Where students think like CEOs: Management at IIM Visakhapatnam
Faizal Khan, 27 Nov 2018
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IIM Visakhapatnam is a good example of a B-School that brings stakeholders together to build high quality academic, research and consulting capabilities…


Mentored by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore, the new IIM in Visakhapatnam currently has the fourth batch of students on campus for its flagship MBA programme. While the first year of the two-year Post-Graduate Programme (PGP) has 105 students, there are 60 students in the final year. There are students from 19 states currently studying in the third-generation IIM, which is located in the industrial hub of Andhra Pradesh.

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Launched in 2015, IIM-Visakhapatnam campus is located within the Andhra University complex. The institute functions from the brand new building of Andhra Bank School of Business located on the Andhra University campus. “IIM-Visakhapatnam looks forward to attaining standards of global excellence as enshrined in the IIM Act 2017 through a bouquet of high-quality academic, research, consulting and capacity building initiatives, winning and sustaining in the process, the trust and confidence of students, parents, faculty, business, government and society,” says Director Prof. M Chandrasekhar.


Widening the Horizon

“Towards this end, we envision our new campus to serve as a knowledge-exchange forum where stakeholders get together to discuss ideas and exchange constructive thoughts,” adds Prof. Chandrasekhar, a renowned expert in public policy and also public service delivery.

“The campus ecosystem should offer opportunities to interact in a symbiotic way,” he adds.

The institute believes that networking, two-way communication and cross-fertilization of ideas in semi-formal settings like libraries widen the horizons of students and faculty. 


“Also, such meeting-points promote shared values, enhance mutual support and enrich team spirit making an individual not only competent, but confident. The Institute looks forward to its campus being such an enabler,” explains the Director, adding that today’s teaching-learning models pay far greater attention to knowledge-exchange premised on interaction and synergy-building. Towards this end, IIM Visakhapatnam aims at leveraging IT and the Digital era to be in step with the changing times, adds Prof. Chandrasekhar.


Future programs

The institute has already announced that it would launch its Fellow Programme in Management (FPM) in the next academic year (2019-20). That would take the institute to a further higher level of management discourse through research and engagement with the industry. Known for its busy port, Visakhapatnam is a major production centre in South India housing several industries. Besides the shipyard, the picturesque city is home to Hindustan Zinc Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Coramandel Fertilizers, Essar Shipping and L.G. Polymers. There are many power plants on the city’s outskirts such as National Thermal Power Corporation.


“There is a strong industry interface on the campus,” says B Srirangacharyulu, Dean, Academics and Research, production and operations management. “Industry leaders visit the campus regularly and share their experience with our students,” says Prof. Srirangacharyulu. 

The institute also conducts Management Development Programmes as part of the industry connect. There is also a Post Graduate Certificate Programme in Business Management for Experienced Professionals (PGCEP), introduced for working professionals with three years’ experience in October this year. “The programme is suitable for those working professionals who look for career growth,” says Prof. Srirangacharyulu. The institute has 33 students in the PGCEP programme.


Setting new standards

The institute started its PGP programme under the mentorship of IIM-Bangalore. “As a new generation IIM, the Institute has the advantage of leapfrogging, drawing upon the best practices of its mentor, the globally renowned IIM-Bangalore as well as the experience of second generation IIMs set up after the year 2000. Thus, IIM Visakhapatnam envisions its campus to be “first-in-class” in terms of novelty and uniqueness and “best-in-class” in terms of optimized use of intellectual, infrastructural and institutional resources,” says the Director.


As much as 90 percent of the students are from the engineering background, a common factor on IIM campuses across the country. Last year, the placement for IIM-Visakhapatnam was 100 percent. The students organise the IIM’s own Business Festival, drawing participation from the industries in the region and across the country. “On our campus, we are allowed to think like a CEO,” says Arnav Sharma, a final-year PGP student. “My perspective before joining the IIM was technology oriented. Now I am able to get a good grip of finance and marketing as well,” says Sharma, who is also president of the campus students’ council.


The campus also boasts of the best facilities for students among the IIMs. “We are the only IIM to have hostels for girls and boys facing the sea,” beams Sharma.


Kicking off entrepreneurship

Launched in January this year, the Women Startup Programme offers a one-year incubation for selected candidates. “We selected 26 women for the programme this year,” says Deepika Gupta, Assistant Professor of strategy and coordinator for admission and placement activities. “We received over 5,000 applications for the Programme,” says Gupta. The institute gives a monthly stipend of Rs 30,000 to the selected candidates while offering basic infrastructure facilities and guidance. The selection is based on the initial proposal by each candidate. “We conduct bootcamps for them,” says Gupta. Situated in the ‘City of Destiny’, the budding institute definitely has smart plans to change the destiny of the state for ever.  




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