An Interview with Dr. N. Ravichandran

Q1) Sir you are a distinguished name in the field of management. You are well known for your dedication and managerial skills. So what do you think what is the importance of managerial studies for a student? How versatile does a student pursuing an MBA becomes?

Ans-If you asking what are the fundamentals traits that make a personal manager and other not a manager then for this I don’t have an answer because nobody has an answer for this. But I can argue another way around. What does a manager do and others don’t. A manager is basically a person who in a way takes intuition and converts informal system and procedure. Therefore he has got access to tools and techniques by which he can manage risks, plan for growth. He can look at how intuition can be enlarged and how intuition can be formalized. At the end of the day, intuition is the dynamic God. If you are not a management student then you can be successful due to your intuition or may not be successful. A management student has structured intuition which increases his/her chances of success.


Q2) Sir, you started a PGP program at RAK in UAE and in Mumbai. So sir what was the idea behind this program and what were the ups and downs of this journey?

Ans-There are multiple reasons why we went to Ras Al Kamiah in UAE. The first reason was that we wanted to make IIM Indore a little bit more international and a little bit more global so that we could attract global faculty. We wanted to do this quicker and this was one of the fastest possible ways of doing that. Also, international faculty can be located in Dubai, they can come here to teach and then go back. Our students also look for jobs in Dubai and get simulation .some gets fine, hopefully, some good and some very good for there own sake of money and then come back to start their own industries. So what I thought that we will construct a program there in the upcoming years. In this way, we can achieve our goal even faster and better. So it’s an idea of taking our international faculty via Dubai to this place.


Q3) You are currently a professor at IIMA but no one can forget the reforms you brought in at IIIMI. You started the five years integrated management programme IPM at IIIMI. Also, you increased the batch strength too. How did you come up with these ideas?

Ans-The IPM programme was a kind of a philosophical belief, that management is usually well-known in the commercial context, but there is management in another context as well. Therefore, what we are trying that instead of taking a person and putting him in commercial context, we take a person and strengthen him individually and intellectually, make them very sensitive to their social, economic, political environment and when we are done with this we are creating a very wonderful person, then if you ask him to do anything, he will do better and therefore he can know better and work better in commercial context.

The idea of the IPM programme was to strengthen a person intellectually, emotionally, and with environmental aspects. And after all, this allows him to perform in a commercial environment which actually gives him the base, the stamina to stand.


Q4)Sir, what are your thoughts on the present scenario of Managerial studies in India as everyone is just running around for jobs and placements? They are not offering as much as they should to the nation.

Ans- This is something which is not in our control. If you believe in the freedom of action student should have the freedom to do what they want and it is very difficult to interpret what students are capable of doing. The drift from the original objective is very natural. For example, if a person wants to become a sports person and he enjoys sports, train him in sports and eventually end up becoming a sports person. After winning the first medal, second medal or maybe third medal, his focus will shift from enjoying sports to gaining medals. Right or wrong is a matter of opinion, we can always discuss it. It would be a good idea to come back to the originals that are, working on an individual, focusing on an individual make him realize his life better than whatever he does like running a taxi or a company but it would be a great job. So, that is missing and we need to concentrate on the real comfort of an individual so that he can offer the best to the society.


Q5)- Sir if we look at the ranking of our institutions at the global level they are not at par with other institutions. So what do you think where do we lack and what steps are needed so that we could reach the benchmark set up by international institutions?

Ans-In my opinion there are multiple stages in which an institution is formed. The first and foremost ideally a university or institute should focus on a knowledge acquiring the channel. But if you only go for this you will become a monk. Therefore along with acquiring knowledge, one needs to have a practically oriented approach so it would be beneficial for the society. Now it has to be made sure that it is carefully blended. If you do only practical orientation you will not be able to go for knowledge acquiring and vice versa. I think international institutions have been able to do this. In our country, we have often thought our institutes as an activity center, and very often we treat them as an economic center. We seldom had this orientation for knowledge acquiring with an inclination towards practice. That I think is the fundamental difference.  


Q6)Sir, if you would require the students to read one thing before they get graduated, what would it be?

Ans-The most important thing the student should know about is the ability to be successful. I’ll slightly modify your observation and say, reading should not be a one time interest to learn, it should be a lifetime interest.