B-schools Rope In Corporates To Deploy Courses

Mumbai | Updated: Jan 6 2004, 05:30am hrs
Call it reverse outsourcing by B-schools. For, instead of courses being developed in-house, B-schools are turning to corporates to conceptualise and roll out these courses. Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd is conducting a course on equity research with the SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) while the Ahmedabad-based Nirma Institute of Management has roped in a call centre organisation Azure along with several other management and finance consultants to conceptualise and deploy courses in the campus.

Says Nirma Institute of Management director Anup Singh: We have a course on corporate tax planning which is designed and delivered by management consultants who specialise in this area. This is an extension to our thumb rule that 10-20 per cent of the sessions in each course should be delivered by management professionals. Also, this is in line with the institutes concept of involving management professionals in the design, development and delivery of various management courses.

The rationale behind the move is that there are several new areas of business and management where there is no established management literature in terms of textbooks or other secondary material. And the corporates who are into a new business stream, say BPO for instance, would arrive as a substantial resource to support the campus through such courses.

Says SPJIMR faculty KVSS Narayan Rao: There are no prescribed study materials for equity research. Therefore, it becomes relevant to rope in a practising firm to deploy the course so that our students do not miss out on this crucial area of learning.

A novel aspect of this initiative is that the entire team from a particular function of the corporate entity teaches these courses in the campus, instead of the campus inviting professionals from a wide range of companies as visiting faculty while dwelling on a given course.

All the professionals who are attached to a certain department of Motilal Oswal come to the campus and teach the course on equity research, says Mr Rao.

For the corporates, this makes business sense since conducting this course will help them mould a set of professionals who are tailored to suit their requirements in the future. This helps us create a talent pool which can be recruited for various projects if we desire, says Motilal Oswal Securities Ltd joint managing director Ramdeo Agrawal.

But there is a flip side to this initiative. Corporates are displeased by the fact that all students do not show enough enthusiasm while participating in some of these courses.

We have generally noticed that students are guided by considerations like immediate job opportunity and impressive marks that they can gain from a given course. And if they perceive that they may not gain on any of these counts, then they display a certain lack of interest and enthusiasm, explains Mr Agrawal.

There could also be possibilities of conflict between the campus and the company if the campus discovers that the courses that are designed by the corporate do not meet some of the academic standards that are established by the institute.

We, therefore, have an internal faculty which co-ordinates with the corporates so that our academic standards are satisfactorily met, sums up Mr Singh.