Professor Bhargava of RMIT University shows how to respond to Industry 4.0

Featured pic – such an honour for me to be with two global innovators – India’s Dr Mashelkar and Australia’s Professor Bhargava (right)

Most students and many universities will not be ready for the fast-changing world of “Industrial Revolution 4.0” which has begun and will be in full swing by the time most graduate.

In Australia the RMIT University Distinguished Professor Suresh Bhargava, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (India), Director-Centre for Advanced Materials and Industrial Chemistry (CAMIC) College of Science, Engineering & Health is a pioneer of “The Science for Developing a 21st Century Scientist”.

This program will see students learning the art of global collaboration over a four-year program – one year each at RMIT University, with industry in Australia and India, involved in CSIRO international collaborations and with the Indian Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research.

Now, employers would be keen to talk to such a graduate!

Professor Bhargava says we should “Move towards collaborative innovation”.

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO, is enthusiastic: “Very few of us have the opportunity to do something that is first in the world and worthwhile.”

Professor Bhargava has been my mentor on matters India and educational for many years.

I will be speaking at several Indian universities later this year on my own passion piece:

The 7 ways graduates can thrive in Industrial 4.0

  1. Show you can continue to learn

We know employers’ value this very highly – their focus is not on what you know through your degree – but is more on what you can learn in future. Prepare for this by being curious, reading and listening widely, entering discussion groups and being able to summarise what you have learned outside of university or since your degree.

  1. Demonstrate wisdom and common sense

For employers, further than what you know is how you think, and the value of wisdom and common sense. The best way to describe the difference between knowledge and wisdom is through the humble tomato – knowledge tells you a tomato is a fruit (not a vegetable) – but wisdom prevents you adding the tomato to a fruit salad. One fast track to wisdom is via mentors and guides, those who can share experience with students.

  1. Gain good collaboration and friendship skills

Industrial 4.0 will make collaboration easy and instant with anyone, anywhere and anytime – and the change will benefit those who have the skills to reach out, make friends, work across the globe and build collaboration. Future corporations and employers will be looking for people who can build collaboration.

  1. Gain cross-border understanding and skills

Already our lives in one country are intersecting with lives of other countries, and Industrial 4.0 will make the globe an even smaller place. Those who have travelled, who have acquired both knowledge and experience of other cultures will be in high demand, simply because almost every job will have global aspects.

  1. Become an outstanding communicator

Traditional “soft skills” training will not prepare students for the fast future – outstanding communication skills for Industrial 4.0 will include rapid pitching, ability to support points in a way which moves others, skills to relate directly and closely with those above and below you – any student sitting back quietly as a “newbie” will get left behind. Old notions of being silent in front of elders or superiors will not apply. Respectful and strong communication skills will rule.

  1. Be a team-based problem solver

More work will be team-based and some of those who succeed will actually present to future employers as a team. Problem solving as a team while at university should lead students to then approach employers as teams – a good standout in the race to gain attention.

  1. Build self-reliance and resilience

With the demise of “study hard, get the degree which entitles you to a job for life” model, students will need skills in self-reliance and resilience. As jobs come and go, individuals will need to be able to bounce back and start again, maybe many times in their careers. Where no jobs are forthcoming, graduates will need to create their own or join teams that provide solutions.

Author: Stephen Manallack

Former President, Australia India Business Council, Victoria and Author, You Can Communicate; Riding the Elephant; Soft Skills for a Flat World (published by Tata McGraw-Hill INDIA); Communicating Your Personal Brand. Director, EastWest Academy Pty Ltd and Trainer/Speaker/Mentor in Leadership, Communication and Cross Cultural Communication. Passionate campaigner for closer western relations with India. Stephen Manallack is a specialist on “Doing Business with India” and advisor/trainer on “Cross-Cultural Understanding”. He is a Director of EastWest Academy Pty Ltd which provides strategic advice and counsel regarding business relations with India. A regular speaker in India on leadership and global communication, his most recent speaking tour included a speech to students of the elite Indian university, Amity University, in Noida. He also spoke at a major Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) global summit, the PR Consultants Association of India in Delhi, the Symbiosis University in Pune and Cross-Cultural Training for Sundaram Business Services in Chennai. He has visited India on business missions on 10 occasions and led three major trade missions there. He provides cross-cultural training – Asia and the west.

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