| TOP NOTCH: The main building of Amity Business School
Weekly dinner dates with CEOs, mandatory military training, and feedback from the 'market' to fine-tune classroom lessons. For students at the Amity Business School (ABS), Noida, exposure to the real world happens in myriad ways. This privately-funded B-school that has just taken in its tenth batch of students is located in an eastern suburb of the capital, a 30-minute drive from Connaught Place, on a particularly attractive campus that, it is said, even recruiters find impressive.
| WHAT IS IT' A private business management school.
WHO'S THE BOSS' Dr Raj Singh is the deputy director general and head of ABS.
WHAT COURSES' PGDM (150 seats), MBA (380 seats), MBA International Business (240 seats), and BBA (240 seats).
HOW TO GET IN' Through a written test, a group discussion and an interview.
HOW ABOUT JOBS' The school has a track record of 100 per cent placement. Alumni are scattered across diverse sectors ó finance, engineering, consumer goods, information technology. Examples of recruiters are Infosys, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Microsoft, LG, Samsung, TCS, and Tata Chemicals.
WHERE TO STAY' ABS has hostels for boys and girls, offered to out-of-town students.
HOW CHEAP IS IT' The cost of the two-year postgraduate programme is Rs 4,10,000, inclusive of the laptop cost. The three-year BBA costs Rs 3,75,000.
GLITTERING ALUMNI: Ritesh Jain, product head, Philips India; Ruchi Pradhan, director, Interra Software; Sandeep Tiwari, product head, LG Electronics; Akanksha Bhandari, business analyst, Ernst and Young; Nirupama Jyoti Syan, manager, Microsoft.
WHERE IS IT' ABS, Amity Campus, Sector 44, Noida. 201303. www.amity.edu/abs.
ABS now has an annual intake of some 1,000 students distributed across several postgraduate and undergraduate programmes in business management. Top school officials say that high flexibility in the choice of specialisation, constant and intense interaction with the corporate sector and a unique mentoring programme provide its management programmes distinct features. In addition to the two-year postgraduate diploma in management and MBA, ABS also offers an MBA in international business. At the undergraduate level, it offers a BBA and a four-year integrated BBA+MBA.
The school offers nine core areas of specialisation in the second-year of the postgraduate programmes: finance, marketing and sales, information systems, operations management, international business, insurance and risk management, entrepreneurship, human resources, and customer relationship management. 'But, even after having picked one core area of specialisation, students are free to mix and match courses from any of the other eight. This provides high flexibility and helps students pursue courses across different disciplines,' says Dr Raj Singh, deputy director general of ABS.
Entrance to postgraduate and undergraduate programmes is through a written test, followed by a group discussion and an interview. Students who've made it say the interview is far more challenging than the written test.
Once in ABS, each student gets a free laptop (its cost is included in the fees). The campus is a wireless one and allows students to access the ABS intranet from their hostel room, school corridors or even on the lawns outside, looking up class assignments or notes from teachers.
The school lays special emphasis on routine interactions with CEOs. Each Thursday, a dedicated forum brings CEOs on campus for a formal, but often freewheeling, discussion on contemporary management practices. And each Friday, 10 students get to have dinner with a CEO. 'These encounters will help students observe certain traits and virtues that can't be taught in classrooms ' vision, an urge to succeed, a style of functioning and dealing with people,' says Dr Ashok Chauhan, ABS founder-president.
All postgraduate students also have to participate in an eight-day military camp where they listen to lectures and participate in exercises. 'It's designed to instil discipline, leadership, team-action and achieving specific task with limited resources,' says Singh. 'Each trait will help the students in the real world. The students also have to study a foreign language ' picking one from Chinese, French, German, Japanese or Spanish.
'We've had 100 per cent placement since the very first batch of 1995,' says Dr Balvinder Shukla, professor of marketing and head of the corporate resource centre. 'There has been steady improvement in terms of the number of offers each student gets and the speed at which the placement process gets completed.'
Dilpreet Sahi, vice-president, ABN Amro, New Delhi, recounts his time at Amity Business School
I joined Amity Business School in 1995, in its very first batch, after a degree in mechanical engineering from the regional engineering college in Nagpur. I had been selected by two other institutions ó Mumbaiís SP Jain and XLRI in Jamshedpur. But I chose ABS as my parents live near Delhi.
Although it was the schoolís first year of operations, we found excellent infrastructure waiting for us from almost the very first day. An impressive building, a large campus, a well-stocked library with just the right books and journals, and an excellent faculty.
Nearly 40 per cent of my batchmates had an engineering background. I majored in marketing, and opted for finance as a minor. We also had to study a foreign language, which seemed just the right thing to do in the era of globalisation. I picked German.
Ours was a fun-loving batch and, in addition to academics, I recall playing loads of cricket in a basement corridor, arranging a fashion show, and organising monthly dance parties ó complete with music and DJs. These bashes used to be the talk of the entire National Capital Region, although they were exclusively for ABS insiders.
On graduating, I took up an offer from Escorts and then moved to another engineering company for a while, before I realised that I was really interested in meeting sales targets. So, I moved to Coca Cola, then ICICI, and now Iím at ABN Amro.
As told to G.S. Mudur