Not quite in favor of advertising and miffed by the many b-school rankings present today, Professor Ganesh LS, Ex-HOD and Professor at Department of Management Studies-IIT Madras (DoMS-IIT Madras) wants students to make it a habit to research well before taking admission in any management institute. He also wants management education in India to develop among the best in the world, “I want the best students across the world to come to India to study management”, he says. Following is what he has to say about studies, curriculum and life at DoMs-IIT Madras.
Why do you think Department of Management Studies at IIT Madras is lesser known among management colleges in India?
We are lesser known because we don’t advertise like others thus, there is not much information available about MBA at IIT Madras in the media. We are also guilty of not providing enough information about us on the website (which will be updated soon). The rankings too, do not bring out the real picture of our institute. Any management institute is known by its five aspects, (1) The formal program that is the MBA program (2) The management development programs (3) Consulting activities (4) Academic and applied research and (5) Community development programs. None of the ranking systems seem to measure schools on these aspects. When people want to judge a b-school, they should research on their own and judge it on the basis of these criteria.
How do you plan make the world aware of DoMS-IIT Madras?
We have started in this area and have published an advertorial in the Business India magazine, however we will not get into extensive advertising because first, I do not believe in advertising much because in my opinion, a true master would not advertise. Second, as we are a government organization we do not operate on huge advertising budgets. We will put our efforts in developing our website so that people would get the right information about our program and institute.
Tell us about your admission process. What is the JMET cut-off score required to qualify for a GD-PI call?
We do not have an overall ‘cut-off’ score at DoMS; a candidate needs to get a balanced sectional score to be called for an interview. Our interviews are designed to bring out the best in a candidate and are not stress interviews. With my experience of interviewing candidates, I know which candidate is being honest and which one is trying to bluff. We have an ‘evaluation sheet’ for every candidate with very specific and tangible categories to test a candidate. Evaluation is transparent and we tell the students how we test them. Students with a masters degree with humanities or arts are also eligible to apply at DoMS-IIT Madras. From this year, we have started accepting CAT scores for admission as we feel that we can get a wider representation of students with CAT as it is taken by lakhs of students in the country.
What is the curriculum like at DoMS-IIT Madras?
As far as curriculum is concerned, most schools follow a common path. Schools need to realize whether they are imparting education for a first job or for a career of more than 35 years. The curriculum at DoMS-IIT Madras has been designed after a lot of research. There is ample choice of electives for every specialization and even if two people sign up for an elective, it is arranged for. We were one of the earliest schools to adopt courses like ‘Business Models’, ‘Total Quality Management’ and ‘Project Management’ as a part of our core curriculum and not as part of electives. Students have the freedom to attend a lot of interdisciplinary courses in the various departments at IIT Madras. They can also ‘audit’ a course, which means that students can take up courses which does not add to their overall credits. In effect, ‘auditing’ a course give students the liberty to study any subject without doing the math of how it will affect their grades. We arrange guest lectures and workshops for any current topics that are not covered by our curriculum.
Tell us about the faculty at DoMS-IIT Madras.
The faculty at DoMS is among the best in the management circle. All of them are PhDs and three of them have been awarded the ‘best teacher’ award by Association of Management, which is an independent agency, three years in a row. (There are 8 Professors, 4 associate Professors and 4 assistant professors in the department.)
What is the research scenario at DoMS-IIT Madras?
You can come to know about the amount of research at DoMS by the fact that we have around 120 research scholars pursuing their research in the management program here. We have also received three international awards for the best doctoral thesis in management.
What are the placements like at DoMS-IIT Madras?
We started promoting our management program among organizations in the year 2003, thus, our placements may not be top class, but we are certainly getting there. We get 100 percent placements every year with an average salary of seven to eight lakhs. A small batch size also helps in placements. Students get placed in profiles such as Business analyst, consultants, and financial analysts and in areas such as market research (students from the market research domain), distribution, planning and supply chain. As a rule, we do not use the variable component of the salary to calculate the average as we have nothing to hide about our placement data.
Tell us more about the learning experience of the students at DoMS-IIT Madras?
Our department is one of the most ‘fun’ departments at IIT Madras. We never put down a student and take their viewpoints very seriously. They have unbridled access to any all the departments and infrastructure at IIT Madras and to all the learning material in the libraries, including the electronic material. The computer lab at DoMS is open for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students are provided with every facility to study and learn to their optimum capacity.