ISB Updates

Industry and Academia discuss manufacturing challenges

A day-long conference on “Leveraging Enterprises through Academic Participation” (LEAP) was organised by the School at its Mohali campus recently.

The conference brought together industry, academia along with representatives from the local manufacturing industry and government to discuss the challenges faced by manufacturing companies and build constructive collaboration between Industry and academic institutes.

Pradeep Singh, Deputy Dean ISB and CEO of the Mohali campus opened the discussion pressing on the need for holding such interactions between the industry and the government to draft policies and framework that can be implemented to resolve the manufacturing problems. While, Karan Avtar Singh, Principal Secretary, Industry and Commerce, Punjab discussed Mohali’s relatively “new” manufacturing cluster and the problems ailing its growth and competitiveness despite the potential to innovate. He also spared his thoughts over issues in family run businesses.

Taking the interaction further, SK Munjal, Chairman, Hero Corporate Service Limited and Joint MD, Hero MotoCorp, one of the leading industrialists of the country claimed that it was critical for manufacturers to interact with academicians and researchers in the field or vice-versa to come up with good products to grow ones business. He pointed to the scenario in countries like Japan, North America and Europe where educational and research institutes have become active participants in the product development process. He also highlighted the collaborative efforts of the Munjal Institute for Global Manufacturing (MIGM) at the ISB with the industry and how research is being undertaken to provide practical solution to manufacturing problems.

Noted Pakistani Banker and Economist, Ishrat Hussain who is currently the Dean and Director, Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi discussed how Pakistan has failed to take advantage of its location in Asia, besides the need for both India and Pakistan to become manufacturing sector driven economies and reducing the role of government in the private sector. “A weak regulatory system characterised by procedural delays have further worsened the matters” pointed Hussain.

Professor Charles H Fine, Sloan School of Management, MIT, USA, stresses on the need for skill investment, since knowledge building holds the key to success of any business venture. While Professor Loredana Padurean, Lasell College, MA, USA discussed how real people working in real time to produce real content can exert a huge impact since a direct connection between academia and industry is likely to benefit the industry most. She also stressed on Action Research which is likely to create value in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

With manufacturing companies of today facing varied challenges like shortages of skilled labour, poor access to technology, lack of logistics and infrastructure, challenges of work ethic, unsupportive policy and governance environment, stiff competition from cheap products from emerging economies like China and so on, a constructive collaboration between industry and academic institutes can be a game changer for the Industry.