Keeping up with Kiron


Today, we had the privilege of asking Kiron Ravindran, Associate Dean of the MIM programme, some fun facts about himself, his take on class participation and his words on the future of management and technology. Let’s dive straight into this exciting interview!

Your students describe you as an eloquent, dynamic and inspiring professor.  Could you share some interesting facts about yourself that students will be surprised to hear? 

  • Fact #1 I’ve worked as a mechanic, changing oil and tires.
  • Fact #2 I play Candy Crush
  • Fact #3 I prefer Arabic food to Indian food
  • Fact #4 I’ve owned the worlds first “smartphone” the Ericsson R380

What has been your most memorable classroom experience at the IE MIM so far? (eg. A funny incident, an outrageous comment by a student etc)

Outrageous comments and funny incidents in class are too many that I hardly remember them. My most memorable and most gratifying moments tend to be when students teach me things that I didn’t know. *Awwww*

We have done some research and found that you enjoy hiking. What has been your favourite hiking experience in Madrid so far?

Madrid offers awesome hiking trails in the nearby mountains. Hiking and staying overnight in a freezing refugio with a bunch of really fun strangers was probably the highlight.

What’s one unique thing in the IE MIM that you wish you had as a student (some feature or thing that you did not experience when you were a student)?

Clearly the answer has to be international and cultural diversity. I loved my experience, my classmates and being involved in the school activities. But it was no match for the diversity that our MIM offers.

What kind of class participation do you appreciate the most? And do students always participate in a constructive way in a class?

As I’ve often mentioned in my class, as a student one thinks that class participation is a one to one conversation with a professor. The professor asks a question and the student answers this question. Usually when a student is answering this question, most other students are not listening and many have their hands raised waiting for a chance to say what they want to say. This is a terribly useless way to participate as one does not really learn from ones peers when one has a hand up waiting to talk rather than poised to listen.

Think of participation as a many-to-many conversation. This is like being in a very large meeting. The key to making a large meeting work is listening to what has been said before, building on it or critiquing it so that the next few minutes is not a series of one to one disjointed conversations but one coherent many to many discussion.

The student that does this well also not only helps the class make the most of a discussion but is also easily noticed by the professor.

As one of the Information Technology (IT) professors at IE, what would you say is the biggest misconception about IT amongst business students in the MIM?

 IT is NOT only about technology. IT is primarily about people and process. The key to exploiting the capabilities of technology is to also consider who uses it and how it is being deployed. The technology itself is not a differentiator but its application is.

Given the rapid pace of change, exploiting the capabilities of technology requires an attitude of curiosity and self-learning. While learning from a professor about the state of the technology today can be a helpful start, it has a very short shelf-life. What matters is your personal strategy to geek up!

Watch Kiron bungee jump here! 

Before you made the literal plunge of your life 4 years ago, you said Managers that make the wrong IT investment, might end up killing their careers”. Right now, what do you think about not just IT but other trending technologies (Eg. Machine learning, bots, AI, virtual reality) that managers may have to adapt to?

I see ML, bots, AI and VR as all “information” technology. Having said that I believe we are going to see exponential growth in the use of AI and machine learning in our day to day life. A lot of AI tools and capabilities can be easily sourced from the market and doesn’t require original skills in programming. As one does not need to be a graphic designer to make pretty presentation slides one can just select and combine components to make a AI based solution.

The risk lies with the manager that believes the future looks like the past.


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