'IIMs future vision is faculty and research'

Written by Kirtika Suneja | Updated: Dec 4 2011, 19:54pm hrs
Almost 10 months after he took charge of the newly established Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Rohtak, Professor P Rameshan, director of the only IIM in NCR, has a foreign tie up and doubling of batch size to his credit. Further, he has a 30-year mission to take the premier institute to the same levels as Nalanda University. In an interaction with Kirtika Suneja, he shares his vision for IIM Rohtak. Excerpts:

How have the past ten months unfolded for the institute after you took over

I joined the institute in November last year and the batch size then was 50. There was no regular faculty and faculty from IIM Lucknow, our mentor institute, used to come and teach. A computer centre was set up soon after and now we are developing a website also. On the faculty front, two rounds of recruitment have been made and we have eight regular faculty now. On the student front, we increased the batch size to 125, which is both an achievement and risk, as no other IIM has increased the batch size to two sections.

Are you still hiring more faculty

Yes. The process is on and ten people have agreed to join us. So even if a few back out, we will have a faculty strength of around 12 soon. We shortlist faculty who have either at least one publication or are from good colleges with the willingness to have publications and do research. In fact, their promotions, probation declaration and regularisation will be tied to their research and publications.

Now that the institute is in its second year, how has the relationship with IIM Lucknow shaped up

IIM-L continues to be our mentor. They helped us start and launch the institute. Their faculty is still teaching half courses here.

What about adding new programmes

The first batch will pass out in March 2012 and we only have the post graduate programme (PGP) as of now. We plan to develop an executive programme next year and launch it by early 2013. Further, a fellow programme in management (FPM), which is a doctoral programme, might be launched by 2014.

Yours is one of the few institutes to have a long-term mission for the next 30-40 years. What is the strategy for that vision

The long-term vision focuses on faculty, research and publications. Knowledgeable faculty have their own theories, models and framework. They will do research and disseminate their own knowledge and thereby have publications and own case studies. We plan to achieve this by having a visible size of faculty and alumni.

Like other IIMs, do you plan to set up centres of excellence catering to specialised fields

Centres and specialisation are part of the long-term plan. Food wastage due to rotting foodgrain, social entrepreneurship, agricultural support to rural areas and indigenous technologies are our interest areas.

Any more foreign tie-ups in the pipeline after the one with Indiana Universitys Kelley School of Business from the US

The partnership with Kelley includes academic exchanges at faculty and student levels, joint supervision of doctoral work and collective conduct of workshops and conferences, besides joint research work and joint delivery of courses. Going ahead, we will need proper alignment with someone to whom we can provide management inputs.