Dr. Praveen Bhasa Malla is the Managing Director of AM Innovations, Hyderabad and is a Strategy and Innovation Consultant (focusing on Higher Education). He obtained his Ph.D. from the Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay in 2006.
Recalling his time spent at IIT Bombay, he said, “I joined my Ph.D. program about five months before Prof. Shishir Jha joined the Institute. Alongside my mandatory coursework, I was already authoring conference papers. By the time I got to work with Prof. Jha and we embarked on our working relationship, I was eight months into the program and was done authoring my second conference paper.”
Dr. Malla recollected a conversation he had with Dr. Jha back in the day:
“I had submitted a paper on Corporate Corruption to a marquee conference in Australia. The paper was accepted. I was ecstatic. I requested Prof. Jha to attend the conference and present the paper. He looked at me with his usual calm demeanor and asked, “Why should I?”
“Because you are the co-author.”
“How did I become one if I have not contributed to the paper?”
“It is a common practice for scholars to share credit with the supervisor” I said hesitantly.
Dr. Jha said firmly, “Praveen, I am sorry. Your paper is your intellectual property (IP). I do not wish to steal credit unless I have contributed. Please get my name deleted from the paper. Also, do not add my name to papers you author. If you wish to do so, allow me to contribute. We can decide on author sequence based on how much each of us has contributed,” he said.
“That interaction is still fresh in my mind. I learnt a big lesson that day. Huge respect to him. IIT Bombay is about values, integrity and empathy. I religiously follow them in both my professional and personal life, no matter how lucrative the opportunities are on the other side,” said Dr. Malla.
Dr. Malla’s hobbies include book reading; managing the 40+ IITBAA SIGs; mentoring youngsters and long drives.