SPJIMR: Training World-Class Executives
SPJIMR - SP Jain Institute of Management and Research focuses on under-managed sectors By Gauri Rane
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Management education in India is traditionally based on the American model that essentially focuses on tools that can address structured problems. “But we are now getting into a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, where traditional management curriculum won’t help in providing the skill set to resolve such structured problems,” points out Ranjan Banerjee, Dean, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR). Banerjee goes on to add that today, to match up to the requirements of businesses in the country and across the globe, the institute is embedding design thinking in its curriculum, to encourage students to have the skill set to solve badly restructured problems. “This requires a mix of class room and out of class room learning,” he says.
SPJIMR by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan has grown rapidly in eminence since it inauguration in 1981 to become one of the top ten B-schools in the country. “The bold move to move away from University of Mumbai, to have freedom in course curriculum, pedagogic innovations and pioneering programmes in socially under-managed sectors was the beginning of our journey to achieve the mandate,” says Banerjee. Since then, the institute has maintained a consistent record of recognising the needs of society, especially the under-managed sectors, and responding quickly and appropriately.
According to Banerjee, SP Jain’s growth is based on its commitment to diversify into socially relevant segments that are not adequately addressed at societal level, and accordingly impart the requisite management education. The institute offers a variety of programmes right from full-time residential post graduate diploma management and global management programmes to courses on family managed businesses, women management programmes, executive management programmes and management development programmes.
“Apart from these, we also have very focused and industry relevant management programmes catering to the social sector, entrepreneurship and a very unique global programme on doing business in India,” says Banerjee.
As a business school, SPJIMR functions within a wider social and cultural environment with an emphasis on critical socio-economic processes that are shaping business today. We hope to amalgamate these diverse perceptions and demands in order to generate a more relevant and significant management education,” says Banerjee.
Believing itself to be a part of a larger effort, the institute encourages learning by imbibing the best and latest global business practices, western efficiency and eastern ethos and conducting leadership development programmes. “SPJIMR believes in building bridges to the future through synergistic effort with the industry to whom we are accountable and answerable; and whom we serve with a deep commitment,” adds Banerjee. From CEO lecture series, sponsored research and consultancy to academic awards and industry sponsored centres of excellence, SPJIMR makes sure their students are in tune with industry requirements.
Banerjee believes that one of the key contributors to an effective and intensive learning experience is living on campus. SPJIMR is equipped with excellent residential facilities that strengthen the feeling of belonging and provide students the necessary impetus to a more cohesive learning environment.
Besides easy access to library and computer facilities, the recently upgraded hostel facilities include amenities such as table-tennis, coffee vending machines as well as washing machines. Moreover, all rooms are networked and students are connected through a 24-hour internet facility.
Students are part of a bustling, vibrant and virtual community that extends participatory and interactive learning beyond the classroom. Besides encouraging a better peer group interaction for group study and non-classroom activities, it also promotes an informal atmosphere for student-faculty interaction.
B-schools in India continue to produce non-industry ready executives. Banerjee says that the challenge is to create managers who can cope with the unstructured problems of the world. “According to me, we need to focus on incorporating certain radical changes that are required to cope with the badly structured or unstructured problems in a world that we live in at present.”
“Traditionally, management education talks about knowledge that has already been accumulated, but today’s need is to do more of a continued trial and error method to prepare tools to solve problems from a practical situation mode,” Banerjee concludes.
The author is a Mumbai-based education journalist
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 14-12-2015)