming generations of managers will experience the impact of decisions taken in the present through these case studies, including the prospects of long-term business sustainability.

Challenges:

With change comes new opportunities and challenges. It is the responsibility of the education system to help the aspiring managers can tackle these challenges. To sprint through these challenges, the budding leaders/managers must adopt the skills and dodge the roadblocks to improve efficiency. There is a dire need to re-innovate B-schools and other institution curricula to prepare future employers and employees to understand these challenges.   

The new norms have led to the rise in demand for technology in many companies and start-ups. However, businesses are facing hurdles regarding the cost, infrastructure and availability of talent resulting in an unexpected roadblock for the employees. They might have to work with old systems or as per ancient times, who knows. Besides this, the increasing use of innovations like AI, Robotics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is generating new jobs and the automation of others. This subsided with time and differentiated as per the field of work. For example, IT jobs were on an all-time high, whereas on the other hand, manual jobs like manufacturing, construction were hit deeply.

Skill Development:

A huge amount of transaction data is generated in companies that have to interact digitally with customers. Therefore, AI and Robotics can be leveraged to work on such data to deliver personalised recommendations to customers. The ability to use technology to the advantage of the business is the real test of capability that future managers should focus on. Techies who have innovative ideas and aspire to implement them will need to build their entrepreneurial or managerial skills. For that, B-Schools in India will have to create the environment and build the infrastructure.

In recent years, AI and robotic technology have disrupted the way businesses function. Since the pandemic has struck, it has changed the outlook towards technology and how can it bring change and help in evolving times. Along with other sectors, the education sector has also welcomed these emerging technologies into the learning and teaching spheres. Its usability quotient differs as per the field of work. A management graduate may not use these technologies the way an engineer would, but the basic fundamental knowledge is quintessential.  

Prof. Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, S.P. Mandali’s Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (WeSchool)

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[This article has been reproduced with permission from Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (WeSchool)]

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