‘We are industry-sponsored, faculty-driven and student-centred’

Vinay Kamath Chennai | Updated on January 09, 2018


H Chaturvedi has been Director, Birla Institute of Management Technology, (BIMTECH) Greater Noida, since 1999. As Alternate President of the Education Promotion Society of India, Chaturvedi has also been at the forefront in dealing with issues confronting the education sector and in promoting the cause of quality programmes. Chaturvedi elaborates on the plans for BIMTECH and the institution’s efforts to deliver a contemporary management programme. Excerpts:

What are BIMTECH’s key differentiators?

Taking a cue from our vision, our differentiators are that we are industry-sponsored, faculty-driven and student-centred. This defines our institution. We are proud that we have been set up by a premier business house; that gives us a great deal of comfort. Second, we have imbibed the spirit of entrepreneurship and sustainability from the Birla group culture.

What are the new programmes that you have launched?

Last year, we introduced some important courses, such as design thinking; one of our professors, who has experimented with many workshops along with industry, has designed the course. We have also been teaching digital marketing for the past two years. We have added new courses on experiential leadership, social enterprise, sustainability, and responsible business; so we have introduced around six to eight courses, both core and electives, this year.

It’s a gigantic exercise as faculty need to be trained and students need to be updated on the new course. We also introduced a course last year on managing one’s self and future career. It is a three-semester course and we have experimented with modules on how to manage yourself, time management, soft skills, your life and future career.

How are you using case-based pedagogy and other contemporary methods of teaching?

Around 2007-08, we took a decision to shift from a lecture-based system to a case-based system and we have trained our faculty in workshops and sent them to the IIMs and faculty development programmes. We decided that in the second year of the course, the case-based system will be used extensively. We have taken subscriptions to HBS cases as well. The first year is spent building concepts as 70-80 per cent of students come straight from the campuses and have no industry experience; without that it is difficult to teach cases.

So in the first year it is concept building and in the second year, we use mostly case methods. Besides that, we use simulations, and a full course of four credits is offered in the second year, based on software that we have subscribed to from a US-based company. This allows students to work in groups and take decisions, breaking the silos of marketing, HR, and so on. They take decisions, record their outcomes and, after completion of the course, the final outcomes are given to them and they are evaluated on the basis of whatever how they have fared in the simulations.

What about experiential courses, which are talked about often now?

We have introduced experiential courses; this year, one on leadership, where there are no courses or lectures, but faculty observe how students work in groups. Every student rates others on how they behave in the group.

Our vision requires that we impart leadership skills to students; so, instead of a lecture or case-based course, we offer them an experiential course. We ask every student to devote one day in the trimester to go door-to-door in a village and ask what is happening to different schemes of the NDA government. We collect data on whether these schemes are being implemented successfully or not. Our team is strong and we enjoy good management support.

Published on August 13, 2017

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