There is a need is to align business school curricula with industry needs: Narender L Ahuja

By: | Published: February 2, 2015 12:05 AM

Recently IMT Ghaziabad held its placements and placed a record 241 students on Day Zero...

Recently IMT Ghaziabad held its placements and placed a record 241 students on Day Zero. The dean of the school, Narender L Ahuja, attributes this to the fact that the school prepares its students to meet the demands of emerging sectors such as e-commerce, supply chain management and logistics, big data and analytics, etc. In an interaction with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary, he adds that IMT Ghaziabad is constantly trying to engage with regulatory bodies to bring in a change in the mindset so that the best Indian business schools can strive to be one of the top few globally in any credible ranking. Excerpts:

You placed a record 241 students on Day Zero? What percentage is this of the total student strength?

We placed nearly 60% of our batch on Day Zero and 80% by first week of placements in 2015.

What has been the average pay package? Has this pay package been increasing year-on-year, even in the years when the economy was not doing well?

This academic year, at this time, the highest domestic pay package which has been offered is R23 lakh, while the average package is above R10 lakh. The pay package at IMT has been consistent, even with the economy was growing at a slow pace.

Are companies from sectors such as pharma also coming in for campus placements?

We at IMT are well aware of the current downturn of the global economy and thus prepare our students accordingly to meet the demands of emerging sectors such as e-commerce, manufacturing, supply chain management and logistics, big data and analytics, etc. The placement trend at IMT, however, is positive to the changing scenario—so much so that, in 2014, we have had our best placements season of the last five years. The past year, we received representation from large consulting firms including Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young, and also had pharma companies coming in for placements.

IMT Ghaziabad is one of the few institutes to start an analytics course. What was the need for a course in analytics?

Our association with Genpact led to the launch of the Analytics Lab. Initiated in 2012, the Analytics Lab in the Ghaziabad campus contains open source toolsets and technologies to foster creation of solutions and enables hands-on training in the rapidly growing field of analytics.

Do you have any plans to take IMT education to the masses using MOOCs?

MOOCs are a great way to democratise education. IMT is a pioneer in the open learning space for over three decades. With our Centre for Distance Learning, we have built an online learning environment that integrates cutting-edge technologies, world-class learning resources and the power of a globally-respected learning management system. We are considering launch of MOOCs, albeit with features that maximise completion rates, a vital parameter on which many MOOC providers internationally are still struggling.

Despite improving teaching standards, Indian business schools don’t feature high in the global business school rankings. Lack of adequate research is a major reason…

In recent years, India has witnessed an aimless mushrooming of business schools and most of these do not even have basic resources in place.

To improve this scenario, we have to align business school curricula to industry needs. We have gone through an extensive rebooting exercise, which starts with designing the new curriculum around “Global Breadth, India Depth”. The IMT campus in Dubai has been launched so that we are able to incorporate international curriculum, faculty and student mix into our teaching. Here I must add that business schools in India are regulated by bodies such as UGC and AICTE which have stringent rules for student and faculty intake and curriculum. We have to adhere to them and this sometimes impends our intention to be global in curriculum and student/faculty profiles, which is a necessary requirement to feature in global rankings. We are constantly trying to engage with regulatory bodies to bring in a change in the mindset so that the best Indian business schools can strive to be one of the top few globally in any credible ranking.

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