The In­fra Push

Busi­ness schools are go­ing green and adding IBM an­a­lyt­ics labs, Bloomberg ter­mi­nals to emerge as more at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tions.

Business Today - - CONTENTS - BYDEVIKASINGH

B-schools are go­ing green, adding an­a­lyt­ics labs to emerge as more at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion

Pic­ture this. Mul­ti­ple screens in a room flash­ing stock mar­ket up­dates, cur­rency fluc­tu­a­tions and bond yields with peo­ple por­ing over the in­for­ma­tion. Com­plex graphs are show­ing the trends over the day, months and years. Strange as it may sound, the vis­ual is not that of a trad­ing floor in a stock ex­change or a bro­ker­age but a fi­nance lab equipped with Bloomberg ter­mi­nals at the Lal Ba­hadur Shas­tri In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment (LBSIM), a B-school in New Delhi.

In­deed, LBSIM is not an ex­cep­tion. Man­age­ment in­sti­tutes across In­dia have re­cently been ramp­ing up their in­fra­struc­ture, adding Bloomberg ter­mi­nals, IBM An­a­lyt­ics labs and green fea­tures into their cam­puses. While the change has been wrought by in­dus­try de­mand, there is also an added in­cen­tive of go­ing up the B-school ranks. LBSIM in­tro­duced two Bloomberg ter­mi­nals in its in­sti­tute two years back and re­cently up­graded to 12 ter­mi­nals. The in­sti­tute also houses an IBM An­a­lyt­ics Lab in its cam­pus at the na­tional cap­i­tal. “Man­age­ment ed­u­ca­tion has to be tai­lored to the

need of the hour. Of course, there will a fo­cus on the ba­sics of busi­ness and eco­nomics but cor­po­rates also want you to learn new tech­nolo­gies, de­velop new skills and ad­just to the new en­vi­ron­ment,” says Dr. G.L Sharma, Pro­fes­sor, Fi­nance and Ac­count­ing at LBSIM. To sur­vive, B-schools need to adopt new skills and of­fer a fac­ulty in sync with the chang­ing times, he adds.

An in­cen­tive for some B-schools to set up mod­ern fi­nance labs is to give stu­dents prac­ti­cal knowl­edge of how the fi­nan­cial world re­ally works, in­stead of just pass­ing on the­o­ret­i­cal knowl­edge. “Stu­dents don't get to see the prac­tice of fi­nance, so we con­sciously de­cided to set up a state-of-the-art fi­nance lab. What­ever cour­ses we teach, we draw out el­e­ments from the Bloomberg ter­mi­nal and get the stu­dents to ac­tu­ally use it in their as­sign­ments or case stud­ies,” says Pro­fes­sor Madhu Veer­aragha­van, Direc­tor, T.A. Pai In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment (TAPMI) Ma­ni­pal.

Many in­sti­tutes, in­clud­ing TAPMI, are also ask­ing their stu­dents to get in­volved in ac­tive trad­ing us­ing these ter­mi­nals to get a feel of the fi­nan­cial mar­kets. As a part of a pro­gramme called ‘Stu­dents Man­aged In­vest­ment Course', TAPMI gives its stu­dents `10 lakh for in­vest­ing in the fi­nan­cial mar­kets. TAPMI'S fi­nance lab has 15 Bloomberg ter­mi­nals and 7 Reuters ter­mi­nals.

Some B-schools are walk­ing the ex­tra mile to of­fer the best in­fra­struc­ture to its stu­dents. IIM Tiruchi­rap­palli, along with a mod­ern fi­nance lab, also houses a be­havioural lab and a Cen­tre for Man­age­ment Sci­ence and An­a­lyt­ics (CMSA) to com­ple­ment the class­room learn­ing with prac­ti­cal ex­po­sure. Busi­ness schools are just try­ing to keep pace with dig­i­tal dis­rup­tion and the new world of an­a­lyt­ics, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and ma­chine learn­ing and hence in­creas­ingly in­te­grat­ing their cour­ses with IBM An­a­lyt­ics, ac­cord­ing to Jas­jeet Singh, Part­ner, Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices An­a­lyt­ics, Ad­vi­sory at EY. Ex­perts also say that se­nior in­dus­try lead­ers are try­ing to stay abreast of the with the new tech­nolo­gies and are keen that the new re­cruits are fa­mil­iar with them.

While the cost of set­ting up Bloomberg ter­mi­nals and IBM An­a­lyt­ics facil­ties is quite high, Alok Pandey, Pro­fes­sor and Area Con­vener - Fi­nance at LBSIM, says that most of their re­cruiters want stu­dents to be well-versed with them. Main­tain­ing Bloomberg ter­mi­nals costs LBSIM `48 lakh a year, while IBM An­a­lyt­ics labs cost them `15 lakh for three years. “Stu­dents learn how data is an in­te­gral part of de­ci­sion mak­ing,” adds Pandey.

The ef­forts to of­fer the best in­fra­struc­ture to stu­dents are start­ing to bear fruits for some in­sti­tutes. “Our stu­dents are be­ing ab­sorbed by start-ups as well as big cor­po­rates for their pro­fi­ciency in

Mar­ket­ing In­tel­li­gence, Fi­nan­cial An­a­lyt­ics, Risk An­a­lyt­ics, HR An­a­lyt­ics, Tal­ent Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment, etc,” says Pranav Nag­purkar, Deputy Direc­tor, Pune In­sti­tute of Busi­ness Man­age­ment (PIBM).

Ac­cord­ing to IBM'S web­site, it has tied up with 64 ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tutes in the coun­try, mostly man­age­ment schools, for set­ting up their labs and cer­tifi­cate de­gree pro­grams. “IBM is em­pow­er­ing univer­sity grad­u­ates and work­ing IT pro­fes­sion­als with knowl­edge and skills to de­velop in­dus­try ca­pa­bil­i­ties right from the foun­da­tion level,” says Dil­preet Singh, VP HR & HR Head, IBM In­dia/ South Asia. “IBM is also ac­tively en­gaged with lead­ing aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions across In­dia to cre­ate deep skills by co-de­sign­ing, code­liv­er­ing and co-brand­ing aca­demic pro­grams, both at the un­der­grad­u­ate/post­grad­u­ate and ex­ec­u­tive level which in­cludes train­ing, cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and curriculum adop­tion”

GO­ING GREEN: An­other in­fra­struc­ture trend lately is that In­dian busi­ness schools are adding green fea­tures to their cam­puses and adopt­ing re­new­able sources of en­ergy. Ac­cord­ing to Dr Bala V Balachan­dran, Founder, Dean & Chair­man at Great Lakes In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment, the ini­tia­tive is mostly an ef­fort to cut the car­bon foot­print and raise busi­ness lead­ers who are en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to Dr. R. K. Mishra, Direc­tor, In­sti­tute of Pub­lic En­ter­prise (IPE), Hy­der­abad, these projects are also an ef­fort by In­dian in­sti­tutes to be at par with the cur­rent prac­tices fol­lowed by the lead­ing busi­ness schools all over the world. IPE, is In­dia's first busi­ness school with Green Build­ing Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and is go­ing to get LEED cer­ti­fi­ca­tion soon. It has a cap­tive so­lar elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion plant and a wa­ter re­cy­cling plant in­side the cam­pus. Sim­i­larly, IIM Tiruchi­rap­palli has a 2MW so­lar plant that powers the en­tire in­sti­tute.

Dr. Mishra also hopes that the green rat­ings will help him im­prove aca­demic rat­ings too. For in­stance, in­ter­na­tional rat­ing AACSB also fac­tors in whether the busi­ness school is giv­ing back to the so­ci­ety in any way.

While ini­tial costs of set­ting up the green struc­tures are high, ac­cord­ing to Dr Balachan­dran, they yield div­i­dends over­time as you save sub­stan­tially on power and wa­ter.

The Great Lakes In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment uses so­lar en­ergy to power its en­tire cam­pus and has a LEED Plat­inum rated green cam­pus and even­tu­ally plans to have wind en­ergy also.

Clearly, B-schools are of­fer­ing the best in­fra­struc­ture to their stu­dents to help them stand out. ~

Lal Ba­hadur Shas­tri In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment has in­tro­duced Bloomberg ter­mi­nals on its cam­pus to help stu­dents keep pace with the lat­est in fi nan­cial mar­kets

Great Lakes In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment has a LEED Plat­inum rated green cam­pus. It hopes to pro­duce busi­ness lead­ers who are en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spon­si­ble

Some in­sti­tutes have cap­tive so­lar elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion plants to power the cam­pus, in­clud­ing Great Lakes, IIM Tiruchi­rap­palli and IPE

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