FABS Director: “Our 9 month paid internship promotes industry connect”

1) Given your 25 years of experience in different fields, what would you like to establish for Fazlani as a Director?

In the past 25 years I have worked for 7 companies and would have recruited close to 10000 students from colleges. We have spent a huge amount of money, time as well as resources on their induction & training to make them efficient for the role. So from an industry perspective, recruiting become a massive expenditure. This is solely because what the colleges are teaching and the industry expectation do not match. Thus a massive gap exists between the graduates passing out from different colleges & what the requirement of a job is.

From a student’s perspective moving out of the campus and entering the corporate world, there is a sense of excitement about the forthcoming experiences and fear of what lies ahead. Questions like whether they will do justice to the role and if the job will be worth their education always persists. At Fazlani Altius Business School we address this need of the corporates as well as the students. We make our students productive in their work right from day zero. Our course is designed and focused as per the industry requirements. Our teachers are people from the industry teaching them the necessary education concepts required. Further we strongly work on the industry connect in the 9 month paid internship period we have. This provides students with hands on experience and they have already overcome their fear before the job begins.

Having said these, there are 3 E’s which I have largely been looking at to establish through the FABS model:

– Education

– Employment

– Employability

At the current juncture, I am driving employment by providing employable students and serving the nation as well as the youth by providing them the right job with the right education.

2) In a scenario where everyone is struggling for 100 % placements, how do you manage to place your students before they start their MBA program?

I disagree with the above statement. We don’t have a placement cell because every student in our college already has a job before taking admission and hence we do not struggle with providing 100% placement. I believe it is the corporates who are struggling in recruitment as they are not finding value in the education attained by students. At FABS, we solve this problem as the corporates that have partnered with us are being presented with an Industry Ready workforce. Our concept is designed as per the corporate’s needs, it is they who come and teach our students and our curriculum is co-created by them. Our course is different than the rest of the B-Schools. We have 6 months of general MBA, followed by 6 months of specialization in the first year. The students are trained by the corporates right since the beginning of 2nd year through a super-specialization term of 3 months and the 9 month paid internship program. Thus the students are well trained and familiar with the company culture well before they join. These corporates have to invest less on training them and also the retention rate is very high with these candidates. Thus FABS model is completely of the corporates, by the corporates and for the corporates

3) What are the 3 most significant challenges you see in your role today?

Some of the challenges we face today are:

· FABS concept of providing placement before admission is a unique concept which no other college in India does. So to convince the students and their parents regarding the authenticity of our concept becomes difficult. Most of our time goes in counseling them regarding this.

· Out of the 1377 applications received last year only 60 got admitted in our college. This is because the rejection rate by the corporates is very high. And we have to provide placements to these students so that they can take admission in our college.

· We have umpteen levels of screening to select a candidate and prepare for corporate rounds. They have to go through a FABSAT process before becoming part of our college. First they need to clear the aptitude test post which we conduct a Prism Brain Mapping test. We are the only college in India conducting this psychometric test. Then comes the group discussions and personal interviews. Post which we provide rigorous training for the corporate interview round. So rejection occurs at various stages This year we are investing high on making a student ready for corporate rounds.

4) What are the top 4 factors you would look into a student when you are recruiting him/her for an MBA program?

· We aspire to build leaders. So we look for students who can use their leadership ability rather than relying on bookish concepts.

· Our campus is open 24 / 7 so we want students who are committed and dedicated towards their goal.

· A self driven student will learn a great deal at our college through case studies, study trips, simulations, role-plays, internship and research opportunities.

· We always aspire to look for students open to challenges and hence we use a lot of outbound training modes such as glass walk, fire walking, river rafting etc. so they emerge stronger and manage challenges.

5) Creating enough Entrepreneurs continues to be an area which we can drastically improve upon, what are your thoughts?

Entrepreneurs aren’t successful because they think differently or that they are somehow hard wired for high performance. What differentiates them is their identification and approach to problems. India has seen a lot of entrepreneurs in the last few years but at the same time there is still room for many more. This calls for changes in education to encourage young people to look at entrepreneurship as a career option rather than head for a big corporation and a steady job. But can we only blame this on students? While a plush job after graduation is one reason for this immense popularity, another reason is an ideal atmosphere and support that encourages entrepreneurship in India as not every educational organization encourages or supports this idea. But at FABS we have a concept of “Corporate Thursdays” where we invite Business Leaders of topline companies to conduct sessions and interact with our students on a regular basis. They share their experiences, challenges and valuable lessons on their journey to become a successful entrepreneur. This gives them a networking platform as well as, it builds an environment which promotes exchange of ideas thus encouraging and motivating our students to pursue their dreams. We are tying up with a very highly reputed global university which is known for its successful program on entrepreneurial development. To promote social entrepreneurship Fazlani Group is dedicated through various initiatives such as a charitable trust for helping the girl child, orphanages and providing sponsorship to students for studies.

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