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Team building activities, panel sessions, sports and campus architecture tour mark Day Two of IIM Bangalore’s FPM/PhD alumni meet

The Director, during his interaction with alumni, advises that as IIMB brand ambassadors they need to excel in their respective spheres, be it in academics, research or industry

3 February, 2024, Bengaluru: “We have some new offerings for our PhD students which include teaching opportunities for them. The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) offers programmes to existing IIMB PhD students and students from other institutes to enhance their teaching skills. Moreover, there are modules to provide international exposure to PhD students. In fact, the Global Network for Advanced Management is coming up with a framework for exchange of Doctoral students. We have also upgraded and enhanced our IT infrastructure for the students. With all these, our PhD students can be at par with the best in the world”, said Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director, IIM Bangalore, while addressing the FPM/PhD alumni during their reunion. 

Prof. RT Krishnan also provided an overview of the institute, its programmes, new initiatives and about IIMB’s second campus at Jigani, adding, “We are keen to offer degree programmes with greater impact and have plans to launch an online programme on Digital Business and Entrepreneurship Research. Meanwhile, our basic objective in offering high quality teaching, research and Doctoral programme, continues.”

Responding to a query from an alum on how they can repay their alma mater, he said, “Be the best in whatever you do, whether it is in academics, research or industry, since you are the brand ambassadors of IIMB. Moreover, you can also get involved in case writing, joint research, etc. and share your specialized expertise with the students.” He also said that a higher quality of administrative support would be a plus for faculty.

IIM Bangalore is celebrating its former Doctoral students with the FPM/PhD alumni meet – a reunion of former students of the Fellow Programme in Management/Doctor of Philosophy of IIM Bangalore, being hosted on 2nd, 3rd and 4th of February 2024 at the IIMB campus. This year’s Doctoral students’ alumni reunion is one of the milestone events commemorating the Golden Jubilee anniversary of the institute, and is being conducted in tandem with the IMR Doctoral Conference 2024 (IMRDC 2024), hosted by IIM Bangalore’s flagship journal IIMB Management Review (IMR) and the Office of the Doctoral Programme of the institute. 

Day Two of the FPM/PhD alumni meet started with a Birding Tour conducted during the early hours of the morning, led by Yogesh Marathe and Prof. G. Shainesh (FPM-92, faculty of the Marketing area of IIMB), the Alumni Tree Planting session, followed by the Director’s Interaction with Alumni. 

Panel discussion: The morning session also included the panel discussion, ‘Crossroads – Trailblazing non-academic careers of IIMB Doctoral Programme alumni’, featuring representatives from the Government, development and business sectors – Dr. K P Krishnan (FPM-99), Dr. Rajkumar Upadhyay (FPM-2007), Dr. Divya Tiwari (FPM-2000) and Dr. Pankaj Bagri (FPM-99), moderated by Prof. Sourav Mukherji (FPM-98), Dean, Alumni Relations & Development and faculty of the Organizational Behavior & Human Resources Management area of IIMB. The panelists discussed their career choices and how the IIMB FPM/PhD guided them in making those choices.

Dr. K P Krishnan shared that he joined the FPM as he was keen on academics. “My interest in working on Public Policy and Regulation makes it necessary for me to be part of the Government, and my bias for implementation took me to the Civil Services. Being in Government still gave me the opportunity to teach. And there is enormous use of the knowledge that I gained from FPM in the Government sector. “ 

Dr. Rajkumar Upadhyay hailed the FPM for the formal training it imparts to enhance the knowledge of its students at various levels. “The training that FPM provides is phenomenally significant in boosting knowledge in framework and methods as well as confidence. The foundation I gained from the FPM, along with the holistic perspective, helped me participate in the policy program of the Government of India. I have applied theories taught in IIMB in Government, which met with tremendous success. Today our focus is on how to put India on the tech map globally. I also teach some classes in IIMB and IIM Lucknow.” Regarding the need for connect between industry and academia, he said, “Today there is a lot of eagerness in Government to connect with academicians and use their expertise.” 

Calling her career choices “random”, Dr. Divya Tiwari said that she joined FPM since she was interested in academics. “I was keen on green supply chains. My interest in sustainability is because there is so much to do in that area, and I think real sustainability will come from the way we produce and consume. The researcher in me woke up after I switched careers to be part of Saahas. The training I earned from my work life and academics helped me thrive in Saahas. If I had not done my FPM, I would not have taken this role; the rigor of designing came from FPM.”

Dr. Pankaj Bagri, the 100th Doctoral student, said that FPM helped him get ready for a career in Analytics, as prior to that he felt he was not equipped to be part of the corporate environment or to teach, lacking real-world wisdom. “FPM helped be in honing my critical thinking and conceptual framework, as well as appreciating management as a holistic discipline. Moreover, I have taken up a variety of roles in my career, thanks to FPM, as the programme makes you open to new experiences and uncertainty.”

Pointing out that the panelists are from diverse sectors who made mostly unconventional career choices, Prof. Sourav Mukherji said, “This is a reflection of how the Doctoral programme itself has evolved.” To the students he advised, “You would often be pushed to focus on the problem statement, writing papers and getting them published. But at some point, you need to take a step back, and focus on learning the process.”

The panel discussion was followed by a brief Q&A session. Prof. U Dinesh Kumar, Dean, Faculty, Chairperson, Data Centre & Analytics Lab, and faculty of the Decision Sciences area of IIMB, presented mementos to the panelists. 

Breakthrough alumni interaction: The next session was the Breakthrough Alumni Interaction, which engaged the alumni in team building activities. 

Campus architecture tour & concert: The day also included a Campus Architecture Tour with Kiran Keswani, author of the book: ‘The Making of a Campus: IIM Bangalore’, which tells the story of the architecture of IIM Bangalore and of the people who have inhabited its ‘spaces’ and made it into the ‘place’ that it is. It shares how this campus came into being and how it has been experienced over time. The book includes narratives built from talking to IIMB’s faculty and staff as well as tells the story of the design and planning efforts of Chief Architect Dr. Balkrishna Doshi, Architect Achyut Kanvinde and Architect Sanjay Mohe towards the making of this campus. The book is designed as a visual commentary on the architecture of the IIMB campus and is illustrated with colour photographs. 

In the evening, a concert was presented by Dr. Radhika Joshi Ray, an FPM-11 alumna.

Other activities: Apart from these, Alumni Reunion sporting activities, including Frisbee, Tennis, Volleyball, Basketball, Badminton, Billiards/Pool, Table Tennis, Squash, Chess and Carrom, are being held on 2nd, 3rd and 4th of February. A group visited the Bannerghatta National Park on 3rd February and a visit to IIMB Jigani campus has been arranged for the concluding day - 4th February 2024.

The entire event involved a lot of networking and camaraderie between the FPM/PhD alumni and the participants of IMRDC 2024. 

Highlights of Day One: The first day of the conference included the welcome address by Prof. Ananth Krishnamurthy, Chairperson, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and faculty of the Decision Sciences area, IIMB, and the official release of the alumni book, ‘Reminiscences: Doctoral Programme’ by Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan. Prof. K Kumar, former IIMB faculty from the Entrepreneurship area, who also led the History Project of IIMB, spoke about the evolution of the Doctoral programme at IIMB. 

The morning session on Day One also included a panel discussion, ‘Flashback – Doctoral Programme at IIMB: The early days, how it evolved and the future’. The panelists were: Prof. T Krishna Kumar (Retd.), Prof. Chiranjib Sen (Retd.), Prof. K Kumar (FPM-87) and Prof. Gopal Mahapatra (FPM-82), faculty of the Organizational Behavior & Human Resources Management area of IIMB. The session was moderated by Prof. Vasanthi Srinivasan (FPM-89), Chairperson, Digital Learning and faculty of the Organizational Behavior & Human Resources Management area of IIMB.

Prof. RT Krishnan felicitated the panel members, which was followed by felicitation of former Doctoral Programme Chairs for their outstanding leadership. Also felicitated were former and current staff of the programme as well as ‘Milestone Markers’ – 50th, 100th, 150th, 200th, 250th and 300th

The day also saw participants enjoying photoshoots, a treasure hunt and the Music Nite by Sunil Koshy. 

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