Dr. Bala V. Balachandran, Founder, Dean and Chairman of Great Lakes Institute of Management and Chancellor - Great Lakes International University, talks to DNA about Great Lakes - its distinguishing factors and how Business Schools should come up with a dynamic curriculum for the changing industry requirements.
In today's increasingly global business environment, pursuing a course in business and management provides a core foundation in leadership and management principles, team-building, cross-cultural collaboration and communication. The Great Lakes Institute of Management is one such business school in India that has created a dynamic curriculum to understand the changing roles of management in organisations.
Padma Shri Dr Bala V Balachandran, the Founder, Dean & Chairman - Great Lakes Institute of Management, India & J. L. Kellogg Distinguished Professor (Emeritus in service) of Accounting and Information Management, Northwestern University, Illinois, USA talks to DNA about the degrees and courses offered at the Great Lakes Institute, and growing importance of management.
What is the distinguishing factor about your institute?
At Great Lakes we believe that the task of an educational institution goes beyond teaching. We are the youngest B-school in India to have received the prestigious AMBA accreditation in addition to the SAQS global accreditation. By way of our Green Campus (South Asia's first LEED platinum campus), we instill the concept of sustainability amongst students.
Karma-Yoga, one of its kind Leadership Experiential Project (LEP), is an integral part of the Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) and Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) at Great Lakes.
This project is a unique medium for students to connect with ground realities and experientially learn transformational leadership. Great Lakes has adopted 24 villages around its campus located near Chennai and the students visit these villages every week. The students get a first-hand experience on the socio-economic and political and cultural conditions and the lifestyle of people in the adopted villages close to the campus.
What are the other programs for working professionals?
PGXPM for senior executives, PGPM Flex for middle level managers, and PGP-BABI for professionals interested in a career in analytics are some of the courses we offer. Besides, we also offer corporate learning programs - short-term courses, customised programs and global thought leadership and overview programs for corporate/industries.
Do you have exchange programs with other universities?
Great Lakes, Chennai is in collaboration with world's leading institutions like Georgia State University, University of Houston, University of Bordeaux, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST), University of Missouri Kansas City, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, University of Luxembourg and HHL-Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Germany etc.
At a time when there are so many institutes offering management courses, do you think a degree in MBA has lost its purpose or prestige?
It is true that there are many B-schools today and most of them, except the premier ones find it difficult to fill up all their seats.
But leading B-schools including Great Lakes have never had a problem in admitting quality students year after year. Business schools have to understand that with changing industry requirements and dynamic business scenario, they need to constantly revise their curriculum.
This is achievable only through gathering industry inputs, bridging the industry-academia gap and introducing industry-specific courses. For instance, Great Lakes introduced a corporate management course in Business Analytics, a few years ago, and the program is now a top ranked analytics program in the country. Similarly we have launched a Technopreneurship program in collaboration with Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.
Many such innovative programs tailor-made to the changing turbulent world should be created, cultivated and delivered consistently.