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5The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International recently organized its international Conference and Annual Meeting (ICAM-2014) on April 7-9, 2014 at Singapore. It was co-hosted by Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University (SMU), KPMG Foundation, GMAC, Emerald Group Publishing and ETS. The AACSB had for the first time brought ICAM-2014 to the Asia Pacific region and there was an overwhelming participation from countries like China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Australia and Indonesia.


Dr. H. Chaturvedi, Director, BIMTECH was part of the Indian delegation to ICAM-2014. Other members of the Indian contingent were Dr. Bibek Banerjee, Director IMT Ghaziabad; Dr. R. C.Natrajan, Director TAPMI Manipal; Mr. Amit Agnihotri, Chairman MBA Universe; Dr. Satish Ailawadi, Director SIMSR, mumbai; Dr. Pratima Sheorey, Director SCMHRD, Pune; Dr. Ranjit Goswami, Director IMT, Nagpur; Dr. Bheemaraya Metre, Dean IMI, Delhi and Mr. Sanjay Padode, CEO, IFIM, Bangalore. Some of leading Indian b-schools like IIM, Kolkata, NMIMS Mumbai, SPJIMR Mumbai, IILM New Delhi, Amity Noida, Alliance University Bangalore and TAPMI Manipal had also sent their senior faculty to participate in the ICAM-2014.

Over 1100 delegates from more than 50 countries attended the ICAM-2014. It was one of the most diverse annual event of the AACSB. The conference theme was built on the three pillars of INNOVATION, ENGAGEMENT and IMPACT. Selection of the Singapore as the venue of ICAM-2014 was an apt decision of the AACSB leadership because this city nation has been historically known as a natural meeting point of ideas, languages, cultures and innovation. Diversity is not only celebrated at Singapore, it is perpetuated and promoted by the government and the society of the city nation. The day one (April 7, 2014) at ICAM-2014 started with various affinity group meetings like PRME, Small Schools Network, New Deans Learning Community, Technology in Business Schools Roundtable, Asia Pacific, Entrepreneurship Programmes and Women Administrators in Management Education. These meetings provided networking with like minded people. A pre-conference bonus session on “Forging Highly Effective collaborations: Success Stories” was also held which was presented by Mr. John J. Fernandes, President and CEO, AACSB and Michael D. Wiemer, Vice President, AACSB. The day concluded with a reception in the evening which was more in the nature of a ‘Welcoming Event’.

2The second day (April 8, 2014) of ICAM-2014 started with a Plenary Session on “The Collaboration Economy” which was presented by Ms. Rachel Botsman, Founder, Collaborative Lab. Rachel Botsman explained how the rapidly growing collaborative economy is transforming production, finance, education and consumption. She focused on the macro changes in consumer behaviour, taking us into a world where we value access over ownership, peer trust over institutional trust, and a completely new relationship between buyers and sellers. She held audiences spell bound by the scale of the disruption, but also with clear, practical insights about how companies of all shapes
and sizes are moving into the collaborative economy and what this meant for the future of management education. After the plenary session, there were concurrent sessions on Collaborations, Sustainability, Innovation and Accreditation.

On the last day (April 9, 2014), there was a plenary session on “Turning Conventional Management Upside Down” which was presented by Mr. Vineet Nayar, Former Vice Chairman, HCL Technologies and bestselling author of the book “Employees First, Customer Second”. In this candid account, globally-renowned management guru Vineet
Nayar recounted how he defied conventional wisdom by putting employees first and customers second. Mr. Nayar said that since employees are the closest interface with the customer, they are the new value zone for companies: the place where value is truly generated for customers. In this session Mr Vineet Nayar described the key lessons that management educators can take from his Employee First philosophy: how to enable employees to see the truth of the company’s current state as well as its possible future, creating a culture of trust by pushing the envelope of transparency, inverting the organizational hierarchy by making management and enabling functions accountable to employees and unlocking the potential of the employees by transferring the ownership of ‘change’ to the value zone.


On April 10, 2014, Dr. H. Chaturvedi, Mr. Amit Agnihotri and Dr. Bheemaraya Metre visited the Singapore Management University (SMU) and the National University of Singapore (NSU) campuses. At the SMU, they met Mr. Stevan Burton, Deputy Director, Office of Postgraduate Professional Programme and Mr. Hernaikh Singh, Associate Director, India Initiatives, Office of the Provost and Deputy Director. At the NUS, a meeting was held with
Mr Yue-Wen Lim, Director, Mr. Nelson Tan, Manager and Angelyn ANG, Associate Director, International Relations.

Across the world, less than 700 B-schools are accredited by AACSB. The number of EFMD EQUIS accredited B-schools is much less. This makes the accredited B-schools 700 odd B-schools an elite club. Sadly, only four Indian B-schools’ have earned their way into this top league of AACSB & EQUIS Accreditation.

Currently, China has 16 Accredited B-schools (including B-schools in Hong Kong region). South Korea has 13 accredited B-schools. But India has just two accredited B-schools – ISB and TAPMI. Chinese MBA education started in only in 1991, while Indian MBA education can trace its roots back in 50’s and early 60’s when IIMs were set up. In China, there is a definitive push from the government to achieve international quality standards and develop global reputations amongst leading business schools. The lessons for India are to invest more resources in its business schools to achieve global standards, replace rigid regulatory regime by an enabling regulation and engage with all important international networks like AACSB, EFMD, AMBA etc.

4During the ICAM-2014, there were echoing sentiments and undercurrent feelings that the AACSB and other accreditation bodies should recognize that their accreditation templates, focused heavily on research, are not suitable for Asian B’schools. Should Bschools in emerging economies like India focus on research, or should they first focus on teaching and imparting right skills for their students who are looking for jobs to rise on the social ladder? Howard Thomas, Dean of Lee Kong Chian School of Business, Singapore Management University put this well in his speech at ICAM when he said, “Asian continent is very diverse. Its culture, people, practices, business, society is all very heterogeneous. The Asian context of management education is very different. So accreditation and rankings bodies must be very careful in assessing them.”

It was proposed at both the meetings that leading business schools from Asia Pacific region should meet annually under the auspices of the Asian Management Conclave (AMC) each year at different Asian countries to chart out the future of business education in Asia. Both SMU and NUS business schools were suggested to host the first Asian Management Conclave in March 2015. They have shown initial interest and have asked for detailed proposal. Mr. Agnihotri invited both the business schools to send their deans to participate in the Indian Management Conclave 2014, scheduled to be held on August 8-9, 2014 at New Delhi.


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