The XIMB Director’s Interview

What are the top 3 advantages of XIMB’s MBA programme that no other business school in the same league offers?

The top 3 advantages are:

a) Higher Industry Interaction and Corporate Linkages for the XIMB students by using platforms such as Immersion Courses, CEO Talks, etc. The Immersion Courses are specific course modules which are delivered by top Industry experts within a short span of 1-2 days while CEO talks are a series of seminars with top CEOs of the country and beyond.
b) Rigorous and intensive course curriculum which is highly adaptive and consistently upgraded and is extremely compatible with the industry needs and therefore provides the highest degree of relevance for study of the students and turns them into industry ready management professionals. Further, Technology intensive facilities like VSAT and Video Conferencing Platforms are used in order to augment learning process of the students.
c) Thrust and focus on establishing and maintaining high ethical standards in business and professional life and ensuring social sensitivity for the underdeveloped sections of the society and being a professional manager with a “Human Face”.

Which functional management areas has XIMB built its best strengths (academically and infrastructure-wise) in?

XIMB does not focus exclusively on a specific functional management area for priority. Rather, the focus has been on developing academic and infrastructure resources for the holistic development of the students as a whole. However, XIMB has also built competency in the field of Rural Management by offering PGDM programme in Rural Management, which is an AICTE approved programme and provides immense focus on the social sector. Apart from that XIMB is usually rated as one of the top ten B-Schools of India and provides for all round development of the students along with the best IT infrastructure, learning resources, online databases, state of the art academic infrastructure and a wonderful teaching-learning ambience on campus.

What were the XAT cutoffs at XIMB for the 2005 and 2006 PGP and PGPRM admissions? How does XIMB use sectional cutoffs for short listing candidates?

The XAT cutoffs at XIMB for PGP programme in 2005 and 2006 were 87.45 and 91.74 percentile respectively. PGPRM admissions are conducted through IRMA Entrance Test. For the year 2005 and 2006, IRMA has not released the cutoff marks. XIMB has an Admissions Committee comprising of Senior Faculty Members which every year scrutinizes analyses and then sets sectional cutoffs for short listing candidates as it relevant and necessary for that year.

How do you evaluate candidates selected for the GD-PI round? Does a candidate’s XAT score still affect his chances during final admission once he/she is shortlisted for the GD-PI?

During the GD-PI Rounds, the candidate is evaluated by an experienced and highly knowledgeable panel of Faculty members and the evaluation is based on the candidate’s personality, communication skills, confidence level, and ability to grasp and conceptualize and present the subject in a meaningful manner. Yes, the XAT Score influences the candidate’s chances during final admission as a composite score totaling the XAT score, GD-PI Score and academic excellence is used to finally select the candidate for admission.

How much is the quota for Orissa domicile students at XIMB and what is the XAT cutoff for this category?

The Institute gives some preference to domicile candidates to fulfill its social contract with the State of Orissa. The XAT cut off was close to 90 percentile for the domicile candidates for this year.

How would you address the concerns of a non-Orissa candidate with an admission offer about the dilution in batch quality due to the quota?

There is no dilution in standards of intake. The learning process imparts very high value and outcome is evident when 100 pc placements are achieved on Day-1 itself. Some domicile students who graduate from here do secure top 10 positions in the merit list.

What is the batch profile for the PGP class of 2009 in terms of number of years of work experience? Does XIMB consciously strive towards maintaining the share of experienced and fresher students in a PGP batch?

For the PGP Class which would graduate in 2009, the average work experience of the batch is 28 months (2 Years 4 months). Yes, XIMB does provide for a fair share of experienced and fresher students for in a PGP batch.

How many full time faculty members does XIMB have? How does XIMB retain its best faculty?

XIMB has 47 full time faculty members. XIMB retains them by providing them the best compensation packages seen in India today, providing financial incentives for publications, paper presentations and other research work. Apart from that XIMB provides an excellent Quality of Life for them and their families on campus as well as supports them financially and institutionally for their PhD work, Research, and Consultancy as well as for undertaking Training and Development Programmes.

What are the pros and cons of being located in a relatively less-developed state like Orissa?

XIMB is located in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Orissa. Bhubaneswar is extremely well connected by airlines, railways and Highways. Apart from that many IT majors like Infosys, Satyam, etc. as well as manufacturing entities like POSCO, Vedanta, NALCO, etc. are based out of Bhubaneswar. Bhubaneswar is considered to be one of the most rapidly developing cities in India. Therefore, there is no negatives but rather the presence of such high concentration of corporates makes Bhubaneswar and extremely viable and beneficial place for an institution like XIMB to grow.

What are the top 3 value propositions of studying Rural Management in XIMB as opposed to dedicated rural management schools like IRMA?

The top 3 value propositions are:

a) In Orissa, where more than 47 pc of people live Below the Poverty Line, the value of a Rural Management programme is highly relevant and necessary.
b) The practical and experiential aspect conducted in the PGPRM programme which is known as RLLE (Rural Living and Learning Experience) is extremely productive and highly acclaimed in the social sector.
c) CENDERET (Centre for Development Research & Training) is the social wing of XIMB which has pioneered and implemented successfully hundreds of social development programmes in the state of Orissa over the past decade. This on-campus exposure for the Rural Management students with CENDERET provides a practical basis for their learning which is unparalleled in any other organization across India.

How have the placement patterns evolved in PGPRM over the last two years?

Placements have evolved in PGPRM over the last two years in the following manner;
a) Number of placement offers has gone up from 68 in 2007 to 75 in 2008.
b) The mean salary has risen from 5.10 lakhs per annum in 2007 to 6.01 lakhs per annum in 2008.
c) The median salary has risen from 4.60 lakhs per annum in 2007 to 5.85 lakhs per annum in 2008.
d) The minimum salary has risen from 2.40 lakhs per annum in 2007 to 4.50 lakhs per annum in 2008.
e) The maximum salary has risen from 8.00 lakhs per annum in 2007 to 8.50 lakhs per annum in 2008.

Please tell us about student life beyond academics at XIMB.

High degree of interaction among the faculty, students and corporate visitors is a way of life. Life at XIMB is competitive, co-operative, friendly, helpful, impressive and stimulating. As members of this community, students forge deep and lasting friendships during their stay here. The quality of life as well as learning is enhanced in the company of such energetic, ambitious, interesting and committed people. The Institute has a rigorous screening procedure for admitting students. Hence, our students are drawn from prestigious institutes and a variety of backgrounds. A large section of the students have over one year experience with blue chip companies. Our students are completely focused on learning through the classrooms, group projects, encouraging each other, debating each other, providing each other a stable intellectual context and social network.

The students have shown their zeal to learn beyond the class room and entrepreneurial streak by managing associations and event. The Institute has 5 active student managed associations, each of which organises seminars, guest lectures, management games, quizzes and other events dealing with its specific functional area.

MAXIM: The Marketing Association
X-FIN: The Finance Association
X-SYS: The Systems Association
X-OPS: The Operations Association
XIMAHR: The HR Association
RMAX: Rural Managers Association of XIMB
Rotaract Club: A Rotaract Club-XIMB joint venture
Apart from this, the students organise “Xpressions” -the annual inter-B-school meet which enjoys participation from top corporate and B-Schools.

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