Yet another new academic year has begun! The 54th batch of PGP, FABM and FPM participants are settling down to enjoy the heat in Ahmedabad and the academic rigour of the first year at IIMA! The PGP X batch that arrived in April this year is already settled and is juggling class preparation, group meetings, other activities and sleep reasonably well. The batch of students that joined in June is one of the most diverse in recent years. The batch is 465 strong with 400 PGPs, 46 PGP-FABMs and 29 FPMs. I am happy to report that like last year the incoming PGP batch of 2018 is also quite diverse with 26 per cent women, 33 per cent non-engineers and 48 per cent with work experience of more than a year. The FABM batch has only 35 per cent women this year; the percentage was 50 per cent last year!
You may recall that last year the Institute had decided to increase the batch size of PGPX and run the programme in two sections. The batch of 138 this year is predominantly from engineering background (86 per cent) but has worked in different industry segments. An average PGPX participant is 32 years old with a GMAT score of 700 and work experience of more than eight and a half years. There is only one international participant this year but more than 72 per cent participants have had significant international exposure. With 17 per cent women in the batch, the overall diversity in the batch is reasonably high.
During the commencement of the new batch this year, we had seven Young Alumni Achievers who addressed the incoming batch. This interaction was a great success and the incoming batch enjoyed the candidness with which the awardees shared their life experiences. It was a pleasure to recognize and celebrate the achievements of our alumni who have made significant contributions in their respective workspaces fairly early in their careers. Like last year seven alumni were awarded this year. Anuradha Chug (MD, Ben and Jerry’s, Europe), Prakash Jhanwer (Regional Head, South East & China, Olam International) and Utsav Baijal (Partner, Apollo Management/AION Capital) received the awards for Corporate Leadership. Kuldeep Jain (Founder, CEO & MD, Cleanmax Solar) and Manish Gupta (Founder and CEO, Indegene) received the award for Entrepreneurship. Ashwani Monga (Professor of Marketing and Vice Dean, Academic Programmes and Innovations, Rutgers University) got the award for his contributions in academics. Chetan Bhagat was awarded for his achievements in the area of Art and Entertainment. No award was given this year for public service. This issue provides a glimpse of the journeys of the seven alumni awardees and their contributions.
This issue also contains glimpses of this year’s colourful convocation. Like always, this year also it was also a memorable event wherein 576 graduating students were awarded the diplomas.
Professor Errol D’Souza and I had several interactions with alumni in different chapters. We had very useful meetings with alumni in Mumbai and London. Prof D’Souza also had the opportunity to interact with alumni in Dubai. In Mumbai and Bangalore, the chapters were kind enough to organize faculty-alumni interaction when a significant number of faculty colleagues were visiting the city for admissions. I have also had the benefit of meeting a large number of alumni informally either when they visit the Campus or during my visits to different cities. All this interaction is intensifying Institute’s connect with the alumni apart giving us new ideas to improve alumni relations.
One of the key suggestions for alumni engagement that we are implementing now is the formation of Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Seeds for creating SIGs were sown when we had a wonderful meeting of women alumni in Mumbai in February this year. The energy and enthusiasm was palpable with about 70 women alumni participating in the event. Subsequently, fifteen SIGs have been floated and the response has been unprecedented. The idea is to create a platform for alumni with similar interests to benefit from interacting with each other and also leverage the SIGs to create learning opportunities on campus by connecting them to faculty doing research and teaching in these areas and student clubs which are active in this space. We are in the process of figuring out the best way to structure and take this effort forward. I will get back to you soon with the next steps.
The new interactive portal has been launched. There are still a few bugs that need to be taken care of and we are at it. I urge all of you to register and start using the portal. Moving forward we hope to use the portal for a variety of things – mentoring, SIGs, jobs and so on.
Professor of Economics
Dean, Alumni and External Relations