A paradigm shift in B-school education in progress at IMT Ghaziabad
It is well known that the PGDM programmes at IMT Ghaziabad are based on the three pillars of ‘Know’, ‘Do’ and ‘Believe’.
When the decision to be in the vanguard of this paradigm shift in business education was taken by IMT Ghaziabad, Dr. Rajendra Nargundkar’s services were urgently requisitioned. For the uninitiated, it was under the stewardship of Dr. Nargundkar (as the Director) that IMT Nagpur was catapulted to the position of one of the top B-schools in India within no time at all. It was with the aim of seeing this completely new academic philosophy implemented that Dr. Nargundkar accepted the position of Senior Dean (Academics) at IMT Ghaziabad in June 2012.
“Though we now have Nagpur, Dubai and Hyderabad, IMT Ghaziabad is the root of ‘Brand IMT’. We have a legacy of 30 years and consolidating all that has happened in this period as a consistent whole, and integrating facets of it internally, is a challenging task. The complexity is enhanced by new faculty members consistently being added to the existing pool.
Based on the understanding that the faculty tenures at IMT Ghaziabad vary from 15 days to 15 years , the first change happened in the form of faculty development programmes to bring about a shared view of teaching and research methodologies, and possibilities for collaboration in these. Just this week, Emerald announced the results of their case writing competition, in which two of the cases written by IMT Ghaziabad faculty figure in the top ten, globally.
“We have revamped the entire 2-year PGDM programme at IMT Ghaziabad. Almost all the courses have been redesigned, many of them from scratch. A completely new outlook has emerged based on industry requirements and practices, which were assimilated further, based on inputs from alumni and industry experts. We have new inclusions like the Pre-foundation programme, and a brand new Foundation module where more than 20 top corporate leaders were brought in to address the incoming students on wide-ranging topics in the first 10-12 days of the new session. This also included five days of the ‘Youth Empowerment and Skill Programme’, where students were put through different activities like stress management, time management, work-life balancing programme and teaching-learning processes.”
Dr. Nargundkar believes that these drastic changes will be an opportunity for the faculty of IMT Ghaziabad to ‘relearn how to teach’ and, at the same time, an opportunity for the students to ‘relearn how to learn’.
“This is in line with Professor Srikant Datar’s observations in his book ‘Rethinking the MBA’,which states that students today are much more knowledgeable about the course and can do a lot on their own. So the role of the faculty has to be redefined in terms of ‘leading’ a discussion rather than just ‘telling’. It should also be about leading students into creative work to come up with something more original, leading students to the library and field research, making students capable of sharing with the rest of the class and defending points of view in the classroom.”
Dr. Nargundkar points out that various methods - like case-studies –which fulfill this requirement, already exist in IMT Ghaziabad; but quite a few new methods, like ‘simulations’, have been implemented this year.
“All students will undergo a compulsory simulation programme. As a part of our accreditation process with the global agency AACSB, we are doing things a lot more systematically than we were perhaps doing earlier. Students are going to have documented assurance of learning. This may have been happening earlier, but now it will be documented.”
Dr. Nargundkar points out that with immediate effect, students at IMT Ghaziabad can opt for a 6-month Long Term SIP along with a dissertation, instead of the usual 2 months. If a student is missing out on an elective that he or she had opted for - owing to the LTSIP - there is provision for a ‘one-on-one’ with the concerned faculty member.
“There is also a brand new initiative where we are partnering with industry to offer content. We’ve tied up with Genpact and 5-6 courses in Financial Analytics are being co-designed with the company. It’s a win-win situation, where a company like Genpact gets a good look at the students, while students get a good shot at getting into the company.”
The faculty is unanimous that these sweeping changes are bound to enhance the academic rigour and enthusiasm within IMT Ghaziabad.
“The course curriculum lays emphasis on inculcating an element of leadership in the students, while encouraging them in learning by doing things,” says Dr. Shubhojit Bhattacharya, Associate Professor, Economic Environment and Strategy, IMT Ghaziabad. He lauds the need of the changed and revised curriculum further by stating that “Management education is not just about teaching you how to manage somebody’s business. It is about teaching you how to utilize available resources most efficiently to make a positive contribution to yourself, your company, your society, to the people around you, to everyone’s life. That is the big picture we refer to in business practices here at IMT Ghaziabad.”
Clearly, IMT Ghaziabad is all set to create a new benchmark in B-school education.