Set up in 2010, IIM Raipur is the tenth IIM established by the Government of India. Today, IIM Raipur offers many programs including flagship PGPM, Executive Post Graduate Program in Management and FPM. The newly built IIM Raipur campus is situated across 200 acres in Naya Raipur, the new capital city of State of Chhattisgarh.
Dr Ram Kumar Kakani took over as Director of IIM Raipur on March 8, 2022. Prior to taking over this responsibility, he was a Professor and Head of Center for Governance at IIM Kozhikode. Earlier, Prof. Ram was a faculty at XLRI Jamshedpur and LBSNAA Mussoorie. Prof. Ram started his professional career as a technocrat in the corporate sector and moved towards the higher education world, focusing on the fields of Finance, Performance, and Strategy. Prof. Ram has co-authored multiple books in the domains of finance and public administration with publishers like Cambridge, Sage, Routledge and McGraw-Hill.
MBAUniverse.com interviewed Dr Kakani to know his Vision and Plans for IIM Raipur. Indeed, Dr Kakani has ambitious plans for IIM Raipur. He envisages his institute to be in the top 7-8 positions in the NIRF ranking in next few years. IIM Raipur also plans to launch a slew of new courses including the 5-year IPM... Edited excerpts follow:
Q: Congratulations for your appointment as the Director of IIM Raipur. What are your first priorities…?
A: Thank you for your warm welcome.
We look forward to building IIM Raipur into an Institution of Academic Excellence. The first leg of growth of the Institute has been amazing. Within 12 years of inception, we have been able to reach 15th position in the NIRF rankings which is commendable. It conveys the momentum that has been built in the system.
We plan to build IIM Raipur further with the same priority. Going forward, we want to enable the institute in a way that creates a vibrant academic culture and an eco-system for lifelong learning of students.
Q: What is your Vision for IIM Raipur? Where do you see it in next 4-5 years?
A: My vision for IIM Raipur cannot be different from the vision that has been set for the IIM Raipur fraternity including the board members, faculty, staff, and family members. We look forward to creating a top management institute that inspires thought leadership.
In the coming 4-5 years, we envisage that the institute will be in the top 7-8 positions in the NIRF ranking. We aim to reach the level of second-generation IIMs (e.g., IIM Lucknow). We are also aiming to get at least two quality accreditations for the institute.
Q: What are the Key Initiatives that you are planning to take towards achieving the vision?
A: Achieving any vision is a journey that cannot be taken alone. It is neither a one-person activity, nor does it get done in a meeting by a group of people. Achieving the vision involves a shared direction and we wish to rally every member of the institute towards that direction. We plan to consolidate the institution’s activities towards the next leg of growth.
Q.What makes IIM Raipur distinct from other good B-schools? Please share key strengths.
A: IIM Raipur’s strengths come from its unique values and agility, which are a result of its young roots and an inheritance of a rich local culture. We find strength in our proactive leadership and strong Government support. I truly believe IIM Raipur’s strength is its people.
IIM Raipur also provides a fantastic learning experience. The quaintness of the Chota Nagpur plateau region provides a great opportunity to reflect and introspect. The campus enables learning through not only group activities and peer learning but also through ‘chintanmanan’ or learning through solitude and self-awareness.
Q. Does IIM Raipur plan to launch any new program in near future... Many IIMs offer 5 year Integrated Program in Management. Does IIM Raipur plan to launch this program.
A: This is a wonderful question. I appreciate your intention.
We do plan to launch new programs like the Integrated Program in Management (IPM), Masters in Public Management, Sports management and similar such offerings, in addition to improving the quality and rigour of the existing programs of IIM Raipur.
Q: You started as a technocrat and moved towards the higher education, how do you see management education in India today? Are we well positioned for Industry 4.0?
A: I appreciate that you have gone through my CV and respect the depth of your question.
Management education has evolved over the years and modern-day management education is focusing on functional and vertical dimensions of niche areas within MBA. For instance, we have MBA in retail management, healthcare management, hospitality management, financial management, supply chain management, data sciences etc.
Coming to the second part of your question, we believe that a digitally savvy aspirational nation with strong leadership would be very well positioned for industry 4.0 and further.
Q. As a subject matter expert in Finance & Accounting, please share how should the MBA curriculum be updated in this area?
A: As a field, finance and accounting has progressed considerably over the years with specialized fields coming up and creating their own substantial, niche, and impactful space. For example, we have specialized MBAs in investment management, wealth management, corporate finance, fintech, and accounting information systems. I believe modern day Finance and Accounting curricula should capture these aspects and improve the strength of their programs.
Q.Finally, what is your message for MBA aspirants seeking MBA/PGDM admission? How can they choose the right B-school and prepare for future careers?
A: MBA aspirants seeking admissions should focus on acquiring a bit of industry experience, familiarizing themselves with the business environment, and understanding the process of the journey towards a better corporate career. A positive environment and great learning facilities should take them to the right place in the corporate ladder.
Coming to the second part of your question, one should choose a B-school which is aligned to the above aspects in terms of their MBA offerings and has course content and policy which captures contemporary theories and practices for future growth. To give you an example, a course such as Financial Accounting should capture the changes that have been built in the corporate world because of cloud based accounts, IFRS issued accounting standards, and the changes that have been done in the companies act leading to new types of organizations such as OPCs and LLPs.
Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more updates on IIM Raipur and other developments in Indian management education.