Dr. H.R. Venkatesha, the Director of Acharya Bangalore Business School, has been instrumental in obtaining three accreditations, including NBA, IACBE (USA), and NAAC, for ABBS. With over 15 years of experience, he has effectively led the MBA department, recruited and retained staff, developed long-term growth strategies, and facilitated capacity-building among students. As the head of the program, he also coordinates with all stakeholders to ensure successful program delivery.
In this interview, we dive deeper into Dr. Venkatesha’s journey, his leadership philosophy, and his vision for the future of ABBS.
1. Can you share with us some insights on your journey thus far as the Director of Acharya Bangalore B-School, having completed 15 years in this role?
Acharya Bangalore B School (ABBS) is one of the notable B Schools in India today. This has become possible because of the contribution of all Stakeholders, particularly, the faculty members. ABBS could attract faculty from different parts of India. I thank all of them for what ABBS is today. The other stakeholders who contributed to make ABBS as one of the premier B schools are our students and alumni. Many of our alumni are in top and middle management cadre in the notable companies, both in India and abroad. They have also made ABBS to feel proud of. In the same breadth, we thank all accrediting agencies like NBA, NAAC and IACBE, USA. It is not just for their accreditation of ABBS for two cycles, but also for them facilitating to improve our operational procedure. The corporate across India and abroad in general and particularly companies in Bengaluru needs special mention. The growing interest in ABBS from leading corporate made ABBS, what it is today. Big thanks to them. Educated, hardworking and passionate top Management is another strength of our B School. But for their single minded support, we could not achieve in just 15 years, what many big branded B Schools took four to five decades. As a result of all this, ABBS has emerged as sterling Management Institute. It has become a coveted business school in South India, drawing students from across India.
2. What is ABBS’s flagship program?
From the very conceptual idea of naming our institution as ‘Acharya Bangalore B School’ to the present day, ABBS stands mainly for Business programs. The flagship program of ABBS is its Post Graduate Management program- MBA. This program is approved by AICTE, New Delhi and affiliated to Bangalore University, Bengaluru. At ABBS, we pride ourselves on our unique quiver of Avant-grade learning tool, setting us apart as one of India’s most future-fit business schools. Our differential learning programs have been crafted by seasoned industry leaders and feature an array of elements including industry interfacing, entrepreneurship development, live workshops, management Development Programs and publication. We draw valuable insights from industry liaisons, and our alliances are geared towards student enhancement, enrichment and recruitment.
3. How are you planning to promote diversity in your batch?
Diversity is the ‘Mantra’ in ABBS, both in terms of students and faculty. There is a planned orientation to maintain diversity. In many demographic aspects, we can find diversity among students. It is particularly visible in under graduation and geographical background of students. ABBS is one of the most diversified B schools in India. In almost all batches, MBA program would have students from almost 15 states of India. In many batches there were international students too from countries like Syria, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Bhutan. Students’ are also drawn from Engineering, Commerce, Management, Hotel Management, Health Care, and Science streams. This has also added to the diversity of students in every batch. Indeed there is diversity in the very setting of Bengaluru. It naturally comes to B Schools like ABBS. Even the faculty at ABBS is drawn from different states of India. Global immersion programs and visiting International experts make our students to rub shoulders with International faculty.
4. What are the prospects for individuals enrolling in a program at ABBS, given the current global recession?
The MBA program is almost free from recession. MBA by very nature is a generalist program. In ABBS we take extra effort to make students ready for niche sectors, which are doing well, even in the recession period. For example, in each specialization, we prepare generalists. This is the USP of the MBA program. Hence, the global recession, in one or two segments, do not affect the placement and internship potential of MBA students at ABBS. The placement in ABBS is breaking records, year after year. The placement department has never felt the problem of recession.
5. What are the main objectives you have for the institute and how do you envision its future 10 years from now?
Today, ABBS is one of the fastest growing premier, private B Schools in the country. The MBA program is mosaic in nature. The vision of ABBS is to become ‘Number One’ in selected few areas in Management in the country. Right now, ABBS has a focus on Business Analytics and Supply Chain Management. Last year, ABBS started MBA (Business Analytics) program. We are proud; we are the first B School under Bangalore University to start this program. ABBS is proud of its Research Centre in Management leading to Ph.D. There are seven research guides at ABBS. The B-School has an in-house journal, AMBER (Acharya Management, Business, and Entrepreneurship Review). The objective of ABBS is to envision as a cutting edge research institute in selected areas of Management. As a B School, we envision ourselves as the most preferred destination for the corporate to recruit students. Through our MDP and Consultancy, we are chartering the path to become a ‘one-stop solution’ provider for corporate in niche areas.
6. Could you offer any advice, guidance, or tips for aspirants who are considering doing an MBA / applying for programs at ABBS?
If you do not want to ‘breath, eat, drink, walk and sleep’ management, do not join an MBA program. You have to really love ‘Management’. Another time tested tip is ‘Work hard’! Perseverance and perspiration makes you successful. Third and most important tip is- A Management program is different from other programs like Engineering and Medicine. As an MBA, you should develop lateral thinking, decision making capability, strategizing, leadership and problem-solving skills. All these capabilities can be acquired, if student has vast knowledge. The MBA student should read books from varied subjects, do live-projects, and prepare oneself to become an Intrapreneur, if not an Entrepreneur.
7. How do you plan to bridge the gap between theoretical classroom education and practical on-the-job experience for your students, and prepare them to be industry-ready in the light of this challenge?
Experiential learning is the essence of studying in ABBS. In their two years of stay, I am happy that alumni claim, 70 percent of their total learning comes from outside the classroom. University mandated-exam oriented learning is just 30 percent of their total learning! This we think as a great feat to any B School. Our Book Review club activities, Live Projects, Management Clubs, Toastmaster International, TEDxABBS are few of the examples of our experiential learning activities. There are many other experiential learning activities like this. For example, our Socially Relevant Projects (SRPs) make students sensitive to the societal problems. It makes them better human beings. In addition to this, the SRPs make students to find ‘business solutions’ for social problems.