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“The Institute’s Focus On Innovation And Entrepreneurial Culture Is Distinct”

The Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH) recently concluded its placement season for the 2020-22 PGDM batches, with record placement for all its eligible post-graduates. The institute sprawls across a 22,360 square metre campus in Greater Noida with 66 permanent faculty members. Harivansh Chaturvedi, Director, BIMTECH talks to BW Businessworld’s Meha Mathur about the institutes unique offerings and mission

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There is a growing trend among Indian students to seek master's degrees across disciplines from overseas campuses. In the case of management education, however, students still think Indian campuses are good enough. Why is this so? How have B-Schools managed to retain value?

In the tussle between MBA in India vs abroad, there is no winner, as it depends on the aspirations of the students and if they are willing to invest more money in their education to receive higher returns. Everything comes with its unique advantages.

An MBA from a B-School is one of the most widely pursued programmes by students with over a quarter of a million students worldwide pursuing an MBA. However, the cost of MBA courses overseas has climbed by 4.7 per cent in the last year despite Covid, according to the BusinessBecause Cost of MBA Report 2021.

The MBA programmes have historically promised a few things, like an education on core business topics, a higher calibre of job opportunities, and a prestigious network.

When comparing top B-Schools in India such as the IIMs, XLRIs, FMS, etc. with B- schools overseas, these Indian B-Schools are substantially less expensive for MBA. 

From networking to large salary increases, there are numerous reasons to study an MBA so the rising costs should not put you off. With loans and the various scholarship opportunities offered, there are also great options to save money during your MBA.

*The country is going through a paradigm shift in education with the NEP, online classrooms, an emphasis on skilling and entrepreneurship. How is your B-School aligning with these changing realities?

The institute’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurial culture is distinct as the institute seeks to create a conducive environment for all in creative thinking and in identifying opportunities on which they need to act. The institute furthers this mission by embracing innovation and entrepreneurship in its curriculum and extra-curricular activities. Further, the Atal Incubation Centre has been established at the Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH) premises that give further impetus to Innovation and Entrepreneurship. (Best Practices at the Atal Incubation Center)

Entrepreneurship at BIMTECH is not confined to closed spaces. It extends from classrooms to communities, from research labs to innovative startups – it is a commitment with a burning desire to make things better. The BIMTECH embraces entrepreneurial approaches in teaching, learning and scholarship, thus, educating, inspiring and employing people who lead change. Innovation and entrepreneurship have been emphasised in BIMTECH’s Mission, Vision and Values. 

The BIMTECH is ideally positioned to become an engine of innovation as well as the region’s go-to place for executive, professional, and continuing education. Our focus on entrepreneurship is not new. For the past many years, BIMTECH’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (CIED) has provided infrastructural support to small-scale entrepreneurs and students with appropriate counselling, training, networking, mentoring and temporary office space (through the Incubation Centre).

More recently, the institute has helped to incubate more than 60 new enterprises in various areas like 3D printing, cyber security, clean tech and ecommerce. Supporting high-growth startups, particularly in sectors of strategic importance in the National Capital Region (NCR) as a catalyst in socio-economic development of the region, is gaining increased importance at the centre.

What has been the major infrastructure augmentation at your institute in the last five years?

The BIMTECH is located on a sprawling, fully-air-conditioned, Wi-Fi based, residential campus in Greater Noida in the NCR. The total built-up area is 22,360 square meters, which includes the instructional area, the amenities area, the administrative area and the circulation area. 

The BIMTECH has built its own new Training Centre named VIKRAMSHILA MDP CENTRE, exclusively for conducting Residential Management Development Programmes. The centre has state-of-the-art amenities with 26 deluxe rooms for participants, a classroom equipped with a digital board, a library and conference room with Wi-Fi and other modern amenities.

The BIMTECH was selected in the year 2017, as the Atal Incubation Centre-BIMTECH (AIC-BIMTECH), for turning the vision of the Atal Innovation Mission into reality. The institute was one of the ten selections out of the 3,658 first round applicants. The AIC-BIMTECH is one of a kind academia-industry-government partnership, driven by the Atal Innovation Mission, to create high-class incubation facilities with suitable infrastructure in terms of capital equipment and operating facilities. It is also coupled with the availability of industry experts for mentoring startups so that these startup businesses may become successful enterprises.

The BIMTECH has established the Centre for Online Studies (COOLS) in July 2020 for providing online diploma and certification courses. The first batch of Online PGDM was launched in January 2021. It aims to impart the best theoretical Knowledge, Analytical & Technical Skills to produce better future professionals.

The BIMTECH Vidya Kendra special school for underprivileged children at Pari Chowk metro station complex in Greater Noida was established in 2019 by the Noida Metro Rail Corporation in collaboration with BIMTECH. The free-of-cost school aims to provide basic and life skills education to children from poor families, especially those belonging to the Banjara community and migrant labourers.

The BIMTECH has decided to explore the use of renewable energy to generate in-house electricity to meet major requirements in the campus. The management decided to set up a solar power plant of 100 KWh over rooftops of two hostels and the academic block in 2019.

The BIMTECH provides high-quality IT infrastructure/services for both academic offices and students. Classroom technology – IFP Panel Smart boards and FHD cameras, digital twin for Classroom Management.  As many as 14 classrooms are equipped with smart boards. 

*How is BIMTECH sensitising students to the environment and sustainability and what work is being done in this regard on the campus?

At the core of the Birla Institute of Management Technology strategy and expected outcome lies the following six missions, which have come out of the institute’s vision of grooming ethical leaders with entrepreneurial and global mindset, striving for sustainability and inclusive growth. The emphasis has been on the inspiring Values – Ethics and Integrity; Sustainability and Transparency; Innovativeness and Entrepreneurship. 

The institute helps students, through its curricular and extracurricular activities, to imbibe into the aspiring business leaders a thought process that considers the impact of their actions beyond themselves. This focus on developing character enables the institute to fulfil its mission to impart education to future business leaders, who will be actors in growing economies and societies. At BIMTECH they are nurtured to become exemplary citizens who would keep this profound talisman – to shape each of their activities on the basis of Sustainability and Inclusive Growth when they enter into business.

The BIMTECH has taken a policy decision to assess the nature and extent of the impact on its immediate environment through the Business School Impact System (BSIS) offered by European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), which is one of the top three reputed accreditation bodies. (BIMTECH BSIS Report: Building Impact with Quality).

The BIMTECH has decided to explore use of renewable energy to generate in-house electricity to meet major requirements in the campus. The installation of solar panels, in addition to protecting the environment, contributed towards lowering the ever-increasing cost of electricity supplied by the power distribution companies. It further helped the institute in minimising the back-up operation of diesel generators which produce electricity at a much higher cost apart from being highly polluting.

In line with the VMV of BIMTECH, a Centre for Sustainability and CSR functions has been set up with the following fundamental goals:  

  • Knowledge creation and dissemination in the domain of CSR & Sustainability. 
  • Providing academic support. 
  • Capacity building of CSR professionals.  
  • Organising national and international summits on CSR. (Read: Partnerships for Sustainability at BIMTECH)

The concept of “responsible business” is now one of the core modules in all PGDM programmes. The module includes a mandatory rural immersion component (could not happen in the Academic Year 2020-21 due to Covid’19 induced disruption). This Experiential Learning acquaints students with the most complex challenges of society and enables them to develop a mindset to bring out sustainable solutions while addressing the needs of communities. 

**Post the economic downturn of 2008-2012 and now Covid, is the B-School education viable and affordable for average Indian families?

Both global and Indian economy passed through several tumultuous changes and upheavals during 2008-22. But business education always survived and thrived in India and around the world. The main reason of its resilience is its organic link with the economy and it's manpower needs. With the structural changes in the world economy and the politics, manpower requirements have been changing and B-Schools have also been reinventing their curriculum, pedagogies and overall functioning.

 In India, there are various categories of B-Schools and their fees also ranges between Rs 50 k to Rs 35 lakh. It is not true that an MBA degree provides a guarantee of a decent job but surely it is one of the most lucrative programmes for youth. It's viability is becoming difficult for poor quality B- schools but affordability is surely based on future hopes of MBA candidates and the RoI expected by them.

*How can we move towards more quality placement that better meets student aspirations?

The emphasis at BIMTECH is on developing an entrepreneurial mindset that would greatly enhance the student’s ability to discover new insights, spot unexploited opportunities, and generate novel business ideas and then turn their ideas into market success stories.

The Center for Corporate Relations works in tandem with corporates and students to ensure value-added summer internship and short team projects. It arranges training facilities in the area of soft skills, arranging workshops, seminars, colloquiums, competitions etc. to enhance the experiential ambience of industry to students. It promotes extra-certifications acquisition by students through Coursera, edX, NETTL, KPMG Six Sigma Lean Green Belt, IIBA (Canada) Certificate etc.

The BIMTECH has developed several platforms through which need for industry interaction is addressed. Live projects, visiting lectures by industry experts for articulating the application of theory, CXO talks and panel discussions on contemporary issues, HR conclave, skill-oriented workshops by industry people and short-term and summer internship projects to list them. Many existing as well as potential recruiters are clubbed for such activities on a continuous basis.

  We prepare our students to fight complacency and set the stage for continuous success in a manner that engages them professionally and personally. At the same time emphasising both the economic and social responsibilities of managing business. 

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bschools bimtech Magazine 19 Nov 2022