Dipak C. Jain, marketing guru and former dean of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and INSEAD, the leading B-school in France, sees niche specialisations emerging in business management . He foresees growth for every sector where there is “human touch” because “human touch cannot be outsourced.”
Currently the director of Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration in Bangkok, Thailand, he spoke to Business Today over phone on what is engaging his attention at the moment. He says, “the competitive pressure is so huge today that in my research I see that you don’t have the luxury to wait to launch a new product because things like buyer behaviour for instance are changing all the time. Therefore companies need to be proactive rather than reactive.” What this means, he says, is that companies need to be constantly innovating and focusing on the service component. “Products can very soon become like commodities with many making similar offerings. So how you create differentiation becomes important and here I think service is going to play a crucial role.”
In terms of sectors where he sees more action, he says, “since people are living longer this means there will be more demand for tourism, which means airlines have a bright future because people will travel. Then, there will be need for hospitality, media and entertainment and of course for those who offer healthcare and wealthcare because as you live longer you also need to plan and manage your wealth”.
In healthcare, he says, the focus will be more on consumer wellness and “here it will be more about ways to keep people healthy, important in times where people retire early.”
In terms of areas of interest and specialisations in business management that he sees emerging and ones that will be in demand, he says: “my view is in future, we will see more action in functional areas of specialisation like MBA in healthcare marketing, or real estate, technology and innovation and of course, entrepreneurship. People will seek specialisations in these areas as they look today for finance, marketing, operations and HR (human resources).”
In terms of perceptions about India, where there is scope for improvement, he says that “our problem is (lack of) consistency at all levels.” Second, “we tend to have a more outcome-centric mindset than being process-centric.” This means the focus is more on getting a work done. In order to ensure there is focus on process and on the right way of doing it, he feels, there should be clear and severe penalties that can act as deterrents.
Jain also serves as an Independent Director on boards of leading companies such as John Deere Company and Reliance Industries.