Dr. Subir Verma - Director, IMNU, talks about NIRMA University

This blog delves into our interview with Dr. SubirVerma, Director of IMNU. He sheds light on the system of education, opportunities, and activities at Nirma University.
About Dr. Subir Verma
Prof. Subir Verma holds more than 30 years of experience in research, teaching, training and consulting at reputed institutions such as MDI Gurgaon, IMI New Delhi, IIM Ranchi, FORE School of Management and Delhi University. He is an active trainer on Leadership, Team building, Mentorship, HR Analytics and Negotiation skills. He has conducted International Advanced Management Programmes for GGMs and GMs of ONGC, Top Management Programmes for Dena Bank, LancoInfratech and National Insurance, and MDPs for the senior and middle management of Navratnas and Maharatna Public Sector Enterprises as well as reputed companies such as Intel, HP, PepsiCo, etc. Further, he has consulted with Nestle India, SMEC India, Siemens Power, National Geographic, World Bank, and other important bodies.
Q. 1. What is the theme of education at NIRMA University? 
Answer:NIRMA University follows an Outcome-Based Education (OBE). We have developed and nurtured a culture of excellence in teaching, training and research. OBE is practised by the leading B-schools. In contrast to the traditional teacher-centric form of education, OBE is based on a student-centric education system.
Our focus is to have a clear picture of what the students would be able to do at the end of their course. Accordingly, we modifythe curriculum, instructions, and assessment to ensure a productive learning experience. Certain rubrics have been developed to assist faculties in rating the quality of learning outcomes. This way, we are able to evaluate how well the course accomplishesthe educational aims (learning goals). Such measures of learning assure the external constituents (potential students, trustees, public officials, supporters and accreditors) that the institute meets its goals. Finally, the faculty members submit detailed reports on the learning process in their coursesfor further review and continuous improvement of curriculum. Such practices enable Nirma University to remain in the top league of B-Schools.
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Q2: Out of all the other good institutions, how does Nirma University stand out? Why should a student choose Nirma University over others?
Answer:As per the teaching-learning resource,IMNU stands out as one of the top institutes. Our system of result-orientedlearningmakes us different than other B-Schools. A student should choose Nirma University over other B-schools due to following reasons:
  • Close relationship with the corporate world
  • Balance between conceptual frameworks and industry practices
  • Unique field course on ‘Managing Social Projects’
  • Case-study method, Project work, and Simulations as the main pedagogical tools
  • Outcome-based Education (OBE) Pedagogy
  • Special emphasis on the development of soft skills (communication leadership, teamwork, achievement orientation and creativity)
  • Equal Credits for Core and Elective Courses
  • Contemporary Industry-oriented and skill-based electives in 1st Year
  • Weekly seminars and Guest Lectures via Industry and Academic co-partnership
  • Student-driven activities through different clubs and committees
Q3: Do you consider profile over CAT score?
Answer: Yes, we do give higher weightage to a candidate’s overall profile than their CAT score. Personal Interview (PI) and Theme Development & Presentation (TDP) form importantparts of our selection process. This helps usassess the profile and suitability of the candidate for the MBA programme.
Q4: If a student’s CAT percentile falls a little below the cutoff, would you consider his/herprofile?
Answer:Since the students are shortlisted for PI and TDP as per CAT cut-off, we cannot consider the ones whose scores is below the required qualifying one.
Q5: Do you offer any scholarships and if yes, on what basis?
Answer: IMNU extends scholarships to meritorious and needy students. We offer two types of Scholarships i.e. (i) Merit Scholarship (ii) Merit-cum-Means Scholarship. These scholarships are applicable for the students of general category only.
Q6: How do the campus clubs and events add value to students' overall development?
Answer: At IMNU, curricular and extra-curricular clubs/ committees aim at providing a holistic experience to the students. These activities provide a platform to the students for implementing and testing management lessons learnt in the class. Besides, students get to indulge in their creative interests through such opportunities.
Westrongly believe in experiential learning and hands-on training, wherein the students engage in the platforms of different functional area clubs. In order to fulfil the insatiable need of the budding managers, our student-managed clubs meet weekly and organize workshops, training programmes, interactive games, competitions, guest lecturers etc., throughout the year.
Q7: Can you please elaborate on the TDP round of the interview?
Answer: The Theme Development & Presentation (TDP) is a crucial component ofthe selection process at IMNU. In this, the student is given one word based on the number randomly selected by the student. Thereafter, he/she gets around 2 minutes to prepare and 2 minutes to speak on the topic. Through TDP round, the student’s creativity and capability to think and present a topic are evaluated.
Q8: How does Ahmedabad as a city matters to a student taking admission atNirma University?
Answer: Ahmedabad is one of the safest cities in India. Being the heritage city of India, Ahmedabad is full ofgreat and noteworthy public places. Also, the city is a corporate hub of Gujarat and thus, presentsmany corporate job opportunitiesto the students. Overall, Ahmedabad stands well on the grounds of safety, life quality and placement opportunities, which eventually matters to thestudents studying here.
Q9: What is the placement scenario in this pandemic? Do students get equal opportunities in terms of packages?
Answer:Despite widespread predictions of a difficult year, campus placements have kicked off with a bang, as job offers skyrocket and firms scramble to acquire management grads.
Compared to a typical placement season, when it takes months to reach a good number of offers, this year showed a remarkable increasein the number within a short period. Recently, there also has been a rise in thenumber of organizations recruiting marketing and finance professionals. Infact, corporations that formerly participated in campus recruitment are now looking to hire more students.
While successful summer internships witnessed an increasein pre-placement offers, placements have also benefited (PPOs). JP Morgan Chase &Co., TATA AIG, Buhl Data, and others were among the companies that offered PPOs. Other recruiters included Infosys, Axis Bank, CARE Ratings, CRISIL, TCS, HDFC Life, Heidelberg Cement, Smart Cube, Cognizant, ICICI Pru, etc.
This year, students have been provided with a variety of options in terms of sectors and profiles.More than 70 companies visited Nirma University's Institute of Management for campus placements during the first round (IMNU) of placements. The first phase saw a placement rate of almost 85%. While this year's average or mean pay package was INR 10.50 LPA, it was higher than the previous year's average of 9.25 LPA. The median income at IMNU increased this year from INR 9.00 LPA to Rs 10.00 LPA. In the BFSI business, Morgan Stanley offered the highest salary (CTC) of Rs.26 LPA.More than 35 new organizations engaged in the campus hiring process, demonstrating their faith in our student resource. Morgan Stanley, ADP Consulting, Darwinbox, Citi Bank, Kantar, Darwin Box, Optum, Alkem labs, M G Motors, Viacom 18, and Addverb Technologies were among the first companies to visit and hire students from our campus.
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Q10: How should a student prepare for MBA interview at NIRMA?
Answer:An ideal business management student must possess qualities like openness to learn, curiosity, good communication and presentation skills, critical thinking, analytical skills, good interpersonal skills, resilience, ability to work in teams, ability to take initiatives and creativity. During an interview, we assess if the student is innovative, open to learn, able to take the pressure, have the right set of skills and the necessary attitude & aptitude for undergoing the rigorous training for management. In addition to the above-mentioned qualities, a student must have sound domain knowledge which s/he will be applying using management theories, practices, tools and techniques. The student must also be focused on his/her career goal and must carefully follow the events of business world.
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