Amith Prabhu: A quest for higher education in Communications

09 Nov,2015

By Amith Prabhu


What connects the following three communications professionals – Samir Kapur of Adfactors, Lavanya Wadgaonkar of Nissan Motors and Mukund Rajan of Tata Group? They are the three communications professionals in India that I know of, who hold a PhD degree and have Dr prefixed to their name.


It makes one feel proud that in a community that is barely about 3000 people strong there are three who are Phds. What stops other communications professionals from pursuing higher studies and researching on a topic within the field ranging from mergers and acquisitions, employee engagement, ethics, corporate governance, community relations, crisis management and the like?


Well, I can speak from experience that I chose to invest an entire month’s salary to spend on a short programme in marketing strategy at Harvard while I worked in the United States. Many other colleagues did that. But here in India that is not common. Earlier, the opportunities were few but now that opportunities have increased people do not avail them.


I’m part of several Whatsapp groups that comprise the community of PR professionals. Barring one, which is definitely interesting most are shallow ponds of intellectual mockery. It is painful to read the discourse taking place on some of these. And what is even more alarming is there is no visible sight of anything being done to solve this problem which will plague the community in the near future.


Even free education or deep discounted education has no takers at the highest levels, at times. Everything is not about learning at work. From time to time one needs to take time off to learn with different people and from different people. My column is about a hope I have. A hope that in the next five to seven years we will have at least 30 PhDs in India working in communications.


This is not impossible. With new age universities emerging the possibility of pursuing higher education is optimum. Let’s consider taking up the pursuit of a doctorate seriously and aim to add renewed vigour to our profession.


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