18 Feb 2015 19:47 IST

A B-school amidst hillock, valley and greenery

Some of you who have watched Mohabbatein, a movie produced by Yash Chopra in 2000, would have seen the locations of Gurukul University. With Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan in the lead roles, the movie was shot in this picturesque university located in a lush green environment.

Going from Manipal town to Badagabettu village, you get to the campus of TA Pai Management Institute (TAPMI). Located 5.5 km away from Manipal town, the 42-acre TAPMI campus sits on a hillock overlooking a valley.

TAPMI is a three-decade-old B-school from Manipal. TA Pai, founder-chairman of Food Corporation of India and former Chairman of Life Insurance Corporation of India and Syndicate Bank, founded Manipal Institute of Management in 1980-81. This was later renamed TAPMI. For almost two-and-a-half decades, the institute operated from its own campus in Manipal town.

It moved to a new spacious campus at Badagabettu in 2009. The campus is designed in such a way that every building, including four hostels and an apartment block for faculty members, has a unique identity. The straight road from the main entrance takes a left turn on a downward slope.

A three-storey building with a dome-shaped structure at the centre of the campus is the knowledge centre. From the top-floor balcony of the three-storey knowledge centre, one gets a clear, 360-degree campus view.

The TMA Pai Block — which houses administrative sections, classrooms for first-year students and the Director’s room – is located on a higher elevation opposite to the knowledge centre.

Diagonally opposite, on the right, is the faculty quarters and the students centre, and, at right one gets a view of the KK Pai Block. In fact, this block is the only other building in the campus to have a separate entrance, apart from the main entrance. Classes for the second year students and placement and admission cells of the institute are located here.

If the higher elevation opposite to the knowledge centre gave you a view of TMA Pai Block, a left turn in your position will give you a view of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) a few km away from TAPMI campus. MIT was in news recently as the Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella studied in this institute.

If you turn further left, you will get a view of solar-panelled students’ hostels and adjoining coconut and arecanut plantations on a further downward slope, completing your 360-degree view of the campus.

The knowledge centre houses a three-floor library and an information technology laboratory. K Manjunatha, chief librarian, says that it has good collection of print and digital resources. It has a separate area earmarked for the publications of Harvard Business School, which is numbering over 1,000 publications. The library has around 35,000 books and subscribes 285 print periodicals published in India and abroad.

Considering the need for group discussions, the library also has a separate area for them.

When the recent silver jubilee re-union of alumni took place they had a surprise in store. The library had put their summer internship reports on display with the picture of the then student. Manjunath says that it was a nostalgic moment for the alumni. Many of them took photographs with their reports. Those who were accompanied by their spouses and children were happily showing their reports to them.

The project reports right from the first batch (1984-86) are preserved in the library for ready reference inside the library. Soft copies of such reports are available for batches 2003-05 onwards.

The library has kept all the reports of ‘brandscan’ (the market research fair conducted by students), he said. The research attracts public participation and research data will be gathered through the disguised games. The library has preserved such project reports since its inception in 1993.

TAPMI has faculty members from 12 States and students from 22 States.

The institution is autonomous and offers programmes such as Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) and PGDM in Health Care. The postgraduate programme is divided into six trimesters over two years.

RC Natarajan, director of the institute, informs this correspondent at the TMA Pai Block that TAPMI is one among the two business schools in India to get accredited by the international body – Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) – for its postgraduate programme. Around 13 per cent b-schools worldwide have attained this excellence in management education, he said.

It was almost 2 pm by the time this correspondent finished his campus visit.

Harish R, Business Development Officer of TAPMI, who accompanied the correspondent to the campus visit, took him to the canteen for a lunch. Located in Students’ Centre, which is situated diagonally opposite to TMA Pai Block and to the Knowledge Centre, different canteens for faculty and students are situated there. In addition to this, students also get the facilities of a convenience store in this centre. It also houses a gym, a yoga and meditation room.

Unlike the calm corridors of the other blocks, students were seen chatting and having food in this circular shaped building with an open space in the centre of the building, and now it was time for this correspondent to head back to Mangalore.