04 Jul 2016 20:50 IST

At IIM Indore, engineered to succeed

While most engineers join the IIM Indore PGP course, diversity is maintained, thanks to the IPM

The new PGP batch of IIM Indore is just trickling into the hilltop campus and everyone looks quite busy, completing the admission formalities. For the dean Professor Ganesh Kumar and the staff, there’s the orientation to manage, and the guest lecturers to look after, in between counselling the new arrivals.

One catches a glimpse of former environment minister Jairam Ramesh, who is talking to the new students on what management is all about. Aparna Jain, a coach and the author of Own IT, a book on gender at the workplace, also speaks to the students on this topic. The incoming students — most accompanied by their parents — are running around the campus, buying things they will need and settling in.

BL On Campus caught up with a few and, by a strange coincidence, all turned out to be engineering graduates!

Engineering leaders of tomorrow

Abhishek Asole, a software engineer from Nagpur University, said he had worked previously for 19 months with Persistent Systems, but opted out to get a management certificate.

Pramit Ray is an electronic and telecom engineer from Jadavpur University and after living in the bustling Kolkata, he looked a bit bemused, landing up in a small town like Indore.

For Karnataka-brought up Amreen Fatima Sharif — again an engineer from NIT Surathkal — this will be her first time, living in the north.

So what prompted them all to turn to management, digressing from their core engineering skills? Abhishek says since he was dealing with clients on a regular basis, it got him interested in management. “The developer-client interaction got me interested in it. Also, there were so many cultural differences we were dealing with at office. And I know that for my career to grow, a management programme would stand me in better stead.”

Amreen has a clear, focused goal right at the start of the management course. “I am an extrovert, and have good people and communication skills. I feel I will do well in HR,” she says.

Pramit, on the other hand, said he had a few job offers but chose to do a management course at IIM as the learning and networking opportunities were immense.

Cracking CAT

So how did the three crack the CAT? A lot of practice and preparation, says Pratim without hesitation.

Abhishek, though, found cracking the test quite difficult, since he had to juggle work and studies. But the fact that IIM Indore gives weightage to profile, tilted the scale in his favour. “I had good marks in class 10 and 12 and the hard work of those days paid off,” he smiles.

 

92 per cent engineers

But it’s no coincidence that we bumped only into engineers. Professor Ganesh Kumar says a whopping 92 per cent of the new intakes are engineers! “That’s not so surprising, really. Most bright ones after class 12 opt for engineering and that’s our pool from which we choose the PGP batch,” he says.

Integrated programme

However, the Professor is quick to point out that they are able to maintain a better educational background diversity, thanks to the students of Integrated Programme in Management (IPM) merging into the PGP stream.

IIM Indore is the only IIM to offer a five-year IPM. One hundred and twenty students are selected for the course after their Class 12, and in their fourth year, they join the PGP programme, where about 450 graduates are taken in. “In the first three years of the integrated programme, we teach economics, business, math, social sciences and liberal arts,” says Prof Kumar. So thanks to these 120 mixing with the 450 PGP intakes, the educational background diversity improves.

IPM also helps improve gender diversity, says Professor Kumar. Over 40 per cent of the intakes in IPM are women, as compared with PGP, where only 30 per cent are women.

IIM Indore gets over 19,000 applications for the IPM programme, out of which 120 are chosen. “The selection ratio is far better than PGM,” says Professor Kumar. Over two lakh students apply for the IIMs — a common pool and roughly 19,000 are shortlisted for IIM Indore, out of which 450 are taken.

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