‘Our MBA students work with over 700 villages’: Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham dean

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham offers MBA courses at 5 campuses as well as online MBA. Faridabad is likely to start next.

Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham campus (Image: Official website)Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham campus (Image: Official website)

Sanjay | November 13, 2023 | 02:14 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore is among only seven private B-schools in the top 30 in the country, according to the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF). It has eight campuses of which five teach management. Raghu Raman, dean, School of Business, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amritapuri, Amaravati and Kochi) spoke about the uniqueness of Amrita’s MBA, rankings and placement. Edited excerpts below.

Q. How many campuses of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham offer management ?

A. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham is offering MBA courses at five campuses – Coimbatore, Amritapuri, Bengaluru, Kochi and Amaravati. Each MBA programme has different focuses in our campuses. For example, our Bengaluru campus is offering an MBA–MS dual-degree programme which is a master's programme in collaboration with US universities. MBA at our Amritapuri and Kochi campuses is focused on health and hospital management.

Q. What are the admission trends of MBA courses at different campuses ?

A. The combined intake is 360 students per year. There is no huge variation in the number of admissions in each campus and it is almost the same except the Amravati campus, which became functional last year. Other four campuses are well established and are among the best Indian colleges in management.

We will continue to offer management courses from these five campuses for the next year or two and then we will take the decision to start the course at a new campus, most likely, Faridabad.

Q. Do faculties of one campus also teach at other campuses ?

A. Every campus has its own core set of faculties. There is not much travelling back and forth for faculties from one campus to another. All the classrooms are equipped with smartboards and we also live stream some classes from one campus to other campuses.

Q. How is Amrita’s online MBA degree different from the offline one?

A. The course material for both offline and online MBA programmes is almost the same. The target audiences are different.

The target audience for online MBA programmes is working professionals who missed out on acquiring masters degrees like MBA due to their work constraints. Those who are attending physical MBA classes in different campuses are the graduates who want a management degree before they start their professional degrees.

Also Read | IIMs’ blended-learning programmes are drawing international students

Q. How do MoUs with foreign universities help management students ?

A. We generally find three categories of students in our MBA programmes. First category of students includes those who are either working or non-working but want to get better jobs, positions and salaries. The second category of students comprises those who have entrepreneurial instincts and want to learn skills to give shape and form to their project and business ideas. The third category of students has those who want to go abroad to work or pursue higher studies.

For the third category of students, we have dual-degree MBA-MS programmes where they do one year study at our campus and one year from other US universities. Students get degrees from both universities. The Bengaluru campus MBA programme offers these opportunities. Now, we are working with the University of Western Sydney on similar opportunities.

Q. How does the Amrita Center for Economics and Governance (ACEG) help faculty and students ?

A. We have a tremendous focus on developmental economics and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. ACEG is a multi-disciplinary research center with focus on economic analysis of development episodes and design and evaluation of innovative public policies and governance.

Our Chancellor Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, popularly called Amma, says that we should research on issues that impact society. Our students and faculty research on several developmental issues that impact Indian society.

Q. The ranking of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Coimbatore, had dropped from 27 to 30 in the NIRF. How did this happen?

A. We are super proud of the fact that we are still among the top 30 management colleges of India, because out of the top 30, a total of 23 are Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). It is very tough to replace well-established IIMs from top NIRF rankings.

We do not see dropping from 27 to 30 as a problem. It is an incredible achievement as we are still ahead of some of the very-well established private business schools which are 10-15 years old.

We are very focused on improving placements and research. We are hopeful that next year we will improve our ranking and will be at a spot higher than 27.

Q. Please tell us about recent placement trends.

A. We are doing exceptionally well in student placements. We have a Corporate and Industry Relations (CIR) department at the Coimbatore campus headed by an industry veteran professor Parameswaran C. He helps students in preparing for the placement process from the first semester. Over 150 firms, including a couple of international companies, visit our campuses for placements.

Marketing companies lead the placement followed by fintech and banking sector companies. All our students are getting placed in big companies.

Also Read| IBS Hyderabad ‘will offer courses for changing technological landscape’

Q. What makes Amrita stand out from other private universities offering management courses?

A. Our management board is composed of academics and industry veterans who are continuously guiding us to maintain the relevance of our MBA curriculum. We update and revamp our curriculum every two years.

Our students mandatorily go for eight weeks of internship as part of industry exposure before they sit for placements. Every student is given an industry project over a period of three trimesters to improve their business communication and research skills. We also help them in publishing their research papers in peer-reviewed journals.

We believe in education for living and life and also provide value-based education to our students. We have mastery over mind courses to help students in maintaining good values through yoga and other techniques.

Our students also go to rural areas to understand their villagers’ problems and come up with sustainable solutions. Our MBA students are working with nearly 700 villages.

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