Wednesday, 1 June 2011

An Experience called XLRI

When a private business school with no government subsidy whatsoever is able to match the reputation of the revered IIMs with their enormous financial clout and government support, you know that there is something exceptional about the institute. XLRI has, for decades now, been recognised as the best institute for human resources in India, and has consistently been ranked amongst the best in the area of business management. The journey of XLRI from a small institute operating out of a couple of rooms in Jamshedpur to the now large campus has been steady though not entirely smooth. The institute grew in the face of adversity and fund shortages, and came out stronger and better every time.

For this issue we interacted with XLRI’s illustrious alumni, many of them at the helm of affairs in India’s largest organisations. The school has, over the years, consistently produced managerial talent that is much sought after in the country and beyond. Specifically in the areas of human resources and industrial relations, XLers have acted as change initiators, and a significant amount of the evolution of the human resource function in India, can be attributed to them. While there are quite a few excellent business schools in India, what makes XLRI stand out is its emphasis on social justice, ethics, and values. XLRI has also been at the forefront of globalising its footprint. At present, it is spreading its wings through international tie-ups and satellite programs, and is at the cusp of a great leap of introducing joint degree programmes with the Case Western University. XLRI is also unique in the way that all the stakeholders; the students, faculty, administration and alumni, are closely knit like a family. The reason possibly is the small cohort size which allows everyone to know each other, with students visiting faculty at their residence being the norm rather than an exception. This environment of collegiality and emphasis on ethics have helped XLRI to produce business managers who are socially conscious and willing to contribute to a cause that is larger than their individual needs, and that probably is XLRI’s greatest achievement.

While business schools in India keep attaining great heights, academicians of Indian origin have been creating ripples in business schools in the United States and Europe by taking up leadership positions at some of the best schools. In this issue, Professor Yash Gupta, the inaugural Dean at the Carey Business School, Johns Hopkins University, shares with us his insights into the changing face of business education and speaks about the larger responsibilities that business schools have in creating a society free of corruption and greed.

India is an economy that thrives on family-owned businesses and their contribution to the GDP. CII recently pegged this number to be at around 60 to 70 per cent. To bring to our readers a better understanding of the unique HR challenges and intricacies that a family-driven business faces, we have introduced a new section, Family, Inc. As always, we look forward to your feedback to keep improving our magazine.

Happy reading!

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