Business Today

IIMB's new chairperson Dr Devi Shetty sees future of management in blending tech, data with compassion

Sharing his personal experience, Dr Devi Prasad Shetty said the gut-feel should not be a primary driver behind big decisions, and it must be well-substantiated by data.

twitter-logo E Kumar Sharma   New Delhi     Last Updated: October 23, 2018  | 21:20 IST
IIMB's new chairperson Dr Devi Shetty sees future of management in blending tech, data with compassion

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, chairman and senior consultant cardiac surgeon, Narayana Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru, on Monday assumed his role as the chairperson on board of governors at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB). Speaking to Business Today, Shetty pointed out that the whole perspective of a manager has undergone a dramatic change from primarily gut-feel driven decision-making process to now a much more data centric and digitally focussed process.

Sharing his personal experience, Shetty explained the gut-feel should not be a primary driver behind big decisions, and it must be well-substantiated by data. "When I started out and began building the hospital, most decisions were based on gut feeling and fortunately, we succeeded most of the time, but we also failed. But today the cost of failure of a hospital project is so expensive that you simply cannot afford to fail, especially in big ventures and while building hospitals," he says.

Shetty acknowledged the importance of data and blending it well with digital tools. "Today, big investment decisions are only based on data with no role for intuition and gut feeling. That might tell you what to do, but before you write out a cheque, the investment decision must be substantiated by solid data. The digital tools will help you scale up your aspirations to unbelievable level. When a B-school graduate leaves the school, he should be comfortable collecting data, analysing it and interpreting it," he says.

At the same time, he feels, it is hard for a manager or a business leader to succeed if he is short on compassion.  "Afterall, it is about managing people and you cannot succeed in this without compassion."

"Surgeons are like artists and we approach the world through feel, touch and instinct. However, the world of business is more complicated than an open chest, and only the devotees of technology who can synthesize multiple data points will be able to make good decisions," Shetty was quoted as saying in a release put out by IIMB that included some of the points Shetty wrote in his letter to the IIMB community of faculty, staff, students and alumni.

He believes the companies of the future will invest more into digital assets than bricks or mortar and their managers will have to supervise bots, not humans, which is why the management curriculum, he advises, must evolve to cope with a rapidly changing digital landscape.

On assuming the new role, Shetty says it is a great privilege and an honour to serve as chairperson of IIMB. "Over the years, IIMB has grown to become India's leading management institute that attracts the best and brightest students from across the country. The alumni of this institution are sought after by leading companies from across the world, including my own."

Shetty's appointment on Monday followed the decision of the IIMB board at its 167th meeting on October 9. The term of office of the chairperson, board of governors concludes in every four years.

Shetty founded Narayana Hrudayalaya (NH), a hospital group with pan-India presence. Today, it manages 32 hospitals and performs approximately 12 per cent of the total heart surgeries in India. Around 40 per cent of them, the note says, are on children with heart disease.

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