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IIFT is an incubation factory for great ideas and innovative learning Jatin Anand Reports

education Updated: Nov 04, 2009 09:27 IST
Jatin Anand

Whether it is a management module inspired by the Indian Premier League or training managers in corporate social responsibility, innovative thinking comes easily to the faculty at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Delhi.

Linking T20 cricket to a marketing skills exercise in October, for instance, was a big hit with the students.

“The entire campus was abuzz. My teammates and I discussed our strategy and the logo till 4 am,” said said Yash Saxena (24) a final year student of international business. “Not just do events like these help IIFTians learn business strategy, but also ensure there’s never a dull moment.”

With mandatory corporate social responsibility training and NGO internships, IIFT trains students to become competent managers by learning to transfer academic knowledge into the real world to act as catalysts of social change.

“Every year, we attach our students to 25 NGOs in Delhi and 15 in Kolkata for a month. It teaches them the importance of being a team player in an uncontrolled
environment,” said IIFT director K.T. Chacko.

Life for an IIFTian is an eclectic mix of classes, sports and field projects to get an exposure to management scenarios in real life.

An elevated, circular terrace, popular among students as ‘top of the world’ is the students’ favourite hang out. “We come here for everything from gazing at the stars to discussing politics to salaries and placements,” said Shivam Vashisht, 25, a final year student of international business.

Having trained more than 40,000 business professionals across 30 countries in the nuances of international business and trade policy, the IIFT has something for everyone —from greenhorns to middle and top-level management executives.

Industry bodies, universities and development organisations such as FICCI, CII, Harvard University, European Union, USAID and the UNDP consult the institute on
international business.

Its popularity among aspiring managers can be gauged from the 37,500 applications that the institute got last year for a seat in its 150-strong batch of their MBA in international business.

The admission procedure involves a written test followed by a group discussion and interview.

In the curriculum, understanding the global economy is IIFT’s overriding objective. On offer are foundational programmes and certificate courses for beginners. For middle and top-level management executives, there are research degree programmes and management development modules.

“We enjoy top recall among the other 1,400-odd MBA institutions in the country not just for our specialisation in international business, but also because we update our curriculum every two years,” said Biswajit Nag, associate professor, Applied Econometrics International Trade and Finance.

Professor of Economics D. Sunitha Raju said IIFT’s global outlook brought back multinationals such as the Bank of America, Barclays and Xerox to the campus to recruit. “IIFT is not just another B-school but also a think tank. Our students are outstanding managers because they are trained to interpret and master both national and international business policies.”

“Students from IIFT possess long term vision, integrity and are value driven — all the attributes that we look for in a prospective employee,” said HCL India Senior Vice President Ravi Shankar B.IIFT alumna Ruchika Khattar (26), working with an international soft-drink chain, added: “The fact that one is surrounded by people driven by a vision of academic excellence makes the campus an incubation ground for great ideas.”

Average salary
2009: Rs 7.55 lakh
2008: Rs 10.1 lakh
2007: Rs 9.3 lakh

Batch size
2009: 168
2008: 151
2007: 115

Placement season days
2009: Yet to take place
2008: 2 months
2007: 2 days

High-profile alumni
Shashikant V,
CEO, UB Global

Ramesh Vijayaraghavan,

Executive Director, Morgan Stanley

Sachin Bhardwaj,

Director, UBS

SK Roongta,

Chairman, Steel Authority of India Limited

Govind Ambady,

CEO, Louis Dreyfus Commodities

High-profile recruiters
Nomura Holdings, HCL, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Tata Motors, Colgate-Palmolive