“Non classroom initiatives part of PGPM at IMT”: Interview with Dr S Garimella, Dean, Executive Education, IMT Ghaziabad


Published: mbauniverse.com | Date :  December 8, 2016

Dean – Executive Education and External Relations, IMT Ghaziabad shares the key aspects of executive education, its importance and take aways for working professionals

IMT Ghaziabad is one of the pioneer management institutes in India offering executive PGPM for working professionals. Quite recently IMT Ghaziabad has launched an alternate-weekend on-campus Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM) considering the emerging requirements of the industry professionals who are in the early stage of their careers.
In an exclusive interview with MBAUniverse.com, Dr. Somayajulu Garimella, Dean – Executive Education and External Relations, IMT Ghaziabad shares the key aspects of executive education, its importance and take aways for working professionals

Please tell us about the new alternate weekend programme that IMT Ghaziabad has launched for working executives.

In today’s fast paced world, excellence is defined not in terms of a singular domain, but in terms of multifarious knowledge. Part time education, due to its flexibility, makes it possible to acquire insight into a wide array of subjects, sometimes totally divergent, at the same time, leading to the growth of a wholesome personality. More importantly, for those who seek to study further, and yet find it difficult to do the same due to lack of time, economic constraints and resources, part time education is a blessing. Part-time education is a perfect synthesis between campus education and distance education. In this education there is a great interaction between the students & teachers. In Traditional Part-Time model, classes are generally taken in the evening or on the weekends. Here students learn as much as students receiving in campus education through traditional face-to-face instruction. Though in part-time education teaching time is very much unusual but student-to-student interaction and timely teacher-to- student feedback made it more effective as traditional instruction.

How different is PGPM from PGDM? How does it help a working executive who is already carrying a relevant experience?

PGDM or the traditional full time MBA caters to a different need of people. It is geared to be an additive professional degree for students of a reasonable financial background who want to complete their education and then head to the corporate world. Some may or may not have the work experience but definitely have the financial backing which allows them to head to tertiary educations options without feeling the pinch in case they have to quit their jobs. For PGPM, we are trying to target the population who have about 3 years plus work experience, who feels the need to upgrade his or her knowledge and skills for self-development and for career progression. They are normally persons who want to continue to work and are looking for a more cost effective but holistic learning. Not all would have the ability to take a risk that would require the person to leave his job. This programme apart from meeting that need will also ensure some work life balance, making it possible for the student to be able to meet his work and family responsibilities.

What are the key skills/traits that IMT will look for while selecting a potential PGPM participant?

Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA) characterize today’s world of business. These forces are impacting all type of industries be it manufacturing or services, equally. In this kind of environment the need of hour is of having more trained Innovators with entrepreneurial mind-set, who can analyse unstructured problems in the fastest possible way, can strategize to counter the VUCA forces and also can implement these strategies with precision. So we will focus on those who have 3 years of prior work experience from the manufacturing or service sector. We would look at people who have a strong desire to achieve and excel and feel the need to upgrade and move to the next level. Hunger to learn, passion for excellence and the ability to thrive in an ever changing and dynamic environment with an ability to think on their feet are our target persons. The rest am sure our programme will equip them with.

Is PGPM the new Executive MBA? What are the comparison grounds of your programme with the similar programmes of other B-schools?

When one launches a new programme or a new initiative it is but natural to see what is available in the market and also to obtain best practices from others. We at IMT thrive on collaborative and corrective learning. So we did our market study and we did find other leading schools with some initiatives. But we would like to position this programme as being different since we are looking at skill and attitude building and we will do so by ensuring that our student is able to maintain a good work-life balance. Also we feel we are bringing this opportunity to those who are not based in a metropolitan city but are in the vicinity of NCR. An overnight/couple of hours journey and they would be here with us.

Does a programme like PGPM that expands just to 50 weeks, allow a participant for International Exchange? How challenging is the programme?

Yes we are proud to build-in an International exchange opportunity in the programme. We endeavour to bring a flavour of international exposure to the batch. Peer learning, interactions with a diverse set of nationalities would enhance interactive skills and learning. We as an institution are the market leaders in the International exchange domain and have a large number of international partnerships, which we would be able to leverage on. We are trying to make the programme and the experience as holistic as possible.

Since, the demand for new-age executive education programmes is on the rise, do you see IMT Ghaziabad launching more programmes in this vertical?

IMT has a long standing reputation of doing things differently in the market. We also know to get involved in new initiatives and to upgrade ourselves and our programmes. We are in the process of discussing many such new initiates which are driven by our vision to continuously be in tune with the needs of the corporates we serve and work so closely with.

Does PGPM enable career shifts across functions and industry?

Career shifts or functional moves are becoming more and more rampant in the corporate world. While we don’t have a fool proof method, we are going to help equip the student with enough to make this more feasible. Such endeavours also require a lot of extra learning and effort from the student side. For example the individual maybe learning concepts of say marketing in class. It is essential then for the student to try and apply those concepts at work. This will allow for better understanding and also gives the organisation or the manager to see how the person is taking his education seriously and applying a new concept and may also give the manager a view of a new side of the individual to evaluate and measure. So all may be possible.

Does Non Classroom Learning count as a part of PGPM programme?
Non classroom initiatives like company projects, guest sessions, application exercise, role plays, simulation workshops are all part of the PGPM programme.

Do you think the PGPM syllabi at IMTG is adequate to match with the topmost global B-schools in the executive education domain?

Certainly, like I said before, for our own learning and growth we benchmark ourselves with the industry and education landscape.

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