Techno Managers: Role of Industry Institute Interface

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Techno Managers of Tomorrow:Role of the Academy-Industry Interface Tippana Sreevani
9/19/2008

“The study of the scientific methods and principles underlying the practice of any handicraft,industry or profession;and the application of those methods and principles of the handicraft,industry,or profession in question.The first is the primary or technological aspect of the subject;the second is its subsequent and practical application.” -1901,Lord Curzon,the then Viceroy of India

The lines above and the topic reminds me of the conversation I had not very long ago,with one of my seniors from school.Anju Sharma 23,had recently joined the software industry as a fresher in TCS a reputed IT firm after completing her Bachelors this year.Her narrative about the first few days of office were eye-opening .She says she was little exposed to such a kind of an environment.Anju feels that the skills she acquired back in her college are far behind and different from what is being demanded of her now.There is a difference in both the knowledge as well as the proficiency required.She thinks of herself as having been a 'frog in a well'."The stress here is more on the need for the Emotional Quotient rather than on the Intelligence Quotient (IQ)”,as she puts it.My conversation with her speaks not only about Anju but also gives voice to the feelings and thoughts of thousands of young minds across the country.

I too am at the threshold of such a transition and hence chose to put down my thoughts about this topic.The first word which caught my attention was the word ‘Techno Managers’. What or who are techno managers? Engineers dominated the corporate scene in India and abroad, before the advent of the so-called managers.The industry was for long in a state of flux. What is more important for an industry? Is it product design, engineering skills, innovative ideas that you can patent or how to market a product and finance its working? The US industry, though created on the foundation of engineering skills, had started believing that it could sell anything if it was marketed well and that it could make profits selling any product if it was financed well, before the Japanese shattered the myth. The Japanese demonstrated that engineering was equally important, and in the process gave birth to the concept of "techno-managers". The advancement of technology in all spheres and progress towards a border- free world have all led to the growth of the so called techno-managers. Today, companies need professionals who are master of all and jack of none. Thus a techno manager is one who is technically sound and at the same time possesses excellent managerial skills.

What then is the importance of an academy industry interface?According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies(NASSCOM) every year more than 8 million people are added to the workforce .Of them only 25% of the technical graduates and 10-15% of the other graduates are employable in the IT and ITes sectors.The image of a trillion dollar economy and a billion plus population does not sync well with the present situation.

According to Soumen Basu,Chairman,Manpower Inc. ,an HR consultancy firm ,"The Indian Education System especially the university setup has not been upgraded for years.It has been slow in responding to the evolving needs of the industry.Most of the graduates do not meet the corporate world's requirement .The demand for specialised skill is manifold."Also the importance of an academy industry interface can best be summarised in the words of another senior functionary of the Recruit Management Team of a leading IT Company: "They have to be taught the real thing now”.It implies that, what the young engineers have brought as new learning from Institutes is at variance with the ‘realities’ of Business & Industry.Everyone of us has heard about a popular term called the generation gap.What the generation gap is to the social sphere...
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