How many applications
does GIM receive and what is the number of students that are called for GD-PI
after the XAT results are declared?
The number varies from year to year but to the best of my knowledge,
last year about 800 to 1,000 students were called for a total of 120 seats. The
number of applications that we received was 10,000.
are the differentiating factors for GIM as a business school?
think our value systems have been strengthened ever since our inception. Father
Romould DaSouza has been the founder of three business schools in the country,
all of which are in the top 20 including XLRI which is in the top five or
seven. Therefore, our genes in a sense are right. We place a great amount of
emphasis on teaching and hence our curriculum here gets top priority. As far as
our environment is concerned, many people who come here cannot believe that one
can have an institute of excellence in what can be described as typical holiday
settings. One of the things that we can very clearly state is that we combine
work with pleasure. A component of education is coupled with tourism which I
would say is quite unique.
GIM placements report 2008 states that close to 100 students had accepted offers
from software and financial sectors. Given that these sectors are the most
affected by the present world financial crisis, how do you see placements at
the institute getting affected?
It is true that the IT and financial sectors are the sectors
in which GIM students have got more placements. Suffice it to say that this is
driven entirely by industry requirements for example if there is a boom in IT
then there would be a requirement for more IT students. However, the education
provided here is not sector specific as of now and students from GIM have the
ability to work in any sector of the economy. We are thinking of sectoral
specialization as we go along such as
programs relating to the sectors of retail, tourism, health management etc.
For a B-school student graduating in 2009
and looking forward to placements, how should he or she prepare given the
current scenario in the world economy and particularly in the financial sector?
My advice to any B-school student would be
to firstly be very clear of what management education is all about and what it
is likely to deliver. Secondly, be very clear of what you want out of life. It
is important to not only benchmark but also to anext-marka. It is important to
know what you want to do and be the best in the world in that field whether it
be journalism, acting, cricket or any other field that youare destined for.
How do you see placements changing in the
finance sector? Will there be more first time recruiters, less job offers or
more private equity firms recruiting?
Within the finance sector there are several
verticals which one can look at. The banking sector, the insurance sector, the
non banking financial institutions, the NGO sector and the government sector
all make up the finance sector. There are bound to be ups and downs because of
the meltdown. In our country we are not likely to be affected to a large
extent. Our economy and banking sectors are still very strong. Jobs would be
coming up in the finance sector. Itas not that they would be drying up
completely. The general sentiment is that this is a time where we need to maybe
tighten our belts in a sense. A sentiment that goes somewhat like this, aIf we
recruited ten last year then maybe we could do with eight this yeara. There might be a reduction in some cases but I
really donat see the need for an overall panic.
How is GIM placed as regards placements which
are scheduled to commence in a week or so from now?
As far as this year is concerned,
once we got a sense of the meltdown and its possible repercussions, we
consciously adopted a strategy of diversifying our company base. We donat
believe that there is a panic situation. Of course there are cases in which
some companies have pulled out because of certain reasons, some have said that
they will come a bit later, some have said that they might recruit in lesser
numbers. My argument is that if students generally got placed within a week or
two then it might take a month or two months and itas just a question of a time
lag. One just needs to have patience and
there might be a compromise in terms of money here and there. As we have been
telling our students here, money should be a consequence of a good job. Today
the argument is a look at the company and the job profile on offer, it doesnat
matter even if you have to take a salary cut, your long term plans are more
important than your short term interests.
As far as the current economic slowdown is
concerned, do you think it could lead to sectors such as the FMCG sector and
media attracting talent? Could it also lead to a change in expectations that
students have for the MBA degree, in a positive way?
Yes, there would be a reshuffle in terms of
the industries that are affected by the meltdown and those that are not.
Fortunately the advertising and the entertainment sectors continue to be
extremely buoyant. It is possible that more jobs come from these sectors.
Typically, advertising agencies have not been paying the kind of monies that
other sectors have been paying to MBA students and therefore MBA students have
not been going into advertising. Now with the meltdown, because there will be a
dearth of jobs in other sectors, people will be looking at this sector in a
very interesting way. Now, the irony is that we must educate our students to
not follow placements but to follow their hearts and what they want to do.
Therefore, if you wanted advertising you should have opted for it in the first
place and not been driven to it because of it offering jobs! The perspective
with which students are looking at management education is wrong and that is
what we must change as the education fraternity.
How would the way in which students look at
an MBA degree change? Would they do a lot more thinking before choosing to
enroll in an MBA program?
See, nine out of ten students get into an
MBA program because everybody is running in that direction. And therefore, if
everybody is running in that direction then the question is a in which
direction will everybody run, next? Itas almost as if, if the NGO sector suddenly
has a lot more jobs or government salaries increase dramatically then a lot of
MBAs would be going in these directions! Can we pause, think for a minute and
ask why we are getting into an MBA program? Earlier the only two professions
which were considered to be good were medicine and engineering. My argument is
a look, the world is big! There are many other jobs and professions which are
waiting. You could be anything. You could be a doctor, an actor, play cricket,
tennis, be a CEO, be an entrepreneur. Fundamentally we must have a good process
starting at the school and college level of trying to help our students
discover what they want out of life and guide them in that direction.
the basis of your extensive experience in the advertising industry, how does a
B-school use the media to enhance its image, if at all it is possible?
A B-schoolas image is not something which
should be mass advertised. We are in the educational field and I would like to
liken ourselves to a medical school or an engineering college. Do you see
engineering or medical schools of good quality advertising? You donat.
Therefore the question that I ask myself is, why is it that this B-school
syndrome has become such a marketing game? To my mind it should not really be a
marketing game. If your product is good, you will get known in any case. The
concentration should be on building the institute rather than marketing the
institute. Unfortunately today, given the demand and supply position a lot of
institutes are into heavy advertising and heavy gimmicks of various kinds. In
my mind, marketing does not substitute a product. You must first have a good
product and then I believe that in the education sector, it will market itself.
Of course, this does not mean that you do not talk about the institute or you
do not show the institute in good light. Marketing is important but it is
incidental and you do not market first and then create a product. It works the
What do you think is the future for
management education in India? How do you see Indian B-schools tackling the
ever increasing demand for MBA?
Letas go back in the past to understand
what the future holds for us. At the time of Indiaas independence, we decided
to go for an industrialized economy and Jawaharlal Nehru in his wisdom thought
that the country needed a body of engineers and the Indian Institutes of
Technology were established. After this came the phase of management because
good managers in various fields were required to manage these industries and
this is how the IIMs came into being. So the IIMs evolved out of the need for
management education which existed at that point in time and a lot of other MBA
colleges were started. From here onwards we will be seeing what I call the
averticalizationa of management education or certain sectors would evolve which
would be the sectors of the future and managers will be required for these
sectors. Today a general management education does not seem to serve the
purposes for each and every industry in a uniform way which is why we created
MICA in the first place. This stemmed from the concept that management
education needed to be sectoralised and the communications sector required talent
of a certain kind which blended the understanding of communications with
management. An entirely different curriculum, syllabus, pedagogy, group of
students was needed to address this issue. This will increasingly happen in the
years to come and lead to the establishment of a lot more sector specific MBA
A sector such as aviation experienced a
sudden growth which resulted in a lot of flowering of aviation schools. Now,
with the current crisis a lot of aviation graduates and schools are facing
problems. Do you think such a situation may come to be if sector specific MBA
programs gain in prominence?
Thatas a good question but one must try and
understand management education vis-A -vis vocational education. The people most
hit in the aviation industry are pilots, flight stewards and stewardesses.
These are vocational jobs and not management jobs. Management is a holistic
concept, it can straddle and so one can seamlessly move from retail management
to hospitality and from retail to health and so on in time to come should the
need arise. The reason being that a basic grounding in management has been
obtained and itas just that the flavour added, the icing to the cake so to
speak pertains to a particular sector.
Interaction with students at b-schools that
have sector specific MBA programs has revealed that the quality of students in
these programs is in some cases lower than that in a general MBA program. Do you see this
changing in the future?
I think there will be a steady state which
will be achieved in the time to come. In my mind, the demand for general MBAs
will reduce, salaries that MBAs receive will peak, come down and stabilize.
Today I believe that in any B-school, salaries are hiked up and more than what
students should be getting. This is the result of various factors such as
demand-supply, globalization and others. This year will be the year of
reckoning where one will actually know at what level salaries are getting
stabilized. Ups and downs will decide what kind of salaries are really
meaningful salaries to be paid to individuals who come out of B-school.
Could you elaborate on GIMas move to the
new campus at Sanquelim and what changes you propose to implement there? You
had mentioned earlier that you would seek to emulate the ISB model of
It is easy to create resources of
infrastructure such as good buildings, labs, libraries, technology within a
span of two to five years. All that is required is money. What one cannot
create overnight is international, global talent to have and come and stay in
the institute . Therefore the model of ISB appeals to me because one has global
talent coming and injecting a global quality of education to the institute. Now
the challenge there is, how good is the existing faculty to integrate all this
that is happening with the globalised world. Therefore it is important to have
core faculty talent which is outward looking and which can easily assimilate
this global talent into the Indian context and that is what I am talking about.
But in that case, would you be accepting
In time to come we will have to relook our
admissions process and we might have to take a look at GMAT scores. In that
case, my argument is that firstly we have to define whether the B-school truly
is a global B-school or not. Once we start attracting talent from abroad and
people from countries such as the United States of America or from Europe think
the education in India to be good enough to come here then such a situation
will come to be. Already we have students from Africa and the Middle East
coming to study in India. However, if the developed world in the next 20-25
years is going to be located in the East rather than in the West then the
challenge for India is whether we can create an environment where instead of
Indians going to a Harvard we have students from America and other countries
coming to a GIM or an ISB.
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