Radhika Shrivastava, Executive Director, Fortune Institute of International Business

Ms. Radhika Shrivastava is the Executive Director at the Fortune Institute of International Business (FIIB). She brings over two decades of unique past experiences and achievements to this role, with nearly 14 years dedicated to leadership in business education. With a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Tufts University, USA, and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB), Radhika began her career with the global consulting firm Deloitte Consulting in Philadelphia, PA. Radhika later worked with the International Finance Corporation in Washington, DC, for over 9 years as an investment professional in the manufacturing sector. She is presently a Doctoral candidate at the Henley Business School, UK. As the executive director, Radhika has been providing strategic direction and vision at FIIB since 2009.

The biggest lesson Radhika has taken throughout her career trajectory is that there is no substitute for hard work. The next lesson was learning is a continuous process. Even today, she continues to learn from everyone she meets, believing that learning can come from anybody and anywhere. She also considers having a very strong value system to be important as it acts as a moral compass while facing conflicts at any point in life. To sum it up, Radhika’s core values and unique past experiences have helped shape her into the extraordinary leader she is today.

FIIB: Empowering the Next Generation of Business Leaders

Established in 1995, FIIB has emerged as one of the top B-schools in Delhi NCR, focusing on delivering a holistic, future-focused education. In addition to being approved by AICTE and accredited by NBA and equivalent to MBAs by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), and a proud member of AACSB Business Education Alliance, USA, and EDAMBA – European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management & Business Administration, all of FIIB’s programs (PGDM, Ph.D., and Executive Development Program) share the advantages of the institution’s unique combination of rigor and relevance. An eminent network of advisors, an engaged alum community, deep corporate connections, game-changing experiential opportunities, a flexible and industry-driven curriculum, a faculty cohort that combines academic prestige with real-life experience, and above all, a highly collaborative community of peers, supporters, and mentors define FIIB’s modern campus located in the heart of Delhi.

Reflecting on FIIB’s successful journey, Radhika shares, “FIIB has achieved a 25-year plus tradition in delivering a learning experience that is rigorous, relevant, and rewarding. And I am sure that FIIB will continue to advance the practice of management through its programs, centers, and partnerships and, ultimately, become the leading global business school recognized for excellence in management education.”

Major Initiatives Taken Towards Making FIIB a World-Class Business School

In the last 20+ years, Radhika has emerged as an inspiring leader and has passionately contributed to improved standards of management education in the Indian context through her school and work. As a result of her untiring efforts, FIIB has been recognized by various prominent academies for its unique initiatives. To name a few; launching a student-first, working-executive doctoral program that is the first of its kind in India, transitioning FIIB from teaching-based to research-based by revitalizing the research ecosystem at FIIB and making it impact-driven, establishing a high-performance work culture within an academic setting, and installing a truly women-led organization.

Besides these initiatives, Radhika has imbibed sustainability as a thought, philosophy, and action point to FIIB. She firmly believes that an educational institute is for the greater good of society and has thus been facilitating responsible management education practices, increasingly linking business education with social objectives.

Educational Reforms: The Need of the Hour

The first thing Radhika considers essential is to shift the focus from simply memorizing and regurgitating information to a more holistic approach that emphasizes critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. This would require a shift in the assessment methods that are currently used, as well as a greater emphasis on project-based learning and experiential learning. The second thing she believes is to be more supportive and provide resources for teachers and professors to improve their teaching skills and stay current with technological advancements. This would involve more investment in professional development opportunities and incentives for educators to continuously improve their teaching practices.

Thirdly, there needs to be more focus on equity and access in education. The education system needs to address the disparities that exist among different communities and ensure that every student has access to high-quality education regardless of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender, or other factors. Lastly, there should be more emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and collaborations that advance the practical side. The complex challenges leaders face today require a multifaceted approach that draws on knowledge and skills from different areas. Hence, the education system needs to be structured to foster and encourage this type of learning.

Turning Mistakes into Learning Opportunities

Over the course of her career, Radhika agrees to have made a few errors, but each of them has made her journey more meaningful. The most unexpected lesson she learned was during the early days of her career when she was leading a small team on a critical project. Looking back in time, Radhika states, “As a ‘good’ leader facing a stiff timeline, I jumped into the task and made all the decisions. However, that was a mistake as I needed to listen to my team members and empower them to make decisions and take ownership of their work.” This lesson has continued to stay with her throughout her career and has helped her become a better leader for career growth.

Learning from this and other mistakes that she has made, Radhika has emerged as an inspiring leader with a talent for rallying teams around a shared purpose, creating a strong sense of belonging and collaboration, as well as encouraging stretch thinking with a deep focus on action, and leading to proven organizational successes and results.

Thoughts on the Status of Women in Leadership

In Radhika’s opinion, women bring a unique perspective to the field of education. They should be celebrated for their accomplishments and given the support they need to reach their full potential. As a woman in the education sector, she draws attention to the fact that there are still disparities between men and women regarding access to resources and opportunities. It is, therefore, essential to continue highlighting and addressing these issues to create a more equitable environment for women.

Therefore, to increase the number of Indian women in leadership roles, Radhika highlights the need for a shift in attitudes and recognition of women’s value in leadership roles. This can be done through programs and initiatives to raise awareness of the importance of gender parity in leadership positions. Additionally, there needs to be more investment in the education of women. This includes creating more scholarships and fellowships for women in higher education and providing mentorship and training programs for women.

A Day in the Life of a Leader

Radhika’s day at work differs as per the demands and priorities that need her urgent attention. However, her typical day is usually filled with spending quality time with family over breakfast and dinners, team huddles on ambitious projects, meetings with external stakeholders, review of proposals, and other documentation with a decent amount of baking and gardening time.

Keeping Up with the Technological Trends

Radhika keeps up with the trends by reading, attending relevant conferences, and interacting with like-minded people on several forums and committees at the national and international levels she is a part of.

Students’ Enthusiasm & Passion for Learning is the Biggest Inspiration

“My interactions with our students have influenced my own values and approach to education. Their enthusiasm and passion for learning inspire me to be more dedicated to my work, and their diverse perspectives and experiences have broadened my understanding of different cultures and backgrounds. They have helped me to become a more effective and empathetic administrator and teacher, thus strengthening my commitment to the profession and to the success of my students,” concludes Radhika.

For More Info: https://www.fiib.edu.in/

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