- IoBM is producing job creators not job seekers
- Need to continue with hybrid teaching mode under Covid
Interview with Mr. Talib Karim – President, Institute of Business Management (IoBM)
PAGE: Tell me something about yourself and IoBM, please:
Talib Karim: After completing Bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering and a Master’s in Economics from the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA, I returned to Pakistan in 1986 and joined a development finance institution. I worked there for several years in various capacities and then decided to leave the organization and devote myself full time towards the establishment of the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) in Karachi, which now has entered into its 26th year of existence. It was founded by my father, the Late Shahjehan S. Karim, who served as its Founder President until he passed away in 2017. He envisioned establishing a business school after retiring from the civil services in 1993 and since then concentrated all his efforts on materializing his dream.
The Institute, through its College of Business Management (CBM), offers a four year BBA (Honors) and a two/three year MBA degree program with a specialization in various areas of business administration. A research degree, an MPhil leading to a PhD, is also offered in Finance, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Education, Psychology and Management Information Systems. IoBM has three more constituent colleges, namely College of Computer Science & Information Systems (CCSIS), College of Economics and Social Development and College of Engineering and Sciences (CES), each offering degree programs at all levels.
PAGE: How would you comment on the state of education in Pakistan vis-à-vis the rest of the world?
Talib Karim: Firstly, education is a lifelong journey, and one must remain up-to-date with the changing trends. Continuous efforts are required from the concerned authorities as we need a shift in the innovative teaching and learning methods compared to the developed nations. I feel there is a dire need to compare our present with the past, reflect on our key strengths and weaknesses and predict for the future accordingly. Focused efforts are required to streamline early childhood and primary education, ensuring adequate teaching and learning that lay the foundations of a solid primary and higher education.
PAGE: Your views about the quality of research conducted in the universities of Pakistan:
Talib Karim: I believe research is most certainly the foundation for progress and development. Hence, the faculty members and researchers conducting research should present ideas and insights having a valuable impact on society. Faculty members need to shift their focus from basic to applied research to solve the problems at hand. Faculty members present research papers for career advancement. However, their objective should be to share their findings and the data for further research.
PAGE: Your views on the employment opportunities in Pakistan:
Talib Karim: The current economic crunch in Pakistan has affected the growth of the corporate sector. However, changing times require new ideas. At IoBM, we focus on producing job creators and not job seekers. Some of our students established their startups while pursuing their studies at IoBM. Furthermore, the Shahjehan S. Karim Incubation Center (SSK-IC), IoBM provides mentorship and financial opportunities to IoBM’s young entrepreneurs who work under the guidance of industry experts, helping them fine-tune their business model.
Today, employment opportunities come to those who translate their classroom learning into problem-solving initiatives of the industry, keep updating themselves with contemporary insights from the corporate sector, and are motivated to learn new skills.
PAGE: What is your perspective about 2022 regarding the normalcy of educational activities?
Talib Karim: Covid-19 pandemic has affected our lives beyond our comprehension as the year 2020 was spent under lockdown and social distancing. 2021 was no different either. With new variants spreading every few months, we need to remain cautious and take care of our well-being, emotional and physical. I believe that a hybrid teaching mode may be pursued in 2022 until the rate of Covid cases decreases significantly. Despite concentrated efforts, we have not been able to operate the campus on 100% on-campus mode for the recurring spikes of the disease. A combination of partially online and physical education activities needs to be pursued as the safety of our students and faculty members are our priority.