BRIDGE School of Management provides customized programmes for industry needs: Rajesh Puri, CEO
BRIDGE School of Management, located in Gurgaon and Noida has been launched in October 2013. The institute offers PGP in management for working executives of 11 months duration. In this interview with Careers360, Rajesh Puri, CEO, India Education Services speaks on different dimensions of the programmes, USP of the institute and the qualities looked for in the prospective students.
Excerpts of the interview.
Careers360: When was Bridge School of Management established? Which year the first batch started at the B-school and when the first batch will pass out?
Rajesh Puri: BRIDGE School of Management was launched in October 2013 under India Education Services Pvt. Ltd, a joint venture between HT Media Ltd and US headquartered Apollo Global Inc to focus on executive managerial education for working professionals. Our maiden batch of 125 students will complete their 11-month programme and pass out in August 2014.
Careers360: What uniqueness this B-school has to offer in the already cluttered market of different kind of existing management institutions in the country?
Rajesh Puri: At a time when there is a clear need for education that caters to the requirements of business and industry, India Education Services has decided to focus on providing executive corporate education for working professionals through Bridge School of Management.
A lot of educational institutions are not keeping in touch with the needs of corporate recruiters. By offering management courses designed ‘by the industry, from the industry and for the industry’, we aim to reduce the education-employment mismatch in the country.
BRIDGE School of Management provides customized programmes catering to industry needs. Based on inputs from leading organizations and industry stalwarts, the programs at BRIDGE School of Management incorporate latest industry trends, best practices and fill the required skill and competency gaps. The pedagogy of the programs has been designed with inputs from industry leaders to make it relevant, comprehensible, and interactive. We focus on practical learning via live projects/case studies and simulations of real life corporate situations enhance the applied skills of employees.
Our centres are functional at convenient hours (9 AM till 10 PM) throughout the week, including Saturdays and Sundays. Employees can come to the learning centres before or after their work hours, during weekdays or on the weekend as per their convenience, without affecting their work schedule. Also, our Gurgaon Cyber City and Noida campuses are very accessible and are ideal locations for all professionals with flexi hours working, who work or stay in the vicinity. We endeavour to offer education to people as and when they need it, to skill themselves and boost their careers.
Careers360: What is your short term, medium and long term plan for this B-school?
Rajesh Puri: As a part of its immediate plans, HT Media Ltd recently launched the BRIDGE School of Management through a joint venture, as the company decided to focus on corporate education for working professionals.
There are plans to open 50 centers across India in the next ten years to educate working professionals. We are targeting to provide executive education programmes to mid-level working professionals with 3-8 years of work experience. The aim is to train a total of about one lakh students in the next decade and provide them capabilities to do better in their working life, thus also improving their personal lives.
There is a need to bring industry and academics together, and build the industry focus in management education. The need is huge in India and at India Education Services; we believe that this is the right step in the direction of meeting the demand for corporate executive education in the country.
Careers360: Which programmes the BRIDGE School of Management is running? What is the total batch capacity of different programmes and duration of the programmes?
Rajesh Puri: Bridge School of Management is offering post graduate programmes in management with specialisations in HR, Finance, Marketing and Operations and Technology Functions. Each programme can be customized as per the industry needs and is of 11-month duration.
A student has to study 7 core courses covering areas like Accounting, Economics, Strategy, Marketing etc. before he/she opts for the elective stream. The specialisations involve a student making a choice of 4 courses out of 8 on offer per stream, thereby giving a student a choice to customise as per his/her requirements. In addition, a student is also required to undertake a course in Business Communication and Negotiation skills and do an Industry Project to sharpen his/her capabilities in a real life application scenario.
Careers360: What is the number of permanent and visiting faculty at the institute?
Rajesh Puri: We believe that for working professionals, it is important that apart from theoretical knowledge and concepts, we focus on the application of such concepts in real corporate life. Hence apart from having top of the line Academics from the Best B Schools in the country-both on rolls and on consultation basis, our Focus is on having Practising Faculty teach our students. We have over 40 trained and certified Practising Faculty across subjects, who work with us and teach our students. All of them come from backgrounds such as MBAs from IIM,ISB and other premier B Schools, and others being CA’s etc. with an average experience of 15+ years from Premier Indian and Multinational Corporations.
Careers360: What will the total fee for different programmes?
Rajesh Puri: The fee for our 11 month program is Rs 250,000. Students should evaluate an MBA programme not on the basis of cost but on the value that they get for the over 600 hours of pedagogy that they would get from Bridge School.
Careers360: What are the eligibility criteria for different programmes?
Rajesh Puri: For the PGPM program, a student needs to be a graduate, with at least 50% marks, in any stream, and have a work experience of over 3 years.
Careers360: What is the total investment on this venture so far? What is the planned investment during next five years? What is the share of investment of different stakeholders?
Rajesh Puri: We have focused heavily on investing in technology infrastructure and world-class content to ensure our students get a seamless, industry relevant learning experience. There are plans to open 50 centers across India in the next ten years to educate working professionals. We are targeting to provide executive education programmes to mid-level working professionals with 3-8 years of work experience. The aim is to train a total of about one lakh students in the next decade.
Investments are not a constraint in building a world class school for working professionals for the first time in India, and as and when required, more investments will be made.
Careers360: Please elaborate on the infrastructure (Campus Area, Technology, Library, Hostel Facility)
Rajesh Puri: BRIDGE'S promise to employees is to enable them to develop industry relevant management skills while they continue working. BRIDGE School of Management enables employees to study while working – whenever, wherever delivery.
Easy access to the learning centres at Gurgaon and Noida locations minimizes travel time for working professionals. Our centres have conducive, modern and engaging state-of-the-art infrastructure and are fully equipped with computers, Adobe Connect, VC facility, meeting rooms, socializing and networking areas, which will allow employees to interact with the faculty and work on live practical projects.
Careers360: How has the curriculum been designed for the programmes at Bridge School of Management?
Rajesh Puri: At BRIDGE, we recognize the situation and have adopted a multi-pronged approach to make our program industry relevant at every stage. This includes:
Understanding Needs and Need Gaps, through comprehensive Primary Researches, One on One interactions with Industry leaders and studies from knowledge institutions
Industry led Programme Councils to input into program development, give insights into skill gaps faced by their sectors, design curriculum with relevant Projects/Case Studies/Soft skills and decide delivery structure
Collaboration of Industry and Academia, with Academic/Program Chairs working with Program Councils, continuing development of content based on inputs from Industry and, constant validation of content and delivery structure with Program Councils
Programmes will be delivered in a blended format. Students will be attending classes at state of the art learning centers, and will also be able to complete reading and coursework online.
Careers360: What is the admission procedure at the bridge school of management? Do you require CAT, XAT, other exam scores? Is there any cut-off?
Rajesh Puri: Students are required to meet the basic criteria of graduation with at least 50% marks and a 3 year Industry/Corporate experience. There will be a screening process, post which students will have to sit for a written exam, followed by an Interview. Students will also be required to write a Statement of Purpose.
We are particular that only a high quality of students be admitted and also be able to dedicate the time and effort required to make complete use of the programme.
Careers360: Elaborate on industry participation in the programme? How do you plan to structure placement for the passing out graduates?
Rajesh Puri:The customized programmes offered at BRIDGE School of Management not only cater to industry needs, but are also based on inputs from leading international organizations, industry advocates and interactions with industry associations such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).
Our First batch is completely Corporate sponsored and work with the Companies that have sponsored them. Hence there is no requirement of placement.