One of the highlights of learning at a reputable B School like SCMS Cochin School of Business is that students benefit from the vast experience of its faculty members, many of whom have worked in the industry for several years. Prof. Srikrishnan is one of them, and he has more than two decades of experience in the IT industry with big names like HCL and TCS. He recently completed his PhD from Cochin University of Science and Technology, and is now sharing his experience with students at the institute. We talk to him about his own transition and that of students into future professionals.
Right at the onset Prof. Srikrishnan opens up about training in IT and how it has evolved over the years. “IT is constantly evolving and we have built the material for training, organizational training, teams, etc.,” he explains. “Now there are tools that are even superior to those used in different parts of the world. So, when students come for their PGDM, we are able to innovate and update the curriculum based on the latest trends in the industry.” He then offers some examples of training he offers his first and second year students to drive home his point.
Prof. Srikrishnan admits that he has always been interested in research and teaching, but it’s difficult in India to keep switching between academics and industry. That’s why after completing his PhD last year he made the call to get into academics full-time and found SCMS Cochin the best fit for his goals and approach to teaching. “It is a place that not only works towards offering best opportunities to students, but the faculty members as well,” he says. “I love the platform I have for teaching at the same time I can nourish my research aspirations here too.”
So what does the IT domain have in store for managers of the future? Prof. Srikrishnan sheds light on the challenges and opportunities, saying, “Now there are opportunities that were unheard of ten years ago, but at the same time the path is filled with intense competition. Hence, students should have a career plan that leads them toward their professional goals. I also recommend working on one’s career, rather than just looking for money at the beginning. The first couple of years as a professional can be spent in building a career of one’s choice.”
The IT industry saw a meteoric rise before things dipped to a low during the global recession. With that scenario at the back of one’s mind, it’s only natural for aspirants to feel apprehensive of the future prospects. But Prof. Srikrishnan is optimistic, and he lays those doubts to rest: “The future is going to be very different, especially since around eight trillion dollars will be invested in Smart cities. In the world, there is one point seven trillion dollars worth of outsourcing possible now. Only two hundred billion of that is being used, which means there is big scope in the future.”
Prof. Srikrishnan also lays out the roadmap for future professionals in the industry by dividing it into Tier I, Tier II and Tier III companies. “Tier I companies are big names where things are generally safe,” he explains. “But you have to be on guard, technologically sound and constantly at your best in Tier II and III companies to survive.” SCMS Cochin does its part to help its students do that by imparting training through methods like PPT, video presentations and laboratory experience. This is the type of practical training that can help aspirants make the transition to the professional world.
Moreover, the institute focuses on placements for its students to make sure they have the best opportunities available to them. Prof. Srikrishnan reveals heartening facts about the industry and what employers are looking for in aspirants: “New companies are coming to the forefront and they are offering new roles like Business Analysts to students. We try to build a professional work ethic and team spirit amongst students so that they are appealing to the recruiters. IT is a process of continuous learning, updating your skills and being enterprising. Only then will you rise up the ladder of success.” With an impressive mix of industry experience and academic knowledge, Prof. Srikrishnan is a voice to listen to. His dedication can help students learn about the changing industry trends, and his knowledge can guide students as they transition into professional careers.