Professor Ghosh is currently a professor from Department of Business Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is formerly from India. Professor Ghosh came to University of Illinois in 2001. He worked as Dean of College of Business from 2001 to 2007. Before that, he was Associate Professor at University of Iowa and New York University working on marketing. Currently, Professor Ghosh is teaching Entrepreneurship in M.S Technology Management program.
The conversation with Professor Ghosh was a pleasure. He is a very unique person and having a diverse academic background. The difference between Ghosh and the other professors is that he has a combination of science and business background. Professor Ghosh earned a B.S in Chemistry, M.B.A, M.A and PhD in Geography. As what he said, the background in science has educated him a very strong analytic skills. Before that, Professor Ghosh used to work in marketing field for about 3 years before he started his graduate education. The working experience has triggered his interest in working in Business field in the future.
As a Dean of College of Business from 2001 to 2007, Professor Ghosh’s contribution to the college has brought far-reaching impact to the campus. He spearheaded a number of new initiatives including new academic programs and research centers. In 2004, Professor Ghosh leaded the College of Business, with a grant of $4.5 millions from Kauffman Foundation, to form Academy of Entrepreneurial Leadership. The main goal is to promote entrepreneurial education and experience across diverse field throughout the campus. Also, under his leadership the College of Business launched Investment in Excellence campaign that resulted the $60 million of Business Instructional Facilities on campus.
Here are a few short question and answer that we had with him.
We found that most of the successful entrepreneurs don’t actually have any background in business. They are mostly engineers and scientists. How do you think about that?
Successful business is actually regardless of your background. People with any kind of background can possibly be a successful entrepreneur. Succeeding in a business usually depends on a person motivation and the willingness to change the world. Moreover, logical thinking and analytic skill are the two common factors across any discipline. As long as you know how to do analysis using logical thinking and analytic skill, regardless your background, they will make you survive in doing business. Also, people who purposely start up the company to earn money usually won’t be successful at the end.
You have been working with some entrepreneurs before. Based on your experience, what are the differences between a successful entrepreneur and a good employee? What make the entrepreneur unique?
Entrepreneurship is not an easy job. Entrepreneurs usually highly motivated, ambitious, self-disciplined and also willing to impact the society. They have larger responsibilities than any employees since they have to face the uncertainties in the market and resources as well as how to survive in the industry. While, employees have lower decision risk. They only have to make sure they finished the tasks accounted and then paid with salaries.
You are teaching in Entrepreneurship in Technology Management program right now. What is your expectation from the students in class?
I really hope that all the students can be engaged in the class. They can finish their assignments in time and perform well in their final team presentation. As what I see, the students in the class are very motivated.
The College of Business provides students a lot of resources to train us to become potential employees in the future. We have workshops, mock interviews and information sessions on the campus to educate our students how to find a good job. Do you think we should organize more entrepreneurial workshops and events to motivate students in the future?
Actually, there are plenty of entrepreneurial events and activities happen on the campus. There are events organized by Technology Entrepreneur Center, operated under Engineering College, and Academy of Entrepreneurial Leadership, operated under College of Business. Our students can walk around the campus to find out the information about the events. You may suggest the department to connect the students with this information.
We know that Professor Ghosh came from India. As I heard from my Indian classmates, India is a country with fantastic cultures and stories. What would you say about India? How would you expect it in the future?
India is definitely a very interesting country. It has long history and diverse cultures. Nowadays, India is an emerging economy power. They are relying on low-cost labor to stimulate economy growth and gain large amount of profits out if this. Generally, there are still a lot to do in India in order to catch up with the developed nations. In the foreseeable future, I would say that India will be a stronger nation in the next 10 years.