Category: Case study and Research


To be a runner up in an international competition, where faculty members of major business schools presented best of their unpublished work, speaks volumes about the excellent analytical work of Dr. V S Pai. 

Students at KIAMS are painting the town red on their professor’s Chak De Phatte kind of success. “We are really not surprised because he has an uncanny ability to explain the most difficult of problems in the easiest possible way,” says PGDM student Drishya.

What we like the most is that he goes beyond the text books and connects everything with the present scenario and developments. This really kind of hooks students to his class,” says PGDM student Rohit, another die-hard fan of Dr. V S Pai.

Although, with more than two decades of experience under his belt, Dr. V S Pai never took the competition lightly and always knew his work needed to be elaborate and analytical in order to come in the first three. His writing work explained how Tata Teleservices entered into a joint venture with NPC DoCoMo of Japan to improve the performance of their telecom venture.

Management theories and practices are fast evolving in the present business scenario where mergers and acquisitions have long become a norm. Challenges faced by business are myriad and new, requiring managers to think on the feet and develop a truly international perspective. Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies has a reputation to groom future business leaders in the art of not only surviving but also outshining in the competitive world of business.

“We at KIAMS are fortunate to have an experienced and talented faculty member like Dr. Pai, whose international exposure will help students develop international perspective and transform into world class business leaders,” says Dr. Gopal Iyengar, Director of KIAMS.

Dr. Pai has some advice for the students. “There is no short cut to excellence and this holds true for everyone. I keep updating my knowledge and skills, and writing papers is a kind of passion for me” says Dr. V. S. Pai. “Awards and recognition always follow tenacity, so keep your goal in mind and toil hard to achieve it,” advises Dr. Pai to his students. But he warns against being workaholic as it saps one of energy and life. “Work hard and party harder has been my mantra and it has worked very well for me till today,” laughs Dr. Pai.

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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.

Business India, one of the country’s foremost business publications, recently released their 12th annual list of the top Indian B-Schools. In this survey Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS) has scaled two notches getting it closer to the top. From an A ranking in 2010, KIAMS has achieved an A++. This leap forward is because of the institute’s unswerving attention to the details that define excellence. Constant vigilance, innovation and application of new teaching techniques and industry interface integrated into a very contemporary curriculum clearly make a difference in the way the institute is perceived.

“At one level there is elation, but deeper down there is no surprise. We do believe in giving the best in what we do – one of our values is ‘to undertake only those things in which we have the potential to excel’. Knowing that we can excel in education, we have gone ahead with our efforts,” says Dr. Gopal Iyengar, Director, KIAMS.  “All the feedback we got from the Business India ranking would be debated in the faculty council and used as a stepping stone to the next level.”

Dr. Gopal Iyengar’s sense of humour surfaces when he says, with a twinkle in his eyes, “I am reminded of an ad (though the product is far removed from our education field) which had the punch-line ‘Andar se fit tho bahar se hit’!  We are focused on being ‘andar se fit’. The current BI ranking is the ‘Bahar se hit’ part.”

The most important ten heads

BusinessIndia’s rankings were led by brand equity, followed by faculty and pedagogy, industry interface, technology use, infrastructure, income and expenditure, student facilitation, growth, overseas networking and alumni. Business India tried to capture every aspect that goes to make a B-School feature in its 2011 ranking. Other areas included important elements like campus specialisations, student admissions, Website details, journal publishing, curriculum design, faculty profiles, publication and support, library data, industry outreach, international linkages, corporate training, consulting, brand building and the growth a business school has seen. All these elements went into making the ranking unbiased and very fair.

The A++ ranking by prestigious B-School survey not only shows that KIAMS is one of the  best institute in India, however this is not the destination but a journey which is to be walked successfully in the future,” Shruti, a KIAMS executive candidly observes. Her pride in her institute reflects in her words.

KIAMS, with its century old industry and management experience has a huge library of indigenous case studies to draw from and is keeping the faculty factor in strong focus. However, there is always room for change, for change is the only constant. Shruti puts the tangible changes she sees in these succinct words. “I see enhanced efforts to streamline activities with 100% transparency which are more students driven. KIAMS has strong industry interface and matches industry expectations. The institute conducts national and international research. Its live project based curriculum is backed by world class infrastructure.”

The way forward

While Dr. Iyengar is pleased with the rankings, he is very clear that irrespective of the competition, KIAMs will continue charting its own path. “As we have always being doing, we will continue to define who we are and what we want to impact, and work diligently towards that. Sure we are aware of competition but not obsessed by it. We may put together a benchmarked group from our band and an aspirational group from the higher band to understand how they deliver. But the bar will be raised mostly through aspiring higher in what we want to impact,” he is emphatic.

 Dr. Iyengar urges his students into being the best that they can be with a few well chosen, wise words.”Continue performing based on your self-worth and self-esteem. When you go out into industry they should not experience a dissonance between shadow and substance.”

Case studies are a very integral aspect of an MBA education. They help students realise the crucial fact that there is more than one right answer to any challenge. This right answer depends on several aspects which in turn depend on assumptions and the definition of the challenge.

eMBArkers started out as a case study in itself. But that is quite another story. Each month, eMBArkers holds a case competition.

During the August 2011 case competition, KIAMS secured a position in the best 5 teams in the event, “eMBArkers”. The Jury consisted of Dr. T M Manjunath, Former Director Monsanto Research Centre, Prof. Krishanu Rakshit, Faculty at IIM Calcutta and Prof. Srinivasa Rao Chalasani, Faculty at ASoME. The top 5 teams (in random order and NOT the winning order) are as below –

  • Genesis: Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies
  • Team Thinkers:  K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research
  • Freedom: Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management
  • SOMITES: SJM SOM IIT Bombay
  • Mavericks: IIT Kanpur SOM

A case of two tales: Genetic contamination and Green revolution

The case team Genesis from KIAMS presented was about an MNC which after the success of its genetically modified seeds in UK started making genetically modified seeds (BT sunflower) in India too. But a few scientists, farmers and social activists were agitated by this.  The case was mainly about the strategy used by the company to continue operating in India. The company had been a centre of controversies since it started the trials for its BT sunflower in India.

“Analysing this case really helped us to understand the basic concepts of strategy as well as licensing model,” said Shikha Gupta, a student at KIAMS, a top B-School with campuses in Harihar, Karnatak and Pune, Maharashtra. KIAMS believes in using the case study method to tutor its budding managers, and team Genesis proved it by being in the top five selected teams.

“It was an unique exposure and we at KIAMS are trying our best to approach management through such innovative platforms,” Rajesh, another team member who fought long and hard for the recognition of his case study says.

The best part is that teams may come and teams may go, but the experience, the thrill of the fight will remain etched in the memories of these KIAMS students for the rest of their lives.