When a professional leaves the security of a government job to shift into academics, he does so only because he is truly dedicated to teaching and learning. Dr. Masood H. Siddiqui quit his job as statistical officer for the UP government after three years of service. He believed he was better suited to the calling of a teacher.
In 2005, Dr. Siddiqui joined Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow. He now has 13 years of teaching experience in Quantitative Analysis, Operations Research, Research Methodology and Data Analysis behind him. Dr. Siddiqui’s approach to the course is completely aligned with business and industry. While teaching at Jaipuria Lucknow, Dr. Siddiqui realised that courses like decision-science are not very popular among the students because they are perceived as complex and mathematical. He decided to evolve a methodology to make the course more acceptable and student-friendly without diluting its content. As he puts it, “The objective has been to develop the conceptual clarity and understanding for objective decision-making without making it complex.”
Dr. Siddiqui also identified that these courses were seen as non-core management courses and not very useful in dealing with real business situations. He says, “These complexities and dogmatism have distanced the students and future managers from these subjects and they are opting out of such courses in almost all management institutes, including the top-ranking ones.” This trend, however, is creating gaps in the globalised world of business. The competition is tough and management by intuition is no longer enough. He thinks “A need is being felt for ‘numbers’ to support intuitions and some enhanced analytical and logical tools to support the decisions being made.”
He points out another change in the environment – knowledge process outsourcing – that makes it necessary for students to build these competencies. The objective of the decision science courses is to understand the environment surrounding the problem, to figure out what the problem really is, analyze the available courses of action and choose the best one available.
Uncertainty in the business scenario makes the task of choosing the appropriate solution difficult. Dr. Siddiqui has turned this problem into a solution for the students. He shifted the focus from theory, statistical tools and concepts to the quest for answers to the questions that were raised! “We managed to change the very nature of questions arising in the minds of the students and successfully imparted rational answers to those questions. Hence the curiosity in the students’ minds was logically addressed.”
The students have appreciated the innovative teaching method and Dr. Siddiqui is reveling in the success. His only wish is to continue to inspire generations of students with the subjects he loves.