IBS Hyderabad ‘will offer courses for changing technological landscape’

ICFAI Business School (IBS) Hyderabad has ‘diversified’ to offer BBA, BCom, executive and doctoral programmes in addition to MBA.

KS Venugopal Rao, director, IBS Hyderabad.KS Venugopal Rao, director, IBS Hyderabad.

Sanjay | November 9, 2023 | 05:04 PM IST

NEW DELHI: ICFAI Business School (IBS) is among the top private B-schools in India which offers MBA and PGPM courses in nine campuses. IBS now aims to offer management programmes that are relevant in the fast-changing technological landscape. This year, it launched a four-year B.Com programme. KS Venugopal Rao, director, IBS Hyderabad, spoke about future plans, ranking, teaching methodology and internships. Edited excerpts below

Q. How has ICFAI Business School’s (IBS) journey been so far and what are the plans for the future?

A. Ever since its inception in 1995, ICFAI Business School has been at the forefront in contributing to the growth and development of business management education in the country. The institution was built on foundations of providing affordable and quality education to deserving and meritorious students. The institution today has diversified and offers BBA, executive MBA and doctoral programmes.

Going forward, IBS will offer courses and programmes that are relevant in the fast changing technological landscape. It will pursue active collaborations with industry for training students and enter into alliances with reputed educational institutions in India and abroad. Faculty will be encouraged to conduct research that is contemporary, relevant and applied.

Q. Which campuses are in most demand and why?

A. All the campuses have uniform curricula, pedagogy and qualified faculty. This enables students to choose the campus based on their preference, convenience and other individual factors. Some campuses have higher strength due to the locational advantage. We do not see these differences as based on high or low demand but mostly based on student preference and convenience.

Q. Students at IBS are being taught through “learning-by-doing teaching methodology”. Please explain.

A. Yes, students at IBS are taught through the “learning by doing methodology”. In other words, IBS places greater emphasis on experiential learning from among several innovative pedagogies. Some examples of experiential learning at IBS involve externships, visits to exhibitions, participating in hackathons, business simulations, internships, group activities and role plays.

Students gain deeper insights into the subject and are able to effectively connect theory with practice. The learning is reinforced by an objective debrief by faculty members. Structured assessments ensure that the outcomes are assessed for most activities and feedback shared with students.

Q. How is IBS’ internship programme different?

A. IBS believes that a strong internship exposes students to the nuances of organisation working, people, processes and team work. The internship at IBS is unique as the student is mentored jointly by a dedicated faculty member and the company guide.

Student performance is monitored through a well-designed evaluation system and communicated at the beginning of the internship with the student and company mentor. The final assessment is done jointly at the respective interning organisation. Company mentor feedback is taken very seriously and communicated to all students.

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Q. Do the teachers of one campus also teach at other campuses? Do you also have foreign faculties?

A. Each of the IBS campuses has well-qualified full time faculty. The need for assigning faculty to different campuses usually does not arise. However, as a practice, faculty across the campuses work together and participate in knowledge-sharing workshops, curricula revision exercises, panel discussions and faculty development programmes. We also encourage joint and collaborative research. These ensure broad exchange of ideas and best practices within the ICFAI ecosystem.

IBS invites faculty from reputed foreign universities to visit IBS to teach a course or module in the MBA and doctoral programmes.

Q. IBS’ position on the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) dropped from 32 to 40 this year. How did this happen and how do you plan to improve ranking?

A. The NIRF ranking system is continuously evolving. Institutions have moved up and down the rankings over the years due to the competitive intensity among the top 50 institutions where the margins between ranks is minimal. New institutions and universities – both government and autonomous – have entered the fray.

At IBS, we take our rank very seriously and analyse. A parameter and sub parameter wise analysis is conducted to assess our strengths and potential areas of improvement. Faculty committees led by the director assess the areas for potential improvement and make efforts to implement the suggestions.

Q. MBA aspirants usually prefer IIMs over private universities. How does IBS attract students from different parts of the country and world?

A. The IIMs are natural choices for management education aspirants in India. Out of the 2.5 lakh students who took the Common Admission Test (CAT) in 2022, only about 7,000 students must have got admission in IIMs, many of which are very new.

There exists a huge gap beyond the IIMs which many leading institutions in the country cater to. IBS does not compare itself with the IIMs. IBS belongs to a different league with its own differentiated approach to management education. It is seen as a natural alternative for many aspirants including those taking the CAT exam due to the overall value it delivers to students and impeccable placement track record.

Committed faculty, innovative pedagogy and laser-like focus on students make students seek admission to its management programmes year after year.

Q. IBS Hyderabad launched a four-year BCom programme this year. What was the admission process and the response?

A. Admission to the four-year BCom and BBA at IBS is based on a systematic screening and rigorous interview process. Candidates are required to have at least 50% marks in their plus-two programme. The BBA began as a three-year programme in 2010 and was converted into a four-year one from August 2023, in line with the National Education Policy. The BCom was launched in 2023. Both these programmes receive overwhelming response from students as is evident from the consistent admissions.

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Q. What would be your message to students looking forward to studying at ICFAI Business School?

A. The programmes at ICFAI Business School are driven by its mission – equipping students with the right knowledge, right skills and right attitudes. IBS Hyderabad updates its industry-focused curricula to ensure that its students grasp the latest knowledge in the domains of their choice.

Students are trained in the right skills required by industry. They are trained by highly-trained faculty, in the latest IT labs and using the latest tech tools. The curricular and extra-curricular activities coupled with beyond-the-curriculum interventions such as the Syndicated Learning Programmes enable students to develop the right attitudes and get ready for challenging careers.

Students must join IBS to get a complete experience that goes beyond books and academics. At the end of the two-year programme IBS prepares students to be lifelong learners and to take on corporate jobs or entrepreneurial roles. Without doubt students get the true return on knowledge at IBS.

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