Interview by Sakshi Aggarwal

Dr. T R Venkatesh, VC of Amity University

About his experience in the education industry

My experience in the education industry is about 23-24 years. In 1994, I joined academics at Institute of Chartered Financial Analyst of India and since then, I have been in Academics. I went to Bangalore to set up ICFAI Business School. And thereafter, I went to Amity Global Business School Bangalore in 2008. In the meantime, I also went to Amity University, Dubai. And now I am going to Amity University Patna. So, it has been 23-24 years in the field of academics.

Plans to ensure your induction for new students is truly world-class 

We follow three A’s at Amity University. The first A is ‘Academics’, where every student is required to study the prescribed syllabus, attend lectures, have minimum required attendance, go through the internal or external evaluation, pass in every subject and get a degree.

This is normally for every student in every educational institution.

The second A is ‘Application’. Whatever you study in a classroom, how it is linked to the outside world.  We insist here at Amity that students need application orientation of the knowledge which they are acquiring. We make sure that every student of Amity reads a business daily. Like at Amity Bengaluru, every student is asked to subscribe for an individual copy of Business Standard or Economic Times. This gives them a practical orientation of what is happening in the real business world. We also discuss the developments which are covered in the classroom every day which we call as placement assistance sessions.

We also make sure that every student watches business programs daily. It enhances the student’s ability to relate it to what is happening in the business world. We also insist that every student does summer internships where they work in a company almost like a full-time-employee for a period of two months. This ensures that it becomes real learning for the students. We ensure this by making the internship programs evaluated. It also ensures that application of whatever a student is learning in a classroom is done well. Next, a student is also encouraged to participate in various business competitions by various colleges and learn how they are doing, learn by participating.

Third A is the most important. It stands for ‘Aptitude Development’. This is because it is not enough to be very good only in studies and application orientation. We also develop the personality through various activities for the personal developments, behavioral development, etc. So, through these three A’s, we try to develop the personality of a student.   

About non-academic support services at Amity University

One of the things is to manage the information system and procedure properly. Suppose a student wants to know anything about the percentage of attendance, faculty, course or anything else which is relevant for the student, we provide the student a log-in through which he or his parents can see what is happening with the students as far as studies are concerned. Through this, the faculty also observes transparency online. So, a lot of things are online and are accessible for the students.

Amity University appoints only the well-qualified teaching staff. Check here to know more about faculty details here.

On placement drive, international projects and seminars at Amity Global Business School, Bangalore

The placement preparation begins the day a student joins. In application orientation, we do the narration of the things like an internship, reading daily newspapers, watching business hour programs. In addition to that, we also invite various senior corporate level executives almost regularly for sharing their experiences and know about what is happening in the corporate world. We also conduct corporate meets and alumni meets regularly. We also have a mentor-mentee system, where not only the faculty acts as a mentor but also, alumni working in the industry adopt a set of students to mentor. These are some of the things which make them prepared well for the placement.

Placement is not something which is done towards the end of the 2nd or 3rd year, but it is something which we have to do from Day 1. We conduct mock interviews to prepare the students. We also have one more system, where we have academic clubs. For students interested in Finance, there’s a Finance club where co-curricular activity is conducted in making the students learn Finance. There is also a Marketing club, HR club, Operations club, Entrepreneurship Club, etc. This makes the student a continuous learner. Mock drills are done to prepare the students for the corporate world.

Check out the college placement reviews and frequently visited companies at Amity University here.

Amity University Placments

About faculty at Amity Global Business School, Bangalore

Unless the faculty is motivated and updated, nothing can be done, nothing can be achieved. Whatever I mentioned, we have a ‘weekly intellectually capital sharing’ (WICS) session. Every week, in a designated hour, all faculty sit together and one of the faculty takes up a particular development that has happened during the week. All other faculty listens to it and a healthy discussion is done on that development. Through this, we ensure that faculty is continuously updated through WICS. The faculty exchange notes, ideas as to what is happening in which class and how a particular issue was tackled.

The faculty is encouraged to read and write cases. We have a case development center where a dedicated number of faculty members write business case studies. These members are encouraged to read and discuss these cases. Faculty development is very important and it happens as a culture where every week we sit together and discuss.

About how he manages his time

One of the things we need to know is to delegate. Day-to-day minute and micro-operations are important. Directors or Vice Chancellors cannot be doing that daily, they should learn how to manage exceptions. Where there is an exception, we interfere. Delegation and interference are done in the case of an exception. In terms of delegation, we have a set of committed faculty members who look after time-tabling and running day-to-day classes, members who look after examination, evaluation, grading and counselling. I think the delegation is one thing and only interfering where exceptions are there is the second most important thing.

On growth of B-schools in India

There are so many Business schools coming up and there are so many getting closed. For sure, a large number of B-schools get closed and addition is not happening but deletion is happening. These are the kind of people who don’t have long-term careers in the field of education. They thought that there’s a good demand for MBA and BBA and some building is sufficient to open a B-School for that.

Although, one thing that one needs to keep in mind these days is the commitment and interest in education. For example, Amity has been in the education sector for over 27-28 years. So, deep-rooted commitment is required, investment as hardware is required, investment in software is required, faculty development is required and investment in corporate relations is required. We need to continuously be in touch with corporates and take their feedback and see what their requirements are, take their opinion on the syllabus. Unless we do all these things, you can’t survive and the market comes to know that who is a long-lasting player and who isn’t. Over a period of time, they become extinct. Those who aren’t long-term players will not be in the market.

Top qualities that an MBA aspirant according to Dr. T R Venkatesh

Time management skills, communication skills and willingness to learn are some of the qualities for an MBA student to possess. It’s not just sufficient to know the subject when the question is asked in the interview. What is important is continuous learning ability, willingness to accept that he needs to continuously learn is very important.

Internships at Amity University, Patna

Our internship is unique in many ways, there’s a strong weightage attached to the internship. As I mentioned, there’s a summer internship which the students are required to do has a weightage of 9 credits. So, the students can’t ignore summer internships as it has a weightage attached to it, it is evaluated not only by faculty, but it is jointly evaluated by the faculty and the supervisor to whom the students will report to. So, there’s an amount of seriousness that comes because it is jointly evaluated.

It is ‘workbench based evaluation’ where the student is not called to the college to evaluate mid-term internships. In fact, the faculty is asked to go to the company, spend time with the company, spend time with the students and make the student present whatever he has learned and done. The other important thing that we focus on is the student’s contribution to the company-has the company adopted any of your suggestion? What is your contribution to the company during the 2-month internship? We always focus on that and the last point that is very important is the faculty continuously keeps herself closely in touch with the industry, regularly going to the company to evaluate her students. She knows what is happening, so her contacts with the industry are developed, reinforced and also learn about what is happening in the real market.

Message for the students wishing to join Amity University, Patna in the near future

Message for the students willing to join Amity University is that there are two types of education available; easy education and rigorous education. If you’re looking for easy education, then it’s not Amity. If you’re looking for rigorous education where you learn a lot, expose yourself to the industry, implement what you’ve learned in the industry through projects and internships, you’re welcome to Amity. If you do this, you’re coming out of your own evolution and not because somebody is forcing you to come.

Before coming to Amity, be ready to go through the two or three years of stay in the program that you’re choosing and go out happily, go out as an acceptable product in the marketplace. Just not that, education is not for living alone, education is for life. So, we try to drive this concept through various mentorships and other programs and tell the student that the in next 2 or 3 years, seek yourself a professional job which requires 40 hours of work. Think that you’re already working and then work, and achieve your goals.