Students from the Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS) got the chance to meet and interact with the Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd. personnel from different departments on their visit to the industry. They met senior management officials of the organization. KIAMS students were specifically taken to the Human Resources (HR) and Operations departments to learn how various tasks are carried out in these departments.
The curriculum at KIAMS involves both theoretical as well as practical aspects and the faculties discuss at length the way things work in a real-market scenario. Real-time experience is gained through industry visits such as this, which give a better overview about the present market requirements and the ways to handle them. “Management is a profession just like medicine and management students should be able to dissect a business just as medical students can dissect bodies to understand their structures and functions,” said Atul Kulkarni, a finance domain trainer and visiting faculty at KIAMS.
“There are tools which enable an analyst to break down the operations of a business into its components and at the same time, understand the inter-relationship among these components. Two such tools are the CII-EXIM excellence model and the Balanced Scorecard,” he added.
At KIAMS, there’s a two-credit core course titled Industry Integration in which the first-year students learn to use these tools and then apply them in real organizations—industry visits being part of this course.
The course starts with a two-day workshop to equip students with the theoretical aspects of these models. This is followed by visits to two organizations – one each in the manufacturing and service sectors. During these visits, students understand and interpret all aspects of business through the lens of the two models. Finally, the students make a report and present their findings to a panel of experts. This approach gives the student a holistic perspective to business. They learn to ask the right questions –which is a critical skill for a manager. They are able to see the inter-relationship among all the aspects of business and this would prevent them from taking a silo view when they join industry in any function. Effectively, this approach sows the seeds for the student’s progression to senior management positions.
The students are formed into small groups of 6-8 students for these visits. Each Group has to visit one manufacturing and one service company to have a comparative study of the two models in these industries. KOEL was one of the manufacturing companies visited by one of the Groups.
At KOEL, the students’ interaction with the HR manager was quite informative. He explained the utility of the CII-EXIM model in detail, something they had learnt about in their course. “He is the person responsible for implementing the CII-EXIM model at KOEL. He explained the CIXM model to us and asked us to read more on KIAZEN,” said KIAMS student Ayush. An interaction followed at KOEL’s training centre where the HR manager spoke to them about the CII-EXIM model.
A shop-floor visit was also arranged for the students to give them an insight into operations management concepts. “The visit to the shop floor was very helpful in understanding operations management concepts. We also learnt about different ways in which employees contribute to increased production at the shop floor, quality circles, etc.,” said Ayush. The students found this industry visit quite informative and said “we would like to go to more such industry visits”.
The essence of B-school education is to groom students into prospective business leaders. Most B-Schools use time-practiced approaches such as summer internship to prepare their students for corporate life. KIAMS ealizes that much more needs to be done to give students a holistic perspective of business.