Management Education in IITs
Post BTech, a secure job at TCS was not enough for Mridul Shandilya. This engineer who worked as a developer turned restless as he felt that he had both technical and leadership skills to contribute to his company. So getting admission at an IIT-led management school was an easier option. Unlike other B-Schools, it was an ideal learning experience for Mridul as he could relate his academic background at IIT. Ask him the reason? “There is a constant, healthy interaction between management and engineering students on the campus. We conduct workshops for BTech students on how to tackle an interview, create presentations, speak at group discussions, and also help market ideas for start-ups running on campus,” shares Mridul, second year MBA student of Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management at IIT Bombay (SJMSOM).
The birth of SJMSOM at IIT-Bombay was the outcome of interdisciplinary strength of IITB system for imparting management education. The first IIT to recognize the strength to combine management and technology education was IIT Kanpur in 1974 with the opening of Department of Industrial & Management Engineering. Other IITs (Kharagpur, Roorkee, Delhi, Bombay, Madras) soon followed suit, founding departments/schools of management on their premises
Blending Management and Technology
Prof. Dr Uday S Racherla at Department of Industrial & Management Engineering, IIT Kanpur compares management education at IIMs and IITs. “It’s like comparing oranges with apples. IIMs focus on management-based consultancies whereas IITs mostly rely on technology-based management consultancies,” he says. IIMs are aligned to strategic problems like HR or Marketing. Some IITs, besides generic functional domains of management look at technology-based management challenges in power, telecom or production system.
While further analysing the difference, he adds, “IITs are much bigger brands than IIMs, as it is built on research more than teaching. Our efforts are distributed between training, mentoring and contributing significantly on research. IITs are enhancing the quality of management, as most of our graduates are well rounded not only in technical but also management level.” In a recent Stanford study on Indian universities doing research in social science, the DMS IIT-Delhi clinched second ranking in the Business and Management category. According to Dr Kanika Bahl, Head, DMS, IIT-Delhi, “At IIT campus, students benefit from resources for research much more broadly and efficiently, like we have strong Mathematics, Computer Science, Humanities, Rural Development and Technology centres.”
IIT-based management programmes offer a blend of both business and technology skills required by managers in companies that compete in global markets and high-tech industries. “Our graduates, enriched with techno-managerial expertise are driving the enterprises in all sectors inspiring new generation to develop interest in IIT management schools,” says S. Bhargava, Head, SJMSOM. IITs encourage students in the lines of the management of innovation.
In terms of cost of education, the IITs are cheaper than IIMs or other B-Schools. For instance, IIT Madras fee is close to Rs. 107,827 and IIT-Delhi – Rs 4 lakhs as compared to IIM Kozhikode – Rs. 9 lakhs and Bangalore – Rs. 13 lakhs.
Prof. Dr Uday S Racherla
Department of Industrial & Management Engineering,
Our efforts are distributed between training, mentoring and contributing significantly on research. IITs are enhancing the quality of management and our graduates are well rounded in technical and management levels
Second year MBA student, SJSOM, IIT Bombay
There is healthy interaction between management and engineering students. We conduct workshops for BTech students on how to tackle interview, presentations etc., and also help with market ideas for start-ups
Who are eligible & What IITs teach?
All candidates should possess CAT score to be eligible for admission. So selection depends on score, and performance in GD and interview. Some IITs like Bangalore, Roorkee, Kharagpur and Kanpur exclusively offer management programmes for engineering graduates, and at the rest (Delhi, Bombay, Madras) students across disciplines are eligible.
The course curriculum of each IIT varies from each other and mainstream B-Schools. For instance, DoMS IIT Madras offers regular two-year programme where students can opt for courses from any of the elective courses offered or from over 300 courses offered by the other 16 departments in IIT, right from science, technology to humanities. This unique access to varied knowledge helps to produce distinct breed of business professionals.
DMS, IIT-Delhi is completely overhauling the curriculum with effect from 2015 July session. “We are maturing in the sense that initially we focused on technology largely (telecommunication management), but now, we are going to be in big move where we will offer a generic MBA because that is where the need of the industry is,” shares Dr Bahl.
IIMs versus IITs
“Summer and career placements of students in a well-established IIMs are definitely a grade above those available to students in the IITs. On the other hand, if we will do what we have not done so far, viz., a cohort analysis or how does a cohort of students from the established IIMs compare with their counterparts from an IIT which is relatively much younger in terms of its MBA programme,” shares Prof. L.S Ganesh, DoMS, IIT Madras, who feels confident that in the long run there won’t be much noticeable differences.
Faculty & student ratio: “No school or department of an IIT can compare with the IIMs because the latter are standalone institutions. They could have or think of 100 or 120 faculty members, in the long-term and total student strength of 800 or even 1000 to 1500 in all of their long-term PG programmes, says Prof. Ganesh. “In terms of the proven academic/intellectual competence and diversity of knowledge available among the faculty, reasonable peer group comparisons can be made,” he added.
Campus life: No established IIM can be compared with an established IIT, because the latter’s campuses are larger, and the number and variety of facilities available are enormous. The living experiences are also quite diverse during a student’s stay on the campus.
Research: “The quality of research is very good across the IITs and IIMs, but in terms of the number of research scholars, IITs are ahead of the IIMs in management and allied fields.” In terms of industry-connect and research productivity in specialized fields, IITs do more research than the IIMs. There is also a sizeable proportion of IIM faculty now who are IIT alumni,” Prof. Ganesh sums up.