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Churning Out Future Ready MBAs
The IIM Tiruchirappalli curriculum and pedagogy for management education has lured leading corporate houses to its campus placements. BW Businessworld takes a look at the institute’s unique traits.
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Launched in 2011 and located on a 175-acre campus, 11 km from the Tiruchirappalli International Airport, IIM Tiruchirappalli currently has 855 students enrolled in its programmes. It has 32 permanent and more than 100 guest faculty on an average in any academic year. Besides the flagship Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PDGM) and PGDM-HR, the IIM also runs a Doctoral Programme in Management. It also has an Executive Doctoral Programme in Management (EDPM), a non-residential doctoral programme for working professionals keen to do research work.
*Infrastructure & Research Push
The institute has gone in for an infrastructure augmentation to ensure quality education in these programmes. Says IIM Tiruchirappalli Director, Pawan Kumar Singh, “The first phase of the state-of-the-art campus of IIM Tiruchirappalli was completed five years back. All the basic infrastructure needed for an integrated B-School are available with us. We have recently created a Finance Lab to help students understand the nuances of the stock market.”
He goes on to say that the institute is adding new hostels and classrooms as part of its capacity building exercise. “There is a plan for a state-of-the-art Management Development Centre and a high-quality outdoor sports facility. Apart from an open-air amphitheatre, we have created Panchvati Garden for meditation and yogic practices,” he says.
Research is a key thrust area and the institute provides a healthy academic environment for creation and implementation of knowledge in the form of research, publication, project implementation and consultancy. As Singh says, “Our faculty regularly publish in top- quality journals. The other types of publications include books and informative as well as impactful articles. Our publications are in almost all the fields of management including theoretical and practical research. We emphasise research and teaching through electives in the zone of confluence of multiple subjects. In the area of interdisciplinary work, we emphasise on the Indian insight of management, based on our profound literature and scriptures.”
The IIM Tiruchirappalli website boasts that the prime objective of the PGDM, is “to develop young women and men into competent professional managers, capable of working in any sector of organised activity.” The institute’s core subjects do indeed, expose students to a whole gamut of domain areas, while the elective courses provide insights on areas of interest of students. This is facilitated through case methods, learning on field, guest lectures and learning from peers.
The institute even offers an elective subject on morality and public policy designed around movies, nudging students to think of solutions to the dilemmas presented in the movie plots. “We have a mechanism for regular interaction with our alumni and other practitioners in industry. This helps us to know the requirement of bridging the gap between our curriculum and industry requirements,” says Singh.
Singh sees an advantage in generalist B-School programmes. “While generalist B-Schools can always add cutting edge specialisation and electives to their MBA programmes making the programmes as good as specialised programmes, the specialised B-Schools cannot easily gear up to project their specialised programme as a well-integrated MBA programme,” he says.
He adds that general MBA programmes also enjoy an advantage over specialised management programmes owing to the design and structure of ranking agencies. “Many specialised B-Schools maintaining significant high academic standards, unfortunately do not get commensurate ranking to have their standard properly reflected in their scheme of things.”
*The Diversity Agenda
Diversity at the workplace is a prominent discourse today and several leading corporate houses have evolved policies of zero tolerance on discrimination on caste, colour, creed, gender or geographical grounds. How B-Schools ingrain that spirit among future managers needs to be looked at. Singh says, “Our ‘no to discrimination’ allows everyone to fructify in the domains of their individuality and social interaction. We also emphasise on inclusion of such issues in regular education as well as sensitising students to diversity and inclusions through cutting-edge electives on the theme.”
The institute’s endeavour to develop humanistic principles among its students came to the fore during the pandemic. It conducted online examinations, made arrangements for availability of e-books, conducted knowledge sessions with industry experts for the benefit of students, and organised awareness camps in nearby villages on prevention of Covid, appropriate use of masks, distributed masks and other relief material. It tied up with CSR clubs of other IIMs for relief work.
During the placements this year, the passing out batch received 228 offers from 110 companies in the fields of Sales and Marketing, Finance, Consulting, IT and Analytics, Operations and HR. A large number of leading corporates recruited IIM Tiruchirapalli graduates from the campus. The highest salary (CTC) offered was Rs 34 lakh per annum and the average CTC fetched by the graduates was Rs 17.01 lakh per annum.
The campus also witnessed a tremendous increase in consulting offers (47 per cent of total offers), demonstrating the industry perception of IIM Tiruchirappalli graduates.