While every Mumbaikar looks forward to weekends to relax and enjoy after a week’s hard work, 55-year-old senior general manager (strategic development) of BASF: The Chemical Company, Shuaib Fakih, gears up to deliver lectures at India’s ace B-school, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS).
He has been teaching at JBIMS as a visiting professor for the past 27 years, ever since he himself graduated. He also teaches at Welingkar Institute of Management.
On asking him when he finds time to relax, he replies, “Teaching is relaxation. I love teaching because students keep me intellectually alive”. He teaches Merger and Acquisition to students of final year MMS (Finance). His students said they even waited for weekends when he would take class from 8-11pm during Ramazan.
Final year MMS (Finance) student at JBIMS, Ketaki Devadhe, says, “Mr Fakih is one of the best teachers here. As he has industry exposure, he is updated with the current trends of M&A, which he explains in minute detail. Based on theory lessons of one class, he gives us case studies to work on and present in the next class. This triggers our thinking process and we really love it.”
Sriram Krishnan, another final year MMS student at JBIMS, says, “He comes to class with a perfect plan for the next three hours. Also, he has a full year’s schedule with him. The most admirable thing is that he sends us important articles and links to read.”
His classes are the most “lively” classes on campus, where every student is a part of constant conversations. Monil Gala, another student says, “Along with case studies and conventional teaching approaches, he brings good humour to the class.”
Guiding students for pan-India competitions — ‘The Deal’ and ‘CFA’ — Fakih feels a teacher should be able to learn and, at the same time, be able to mentor the students.
When asked how he keeps himself updated, he says, “I read a lot. Magazines, online journals and posts of foreign professors.” Maybe that’s why his lectures are so power-packed that sometimes, the class ends up going on for up to six hours.
In return, the University of Mumbai offers him a three-digit honorarium per lecture. Defending himself, he says, “I don’t teach for money, but I do feel that the government should hike it multi-fold so that many more industry professionals will choose to join academics.”