A new school of thought

Written by Vikram Chaudhary | Updated: Nov 13 2012, 02:18am hrs
We aim to prepare students for a world yet to be imagined; to manage markets that are yet to emerge; and to lead with conviction in situations that cannot be predicted, says the dean of the upcoming Myra School of Business, Prof Rajiv K Sinha

There are over 4,500 business schools in India and, so, the news of yet another one opening in Mysore didnt excite me much. In fact, have a look at any education magazine and you will see numerous advertisements from unknown business schools, some of which even claim to have a global faculty.

So, when I meet Prof Rajiv K Sinha, the dean of the Myra School Business, whose inauguration I have come to attend in Mysore, the first question I ask him is about faculty. The Myra faculty have a deep commitment to Myras vision. We have carefully hand-picked our faculty from around the world and they all hold PhDs and are professors at some of the worlds finest business schools, and have made a name for themselves in terms of research publications, teaching, mentoring and industry consulting experience, Prof Sinha says. And they will be physically present at the Myra campus, interacting with the students. They will be present from the introductory lecture, to moderating in-depth classroom discussions, to guiding students through project work, to administering and grading the final exams, he adds.

So, what is Myras vision I ask him. Our mission is to be an internationally-renowned academic institution that is recognised for excellence, governance and values, and that nurtures socially-responsible leaders. We also aim to create an academic environment that fosters interdisciplinary learning, innovative thinking and interactive leadership, Prof Sinha says, adding, And we aim to sustain a platform for cutting-edge, socially-relevant research by bringing together international academics, industry stalwarts and policymakers.

Apart from the faculty, will you also bring distinguished speakers to give talks at the campus I ask him. In fact, we have already begun, Prof Sinha replies, adding, We will be conducting a workshop on governance and the political economy that will be sponsored by the University of Warwick and the Journal of Public Economics, on December 17-18, 2012.

We do need good business schools, since the ones we have cannot quite cater to the number of good students we have, I add my two-pence worth of knowledge as we move to his office. Prof Sinha gives me his full-rupee worth of knowledge: There are approximately two lakh students who take the CAT; of them, the top 10%about 20,000 or soare brilliant, world-class students. But it is only about 1% or so who get into the IIMs. This means about 18,000 good students miss out on world-class MBA education. What happens to the rest Now, there are a lot of wonderful business schools in India apart from the IIMs. But they cannot absorb as big a number as 18,000. Lets say these good schools take another 5,000 or so students. We are still left with a huge pool of good studentsas many as 10,000who have nowhere to go, because the fact remains that after the IIMs and other fine business schools in India, the quality of business education falls dramatically. So, what do they do I dont say that we are here to solve the problem of business education in the country, but we will surely contribute to providing quality business education. We hope to make a small difference.

How I ask him. We aim to prepare students for a world yet to be imagined, to manage markets that are yet to emerge, and to lead with conviction in situations that cannot be predicted. We will strive to teach the science of management and the art of leadership which we view as creative and powerful forces with the potential to improve India and the world. Our rigorous curriculum will deliver, as you would expect, the essential knowledge of business functionsfinance, accounting, marketing, strategy, organisational behaviour, supply-chain operations and information systems, Prof Sinha smiles and says.

And why Mysore I ask him. One is the obvious reason that this school is the brainchild of Prof Shalini Urs, who is the chairperson and founder of the Mysore Royal Academy (in fact, thats why the school is called MYRA). Second is that Mysore is a culturally-awake, heritage-rich city, which has been well-known as an educational destination. In fact, not many know that Mysore boasts the second highest number of foreign students in India! And since the Myra campus is located right in the heart of Mysores sizeable corporate scene which includes Infosys, L&T Infotech, Wipro, BEML, SPI, etc, and offers a wealth of social, athletic, cultural and professional networking activities which foster an intense, collaborative community, the students will get to benefit a lot, Prof Sinha says as we leave for the inauguration ceremony, where the guest is Deepak Parekh, chairman, HDFC.

During his inauguration speech, Mr Parekh says, Over the past 20 years, we have seen entrepreneurial ventures showing a new landscape of development globally. Point to highlight is the importance of ethics, integrity, honesty and transparency which are the pillars for success and I hope Myra inculcates this in their curriculum

We hope the same.