“Becoming sixth B-school in India to get AACSB Accreditation will help IFIM Business School get into top league,” Sanjay Padode

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Updated on February 23, 2018
IFIM recently earned International Accreditation from AACSB, the premier business education accreditation agency of the world. Five other Indian B Schools accredited by AACSB are IIM C, ISB, XLRI, IMT Ghaziabad and TAPMI. MBAUniverse.com interviewed IFIM Secretary to know more about the process and impact.
IFIM Business School gets AACSB
“AACSB Accreditation will help in Global recognition of the innovations that we have made in our curriculum and delivery process” Sanjay Padode, IFIM Business School

On February 20, 2018, AACSB International, the global accreditation body, announced that Bangalore based IFIM Business School has been awarded the coveted AACSB Accreditation. IFIM, thus, became only the sixth B-school in India to be AACSB Accredited, along with ISB, IIM Calcutta, XLRI, IMT Ghaziabad and TAPMI.

Founded in 1995, IFIM has been improving its MBA program in last 5 years with a focus on transforming their students into continuously employable professionals. IFIM Society Secretary Mr Sanjay Padode had identified AACSB Accreditation as the key initiatives for taking the institution into the top-tier league of B-schools in India. IFIM’s accreditation is remarkable as many of the IIMs and top PGDM B-schools have not yet received the approval. More than 100 Indian B-schools are currently in the various stages of AACSB process.

So how did IFIM get AACBS accredited in a relatively short span of time? What were the key challenges, and how did they overcome them? And how will this tangibly benefit IFIM? MBAUniverse.com interviewed Mr. Sanjay Padode, Secretary of CDE Society that runs IFIM. Mr Padode has been personally driving the AACSB mission. He is a BITS Pilani graduate with a series of successfulentrepreneurialventures to his credit.

Edited excerpts from the interview follow.

Q: Congratulations for joining the league of ISB, IIM Calcutta, XLRI and other top B-schools by becoming India’s 6th AACSB Accredited B-school. How does it feel!

A: Thank you for your congratulations. The team at IFIM Business School is extremely elated and happy to be the 6th Institution in India being accredited by the world’s rigorous and toughest management education standards, which AACSB is.

This was a four-year focused effort from our committed team of faculty and staff. The journey was enriching in terms of learning from the best practices and also testing because we had to deal with standards which challenged us to provide evidence for demonstrating our conviction to our mission of nurturing holistic, socially responsible and continuously employable professionals.

Q: Let’s talk about the benefits of accreditation. What are the key benefits that you see from AACSB accreditation to IFIM?

A: From our perspective, the benefits of accreditation are as follows:

  • Entry into the club of the “Elite 6” in India and to enter the top 5% of the Global Business Schools that we well deserved.
  • Global recognition of the innovations that we have made in our curriculum and delivery process
  • Becoming eligible for global ranking
  • Ability to attract international students and faculty to our programs

The AACSB benefits will accrue to us at IFIM through the impact it has on our entire ecosystem. The global endorsement is an assurance:

  • to our students that a high quality innovative business education of global standard is being imparted to them in a process driven and consistent manner and that they are in a in the top 5% of the B schools in the world and in the rare Elite 6 club of such accredited B Schools in India. IFIM will now be eligible even for global ranking
  • to the industry that they are getting top quality resources comparable to the best anywhere and who have gone through a formal, methodical and rigorous process of receiving quality business education
  • to our faculty that the school is committed to investing in their quest for knowledge and research to help them continuously and consistently impart knowledge to their students

The biggest benefit for us at IFIM is that it will motivate us even more to strive to be the best in the world and attract the best of International students and faculty

Q: Considering that Top 2 accreditation are tough to get, what were the factors that drove you to work on AACSB Accreditation?

A: There were two objectives when we at IFIM decided to pursue AACSB.

First, we wanted to graduate beyond our present segment that we perhaps were not rightly positioned at as we internally were aware of the capability to become recognised amongst the top Business Schools in the country. Our objective was to become eligible for participating in global rankings to be among the “Elite 6” in the country.

Second, we were innovating in our curriculum to make it relevant for present times and to create professionals who are future ready. Thus it was important for us to get our innovative interventions such as Personality Enhancement Program (PEP), Social Immersion Program (SIP), Research Incubation (RI) and Industry Internship Program (IIP) ratified from a globally recognised accrediting body.

Q: So, when did you and your team begin to work on AACSB Accreditation? How much time did it take?

A: We entered the process in the last quarter of 2013 and graduated successfully from the process in February 2018. The entire process took us 53 months to complete the process

Q: What was the most difficult thing to achieve at IFIM for AACSB Accreditation? Was it talent, culture, resources, students…?

A: The three biggest challenges of this process were:

  • Arriving at a mission that was executable and acceptable by the faculty, academia and the industry
  • Aligning our strategic plan, curriculum, business processes with the mission
  • Motivating our faculty and staff to continuously persevere towards delivering the mission

 Q: Is getting a top accreditation like AACSB very expensive? There is a feeling like that amongst most of the B-schools…

A: Yes, the expenditure for getting any accreditation is large. However, the direct expenses paid to the accrediting agency is a small percentage of the total spend that one does to meet the standards of accreditation. The larger spend is towards faculty development, intellectual contribution and systems to measure the efficacy of the teaching and learning process. All in all, it is worth the spend!

Q: Finally, now what is your vision for IFIM after achieving this important milestone?

A: Our focus is to continuously improve on our processes and outcomes. We aspire to rank globally and play an important role in delivering quality management education for future ready business professionals, be a catalyst for creating a happy and prosperous society.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more updates on IFIM Bangalore

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