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Management Education during and Post Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected not just a region or a country but shattered the entire world. Along with the scare, many important sectors: automobile, banking and finance, retail, transportation, real estate, hospitality and tourism etc. are all adversely affected. Over the span of just a few weeks, all the business activities, plans, expansion ideas had shattered and all rules were dismantled. The knowledge and strategies one had learnt from previous studies, examples, case discussions, experiences and exposures; all have gone irrelevant in many cases. Everybody is continuously engaged in real time learning to cope with the situation.

In such unprepared times, the impact on higher education is also obvious and cannot be ignored. All the on-campus activities have shut down and the online teaching-learning process has become the essential route. To go digital in all the segments is a wake-up call and has somehow become indispensable.

These elaborations have made everybody accept the fact that, any extreme situation at any point of time is just inevitable and that the business and education systems, all are required to evolve in a manner that they may insulate themselves as much as possible against any unforeseen drastic change, whether desirable or undesirable.

On a personal front also, the need to insulate and evolve both physically, mentally as well as professionally has become the utmost priority. Physical and mental fitness along with being constructively adaptive, have added to the new must have desired characteristics; for an individual if he/she wishes to fit well in the new industry.

However, the present situation has also made this loud and clear that besides world-class doctors, scientists, engineers; the world also needs world - class management professionals; who are passionate, humble, resilient, physically and mentally fit, innovative, have the ability to deal with crisis situations and more importantly have that human touch which is much needed now to deal with people who are distressed or despaired.  The managerial abilities and qualities have become a necessity now to make people work and contribute, find constructive solutions without losing hope yet ensuring more resourcefulness, productivity, creativity, and ability to deliver in crisis situations.

Businesses have slowed down during the pandemic but they won’t stop altogether. There is an increasing demand for adaptive management professionals for different management disciplines including Human Resource, Business Analytics, Operations, Economics, Finance, Sustainable Development, Marketing & Sales.

MBA as a discipline has the widest versatility and flexibility to quickly adapt to the needs of the new economy or a new industry. The young management graduates have the ability to sense the changing market demands, with which they could guide their team of technical experts, as to what needs to be developed to cater to the emerging needs of the market. Industry would now require more and more number of experts who have managerial skills and who can simultaneously handle their customers as well as their research and development and production team. Technical know-how of individuals may get outdated with time but a manager can only improve with more and more experiences, foreseen and unforeseen challenges and difficulties.

The sinking economy can be brought back to track or could be speedily recovered only if more number of management professionals join the workforce or start their own enterprises. Industry has a huge demand now of such professionals who not only possess hard skills but also have a strong command on their soft skills: Hard in terms of analytical mindset, domain expertise, technical expertise matching with new industry 4.0 as well as soft skills in terms of leadership, emotional intelligence, ability to effectively motivate and manage team, communicate with internal and external stakeholders and quickly adapt to change and also ability to take decisions in tough times shaping things for the larger benefits of industry and economy.

Management is a habit, a skill beyond convention which has immense power to deal with any crisis and flourish with times. It is rightly said: “Every cloud has a silver lining” so is this pandemic. It has taught us that we all can exist and coexist with the only condition of being resilient and adaptable to change.

Tags: management, management education, online learning, covid19, MBA, MBA Education

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