While most of the faculty and MBA-grads at Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies or KIAMS, find Professor Bidyanand Jha’s mix of Marketing and Mathematics, fascinating, Professor Jha himself doesn’t.
“After my BSc and MSc in Mathematics, I chose to do MBA in Marketing, out of interest. There is a lot of analysis in both. Marketing requires a lot of calculations, lot of formulas are inter-related… number crunching, you know. Happens in Finance also, but Marketing attracted me, because of the different kind of challenges. Actually Finance becomes an office job, while I love travelling, roaming around and talking to people. That was my skill and I found that it could be used in Marketing.”
As a core faculty of Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies, Prof Jha teaches Sales & Distribution Management, Brand Management and Retail & Franchising Management. He is particularly bullish about career opportunities for branding ‘India’!
“The Government of India is focusing hugely on Tourism, be it sight-seeing or Health Tourism. But we’ve got to brand tourism properly. Infact India is globally branded as the centre of economic growth, and this needs to be brand-managed as well. That’s why at KIAMS, we believe that Brand Management has immense scope, not just for branding a product, but branding a community, a country, or even a system.
Not surprisingly, therefore, Prof Jha finds Franchising Management as the next big thing. The number of foreign companies queuing up to do business in India – but not willing to ‘manage’ it – is on the rise. Such companies are always in search of innovative entrepreneurs willing to promote their product, as well as become a part of their system – an opportunity for which students are prepared at Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies.
But what interests Professor Jha the most, are the teens of India. Infact, both the research projects currently being pursued by Prof Jha at KIAMS – learning style of the teens and purchase decision making of the teens – revolves around them.
“There was a time when decisions were made by elders and passed on to the teens, but now teens are self-dependent. This is the new India, which hasn’t been explored much. What is the Teens’ perception? How do they see the Indian market? How do they perceive a product? How do they make a purchase decision? They are habituated to a certain learning-style in the classrooms and school. What impact does it have on their selection of marketing messages… their interpretation of advertisements – in conventional and in new media? How the perceptions of the advertiser differ from the person watching the advertisement? Teens are the Centre of my research at KIAMS, because tomorrow they will be the main consumers in India, atleast.
With KIAMS for a year now, Prof Bidyanand Jha resides within the campus of Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies.
“I get good sets of students to teach, good peer groups to work for… KIAMS is a motivating factor for me to do better.” He advises the outgoing batches to map the difference between their perception and the reality of the outside world, before they step out of Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies.
…And for the incoming batches at KIAMS?
“They should unlearn things they’ve learnt outside and relearn new things. At KIAMS, We ‘teach to think’. We all are different individuals with different caliber of solving problems with success. The Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies doesn’t teach that ‘this is the fundamental process of solving a problem’ and that’ you should handle this problem in this way’. KIAMS grads are taught the process of decision-making that leads to a good decision, when a problem comes their way. The students design their own boundaries.”
Clearly, at Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies, you will have to be creative in solving problems on your own!