The Epitome of Strategic Victory in Management Education
Many universities in India have already proven that with a permanent curriculum any program can be run in any degree for many years. However, the rigidity of the curriculum does not allow anyone to swerve from the fixed set of rules that has been provided by the University. Dr. N. R. Shetty, an eminent educationalist and twice former Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University was aware of all those things when he co-founded NITTE School of Management (NSM). With a vision to make a flexible curriculum, he started PGDM at NITTE, which is a completely autonomous program. At present, the management updates the curriculum of its flagship PGDM program on a trimester basis.
Even though, NITTE's PGDM program was the brainchild of Dr. N. R. Shetty, the program got its true shape, when the Director of NITTE School of Management, Dr. Manjunath proposed the idea of focusing more on the needs of the industry. The objective of Dr. Manjunath was to equip the students with practical skills by sending them to various industries for internships for about six months of their course duration. With inputs from Dr. N. R. Shetty, Dr. Manjunath started building relationships with various industries, which was not a cakewalk for him. However, he had faith on the years of industry experience and valuable contacts that he gained before he started his career as a teacher. "Many of the companies were reluctant to take students as an intern when I proposed this idea and many backed out at the last moment. It was very tough in the beginning," says Dr. Manjunath.
The Give and Take Policy
Although, some companies shut their doors on his plans, most of them could not resist accepting the offer given by the Dr. Manjunath. He offered very low cost training programs for the industry professional by the institute. "We were not expecting any revenue from these programs. We wanted to make them understand that how good we are at training so that they would not be reluctant to take our students for internship," says Dr. Manjunath, who was accurate with his move. The strategy worked well and the institute tied up with three major industry associations, which includes the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), Ministry of Small and Medium Scale Industries (MSME) and Peenya Industries Association (PIA). Once in every month, Dr. Manjunath and his team have a training session for the members of FKCCI and the day is called as "NITTE Day".
The tie-up of NITTE with various Industry Associations is a two way process. The institute gives adequate trainers for the industries and industries help the students to complete their projects and give them real time working experience. "The last six months internship is a chance for students to know the practical side of what they have learned in the classroom," says Dr. Manjunath. The people from the industry also offer their helpful hands by giving necessary feedback to the institute while creating and updating the curriculum.
Experienced Placement Cell
To support all these activities, which are very close to the industry, the institute has an active placement cell, which is headed by people who have more than 30 years of experience in the industry along with teaching experience. From day one of a student's life at NITTE, the placement cell members start evaluating the students. After this continuous evaluation, they prepare separate profiles for each student, by understanding his/her strength and weakness. The final output of this profiling is seen in the internship. The placement cell would be sending the students to various industries according to the profiles. "We send our students to work on field, which is already identified as their area of strength, so that they can perform well. If they can perform well in the internship period, they would be hired by the same company after the course completion," explains Dr. Manjunath. With such kind of brilliant strategies, the institute has received more than 80 percent placement every year.
Extraordinary strategies from people like Dr. N. R. Shetty and Dr. Manjunath has been always the driving force for this institute. "At present, we are planning to convert every classroom into E-Classrooms, where students can attend lectures that are happening parallel in a different classroom. We have more plans in the pipeline, however, we are never going to give up on the quality of our services," says Dr. Manjunath. The institute has achieved many milestones in a very short span of time. While there may be many more miles to travel, Dr. Manjunath and his team is still as enthusiastic as they were in their early days. Clearly, NITTE School of Management is at the pinnacle of modern day management education.
Dr. Manjunath VS
He is currently the Director of the NITTE School of Management. After working for 5 years with the industry, Dr. Manjunath decided to return to his passion of teaching and at the same time decided to focus on developing the faculty members through Faculty Development Trainings. He has trained more than 1000 faculty members to date and has developed a variety of modules to guide the teachers in improving themselves.