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‘Professionals need to keep learning new things to make a mark and move ahead in career’

IIM Nagpur director Dr Bhimaraya Metri talks about the courses offered at the satellite campus in Pune.

Written by Anjali Marar | Pune |
September 8, 2021 12:49:58 pm
Plan is to introduce a two-year executive master in business administration (MBA) - working professionals programme. This course, with a present intake capacity of 60, will be open for professionals across sectors.

Pune will add yet another feather of a prestigious educational institute to its hat, with the first Indian Institute of Management (IIM) coming to the city. IIM Nagpur, in partnership with the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT), is establishing its first-ever satellite campus in Pune and rolling out the maiden course for working professionals. The institute also will offer short, long and certificate courses in transport management among others.

Dr Bhimaraya Metri, director, IIM Nagpur, spoke to The Indian Express at the launch of the satellite campus in Pune. Excerpts from an interview.

Can you tell us about the courses that will be offered at the Pune satellite campus of IIM Nagpur?

Initially, we plan to introduce a two-year executive master in business administration (MBA) – working professionals programme. This course, with a present intake capacity of 60, will be open for professionals across sectors. Those with a minimum of three years of work experience and over 50 per cent scores at graduation level are eligible to apply.

The admission process will involve a screening test (not common aptitude test, CAT) and a personal interview. As this course is designed for working professionals, the classes will be conducted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The admission application process will begin on September 8 and the entrance test is tentatively planned for October. The course will most likely begin in December 2021. The two-year course fee will be Rs 9.5 lakh.

In future, the satellite campus will also offer a full-time regular MBA programme. Besides, there are courses planned with specialization in Transport Management. In addition, there will be short and long-term certificate courses.

Why is an MBA for working professionals important?

In my earlier stint at IIM Trichy, where the institute’s working professionals programme was offered in Chennai, I saw enrolment of professionals who were working in top auto, oil and varied sector companies. The course was a huge success and had 180 professionals. This programme helped numerous professionals develop themselves and make a difference in their organisations.

It is extremely important for professionals who cannot afford to remain in a non-learner mode. Professionals have to keep learning new things to make a mark and move ahead in their careers.

Professionals are in the lookout for new skill sets as it is the requirement of every new job. This is where the need to take a course like the ones offered at IIMs arise, as the courses help reach a higher level professionally and achieve their goals I am sure, in the next two years, the student intake at the Pune satellite campus would have doubled.

What pedagogical adaptations were made due to the Covid-19 pandemic at IIM Nagpur?

Due to online courses, the attention span of students has come down. First, we changed and modified the curriculum suiting the online-teaching requirements. Long case studies were reduced to caselets and brief cases.

Secondly, we introduced simulation and business games, in which students were made active members in the game thus helping them stay attentive.

Thirdly, we asked the faculty to play a mentor-advisor role rather than remaining a teacher. By doing so, the faculty was being less of an instructor and more of a speaker of all things around which helped students retain their attention.

We also introduced group tasks and projects, fused in opinion polls within an ongoing class and played short podcasts of successful corporate professionals — all done to increase the student participation during the online classes.

How did IIM Nagpur fair in placements last year amidst the pandemic?

Placements at IIM Nagpur have always shown an upward trend. Despite the pandemic last year, the placements jumped 1 per cent higher than that in 2019. IIM Nagpur stood fourth among the IIMs to close the placements last year. Some of the companies that participated in the placements include L&T, HCL, Deloitte, Tech Mahindra, Polycab, DHL, Tata Power and more.

What is the relevance of an MBA specialising in transport management?

During the pandemic last year, the importance of having an efficient supply chain came to the fore in a big way. Logistics alone accounts for some 17 to 18 per cent of the total expenses in India. If we can reduce the logistics cost even by one per cent, it will not only improve the overall efficiency but also save lakhs of crores of rupees.

For example, unloading of goods from a ship in India can take between three to four days, whereas, in China, this is done in a matter of about eight hours. Transport management is thus closer to public policy management and the course will be an effort towards creating leaders of tomorrow, who will work towards the vision of creating ‘zero-accident roads’.

We are working with industry experts and CIRT in designing the curriculum and hope to launch the course soon from the Pune campus.

Pune is the first satellite campus. What are the future plans of IIM Nagpur?

IIM Nagpur is the youngest of the IIMs and within six years itself, our courses have seen admission spillage, more than the number of available seats. After Pune, we plan satellite campuses in Hyderabad and also in Singapore (by 2024).

Hyderabad is India’s third-largest IT city and Telangana lacks an IIM. Geographically, Nagpur is closer to Hyderabad than Pune.

Like our partnership with CIRT in Pune, we have a similar memorandum of understanding with the National Institute of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Ni-MSME). At Hyderabad, the institute will offer courses specialising in entrepreneurship jointly with Ni-MSME.

Among the other new courses soon to be offered at IIM Nagpur include an executive PhD programme in 2022-2024 and a postgraduate programme in blockchain.

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