PROFESSOR Sujit Banerji feels there is opportunity to enhance WMG’s links with the Asia-Pacific region.
Globalisation, outsourcing and offshoring are the specialities of Professor Banerji, one of three overseas professors appointed to the group in 2006. He will be looking initially at how his industrial and academic experience can benefit WMG’s successful Masters programme at home and abroad.
Professor Banerji spent more than 30 years with IBM, almost all of it in the USA, but switched to academia in late 2004 when he became Practice Associate Professor of Operations Management at Singapore Management University.
At IBM, he held a number of senior positions in systems engineering, marketing, business development, product management and information technology, as the company made the transition from manufacturing into services.
With the boom in the economy of the Asia-Pacific region he spent the latter years spearheading strategic outsourcing work, with outstanding results. As CIO and Vice-President of IBM (India) responsible for this line of business, from 1999 to 2002, he increased the revenue and profits multi-fold. During this time the total number of employees in India grew from 2,300 to 12,500.
He then moved to the company’s Asean (Association of South Eastern Asian Nations) base in Singapore and opened a call centre at Cyberjaya, a modern technology park on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to where he moved work from the five major Asean countries. This was followed by the development of a data centre in Bangalore, India, to provide IT services to customers in the US and Europe.
Wherever he was in the world he established links with universities, running courses on globalisation, outsourcing and worldwide technological change.
Professor Banerji agrees with the statement often made that whereas the 20th century is characterized as the US century, the 21st century will be about China and India. He says one of the challenges for WMG and the West Midlands region is to figure out how to use our strengths to position ourselves favourably on this globalised outsourcing map.
“The Chinese are the largest group of students on the Masters programme. Similarly we need to make it attractive to students from other parts of the world.
“When the students graduate, they will be working for companies or maybe starting their own businesses. Inevitably they will encounter globalisation and outsourcing issues in both situations.”
Professor Banerji was educated in India and gained a PhD in Management Science on an ICI Commonwealth Scholarship in conjunction with Manchester College of Science and Technology. He joined IBM in 1968 and along with publishing 80 major internal papers, won numerous awards for his work.
Professor Sujit Banerji