Value Creation in Education

In my last note I wrote about Value Creation in non B-schools. I met with Dr Kavita Sharma, Director of the India International Center, and formerly Principal of the prestigious Hindu College of Delhi. I paraphrase our conversation and Kavita’s comments.

Kavita told me that before we start to look at how to create value for students, we must understand what value means to them. Value is very personal: it is a feeling of a sense of fulfilment. And some of it comes from a sense of ownership (of one’s life or job), a sense of involvement, of fulfilling a vision (if you have one).

For a student, it could be “am I employable?” and value creation could help him with “how can I become employable?”

And so campus interviewers have to ask what the student considers value and how will you create value? What are you passionate about? What keeps you or will keep you awake at night?

And for employees it is a sense of involvement that creates value for them. The employee’s sense of ownership adds value to the company What can I do to make my job better and get better results for the company, how do I take pride in doing things better? How do I take the extra step?

How does one marry the individual aspiration to the organisational aspiration? And to create Value?

As an example, a business owner’s child may wish to make films, but the father can only see the kid in his business. Both have to understand the key to adding value for each other.

So teachers and executives have to go through refresher courses, and understand the question of value creation. And they have then to suggest how students can use the learnings of the course to create value for themselves and their employer and society at large. And students should start to think about value creation as their role rather than just to be subject learners.

What do you think about “Value Creation” as a part of education system? Your comments are welcome.


Call at (+91) 9971288580

Gautam Mahajan, President-Customer Value Foundation
M: +91 9810060368
Tel: 11-26831226, Fax: 11-26929055


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5 Comments on “Value Creation in Education”

  1. Going through the content of your mailer “Value Creation in Education” and the outcome of your discussions with Dr Sharma, I couldn’t hold myself back and thus would want to share my personal experience with you.

    My son, who was reasonably good in his studies, post his engineering and his joining as a trainee at Wipro, came to have discussions with his mother and me and stated ” Dad you have wasted my 4 years, I couldn’t be sitting at desk 9 to 5 and writing these stupid codes” My wife was upset and on the contrary I was feeling happy. Happy, because for the 1st time I realize I am talking to an adult, I am talking to a person who has been able to figure out what does he want to do in his life. I took the discussions forward and ask him what do you want to do? he said I want to set up a venture into adventure tourism, again he experience two different expressions, contrary to his expectation, I said good, I am happy, but how would you want to do it, He said give me a week, but meanwhile allow me to resign from my job. My response was it is your life does what you feel best to do but be aware of the consequences.

    The boy came back after a week, gave me a presentation and a video to watch, going through the material I had tears in my eyes< i hugged him, i was seeing a young adult who has suddenly become man. A man who has develop the ability to see the value in something what he loves to do and i.e. "to be fit" He immediately knew what I would want him to do, since that day till today he is been following his dream, his love and is exactly doing what he wrote in his project report.

    To begin with he wanted to tell the world that I have potential to deliver what I am promising to deliver, He has done 4 mountains. About 50,000 Km of solo cycling… martial art black belt …..Cross fit level 2 trainer – attained a world rating in fitness. Now he has begin his own venture in partnership with another bright kid and has established cross fit box, once he will see the success he wants to establish somewhere near rishikesh a health and fitness park for professionals like us.

    The purpose of writing this mail is not to tell you how good I am or my son is, purpose is, our today's education system should enable the kids to dream and bring in the ability, strength and courage to find value in what they dream about, If I would have put pressure on him to continue pursuing what I felt good for him, I would have seen perhaps a not so successful professional but now in him I see a person full of confidence, passion and an extremely cheerful happy and perhaps a successful human being.

    Mr Dinesh Chhabra
    Chief Executive Officer
    Usha international

  2. We can create value for students and their parents if they can be provided right guidance for school leaving stage to select right course an college, and for those in college ( to volunteer/intern) to improve their employability quotient, and help them from spending money on coaching (large sums are spent without any return).

    I do that in my small way, but the response at the right stage is not encouraging.

    Same people come back later, and say how they can turn the clock back and heed to the advice/suggestion provided.

    Things are better in the better colleges and institutes, but they are not even 0.5% if look at India.

    Except for the metro towns, situation is pathetic.

    Mr DD Maheshwari
    Vice President
    Jubilant Organosys Ltd

  3. My suggestions are follow:

    · Any student finally goes for either a job or a Business.

    · User Industry for either Job/Business is Manufacturing/Services/Agriculture Sector..They will be final users of student skills either in terms of Job/Business.

    · So professional in these sectors should very clearly specify what skills the 360 degree matrices they are looking from potential employees or Business Owners.

    · Based on very thorough feedback from the Horses mouth further action to be taken by academician to devise courses taking into account both Job/Business segment.

    · Whatever they design get it vetted by the top professionals in these sectors, Because they are the best judge.

    · Then they can always take back feedback from students also as icing on the cake.

    Mr Gurminder Dhir
    Head (Commercial/Sales,Marketing,BD)
    Geosteel LLC

  4. I fully agree with you. “Value creation” has to be part of Indian education system and the same needs to be done not by the faculty of the college – but by the industry itself.

    Whenever I interact with College students as a part of mock interviews / student’s HR assessment / Advisory board / Internal Quality Assurance team, value for the students is “a job that will give them higher salary”. Nothing wrong in it but sometimes violation of business ethics also does not matter in achieving this goal.

    Hence to inculcate the correct values as expected by the industry while working, the Industry should interact with the school / college students and guide them properly on continuous basis.

    Mr Samir Palsule
    Voltas Limited

  5. Thanks for your mail. It is indeed an important subject and the conversation that you have described does touch upon question bothering many of us both as individuals and also as parents.

    To put in simple terms value creation in every educational activity is a must. Let me explain.

    In all discussions in business today we always focus on eliminating “non-value added” activities to make the structure /process lean, efficient etc. Essentially we are saying that we have no resources to spend (read waste) on non-value added activities. In educational world this resource for students is certainly time (in many cases money too). For educational institute it could be many more things including manpower.

    Let me also say that the conversation suggests that there is a disconnect between educational institutes and businesses, which is dangerous but true. It is almost like designing /manufacturing a product, hoping that customer may finally like the same. Obviously the results in many cases will be sub optimal.

    Having said this it is obvious that educational institutes must first prepare students to understand various options and then also encourage them to learn more about the choice they have made and in turn make them ready for the same. In that sense the process is more like first part of value creation is linked to making informed decision and then off course making yourself ready to take the plunge.

    Last but not the least we still look at education as first step to get into good career and in turn good life. To a great extent today it kills creativity, some genuine research, and also discourages professions (like social services) which could be very satisfying to many individuals. However I guess that is beyond scope of this discussion.

    Would be happy to stay connected on this or other activities that you are leading.

    Anil Sathe
    Sr. GM – Supply Chain (Products Business)
    Blue Star limited

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