You are on page 1of 6

INDUSTRY INSTITUTION INTERFACE.

Prepared by Dr.S.Ramesh and Prof Muralidharan.H


Faculty of commerce and management,
PG centre, Mount Carmel College, Bangalore –52.

The advent of WTO has opened up global economies in all fronts. The
market place is no more regional or national but global. The constructs with which
market players have been functioning is becoming dynamic, volatile and in a state
of flux. This is true not just for the manufacturing sector but also for the service
sector. Focussing more on education one already notices organisations gearing
themselves to counter and combat the effects of WTO and globalisation which
includes the likes of IIM(A),(B)… which are looking for tie up educational
institutions abroad for twinning programs. The indication is obvious that, the threat
is not perceptual but real. In a world that’s been made minuscule by the
technology and communication revolution has been further scuffled by the advent
of WTO and other regional alliances. What then is the scenario for educational
institutions? It seems to me, a widow of un-fathomed opportunity.
Looking at the road ahead for education and educational institution, one
needs to perceptual and pragmatic in the approach and stand one may take. The
issues that raise concern start at the very base of educational institutions, which is
to provide education and moves on to the higher end objectives of sustenance,
growth and development. Where then does one begin? One obvious direction,
which has been hitherto ignored, is the industry institution interface. It has always
been talked about, toyed around with, modelled about but nothing seriously has
ever been done about it, at least in India. Factors that have inhibited the interface
between industry and institutes are many and includes the education system which
is university curriculum driven and not industry requirement driven, Lack of
initiative by both the educational set up to approach industry for any of its
requirement and vice versa (The examples where industry have come to
educational institution are more in the nature of social obligation rather than a
genuine intention for tie ups for mutual benefit or synergy with the exception of
IIT’s and IIM’s), etc.
The industry institution interface is probably the most potent and viable
option of the future for the growth, development and sustenance of institutions. We
have examples of the IIT’s and IIM’s, which are the only quotable success stories,
and one needs to note that they also have government patronage. The problem of
balancing funds which are low with service quality which is high with student
output quality also requirement to be high
The options for interface are numerous. One can begin from the curriculum
development to synergy through research. This paper looks into some of the facets
of possible interface between industry and institution interface.

Academic Inputs.
The major grouse of industry against institutions has been that the
curriculum does not meet the industry requirement and often outdated. To begin
with one may build interface with the industry to develop curricula based on
industry requirement rather than academia oriented. Of course on may bring in a
blend between the academic requirement and industry requirement. Interaction
with industry and industry guilds for curriculum development would definitely not
only remove the grouse but also gain acceptability and favour with the industry.
Training for executives:
Training is arguably the most potent and potential area for interface between
industry and institution. Training is an area were one can fore see a win-win
situation were both institution and industry stand to gain. Training takes multiple
forms depending on whose perspective we see tings. From the perspective of the
institution, we know that students require undertaking projects in the industry. This
issue has been discussed in a later part of the paper, however establishing liaison
with industry would help the institution address the problems students face in this
direction. From the perspective of the industry, institution could provide training to
the employees in a more cost effective manner focussing on issues that need to be
addressed to the industry concerned. Training programmes could be tailor made by
the institution to suit specific industry requirements. Focus on this area could pay
rich dividends to the institution, as an important source of revenue to the
institution.
Research projects for industry
The industry, as they concentrate on production, have little time for research.
This provides an opportunity for institutions to fill this gap. All areas of un-
fulfilled information requirement of industry are areas for institutions to take up
research. This opportunity not only can be capitalised but also monetised by the
institution. One need not emphasise the fact that the industry and the institute work
in the same environment and they face the similar situations albeit in different
areas. The industry faces the wrath of the market and also faces the boom of it
directly and enjoys the fruits of market dynamics to the maximum. The academic
institutions only study the dynamics and do not get the fruits of the market
dynamics. The institute’s research would help the industry foresee the wonders of
the market in advance and even convert threats into great opportunities. The
institute too can make this a learning opportunity and can easily unfreeze to
become a learning organisation.
Consultancy
“No man is an island” goes the saying so is no organisation. It just is to
understand that you cannot be a master in very aspect and / or cannot hire specialist
in every area required, as that would inflate the organisations overheads, and no
organisation prefers that. It would be better to take the help of the specialist who
are academically sound and also wherein you can find all of then under one roof –
the academic institutes, thus consultancy from them would be like buying your
monthly grocery from a super market – where you get all that you want under one
roof.
Emeritus Status to personnel in and from industry
The industry personnel acknowledged for their contribution and staus in the
industry and their contribution to knowledge fund through their practices in the
industry could be given emeritus status in the institution. This would focus the
attention of the industry towards education and institution. This would not only
strengthen the rapport between industry and institution but also encourage mutual
recognition. One can expect long-term gains from such a measure through support
from the industry monetarily and otherwise.
Establishing Chairs
The institutes can establish chairs funded by the industry. Just as many
organisations give out endowment prises based on funds contributed by individuals
and organisations, the institutes can also establish chairs funded by the industry
focussing on subjects’ dear to the industry.

Funding of the institution by the Industry.


The institutions can directly approach the industry to fund specific
requirements of the institution. For example construction of building, establishing
labs, procuring special equipments etc,. This could also be done on reciprocal basis
wherein the institution can render service to the industry concerned compensating
for their contribution.
Synergy.
A much talked about area and also an area where action is seldom taken.
There are many areas in which industry and institute can synergise their potential
and experience for mutual benefits. The premier institutions such as IIT’s and
IIM’s have been benefiting from the industry and vice versa using the experience
and expertise they poses. For e.g.: Testing and validation of products for industry
is more easily possible by a competent technical institution, which is deeply
involved in research. This facility can be utilised by the industry to test and
validate its products through the third party. Institutions specialised in areas such
as Bio-technology, Computer technology, Electronics, Production, Medicine etc,
can offer their standardised and approved testing facilities to the industry while
also earning remuneration from the same. Synergy could be identified in other
areas of expertise possessed by the institutes, which may have requirement in the
industry. This however is possible, only when, industry or institution look to the
other for support and guidance.
Training for students
One of the lacunas of output of institutions (which is students) is, that the
students are not exposed to the industry; they are fresh graduates and they do not
have enough exposure to the industry to understand work, work environment and
work ethics, therefore incompetent to take up work at work place. This can be
resolved only through training of students. Training may be imparted in multiple
ways.
a. Training.
Students can be asked to undergo training in a particular industry relating to
their functional area of specialisation. This would give students the exposure
they require to face the challenge of the industry.
b. Internship.
Internship of an appropriate duration in the specialisation related industry
could be made a part of the curriculum for the students. This would entail
students compulsorily having to work in the industry for the specified
duration (say six months or one year).
c. Projects.
The students may be asked to undertake and execute live industry or
company related projects focussing on specific problems or issues that
require attention. Projects give the valuable insights to the student’s while
helping the industry to resolve issues.
Focussing on training, internship, projects would help organisation to enhance the
worth of its students and make them more potent candidates for employment by the
industry. This would also mean a more sustained relationship focussing on the
requirements of both the industry and institution.
Placement of students (full time and part time)
Placement of students has become one of the more sought after requirements
by most students. Placements require the institution to have interaction with
industry. It is often found that part-time attention to placements has never been
fruitful. Fulltime attention through placement cell would facilitate the organisation
to fulfil the aspirations of its students. This also brings the focus of the institution
on the industry. No corporate is looking for personnel, who cannot service their
requirements (in terms of personnel with competency, skill sets, ability,
commitment etc.). It becomes the institute’s obligation to bring out such products
as required by the industry. Only when this is achieved can the placement function
be performed without difficulty. The placement cell brings to focus probably the
ultimate objective of the institution. The perception of the industry on the quality
of output and the image of the organisation will have a tremendous say in the
placements of an organisation.
Concept development, developing new products and idea generation.
Although intrapreneur give the necessary thrust organisations require to
galvanise their enterprise through their innovation, the fact of institutions being an
observer and follower of the industry cannot be ignored. The collective knowledge
fund of the institution can be at the disposal of the industry to develop new
concepts and models for industry. Similarly, there are so many ideas that flash to
us as we teach and we might have seen the same idea being published or used by
the industry. One can look at ways of translating these ideas to the industry. The
idea need not necessary be one of just an idea but also a new product. These areas
can be very productive to an institution only when industry sees success in our
ideas products and concepts.
Seminars, Workshops, Guest lectures.
An integral part of any institution is to provide those inputs to the students,
which would cement the conceptual understanding they have acquired over the
years through classroom learning. One important way this can be achieved is
through conduct of seminars, workshops and guest lectures. Organisation of these
bring the face of the industry in front of students and facilitate them to visualise the
concepts they have learnt in the class as applied in the industry.
Alumni.
Alumni of students would enable institution to build network of old students
within the industry. The institution could use this network, to address issues, the
institution would like the industry to reciprocate to. The enormity or otherwise of
the issue could be addressed separately.
Community project with collaboration
The institution can also collaborate with the industry to engage itsel in
community development through community projects. This would not only serve
the sensitise the students to values of culture, ethics, humanity, environment,
concern and care for fellow human being but also bring a sense of fulfilment to all
concerned. Be it the industry, the institution, the student, the beneficiary, the
society and the agencies involved
Partnership/ joint ownership
The institution can look in for joint ownership or partnership with the
industry to establish programmes which could be mutually beneficial. The
expertise of the institution in providing education could be synergised with the
funds available with the industry to establish fruitful partnerships and joint
ventures. Such partnerships and joint ventures can be, not only at the programme
level, but also at an institutional level.

Et club
Establishing clubs, such as ET Club or Business Standard Club would
sensitise the students to the current affairs in business, industry, politics, etc.,
focusing also on curriculum augmentation and skill development. It also enables
the institution to interact with information public, bringing in much needed
publicity for the institution.
Corporate candidates and deputation of employees
The institution could also admit candidates sponsored by industry for higher
education, or accept students on deputation by their employers as a measure of
training and development. The institution can look at such candidates as special
candidates and charge differential fees appropriate to the nature of the course,
candidate and industry.

Conclusion

The avenues of industry-institution interface are thus dynamic and the state
of flux it might be will depend primarily on the institution and the focus and
measure initiated by the institution. It has been our experience to note that industry
is open and willing. It is the institution that has to take the first step.