Ch. Bala Nageswara Rao, Director of Saveetha School of Management, Ph.D., have immense experience in education and corporate industry. He talks about the future goals, shares the challenges he faced at this institution and expresses his experience in the education industry.
Ques 1: Kindly tell us about your experience in the education industry and what makes it the best industry to work in?
Ans. Saveetha School of Management, which is one of the prominent B’ Schools in Chennai, have been in the education industry since 1992, teaching at the post-graduate level, especially MBA students. Before joining the education industry, I worked in corporate sector for about 5 years. But, education industry gave me immense satisfaction in spite of the fact that the pay is low as compared to the corporate industry. We are dealing with a fresh batch of students every year and we have the opportunity of guide, counsel, nurture, motivate and help them to improve their skills. Making sure they are placed in the reputed organizations gives me greater satisfaction. When the students excel in their jobs and they acknowledge our contribution, its gives us immense pride.
Ques 2: Any of the significant challenges you faced as the Director of Saveetha School of Management.
Ans: It is a very apt question to me where I can speak a lot of things. When I joined our B’ School as the Director, there was lot of chaos. There were only 27 students in both first and second year, less number of faculty and the institute is less known. Creating awareness about college has become a big challenge. Then, gradually with the efforts and support of our Chancellor, Management, and Faculty, we have conducted various activities like guest lectures, workshops, seminars, quiz programs, free life skills programs for Under Graduate students which improved our brand image to the present state. The admissions improved over a period of time and at present, we are having 170 students together in both the years. There is a phenomenal growth in admissions in our college, even when MBA market is in down trend. For bringing the institution to the present level, I have faced many challenges and emerged successfully. I have also added new electives as per the demand of the Industry.
Ques 3: How does your curriculum ensure best practices of industry?
Ans. You gave me another opportunity to speak about our curriculum at Saveetha School of Management. Our curriculum is running under trimester pattern, very few B’Schools in Chennai follows the same pattern. We are having both theory and practical subjects. In practical subjects, we have subjects like Event Management, Personality Development, and Soft Skills, Creativity Lab, MILS (Management Invited Lecture Series), Business Communication Lab, Software Lab etc. We are also running our Programme under dual specialization mode where the students can opt for Marketing, Finance, International Business, Human Resource Management, Systems, Production and Operations Management, Hospital management and Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Students can choose any of the two from the above. We have four projects, one summer project, two mini projects and one Final project which is unique in our college.
Ques 4: What goals do you have in your mind for Saveetha School of Management?
Ans. Many goals are there in my mind regarding Saveetha School of Management.At the outset, we are offering 100% placement but we want number of companies with more reputation. I also want out students to be placed in International companies.
We are having ISO 2001-2015 accreditation and NAAC” A” grade accreditation. But we wish to go for International accreditation agencies like AACSB, ACBSP, and ACEBE etc.
Ques 5: You pride yourself on the level of education and responsibility you teach here to students. How do you ensure the quality of education in your institution?
Ans. We want to ensure quality of Education to the students through strong and updated curriculum by incorporating recent developments. We are following Experiential Learning for our students by conducting various practical activities where the students’ get practical exposure. We are following MILA (Multi Interactive Learning Algorithm) teaching method, where in every hour there are a lecture cum practical student activities. Through case studies, we are imparting practical managerial aspects to the students.
Ques 6: How do you build a positive school culture or climate?
Ans. Positive culture can be build by having a pre-planned curriculum and conducting various activities which would engage the students to learn about industry and how to cope with industry requirements in positive manner. For this, we provide lot of activities to students like guest lectures, seminars, workshops, and management meets. When students are given tasks like “One Day with HR Manager “or “One day with Marketing Manager”, this helps them to understand the industry requirements. Above all, we have a culture of mentoring where each student is closely monitored for their progress.
Ques 7: How do you tend to establish a relationship with the students?
Ans. We use to build rapport with students early by following mentoring system. There are continuous efforts to track the progress of the students and counseling is offered at regular intervals.
Ques 8: How do you look at the growth of students through placement opportunities available at Saveetha School of Management? How do you wish to push the envelope further?
Ans. Placement at this institution is very good over the years and we are providing 100% placement to the students. All the students are provided training in Quantitative Aptitude, Interview skills, Inter personal skills, Emotional Intelligence Skills, etc. to prepare them for industrial opportunities. We wish to invite more number of MNCs and top branded companies in the country. We also wish to focus on International placement.
Ques 9: What is your philosophy of leadership? How would you describe your leadership style?
Ans. A Leader must be a good team player. He must know the strengths and weaknesses of his team, must use the strengths well and try to minimize the weaknesses of his team. At the same time, he should be considerate about his subordinates. I considered myself to be a participative Team Leader.
Ques 10: Any suggestions you would like to give to the current youth and the aspiring students?
Ans. Plenty of opportunities are available for present youth and they should come forward and show initiative to utilize the opportunities. I suggest the youth to utilize social media for development purpose.