Business schools, like other educational institutions, are judged by the quality of the research carried out by their faculties and students. As business education in India is growing rapidly, there is a need for relevant and rigorous research to be conducted on Indian business management. We have been relying on knowledge generated in the developed nations. There is a need for increased attention towards creating local knowledge on business management in India conditions.
Dr. Gurumurthy Kalyanaram, a Distinguished Research Professor at NMIMS University, is of the opinion that, “lack of quality research is a challenge not only in business schools but in almost all the disciplines and areas in Indian universities. That’s why very few (if any at all) Indian universities are ranked in the top 100 global universities.”
Dr. Gurumurthy is the Editor-in-Chief of the two prestigious scholarly journals published by NMIMS: Management Review, Journal of Economic and Public Policy. Management Review is indexed in Web of Sciences (Emerging Sources) and Cabell’s Directory.
A respected educator and a highly cited global academician and scholar, Dr. Gurumurthy is a well-received policy and management consultant. Dr. Gurumurthy is fondly called as GK, and he has served as the Adviser, Dean, Director, Department Head and Professor at various universities globally including in US, Japan, and India.
Though the current scenario of research in Indian Universities may not be at par with the top world class Universities, still there are few Universities like NMIMS and its School of Business Management (SBM) who are committed to developing basic and applied research. Keeping this in view, SBM is building a portfolio of intellectual contributions from faculty members that are consistent with its mission.
SBM faculty members have published articles in Peer Reviewed Journals as per Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) listing, cases based on field research in the prestigious case publishing houses like Ivey publishing, Harvard Business School Publishing (HBSP), Asian Case Clearing House, (ECCH) and Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies (EEMCS). They have also published textbooks.
One of the major concerns is of allocation of funds for research. There is a need to actively seek out corporates to fund studies, considering budgetary constraints for research at Universities.
Senior Professor, SBM, NMIMS, Dr. Ranjan Chakravarty said, “Business research is a huge field, highly professional, extremely competitive, peer-reviewed and has a global audience. As a business school (NMIMS) we are developing into one of the leading providers of business research output. Our professors publish in the best of journals, both in fundamental research and writing cases.”
While elaborating on factors essential for good research Dr Gurumurthy said, “One of the important inputs in producing good-quality research is enough time for faculty members to reflect and collaborate. Another input is financial resources to travel to prestigious conferences which are for most part held in US and Europe, meet with research scholars-collaborators, purchase appropriate software, sometimes set up a behavioural lab.” He stress that it would be wonderful if the private sector in India partnered with Universities in fostering research.
While drawing attention to the fact that unlike the West, the tradition of philanthropy and corporate giving to Universities is sadly absent in India, Dr. Gurumurthy, explained that this is one of the tragedies of higher education in India. “One of the plausible explanations for this might be that society generally expects (and places the onus on) the Government to finance educational institutions,” he lamented.
Dr. Ranjan Chakravarty who has over 8 years of teaching experience in US Universities and has been in the industry for over 22 years, while explaining research work conducted by him at NMIMS, said, “My area of research is big data in Finance. We specialise in analysing high-frequency trading (HFT). It involves a lot of data mining for and is suited to people with a strong background in high energy Physics, Python programming, R and SAS. We are in the process of building a strong research core to pursue this investigative agenda. This is only one aspect of research that we are conducting recently.”
Stressing on the kind of opportunities scholars researching in Business have in India and in developed countries, Dr. Gurumurthy said, “high-quality research is the only way for a scholar to leave a legacy. And be impactful. Research that generates lots of citations. Such high-quality increases the opportunities for professorships in prestigious universities, consulting opportunities, expert-testimony opportunities and the like.”
As is the case with any other fields, research in business schools is also about expanding the boundaries of knowledge, which is what thought leadership is all about. It is proximity to these thought leaders that immeasurably help equip students for the real world.