– Dr. Adya Sharma, director, SCMS Pune
Starting and managing a business takes a great amount of business knowledge and experience. Business graduates aspiring to lead an organisation or launch their own entrepreneurial ventures will need to learn not only to flourish but also how to survive through a crisis. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has impacted businesses in an unprecedented way and the top leadership of several businesses are taking a three pronged strategy to mobilise during the crisis, stabilise themselves and strategise future roadmap.
The ongoing pandemic induced crisis is a learning experience and a use case for budding managers and entrepreneurs. In order to climb up the corporate ladder, following are some of the essential skills that every business student should strive to acquire:
- Creative problem solving: It is important to be on the ball and respond to a situation quickly. In case of a crisis situation, it is a manager’s responsibility to be resilient and adapt to the situation. Attention to detail and the ability to resolve a problem efficiently is expected from a business graduate. Being able to analyse the pros and cons of the problem is essential to solve business problems.
- Interpersonal skills: A positive professional relationship goes a long way. Management is all about building networks and relationships. Your ability to connect, listen, empathise and thereby provide a solution, be it your subordinates or clients will help you achieve your targets more effectively.
- Curiosity and adaptability: The urge to learn something new, and being able to adapt to a changing environment helps you to tread the path to success. In a dynamic business environment, this skill will help you to freely express your ideas, thoughts, suggestions and be open to constructive feedback.
- Strategic thinking: Business graduates are expected to look at the bigger picture and be futuristic in their outlook. In order to achieve the organisation’s long term vision, strategic thinking abilities need to be developed. This will also enable you to encourage innovation in the organisation and ensure the tasks are delivered efficiently.
- Negotiation skills: As a manager or an entrepreneur, negotiation skills are inevitable. It comes in handy for a big or a small deal. You will find yourself doing it on a daily basis. Negotiation is one of the most crucial skills for running a business and is perfected with a lot of experience. It is best to start inculcating this skill during the early years of your career.
- Mentoring: Playing a supportive role for your subordinates is an essential skill. With experience comes a repertoire of learnings that your team needs to inculcate and know about. In order to train your subordinates and other employees for them to deliver tasks efficiently and perform better, training and mentoring is absolutely necessary.
In order to be industry ready, these are some of the skills that will help you gain confidence and also stand out in the crowd. While theoretical knowledge will help you understand the business operations better, the essential practical skills can be built and refined while in college through internships, practical training, peer learning and extracurricular pursuits.
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