We encourage merit

Published : Sep 07, 2012 00:00 IST

J. Philip: We always manage to get a very high proportion of female students.-

J. Philip: We always manage to get a very high proportion of female students.-

Interview with Prof. J. Philip, president of XMIE.

The Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship (XIME) was started by Professor J. Philip in 1991 in memory of his daughter Maria Philip who passed away in an accident. Prof. Philip, who studied at the Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) and Harvard Business School (HBS), started his teaching career at XLRI in 1960. He has distinguished himself in varied roles through his five-decade-old career. He has been an accomplished scholar with international credentials, a pioneering teacher, an eminent educational administrator, a prolific management author and a successful educational entrepreneur. He has also been associated with the Oberoi Hotels Group and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore, where he was Director between 1985 and 1991. In an interview to Frontline, Prof. Philip explains why XIME should be the preferred destination for students interested in becoming professional managers and entrepreneurs.

There are more than 4,000 business schools in the country today. What are the advantages that XIME possesses that mark it out from the rest of the business schools?

The main difference between XIME and other business schools is that we admit students purely on merit. Right from the time we started in 1995, we have followed a system of admission based exclusively on merit. The current batch is our 18th, and you will see that there is no compromise on the quality of students. We have no concept of management quota in our admissions. Being a business school, we believe that we should encourage merit.

A second distinct advantage that we have is that we always manage to get a very high proportion of female students compared with other business schools. Right from our first batch, the proportion of female students in any batch has been between 42 and 50 per cent. In one batch, girls actually outnumbered boys. This is because we have a very open admission system and we have never had a problem in attracting competent female students to XIME. If you look at all the top positions in any batch, six out of seven will invariably be girls. A third strength of XIME is the diversity of our students, who come from all over India.

What courses does XIME offer?

We offer a Post Graduate Diploma in Management [PGDM], like all other top business schools in the country. It is a two-year course and is similar to a Master of Business Administration degree. All our top schools designate their degrees as PGDM. We also offer an Executive PGDM for working professionals.

What are the strengths of XIME?

XIME is very strong in courses relating to international business. We also encourage international linkages, not only with European and American universities but also with top business schools in China, Brazil and Russia. Since we have a stringent input control mechanism in place, which ensures that only good students are admitted, our output benefits from our strong international linkages as well. Our students regularly win prizes in inter-collegiate competitions. In fact, students from XIME have a track record of receiving the largest share of prizes in such events in south India. Particularly in debate contests, our students normally win.

We have in our faculty people like Prof. K. Srikantaiah, who teaches at the University of Maryland, and Prof. C.P. Ravindranathan, who retired from the Indian Foreign Service as High Commissioner to Australia.

The culture of XIME is like that of an extended family, and it is fully residential. The students drive to learn is very high at XIME and the institute, for its part, provides full support to the students who are encouraged to be full professionals in their conduct and outlook from the day they join the institute.

XIME has been recognised as a top institution by members of the industry. Recently, it was recognised as the best business school outside the IIMs in south India by the Madras Management Association. At the acceptance ceremony for this award, questions were asked about the fees that XIME charges, and people were surprised to learn that we charged a lower fee than most other institutes in the same band.

Do you train your students to be aware of social issues?

We do not ignore the social sensitivity side because we understand that our students in their future careers will work with companies that have a strong corporate social responsibility dimension.

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