Importance of entrepreneurs today and in future…

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Attending business school has traditionally been a way to advance in the ranks of an established company, but recently more students are electing to work for themselves soon after getting their degree. Entrepreneurs are frequently thought of as national assets to be cultivated, motivated and remunerated to the greatest possible extent. Entrepreneurs can change the way we live and work. If successful, their innovations may improve our standard of living. In short, in addition to creating wealth from their entrepreneurial ventures, they also create jobs and the conditions for a prosperous society.

The following are reasons why entrepreneurs are important to the economy.

Entrepreneurs Create New Businesses

Path breaking offerings by entrepreneurs, in the form of new goods & services, result in new employment, which can produce a cascading effect or virtuous circle in the economy. The stimulation of related businesses or sectors that support the new venture add to further economic development.

Entrepreneurs Also Create Social Change

Through their unique offerings of new goods and services, entrepreneurs break away from tradition and indirectly support freedom by reducing dependence on obsolete systems and technologies. Overall, this results in an improved quality of life, greater morale and economic freedom.

Community Development

Entrepreneurs regularly nurture entrepreneurial ventures by other like-minded individuals. They also invest in community projects and provide financial support to local charities. This enables further development beyond their own ventures.

Some famous entrepreneurs, like Bill Gates, have used their money to finance good causes, from education to public health. The qualities that make one an entrepreneur are the same qualities that motivates entrepreneurs to pay it forward. Entrepreneurs are hence the new game changers of the world economy today!

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4th FDP @OBS on “Embracing creative side of teaching”

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Creativity and innovation are becoming increasingly important for the development of the 21st century knowledge society. They contribute to economic prosperity as well as to social and individual wellbeing and are essential factors for a more competitive and dynamic India. Education is seen as central in fostering creative and innovative skills. Keeping this in mind, Oakbrook Business School conducted a seminar on “Embracing the creative side of teaching”. this seminar had the presence of eminent personalities from the teaching field namely Dr. Narendra Dixit (Founder, Som Lalit Institute of Management), Dr. P. K Mehta(Director, LJ Institute of Management), Dr. Gopalkrishnan(Former Director, Institute of Management Studies), Dr. Shailendra Gupta(Head, Training & Development, Calorex Foundation), Prof. Chandramauli Pathak(Sr. Executive ICECD), Mr. Rohit Patel(Former, Director, Vadilal Chemicals Ltd.) Dr. Gopal Bhatt (Principal, Shri HK Commerce College)and Ms. Shraddha Shah(Practicing Lawyer & Educationist).The seminar had a huge presence of faculties from different disciplines across Gujarat.

 

Speaker 1:Dr. PK Mehta (Director, LJ Institute of Management)

The first speaker for the event was Dr. PK Mehta (Director, LJ Institute of Management).He has a profound experience in the field over the years. He has taken immense responsibilities as Pro-Vice Chancellor, Director (Regional Services), Director (Student Registration &Evaluation), IGNOU. He is also a visiting faculty at Modern British Drama, School of Languages, Gujarat University. He has also chaired as an expert at NAAC, DEC, Commonwealth of Learning, Vancouver and many more. He addressed the seminar by defining education; he said that education means disseminating the knowledge that you have. Knowledge itself is an economy and it won’t be wrong to say that economy depends on knowledge (education). It emphasises the need to encourage the development of students’ creative and innovative potential for several reasons:

  • The upsurge of new media and technologies that learners use in their everyday lives can be exploited in creative and innovative ways and contribute to formal and informal learning;
  • The immersion in this media-rich environment leads new cohorts of students to learn and understand in different ways, therefore teachers need to develop creative approaches and find new methods, solutions and practices to grab their attention;
  • Creativity is a form of knowledge creation; therefore stimulating creativity has positive spill over effects onto learning, supporting and enhancing self-learning, learning to learn and life-long learning skills and competences. He added that teachers are the most important players since it is in their hand to simulate knowledge in their students. He concluded his speech by stating that one teacher can produce hundreds of IAS officers but a hundred IAS officers cannot become a teacher even if they are put together.

 

 

 

Speaker 2: Dr.Gopalkrishnan

Dr. Gopalkrishnan is the director of Institute of Management, Nirma University. Prof. Gopalkrishnan has got more than 25 years of teaching experience in various management institutes. He has co-authored a Book: Trade Unionism and Industrial Development, and has published 40 papers in journals, economic newspapers and chapters in books. He was awarded CRMs Fellowship, IIMA in the year 1986, Won a Prize for a paper “Improving Performance in Government”, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh (A World Bank Project) in the year 1997. He was offered a one year fellowship by University of North Malaysia in 2001. His areas of interests include Energy Economics, Corporate strategy and public policy.

Dr. Gopalkrishanan stated that everybody is capable and has immense creativity infused in them. One just needs to introspect and identify their creative side. He gave example of Ramayana and said that it teaches us to be rational and think with an open mind. He further said that Educational actors need to have a clear vision, awareness and understanding of what creativity is and entails in order to fully comprehend how it can be enhanced. Judging the originality and value of an output entails seeing creativity as a relative attribute. The evaluation of creativity needs therefore to take into account students’ and teachers’ perspectives. Moreover, creativity in education has more to do with the process than with the product, and focuses therefore on the development of thinking and cognitive skills.

Speaker 3: Dr. Shailendra Gupta

An Educationist by choice and recipient of NCERT scholarship, has completed Ph.D in Education from Hemchandra Acharya North Gujarat University, Patan, Master of Education (M Ed) from Regional Institute of Education (NCERT), Bhubaneshwar, Orissa and Post Graduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling from NCERT, New Delhi. He has more than 20 years of experience of working in the field of Education and before joining Calorex Institute of Education as Principal and Calorex Teachers’ University as a Registrar in 2009 he has worked as:

Head (Training and Development, Calorex Foundation) , Head of School, The Calorex School (IB World School), Ahmedabad,  Principal, Eklavya Institute of Teacher Education, Ahmedabad Lecturer, Eklavya Institute of Teacher Education, Ahmedabad, PGT (Physics), Little Flower Senior Secondary School, Varanasi Dr. Gupta, a well known trainer has conducted workshops for more than 300 schools, Colleges and corporate spread over India. His areas of interest are Communication, Educational Psychology, Parenting, Science and Maths Education, Educational Evaluation and Administration, Action Research in Education, Integrating Life Skills in the Curriculum, Psychometric tools for Personality Assessment, Transactional Analysis, Use of Films and Case Studies in Education and management training etc.

Firstly he asked the faculties who participated in the event if they knew what they were doing, he then cleared himself and said that teachers ought to teach students and not teach their mere subjects. He elaborated his thought by saying that knowledge is worth only when it is grasped well. He urged the faculty to know their students well and teach them in a customised manner. The class needs to be interactive and innovative so that students feel the need of attending the class.

He showed an informative video which enlightened the participants about the future methods of learning. He stated that in future, classes will be available online and student attendance will be optional in the class because all the information will be available on net. In this kind of situation, it will be inevitable for the teachers to deviate new methods of teaching.

 

Speaker 4: Dr. NR Dixit

Dr. N.R.Dixit is the founder director of Som Lalit Institute of Management Studies. He is a doctorate in the area of strategic Management and guided six scholars for Ph.D. awards. He has a combined experience of more than 50 years in teaching, research, extension work and industrial projects. He has carried out several types of projects and helped in institution building during his career. He is a member of Board of Governors of Oakbrook Business School.

He enlightened the participants to make a prior roadmap that helps the teachers to introspect themselves about their teaching abilities. He asked the participants:

  • Design a judicious assessment plan
  • Align their assessment plan
  • Use the assessment plan in learning, grading and support.

He further added that there are other factors, alongside technologies, that support creative learning and innovative teaching. These are: assessment; culture; curriculum; individual skills; teaching and learning format; teachers; technology, tools. The co-existence of several of these factors would give rise to an enabling environment where creative learning and innovative teaching could blossom. If enablers are not present, creativity will be less likely to flourish. If, on the other hand, all enablers are in place, it is still not possible to deduce that creativity and innovation are happening, as teachers and students will still have to actively engage in the creative and innovative process. Enablers are therefore indicators of the kind of environment which could nourish creative learning and innovative teaching.

Speaker 5: Prof. Chandramauli Pathak

Dr Pathak is currently the Senior Executive at International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Career Development (ICECD), Ahmedabad. He has over 30 years of experience in the field of teaching and training in Entrepreneurship at school, graduate and post graduate level. He is a well known Entrepreneurship Expert with diverse experience in curriculum development, teaching and developing entrepreneurship courses. He has acquired his Bachelors in Engineering from LD Engineering College, Ahmedabad in 1970 and has pursued several courses in premier institutes like IIM Ahmedabad, Vena Leiden University, Netherlands, International Finance Corporation

(IFC), South Asia, Indian Society for Training and Development (ISTD), New Delhi, International Labour Organisation, New Delhi, Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA), Ahmedabad. Prof. Pathak engaged the participants in a number of activities. He distributed straws and asked the participants to make “anything” from the straws and explore their creativity. The participants made a number of innovative objects from straws like a windmill, house, boat, swings and many more. He then asked each participant to give an adjective to themselves and prefix it with their names. He explains what a person aspires to be or what he/she already is. The participants were highly appreciative of his session and had great fun.

Speaker 6: Dr. Gopal Bhatt

Dr. Gopal Bhatt has more than 37 years of experience in academic field, currently he is the principal of Shri HK Commerce College, Ahmedabad, he is also the state coordinator-UDISHA, Placement cell established by the Dept. of Higher Education, Govt. of Gujarat, member of Faculty of Commerce, Gujarat University, Board of studies in Commerce and many more. He has served as lecturer at RJ Tibrewal Commerce Colg., MS University, Baroda and Gujarat University respectively. He has been actively involved in events like Indo-Japan students exchange programme of Gujarat University as cultural counsellor and various other programmes. He has a number of publications and papers to his credit.

Dr. Gopal Bhatt gave a detailed presentation on “Creative teaching & Learning”. He stated that a class is a heterogeneous mixture of students, each student has different pace, aptitude and attitude towards learning. A teacher should therefore be tactful and flexible in his/her methodology of teaching. He stated teaching skill is technique which involves following materials:

  • Preparation of study material
  • Case studies
  • Stories, examples, exercises
  • Activities
  • Innovative techniques

He also added that learning mood and mode of a student must also be stimulated so as to steer him/her towards learning. These factors play an important role in grounding for creativity and innovation to a thriving environment, proposing a series of central factors which can support the shift towards a more creative and innovative education.

 

Speaker 7: Mr. Rohit Patel

Mr. Rohit Patel has prolific experience in the field of management training. He has been Director of Vadilal Industries Ltd, Ambuja Export Ltd. and Vadilal Chemicals Ltd. He is an active member of Programme Committee, AMA, member of HR Committee, Charusat, member of board of studies in Humanities & Social Science, Nirma University.

Mr. Patel is also a visiting faculty at EDI, Nirma University, AMA etc. Apart from this, he has conducted several numbers of training programmes at IFFCO, Nirma, AEC, SEWA, Aga Khan Social Welfare Board etc. He is also a columnist and a prolific writer. He has published more than 18 books on personality development & Management.

Mr. Patel conducted a very interactive presentation, he asked the participants to open the doors of their mind and think differently. He asked a number trick questions and riddles to the participants and made the session all the more fun and interesting. In the end he urged the participants to imbibe qualities like originality, rationality, different thinking and inculcate passion and creativity in everything you do.

Importance of Soft Skills in MBA students

Soft skills come to prominence

Gone are the days when a Bachelor or Masters degree would act as a passport to a dream job for a young man or woman. Nowadays, employers want more from employees, particularly those that qualify as graduates. What they want are individuals who possess a good amount of ‘soft skills’. Whar are these soft skills? They are aspects of your personality that are coming to the forefront as professional assets – problem solving, teamwork and adaptability to change. The turht is, we have transitioned to a society where it is important to have knowledge but also critical to have the skills to deal with people, find solutions to problems and be adaptable in a world that is shrinking rapidly to meld more multiculturism at the work place. According to Debbie Hance of the Association of british psychologists, “There’s a saying that hard skills will enable you to perform well in academia and in interviews, but it’s soft skills that get you the job.”
So, what are ‘soft skills’ and how might they be useful among the student population?

“Employers want to select, retain and promote young individuals who are dependable, resourceful, ethical and good communicators who are willing to work under pressure.”

Soft skills refer to a cluster of personal qualities, habits, attitudes that have the potential to make someone a good student and compatible with the requirements of academia. Put simply, they are the ways in which you talk, you move around, listen and present yourself. They are learned behaviours, which develop as a result of ones willingness and commitment to understanding the emotions of oneself and others. Emotional Intelligence is another term used in reference to soft skills. Students who possess such skills are more adept and academic savvy. They are able to gain a further understanding of tasks and successfully engage with them, enabling them to gain more control over their learning. As well as playing an important role in the development of students’ overall personality and performance, soft skills also amount to good skills in communication; presenting information in a clear and concise manner; team-building ability; leadership; time management; group discussions; and interviews and interpersonal skills. All of which are important for students’ academic development and growth.

What are the benefits of developing ‘soft skills’?
Soft skills are important for fine tuning the student’s attitude to learning, motives, values… and deal with different situations responsibly and diligently. Emotional intelligence and soft skills strengthen students from within, which makes them a good predictor of academic success.
These skills empower them to understand who they are and how best they can come across as competent individuals in any given situation. Because studying and gaining qualifications is often embarked upon to enhance employment prospects, it Is inevitable that employers will factor this into their criteria when selecting suitable candidates. Thus, the skills that students are exposed to and expected to practice in academia should be representative of, and fulfil the requirements of the business world.

5 Soft Skills needed by an MBA Graduate

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You can be the brightest of MBA students, but that may mean nothing if you don’t have the communication skills to explain the quality of your work and get people excited. This is why soft skills are becoming increasingly important for MBA students to hone in on while in business school.

While hard, or technical, skills are very important in giving MBA students the appropriate knowledge to work in a finance, marketing, and e-business world, soft skills are on the rise. In 2010, MBA recruiters began focusing on soft skills more and more in their recruits. This shift has continued to change the focus of the curriculum in MBA programs to focus more on communications, presentations, and persuasion.

So moving into 2013, what soft skills will recruiters look for in an MBA graduate? Take a look at the top five soft skills you need to land a job next year:

  1. Presentation Skills

The top skill that will get you by in 2013 is presentation skills. MBA graduates and alumni alike agree that the ability to effectively present a case and provide a viable solution in a professional, persuasive, and personal manner is the most important skill in the business world today. Because people are less likely to read long documents, presenting initiatives and business concepts is the next best thing. If you haven’t been paying attention in your speech course, it’s time to take notes!

  1. Effective Communication Skills

Similar to the first point, effective communication skills will help you land that client, deal, or project. MBA graduates should refine their interpersonal and group communication skills to land a job in 2013. These skills show you’re personable and can work well with others. If you need to refine your communication skills, it’s time to start networking. Landing more networking meetings or conversations will help you refine those rusty communication skills and widen your professional network.

  1. Ability To Read Your Audience

This skill may come with time and experience, but is important nonetheless in the business world. The ability to read your audience allows you to know when to move the conversation in a different direction, depending on nonverbal and verbal cues. If you’re bad with nonverbal cues and audience analysis, talk to some of your marketing professors in your MBA program to see what approaches they take in their business meetings to adjust the content or tone of a conversation.

  1. Strategic Thinking

You might already have this skill from your MBA program curriculum, but make sure you show them off in a job interview. Strategic thinking skills speak to your ability to problem solve and think on your feet. If you have a hard time thinking outside of the box, reach out to a professor or mentor who you think is successful at demonstrating this skill. Invite them for coffee and gain some insight on their strategic thinking approach.

  1. Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are essential in positive career growth in the business world. These skills show that you take initiative, take responsibility, and think in the long and short term. While this isn’t a skill that’s easily acquired, you can start by volunteering to be the team leader on your next group project. If you’re interning somewhere, volunteer to spearhead a new project, even if you’re not comfortable with the work. You’ll soon find yourself using that leadership thumb, which will help you down the road in your career.

Don’t forget that soft skills should complement the technical skills gained in your MBA program. They differentiate your personality from other job candidates and show growth in any given business. The soft skills needed at one business may vary from what’s needed elsewhere, so use your best judgement based on the role you’re applying for.