• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
  • Editorial Calendar 19-20
BW Businessworld

A Case Can Be Made To Shut Sub-par Schools: Fr. Paul Fernandes, Director, XIMB

Fr. Paul Fernandes, Director, XIMB, in an email interview with BW’s Priya Saraf, discusses the various aspects of education in India’s B-schools

Photo Credit :


Founded in 1987, Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB) lays emphasis on strong ethics and values as key components of quality management education. The institution is well known globally due to high quality faculty, excellent learning experiences, global industry aligned curriculum, international collaborations, enriching campus life and excellent infrastructure. Fr. Paul Fernandes, Director, XIMB, in an email interview with BW’s Priya Saraf, discusses the various aspects of education in India’s B-schools.

Why should students choose your school?
The Xavier brand in the education space is well known globally due to high-quality faculty, excellent learning experiences, global industry aligned curriculum, top ranked academic programmes, international collaborations, enriching campus experiences, excellent infrastructure with green campus, imparting high-level professional skills and high-quality career options. The rigour and quality of inputs is equal to the best of the schools.

An AIMA vision document says that India should be the second best global hub after the US for B-school education by 2025. Is it doable?
Certainly. We welcome the AIMA vision document. We wish them the best of luck in fulfilling the vision.

Why do top Indian B-schools not figure in the top global B-school lists?
With a sizable student population, India is yet to realise its dreams and attain a reasonable quality of life for all. This implies that economy has to grow significantly. Indian B-schools for years have been catering to Indian students and domestic issues in business. It is only recently that internationalisation has become a popular goal for B-schools. With time we will see more B-schools featuring in the global rankings as schools will consciously pursue a growth strategy that will be aligned to international standards and concerns.

How ready are Indian B-schools for Industrial Revolution 4.0?
India will become the centre of innovation in the coming  years and become one of the largest hubs of MBA. Indian B-schools are very much ready for Industrial Revolution 4.0. Technology adoption is one of the key strengths of young India and Indian B-schools have responded to technology-led IR 4.0 by offering programmes and courses that address the new emerging order in the business world.

With entry-level jobs shrinking due to AI and automation, what plans do Indian B-schools have to place their graduates?
Focus on creativity, innovation, and higher skills.

What measures are Indian B-schools taking to create entrepreneurs instead of just job-seekers? What percentage of B-school graduates turn to entrepreneurship at the outset?
The percentage is not high but increasing. This is because we have more success stories now and also the environment and ecosystem are more conducive. B-schools are playing their part by creating structures and processes that would help students to take the plunge.

Why do top Indian B-schools restrict the class size to 60 or 120 when the global average is much larger? Also, why should India allow sub-par B-schools to exist?
Regulatory approaches are clearly the reasons. A case can be made to shut sub-par schools. Market will take care of it eventually in the long run.

Who do Indian B-school faculty members not publish as frequently as their international peers?
Top B-schools like XIMB, IIMA, IIMB, IIMC and XLRI have a proven track record in publishing quality research papers in top-tiered journals. But, generally it is true that research training has been a weak point in Indian research programmes.

Why do Indian B-schools not tailor their curriculum to meet local needs? Why is there always a ‘one size fits all’ approach?
This is not true. Things are changing quite a bit. B-schools are now focusing on local issues. Indian cases are becoming popular in B-schools’ pedagogy.

What more should Indian B-schools do to create leaders, and not just followers?

Speaking from Xavier University experience, Inspire, Inspire, and Inspire. Give opportunities to explore their leadership streak when in B-schools.

The IIM Bill, deemed university status and so on -- what additional institutional support do B-schools need to create a robust framework?
Less is more. Less government support and more autonomy makes B-school more responsible.

How different are women B-school graduates from their male counterparts, as their numbers remain abysmally low?
Speaking from Xavier University experience, XIMB has one-third women graduates every year, XAHR has 50 per cent women graduates, and on an average, 40 per cent are women graduates. We think women graduates are equal in dignity and respect. A separate study needs to be done to understand the differences between female and male graduates.