Working for a monthly salary of R 1 for the last 24 years, Manesh Shrikant, the honorary dean of S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research, walks into his office every day sharp at 8.30 am.
The 73-year-old teaches students corporate ethics through the Bhagavad Gita. The course is called Gita Shibir.
“When we select a student, it is not only based on his scores but also on his value system. That is what makes our students stand apart,” said the dean.
Established in 1981, the college broke away from the University of Mumbai in 1992 to re-draw its course. This propelled it into the list of Top 10 B-schools in the country.
The philosophy of the institute is rooted in Indian scriptures.
“Breaking away from the university and going entirely private was a big step, but we believed in our philosophy,” said the head of SP Jain’s family management programme, Parimal Merchant.
But the residential institute faces challenges. It accepts Common Admission Test scores, which are the entrance criteria for the coveted IIMs. So, many students who come here are those who have not made it to the IIMs. Yet, an almost foolproof admission process ensures that the brightest get in, the institute says.
“We assess the potential of an individual, not his scores,” said Shrikant. “It is not only the student we assess, but also the faculty members who interview him or her.”
If a faculty member has admitted, say, 20 students, the progress of this group of 20 is deemed to reflect his judgment. A detailed analysis is then done on the success rate of the faculty member, and steps are taken to improve his or her judgment.
Unlike other B-schools that bank on summer placements, at S.P. Jain, students have to do their six-month internship with NGOs to learn about fieldwork — and humility.
This programme, called the development of corporate citizenship, helped the institute make it to the list of 11 management schools chosen as part of a worldwide workshop to rethink management studies after the Enron crisis in 2004.
Last year, S.P. Jain adopted 140 children of a municipal school and assigned a B-school student to mentor each child.
“MBA education can be broken into three parts: To know, to do and to be. Our candidates are work-ready from day one, and are the kinds who will roll up their sleeves and get to work,” Abbasali Gabula, dean of placements, said.
Companies acknowledge this. In 2009, through the economic slowdown, the average salary was R10 lakh and in the booming markets of 2008, it was R13.96 lakh.
S.P. Jain will soon become the first B-school to get its placements audited by an external agency and declare it to the public to ensure authenticity.
The rigour instilled by the college helps students through life. “After the rigorous course at S.P. Jain, work-life (balance) was a cakewalk,” said Akhil Chaturvedi, CEO, Provogue.
Main courses offered: PG Diploma in Management (two-year)
Course fee: R9 lakh
Current batch size: 180
Male-female ratio: 108 (m): 72 (f)
Faculty-student ratio: 1:7
Placement season: Not declared
Number of offers (2010): Not declared
Average salary (2010): R11.08 lakh p.a
Famous alumni: Girish Wagh (leader of team that designed that Tata Nano)
Top recruiters: P&G, TAS, Citibank, Microsoft, GSK, HUL, GE, Nestle
Fun factor: Out of class bonding