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Understanding Business Management!

Understanding Business Management!

 

Businesses have become an indispensable component of the modern world. And the management of businesses is equally important to save resources, be more profitable and contribute to the societal welfare. Firstly we must understand the two important concepts of business and management. Business can be defined as all forms of trade, the exchange of goods and services with the intention of making a profit. In other words we can say business is an economic activity, which is related with continuous and regular production and distribution of goods and services for satisfying human wants. Humans fulfill these requirements from the retailer. The retailer gets from wholesaler. The wholesaler gets from manufacturers. The retailer, the wholesaler, the manufacturer are doing business and therefore they are known as Businessmen. Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources effectively and efficiently. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal. By resourcing we mean the deployment and manipulation of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources etc.

The possibilities for a business graduate are almost endless. We can see business management professionals working for small, medium as well as large establishments. One can secure a job in both public as well as private sectors. Business management professionals are needed in every industry be it primary, secondary or tertiary sectors. A career in business management can mean working in a startup, start our own business, or working with a large enterprise or even be a part of Fortune 500 companies. Business management is a very broad area, and we can certainly find a career that is a good fit for us as a Top executive, Plant Manager, Marketing manager, HR manager, Operations manager, Management analyst, Medical and Health services manager, Financial manager,  Accountant,  Product manager etc. We can find managers working in industries like manufacturing, information technology, telecommunications, banks and financial services, health care, pharmaceuticals and many more.

The skills developed on completion of the business management course may include better decision-making abilities, analytical and critical thinking, a creative approach to problem solving, an understanding of organizational behavior and structure, persuasive written and oral communication, the ability to research, interpret and use business and financial data, understand customer behavior, ability to manage time effectively, manage projects and resources, understanding of the dynamism of the business environment and be proactive and many more skills.……

Generally the business management professionals are involved in formulation of plans, strategies, policies and procedures that guide the business both on a daily and a long term basis. They are also responsible for the coordination of financial, human and material resources to achieve the objectives of the organization. One can expect substantial starting salaries after completing the business management degree. Degrees in this field will allow us to develop a broad understanding of business organizations and provide us with subject-specific knowledge in areas such as markets, customers, finance, operations, communication, information technology and business policy and strategy.

There a number of types of business degree which our aspirants can undertake. A good foundation for a career in business management is a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration (BBA) or Bachelors Degree in Business Management (BBM). Some institutes also offer Honors in Bachelors Degree in Business Administration (BBA). Students can also think of Masters degree and specialize in many areas like Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in marketing, MBA in finance, MBA in Human Resources, MBA in international business, MBA in supply chain and logistics, MBA in financial markets, MBA in accounting, MBA in leadership, MBA in hospital management, MBA in tourism management, MBA in Aviation and many more. There are also options available as MBA in dual specialization where students gain understanding of two areas (like marketing and finance, marketing and HRM, HRM and International Business, Marketing and International business etc.) and thus have more scope for job opportunities. Students can also think of pursuing higher studies like Doctorate or Postdoctoral degree in the area of business management.  Earning a Doctorate in this field can help students get ahead of the competition and land a high paying job or join a teaching profession.  Business management degree is very promising but students must explore the good options before making a final decision is very important.

(The author is – Assistant Professor, ITM University Gwalior and can be reached at: [email protected])

The decision of the Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, to walk across to the prime minister’s seat in the Lok Sabha and embrace Narendra Modi last Friday apparently took even his mother, Sonia Gandhi, by surprise. His supporters were quick to hail the “spur-of-the-moment” act as a political masterstroke. His detractors dismissed it as a cheap gimmick that, once again, underlined Rahul’s political “immaturity” and confirmed that he was no match for Brand Modi.

But for anyone who has followed Rahul Gandhi’s trajectory, the concluding words of his speech expressing gratitude to Narendra Modi as well as his unscripted gesture of embracing the prime minister were neither tactical nor theatrical. Rather, it marked an organic progression of a deeply personal battle that has now fused into a much bigger political objective.

Long before Narendra Modi came on the national scene, Rahul Gandhi struggled to overcome feelings of anger and hate. Like his father before him, Rahul was a reluctant politician. But Rajiv Gandhi had a very short political apprenticeship before being propelled into the post of prime minister after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. He did not have time to brood about the nature of politics and, in any case, was much too pragmatic and cheerful by nature, at least in the persona he portrayed to the public.

Sonia, too, initially refused to step into her husband’s shoes after his assassination in 1991 even though she was the Congress Working Committee’s first choice to lead the party. It was only in 1998, when the Congress appeared to be in terminal decline that she decided to take the plunge. Her success in keeping the party together, then winning a series of assembly elections and finally wresting power at the Centre after stitching together a coalition, sealed her position as the undisputed leader in her own right. For the Congress rank and file, the Nehru-Gandhi family was the glue that kept it together – never mind the incessant attacks on “dynasty”.

In light of this experience, everyone knew that it was only a matter of time before Rahul Gandhi would also be impelled to join, and then lead, the Grand Old Party. But unlike his charismatic sister or charming father, Rahul took a long time getting used to politics. Despite having politics in his blood as it were, Rahul came across as gauche and awkward, not at all at ease with the glib and smooth-talking ways that come so naturally to men and women engaged in the cold-blooded pursuit of power. He was no “people’s person” either, the kind who just love the adrenaline rush that comes from addressing mass rallies, from offering patronage and receiving adulation in return.

Rahul’s formal entry into politics with an election victory from the family borough, Amethi, in 2004 also coincided with the return of the Congress – as head of the United Progressive Alliance coalition – to power. But he refused to join the government, and his sporadic comments against the “system” made him an object of ridicule. He focused on revamping the Youth Congress, and later the Congress – efforts that earned him more opprobrium. It seemed hypocritical for someone born to privilege, to the most powerful political dynasty in the country, to talk of democratizing the Congress and making it an instrument for social change – when the Congress was synonymous with the Establishment and had long ceased to be the open platform it had been in the pre-Independence era.

As the UPA’s decade-long innings came to a close, the attacks on it – and on Rahul – from a resurgent Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party became fiercer. Rahul was cast as the know-nothing “Pappu”, a man without talent or vision, thrust into a position of leadership by the virtue of his birth. A presidential battle between Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi, a prominent public intellectual declared, was a “no-contest”. Modi would win hands down. He did.

But despite all the ridicule, Rahul made it repeatedly clear – both before and after 2014 – that he was not in politics for the power and pelf of office; power for its own sake held no charm for him, he had seen it up close and personal, and had been tormented and traumatized by it. At the Jaipur session of the Congress in January 2013 when he was elected the vice-president of the party, he famously said, “Last night everyone congratulated me. But last night my mother came to my room and she sat with me and she cried. Why did she cry? She cried because she understands that the power so many seek is actually a poison… The only antidote to this poison is for all of us to see it for what it really is and not become attached to it.”

On other occasions, he has spoken of the anger and pain he suffered after his grandmother and his father were assassinated. For Modi and millions of his supporters, the Congress president may be the dynast greedy for power. But Rahul thinks of himself – and his sincerity is obvious even to cynics – as someone burdened by a cruel destiny who must overcome his personal demons and then take on the bigger challenges that fate has bestowed on him.

At the same Jaipur speech, Rahul spoke of these demons. “When I was a little boy,” he said, “I loved to play badminton. I loved it because it gave me balance in a complicated world. I was taught how to play, in my grandmother’s house, by two of the policemen who protected my grandmother. They were my friends. Then one day they killed my grandmother and took away the balance in my life. I felt pain like I had never felt before.”

Addressing a rally in Churu in October 2013, he once again referred to the experience and how it took 10-15 years to get rid of the anger he felt towards his grandmother’s assassins. He went on to say, “After Indira’s assassination, there was only anger all around. Today, that anger has disappeared from the minds of our Sikh brothers. It takes minutes to start anger but years to get rid of it.”

More recently, at an interaction with Indian Institute of Management alumni in Singapore in March 2018, he, once again, drew from personal memory to make a larger political point. Rahul said both his sister and he were very upset and hurt and angry after their father was killed but had now “completely” forgiven the killers.

Elaborating, he said, “I remember when I saw Mr Prabhakaran [the chief of the LTTE, the organization which assassinated Rajiv Gandhi] on TV lying dead, I got two feelings – one was why are they humiliating this man in this way. And second was that I felt really bad for him and for his kids and I did that because I understood deeply what it meant to be on the other side of that thing.”

“So to me,” Rahul said, “when I see violence, regardless of who it is, I know that there is a human being behind that, there is a family behind that, a kid crying behind that.”

But even after transforming his own feelings of anger and hate into forgiveness and empathy, Rahul was still floundering for a role in public life that went beyond pedestrian power play. The last four years that have witnessed an exponential rise in hate crimes and hate speech, in the spread of venom and vitriol, in the daily assaults on the ideals of liberty and fraternity, of pluralism and diversity have provided Rahul with a purpose, a mission. It is no longer about his personal traumas, dwelling on which seemed to others an act of self-pity and self-indulgence. Suddenly, his canvas has become much bigger, his “love conquers all” message more urgent. And if he has found the heart to forgive the assassins of those he loved the most, surely he can reach out to political adversaries who merely abuse him?

That explains why Rahul thanked Modi so profusely for “teaching me my religion, teaching me the meaning of Shivji” – an allusion, perhaps, to Lord Shiva drinking poison for a greater good. That explains Rahul’s heartfelt hug for Modi.

The Congress president may often seem awkward and bumbling even if sincere and well-meaning; he lacks the 56-inch muscularity, the killer instinct to be Modi’s sole political alternative. But with his ringing message of love and compassion, Rahul Gandhi has gone beyond politics as we know it. He has risen to become the singular moral antithesis to Narendra Modi…

The ‘future’ of Pakistan’s new boss

Some 106 million Pakistanis are eligible to cast their votes on July 25 in what has been billed as the country’s most significant general election since the military ceded power back to civilians a decade ago. But it is a landmark poll for all the wrong reasons.

Rather than reflecting the will of the people, the result is expected to yield an ungainly coalition engineered by army generals, with the support of a clearly partisan judiciary and a thoroughly manipulated media.

So further instability beckons for one of China’s closest allies, and with it the threats to Beijing’s showpiece Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – despite reassurances extended by Pakistan’s military to worried diplomats.

Under intense pressure, dozens of candidates have switched loyalties to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of former cricket star and playboy Imran Khan, the prospective prime minister favoured by the army bosses.

Many other politicians have disowned nominations from political parties ruled by the dynasties that have resisted the overbearing military for decades. Some have formed new regional political parties and pressure groups.

Militant Islamists are also active ingredients in this potent mix. They are all expected to converge around Khan after the results are tallied, even if the PTI fails to emerge as the largest party, to form an administration which would unquestioningly advance the political agenda of the military, even though the military insists that it has no favourites.

This anticipated outcome hinges on efforts to dissuade voters from backing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the party of ousted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. He has tried to reinvigorate the campaign by playing the victim and returning home from London to serve a 10-year prison sentence on a corruption case, but he is unlikely to succeed. Candidates who have remained loyal to Sharif have barely been able to mount campaigns in their respective constituencies and have been subjected to persistent intimidation by intelligence operatives.

But much would depend on what happens on polling day itself. If Sharif’s supporters turn out in force, his party could still pull it off. Not allowing him to form government in such a scenario would rob the election of any remaining vestiges of credibility, as would any attempt to steal the election through the 371,000 soldiers and reservists manning it.

Pakistanis have seen it all before. No elected prime minister has ever been allowed to fulfil a full five-year tenure in office. They have been unceremoniously dumped and replaced by the military’s hand-picked nominees, such as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and prime minister in the 1970s, and Sharif himself in the 1980s.

When one of these puppets has subsequently sought to cut their strings after coming into power, they have been overthrown by another, invariably in partnership with the military and judiciary – as was the case throughout the 1990s.

Since the military dictatorship of Pervez Musharraf in the 2000s, however, the Sharif and Bhutto dynasties have worked intermittently to trim the role of the military. This has motivated Musharraf’s successors to seek to dispense with them altogether and replace them with a new favourite – Khan.

However, there is no reason the military would treat him any differently, were he to become the prime minister. Many of the PTI’s candidates are recently inducted turncoats with no ideological commitment to the “change” Khan keeps talking about. The other feudal landlords and religious extremists whose support Khan would need to form a government would also invariably undermine any major move, not to mention the vengeful politicking by the established political parties he has helped to sideline.

Already, there are murmurs within pro-military circles that Khan’s demagoguery and personal conduct makes him unfit to lead a nuclear power. These may not prevent him from becoming prime minister, but it augurs ill for the longevity of his tenure.

The military’s divide-and-conquer strategy has all but rendered the general election pointless. Whatever the outcome, major segments of society will feel robbed, adding to the slow-burning public discontent with interference in the democratic process.

It may not spark any immediate political unrest, as the social and political fault lines are too pronounced to support a unified resistance against the military. Fears of reprisals are also too palpable to be ignored.

But trouble is brewing, and at some point a constitutional crisis could arise that no amount of domestic political engineering – or Chinese-funded development – can stop.

ONLINE EDUCATION: THE WAY FORWARD

By Dr.Tasaduk Hussain Itoo

Online education has seen significant growth recently. It is one of the most important aspects in today’s education domain. Online education has taken away the limitations of sitting in a classroom for learning. It takes away the hindrances such as transportation, location, accessibility and cost.

Online education has revolutionised the way we look at education. India ranks second only behind the United States in terms of online enrollments, comprising of over 15 percent of students worldwide. These students get access to some of the best courses around the world and get skilled in various domains. Many universities now offer distant online education bringing the best instructors and professors into the homes of students.

BENEFITS OF ONLINE EDUCATION

Online education comes with a number of benefits, which why it is attracting a number of students towards it.

ACCESSIBILITY: One of the best things about the online education structure is that a student is not limited to a geographical location to attend a course. The fact that a student can pick a course from any country and, successfully, complete it in the comfort of their home makes these courses very popular.

You can pick the program of your dreams in traditional education, too, but that would involve traveling away from home, living in a completely unknown city, and struggling in an extremely competitive learning environment.

COST  EFFECTIVENESS: Since these courses do not require students to physically attend the class, it is a cheaper alternative that enables people to learn at lower costs. While some people believe that online education is not as effective as traditional education systems, the truth is that these courses are just as affective and enable students to understand and learn the course in the right manner.

QUALITY: Getting educated from the best teachers without a limitation of space, time or money, gives it an undeniable edge over the traditional system of education. Forums like Unacademy, Khan Academy, Byju’s, iTutor etc are gaining huge popularity. One thing is for sure. The future belongs to e-learning.

AUTHENTICITY: A number of people believe that an online degree does not hold as much value as a traditional degree, however this is not true. The degree holds just as much value and how you perform on the online course helps to shape your career.

FLEXIBILITY: The fact that a student gets to choose what, when, how much to study empowers him beyond measure. The variety of courses available on these platforms offers a huge canvas to the learner’s community. Online education does not come with any restrictions and students from varied backgrounds can opt for these courses. Forget about attending classes for hours, sitting in an uncomfortable chair, and suffering from back pain by the end of the day. You will not be bound to physical class session when you opt for online education. All lectures and needed materials are provided via online platforms, so you’ll easily access them from the comfort of your home. You will not take public transport to get to campus, you won’t have to spend money on gas for your car, you won’t have to get up early to get dressed for class, the list of conveniences goes on and on.

AFFORDABILITY: The fact that online programs are cheaper when compared to the ones held in a traditional campus setting is enough to convince you to consider them. any online courses are completely free of charge. Unacademy , India’s largest online learning platform, for example, offers all course materials online without any charges. Free courses don’t usually come with certificate of completion, but they are still more than useful for anyone who wants to learn from prestigious educators.

HUGE  SCOPE: Owing to the steady economic growth and globalisation, education in India is no longer just a teacher talking to a bunch of students in a classroom. With more than 370 million internet users and hundreds of local as well as global business tycoons willing to invest in the future of education, online education in India has picked up pace. In fact, the e-learning market in the country is estimated to be worth more than $3 billion.

LEARNING THE “UNACADEMY” WAY

Unacademy, India’s largest online education platform -has come up with a best EDTECH START UP in the current times that is going to change the entire education scenario in the world. The platform has as many as 14,000 educators all over the world that are creating best online content for learners. The platform serves as a good platform in empowering the educators both academically and professionally. The impact is huge for educators who can impact millions of students around the globe. The platform focusses on preparations of all prestigious examinations conducted at national or state level like UPSC CSE, SSC CGL, BANK EXAMS, IIT JEE, NEET etc. At present, the platform has 3,00,000 lessons with more than 3 million users. It provides as a comfortable and easiest education platform for learners who can download “Unacademy Learning App” from their Google Play Store or visit Unacademy website in Google ,follow educators of their concern there and learn from them.

TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT IN ONLINE EDUCATION

A few years back information and communication technologies like virtual classrooms and online tutorials were introduced into the education system as a means to make quality education affordable and accessible to all. The government launched various projects such as National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) and National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) on this front.

In such a scenario, massive open online courses (MOOCs) are seen as a tool that can address the challenges of learners in developing countries like India. According to experts in the education sector, MOOC has emerged as a significant tool to combat employability skills challenge by providing free access to customised courses from best of the teachers and universities across the globe. Moreover, many universities are now designing customised lectures and curriculum for MOOC platforms, which are freely available online. Riding on this wave, Oxford University too has launched a course on MOOC platform.

Easy accessibility to the high-speed internet on mobile phones and an increase in demand for skilled workforce have acted as the prime factors. Coursera and edX are among the top global MOOC providers. edX offers more than 1,330 courses from over 110 global institutions, whereas Coursera has partnership with 146 of the world’s universities and offers over 1,700 courses and more than 160 specialisations. From over 10 million global learners at edX, 1 million are from India. Coursera, on the other hand, has more than 23 million global learners, of which 1.8 million are from India, overtaking China to become the second-largest market for the company. India has always been a priority market for edX. Along with offerings from tier 1 global institutes, edX also has strong partnerships with Indian Institutions like IIT Bombay, IIM Bangalore, and BITS Pilani, and blended learning partners like  NIIT and Pearson to impart job-ready skills to learners.

CAN MOOC’s REPLACE CLASSROOM LEARNING IN FUTURE?

MOOCs will not replace universities, but rather enhance the quality of education by incorporating blended learning. In future, education will be either blended or fully online. Pure face-to-face education will exist only in history books. In blended classrooms, the on-campus university course can leverage the power of MOOCs to free up classroom time for interactive collaboration and discussion, testing and problem-solving. This model creates better efficiencies in the classroom and can foster a better quality of education overall for the money.

In conclusion, it can be undeniably said that the future belongs to online education. Online courses and degree programs are more convenient and cheaper than their counterparts in traditional education. Those are the two main advantages of online learning that lead many students to opt for online platforms when they want to earn a degree or certificate.

The best thing about online learning is that you can learn in a relaxed manner even if you don’t want to get certified. You only need passion for learning and a quick online search that will take you to the right course. From that point on, you will be the master of your own education.

 (The writer is a Medical Doctor / Activist /Educator at Unacademy, India’s largest online education platform. Email: [email protected])

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