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XLRI: 'Shaping Management Education Since 1949'


XLRI - Xavier School of Management Director E. Abraham, S.J, speaks to People and Management Editor-at-Large Alankar Srivastava on the 68-year-old management school’s brand, education, relevance of international collaborations, advancement in technology, and much more. Excerpts...

Thanks for being with us. Please tell us about the unique academic programmes that XLRI offers.

Established in 1949, XLRI is India’s oldest B-School. For over 6 decades, the curriculum and pedagogy at XLRI has constantly evolved in line with industry needs in particular and the economy at large whilst striving to shape management education by giving utmost importance in curricula to ethical and socially responsible aspects of management.

In addition to its portfolio of full-time programs, Flagship Management programs in Business Management, Human Resource Management and General Management, XLRI also offers programs for varied segments of students and working professionals by way of part-time and virtual interactive learning.

Students are encouraged to apply theoretical learning viz; case studies, research methodologies, frameworks, etc., to solve real-life management challenges facing private, public and non-profit sectors of the economy.

The Programs

PGDM (Business Management) - XLRI offers a 2-year full time programme on Business Management; on completion, candidates are conferred with Postgraduate diploma in Business Management (PGDBM).

PGDM (Human Resource Management) - The Institute offers a 2-year full time Programme in Human Resource Management on the completion of which, students are conferred with Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management. The HRM course is the oldest and among the most prestigious of the Institute’s teaching programs.

PGDM (Global MBA) - A 2-year, full-time programme in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University (USA) and Tongji University (China).

PGDM (GMP) - The General Management Program (GMP) is a flagship full-time, 15-month residential MBA programme offered by XLRI aimed at re-engineering the skills of practicing managers and executives with substantial industrial experience.

GMP witnesses a blend of seasoned professionals (entrepreneurs, doctors, scientists, chartered accountants and bankers) from a wide array of sectors such as manufacturing, energy and infrastructure to name a few. XLRI’s proficiency in management education and the hands-on experience brought in by students chosen after a rigorous admission procedure makes GMP one-of-its-kind in India.

Part-time, 3-year Business Management program for working Executives and Entrepreneurs - Popularly known as ‘BM Evening Program’ for working executives and entrepreneurs, it is an AICTE approved program and culminates in a Postgraduate Diploma in Management.

Post Graduate Programme for Certificate in Entrepreneurship Management (PGP-CEM) - The Post Graduate Programme for Certificate in Entrepreneurship Management (PGP-CEM) is a full time 6-month program in the domain of entrepreneurship management; it is designed and developed by Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) of XLRI to provide competency-based education to aspiring entrepreneurs with a view to advance entrepreneurship in the country.

Certificate Programme in Agri-Business Management (PGPABM) in association with IKisan - A joint 6-month online self-learning Certificate Programme in Agri-Business Management. The objective of the programme is to supplement your agricultural knowledge with business skills to enhance your effectiveness.

Fellow Programme in Management (FPM) - FPM is a full-time, residential Doctoral level (Ph.D.) programme. This programme trains prospective scholars to become highly skilled and innovative researchers and teachers in various aspects of management. It primarily aims at preparing students for careers as faculty members at premier academic institutions.

Executive Fellow Programme in Management (Exec-FPM) - The Exec-FPM is a part-time, non-residential, doctoral program that has been designed to cater to the scholarly needs of working executives/managers/faculty members/researchers.

• XLRI offers a portfolio of consolidated 12 months Certificate Programme under the Virtual Interactive Learning (VIL) arm in different functional areas of Management, such as ‘Business Management’, ‘Human Resource Management’, ‘Logistics and Supply Chain Management’, ‘Retail Management’, ‘Sales and Marketing Management’ across the country, with the help of two different technology partners - Hughes Communication India Ltd; and Reliance World. After successful completion of the program, students are awarded with a ‘Postgraduate Certificate’.

Management Development Programs (MDP) - XLRI has been a pioneer in developing and offering short duration Management Development Programmes (MDPs) with a 4 decade enviable standing in the premier roster of B-schools in India. These MDPs are designed keeping in view the ever changing demands on business/professional executives. The programme content of even the standard MDPs is constantly reviewed and changes made therein on a continuous basis. The objective of the MDPs is to help improve management systems and practices in India and other countries in South Asian Region by providing relevant training to the executives of different sectors of the economy operating at different levels in the organisational hierarchy. The participants are equipped with the latest tools, techniques and skills spanning different streams of management such as General Management, Human Resources, Organisational Behaviour, Marketing, Finance, Operations Management, Information Systems, Strategic Management and Industrial Relations. XLRI is offering around 80 MDP programmes covering all functional areas.

In terms of brand, placements, quality of education, etc, how does one B-school differentiate itself from others?

Every B-School serves the same purpose - to provide business/management education to aspiring business leaders. There is, however, a certain difference between the institutes.

There are many courses available in good colleges and universities across the world that deliver the best in terms of business knowledge, policy, implementation methodologies, procedures, competition, and types of industries. Each college has its own unique course content and duration to complete the course, but the most important of all this is to deliver the best, complete and updated management education. No two MBA programs are absolutely alike and even though they teach the same basics, they do not offer the same syllabus.

Every good institute carves out a reputation for itself. The key drivers of reputation and thus potential points of differentiation are often career success of students, teaching methodology, rankings, accreditation, high quality teaching staff and a good value for money.

Brand value of a B-school can also be determined to an extent by the value given by the industry to its students. Another parameter can be salary levels and profiles offered at different schools by recruiters. Historically, educational institutions of repute have always given due importance to holistic branding, which in turn helped enhance their reputation and standing as institution brands trusted by stakeholders.

XLRI, founded in 1949 and India’s oldest business school, has for over 60 years diligently strived to uphold and enhance our reputation and standing with a view to attract talented students, accomplished faculty & professionals and also reputed organisations for placements and life-long executive education. XLRI, the oldest management school in India was founded in 1949 by Jesuit fathers originally from America with a unique vision to be a partner in young India’s growth as a fledging nation, which had just attained freedom from the British. Over the last 60 years, XLRI has imparted world-class management education with a distinctive emphasis on shaping business leaders who are responsible and ethical in their workplace and contribute their mite in creating a sustainable future. XLRI is perhaps India’s first management school to have Managerial Ethics and Sustainable Development as compulsory courses for all the students. With a view to sensitise the students to the challenges of rural India, a 3-day village exposure visit at the beginning of all flagship programs is compulsory. Thereafter, as a part of their learning regimen, projects are undertaken by students to help alleviate the challenges of the villagers and semi-urban population in and around the institute.

XLRI is a Signatory of PRME - Principles for Responsible Management Education. The PRME are inspired by internationally accepted values such as the principles of the United Nations Global Compact.

A New Vision + Mission + Values Statement: XLRI unveiled a new vision statement with a firm intent to be an institution of excellence nurturing responsible global leaders for the greater common good and a sustainable future. Perhaps for the first time, a B-School has stated upfront that it will be guided by the following values:

* Ethical Conduct
* Integrity and Trust
* Passion for Excellence
* Sensitive Social Conscience
* Inclusiveness and Tolerance
* Creativity and Innovation
* Global Mindset

XLRI has earned accreditation for its flagship management and doctoral programs by AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) in 2016. This is the second international accreditation for XLRI after Association of MBAs (AMBA), which XLRI had received in 2015. With this, XLRI joins a select group of global business schools to have received AACSB accreditation for its doctoral program. XLRI has also earned the HRD Ministry’s prestigious National Board of Accreditation (NBA) for its flagship programs.

Highlight the relevance of international collaborations; how do they matter to a B-school?

With the business world rapidly growing across borders, it has become essential for corporate executives to develop a broader global mindset. Under these circumstances, Global MBA programmes or students outreach programmes have become necessary in creating global business leaders. Students are getting opportunities to gain first-hand experience of organisations in other countries through internships, to be well versed in different cultures and broaden their world view, thus enabling them to be relevant and effective in the international business domain.

How does the advancement in technology changing the manner in which B-schools are run and education is imparted?

Social media, dominance of mobility, cloud computing, and big data analytics are major themes that are forcing higher education sector to change the way they operate on a day-to-day basis. Beyond pure-play hardware and software, this sector should march towards embedded systems in combination of major themes mentioned above - also called SMAC. The cloud has rapidly established a new benchmark in terms of how easy, quick and flexible solutions should be available to all its stakeholders, and it puts in alignment higher education varsities and industries in different countries from a whole new perspective. The spread of smart mobile devices has led to rapid growth in augmented reality. Education sector should take advantage of these trends to drive growth and accelerate their innovation agenda - to provide superior learning experience.

Educational institutions require cost-efficient comprehensive solutions with robust Wi-Fi in order to offer all the advanced facilities with best possible secured capital investment. Since campuses of any higher education institute are highly bandwidth hungry, every institute should go for dual band 11a/b/g/n/ac access points with centralised WLAN controller. It eliminates the interferences while handshaking with public Wi-Fi because manually it is now impossible to nullify those interferences.

Today, the users require a seamlessly roaming facility to access internet from lecture halls to library to labs and residential areas where each user uses 3-5 gadgets (smartphones, tabs, laptops, kindle, smart TVs, desktops) to be connected over the internet. As these devices devour bandwidth, colleges and universities are struggling hard to keep up with the bandwidth demand.

At XLRI, we aim to enable all the students, faculty and staff to access full range of resources needed in the learning and teaching experience; to connect people, processes, and content through the effective use of reliable information, computing, and telecommunications technologies. We regularly enhance our current information systems and develop new services to bring information to our users at the time and point of need. Our strategy includes providing smart teaching classrooms/study areas, student/faculty/staff development facility, and fully equipped research and computer labs; stepping into cloud computing and online sharing of resources with top global universities and strengthen robust security in order to provide a large range of services within a relatively unrestricted and flexible system.

In this regard, we have installed the systems and procedures to ensure the safety and prevention of unauthorised access or damage to computers using wireless networks.

Some of our mobility/enterprise solutions and applications are:

AIS - Academic Information System: An open source in house ERP software being used by the institute since last 15 years for managing the various academic activities and knowledge sharing

e-MDP: An e-learning digital platform provided by various technical partners for delivering the programmes over a live two way audio-video platform facilitating the flexibility and convenience of learning from anywhere.

XL Dock: A mobile friendly android application for the users downloaded through Google Apps in order to access class schedule and other instant notices.

• A most comprehensive payment gateway application for fee collection.

• Integrated Campus wide Voice Communication with latest SIP enabled IP-based communication server: This enables us to accommodate the extended future requirement of telecommunication requirement of the institute.

What is the importance of diversity in the student and faculty base?

We do not believe in diversity for diversity’s sake. Hence, gender, educational, work experience based diversity is rather restricted way of looking at it. For us, diversity is in terms of ‘thinking’. There have been instances that students from entirely different backgrounds thinking very similarly while students from same educational background having a different way of thinking. Diversity helps create a classroom environment where spirited debate and differing opinions and viewpoints can be used to encourage innovation. Regardless of where the innovation is being applied, it comes about more easily when you have a group of people who think about the problem differently. If everyone comes from the same background and thinks the same, they tend to come up with the same conclusion. We also think that diversity needs to be looked at many other dimensions – such as rich-poor, urban-rural, east-west, language-emotions. We have constantly tried to capture this broad-based understanding of diversity in our institution.

Our entrance exam XAT has been following a multidimensional testing framework that is designed to meaningfully assess the aptitude of candidates for future business success. We follow the pen & paper format, in order to ensure equal opportunity to all candidates. The examination focuses on a multi-dimensional evaluation structure and fairness, to assess aptitude of future business leaders.

Our world-class faculty with its commitment and deep sense of service delivers the curriculum very effectively. XLRI tries its best to recruit the best faculty, induct them properly and help them to imbibe XL culture and values and whilst striving to serve the students and industry with great dedication. They are also deeply involved in research and consultancy. Their involvement in industry makes their teaching very relevant and current. XLRI has periodic workshops for faculty development. The XLRI-CORNELL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY WORKSHOP: RESEARCH QUALITY, RESEARCH PRODUCTIVITY, AND INDUCTIVE QUALITATIVE METHODS FOR MANAGEMENT RESEARCH was held during June 6-10, 2016 at XLRI Jamshedpur. The primary purpose of this contemporary workshop is to provide faculty and doctoral student participants with approaches and methods to enhance the quality of their research, in order to publish their work in top-ranked journal.

What are the challenges that students face when it comes to financing their B-school education?

Many banks extend education loans at competitive rates and lenient payment terms. Students from premier B-Schools find it easier to pay back their education loans since their take home salaries are very good.

What kind of industry-tie ups does XLRI has?

XLRI has always enjoyed a very good and long-term rapport with the industry. Every year, we see an enthusiastic recruitment drive with steadily increasing recruiters from across industries in our campus.

XLRI has been organising and participating in various industry-led events that provide platforms to our students to come face-to-face with the industry and its leaders. Some such events organised by XLRI are:

INSIGHT: The annual Consulting Conference that was attended by Mr. Krishna Kumar Natarajan, President NASSCOM, among other business leaders last year.

Annual Finance Conclave - ‘Gnosis’ in Mumbai: The Conclave addresses existing dilemmas of the finance industry and new challenges that would impact the future evolution of the sector and its influence on the Indian economy.

National HR Conference: It brings industry leaders and academia to a common platform and addresses some of the most potent concerns faced by the industry today and would discuss several aspects of people management providing a holistic view of the realm of Human Resource Management.

National Convention on Responsible Leadership: It brings together participants from different industries, students and academic veterans on a common platform and discusses leadership instances in forms of cases to highlight leadership qualities such as honesty, brutally pragmatic and going beyond the much appraised people, profit and planet paradigm to showcase genuine leadership grit.

National Conference on Social Entrepreneurship: It brings together social entrepreneurs, development sector professionals, policy makers and academicians on the same platform to discuss and share their experiences. Jointly organised by FrArrupe Centre for Ecology and Sustainability and XLRI’s students’ committee for social initiatives, SIGMA, the conference showcases various social ventures that made significant impact in creating livelihoods for deprived women and physically challenged people in the rural areas; in providing vocational skill training and placement to urban poor and numerous other initiatives that have provided support in ecosystem to this sector.

A 3-day long GIZ Aarohan Workshop on ‘Ecosystem Development and Capacity Building for Social Enterprises in India’: It aims at improving the support infrastructure for social enterprises & social incubation initiatives. The workshop is anchored by FrArrupeCenter for Ecology & Sustainability, XLRI. The initiative is launched by Aarohan Ventures, CIIE in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaftfür International eZusammenarbeit (GIZ).

‘Guru Mantra’- My Entrepreneurial Journey’: An Interactive session with social entrepreneurs. Organised by FrArrupeCenter for Ecology & Sustainability at XLRI, the session witnesses leading social entrepreneurs sharing their success stories with students.

International Workshop on Inclusive Finance: It witnesses industry leaders and academia sharing the stage and discussing various prospects and challenges in financial inclusion through series of special plenary sessions along with panel discussions and case study presentations by leading industry experts and business leaders deliberating on the best practices and evolving framework in financial inclusion, addressing the challenges faced while implementing the financial inclusion initiatives by the government. At the event, XLRI also felicitated the innovators in the domain of inclusive finance who won the national level competition Innovation4Impact.

Enlighten us on the kind of companies that hire from XLRI campus?

XLRI has been having formal placement process in place for quite a few decades, and the institute has been securing 100 percent placement every year.

XLRI has placed its current outgoing batch of 2014-16, the largest batch to ever sit for final placements in the history of XLRI.

The final recruitment process saw participation from 132 recruiters, inclusive of 36 first time recruiters and 386 offers were made for a batch of 361 students.

The median offered to the batch is INR 18.00 lakh per annum while the average is INR 18.5 lakh per annum both an increase over the last year.


In continuation with the trend from the recently concluded Summer Internship Placements, the CRP was marked by a good presence of recruiters from the financial sector domain. Recruiters from the BFSI space included Citibank, Development Bank of Singapore, Goldman Sachs, ICICI Bank, Standard Chartered and Yes Bank. ICICI Bank was the largest recruiter with 21 total offers. Kotak Mahindra and Karvy visited for the first time; other companies also visited campus offering PE, VC and IB roles.

Marketing /Operations and Human Resources

The FMCGs have been the forte of XLRI over the years. This year was no different and XLRI has again re-established its strength as an FMCG destination. Asian Paints, Colgate Palmolive, GSK CH, Heinz, HCCB, ITC, Kellogg’s, Mondelez, Nestle, PepsiCo, Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever among others offered roles in Sales and Marketing and HR functions. ITC was the largest recruiter in the FMCG space.

The media sector too made its presence felt with Star TV rolling out the second highest number of offers at 12, and opening up Sports Marketing role. Airtel, Ericsson, Vodafone and Telenor represented the Communications and the Networking space while Samsung recruited from the Consumer Durables sector here at XLRI.

Future Group, Lodha Group recruited students from the HR function.

Ola Cabs, Uber, Tata Steel, Reliance Industries and Zensar offered operations related roles including supply chain and procurement.

General Management

General Management once again was one of the preferred sectors on campus with major industry players such as Aditya Birla Group, Mahindra & Mahindra, Reliance Industries, RPG and TAS offering a large number of roles in this area.


The consulting domain saw the active participation of industry majors such as Accenture Strategy, Capgemini Consulting, Cognizant Business Consulting, Deloitte, EY, Everest Group, Gallup, KPMG, McKinsey and Company, Peoples Business Group, Price Waterhouse Coopers, The Boston Consulting Group, and Vector Consulting and Zensar. International roles were also offered to students.


Technology and ecommerce were the other highlights with some of the key recruiters being Call Health, Flipkart, Microsoft, Ola Cabs, Paytm, Samsung, Tech Mahindra and Wipro, which offered roles in program management, sales & marketing, HR and operations.


E. Abraham, S.J, Director, XLRI - Xavier School of Management








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