Located in the heart of Calcutta’s IT hub in Salt Lake’s Sector V, the Unitedworld School of Business (UWSB) aspires to be a “global B-school”. Founded in 2009 by a group economists, academicians, management gurus and senior executives of Indian origin, it is fast developing into a hunting ground for transnational corporate recruiters. Says Tridibesh Bandyopadhyay, director, “We forged alliances with business leaders, entrepreneurs and academicians to create a knowledge workforce that is ready to face the challenges of tomorrow.”
The Indian corporate sector is desperately seeking professionals with problem-solving skills in open economic policies, global sourcing concepts and a liberal trade regime. Unfortunately, management education in India is still a theory based, orthodox academic system. “Barring top B-schools, most institutes have failed to adapt to the fast changing world,” he says.
UWSB students have to attend a month-long international business camp at the institute’s Singapore campus for exposure to consumer behaviour in a developed economy. They also exchange notes with faculty members and students at the campuses in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, New Delhi and Hyderabad. “Our intelligent campus — connected via a virtual private platform with Wi-fi and webcast — helps members interact with each other,” explains the director.
The global perspective, however, doesn’t come in the way of understanding the key driver of the Indian economy: the rural non-farm segment. Says Jayanta Sengupta, dean of academic affairs, “We also focus on the glorious business history of India that dates back to the fifth century BC when trade associations (or shrenis) are believed to have existed.”
Faculty members have been roped in from institutes like Harvard, Yale, Pennsylvania University, the Indian Institutes of Management, Xavier Labour Relations Institute and others. UWSB blends “live market data” with the fundamentals of management. The institute has created several branded projects including X-Press World and RealityWorld. Students have to undergo 20 such projects in the course of their study.
There are two two-year courses: a postgraduate programme in management (PGPM) in marketing, IT, human resources, agri-business, media, finance or international business; and one in financial services (strategic finance, banking and insurance). There’s also a one-year PGPM in business strategy (strategic finance, strategic marketing, strategy and leadership).
To apply to UWSB, you need to be a graduate from a University Grants Commission-recognised college. However, three years’ executive-level corporate experience is required for the one-year course. Aspirants must also have a valid GMAT, CAT, XAT, MAT or ATMA score. UWSB has a “matrix-based” three-step procedure to identify its candidates. Psychometric tests, group discussions and a personal interview are held before the final selection.
A unique feature of the institute is its robust career advisory support or “career coaching programme”. It helps groom a student for a particular specialisation and placement. Says Anamitra Chatterjee, dean, centre for career coaching, “This is to recognise a candidate’s true potential. It helps corporates recruit on the basis of a student’s focus and industry-readiness.”
“Career coaching has helped me better understand my potential and identify my career goals. It helped me clear the final job interview with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC),” says Sneha Gupta, a final-year student.
The several plusses notwithstanding, the courses are not accredited by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) — an issue that may keep some away. The institute, however, argues that by not conforming to AICTE rules, it better prepares students for the industry and open economy. Also, UWSB doesn’t have a sprawling campus. It is housed in two floors of Infinity Benchmark, a swank multi-storeyed building. “That’s deliberate. We try to instill a sense of corporate reality in our students from the very beginning,” sums up Bandyopadhyay.
WHAT IS IT?
A pan-India management institute
WHO’S THE BOSS?
Tridibesh Bandyopadhyay is the director
where is it?
Infinity Benchmark, 10th floor, Block EP and GP, Sector V, Salt Lake, Calcutta-700091
Phone: (033) 39495000
Industry-ready courses, corporate environment, career advisory support
It’s a new venture, no AICTE approval