Interview with Prof. S. Krishna, Founder & Chairperson GSM Academy
Global Strategy and Management (GSM) Academy was founded in 2012 by the well-known IIM-B professor Dr. S Krishna, who with his in-depth academic knowledge and global experience foresaw the dearth of strategic global knowledge and management skills needed by the new age international managers, CEOs and entrepreneurs.
About the Program
The Program Advanced Masters Program in Global Strategies (AMPGS) focuses on solving new age corporate challenges and issues across the world through global strategies & management and is structured with specialization in local contexts of the major markets.It offers a blended training module through instructor led classroom discussions, presentations, case studies, business simulations, group discussions, field visits which encapsulate India, China, Europe and USA business systems. This unique, high value program is held with sessions on campuses of top rated global business schools like UCLA Anderson, California USA, SDA Bocconi Milan, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China and International Technology Park, India with industry visits in these dynamic business regions.
Prof. Krishna is acclaimed for introducing the Post Graduate Programme in Software Enterprise Management (PGSEM) at IIMB for developing managerial and leadership skills in the software industry. This program was rated amongst top 25 non-US programs by the international magazine ‘Business Week’. Prof. Krishna has been a visiting faculty at Cambridge Judge Business School, Cambridge University, the London School of Economics and the Copenhagen Business School. Prof. Krishna, founder and chairperson of the GSM Academy, holds doctorates in Computer Science and Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K).
We get in touch with Professor Dr. S Krishna to understand how this program is useful to entrepreneurs. Read on.
How is this program useful for Entrepreneurs?
As a startup, it is important to explore where the market is, before starting up. Some companies can be born global. For example, Sasken started with contract with Nortel. My hope is that, students of this program can do that. Sometimes, they come very close to that. As part of program, my students attend the programs and benefit immensely,the scale you get is enormous.
Difference between India & Silicon Valley is the dynamism. People are all worked up, and the market is willing to explore. Indian market is neither that fast nor that big. Outside markets in that sense, are worthwhile to explore that opportunities.
This program opens your eyes to that opportunities, in terms of markets, ideas, competition in terms of business models. In fact, there is quite lot of focus towards entrepreneurship.
The program gives a degree of sophistication for the entrepreneur. We had Mr. Vijay Manwani conduct a workshop at Milan on the topic of ‘Innovation & Entrepreneurship’, where he described his journey of serial entrepreneur.
2 years is not what an entrepreneur can spend time on. This program is targeted for extremely busy people, who want to learn quickly but then want to have a fairly complete knowledge of business.
For a startup, one of the biggest issues is money. Isn’t the program expensive?
A regular program in UCLA costs thrice. Because of my personal contacts with people interested in entrepreneurship, I can manage to get the program at such a low cost. Most of my participants have derived value out of the program, even before completing it in entirety. If you have a job, and an entrepreneurial idea – better get a job loan, and spend some time preparing for it.
Who is the ideal target for this program?
This program is ideal for family businesses. They cannot go the conventional MBA route, MBA is a standard product – every good business school follows the same textbooks. Students want to be graded uniformly, and the faculty in business schools are constrained in being innovative. The program provokes innovative thinking, with the standard tools. We give whole set of Indian text books, and the students have access to outstanding teachers who can clear their doubts.
What is your selection criteria?
It is a fallacy to think most entrepreneurs are young. We usually take batches of roughly 15 people and our participants are generally 30+. If they are young, they have to convince us they can derive value out of it. This is not traditional MBA course, that will give you placement. Occasionally, we had people who join before 30, but the general age group is 30-45.
Once they submit the resume, have a one-on-one interview. After the interview, they need to make statement of purpose, telling us how they will benefit from the program.
Why did the re-branding from AMPM to AMPGS happen?
AMPM started in 2007, as an outcome of research project I had with people in Hongkong and Europe. In a sense, the alumni of 2 programs is combined. The rebranding happened because of issues at management level.
Also, we did make some changes to the original program. For example, 10-day visit to US posed problems for our participants , as they could not apply for tourist visa. Now, we have tweaked the duration to a week’s time for visitor visa to go through.
Also, earlier the faculty at international destinations taught the modules as part of program. Now, all the live teaching is done by excellent IIM faculty, and the context is provided by International Faculty. A few collaborations have changed.
However, the basic structure of class going from place to place and getting global management learning is the same.
TTP’s take on GSM Academy and AMPGS
As I speak with Dr. S Krishna, one thing is evident – If you are from a family business looking to go global or have good corporate experience with an entrepreneurial idea – this program will immensely benefit you. Given the fact that, the average age of participant is above 30, and titles such as VP and Director make up the students, it would help build contacts on a global and local level.
If your startup idea is Global and you would like to explore the market in various countries before taking the plunge – this might be a good place to start. For a bootstrapping startup in its initial years of operation – the money is better spent on acquiring customers.