Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management

By Prof. Dr. Vandana Sonwaney, Director
‘Why MBA after engineering’ is one of the most discussed topics in the higher education sector. Well, the decision of whether to take up MBA after engineering depends upon the individuals and their career aspirations, the dominance of engineering graduates in the list of CAT toppers continues every year. One of the very few institutions that have been addressing this growing demand of engineering graduates who are looking for more business-based knowledge is Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management (SIOM), the Technology and Operations Management area of the prestigious Symbiosis International University. Since its establishment in 2005, the SIOM Operations Management specialization has been empowering each engineer with sharp engineering and scientific capabilities along with smart business management disciplines. “MBA education can be very much purposeful with a complete focus towards the industry needs. The whole idea of constituting SIOM was to give a very meaningful operations management specialization to the engineering graduates,” pinpoints Prof. Dr. Vandana Sonwaney, Director, SIOM. After a lot of consideration regarding the qualitative aspects imperative for an engineer, the SIOM students are dressed to tackle planning, development, and implementation tribulations that their organization might confront. “The curriculum deals with topics, including supply chain management, project management, technology management, modelling dynamic systems, and quality management to meet the techno-managerial competency needs of the manufacturing and services sector in their various operations,” adds Dr. Sonwaney. The augmented curriculum of the SIOM is injected into the students with a right blend of pre reading, in-class instruction, post readings and relevant assignments. “The industry interaction is an integral part of the pedagogy and the industry speakers are a regular feature throughout the course aligned with important topics,” says Dr. Sonwaney. The training also constitutes simulations, online assessments and classroom presentations to ensure academic rigor. “Live projects as continuous learning, internships after two semesters and six sigma projects at the end of the fourth semester are part of the action learning designed to give participants a chance to put management theories into real business problems,” explains Dr. Sonwaney. As an institution that takes utmost care in making the students industry ready, the SIOM sends its students for live projects in the industry. “Every year, the institute takes up 10 to 15 live projects and the Students Consulting Club handles the complete responsibilities associated with it. Currently, our students are working with Bosch on industry 4.0 related to the automation and data exchange,” shares Dr. Sonwaney. Throughout these years, the institute has also worked with Hindustan, Coca Cola, GlaxoSmithKline and many more. As part of these projects, the students also get to inculcate research acumen in them. The institute further lays its emphasis on the concept of innovation. “Though innovation is not a concept to be taught, we do feel that a proper structuring is vital for the same and with this intention, we have laid the foundation for an innovation centre here in our campus,” says Dr. Sonwaney. The institute works on various topics of significance and strives to come up solutions of the best kind. Some of the areas SIOM currently works on include traffic management, quality of teachers and training, waste management, and digitization and so on. “Our students work on the problems through an in-depth analysis and exploration, and then talk to the prominent stakeholders finally to come up with the best possible solutions,” adds Dr. Sonwaney. The institute also motivates students towards leadership and team coordination for which they conduct many events in the campus. The students manage these events themselves through which they get to connect with the industry professionals. Dr. Sonwaney opines, “It is just not the administrative work, but the brain works and the capabilities are equally reflected while working on the same.” Further, the curricular and co- curricular events known as Converge, the HR summits and other social projects of the SIOM are great platforms for the student to display their capabilities. “We feel that an atmosphere with seamless synchronization of these features is really important for a B - school. It is this mix that is positively reflected in our placements and in the increasing number of recruiters,” proudly says Dr. Sonwaney. Every year, the institute gets new recruiters along with the repeatedly associated ones. “The recruiters come to SIOM as they find the right fitment within our institute. As the students are aware of the domain in and out, the fitment is appropriate,” concludes Dr. Sonwaney.