The Hindu Business Line
Great Lakes’ Dean Suresh Ramanathan wants to further research agenda
Suresh Ramanathan, who took over recently as the Dean and Principal of the Great Lakes Institute of Management, intends to further the research agenda of the business school. “This is part of a larger vision, not just for Great lakes, but for Indian academia as a whole, to put India on the research map. We definitely need to prioritise research and be at the forefront of knowledge creation,” he said emphatically in an interview to BusinessLine.
While undertaking top-class research enhances the reputation of an institution, one of the biggest challenges that Indian academics have is access to a network through which they can collaborate with other academics around the world. They also need the resources and the skills to publish in top-tier journals. “I really want to make sure our professors are doing work that is relevant to organisations and to society as a whole; we want to Suresh Ramanathan, Dean and Principal, Great Lakes Institute of Management
take on the big questions,” says Ramanathan.
To illustrate, Ramanathan explains that one of the topics he’s interested in is healthy eating, which has been part of his research work. “Given the obesity and diabetes rates in our country, and using the research I have done, I want to facilitate largescale societal change and promote healthy eating habits, partnering with other institutions here and abroad. I would like our faculty to push this kind of research agenda.”
Apart from the research focus, Ramanathan intends to take a closer look at the Great Lakes curriculum and structure of programmes. “I will be looking at adopting newer pedagogical methods and making some changes. We want to make our students completely ready for a new global economy,” he says.
Great Lakes already has a clutch of tie-ups with B-schools in the US, and Ramanathan intends to deepen that engagement. “We want tie-ups to have meaning and be meaningful to students and faculty. The tie-up with Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Chicago has been very positive as the new MBA analytics programme is a clear winwin for us and for IIT as well. We see more of those on the anvil. I want to explore multiple dimensions of these associations, and not just on the teaching front. We would like to create a network by which I can engage with different universities that can train faculty and students, give them insights and challenge them,” he elaborates.
Great Lakes has just gone through to the next stage of the AACSB ranking which, he says, will definitely give it a lot of visibility in the international space.
The other priority is entrepreneurship. Great Lakes has a tie-up with Babson College, which specialises in entrepreneurship programmes. “It’s a major priority for us to have faculty who can teach that well as a lot of students want to become entrepreneurs,” says Ramanathan.
Great Lakes also expects to deepen the engagement with industry. “I can see that happening a lot; we already have the analytics and AIMLA programmes in response to industry needs, as there is a big demand for people trained in these functions. We will be happy to associate with our corporate partners; if they say these are the needs we have, we can always look at curriculum change, if need be. We see it as a perfectly symbiotic relationship; they get the people they need and we are able to provide the training that they require,” explains Ramanathan.