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IIM sets sights on Chinese varsity for biz acumen

If Chinese goods have flooded our markets — more so in these festive times — what exactly are the reasons behind their popularity? Is it price or quality, or both? Better still, why can’t we replicate their success stories?

IIM-Ranchi is taking the first, baby steps in understanding first-hand one of the world’s largest economies by sowing the seeds of a future tie-up with a university in China to learn the nuances of doing business there.

Back from a trip from China, IIM-Ranchi director M.J. Xavier said they would be inking a formal tie-up with Ocean University of China at Quingdao, a coastal city with temperate climate in Shandong province, any time soon.

“China is one of the strongest and largest economies of the world. Everyone wants to do business in China and India. I visited Ocean University and the authorities there are interested in offering a short-term course on doing business in China,” the IIM- director told The Telegraph.

Xavier, who visited Shanghai and other Chinese cities last week to attend a deans’ conference on “future of management education” organised by Jiao Tong University, said Ocean University was founded in 1924 and has been renowned for its fishery and marine science departments.

However, it also offers courses in other branches of science, engineering and economics, under which MBA studies were offered.

To start with, IIM-Ranchi will send a group of students for a postgraduate executive programme. “Normally,” explained Xavier, “it is a four-month programme, but they have requested us to reduce it to one month. It will be a paid programme for the working executives as well as others in the near future.”

IIM-Ranchi, which started classes here from 2010, has been offering Chinese language classes to students enrolled in basic programmes, while a special course on Chinese culture and business was also taught by an expert from IIM-Kozhikode who had done his PhD from a university in China.

Xavier believes the China experience would prove immensely beneficial for students. “China and India being two economic powers of Asia, all and sundry eye these countries for doing businesses. Students who have completed a course in doing business in China would be the first choice for corporates,” he asserted.

The IIM-Ranchi director added that Indian universities and institutions were known for better management studies and several countries were keen on forging ties with them.

Xavier was among six Indians at the Jiao Tong University conference, which was attended by as many as 240 academics and experts from various countries. They discussed the future of management studies, stressing on various ways to make courses more inclusive and relevant.

IIM-Ranchi is now exploring similar tie-ups with universities in Japan. “I met several Japanese deans, vice chancellors and directors of institutions. They are also interested in similar courses,” he said.