The spiralling drive up the hill to the Indian Institute of Management, Indore campus on a hillock in Rau is not the only dazzling thing about the institute and its surroundings.
A statue of a girl reading a book greets one outside the library, signifying importance of women’s education. The massive main building is circular, signifying eternity.
The institute is the only one among the IIMs having a campus with a name — Prabandh Shikhar (Management Peak). The name does justice in describing the setting of the 200-acre campus sitting on a hillock surrounded by greenery.
“IIM-I had a humble beginning in 1998 in a building in Bijalpur on the outskirts of Indore with 40 students before moving to this sprawling campus and a larger student strength. The story so far has been of well earned success and the saga continues,” said professor of economics Ganesh Kumar.
IIM-Indore will be the first among the country’s top B-schools to launch a centre for Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) soon. The PURA scheme, drawn up by former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, is being run by the central government as part of its Vision 2020 initiative.
Participating in the government’s unique “immersion programme”, 240 students of IIM-I visited 16 districts while 40 of them went to Border Security Force bases on the borders with Pakistan, China and Bangladesh. This enabled students to gather first-hand knowledge of living conditions in rural areas and in the border areas.
“Apart from working on the broad guiding principles of inclusion, globalisation and growth, IIM-I is breaking the myths of elitism,” said IIM-I director N. Ravichandran.
Post-graduate programme chair and professor of finance and accounting L.V. Ramanna told Hindustan Times: “Five years ago, students got associated with the district administration and came up with management solutions in public interest for traffic in the city.”
In another such initiative under the society business and management programme, students get associated with an NGO and work in various fields of community service.
IIM-I runs innovative courses like theory of constraints, green business management, FMCG marketing, personal growth lab and strategy safari. A new course on the economics of the rural-urban divide is about to start.
The education imparted by IIM-I is deeply appreciated by students who have graduated from the institute and are doing well in the corporate world. “I owe this institute a lot for my success. The business acumen and humanism instilled as values are a great advantage in the corporate world,” said Hima Reddy, the best outgoing female student of the Class of 2008, currently a manager with Axis Bank.
Reddy’s views on the quality of education IIM-I provides is shared by Nomura Group VP (Middle East and North Africa) Scott Darling. “Recruitment at IIM-I was an enjoyable experience. The day was well-organised and the schedule facilitated an excellent interaction with the talent pool,” he said.