The Bapuji Institute of Management Studies aims at emerging as an internationally reputed management training centre.
THE managements of most of Davangere's once-famous textile mills may have declared bankruptcy and closed shop. But the principles of management are being taught with gusto and panache in the city, at the Bapuji Institute of Management Studies (BIMS). Started in the academic year 1996-97, the college was initially run on the campus of the Bapuji Institute of Engineering and Technology (BIET). However, in 2000, it was shifted to a swanky 60,000-square-foot premises, which has classrooms, a computer laboratory, a library, an auditorium, faculty chambers, guest rooms, and so on, with state-of-the-art facilities.
The college offers a two-year Masters in Business Administration (MBA) Programme, which is approved by the All India Council for Technical Education. It is affiliated, along with the BIET, to the Visveswaraiah Technological University, Belgaum. Said A.S. Veeranna, Chairman of the MBA programme: "Although six of Davengere's nine textile mills have been closed, three sugar factories have come up. Besides, Grasim Industries is also active in the region. Management graduates are required. And we wanted to encourage rural students to learn management techniques."
Currently, the college has an intake of 60 students (the Association is trying to increase the figure to 100). According to Prof.R.P. Narasing Rao, coordinator, BIMS, a large percentage of the students come from places in and around Davangere, but there are students from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra too. Around 35 per cent of the students are girls. He said the student community had shown a marked preference for management courses. "This is why we have sought an increase in the college's intake to 100."
The college offers specialisation in marketing, finance, human resources and information technology. It has 10 faculty members, who have distinguished academic and professional records.
The vision is to make the BIMS an "internationally reputed management training institute" that will equip the youth "to become effective managers and tomorrow's leaders". The institute's MBA programme offers training in quality management through lectures, case studies, seminars, group discussions, continuous counselling and guided study tours.
Another feature of the MBA programme is the `Institute on Wheels', which came into being because of the lack of guest lecturers who were prepared to take time off from their busy schedules and travel to Davangere to interact with the students. Just as a `floating university' takes students around various countries, the `Institute on wheels' takes its students to the metros and urban centres. Interaction with business leaders, seminars and industrial visits are arranged at each stopover in order to expose the students to the rough and tumble of the business world.
According to Narasing Rao, it is more strenuous for an institute like the BIMS to raise the academic standards of the students to an acceptable level, especially in comparison to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). "While the IIMs get the best students, we don't. This is why we have to work twice as hard," he said.
With regard to job opportunities, Narasing Rao said: "The BEA has opened a placement and consultancy centre in Bangalore to facilitate a better, faster and more effective coordination between industry and the institute, better interaction between personnel from industry and the students. The centre has a database of all the students who are passing out and their curriculum vitae will be made available to prospective employers. Campus interviews will also be arranged." During the first year of its operation, the centre was able to place 38 of its 60 MBA students, mostly in Bangalore, Hubli and Dharwad.
The BIMS campus also houses the BEA's Bapuji Institute of High-Tech Education, which offers a three-year Bachelor of Computer Applications (BCA) programme. The programme, which is affiliated to Kuvempu University, has an annual intake of 80 students. Founded in 2000, the institute has a faculty that includes four permanent teachers, besides those who have been engaged on a temporary basis.
According to Veeranna, buoyed by the success of the MBA programme at the BIMS, the Association wants to launch a similiar exercise in Bangalore. "An MBA college in Bangalore will allow us to interact more closely with industry. With this in mind we have identified some land at Yashwantpur. The institute, which will have an intake of 60, will come up in a couple of years," Veeranna said.