"God of Cricket", the name that has been given to Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar by millions of fans is not because of his staggering 69 records in the game but also for the talent he showcased in his career span of 24 years. The man himself is a textbook for young cricketers to learn. However, he can do wonders for Indian Cricket if he makes a comeback as the coach of Indian cricket team. Thus far, the Indian cricket team has not been so fortunate but another synonymous story resonates in Amity University. Ramesh Bagla, a marketing professor from Amity University who started his career in banking sector and later returned to teaching with a focus on training young and talented students in putting the concepts to practice.
"I have taken up teaching after a long innings in the industry primarily because it is one of the most gratifying professions. It gives me an opportunity to shape up the students to become successful professionals by sharing what I have learnt while working across different functions and sectors over a period of 35 years," says Prof. Bagla, who worked in senior management positions in UCO Bank, Aditya Birla Group and Hutchison Essar Telecom Ltd. He is one of the few industry professionals who believe that learning never ends and states that teaching made him more patient and open to new ideas. During his career as teacher thus far, he has understood that every student has immense potential and it depends upon the teacher largely to bring out the best in his students.
Moreover, it is the responsibility of professors to prepare their students to become like managers, who are required to take quick decisions that may not conform strictly to a textbook theory or principle of management. Many PGDBA degree holders view that rapid technological advances and intense competition due of globalization are making management jobs even more demanding. In the present scenario, an established set of rules cannot guarantee success. In such situations, it is the ability of the manager to quickly comprehend the situation, analyze the outcome of alternative decisions and choose the best-suited decision. "Business school professors, who have no industry experience, may not be able to do full justice with the case study method of teaching because they may never have faced real life problems that are stated in the case studies," says Prof. Bagla. He suggests that professors need to get industry exposure through short-term assignments/deputations with the industry to understand and appreciate the dynamic complexity of the real life management problems. "While teaching, I elucidate the concepts with real life examples drawing upon my experiences and insights gained during my long stint in the industry," he adds. He remembers one of his students whom he taught the art of making and delivering an effective presentation. It helped her to acquire a good job in Cannon as the selection process comprised of presentation duplication on a case given by the company.
Prof. Bagla motivates his students to come up with their own solutions and prescriptions for current management problems and issues by habitually appreciating them for creativity and out of the box thinking. "In this age of easy access to readymade solutions and presentations through omnipotent Google, it is a difficult task to encourage creativity and independent thinking," says Prof. Bagla. To reduce the Google effect, he encourages his students to make impromptu presentations on the developments and industry issues reported in the Economic Times of the day. Even though he thinks that Google will reduce the creativity and independent thinking of student, he has never hesitated to adopt technology into his teaching, as required in modern pedagogy.
When Prof. Bagla padded up for a second innings of his life, the experiences he gained from the Industry has influenced his philosophy as a teacher predominantly and that makes him confident enough to say that, "I have learnt in my corporate life that one has to go that extra mile to stand out and make a mark. I share this experience with all my students and always motivate and inspire them to excel in life by going that extra mile." The transition from a corporate manager to a corporate guru makes him a role model to follow for everyone who wishes to contribute their learning to the society.