Prof. Hitesh V. Bhatt is currently designated as the Director of the Institute of Rural Management Anand. He holds a degree of B.Tech from IIT Delhi and M.S. from Georgia Tech, USA. He has a total of 40 years of experience - of which 8 years is as CEO/Country Head of large organizations in India and in Tanzania.
The practitioner has been working in the academic sector since 1995 and has been involved in teaching, training, and consultancy practices. He has also delivered various talks in several organizations both in India and overseas on diverse topics like quality management, operations management, project management and more.
In an exclusive interview with Collegedunia.com, the dignitary shares his valuable thoughts on topics like education industry, leadership philosophy, plans, and learning practices at IRMA.
An enthusiastic experience in the education industry
For me, it is not an industry per se but rather a passion that I have been fortunate to have had the opportunities to pursue. After spending years abroad in a hard core corporate setup, I wanted to come back and immerse myself in academics. I started my academic career in 1995 with IRMA as an Associate Professor and since then have been involved in teaching, training and consulting in diverse areas.
Collective leadership philosophy and style
Leadership is all about taking people along with you. Any person in my position has specific roles to perform and goals to achieve. A leader is one who walks alongside all his team members and encourages them to work towards a common objective.
At IRMA, our students are a part of the more extensive collaborative process that shapes our management programs and that’s why we refer to them as participants. I think for any leader, to be able to steer this collaborative process should be the key. This makes the entire thought and working process simpler and understandable.
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Roles of Prof. Bhatt as a Director
IRMA places high value for attendance in the class – both physical and mental. It is clear to us that if a person comprehends learning in the class, that student’ ability to understand various subjects enhances. This, in turn, improves that student’s chances of getting a better placement. This leads to a the organization gaining immensely from that learned Graduate and it ends up returning to IRMA to place more of our Graduates, year after year. This is virtuous cycle and it keeps adding value to all the stakeholders involved, i.e. the students, the organizations working with them and also IRMA.
IRMA is also known for its excellent faculty members. For us, picking the right people is important because they become a part of IRMA and influence people and processes for decades.
Exceptional placement opportunities at IRMA
Our institute attracts some of the most exceptional organizations from across the globe. It does not come as a shock to us when the best organizations want to absorb our students.
The institute has an impressive track record of placements with competitive remuneration packages. A total of 3150 graduates, over 40 years, have contributed immensely to the mission of the institute across every sector of the economy.
IRMA has a synergetic approach towards learning
As mentioned earlier, we focus on the participative approach to learning and co-existing. This helps us in building a bond with the participants that is unparalleled and it allows them to approach the faculty – including myself - much more freely. The flow of ideas, thus initiated, is much more conducive to learning.
Every year, IRMA admits talented and driven individuals from across the country for its PGDRM course. The batch is composed of individuals from almost every state in India, and every educational and vocational background imaginable. Students, faculty, and alumni come together to celebrate every festival and honor every custom that the country holds dear. One would be hard-pressed to find such diversity anywhere else.
Upcoming plans for the Institute – Change-makers for a better tomorrow
Through its flagship program, i.e., Post Graduate Diploma in Rural Management (PGDRM), IRMA has not only germinated the concept of quality education in rural management but actively fostered it. It is our continuing endeavor to keep abreast of the challenges and opportunities in the world of business, governance, and civil society as well as creative leaders.
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Qualities entailed in building IRMA into a brand
Our brand equity is powerful, but with the mushrooming of several different management schools, many people who can make a fantastic career by coming to IRMA are wasting it elsewhere. Secondly, IRMA is an autonomous institution and therefore we strive for a balance in terms of fee structure and participant intake. Thirdly, it is an accomplishment that we have faculty members who have been here with us for a long time. This speaks to the kind of institution IRMA is and how it nurtures talent.