Prof C S Venkata Ratnam, Director, International Management Institute, Delhi illustrates the ‘international’ aspect of IMI. He also talks about placements, curriculum and admissions at IMI and how recession has brought significant changes in these areas.
What exactly is international about the International Management Institute?
At the inception of the institute in the year 1981 with IMI Geneva, it was observed that international management education was lacking in the country; thus the first course to be offered was PGPIM or Post graduate program in International Management. Apart from the curriculum which focuses on international market, we have a full time expatriate faculty (this is also greatly facilitated by us being located in Delhi). A lot of international professors on sabbatical studies visit our campus. Faculty aside, students from all over the world also visit our institute regularly. Thus, international in IMI would stand for the approach and the environment of the institute.
Apart from the international exposure, what is the biggest advantage of studying at IMI?
There are two advantages apart from the international exposure for a students studying at IMI. First, the faculty base which is higher and better at IMI than any other B-school and second, the location; we have access to the best faculty, industry and industry people due us being located in the National Capital Region.
How is the faculty base ‘better at IMI than any other B-schools’? Please elaborate.
The Faculty base is better because it is a democratic system and the faculty members are not governed by any all powerful authority. We have something known as ”Faculty Retreat’ where in our faculty revisits the learning system for learning updation. The approach to teaching is case study based. Above all, we allocate our maximum spending on research and consulting to impart the latest in education to our students.
Is IMI also going to expand entrepreneurship studies at the institute?
Yes, going by the current market trend of more and more students turning entrepreneurs, IMI is going to add new courses in entrepreneurship. Classed for this course will be held in the weekends and the exams will be based on the feasibility reports prepared by the students on various business plans taken up during the classes. Special training is being given to three members of the faculty to take up this course. We also have started faculty development programs which will focus on entrepreneurship and finance i.e. raising funds for ventures and risk analysis for the same.
How have admissions been affected by the recession? What steps have been taken to counter the negative effects?
Admissions have not been affected by recession; however, we are looking over to increase student diversity at the institute and add more courses to the curriculum (like the ones talked about previously). We have also decided to add the five year ceiling to the work experience of the candidates, because, as the trend has been, it is difficult to provide lateral placements to such candidates.
If not admissions, recession affected the placements at all B-schools. How did it affect IMI?
The biggest effect was the time taken by the process, which was close to about ten weeks. The salaries of the students also went down by almost 20 to 25 percent. There was also difficulty in placing experienced candidates (with five or more years of experience) due to lack of lateral positions offered by the companies this year. For an improved placement process next year, we are targeting more companies and a wide range of profiles. We are also sensitizing students to not carry any preconceived notions about the kind of jobs that a manager should take up; hence we are encouraging to take up jobs in the rural areas and in industries such as media etc. We will be looking forward to invite more Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) to the campus considering their increased trend of hiring in b-schools.