Before you settle down for a tête-à-tête with Professor S. Krishna, shut your eyes, bend and twist your imagination a bit, let the visuals sink in, open you eyes and Voila! You could well find yourself in the company of Albert Einstein himself. Well, very nearly. He did a PhD in Theoretic Physics and as if that wasn't enough, he went on to do a PhD in Computer Science and had this yearning to consider a third. He gave up the idea then and best not to harp on that now lest the whole idea ignites again. His capacity to devour knowledge seems endless.
Professor Krishna's "baby" at IIM-B has been the highly successful Post Graduate in Software Management Program (PGSM). It's an executive MBA style program on the management of software enterprises and supposedly, the only one of its kind anywhere in the world. It brings together the expertise and capabilities of the IIM-B faculty to impart managerial education for software professionals. Simply put, the program is for "Techies" wanting to drum into themselves managerial capabilities and broaden their perspective beyond code.
"I've been very focused on the software industry for the last four-five years," says Professor Krishna as he explains the genesis of the program. With Indian software business growing rapidly and offering many opportunities globally, the need for a management program exclusively for software enterprises was felt. India's Silicon City, Bangalore, seemed perfect to make the beginning. "We took the Post Graduate Program (PGP) which is very well known and adopted it for the Software Management Program," says Professor Krishna. The response? "Fantastic," he adds triumphantly.
Come Friday and Saturday every week and the campus is active with 'weekenders' comprising of 120-odd "Techies" from giants like Infosys, Cisco, IBM, Oracle, TCS, Wipro, etc., going through the drill. The focus? Get to understand the management side of software companies. For many, it's a self-decision to basically develop managerial skills. At best, a 'Friday-Off' is the encouragement incentive they get from their companies. However, there are others who in fact sponsor their candidates. Here again, the objective is the same, 'dig-out' managerial talent besides technical prowess.
"I was totally unaware of the managerial side anyway. So, this program is actually guiding me and it'll be up to me to hone my skills and prove myself to the organization," says Arorama, a Technical Lead in a leading software company. Latha, who also works as a "Techie" for a software company opines that if one has the time then one should go through this program. She finds this very useful, as it's not specific to a company, rather more general. Ramya is confident that by learning a lot of things in this program she'll understand the manager's role better and given the opportunity "I'll be able to apply some of the things directly since it's kind of more clear to me now."
Professor Krishna's words resound very clear and very sure, "We don't want to do a second-rate program. We are focused on doing the best on long-term value."