Established in 1998, Sona School of Management has made its presence in a global context through its involvement in research, consultancy, teaching and training. At Sona School of Management, which is ranked as one of the top business schools for its CSR activities, however, the cost of education can be matched with any business school that are located in small towns.
The decades of 1990s and 2000s have been associated with the processes of expansion, privatization and internationalization of the Indian higher education system. With this commercialization of education, most of the institutions in the country sideline the interest of the youth and the kind of education that develops their full potential and wholesome personality. Hence, there is a need to differentiate the wheat from the chaff, as not all public higher education institutions are good and not all private higher education institutions are bad. While, mushrooming of higher education institutions has not only affected the quality of education, but also the perception of educational institutions in general, students increasingly view education and the time they spend at college as a means to an economic end, a way of ensuring profitable employment. Considering the current measure of employable business graduates, which is only seven percentage according ASSOCHAM, not many management colleges are able to provide "Return on Investment" for students, despite charging huge amounts of money for a subpar education.
Located in Salem, an emerging hub of professional education in Tamil Nadu, Sona School of Management is in a completely different league. Ranked as one of the top business schools for its CSR activities, Sona School of Management is one of the most sought after centres-of-excellences in south India to obtain "Value for Money" business education. "We established Sona School of Management in 1998 with a view to provide industry centric MBA and a vision of giving back to the society in the line of nation building by designing a program that would be distinctly known as Value for Money. Here, we focus on nature young minds to become leaders with human touch," says Choko Valliappa, Vice Chairman, Sona School of Management. While, the institute has made its presence in a global context through its involvement in research, consultancy, teaching and training, the cost of education at Sona School of Management can be matched with any business school that are located in small towns.
"The biggest pain point of education sector in our country is the "Commodization of Education." When students are viewed as customers, driven by seer profit motives, the very purpose is defeated and the quality goes for a toss," says Dr. Swarup K Mohanty, Director, Sona School of Management. As a financially worthwhile institution for the aspiring students, graduates of Sona School of Management often see their salaries explode in the years afterwards. With 100 percent placement including global placements, the institute holds a record for achieving a highest salary pack of Rs. 11.4 lakhs for international placements and Rs. 7.1 lakhs for domestic placements. Today, Sona School of Management is not only a place for student from nearby region to pursue high quality management education, indeed, it is quickly transforming to a global institution with international students coming from North East, South Asia, Africa and as far as Iran - the far West Asia.
Shifting from B-School to I-School
Today, by working diligently on the six key success factors that include People, Process, Research, Placement, Academics and Building Excellent Networking, Sona School of Management is taking a shift from Business School Model to Innovative School Model. Leading from the front in achieving the institute's goal is their newly appointed Director, Dr. Swarup, who joined with the institution mealy three months ago. Dr. Swarup says, "Sona School of Management has a legacy of over 18 years in providing value for money education to the students of Southern India. In this fast changing economic condition, however, the need of the hour is to offer a global education that would nurture leaders and entrepreneurs with a human touch. Our vision is to become a top-tier business school of eminence with excellence in Management Education, Research and Practice."
With the support of the institute's managing, which is headed by C. Valliappa (Chairman), Chocko Valliappa (Vice Chairman) and Thyagu Valliappa (Vice Chairman), Dr. Swarup is in a new mission - to build competencies through continuous learning with a global mindset. "We want to regularly benchmark ourselves with the best of the league, by nurturing and shaping human capital through quality education, training, research, consulting support and entrepreneurial mindset. Here, we focus more on fostering a culture of learning and reflection, achievement orientation, creativity, interdependence and respect for diversity," Dr. Swarup explains. While, most of the business schools in the country have very little industry immersed perspective in the course rigor and curriculum, the Sona School of Management's curriculum is jointly developed by the experts from industry and academia.
"To beat the idiosyncratic behaviour of industries, we have created a consortium of industry tie-ups, in terms of course design, survey, knowledge sharing under the broad canopy of Industry academia- value creation," claims Dr. Swarup. At present, the institute has tie-ups with companies like Safex, Janalakshmi Bank, Vee Technologies, ZOHO Corporation, East West Pharma, JSW and many more. "Over the years, we have built great network and trust with the industries and half of the placements are an extension of the summer internship program," adds Dr. Swarup. Students gain enormously from such initiatives, as they get an immersion of the real world of work and connect to the concepts taught, easily also help the industry to save the cost of making the induction period short.
Helping the institute to strengthen the bond with the industry is their team of highly experienced faculty members who are among the best in the field of management. Many of them have had a long and successful stint in the industry, which is an integral component of their pedagogy. They bring their vast experience into the classroom, providing greater depth to the learning process and their research papers are published in many internationally renowned management journals. "We have highly seasoned faculty members who are actively involved in training that is further facilitated by our domain specific research centers of excellence in research entrepreneurship. Our classes are typically 90 minutes of orchestration of dialogues and simulation that predominantly discuss the real world problems," says Dr. Swarup.
While, the institute encourages their faculty members to participate in various national and international level workshops and conferences, they take special care and provide support to hone learnable innovative skills such as questioning, observing, networking, experimenting and associational thinking. Indeed, Dr. Swarup strongly believes that the innovation can be taught at the institutional level. "Yes, it can be. The recent Harvard and Marriott schools" research survey corroborates the facts that roughly two third of our skills can be learned. In fact, we focus a lot towards Innovative School model rather than typical Business School model approach," claims Dr. Swarup. Sona School of Management has dedicated business incubation center funded by MSME, New Delhi that provides training and hand holdings in several areas of business entrepreneurship.
Offering Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in four specializations namely Marketing, Finance, Human Resource and Production Functions, today Sona School of Management has many ambitious plans. As a provider of holistic management education, which gives equal thrust to professional and personal development, undoubtedly, Sona School of Management is the ultimate place for the students who are looking for "Value for Money" education.
Dr. Swarup K Mohanty, Director
Dr. Swarup has 24 years of experience in teaching, Training, Consulting and Research. His stints include some of the premier business schools and organizations such as New York Institute of Technology, Institute of Management Technology and International Management, Shri Ram, Delhi, and IMS, Indore. He is the founding editor of Indian Journal of Management Technology- a Bi-annual Peer Reviewed Journal. A member in the review committee of Organizational Behaviour Teaching Society, U.S, He is also a reviewer of Academy of Management Journals, U.S., Vikalpa (IIM-A) and Global Business Review (IMI). Recently his name has been included in the prestigious Who's Who of the world, U.S.