How a thought leader changed the face of education!
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. - John C. Maxwell
This can’t be truer for this leader, motivator and entrepreneur – Mr. Joyanto Mukherjee. At just 30 years, he has achieved the big feat of becoming India’s youngest Dean at Thadomal Shahani Centre for Management, Mumbai. Even when he was just 25 years old, he was the Director of HMFIJ.
From zilch to creating a niche space in the education industry, Joyanto has, through his foresightedness, precision and the willingness to learn while teaching, taken the meaning of education, a notch higher.
His modus operand was simple – student emancipation. With every success that his student’s achieved, he succeeded, in principle. With that as his premise, he has contributed to education and with enormous success!
So, what was the driving factor of his success? The fact that he swerved clear of the normal management-student rule as is routinely followed in every institute and implemented a different approach to the courses taught, mechanism of teaching and the value proposition of allowing students to choose (and prosper) with different permutation-combination in subjects paved a new and exciting way in providing education.
Let’s take a look at his visionary (yet different) ways he approached education!
Joyanto believed that education is a business of nurturing souls which cannot be done without conversations and hence ensured that every course his students were studying was his course as much as theirs, so he involved their participation in the subjects. This way, they were learning more than anyone else. Plus, he opened his cabin to all. People could come and chat with him about anything and everything under the sun, thereby expanding their horizon to dream. And dream big.
Alternative to text book based learning and examination based education:
Joyanto’s implementation was simple; he hated everything students hated including textbooks, exams and teachers. So he replaced the same with videos, conversations, live projects and professionals as lecturers. He ensured that a student’s progress was adjudged by his/ her assignments and participation, rather than a quarterly evaluation of their understanding. Learning was evaluated on a day to day basis.
Options other than mainstream courses:
Joyanto’s first amendment in to the system (5 years ago) started with creating a course curriculum in Advertising and Journalism as per industry requirements which gave students an alternate choice of career from the mainstream Commerce, Arts and Science fields. It was not possible for most students to do this course full time as they had their own mainstream degrees to pursue. So, he started conducting lectures in the evening. Eventually, people realized the potential in a dedicated course, which later led it to become one of the most popular and mainstream courses in HMFIJ, Mumbai.
New form of learning:
Joyanto eliminated the concept of exams and made learning purely assignment based. He introduced assignments which were not classroom based but which were made by media professionals similar to the kind of assignments they face in their daily professional life. He did away the concept of teaching by teachers; he wanted the students to learn from professionals who actually work as media men across the industry. This gave student first-hand knowledge of how things worked and how the trends had shifted over the years.
Students as stakeholders:
‘I have learnt that education is just simple learning made difficult for strangling students through textbooks. In my years as an M-School Dean, I have learnt that students have never been given choices in their life. I gave them choices and the results were just wonderful.’ – Joyanto.
Students loved having choices in what they were studying to where they wanted to go for their Industrial Visits. He asserts that his major learning was to do everything which the students loved. He adds that teaching them was supplementary and that knowledge-gain in his subjects/ discourses happened automatically because of the fun element and student friendly environment. The concept of practical learning or learning via experience worked wonders.
About Joyanto Mukherjee:
Besides being the youngest Dean in India, Joyanto has been recently awarded the Top 10 academicians in Asia by a Germany based think tank named ITE. He has also been the only academician on the Advisory Board of Direct Marketing Association of India.
Joyanto has worked closely with allied wings of defence and security, besides working for corporate giants like Times of India, Hindustan Times and the Daily Mail. He has also acted as a media consultant to all leading media houses in the country. He is a visiting faculty at leading educational institutes across the country as well.
Joyanto is an entrepreneur too and owns various successful ventures like an event management company named Just Another Show, a children's newspaper named Learniverse, an online news website coined Newzmonger, a football club named Super Mumbai, an NGO named the Doers and a rural marketing and training agency named Parivartan. All of these ventures are under his flagship company named Assuri Pvt Ltd.
When asked what the traits of a successful leader should be, Joyanto replied, ‘Leaders are busy telling the world how they want their followers to lead the world. I was busy listening to my students about how they wanted their leader to be’.
Joyanto has surely not left any stones unturned to transform the face of education today, what with his approach to education, identifying with students and walking the talk of the students.
His advice to a successful career is simple. In his own words, ‘Have a good night’s sleep always. Be open to experimenting with your education as we are a developing nation where no one has to do anything which they never wanted to do. So find out your interests and chase them.’
It is as simple as that!