Dr. Gunjan Mohan Sharma has been an academic for over 12 years. A Ph.D. in Human Resources Management from Aligarh Muslim University, he calls teaching and research his twin passions. After a brief stint in the industry, getting back to the world of academia was an obvious choice for him. Having worked with top rated educational institutes, he currently serves as Assistant Professor at Jindal Global Business School.
Dr. Sharma has also taken on the responsibility of Programme Director, MBA at JGBS. He strongly believes in O.P. Jindal Global University’s interdisciplinary approach to learning and visionary thinking on education. We talked to him about the world of HR, his area of expertise, and the initiatives he has in mind for students at his B-School.
Q: Your last academic position was in Bengaluru. What made you travel across the length of the country to JGBS?
A: It was the B-School and the university over everything else that governed my decision. JGBS is a unique, forward-looking educational institution with strong interdisciplinary focus. It has raised the bar for higher education in India. In fact, it has got all the ingredients to be one of the best B-Schools not only in India but globally. My value system and experience fell very much in line with the ethos and academic planning of the institution. I am excited to be part of JGBS.
Q: What are the key subjects you teach at the institute and what is their relevance for future managers?
A: My specialization is in Human Resources Management. In the last few years, I have been exposed to the world of analytics as well. I try to stay updated on emerging practices that make HRM highly relevant to today’s business world. I teach courses on HR analytics, employee sentiment analysis, and social media analytics, which are vital for future managers. I also teach core HR subjects like People Management, Work Motivation, and Strategic Staffing because they constitute the bedrock of HRM.
Q: Apart from being a faculty member, you have taken on the responsibility of Programme Director at JGBS. What are the innovations and new moves one can expect from the programme next year?
A: To start with, we came up with a new curriculum structure that has two modules in a semester. It gives us the flexibility to expose students to a variety of challenging courses and keep them stay updated on industry trends and practices. We have also introduced new-age concepts like risk analytics, finance, marketing, and social media analytics. We are committed to provide students experiential learning in an academic environment which is highly inter-disciplinary, contemporary, and research focused.
Q: How do you keep your passion for academia burning after over a decade and what motivates you?
A: One thing I have learned while working on my Ph.D. is that you need to keep updating yourself constantly to stay relevant. I try to keep up with the latest industry practices and trends, which I can then teach my students. Being in the classroom and interacting with young minds bustling with ideas is also invigorating. It’s important to improvise and be empathetic towards students at all times.
Q: What is the key to being a successful academic?
A: A successful academic is one who not only stays relevant and current with industry practices, but also passes on learning to students and helps them imbibe essential skills to succeed in the corporate world. An academic must also instil in students the desire and capability to become global leaders with focus on sustainability and social responsibility.