India is a happening place. So more students now prefer to study in India and take up a career here, says I V Ranga Rao, director, admissions & financial aid, at the Indian School of Business.
Upbeat on the institute growth, Rao talks about the institute's new focus and the road ahead. Here are his views:
'ISB degree different compared to others'
We are in the 'education of business' and not 'business of education'. That's what set us apart. Everyone at the ISB is very passionate about what they do. The diverse background of students adds a great value to management education.
Reservation for students
We are not averse to any such idea; we will go by the rules of the land. When we look at student profiles, we never look at the caste aspect or the family background.
On new initiatives to promote global outlook
The next five years, we are going see dramatic changes at ISB. In five years we have grown from 126 students to 418 and we will scale it to 560 in a couple of years. We also have student exchange programmes with 26 B-schools across 12countries.
We are also carrying out a world tour programme to attract more foreign students from China, Korea, Taiwan and Sri Lanka. It can figure among the top ten business schools in the world in 5 years.
More students aspiring to join ISB this year
We have received a good response this year. We have got about 3,000 applications so far. The admission is generally a 5:1 ratio. We are getting the best of talent with experience ranging from two to 22 years and from diverse backgrounds.
Qualities sought in students
Intellectual strength, diverse background, good academic skills, leadership and, of course, good G MAT scores. Tomorrow's global companies will be shaped by ISB brains.
Focus on women
Our focus is to get more women students. About 20 per cent of our students comprises of women. This year's while the highest salary bagged by a guy was Rs 1.04 crore (Rs 10.4 million), the second biggest offer was bagged by a girl, so the margin has come down, which is a positive sign. We have also had women from family business who have transformed business after doing the course.
We also had two couples doing the courses in last two years. We are also targetting students from the undergraduate level itself from colleges in Hyderabad.
ISB's short-term executive programmes
ISB is an Asia-Pacific leader in customised programmes for corporates. Over 3,500 executives have attended executive programmes at the ISB. It has also introduced programmes for companies in the Middle East and Sri Lanka as well. Indian companies and even PSUs like LIC are joining ISB for customised programmes.
ISB & diverse backgrounds
Diversity has become an ISB trademark. The diverse backgrounds of ISB students is remarkable. We have 8 doctors -- three are from the Armed forces -- Army, Navy and Air Force. Then we have students like a naval architect, doctors, marine engineers, army officers. . . the background is varied and interesting. More doctors are taking up management degrees now. People who run their own businesses are joining for a management degree.
Kind of financial aid & scholarships
We have tie ups with HDFC Bank, SBI, Andhra Bank who give loans without any collateral. The interest rates are also less for ISB students. Besides this, we also have corporate sponsorship, wherein a corporate sponsors a student's education and is absorbed back in the same organisation.
Last year, many students opted for media; this year more students are looking at the real estate sector as it is booming in India. We also have students who started their own firms.
Demand for MBAs in India and abroad
With economies booming, there will be a huge demand for management graduates.
There is a reverse brain-drain happening, as more people are opting to work in India as companies in India are able to meet global standards. Although management colleges have mushroomed in India, those who have got degrees from a reputed colleges stand a better chance to get better positions.
On new focus at ISB this year
We are looking at students from smaller towns like Coimbatore, Chandigarh, Noida and Jaipur. Places like Coimbatore have a rich textiles legacy and a lot of entrepreneurial background. It would be great to get more students from non-metros. We are carrying out road shows in various cities.
On feedback from foreign students
India is a happening place and more students prefer to study in India and take up a career here. More NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) and foreign students are joining ISB as they find it similar to the leading B-schools in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Three overseas students who did the course last year at ISB, took up jobs in India. We have foreign faculty who come to ISB on a tenure basis. The students have the liberty to take their help at any time during their stay at the campus.
On the student exchange programmes at ISB
We have tie-ups with 26 B-schools across the globe, representing one of the fastest ramp-up of exchange programmes at the postgraduate level. We are associated with top B-schools like Wharton School, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, IESE Business School in Spain, Rotman School of Management in Canada, NUS Business School in Singapore. 23 students of 9 nationalities have visited ISB on student exchange programmes this year.
Expectations this year?
We hope salaries will rise. But salary is not our prime concern. We help students develop exceptional skills that will help build and nurture global companies.