Naval Engineer to B-School Director

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directorWith management education in India in turmoil, Dr. Sunil Rai’s job as the new director of the Goa Institute of Management is going to be tough. He will have to draw into his experience as a naval officer and founder of a B-School to raise the bar. In a chat with ManagementNext, Dr. Rai shares his thoughts

You have an industry and an armed forces background and you are now getting into academia, what are the adaptation challenges you expect?

Post my stint with Indian Navy and the industry I have been into academia full time from October 2001. The adoption challenges then were to get used to academic processes and culture which wasn’t difficult.

The B-schools are going through a big turmoil in India – although GIM is in a relatively good shape, what is your 3 year agenda to make GIM more relevant?

We have always focused on overall development of the personality of our students with high degree ethical behavior. We strongly believe in that ideology and will pursue the same vigorously. The three items that we are already doing to consolidate are:

  • Emphasis on people’s skills, ethics and integrity
  • High degree of scholarly inputs with emphasis on rigor and research
  • High degree of industry interaction for greater relevance with emphasis on best practices

The curriculum is largely disconnected from the reality – what is your plan to make it robust?

The curriculum at GIM is developed by academic committees that comprise faculty from GIM, academicians and experts from the industry. The industry relevant curriculum is delivered by faculty and industry practitioners and has adapted course projects where students need to work closely with the industry.

To what extent is GIM focused on the region’s needs?

GIM works very closely with the government and industry in Goa and provides managerial inputs to achieve excellence by way of projects or though consultations. The GIM faculty has been and continues to be involved in projects with the government, one of them being to set up policy and procedure for disaster management in large number of panchayats in North Goa. Presently the faculty is also involved in drawing out a vision document for the government of Goa. Additionally, the institute conducts management development programs for companies.

The institute encourages the students to develop social responsibility as part of their preparation for becoming responsible managers in firms. Responsible managers and leaders need to ensure that their decisions have benefits for their employing organization as well as for the society. To achieve this, GIM has incorporated the ‘Give Goa Project’ as part of the curriculum. The Give Goa project provides a unique platform for students to work with NGO’s or other organizations which are committed to give back to the society through rigorous CSR activities.

What is GIM’s aspiration in the management education sector in India?

GIM aspires to be an educational institution promoting scholarly brilliance through research and innovations and serve the society towards achieving sustenance and growth through efficient but fair and ethical means. To be a partner to the government, industry and society in Goa for progress of the State.