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Biz guru’s mantra for students

Kunal Banerji, an associate professor of management at Eastern Michigan University and a St. Xavier’s alumni, addressed students of JD Birla Institute’s management department on quality management.

The management guru dwelled upon the three cornerstones of business excellence — quality, profitability and productivity — at an interactive session organised by the Calcutta Management Association, in association with The Telegraph, on August 29.

He peppered his lecture with topics ranging from compensation and appraisal to use of suggestion systems and continuous improvement efforts to illustrate why it’s important to improve product quality, or how to do it more effectively, in the service sector.

Banerji drew from his Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, a research paper he co-authored with David E. Gundersen and Ravi S. Behara, to answer most of the questions.

He explained how quality is more perceptual than real. “Till a point of time all foreign goods were considered to be of the best quality… that is how our psyche was built. After 1992 (post-liberalisation of the economy), this perception of quality changed.”

On behalf of the CMA, its executive committee member Asok K. Banerjee thanked Banerji for discussing his research extensively with the students. “We had a great audience and a wonderful ambience.”

Banerji said: “It was a mixed crowd and that is always very interesting. Honestly, I didn’t expect such a big crowd. I don’t get such a big crowd in the US, probably because of the population rate.”

J.N. Mukhopadhyaya, the director of the JD Birla Institute’s management department, said he was happy that the seminar turned out well.