Dr A M Sakkthivel holds a PhD in Business Administration (Marketing) from Utkal University (Equalized under MOE, UAE), Bhubaneswar, India. He also has done certification of EEC (Entrepreneurship Educator Course) with Honors from Stanford University, USA, IIM Bangalore and National Entrepreneurship Network, India, MBA in Marketing and Finance and BBM in Marketing and Finance from Bharathiar University, India. Dr Sakkthivel has 24 years of academic, industry, research, consulting and training experience.
Middle East collegiate education has come a long way over a period which focused on developing job seekers in different fields which were pertinent to different countries from time to time. The higher education systems primarily focused and adopted to the system of developing human resources to help building the countries and ready for the different industries each country focused on to develop with. However, the scenario took a big shift during the middle 2000s, which primarily focused on developing job creators. The higher education system in different countries adopted to introduce courses like entrepreneurship and innovation in collegiate curriculum irrespective of different disciplines. It has become a part of the college requirement that the students should study these courses in bachelor and even master level. The whole intention is to create an interest in the minds of the students to embark on a journey to become job creators. Simultaneously, the universities were busy setting up appropriate ecosystems to do so.
The universities and colleges have developed an integrated pedagogy to inculcate the aspects related to entrepreneurship and innovation. The pedagogy consists of different aspects, encouraging and nurturing the entrepreneurial and innovative intentions among the students. The pedagogy focuses on embedding different aspects among the students such as creativity, analytical thinking, design thinking, problem-solving skills, communication skills, business acumen, teamwork, etc. to name a few. Each course offered at bachelor and master level ensures the aspects described above to be inculcated through the course delivery. Besides, the faculty members are encouraged to use new innovative teaching methodologies and integrating the same with the technology during the course delivery (physical and digital). These methodologies focus on providing a holistic understanding of the course through real-life scenarios and applications. Moreover, the smart integration of technologies offers hands-on experience to the students related to business aspects through running business simulation exercises. These exercises provide an in-depth understanding of the operational and strategic aspects of business and enhance the decision-making skills of the students. Overall, the pedagogy has been designed to make the students ready to embark on a journey to become job creators the moment they wish to become so.
Curriculum focused ecosystem
Making the students become job creators has become a prominent agenda of the universities and colleges from the Middle East. It is a conscious and concerted effort from the governments to guide and encourage the higher education system to set up an inclusive mechanism that enables the universities and colleges to create an inherent ecosystem for the students to become the job creators. Thus, the introduction of the college-level courses such as entrepreneurship and innovation that should be taught across the different disciplines in bachelor and master level programmes. Notwithstanding, the universities and colleges are encouraged to develop specialized programmes related to entrepreneurship and innovation for the students who are serious to consider becoming job creators from the moment they graduate. These programmes consist of courses dedicated to inculcating the multi-faced aspects of creating and operating new business ventures. This concerted effort provides ample avenues to the students those who are serious about commencing new business ventures rather looking to gain employment upon graduation. This effort helps the universities and colleges to produce a considerable number of students who intend to become job creators. These programmes enable the students to be equipped with necessary knowledge, skills and expertise to commence the new business ventures the moment they graduate. It is imperative to notice that the students across the different disciplines are encouraged to become job creators, which was previously meant only for the business students.
External body support system
It is vital to understand that the mission of creating job creators has been a well thought-about and concerted effort of the governments of Middle Eastern countries. To achieve the goal, the governments developed a multi-faced ecosystem to make the goal possible and a reality. The ecosystem has well-guided policies and procedures which helps the stakeholders to understand and implement the process. The ecosystem consists of players represent the government and private entities who help the universities and colleges in developing job creators. These entities provide a multitude of support such as providing intellectual capital, organizing awareness workshops, skill-based workshops, competitions, acting as nodal agencies, providing funding avenues, to name a few. Such synchronization of efforts from these entities ensures the effective implementation of the process and smooth attainment of the set goals, i.e. development of job creators. The governments set up an effective monitoring system to coordinate with all the stakeholders to ensure the goals to be achieved. The credit points are provided to the private entities those who involve in this process. It is a highly pro-active approach from the governments to ensure the involvement of the private entities in developing the job creators.
University-College based entrepreneurial development ecosystem
Apart from all the necessary support from the government and private entities to develop the job creators, the universities and colleges have registered a concerted effort to provide continuous and goal-based support to the students those who are serious about becoming the entrepreneurs. Besides, the curriculum support, the universities and colleges ensure that the students involve in co-curricular activities related to entrepreneurship and innovation. It is imperative to mention that the universities and colleges created the in-house entrepreneurial development centres to support the endeavours of the students to become the job creators. These centres primarily identify, nurture and develop the entrepreneurial skills of the intended students who wish to become entrepreneurs. These centres provide the multi-level activity-oriented support such as finding the entrepreneurial aptitude and attitude of the students, provide self-awareness workshops to decide on the domain areas and expertise, skill development workshops, workshops related to gain expertise in the selected domain areas, internal competitions related to business plans, and operations and finally providing even the funding opportunities to commence new business ventures. Besides, faculty members are encouraged to act as mentors to the selected students and to commence the new business ventures partnering with the students. It provides a much-needed impetus to the students to engage in these ventures with the support of the faculty members who act as mentors and partners as well. It provides courage among the students to try and experiment because of the continuous support and hand holding from the faculty members who act as the partners. It clearly shows the effective internal support system that endeavours to help the students to become the job creators.
Conclusion and the Way Forward
In a nutshell, the article walks through the different aspects and ecosystems that are in place to ensure the development of the job creators in the Middle Eastern Countries. It clearly shows the active involvement of the governments and private entities to support such an endeavour which would provide and ensure present and future sustainable economic growth. It is imperative to state that the efforts are paying off, and more incumbents are ready to become the job creators, a major welcoming shift from the job seekers. It is evident from the article that the multipronged approach immensely helped the governments of the Middle Eastern countries to realize the goals of developing more job creators. And, the numbers should increase in the years to come to make these countries become self-reliant and growing economies with the support of all the stakeholders including the strong encouragement from the parents and society to encourage the students to embark on a journey to become the job creators those who could immensely contribute to the economic and social growth of the respective countries.
More About Dr A M Sakkthivel
Dr Sakkthivel is a recipient of Best Professor in Marketing Management Award by CMO Asia at Singapore in 2010 along with other awards of contributing quality research works. He has authored a Book on “Role of Cyber-Marketing in Influencing Consumer Buying Behavior.” He has published numerous articles in leading international (SSCI, ABDC and Scopus indexed), paper presentations in leading international and national conferences in different countries, and contributed book chapters and practitioner-oriented articles and many more.