Wrapped in clouds, 22 kilometres away from the hustle and bustle of Indore lies another world. Its inhabitants fondly refer to it as ‘Planet-I’. Situated atop the hill Prabandh Shikhar, spread over 193 acres, the Indian Institute of Management, Indore, proudly lords it over the commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh.
This year IIM-Indore (IIM-I) has climbed up two spots in the HT-TNS survey of top B-schools in India.
“It’s like a dream,” says Sharda Karmarkar, 26, a second-year post graduate programme student, referring to the campus.
With more than 900 students on its rolls, it is the largest IIM in the country. The girls to boys ratio is 1:10. And though students remain tightlipped about campus romances, the reality is anybody’s guess.
Idyllic setting notwithstanding, it didn’t take long for Sharda to face reality. “Classes from day one, loads of homework, tests and assignments, meetings late in the night — it all started with a bang.”
Says Kaushalendra Singh, 26, a second-year post-graduate programme student: “Our classes start from 8.45am. At times, they go on till 9.15pm. In between, we also work on our assignments and case studies. We spend six to eight hours preparing for the next day’s lecture.”
So what keeps IIM-I ahead? “At IIM-I, growth is a reality and not a one-time phenomenon. For the last two to three years, we have been growing continuously - both in size of the programmes (courses on offer) as well as the variety of programmes,” says IIM-I director Dr N Ravichandran.
Apart from progress, the other thing that sets IIM-I apart is its penchant for innovation.
“For instance, we have launched an executive MBA programme, which is at par with the programmes offered by the established IIMs,” says Ravichandran.
In another first, IIM-I second year post-graduate programme students are able to bid for the courses of their choice through an online portal designed specifically for the purpose.
Seats to a particular course are allotted on the basis of student’s preference along with the availability for the course.
Amidst all this talk of courses, it is difficult to believe that IIM-I students have a ‘life’, but they claim otherwise.
“Though our classes stretch till 8 pm, we never miss out on fun,” says Sumit Kumar, 26, a second-year PGP student. “In fact, the cheering during cricket and football matches at 3 am is so loud that you don’t miss a goal even inside your hostel room,” he adds.
And it’s not the students alone who are having fun. Says KS Ramesh, ex-CEO, CavinKare, who is also a faculty member: “The passion for creativity of PGP students at
IIM-I combined with the enthusiasm to constantly improve the understanding of concepts makes the teaching process highly satisfying.”
The learning seems to be fruitful in every sense, as Abhishek Chatterjee, 25, from the class of 2011 corroborates. “Usually, the placements start early next year, but I had received a pre-placement offer in October 2010.”
Says first-time recruiters from IIM-I Arun Bruce, principal, Boston Consulting Group: “This was our first time at IIM-I, and I have to say we were very happy with the quality of candidates we interviewed and recruited. We will be back.”
With inputs from Manoj Ahuja
Established in: 1996
Main courses: PG diploma programme, PhD programme
Other courses: Executive PGP, PGP-MX, MDP
Course fee: PGP fee is R6 lakh
Number of students per batch: PGP- 450, PhD- 50
Faculty-student ratio : 1:10
Facilities offered: Library, 24x7 internet, cafeteria, night pantry, ambulance, swimming pool, football ground, three doctors on campus, Olympic-size basketball court
First-day placements: 40%
Top recruiters: Goldman Sachs, P&G, ITC, Yes Bank, ICICI Bank, PwC, and L&T
Famous alumni: Abhishek Kathuria, VP, Citibank; Ravi Seth, VP Polaris