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BW Businessworld

IIM C: A Hub of Aspiration

IIM Calcutta encourages independent thinking and is the place to be if you love numbers By Preethi Ann Thomas

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IIM Calcutta, India’s first Institute of Management has been instrumental in establishing an Indian brand that identifies with quality management education and research. Set up under the purview of Ministry of HRD, the workings of the institute are overseen by the board of governors. Established in 1961, IIM Calcutta boasts of a beautiful campus in Joka spread over 135 acres of land interspersed with seven lakes. Yes, it’s the perfect environment for what is perceived as a high pressure course and a chaotic city.

Its one-year Post Graduate Programme in Management is a residential programme that has been offering a globally recognized, continually evolving business environment to academia, students, industry and researchers. As a public autonomous institute of management, it was set up as a joint effort of the government, Alfred P Sloan School of Management (MIT), the Government of West Bengal, The Ford Foundation and most importantly, the Indian industry, which continues to support and inspire institute that is preparing students for the changing dynamics of the business world.

Academics
The favoured programme, as is the case with other IIMs, is the PGP which is offered in two main areas: management (PGDM) and computer-aided management (PGCDM) — an information technology-oriented course. Executives from the business world can opt for the one-year postgraduate programme (PGPEX) and engineers have been known to pick the PGPEX-Visionary Leadership in Manufacturing which is jointly carried out with IIT-Kanpur and IIT-Madras. A fellow programme in management (doctoral level) and postgraduate diploma in business analytics is also offered. Students doing the PGP study subjects like Accounting, Behavioural Sciences, Finance, Economics, Marketing, Public Policy, Strategic Management, Human Resources, Operations and more. They also offer a dual-degree in management in cahoots with ESCP, Europe, where students can pursue three terms each in Kolkata and in Europe and get both degrees/diplomas. Graduates can also get placed in partner institutes.

Their curriculum is constantly updated to suit the needs of the dynamic business world. They prepare students to become high-level decision makers with a broad strategic vision and global view. Scholarships are offered by different corporates like Aditya Birla Group, Ratan Tata Trust and are available on an income and merit basis.

The campus is well-equipped with on-campus accommodation, classrooms, study areas and social spaces. In addition, they have conference rooms, lounges, a state-of-the-art library and latest instructional technology.placements

Close to 250 firms took part in the last placements cycle with 150 firms extending offers to eligible students. Around 438 students were placed with a total of 501 offers. Students opted more for finance, sales and marketing sectors. Financial bigwigs like JP Morgan, Merril Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Standard Chartered and Deutsche Bank were the main recruiters. Consulting firms like AT Kearney, Accenture, Bain & Co and McKinsey & Co were also part of the placements. The other players were Google, Amazon.com, Hindustan Unilever, Coca Cola, Pepsi CO, HT Media, Times Group and Nestle.

What Sets It Apart
The institute holds the distinction of being the only IIM to have three accreditations — AMBA, AACSB and is a member of the Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS). IIM-C is also known to engage in consultancy for businesses and hard-core research. Widely known for its finance-oriented approach, it is the place to be if you love numbers.

What is also remarkable in the tireless efforts of the institute is the faculty’s approach towards students. They believe in treating students as adults and discourage any form of hand-holding or tab-keeping. This boosts a friendly atmosphere of mutual respect that works for learning. From kayaking, dance, music and theatre to adventures and quizzes, the faculty engage in activities along with the students. Continuing interactions with the alumni also helps students get a better perspective of the real world.

Popular alumni include writer Amish Tripathi, Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, Sunil Duggal, and historian and author Ramachandra Guha.

Alumnus Abhishek Dabas (Batch of 2008) is Co-Founder and CEO of Zolt Energy, a smart energy startup for the residential market. He believes his time at IIM-C and the four years after have been the most transformational in his life. “IIM-Calcutta changed the way I viewed life and businesses by bringing into perspective what I wanted to do. The experience and exposure I got from the institute and faculty gave me the courage to quit my job to go after something I love with a solid business model. The culture at IIM-C is very conducive to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams as opposed to other IIMs.”

The author is a Chennai-based freelance journalist

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 14-12-2015)