For over 24 years Dr. V S Pai or Professor Pai, as his students know him, has taught Business Strategy, Corporate Strategy, International Business, Organization Structure and Design and Management Control Systems. He recently submitted a paper for publication at Salem State University in Massachusetts. “The case based paper has been sent for publication in ‘The CASE Journal’ and is under the blind review process. It examines how Tata Teleservices faced the challenges in the turbulent telecom services market in India, its tie up with DoCoMo the Japanese MNC and the future of the joint venture in a high growth scam hit industry,” he says, giving us a small insight into his paper. Another one of his case based paper namely on the joint venture between the Japanese MNC, Honda Motors and the Hero Group of India was accepted for publication, last year, by the Asian Case Research Journal, National University of Singapore.
As a core faculty at Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS), Dr. Pai found the students a praiseworthy lot. He said, “The students there are adroit and professional enough to carry on with a lecture session even in the event of a rare power failure in the classrooms.” A little bit of humour does go a long way, especially in a classroom full of MBA aspirants. “There was a complete power failure but the session went on through the teaching-cum-discussion mode in near-dark conditions with everyone attentive and many participating in the discussion until the power came back after quite a while,” he says. This is one KIAMS memory that is going to be with him forever.
Incidentally, Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS) is a management institute situated in Harihar – a town situated about 240 kilometres from Bangalore. Despite the rural location and resultant power failures, KIAMS is ranked amongst the best B-schools of India.
“The students of KIAMS,” he says, “are being well trained to become excellent managers in the future.” KIAMS, according to him has excellent faculty. The courses are structured and well thought out. Students are exposed to the industry, and study in a simulated environment of work life in the industry. He has a word of advice for the institute, though. It needs to attract the best faculty in the country, strengthen the placement process and get closer to the industry, and also tie up with reputed B-schools abroad and thus internationalise its base.
The latest subject of his research is the Indian telecom industry. When asked why he chose to particularly focus on this industry, he had a wealth of insight to share with us. He said, “It is a happening sector, which is transforming the Indian landscape. It can propel growth of the economy as telecommunications is a critical dimension for stimulating growth. The services that can be rendered are mind boggling. For example we have entertainment, banking, travel reservations, networking and so many other applications available at our fingertips. With around 14 players the industry appears fragmented and may lead to consolidation. The potential for employment generation across the country and bringing dramatic changes in the lives of rural and far flung population is substantial. Future for this industry is extremely bright because of the huge population in India, the still low level of penetration in semi-urban and rural areas, and the 4G and 5G possibilities that are already unfolding in the developed markets.”
When asked to share a little about the paper he has submitted at the Salem State University, Massachusetts, Prof. Pai said, “It is a case based paper that has been sent for publication and is under the blind review process.” He minced no words about rightly calling the high growth industry ‘scam hit’.
This professor of management is a well-travelled man and has visited various countries including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand in connection with academic pursuits. Dr. Pai has successfully overseen many academic and social events. The audiences he has planned for include management gurus, students and the common man, or woman, which covers the entire gamut of the human race.
Dr. Pai has guided three PhD scholars successfully, completing an ICSSR, New Delhi funded research project and also of publishing several research papers. Many institutes have benefitted under his competent mentorship. Some of them include T A Pai Management Institute, Gulbarga University, Manipur University and ICFAI Business School. He specialises in Management Teaching, and has taught both under-graduates and post-graduates alike as well as at the doctoral level. Although grades are a good measure of academic performance, Dr. Pai says, “They should be backed by the needed aptitude, grit, the ability and willingness to think plus a never-say-die attitude.”
His favourite book, no surprises, is Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, and his favourite quote is, “Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a life time.”
As we concluded the interview, we only came back with a higher regard for the professor whose contribution in Management cannot be ignored. He can be rightly and deservingly considered the star faculty of KIAMS for the month of August, 2011. This is the result of his deep commitment to his work, his students, society, and to each of the public and private sector organizations he is associated with.
Dr. V. S. Pai grows with each ‘project’. To him it is a learning experience he takes in his efficient stride. The aura that surrounds him is energetic. It speaks of excitement and those meeting him can only wait in anticipation for the gems he generously shares in the form of his knowledge. The students of KIAMS were enthralled with Dr. Pai’s classes and left him with a small prayer that said, “Sir, we pray for your good health and long life. May you help everyone; including those who are yet to be acquainted with you. We love you always.” It came straight from their hearts.