There’s a rural twist to this metropolitan tale. From this year, students at Delhi’s Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management (LBSIM) are reaching out to villages in the national capital region to know the real Bharat, not far from the glitzy malls and high-rises.
The institute has zeroed in on 15 villages in Delhi/NCR, divided them into four-five clusters and allotted each to a group of students, “99%” of whom are urbanites.
“Every 15 days, a group of students, sometimes with a member of a faculty, goes to a village, to familiarise themselves with it and find out what the villagers require,” elaborates Gautam Sinha, director, LBSIM.
There are interesting revelations: there’s a village with a “fantastic school” but no teacher, another has no ladies’ toilet. In one village, while the men said there was no problem, the women complained that female literacy was low.
If a village needs a facility or resource like a teacher or banking facility, students help by asking the local authorities, non-government organisations, or the corporate social responsibility arm of a private company, adds Sinha.
Compulsory for students, the initiative is rooted as much in the institute’s ethos inspired by the late prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who had called on the nation with the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’, a crying need for removing the deficiencies in today’s MBAs. These deficiencies are among the three aspects of b-school education highlighted by Srikant Datar, Harvard Business School professor and co-author of Rethinking the MBA: knowing (knowledge), doing and being. “We are trying to do the ‘doing and being’ part,” says Sinha.
Urban youngsters, he says, “neither have any knowledge nor empathy for villages.”
(As for the Jai Jawan part, LBSIM already has a subsidised scheme for the defence category)
However, significant though it is, this remains an element of the LBSIM PGDM experience, as Sinha is clear that ‘rural management is not our forte’.
On LBSIM’s strengths, Sinha says, “We give a contemporary MBA with a lot of practice, at half the price of what others ask for because we still stand by the values of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri.”
Students and alumni particularly note the stress on values here.
The institute “focuses on the overall development of the individual,” says Utsav Gupta, a student. “We also focus on the values of late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri. We are taught discipline and values,” Gupta adds.
“It has a favourable ranking in various surveys. There’s an industry-integrated approach. All (activities) are student-driven. Every week, each student has to visit a company,” says Rachit Shukla, another student. The students are now planning to teach students in the Dwarka sub-city.
The institute also gives a national award for excellence in social services. There’s a social services club, Sparsh, in addition to others for dance, drama, music and fashion and one for each specialisation.
The one-acre Wi-Fi-enabled campus also houses a research centre. It has a computerised library with about 25,000 books. Though about 70% of the students are from outside Delhi, LBSIM has no residential facility on campus. However, there’s a Lalita Shastri Hostel in Sector 19.
“Five years from now, we’ll be two-three times in (batch) size in a bigger campus in NCR,” says Sinha.
Established in: 1995
Main courses: Two-year full-time postgraduate diploma in management (approved by AICTE), two-year postgraduate diploma in management - finance (approved by AICTE), three-year postgraduate diploma in management (part-time) for working executives (approved by AICTE), 15-month postgraduate diploma in management for executives (approved by AICTE), NSE-certified capital market professional programme
Other courses: MCA
Course fee: Rs 4.9 lakh
Number of students per batch: 180 (PGDM-120; PGDM finance- 60)
Faculty-student ratio: 1:13/14
Facilities offered: Wi-Fi-enabled, research centre, computerised library
Day zero placements: 13-14%
Top recruiters: HDFC, JP Morgan Chase, State Bank of India, Emaar Infrastructure, L&T, Mahindra & Mahindra, Philips Electronics, Maruti Suzuki, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Hewlett-Packard, Infosys, TCS, TRAI
Famous alumni: Adarsh Shastri, general manager (mobile and IT business), Samsung Electronics; Bijoy Majhi, founder, Angels In My Kitchen
The hangout zones include the canteen on campus and tikki joint, Domino's Pizza and Café Coffee Day in Sector 12, Dwarka
“We would like them (authorities) to provide a hostel facility on campus,” Surendira Siva, second-year PGDM student
College ke baad
Studying here is based on ethics and principles. How to become a good man? How to add value to the country? We learn to look at the larger picture
— Abhijit Singh Toor, class of 2005, now branch head of a bank in Gurgaon