An ode to achievement

23 February 2016

Given that you're from somewhere else in the country, you're liable to disregard the abode of nizams that shared as much of India's history as the Mughals in a Hyderabad that currently basks in an average 40° Celsius, a region as famous for its biryani as its penchant for marketing merchandise between 11 am and 9 pm and couldn't care less for custom before and after. But there's something about the Deccan that plays truant with your perception of things because, when push come to shove that translates into proving a point, here's where technology has been applied to sustain enterprise so as to redefine a dream called "Make in India".

From grassroots that would qualify as education, Hyderabad reverbrates with very high, even insane, admission cut-offs rife with speculation of whether you'll get through your preferred college and stream or not, and an overall accelerated heart beat and long queues facing announcements of new sessions to enroll in various B-Schools.

The decision to study for an MBA for many, prompted by a desire to make a career transition and experience a new sector or function and/or combine this with a geographical move, acquiring an internationally recognised degree in this regard opens up a more diverse network and affords exciting exposure to different cultures and business practices. It focuses attention on moving forward with a global in terms of both personal skills and career aspirations.

The ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad, is conducting its admission process till 26 February 2016 and with more than 1,000 students walking into a 95-acre campus every day with parents in tow far removed from the hustle-bustle of the city it is a sight that lends the lie to hearsay.

The teaching methodology is based on the requirement that students read case studies and textbook concepts and implement these in their real-life experiences. According to Dr S Venkata Seshaiah, programme head of IBS, Hyderabad, &quto;We believe in innovation, engagement and impact and thus in 'no lecturers' in the classroom. This doesn't mean we have no teachers in the institution, but there are group discussions wherein they direct the exercise towards the right answers. We always have a mixed bag of students and time has proved that when you have students coming from different educational backgrounds the chances of improvement are higher."

You might be given to counter-argue that having too many classmates around tends to tighten the prospects for placements – how as about 1,000 to a batch makes for a lot of competition — but that's just a snapshot of the real world.

"As a B-school, we develop resources with the right set of knowledge, skills and attitudes to meet the requirements of the corporate world. It's a known fact that working professionals have no particular lunch hours. Likewise, we have also kept our timetable with no gaps, just to make them industry-ready. Our vision is to develop lifelong resources to industry by integrating, teaching, inducing research, institution building, community development and knowledge sharing ‐ coined as 'Trick'. The curriculum involves industry-oriented with case pedagogy, industry recognition and accreditation at both the national and international levels, in collaboration with foreign business schools as well.

"We have compulsory residential dormitories and about 30 student clubs for both curricular and extra-curricular activities. Each organises its own events and every festival is celebrated on the campus. These clubs give you an edge as they impart skills you learn that go beyond the classrooms. We also have something called Syndicated Learning Activity that hones a student's current affairs, general knowledge, domain knowledge, group discussion skills, attitude and behaviourial aspects. After successful completion of SLA, students undergo mock group discussions, mock company tests and interviews where industry experts get involved. We have our marketing team that is constantly reaching out to students through seminars, group discussions, etc," says Seshaiah.

IBS, Hyderabad, conducts a centralised admission process for nine campuses ‐ Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Dehradun and Jaipur. "Till date, 19 batches have graduated and close to 40,000 alumni are employed at the middle and senior levels in over 1,000 companies across the world. More than 25,000 students too the IBSAT 2015 online test last December, conducted in approximately 100 centres across India. Of the total number, 15,000 students have been shortlisted and called for the second phase of admission process here. This is followed by a group discussion and then a personal interview. The final selection is based on candidates who pass the academic record and performance in the group discussion and personal interview.

Of 9,000 students who attend the selection process, 3,000 are selected for various campuses across the country, depending on factors such as proximity from residence, choice of subject, seat availability, etc.

Graduation in any discipline with a minimum of 50 per cent marks are eligible and we are not just looking for students with experience but freshers, too. Students are required to pay hostel accommodation charges of Rs 40,000 per semester and mess expenses of approximately Rs 24,000 per semester. In case a student gets through in some other institution of choice and wants to strike their names off within a due date, he/she will get funds returned minus Rs 1,000, which will be exempted as a cancellation fee as per UGC norms," said admission conveynor RR Reddy.

The institution offers to bridge loans to students admitted into the IBS programmes till they receive the sanction and disbursement of an educational loan from a bank. They have a Memorandum of Understanding with more than 25 banks, among which the Bank of Baroda provides a 95 per cent loan, much like Axis Bank, while HDFC Credila Financial Services (an HDFC Ltd company), gives a cent per cent loan against no mortage of up to Rs 7.5 lakh for a period of 10 years. They have their stalls at the campus and entertain a detailed discussion of the admission process. Once you have the offer letter from the university, getting a loan is a cakewalk... in fact, you are spoilt for choice.

Yes, while there are anxious freshers accompanied by parents jumping in to take the test and make it to the final rung of the ladder, there are also experienced candidates looking to plunge into this pool for a career shift. Three more days and we'll know what lies in store for these wannabe entrepreneurs.