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Plan-D For Management Students

To keep pace with the industry demand for digital savvy graduates and to align with the Industry 4.0, universities across the globe are adopting the education 4.0 model of education. The more intelligent the machine more is the need to produce better competencies to manage them.

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Student life is tough and careers are getting competitive day by day. Students need to gain competitive advantage over others to succeed in life. Traditional programs and courses are becoming irrelevant with most of the companies are hiring for skill sets which are in-demand for Industry 4.0 jobs. Therefore students need to align with the industry demand and make them industry relevant.

This needs a Plan-D (D=Digital). After all, this new world is digital. The 4th industrial revolution is impacting everyone across the globe. Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, big data and the Internet of things are bringing digitalization and connectivity to all components of the business value chain. This digitalization of processes is surely impacting the current intellectual intensive jobs. And success in the new digital world requires the right blend of business, IT and soft skills.

Digital technologies have changed the way we approach marketing.

The change in consumer behavior and buying process has reinvented the marketing planning wheel. Consumer’s digital footprints are leaving lot of data and information to be analyzed.  57% of the world’s population (41% of India’s) is now using the Internet with an average time of 7 hours per day. 2/3rd of the world population is using the mobile phones and post demonetization in India, e-commerce, m-commerce and mobile wallets fueled the buying and selling of goods and services. Money and data transfers on the Internet have led to proliferation of data and therefore it is more important for students to understand how consumer buy and consume on the Internet.  

The largest Year-on-Year growth in the Internet users happens to be in India (+21%). An average Indian spends more time (7.47 hours) using the Internet than the world average, of which 3.43 hours are spent on surfing on the mobile phones. Indians are consuming more online content than ever with the digital media subscriptions increasing by a whooping 262%. The over the top – OTT global platforms have developed local strategies to deliver digital content to the Indian audience. Netflix’s Sacred Games success transported the Indian digital content to the global audience, with 2/3rd of the viewing coming from outside India.

According to BCG, e-retail will account for 30-35% of the total retail sales in India. Beside convenience, there are many factors leading to consumers online spending, including discounts offered, ease of online payment platforms, delivery logistics and huge funding of the ecommerce platforms. To keep pace with the industry demand for digital savvy graduates and to align with the Industry 4.0, universities across the globe are adopting the education 4.0 model of education. The more intelligent the machine more is the need to produce better competencies to manage them.

The future skills

By 2020 there will be 56.5 million skilled manpower shortages, while India will have a labour surplus of 47million. The industry is in demand for “T-Shaped” Competencies, where vertical bar on the letter T represents the depth of specialized skills and expertise in a single field and the horizontal bar represents management competency across all management functional areas. Students are expected to continuously learn technological tools and digital strategies. Just as COBOL programmers had to learn C++ & Java, Secretarial staff has switched from typewriters and Dictaphones to computers and voice memos, shop floor workers have had to learn to operate robots, and creative people have moved from sketchpads to touchscreens and 3D modeling. Companies are paying more salaries to students who have either “technical skills” or  “Hybrid skills” – that combine technical expertise like digital with domain and systems expertise like marketing


Plan – D (Digital) for management students

Education 4.0 (with Plan-D) is a race between education and technology. And to keep in pace with the Industry 4.0, the education needs to catch up with the technological progress. Students need to be equipped with the digital technology tools in order to enhance their employability skills. More and more companies require graduates to be proficient in digital technologies. There has been a growing demand for digital marketing professionals who are equipped to ensure optimal return on investment (ROI) for marketing spend and to deliver valuable insights that drive better customer service. Students need to learn digital skills, which are most in-demand today: omni-channel marketing, marketing analytics, social media strategy and analysis, and data-driven customer-centric approaches to customer retention. The demand for digital marketing professionals cut across all sectors including Banking, Software, advertising, Retail, Media, Healthcare etc. 


In keeping pace with the industry requirement, universities across the globe are introducing digital marketing courses to their graduate and post-graduate programs. Harvard, MIT Sloan, University of Michigan, Wharton – all are offering certificate programs in Digital marketing on-campus or through edX online learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT. In India too Amity University, Noida has partnered with Accenture – a fortune 500 company to offer Digital Marketing specialization to their BBA students. Top recruiters like Accenture, Samsung, LG, Apple, Google, Microsoft, HP, Amazon, among others are looking to recruit management students with advanced study of the techniques used in the marketing of products or services using digital technologies.

Reminds me of a story which goes like this: Two friendssitting in the park and they hear the roar of a lion. One of the friends begins to put on his shoes. The other friend asked him, “What are you doing? “You can’t run away from a lion.” “I don’t have to,” the friend replied. “I just have to run faster than you.” So, Plan D – Digital is not about running fast but running faster than your competition. So wear your running shoes, get on your mark and get set, go.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Dr Gaurav Sood

The author is a brand communication professional, consultant and educator with two decade practice of creating strong brands

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