As the Founder- Chairman of Dhruva College of Management – probably the first-of-a-kind management college promoted by a management professor with four decades of teaching, training and consulting experience – I can humbly say that my journey has been a rollercoaster ride, yet fulfilling.
Dhruva has turned 16 this August, rising from the throes of infancy in more than a decade-and-a-half, which may be considered the maturity period for any institution. The focus of educational programs and course content at Dhruva is on a par with the Ivy League institutions. On the positive side, we had the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of older cousins. For instance, academic culture in the older institutions hampers inter-disciplinary research.
We've not followed this model and created cross-functional directors instead. Its Director - R&D, for instance, can offer several Ph.D programs under the aegis of JNTUH promoting inter-disciplinary research. Our vision has inspired us to construct multi-strayed structures amidst our 800-acre reserve oxygen forest in the suburbs of Hyderabad – one of the most happening cities, even as the older institutions like HCU, OU, IFLU, JNTU H, all in Hyderabad – face a severe space crunch and might be forced to demolish and rebuild various single-storey structures that are beyond repair as opined by a director of a new breed of IIT.
One common factor that ails autonomous B- Schools is the paucity of funds and industry support available for research and consulting. Even in the state-run IIMs, the funds for core teaching and research activities per student are grossly inadequate to meet the national aspiration of producing 10,000 PhDs (as recommended by the Kakodkar Committee). Coupled with this enormity of challenges, producing managers who demand high salaries and cozy working environment displaying snobbish demeanor, I'm afraid is not Dhruva's cup-of-tea. We believe in producing leader- managers grounded in the Indian tradition of ‘ intellectual humility and ethical profundity ’. Also, we consider our students co-producers in the process of this gigantic task.
On 10-11 February 2012, we Organized ‘ Muqabla – an all-India Under Graduates ' Competition – with an objective of stimulating right brain through music, art, dance, drama, singing, elocution, simulation (like enterprise games that promote lateral thinking), to name a few. Management is an art and science. This stimulation will provide budding aspirants of management education the creative dimension of effective management nuances.
Dhruva has a unique challenge, for it runs on a ‘ not-for-profit ’ model which is an anthem of any business venture. Available revenues must be spent on both core activity of teaching- learning and non-core activities such as subsidized hostel facility, CSR initiatives and scholarships to merit-but-economically backward students, of which the latter comprise a substantial part. As I'm passionate about building a global B-School and not enamored of payback of my capital to the tune of Rs. 30 crores (till date) I've sunk, I'm hopeful things will improve in future, e.g., donations under 80-G from individuals, institutions, industries and our alumni spread across the length and breadth of the world and might help it not only sustain fiscally, but also catapult its brand to soar to newer heights. As Paulo Coelho observed, “ If you're passionate about a thing, the whole universe will conspire to help you accomplish it. "
As we move into the next calendar year, it’s time to pause momentarily and reflect on the year gone by. Keeping our exalted position of being ‘ Asia’s Best Emerging B-School ’, we will challenge conventional thinking and innovatively use all our resources to drive positive change in the lives of our main stakeholders – students. As a part of the new brand positioning, we have changed our logo - ‘ Flying Hamsa ’ which stands for articulation of ingenuity, analytical acumen and Indian mythical values. The idea rests on the backdrop of positive change, increasing threshold tolerance and redefining excellence.