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Ph Prof BehlManagement education in India has witnessed a metamorphosis change over the years, even as a host of challenges are yet to be resolved. As the Director of a Delhi-based pioneer management school like International Management Institute [IMI]’s branch at Bhubaneswar, Prof Ramesh Behl, spoke at length in a face-to-face conversation with Sandeep Pattnaik about his vision at IMI. Excerpts…  

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Q.  Tell us about your journey as an academician so far…

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A.    I began my career as an IT professional in ‘The Statesman’ in 1983, and moved to IIM- Lucknow as head of IT in 1985. Then I joined Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi as Associate Professor (IT) and eventually came to IMI in 1996. I took over as Director International Management Institute IMI], Bhubaneswar branch in the year 2012.

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Q.  With Odisha fast emerging as educational hub in Eastern India, how IMI is poised to capitalise on that and what remains its USP so far in comparison to other B-schools operating in the state? 

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A. The Delhi-headquartered IMI’s Bhubaneswar campus came into being in the year 2011. Even as many B-schools are operational in the state, there is dearth of quality players in the sector. Hence Odisha has ample potential to thrive. IMI banks on the entire value chain of management education, i.e. quality faculty from in and outside the state, intake of quality students (65% being the cut-off mark mandatory for enrolment) besides huge infrastructure spreading across almost 16 acres. We have only 16 students at present pursuing PGDM course against our total strength of sixty (60), with a resource base of 15 faculties here. Now you can imagine that, we are more concerned about preserving this 33-year old management institute’s Brand Equity at the cost of taking almost less than half-the-student strength here at IMI. If we want, we could have filled-up the entire seat in PGDM by compromising on quality. We are not in the race to compete with other peers in the sector; rather we are more focussed towards our ‘Brand Equity’ and ‘Intellectual Capital’. In fact, IMI has been adjudged among the top-10 B-schools by Business Today and CSR survey in the past.

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Q.  How do you like to see IMI five-years down the line from here?

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A.  IMI believes in maintaining its Brand equity and Intellectual Capital. Keeping these things intact, we aspire to position IMI as a niche B-school in the state and to produce skilled management professionals in days to come.

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Q.  Tell us about the Industry tie-ups IMI has made so far.

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A.  We have association with different Chambers of Commerce, NHRD Network, CII and also corporate like NTPC, Power Grid and OHPC etc.

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Q. Odisha is going to have an IIM in future. Then what impact it will have on the management education domain here? \r\n

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A.  IIM coming to Odisha is a welcome step. It will create synergy between the IIM and the other quality B-schools in the state and wipe out the non-serious players in the long run.

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Q.  Can you share some issues confronting management education in the state? 

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A. Absence of right faculty, retention of quality faculty in B-schools, lack of Industry support, Non-integration of Industries with B-schools [unlike in USA and European Countries] in the form of live projects, new product development, R&D activities etc., and limited interface to of students to industrial climate here, as most of the units pertaining to Mines, Minerals and Infra belt are almost defunct due to myriad of hurdles in the state of Odisha.

December 9, 2014 • No Comment