From driverless cars to drones to uberisation of services, cyber crime and to taking a selfie on a bad day to pep oneself up – Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson of State Bank of India who was chief guest at the 51st annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad on Saturday while touching on changing trends in the society outlined employment generation as one of the major challenges faced by India and exhorted the graduating student to turn entrepreneurs, rather than job seekers.
While speaking on India’s challenges, she exhorted the B-school graduates and said, “As you know every month, India adds one million people to its workforce. So an additional 1 million people are looking for jobs every month and that’s a huge challenge. Who creates so many jobs, how do we create so many jobs? Today because of television the aspirations of our youth is huge…You must be employers, employment creators, you must not only look for employment, because you are gifted enough to have been admitted into this prestigious institution, you must make it your mission to ensure that you all- all of you are actually employment creators.”
In her address, she spoke of climate change, terrorism, urbanisation, banking reaching villages, bridging the economic divide between the desperately poor on the one side and global citizens on the other and even on TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) as major challenges lying ahead of organisations and by India in today’s hyper connected world.
Speaking on the changes in the banking sector owing to mechanisation and technology and the role of the banker in it -she alluded to a recent programme wherein SBI gave 51 loans in 27 second to Uber drivers. She said, “Today you don’t need to count cash anymore.Today you don’t even need to be a bookkeeper, its all done by machines. Bankers today have become your investment consultants, your guide for life. And this transition from being an accountant to a bookkeeper into being an investment consultant into being a person who markets and doesn’t only sell is huge…. While we are using these models to give loans, are we losing our subjective element? Are we giving up our intelligence to find out whether we have done the right thing or not and even there there is an answer and that is machine learning. That the programme itself as it gives loans, it would keep checking to see what is the repayment history of these borrowers and it will keep adjusting its model in order to ensure that whatever mistakes it was making in the model, it can be rectified. So basically the world today is trending more and more towards such developments.”
The banker also shared several success mantras with the graduating B-school students and asked them to develop their EQ(Emotional Quotient) and spiritual quotient while trying to learn in a bid to grow.
Even as recent discussions on the IIM Bill has brought in worries among the IIMs over loss of their autonomy, IIMA Director Ashish Nanda in the concluding address referred to this facet and thanked the outgoing IIMA Board Chairman AM Naik who had championed the cause for more autonomy for the IIMs, before he quit his post this January.
Nanda said, “Afforded autonomy to operate the best way we (IIMA) can- we promise to strive to the best of our capacity. Allow me to convey thanks to our outgoing Chairperson AM Naik.. He has been personally committed to the institute and striven to to encourage and support us in the pursuit of excellence. He has led our devoted board as it performed the powerful alchemy of nurturing autonomy of operations while maintaining high expectations.”
The graduating batch included around 403 PGP (PG Diploma in Management), 85 PGPX(Post Graduate Diploma in Management for Executives), 46 PGPABM((PG Diploma in Agri-Business Management) and 12 FPM(Fellow Programme in Managemen) students, while 4 students recieved gold medals for academic excellence in the ceremony held at IIM Ahmedabad on Saturday.