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'Great Educational Institutions Are Faculty Led, Administratively Supported, Technology Enabled'

In an email interview with BW Businessworld, Professor Dheeraj Sharma, Director, Indian Institute of Management-Rohtak, spoke about the strength, placements, diversity and international tie-ups

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Founded in 2009, Indian Institute of Management, it is the first IIM in North India and the only IIM in National Capital Region. In such a short span of time, the institute has seen many transformations such as an increase in the batch size. Batch size of IIM Rohtak has grown many folds vis-a-vis the first batch (50 students). Just last year institute increased the batch size by 67 per cent to nearly 250 students.  Now, the 9th batch of its flagship course Post Graduate Programme in Management will be inducted with the batch strength of approximately 250 students. Also, Fellow Program in Management course has also received an overwhelming response over these years and will be inducting its 6th batch in June.

In an email interview with BW Businessworld, Professor Dheeraj Sharma, Director, Indian Institute of Management-Rohtak, spoke about the strength, placements, diversity and international tie-ups.

1.    What is the core value of IIM Rohtak? What makes it any different from IIMs in the country?
IIM Rohtak is now well-established and well-respected in both academe and industry. It has made a significant mark in the industry with historically best placement record. Also, it is reckoned in the academe as the top research institute in the country. With its location advantage, it is contributing actively in policy-making by active engagement in government and non-government projects. The new campus will further bring the entire IIM-Rohtak community together to strengthen the institutional culture which will catapult us into the top five management institutes in the country.

2.    How has the placement scenario been? Are student's satisfied, average salaries over the years, PPOs, etc.? Please elaborate on the kind of companies and salaries that are offered at your institute.
IIM Rohtak has received excellent response from the industry many top analytics, financial, and marketing jobs and job role coming to students of IIM Rohtak. This year we witnessed 75% increase in the participation of new companies which is a first to the history of IIM Rohtak. Companies like Google, Patanjali, Tolaram Group-Dubai, Standard Chartered Bank, Amul, Kotak Mahindra Bank were among the 40 new recruiters, who exhibited interest in our students. Loyal recruiters like ICICI Bank Arcesium, Dabur, Yes bank, L & T, Wipro, and Cognizant among others continue to impose faith in the ability of our students.

The average salary for the batch of 2016-18 was 11.7 Lac PA which is 7% higher compared to the previous year. Institute also witnessed 16% increase in the highest salary offered, which is 30 Lac per annum. 15% of the students were offered PPO/PPIs as a result of summer placements. This was observed due to the diversified pool of student talent at our institute that catered to the wide range of profiles required by industry and efforts our excellent placement team.

3.    What kind of extra weightage are you offering to increase gender diversity in IIM Rohtak?
Institute recorded threefold increase in female students who joined IIM Rohtak last year. This year again, the focus is to improve the gender ratio of the institute further, hence we expect to induct girls to the strength of 20% of the batch.  Weightage that we offer for diversity is really low compared to other IIMs as we believe the selection at IIM Rohtak should be largely based on merit based on CAT scores, WAT scores, and personal interview. However, we initiated pre-admission "meet and greet" events to encourage diversity in our student. Also, we have launched "merit cum means" scholarships for women students which are aimed at providing financial assistance to meritorious women students.

4.    How you train students to face challenging role in the corporate world?
IIM Rohtak nurtures the best management talent in the country and works diligently to produce business leaders who will exhibit superior work-ethic, high commitment, and positive attitude. Students undergo well-developed and up to date course work in 2 years through case-based pedagogy. There are several of term project and live projects that are an integral part of the course curriculum to provide students with an insight into current global trends and future business opportunities. We have activities to bridge the gap between industry and academe such as management summits, leadership lecture workshops, certificate programmes etc. Finally, we have multiple simulations to allow the student to develop superior decision making using industry data thereby making them attuned to challenges of the corporate world.

5.    What kind of extra-curricular activities are students involved in? How important do you think these activities are in an overall personality development?
IIM Rohtak encourages various extra-curricular activities through club events, special interest groups, and other recreational events. Annual events like Infusion, TEDx, Udaan, Infusion, Film Summit, and Management Conclaves etc. are organised by students throughout the year that inculcate team spirit, coordination skills, leadership skills, and analytical thinking. These activities help increase esprit-de-corp amongst students thereby encouraging them to develop a strong sense of excellence, strong social commitment, and a passion for the value system.

6.    Have you noticed any change in the current batch size vis-à-vis the last batch as most of the people still consider IIM Rohtak a new campus?
Batch size of IIM Rohtak has grown many fold vis a vis the first batch (50 students). Just last year institute increased the batch size by 67% to nearly 250 students.  Now, the 9th batch of its flagship course PGP will be inducted with the batch strength of approximately 250 students. Also, Fellow Program in Management course has also received an overwhelming response over these years and will be inducting its 6th batch in June.

Last one year was very eventful for IIM Rohtak. Last year, IIM Rohtak has also launched several online executive programs in the domain of analytics and has trained nearly 1000 executives from the private and public sector in last one year compared to less than a 100 in the year before.

Institute stands best in executive education amongst second and third generation IIM's. Several new programs like ePGPx, Executive Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Management, Executive Program in Advanced Corporate Finance and eFPM are also launched which are getting an overwhelming response from the variety of professionals.  

7.     Explain the innovative education methods used by IIM Rohtak
IIM Rohtak follows case-based pedagogy, live projects, and simulation games in almost all terms. Students are provided with international and national databases to analyse data and take business decisions. All are students are highly trained in sophisticated statistical software allowing them to analyse data to aid superior decision making. Finally, all students are required to write or assist in writing cases. This allows the student to learn to document, analyse, and decide on the peculiar business matter and business dilemmas.

8.    Do you have any exchange programme tie-ups with international universities?
We have initiated academic and research collaborations with the faculty of University of Namur, Lancaster University, University of Alabama, and CEIBS, Shanghai University of Missouri, USA, and NYU, Abu Dhabi among others.

We have also completed the curriculum overhaul of finance is to comply with CFA Institute for University Affiliation Program requirements. This is an important step towards the augmenting student options in pursuing the career in finance domain.

9.    What is the percentage of international students in the institute at the moment? What initiatives are you taking to attract the international students?
We currently do not have any international students. However, we are likely to initiate student exchange program this year. Our students are likely to travel to Belgium, Finland, and China for research activities. We hope this year we will see some foreign students coming to our institute to visit as well.

10.    How is the experience in heading IIM Rohtak?
It has been a unique experience and learning has been immense. I believe that most important experience is to have tripled the faculty strength in last one. Vibrant faculty aids the institute development in all aspects. Next, completing the first phase of construction of our beautiful 200-acre campus in one year and now moving there is another unique experience. Starting new research activities such as a journal, a case centre, among other is a great experience. Finally, working with the brightest faculty and students is another exhilarating experience. In summary, I believe great educational institutions are faculty led, administratively supported, and technology enabled. That is what I have tried to follow as the mantra at IIM Rohtak.


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