Professor Dewakar Goel is the director of the Indian Aviation Academy (IAA), a joint venture of Airports Authority of India(AAI), Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security(BCAS) under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
A science and law graduate with a master's in business administration, Goel has authored twelve books on management, law and various other topics. The new campus of IAA was opened in September this year in south Delhi with much fanfare. The campus is spread over 8 acres and has 12 training halls of different capacities, two computer-based training facilities and auditorium of sitting capacity of 200 apart from meeting rooms, library and video conferencing facility. In an interview with XEDGlobal, Goel shares his thoughts on aviation, the skill gaps and why he is focusing on bonding.
What is your vision for the academy?
With the coming of this new government of India regional flight connectivity scheme UDAN, a lot of manpower requirement will be there in aviation. In certain sectors, you don’t get trained manpower in the market. So I had proposed that we will do it whether it is in airport terminal management, asset management or in other areas because I have got best of expertise with me. We are all ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) experts, trained by IATA (International Air Transport Association), we are having ICAO certified inspectors. We have got many courses and I want to make tailor-made courses for all stakeholders of the aviation industry.
What are the things that one can do enable better manpower resources for the sector?
In the aviation field when I as a person form the market I have to spend three years more before I am putting them to use so I have conceptualized BTECH in air traffic management. The training for 2-3 years can be part of the curriculum so the person comes out as an engineer with a BTECH air traffic management and bypassing those 2-3 years spent after doing BTECH. I get ready-made product after BTECH. Airlines go here and there, there are so mushrooming academies they don’t have structured programs I will go in a structured manner lining up with airlines and what product they want. My academy wants to produce a product for the marker. Similarly when BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security) becomes a part of home ministry then there will be a great extension of CISF (Central Industrial Security Force that mans airports). Aviation safety and security - there is a lot of scope for enhancing security modernization. This will be a great area for us to train. We have a very bright future in the country.
This is a vast field, what is the kind of executive education you are providing and plan to provide?
I have signed a MOU with reputed institutes like IIM Bangalore, IIM Indore IIM Ahmedabad and they are running management courses. As per the MOU with aviation ministry, I have to train executives in advanced level management course for my airlines and others in association with the topmost management institutes in the country. So my expenditure is going to be in crores. For me training is not revenue it’s an investment for development. Also, I feel whatever technical knowledge you may have there is a human aviation approach. Ideally speaking at the top level you require 5% technical professional skill and 35% is decision making and at the lower level, it becomes 5% decision making and 35% professional and technical knowledge but the remaining 60% its human relations. Our appraisal is very different from anyone. Suppose I am an airport manager, there are so many people having expectations from me 360 degrees, so this management development programs at the advanced level is critical. There is always scope for improvement. Decision making, leadership are 30-year-old jargons but today we talk about knowledge management conflict negotiations, concept making among other principles. There has been a great amount of transformation in the field of HR in the last 10 years.
What are the courses being run at the moment?
Currently, I am running three-four management development courses, some I send people to IIM Bangalore, Indore etc. We are having discussions with other IIMs also. The focus area is to identify knowledge gaps in existing manpower at the middle level and others. In the beginning, I had people from AAI (Airports Authority of India). Once my product is ready I will market it to airlines. The training facilities I have no one can afford in the country. Any private airport or an airline can't afford 10 acres land. You will find the best expertise available here. I have faculties from various countries, I also have scholarships. About 10-15% of the students are already from GMR GVK and airlines. These are one week courses, 30 hours online programs and many others. There is a greater focus on online learning, there is a proper monitoring, people can work from home there is a greater flexibility. The faculty comes from ICAO who takes the test and there are a lot of role plays. There are three-month aviation courses also, there are airside courses, we will enlarge it in collaboration with Rajiv Gandhi Aviation University and award degrees to the students who study here very soon.
How many students do you train every year and how is the scale up planned?
I train 1200 students every year and my campus will expand and I have five regional centres also where I conduct programs there also.
What skill gap do you see when people come to you?
At the moment people should be aware that his organization’s objectives are supreme than his personal objectives. We must try to sell that idea to create that bonding. What I am finding in both the private sector and public sector is that people lack bonding. People switch loyalties for Rs one or two lakhs. I started from the Sriram group I still feel a bonding that I am a product of DCM Sriram group, this is lacking. Personal objectives are overlapping organization objectives and there are financial incentives are not enough. A person with 10-15 years of experience if you have to mould him you have to identify knowledge gaps in the areas of belonging to the organization, promoting his own teams, what kind of leader he is, how he is going to help decision making if a lot of powers given to it. I want to sell the idea and motivate the younger generation that has a lot to do at the bottom level in a pyramid, at the top, there is little room and you can also fall. So aim for the top level but nevertheless, each and every level you are working through you must relish it. Life is not just to become executive director life is to enjoy the work.
Is there something that companies are doing wrong that people don’t feel they belong there?
I taught at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies for 10 years. I am finding talent is not just at IIMs - you find a brilliant guy even in a small institute. My management development programme gives great emphasis on bonding, owning the problem, owing to the organization that is a must. I see firms are not able to see human resource department with the focus it requires. They are not able to see how much mental presence employees have – most of the time only 60 percent mental presence. That will not come without bonding. Most of the time the thought that occupies them is:
I am getting this salary package here and that package there.