IIMA ASIGs – NOW AND THE WAY FORWARD
The IIMA Alumni Special Interest Groups (SIGs) were conceptualized in 2018 with the view to enhance Institute-Alumni engagement and create valuable networking opportunities for the alumni from different batches and programmes. During interactions with alumni in various fora, it was pointed out that apart from fund-raising the Institute does not have a framework for engaging alumni on an ongoing basis. It was also pointed out that networking and interactions among alumni were sporadic, undertaken around social events and typically restricted to graduates of specific programmes whose batches overlapped at the Institute. Consequently, the alumni are not able to derive value from networking and the Institute is not able to leverage its large and powerful alumni base. To try and address these issues, it was decided that SIGs will be created around various themes or areas for which alumni from various batches and programmes can sign up. It was expected that this large group of alumni with common areas and/or expertise would provide significant networking and learning opportunities for the participating alumni. Once formed, these groups of alumni come together, they can be used to create innovative learning opportunities on the IIMA campus, both for faculty and students.
PURPOSE OF ASIGs Apart from enhancing alumni engagement, the ASIGs simultaneously aim to create opportunities for learning and growth for alumni, faculty, and students on campus. Interactions and networking among the alumni members of the SIG would result in continuous learning (keeping them ahead of the curve), open collaboration opportunities and facilitate career advancement. In effect, the ASIGs can unlock network benefits for participating alumni. Learning opportunities in these specific areas can be created on campus through alumni participation in research, courses development and delivery, cases writing, data provision, guest lectures apart from formal and informal interactions with various student clubs and participation in student activities.
SCOPE OF ACTIVITIES The scope of activities are evolving in different ASIGs that are active. No specific activities have been mandated but are driven by the interests of the ASIG members. Some of the activities mentioned above have been undertaken by the ASIGs but so far the main activities have been informal get-togethers, formal seminars/events in specific cities, podcasts, webinars and interaction with student clubs. Efforts are afoot to get into more impactful knowledge generation activities like case writing, lectures or teaching on campus and collaborative research. It is hoped that as ASIGs mature and their activities diversify, they can achieve thought leadership in ASIGs areas of focus, both in research and practice.
STRUCTURE In order to facilitate concrete activities and participation of the three key stake-holders – alumni, faculty and students – each ASIG is informally anchored by a selected set of persons representing the stakeholders. This structure is not cast in stone and as the SIGs evolve, one would expect to have a formalized organizational structure. Each ASIG has a coordination committee consisting of,
1. Alumni Coordinators 1-2 alumni interested in the SIG
2. Faculty Coordinators 1-2 faculty members either teaching or undertaking research in SIG related areas. The faculty may be associated with IIMA Centres working on issues related to the SIG.
3. Student Coordinator 1-2 students affiliated with student clubs on campus that undertake activities that can benefit from the SIGs (Student clubs have been mapped to various SIGs for this purpose)
EXISTING AND EMERGING ASIGs Alumni Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are segregated by industry and are designed to help alumni and stakeholders from a particular function or industry to network, learn, and exchange knowledge. The groups thus far include, but would not be limited to,
1. Health sector (broadly defined including preventive and curative healthcare provision at all levels, diagnostics, medical equipment, policy making/implementation, drug development related activities, health education etc.)
2. Data Analytics and Technology (Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Block chain, Virtual/Augmented reality etc.)
5. Public Policy (Formulation, implementation and impact of policies across sectors)
6. Sports Management and Business
7. Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (Entrepreneurs, Innovators, VCs, PEs, Mentors etc.)
8. Women Alumni
1. Infrastructure and Transport
2. Energy, especially Clean Energy
3. Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
4. Communications, Media and Entertainment
5. Agri-tech and Agri-business
6. Real Estate
It is expected that some of these ASIGs may create sub-groups to cater to specialized interests within the SIGs. Driven by the interests of the alumni, new ASIGs may also get created. It is hoped that over time the SIGs would become a powerful mechanism for the creation of growth and learning opportunities for all the stakeholders. Apart from providing network benefits, the ASIGs would foster creation of thought leadership by the IIMA community in research, teaching and practice.