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B-school review: LN Welingkar Institute of Management

Last updated on: March 3, 2010 10:26 IST

B-school review: LN Welingkar Institute of Management

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B Mahesh Sarma

Earlier this month Careers360 issued the top 50 B-school rankings in the country. The magazine also reviewed 25 institutes, along with vital information students should be aware of when choosing their B-school.

Here we feature Prin LN Welingkar Institute of Management, Mumbai and its courses.

Welingkar has come a long way from a lowly 82nd rank in a survey in 2001 to its current position in the Top 25, across surveys. "We have grown, both in size and stature," says Professor Uday Salunke, group director, with a glint in his eye.

The bright, technicoloured campus seems to have rubbed off on students and faculty; a certain peppiness is evident on campus. But with over 1,200 students vying for attention, sustaining quality faculty interaction as well as retaining its brand identity is indeed a challenge.

One has to grant it to the school -- it practises what it preaches. Welingkar went in for a complete brand overhaul, renamed itself as a 'We School' and created a good campaign. But does that lead to better learning experience on the ground, is a question for which students do not have a straight answer, though they do agree it feels good to study in a campus that is innovative.

A faculty counters, "It's actually a way of life, here. Last year to teach risk to students, we gave them two projects. In one they were asked to survive in the streets of Mumbai for a day with no money. In the other, they were given Rs 10,000 as equity to run a non-trading venture for four days, with a caveat that they have to absorb losses of over 10 per cent." The results are interesting. "In the first exercise they earned a collective profit of over Rs 12,000 and in latter they earned a measly Rs 1,700," he elaborates.

While space is a premium, and there is little by way of a sprawling campus, the compensation is the location and infrastructure. With its renovated campus, the infrastructure is AA, with one gigabit IT backbone, two libraries and a host of e-learning resources, though the number of books in the library could do with substantial addition.

An interesting feature is the outdoor management programme, led by the director himself along with trained mountaineer Professor Charuhas Joshi. One student said, "A week of this and you know your friends more than by living in the same room for two years." Though it seems a little overboard, the experience seems to have struck a chord with the students.

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Photographs: Priyam Dhar/Outlook Group
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Courses and placements

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Students voice a concern -- that of the slight preference accorded to PGDM students vis-a-vis MMS students. For instance, the institute brochure gives no information on the MMS programme. The perceived stickiness of the MMS curriculum vis-a-vis the up-to-date PGDM contributes in no less measure for this perception. Since the college offers similar placement opportunities to all students, it's high time they proactively address the same.

Also, the size of the batch is definitely a factor that worries students. With placements being common, one has to compete with a larger pool of students within the same school, and especially so with a new campus in Bangalore, quips a visiting faculty member.

While the school scores high on activities and practice-based learning, academic rigour in terms of structured course curriculum, web-based learning systems and measurable deliverables, do not seem to be getting the attention they deserve.

One more way to raise the bar is to bring international faculty, says Professor Salunke, which they have begun in earnest. So as the school launches new programmes, the challenge is to achieve a fine balance between its core competence of producing well-rounded managers vis-a-vis rigourously, academically trained ones, so that the placement profiles become more analytical and in turn, attract higher salaries.



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