IMI, India’s 1st Corporate B-school, is enhancing Industry collaborations further, taking many initiatives: Dr D Chatterjee, DG, IMI New Delhi

Monday, October 30 2017
IMI New Delhi DG Interview
Dr Debashis Chatterjee, a renowned management adcademic, was appointed the Director General of IMI New Delhi in January 2017. interviewed Dr Chatterjee on his vision and new initaitives at IMI New Delhi.
“Our endeavour has been to enhance our corporate linkages through a structured corporate engagement programme” Dr Debashis Chatterjee, Director General, IMI New Delhi

Dr Debashis Chatterjee, a renowned management adcademic and author of 17 books such as ‘Leading Consciously’and ‘Timeless Leadership’, was appointed the Director General of International Management Institute (IMI), New Delhi in January 2017. He is credited with turn around of IIM Khozikode from a regional institute to a globally known B-school. Amongst his many initiatives at IIMK was the Yale University–IIM Kozhikode Centre for Excellence in Academic Leadership, part of the Singh-Obama initiative. He has also served as Dean (IR) at IIM Lucknow. interviewed Dr Chatterjee on his vision for IMI New Delhi, new initiatives being undertaken and his advice for MBA aspirants. Edited excerpts follow:

You took over as the DG of IMI New Delhi in January 2017. What is your Vision for IMI New Delhi…? What is your strategy to achieve this vision?
IMI is India’s first corporate B school and is fired by free spirited entrepreneurship. Our intellectual capital amplified by our social capital has built our reputation as India’s foremost corporate sponsored business school. We wish to leave behind a legacy of management wisdom that grows competent and compassionate professionals.

To achieve our objectives we have plans to contemporise research and academic activity to keep academic work relevant to today’s needs. Efforts are being made to consolidate growth across all of IMI’s campuses, through an integration of activities that will highlight IMI’s strength as a single brand.

We are also working on enhancing our Industry collaborations. Our recent tie-ups with Power Grid Corporation of India and Airport Authority of India are examples of developing industry interface.

IMI Delhi has also launched a Centre for Disruptive Innovation and Enterprise that will develop short-term online and offline courses and MOOCs, in collaboration with non-business schools, to create courses such as design thinking.

What are the initiatives at IMI New Delhi towards Internationalization of your programs?
IMI is progressing towards extending its international footprint in the emerging markets. IMI Delhi is planning a 15-month international programme, as a part of which participants will spend two weeks each in five continents, living and learning for a week at a time in different cities that are key business hubs. We have also recently done tie-ups with University of New Brunswick Canada and Montpellier Business School, France.

You recently conducted Leadership Clinics. What is the focus of this initiative?
Yes, we are conducting a series of leadership clinics across the country. We have recently conducted two clinics successfully in Delhi on 5th May and on 7th September, in Gurgaon. These forums help us get an idea of the problems people in industry are facing, so that we can create a framework for solving these real problems, instead of just delivering content. This focus is particularly important for an institution which was set up by sponsoring companies such as RPG Enterprises, Nestle, ITC, SAIL, Tata Chemicals, BOC and Williamson Magor.

So what are the key strengths of IMI New Delhi today? What makes it stand out…
Our emphasis and strength is our rigiourous curriculum and student driven initiatives.

The curriculum at IMI, New Delhi is a combination of academic rigour and corporate exposure. The student driven initiatives taken up by the respective Committees, Clubs and Societies, help shape the leadership and decision making abilities of the students. Though classroom learning plays a vital role in the learning curve of the students, the responsibilities that the student takes up, as a part of the student body, helps create an amalgamation of a holistic learning experience.

During their academic journey, the students are made industry ready and moulded as future thought leaders, who can handle business challenges and make decisions within stringent deadlines. The business conclaves, seminars, guest sessions and business thought leadership seminars delivered by industry experts, hosted in IMI, New Delhi, help our students gain an exposure into the corporate world.

Our international linkages, strong relations with our alumni network and intellectual capital help our students gain an edge in the industry and prepare them for leadership roles across domains.

Faculty has been a long standing strength at IMI. How are you planning to enhance it?
Yes, IMI New Delhi’s knowledgeable pool of faculty, have a rich combination of academic rigour and corporate exposure, thereby helping the students gain both theoretical and practical insight.

We have been recruiting reputed and acclaimed faculty regularly and recently we have recruited seven regular faculty. We have also started the concept of inviting renowned  Practice Professors of Eminence on board, who have been  at the helm of affairs in their respective organisations to inculcate  strategic thinking amongst future managers.

Placements have been a key focus area for IMI New Delhi in last few years. Are there new initiatives to strengthen this area?
Our endeavour has been to enhance our corporate linkages through a structured corporate engagement programme. We have strengthened our ‘Business Thought Leadership’ programme through which corporate leaders are invited regularly to the campus. We also have a strong network of more than 5500 alumni and we have a strong presence of this network across various continents. We have been conducting various alumni and corporate meets in India and in international cities like Dubai Singapore and London. So a lot of new initiatives are being undertaken in this area.   

IMI New Delhi has recently opened Admissions 2018. What are key new initiatives in coming months in this area?
We are reaching out to a large cross-section of educational institutions through a program called Nexus to share and showcase IMI’s intellectual capital and to attract top end students to campus.

What is your message for MBA Aspirants who are looking to do well in career and life by joining a good B-school? How can they transform themselves into top professionals?
B-school provides a platform to nurture and equip students to transform into future managers and global leaders who thrive in challenging situations. The two year academic journey sets the perspective for the students and will truly revolutionize their outlook towards problem solving, planning, decision making, conflict resolution and team building. It is indeed a 360 ° experience that prepares the students for an industry that is gradually shifting from corporate ladders to a jungle gym.

Today, it is pertinent to be able to constantly adapt and innovate in order to sustain in an extremely dynamic environment. Experience, knowledge and practical learning play a key role in transforming aspirants into leaders who can work across functions and adapt to the requirements of an evolving industry. International linkages, participation in student bodies, corporate competitions, business simulations, case studies, business conclaves and guest sessions play a key role in enabling one to become corporate ready, as these provide a strong learning foundation that helps professionals tackle the various business challenges they face.

Finally, you have authored many acclaimed books and more than 100 research publications on ‘Globalizing Indian Thought.’ What are the areas where Indian Thought can solve some global challenges?
Indian wisdom has long sought and found answers to the problem of sustainability. The notion of dharma that suggests that there is a partless whole that is greater than the sum of parts guides india on an evolutionary path.

Stay tuned to for more updates on IMI New Delhi

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