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IIMs must mentor smaller management institutes, says newly appointed IIM Indore director Himanshu Rai

Posted on Monday, January 14, 2019

Newly appointed IIM Indore director, Himanshu Rai plans to engage with local businessmen in MP to help them expand, writes Sheetal Banchariya

An alumnus of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad and former IIM Lucknow professor, Himanshu Rai took over from Rishikesha T Krishnan as the new director of IIM Indore, on Dec 31, 2018.

In an exclusive interview, Rai tells Education Times about his mission to establish IIM Indore as a contextually relevant business school with world class academic standards and a vision to create and disseminate knowledge that would produce responsible leaders. “At IIM Indore, we would bring in best international practices to have a global presence,” he adds.

B-school classes are mostly filled with male engineers and there is a need for diversity. “Institutes should strive to have a healthy mix of students who go on to be managers with global mindset.”  

Speaking about the challenges that Indian B-schools face in contemporary times, Rai says, “Indian business schools face their biggest challenge of realigning content with industry requirements. New functions like big data analysis, design thinking, and new sectors like start-ups, family businesses and e-commerce can be redesigned only with strongly framed business education. IIM Indore plans to increase its engagement with the local businessmen in Indore and across Madhya Pradesh,” he adds.

In 2018, the Council of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) had decided on involving IITs to mentor atleast five local engineering colleges. Similar plan has been chalked out for the IIMs to mentor management institutes. “Old IIMs have already mentored the newer IIMs, however, in order to push the overall management education, we need to mentor institutions that have limited resources but are keen to do good work.”

“Some of the initiatives that we will take include sharing best practices with other management institutes through area based faculty development programmes, making our curricula and course outlines available for others.”

Interdisciplinary knowledge, says Rai, is becoming increasingly important and IIM Indore will partner with other disciplines to create unique programmes as well as learning centres to promote interdisciplinary research. Since, Indore happens to be the only city boasting of an IIM and an IIT, a natural partnership seems to be inevitable.

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