Sudhir Jalan took over as president of the All India Management Association in 2005 and, in this short period, has introduced several innovative steps to take the association forward. In an interview to Business Standard, he shares AIMA's plan to take management education a step further in the country.
What is AIMA doing to address the needs of young managers and management students ?
In order to ignite young minds and bring them into the management movement, a new initiative called Shaping Young Minds has been launched. It is an interactive programme that will provide young management professionals and management students a platform to interact with icons from various spheres of national endeavour and to learn from their failures and achievements.
What initiatives has AIMA taken in the interests of professional management in the country?
AIMA has taken several path-breaking initiatives some of which include strengthening its Advanced Management Programme with active involvement of faculty from the world's leading b-schools such as the Harvard Business School and Stanford University. AIMA has been proactively recognising exceptional management talent and business acumen and public service excellence and has honoured extraordinary achievers in corporate leadership, lifetime contribution, achievement in management field and excellence in community service. The organisation also took the lead and helped establish the South Asian Association of Management Organisation, whose members include Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mauritius and India.
Any plans with regard to conducting of MAT exams?
One of the major contributions of AIMA for conducting the Management Aptitude Test, which is the most widely accepted form of entrance testing for all management schools, is that this year the examinations have gone online. Around 80,000 students took the MAT exams this time. Also, this year, AIMA has broadened its test facilities to corporate testing, especially for public sector companies.
B-schools are poor on the management research side. What do you think should be done in this regard?
On the research side, we are poor as our research scholars are poorly paid. If we don't respect quality and free thinking how do we promote research? The secret of getting research done in the management field, rather any field, is that scholars should be paid well and should be given proper recognition.
How do you plan to take AIMA's distance-education programme forward?
AIMA has pioneered distance management education to give depth to the management movement across all sectors throughout the country. We are in the process of expanding this major activity by acquiring larger and better premises and introducing new technology like going on line and using broadband facilities.