The AICTE states that India has over 3,000 business schools. However, due to the economic slowdown, the placements of close to 90 percent of the business schools have been very poor. The quality of education provided by these institutions has been another cause of concern that has left most of the business graduates in our country to struggle on their own to find employment. A key reason behind the unemployment of graduates has been due to the fact that the majority of corporate organizations do not want to spend a lot of time and resources in training them. Taking up this challenge is Jagannath International Management School (JIMS) which relentlessly utilizes feedback from the industry to improve itself in every way.
"We believe that by interacting with the industry, our students are able to gain quality knowledge and skills which will make them better leaders," says Dr. Amit Gupta, Chairman of Jagannath International Management School (JIMS). Anticipating the tough road ahead, the institution began changing their curriculum with what the industry requires.
By introducing courses like Business Intelligence, Private Equity and Wealth Management and Digital Marketing, JIMS has been able to provide management professionals who have impressed the industry. "Our Governing body consists of 20 senior members from the industry and thus, we were able to easily anticipate what the industry requires," says Dr. Gupta. The institute has also tied up with PHD Chamber of Commerce, ASSOCHAM and CII for conduct of Seminars, Conferences and Workshops which are organized throughout the year.
It is important to note that the institute which was established in the year 1997 ensures that at least one member of the panel interviewing the candidates during the selection process is from the industry. "Business schools should set a clear benchmark for the entry of the students into the institution who will work hard to gain the Diploma Award. This has been successful for us," says Dr Gupta.
Dual Mentoring Leads the Way
Utilizing its tie-ups with the industry, JIMS has ensured that each student has a mentor from the industry for the four semesters of the course. "The mentors are able to guide the students, which has enabled them to achieve a better understanding of the industry," says Dr. Gupta. Students are given the opportunity to work on a variety of projects some of which are live projects. It is mandatory for students to meet their mentors once in every 15 days and report their progress. This also helps the mentor to understand how to guide students further and what kind of projects can be given to the students to work on.
While each student has an industry mentor, the institute also appoints a faculty member to mentor the student. "This step has been taken by the institute in order to ensure that the students are gaining quality knowledge not only from the industry mentor but also the internal faculty member," says Dr. Gupta. He adds, “It is extremely important to recruit good faculty members as they are the ones who transfer the knowledge to the students.”
The faculty at JIMS is a combination of senior and junior members. Around 25 percent of the faculty members at the institute possess considerable industry experience which they share with the students while teaching and thus augment the students’ knowledge. While the institute possesses 20 PhD holders as faculty members, they also utilize visiting faculty members who are top executives from the industry. "We have top executives from companies such as ICICI, HDFC, Reliance and others who provide our students with a plethora of skills and knowledge," says Dr. Gupta.
Promoting Research and Entrepreneurship
Despite possessing good faculty members, the institute constantly invests in developing its faculty members which has been beneficial. "We employ the use of Faculty Development Programs as we are able to guide the faculty to develop in areas where they are weak," says Dr. Gupta. The Faculty Development Programs are conducted once every two to three months for a time period of 5 days. In the past 2 to 3 years the institute has focused on research in their Faculty Development Programs as they hoped to have more faculty members take up research activities. By increasing the focus on research the institute has been successful in increasing the number of faculty members pursuing meaningful research projects.
Apart from research, the institute is also promoting entrepreneurship. While JIMS has got good feedback from the industry and has achieved 100 percent placements with companies such as Asian Paints, ITC, HUL, Citibank, Bajaj Allianz, Axis Bank, ICICI, HDFC Bank, Nestle, Grail, Capital IQ and PricewaterhouseCoopers recruiting its students, there has been a rise in the number of students pursuing entrepreneurship. The institution has setup an incubation center for budding entrepreneurs and offers them any form of assistance needed.
"We help our students with anything, ranging from finance to administration as we like to encourage entrepreneurship," says Dr. Gupta. Some of the students who are alumni of the institute have established companies in domains such as Digital Marketing and Manufacturing which are valued between Rs. 20 to Rs. 50 crore.
With increasing competition between business schools, JIMS wishes to improve its branding and ranking and encourage its faculty and students to focus more on research activities. While JIMS hopes to achieve its aspirations in the near future, it believes that by interacting with the industry, it will be able to change its students into quality professionals that the industry requires.
Dr. Amit Gupta
He is the Chairman of Jagannath International Management School (JIMS). He is an impassioned social edupreneur who has been the chief architect of JIMS rising into the top echelons of B Schools in a short span of time. He is an illustrious alumnus of Shri Ram College of Commerce and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade where he completed his B.Com and MBA respectively. Dr. Gupta is a highly celebrated educationist and has been conferred top awards by prestigious organizations such as International Biographical Center, Cambridge, UK, American Bibliographical Institute, USA and the Institute of Economic Studies, New Delhi.