IBA-SBS organized an insightful session on ‘Why we need to change business education?’

November 11, 2022: The School of Business Studies (SBS), IBA Karachi hosted an insightful lecture titled, ‘Why we need to change business education?’. The guest speaker for the session was Dr. Alnoor Bhimani, Honorary Dean, Suleman Dawood School of Business (SDSB), Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Attendees included Executive Director, IBA Karachi, Dr. S Akbar Zaidi; Dean SBS, Dr. Abdullah Z. Sheikh; and faculty and students.

The session commenced with Dr. Sheikh introducing Dr. Bhimani and inviting him to address pertinent questions including why we need to change business education and the criticism that business schools have lost their way due to too much emphasis on garnering short term goals.

Dr. Bhimani expressed his pleasure on being at the IBA for the first time. He said that he has spent three decades doing research on how management practices are changing in the face of technology. He said that the biggest transformation that the world has ever witnessed is taking place currently. He also said that around 25% employees in Pakistan are currently women and most of them are associated with agriculture, furthermore enormous number of women are currently entering education and the workforce.

He further said that the world was witnessing a generational shift and new set of ideas were entering the business world and practices. The biggest force of change is currently technology, and the current generation spends 4-10 hours on social media which is affecting how we feel and behave in general. He reinforced that in an increasingly digital world one must be more qualitative.

Dr. Bhimani emphasized that it was crucial for a leading business school like IBA to shoulder the responsibility of shaping and altering the image of Pakistan and not just focus on teaching business practices. He urged the students to play their role in improving the image of Pakistan. He emphasized that businesses have evolved but business education has not. He said that business schools need to create a significant social impact and move away from the race for rankings and focus on inculcating soft skills in their student body as this was a different generation and time and young people see the world differently and want to do things differently.

Dr. Sheikh inquired about the challenges laid out for leading Pakistani schools. Mr. Bhimani stated that with more than 200 business schools and with a population of around 225 million, business schools need to elevate the standard of education and focus more on inculcating a broader skillset in their students. He also said leading schools need to collaborate to not only uplift the educational standards but also jointly strive towards uplifting Pakistan and its image internationally.

An engaging Q&A session ensued. The session culminated with Dr. Zaidi presenting a memento to Dr. Bhimani.