IIM Kozhikode held a training programme for Kerala legislators last week. Chief minister Oommen Chandy and his 18 cabinet colleagues sat studiously in class, honing their management skills.
Ministers had to switch off their ever-ringing mobile phones after they learnt of a rule of the institute: Each time their mobile rang, a fine of R1,000 was to be paid.
Politicians aside, what makes this institute stand out among all IIMs is that it believes in building women leaders in business. With that in view, it has reserved 30% of its seats for women.
“Our aim is to create women leaders for Indian and international organisations,” says director Debashis Chatterjee.
Women make better managers than men, feels Chatterjee, because they have a deeper understanding of the emotional context of an assignment. A manger needs to have an emotional quotient along with analytical skills, he adds.
The institute conducts a full range of courses in management education covering research, training, consulting, grooming and intellectual infrastructure development.
And it doesn’t mind taking management lessons from others. Five years ago, Mumbai’s dabbawallas taught them a few lessons on basic management.
Located in a panoramic corner of the historical city of Kozhikode (earlier known as Calicut, where Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama arrived in 1498), the 100-acre campus looks like a sprawling resort. Here architecture blends with nature.
“It instills awareness of responsibilities, infuses a sense of appreciation for nature and preserves a culture of trust and value of time,” says Neha Gautam, a post graduate student.
Social concern is an integral part of the learning module here. Like many B-schools, it also conducts various community-based programmes. “While all corporate houses eye higher profitability, here we get basic lessons in how to pay society back,” says Rahul Jain, another student.
IIM-K students have not belied the faith top-notch recruiters have in them.
“It is one of the key sources of our future leadership,” says Sajiv Nair, manager, corporate HR, ITC.
Ravi Ajmera, chief administrative officer (global market centre), Deutsche Bank, says: “We are impressed by their (students’) maturity and professional demeanour.”
The institute has an arrangement with about 50 international schools and 60 top CEOs have visited the campus in the past three years.
On this vibrant campus, bonding is the essence of student life. Friendships survive, with some even culminating in happy marriages.
“Like at the IAS academy, here many meet their partners and solemnise their relationships,” explains another PGP student.
The institute conducts a variety of activities, ranging from the management festival called Backwaters to various other cultural programmes.
The annual alumni meet, Sangam 2011, saw a reunion of more than 800 former students.
“Our motto is globalising Indian thought. We are fast emerging as a school of ideas,” says the director.
An alumnus Gaurav Sharma, who is currently working with Accenture Consulting, says: “It (IIM-K) is my gurukul. At times I feel like going back to the campus.”
Established in: 1996
Main courses: Two-year post graduate programme (PGP) in management is the flagship course here
Other courses: Fellowship programme in management, executive MBA programmes, distance learning PGDBM programmes
Course fee: Rs 10 lakh for PGP
Number of students per batch: 341 (PGP-1st year), 320 (PGP-II)
Faculty-student ratio: 1:12
Facilities offered: World-class library and information centre, centre for development of digital libraries, all buildings on the campus are interconnected through a digital fibre optic backbone and it is the first IIM to have undertaken the task of creating an Indian Business History Museum
Day zero placements: IIM-K does not follow a strict slot-based system. Placements are spread over weeks, so it is not possible to calculate the percentage of day zero placements
Top recruiters: Deloitte, ICICI Bank, Cognizant Technologies, Deutsche Bank, Citibank, JPMC and HCL
Famous alumni: Bhaskar Prasad, VP Citibank; Girish Kathaplia, head PMO HSBC and Munir Suri, VP, Walmart