Backpacker meets Brig Rajiv Divekar, Director SIMS

A Talk with the Director SIMS makes you put an MBA in perspective. Quite simply. Brig Rajiv Divekar is a retired Army brigadier who did his MBA while still at services and through it realized the ‘why’ of his own job. He still believes that this is what an MBA ought to do for a future manager. And though only a month old at SIMS, this is the MBA he plans his students will take back from the institution. Continuing with the backpacker story on SIMS, here is what the Director, SIMS has to say about his college, its students and its ideology.

What does an MBA at Symbiosis Institute of Management stand for?

At SIMS, students are encouraged to make a connection between their MBA degree and the work that they are or will be doing. The pedagogy is not just about teaching from books but making the curriculum application oriented. Through the MBA, the students should realize the reason for doing what they do.

What is the cut-off in the SNAP test needed by a candidate to be called for GD-PI at your institute? What are the qualities that you look for in him/her at this stage?

The cut-off varies from year to year but it generally hovers at 70 to 75 percentile. There are five qualities that we look out for exclusively in a candidate at the GD-PI stage and they are as follows: a) Their knowledge of academics and of the general world around them, b) If they are logically thinking individuals, c) Their communication skills and how well they can express themselves, d) Their confidence levels and lastly e) If they are team players or not. A large portion, almost 60 percent of our students are from defense background while 40 percent are from other walks of life. There is a symbiotic relationship between both set of students and each gain from the other’s experience.

What is the average size of the PGP class? What would be the region wise mix of a standard class at your institute?

We have 60 students in each class of MBA and they come from all the states in India providing good diversity to the institute.

How have the placements been affected because of the economic situation? Have all the students from last year’s batches been placed?

Although we have been able to place all the students of the 2007-2009 batch, the placements sure have been affected. The Industry has been choosy and thus more companies have been required to place the same number of students. The pay packages also came down by two to three lakhs.

Based on the lessons from the recession, is the college looking to transform its placements process next year?

To tackle a situation like recession, we have planned to increase the base of the companies recruiting from the campus. We already have a loyal base of companies that come every year to recruit; however, we have to increase it in case they start recruiting lesser number of students.

Any other comments that you would like to add about SIMS

SIMS has started various courses to make education a fruitful experience for the students. We encourage students to take up subjects different than their core subjects for their overall development. We are one of the five institutions chosen to be a part of the National Foundation for Corporate Governance (NFCG) after IIM Ahemdabad, IIM Banglore, IIM Calcutta, MDI and ISB. We are already in the top 25 b-schools in India and the quest is to rise up a few notches higher.

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