Thursday, 7 October 2010

Best of East and West

IIM-Shillong has established an East Asia centre to reach out to the countries in the East as well as in the West. S Shahjahan, chair of the centre, shares its vision with Surbhi Bhatia 

Expansion is the buzzword. As part of the larger scheme that has been proposed by the Indian government, even the highbrowed IIMs are now planning to expand by launching overseas campuses. 

Explains S Shahjahan, professor, IIM-Shillong, "Globalisation provides opportunities to both the developing and developed countries. However, usually it has been restricted to 'inward globalisation' where developed countries enter developing countries' market. The Indian government wants to promote outward globalisation where Indian education institutes and corporates step out to offer their services. With General Agreement on Trade and Service (GATS) likely to be in place in 2013, there will be no restrictions on education qualifications and the movement of human resources will become easier. Within this context, it becomes more important for the IIMs to go international. Therefore, they have been planning to offer their programmes in different countries." 

According to Shahjahan, setting up a campus in a different country is a challenging affair. Also, replicating what you are offering in your own country might not be well received in other countries. IIM-Shillong, he says, has set up a different model. "We have established an East Asia Centre to reach out to the countries in the East as well as in the West. The idea is to give our students international exposure, international placements and become a hub of management activities of the East," he says. 

Shahjahan, also the Chair of the Centre, adds, "The region's proximity to East Asian countries is the biggest advantage. Companies and institutes from China, South Korea and Japan have expressed interest in coming to our institutes. This will serve the purpose for giving international exposure to our students. We are also teaching Chinese in our institute." 

Shahjahan says that the world has so long followed the US when it came to adopting management principles. With East Asian economies, especially India and China becoming stronger and staying stable during the meltdown, they now want to know more about these two countries. However, there is no country that has taken the lead to represent management philosophies in the East. The presence of many European Companies (especially German) in China is an example. "The centre aims to create a network with these companies too, hence, propagating the Eastern management philosophies. A delegation of seven German CEOs will be visiting IIM-Shillong soon," he adds. 

He further informs that the centre has tied up with the government of Nagaland to impart training to the youth of the North East. The Nagaland government is sponsoring the Sustainable Infrastructure Building & Project Management (SIBPM) and the retail management programme. "We want to send students who opt for these programmes to China for training under the Chinese companies since China has proved its mettle in the field of infrastructure and mass production," he says.

Read more: Best of East and West - The Times of India

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