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Illustration of Raj Bali

Dr Rajeev K.Bali

Course Director, Undergraduate Certificate in Strategic Business and Management

What is your academic or professional background? 

My academic and professional backgrounds have always been hybrid in their nature and approach.  Originally spanning management and technology, this quickly evolved into healthcare and clinical research and applications.  Globally, healthcare has never been in greater need of efficient technologies and prudent decision-making. 

Why should people consider studying your subject? 

So that we can have fundamental knowledge in understanding organisations, their management, the economy and the business environment.  Doing so allows us all to become effective global citizens, with an awareness of ethics, sustainability and responsibility. 

How is your subject relevant to our current world? 

Examples of Strategy and Operations are all around us.  Whether it is analysing why large Tech companies (e.g. Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft) are doing what they do, how countries dealt with COVID-19, or how new opportunities will manifest themselves.  The examples are numerous and applicable to every company, sector and country. 

What do you love about your subject? 

Its depth and breadth as well as its applicability to our daily lives.  During the pandemic, we all became more acutely aware of the perils of making management decisions during times of great uncertainty and risk.  This was equally applicable to Governments, pharmaceutical companies and businesses in general. 

What research projects are you currently working on? 

For the past few years, I have had great success in translating my research into commercial application by way of high-impact consulting, coaching, mentoring and training.  This work has spanned general management concepts as well as more focused projects revolving around change management, knowledge management/Big Data and health informatics. 

What books have you published? 

9 books in total and the last one, the one of which I am most proud, was “Rare Diseases in the Age of Health 2.0” published in 2014.  Collectively, my co-editors and I had international experience and competencies in the key areas of patient empowerment, healthcare and clinical knowledge management, healthcare inequalities and disparities, rare diseases and patient advocacy.  I fondly remember meeting with several contributors and, most importantly, parents and their children and learning more about their multi-faceted challenges, their fight and their diligence.  All proceeds from the book went to a rare disease foundation. 

Who or what has inspired you? 

I can give you the usual answer of my family who gave, and continue to give, support and advice.  I am also fortunate to travel internationally for both work and pleasure and often meet interesting and inspiring people from all walks of life.  I recall once riding in a taxi in Singapore and chatting with the driver who told me that, although the country has relatively few natural resources, its greatest asset remains its people, their minds and their knowledge. 

What's the most rewarding part of teaching? 

Hopefully, knowing that I have made a difference. Completing a course could mean career progression for some students, a sense of achievement for others but almost certainly personal and family pride for all.  With the likes of LinkedIn and so forth, it is lovely to keep in touch with past students to see how they continue to blossom. 

What's the best study advice you've been given? 

Do not ever be afraid to ask if you do not understand.  I know we are all told this constantly but very few of us (including me at one point) tend to do it.  Whether the reason is peer pressure, shyness, fear of looking silly or whatever – put these to one side.  Small things can become large very quickly and the answer to a simple question can really make the fog lift. 

What do you like to do outside of work? 

Travelling, listening to jazz and blues music and watching good quality comedy.  I used to enjoy playing tennis – but it has been so long since I last played, I should probably not mention that…and perhaps take it off my CV too! 

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