Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM-C), but not for its growth," says Ashok Banerjee, 47, its dean, New Initiatives and External Relations. No surprise then that the IIM-C Case Research Centre (CRC), started in June this year, aspires to create a storehouse of case studies that can be utilised not just by the institute's faculty but also by universities in India and abroad.
"Most case studies we use here are from Richard Ivey (University of Western Ontario, Canada), or Harvard. Through ones we produce here, we'll be able to look at problems unique to Indian businesses, across various sectors," says Banerjee.
CRC is not a one-off. "Ground-breaking research is a thrust area," he continues, outlining future plans of the institute that completed 50 years in November 2011. Fresh faculty recruits are encouraged to teach less initially so that they can concentrate on research. Already in the past year more than 100 papers from IIM-C were presented at conferences or published in books and peer-reviewed journals.
IIM-C retains second position in the BT-Nielsen B-school survey for 2012. Its success is summarised by Banerjee: "I call it the 3G approach: Growth, governance and globalisation." In terms of infrastructure, there have been major additions-classrooms, hostels and faculty cabins. Intake of the new postgraduate programme (PGP) has shot up to 462 students this year, the largest batch in IIM-C history. Nearly 77 per cent of the freshers have prior work experience.
Globalisation initiatives are no longer restricted to foreign student exchanges. "So far, such programmes have mostly been in collaboration with European schools. Now we're looking at North America as well," Banerjee says. The latest is a tie-up with CEMS, an alliance of 28 top global business schools, which enables a handful of students to simultaneously earn a postgraduate degree in management, rated by Financial Times as one of the world's five best.
It will also enable IIMC to collaborate on research projects. There is more on offer. Besides a string of symposia and conferences on marketing, public policy and finance, IIM-C also hosts Intaglio, the annual international B-school meet, and Carpe Diem, its annual cultural fest. "With so many activities and clubs, there are no dull moments," says Jandeep Singh, 22, second-year PGP student.
"Academics were tough and competitive. But the key thing about IIM-C was the genuinely egalitarian atmosphere. Nobody partied till everyone got job placements," recalls author Amish Tripathi, 37, alumnus of the 1997 batch. With placements the ultimate bottom line, IIM-C has come out on top for the fourth year running. There are 95 pre-placement and 130 lateral offers. As many as 133 firms made 424 final placement offers. The average salary was Rs.18 lakh, with the fixed component in offers by finance firms ranging between Rs.30-40 lakh for Indian and Rs.40-60 lakh for overseas locations. "IIM-C is known as the finance campus. You get better opportunities here," says second-year PGP student Fasil Sagir, 26, who moved to IIM-C after a year in XLRI.
But Banerjee says, "IIM-C is not just about jobs. We try to deliver students the finest education and exposure." He points to the strength of the curriculum in areas not directly related to management studies, from courses on law, social structure, economic and political history to world economy.
For now, students and teachers are looking forward to November when the golden jubilee bash comes to an end with the release of a corporate film by director Goutam Ghose.