wenty-five years after it was established, Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM-L) is giving some serious competition to its counterparts in Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta.
“There is still that perception about IIM-L being the ‘fourth’ IIM,” said Dhaval Ponda (29), a 2007 batch alumnus working with Tata Consultancy Services in Birmingham.
“But it’s not a problem for us — it just makes us try even harder, come closer as a community and go on to bigger and better things.”
Former IIM-L professor S. Chakraborty (64), who witnessed the institute evolve from a one-room teaching centre to its present 185-acre campus, calls IIM-L his “first love”.
Chakraborty, currently director of Lucknow’s Jaipuria Institute of Management, said, “At no point did we consider ourselves inferior to our so called big brothers, A, B and C (referring to the IIMs at Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta).
Within the first two years of its inception, IIM-L started offering around 40 subjects for its postgraduate programme, taking many by surprise by the pace at which it was growing.
Today, it is known globally.
"For our summer recruitment, 50 per cent or more of IIM-Lucknow trainees go on to receive a final placement offer from JP Morgan, which is above the average for all institutes,” said Vinit Chauhan (39), London-based global business manager for JPMorgan Chase. “A little more focus would make the IIM-Lucknow stock go up even more.”
During February-March this year when the global meltdown threatened placements at business schools globally, IIM-L secured 284 offers from 105 companies for 235 students.
Though the placements were a little extended (usually majority of students get placed in the first couple of days), firms such as Barclays Capital, Frost & Sullivan and Ernst & Young made lucrative international offers.
Twenty-five students had pre-placement offers, 48 were lapped up through the higher entry placement process (meant for students with prior work experience), while seven chose to get into personal business.
“It was tough, but we did fairly well in the end,” said IIM-L director Devi Singh.
“Comparisons would always be made. We have a (different) genetic code which makes us different (from other institutes),” he said. “We tell our students that they would always make lots of money. But what do they have to offer to the society?"
IIM-L had a centre for leadership and human development, organised workshops on ethics and corporate social responsibility, and its students had adopted a village under an outreach programme, Singh said.
Vikas Mehra (43), a Hong Kong-based 1993 batch alumnus working as principal consultant at IBM Consulting, said IIM-L taught him the need to learn continuously and strive for excellence. “This has had a major role in me being whatever I am today,” he said.
Ahaskar Pandey (26) of IIM-L’s 2009 batch had offers from other business schools, but he is glad he chose the Lucknow institute.
“Its infrastructure is top class, the faculty is sensitive to your needs and I've made some great friends here.”
Jerome Glynn Smith, a student from leading French business school ESCP Europe studying here under the student exchange programme, said, “IIM-Lucknow has provided me with hands-on learning as well as cultural insights.” Maria Smith, another exchange student, said: “I would not think twice about recommending it (studying here).”
IIM-L has decided not to make the salaries offered to its students public.
Placement season days
2007: 4 days
2008: One week
2009: Two weeks plus
High profile alumni
Executive director, Goldman Sachs
President, Sara Lee, Singapore and Malaysia
Senior Director, Capital One, US
CEO ICF NovaStar
High profile recruiters
Barclays Capital, Frost & Sullivan, Ernst & Young, JP Morgan, IBM Consulting