New entrants Sushma Reddy and Apoorva Dipti at the Institute of Finance & International Management (IFIM) Business School, Bangalore, were in for a shock on their first morning at the institute. Their seniors were up and about at 5am, and most of them headed for the gym.
In time they discovered that if finance was the institute’s ‘major', so was health. A sound health regimen actually translated into marks.
“One of the serious problems with successful business and finance professionals is that they neglect their personal well being, because that’s the one thing for which they will not be taken to task or have to answer performance reviews,” says Madhumita Chatterji, a faculty member.
“We, as a business school, were worried about that; so, three years ago, health and fitness were included in the curriculum as part of our personality development programme,” adds Chatterji, who’s been with the institute since its inception in 1995.
IFIM was founded by VB Padode, then chief editor of the Dalal Street Investment Journal, as a not-for-profit trust in Banashankari in old Bangalore. Despite its location in the IT capital of the country, the school retains its USP of finance.
“By that we do not mean managing the finance department of an IT company. We mean hardcore financial research, wealth management and banking,” says Chatterji.
Adds institute director Bramh Prakash Pethiya, “We see IT and technology as useful tools to be used in business and education. But, since many students come from engineering backgrounds and, thus, have some specialist knowledge of IT, we do not offer a specialisation in the subject.”
When the institute moved to its new campus in Bangalore’s Electronics City in 2000, it became more confident and started strengthening its curriculum. Recalls Shankho Gupta, 26, an alumnus from the Class of 2007: “Having better infrastructure meant it could raise its cut-off. Better students started entering the B-school and that’s why you see IFIM advancing rapidly in the ranks.”
“When we made social responsibility a curriculum programme way back in 1995, it wasn’t considered a great USP. Now, every B-school and enterprise is jumping on to the CSR bandwagon,” she recalls.
Yet another speciality of this B-school’s curriculum is the six-month internship that the students undergo at the end of the programme, instead of a two- or three-month summer internship.
“This becomes the students’ dissertation project, and also paves the way for their entry into jobs as they would have by then completed all their theory courses and be open to accepting offers from the companies where they intern,” says Pethiya.
Adds Chatterji, “One of our students, Amir Subba, interned as an assistant under an MP in Sikkim, studying the party’s management. He now aims to join that party.”
Kavitha Mathad, a faculty member at IFIM says, “It’s a fun yet meaningful exploration, and you discover your place at the end of it.”
Established in: 1995
Main course: PGDM, PGDM (international business), PGDM (finance), PGDM-II shift
Other courses: DGR programme-facilities management
Course fee: Rs 2.75 lakh
Number of students per batch: 60
Faculty to student ratio: 1:9
Facilities offered: World class gym, WiFi enabled campus, learning management system and virtual classrooms enable students to view the lecture video at their ease, library with almost 20,000 management related books, 2 electronic databases, 200 national journals and around 198 international journal subscription.
Day zero placements: 96% (in 2011)
Top recruiters: UCO bank, IDBI Bank, ICICI Bank, Matrix, Biocon, Amazon, Essar Steel, Deutsche Bank
Famous alumni: Anurag Gupta, general manager, Atira Convergence Technologies, Bangalore ; Monish Anand, senior vice president, Dhanalakshmi Bank; Gunit Singh, vice president and business head - West, HDFC Asset Management Company