Interview by Kritika Gupta
Dr. Ch. S. Durgaprasad is currently the Director of VJIM Hyderabad. He has also worked as Dean at VJIM. He is also a former Dean of MITS University. His educational qualifications include B.Com from Dr. L Bullayya College, Visakhapatnam, PG in Human Resource Management/ Personnel Administration from Andhra University and Ph.D. from Sri Krishnadevaraya University.
Experience in the challenging education industry
The education industry is very dynamic in nature now. It has to work with the stakeholders. When the economy is changing and a lot of new initiatives are coming, so we also have to be at pace. People always think that industry personnel or the people working at the corporate level are on their toes but basically, the people who are working in the education institutions have to be on their toes because they have to train the students to meet the requirements of the corporate. That is a very challenging job. Previously, it was not the case because it was stand alone and once in ten years we used to revise the curriculum but now we are updating the curriculum once every 6 months.
Training the students to be analytical
We have a specialization course on Business Analytics in the institution and more than that, we also have introduced a full course on Excel. It is a 30-hour course which helps students to develop analytical skills and excel gives them some inputs about how to use that package whereas in other courses like accounting, statistics and financing courses, the real application of excel happens there. It develops the analytical ability of the student. There are advanced courses like Financial Modelling in Excel, Marketing Metrics, HR metrics which we teach to students.
Enhancing the student-industry interaction at VJIM
We follow different methods for the same. One is we organize continuous seminars in the institution, i.e. every functional area has to organize two seminars in the entire year. For every course, we invite the industry personnel to interact with the students. We encourage the students to do live projects with Future group, Aditya Birla group, Reliance retail and some other organization. It is a very good learning experience for the students. Between 1st and 2nd year, they do an internship which for 12 weeks. Every college sends their students for 8 weeks but we increased it to 12 weeks and we introduced the concept called business conclaves. Till last year, we used to organize in the functional areas such as finance, marketing, HR, analytics and operations management. We invite the best of the people in the industry to interact with the students.
This year, we made the conclave as a sector specific one such as FMCG, BFSI, Ecommerce, Digital Marketing, Design Thinking, Logistics Management. To link up all these things, we have a program called Career Vision Schooling to develop the industry connect and to develop the skill of the people, we run it for 150 hours which is all about developing the self and industry connect and placement abilities. We started self-learning courses as we get fresh graduates from the colleges. We are providing the exposure and when they join any company, they expect that somebody should guide them. We identified some courses and are providing materials, they have to complete the courses and assignments and write the open book exams. We want them to explore and learn.
Time management of Dr. Durgaprasad
It is all how you plan your activities in the day. One is to identify and prioritize the activities and other things can be delegated to other people and we coordinate and review the delegated activities.
Difference between Indian education system and education system abroad
Our education system in India in initial stages from Class 1 to Class 12, is almost a parent driven one. Parents take the decision about which course needs to be taken and which streams need to be chosen. It is purely on the basis of memory rather than skill. In other countries, what the kid has learnt, how they are going to apply etc. is taken into consideration. A science student can also go to the arts class in other countries. That system is still not available in our system. The comparison system does not exist in other countries and it is more of independent style of living. We see that shift is happening in our country also recently.
Qualities which have helped in creating a brand name for VJIM
We just always tell we are very strong in academics and we give value for the money. We strictly follow the guidelines and there are no deviations from that. We are known for academic rigor. We have a good placement and a good alumni network.
Leadership style of Dr. Durgaprasad
There is no specific style of the leadership. We have a very strong governance system in place and there is an executive committee of Vignan Jyothi followed by academic board and academic council. We discuss everything related to the institute in the academic council and we take a call. It is all about ownership and sense of responsibility.
Distinguishing VJIM out of other private management colleges mushrooming all across Telangana
The new colleges coming in the market is an encouraging sign and we always develop our systems and processes here. We have a set of rules and set of systems. We always benchmark ourselves with the previous year’s performance.
Goals in mind for the future growth and expansion of VJIM
We are going to start Executive PDGM in the Business Analytics area for 15 months with AICTE approval, certificate program in the area of design thinking for 12 months with AICTE approval. We are going for SAQS accreditation which is likely to complete by February. We are going to organize an international conference on 4th and 5th of January. Once we get SAQS accreditation, we will go for EFMD accreditation which gives us the edge to enter into European Market.
Message for the students wishing to join VJIM
VJIM provides a good learning environment and atmosphere. Have trust on us and we will take care of your career.