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The brand builder

From offering courses in media planning, MICA now has programmes for all segments of the media industry Prasad Nichenametla Reports

education Updated: Nov 04, 2009 09:25 IST
Prasad Nichenametla

Dhruv Pubby (23), an engineering graduate from Jalandhar, was looking for a management institute that allowed him to pursue his twin interests —media and brand

It was an easy choice.
“MICA (Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad) was the only institute that I aspired to join,” said Pubby who is currently in the second year of the post-graduate programme in communication management, MICA’s flagship course.

Pubby and other MICA students are quick to point out that theirs is not an advertising or a communications school but a “communication management institute”.

Established in 1991, during the early days of liberalisation — when there was a surge in demand for brand and product managers across companies — MICA was the brainchild of A.G.

Krishnamurthy, the then managing director of leading ad firm Mudra Communications.

MICA claims to be the first residential academic institution in the Asia-Pacific region dedicated to the needs of an integrated marketing communications industry.

Though Mudra Communications funded the initial set up, the institute now operates with revenues generated from student fees.

Being a management school involved in brand building, MICA has earned itself a brand name in communication management. Initially started as a communications school offering short-term courses in media planning, the institute now offers programmes catering to different segments of the media industry, such as a certificate programme in creative communications, one year executive diplomas in communication management and a post-graduate programme in communication management and entrepreneurship.

“We want to build a strong research base with effective exchange of faculty with foreign institutions apart from recruiting from abroad,” said Ashok Ranchhod, a former professor of marketing at University of Southampton, UK who recently took over as MICA's director. “I want MICA to become a global brand which would attract students from China, UK, etc.”

The institute is also attempting to connect to the larger population. “Through communication management we can reach out to all sections of the society and find ways to serve the society at large,” said Arbind Sinha, who teaches social and development communication at the institute.

MICA Vaani, a community radio managed by MICA students, airs programmes to spread literacy and create social awareness among the neighbouring villages of Shela and Sanand.

The institute boasts big names in the media and communications industries on its recruiters' list including HT Media Ltd, Business Standard, Channel V, Sony, Aaj Tak, Ogilvy & Mather, JWT, Reliance, CitiFinancial, DaimlerChrysler, IOC, Motorola, TATA, Vodafone, AC Nielsen and Genpact.

“Apart from the curriculum and teaching, what attracted me to MICA is its profile of recruiters,” said Shreya Shively (22), a commerce graduate from Delhi’s Shri Ram College of Commerce.

The global downturn affected placements at MICA this year, but new and digital media companies came to its rescue.

Though placements spilled into February from the usual one week in January, the institute was able to place all its students.

MICA’s state-of-the-art campus is located amid green fields and villages, around 20 km from Ahmedabad.

“The academic atmosphere is not that hectic here,” first year student Gaurav Nijhawan (24) said. “There is enough time to participate in various activities — individually and through various platforms.”


Highest salary
2009: Rs 18 lakh
2008: Rs 13.7 lakh
2007: Rs 10.2 lakh

Batch size
2009: 120
2008: 120
2007: 120

Placement season days
2009: More than a week
2008: 3 days
2007: NA

High-profile alumni
Arjoon Bose,

International Project Manager (Garnier)

Kunal Mukherjee,
Marketing Head, Zoom TV

Dennis Koshy,
Vice-President, JWT

Gaurav Bhasin,
CEO, Singapore, McCann

Rahul Anand,
Co-founder and Director,
Happily-unmarried Marketing Pvt Limited

High-profile recruiters
HT Media Ltd, Business Standard, Sony, Ogilvy & Mather, JWT

Campus gossip
. Hostels at MICA are named after trees such as Amaltas and Chinar.
. The institute has ample sports facilities and a community centre.
. Gully cricket — in the middle of hostel blocks — is a popular pastime.
. The favourite student hangout is the Chhota canteen, which serves sandwiches with
recipes allegedly made and perfected by students; the popular Imran sandwich (egg
and cheese mix) is said to be invented by the 2007 topper.
. MICA has its very own cricket league, and teams are often named after films such as
Deewar and Inglourious Basterds.
. Sankalp, the theatre group and Black Coffee, an in-house magazine, are other
creative outlets.