Interview by Swati Mishra
Dr. Neha Patel is the Director of Som-Lalit Institute of Management Studies (SLIMS) and Som-Lalit Institute of Business Management (SLIBM). She has a Ph.D. in Marketing, having keen interests in Advertising, Brand Management and Sales Management. Having nearly 25 years of experience in the industry, she has worked as a consultant on several projects for national brands in the areas of Branding, Tourism and Advertising.
Prior to joining academics, she held responsible positions with Mudra Communications (DDB Needham India) and an IT company - focusing on strategy and new business development (for national and global markets). She has published numerous research papers as well as chapters in books on Culture, Tourism, Globalization, Consumer Behaviour and Social Media. In conversation with Kapil Panchal, she shares
Working in education industry is surely fulfilling
Out of 25 years of work experience the last 13 years have been in academics. I have worked in the advertising as well as the IT sector during their double-digit growth phase before joining the education sector. All the three industries demand hard work, dedication, creativity, passion but the biggest differentiator is the unsaid responsibility which lies on the shoulder of any teacher of shaping India by working on its future citizens.
The growth of any country depends on its people and their value systems. Apart from the parents, it is the education system, which caters to the holistic development of the children. When I joined academics, I did not realize the magnitude until I started working closely with my students.
We, at Som-Lalit, believe in all-inclusive development of the students. In the two years that the students are with us, they undergo a metamorphosis in their thought process, goal formulation, approach towards life and society. The transition that we witness in our students gives us the motivation to continue year on year. When we meet our alumni spread across the globe and hear about their success stories, we feel that we have done our jobs wells.
Industry oriented curriculum, attracting more recruiters every year
Since the inception of SLIMS nearly 20 years ago, the program structure and pedagogy have evolved keeping the demands of the Industry in mind. It helps us to create holistic evolved managers who are not just academically and corporate smart but also good citizens. The teaching pedagogy of using case studies, real-life industry practice examples, industrial and rural visits, inviting industry experts, alumni meets among others result in the overall grooming of the students.
The companies visiting us for recruiting that our students are industry-ready, and their transition from being students to professionals is lucid. Our reputation has ensured that the placement companies first visit our campus before going to any other institutes in the state. Our placement cell conducts a vigorous personalized training program to extract out the student’s maximum potential to make their chances of employment even more.
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Our students are not just an Industry-asset but an asset to the Society
Som-Lalit is one big family wherein each faculty member, mentors the students and ensures a holistic growth of them. We understand the dynamics of new batches of PGDM and MBA and customize our teaching methodologies in the initial semesters accordingly. The faculties (most of them are Ph.Ds.) at SLIMS regularly publish research papers, conduct and attends consultancy projects, Faculty Development Programs, which enables them to understand the ongoing and upcoming scenarios in the industry.
Apart from this, students are required to spend an average from 20 to 40 hours towards Social Responsibility activities. This makes them not just assets to the corporate world but also for the country. The collective efforts of the management and the faculties come together to transform them into a new generation of successful managers, leaders, and able citizens. Our strong alumni of more than 3000 students extend a substantial helping hand to us by mentoring, training as well as providing placement to our students.
Som-Lalit’ Philosophy - For the students, by the students and of the students
The institute has worked on the philosophy of being for the students, by the students and of the students. Most of the endeavors undertaken by the institute like conducting events like Horizon – a yearly event on Management Seminars, Spectrum – Students programs, Management quizzes, Seminars, Workshops are completely handled by the students with minimal faculty guidance and supervision. The exposure received at SLIMS is unparalleled to any other comparable institutes.
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SLIMS is a stalwart in the area of management in Gujarat
SLIMS is a name synonymous in the area of Management in Gujarat for more than 20 years. The past two decades, we have evolved keeping the industry trends and student needs in mind. We, at SLIMS, want not just to create great managers and leaders but also responsible citizens who can help create a better India.