Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Aggressive Growth Plan on XLRI Radar

From The Telegraph

Jamshedpur, Nov. 21: XLRI is planning to go big in the next few years.

Along with developing academic strength and infrastructure, alumni members of the 1983 batch have decided to set up an endowment fund for the growth of the institute.

These and other plans were shared at one of the sessions of XLRI Homecoming 2009, the annual alumni meet on campus that began today, organised by XLRI Alumni Association.

On the spare eight acres behind the existing campus, the B-school has decided to set up a learning centre, a hostel for 300 students, a 100-seater International Centre, about 15 guest houses and 100 faculty offices — all within five years at a budget of Rs 50 crore.

“We are giving it some time, at least five years. We are first giving preference to classrooms as we feel that is the priority. Things will be bigger and better. We aim to become an institute of global standards as we already have tie-ups with a score of international B-schools from all over the world and many more are in the pipeline. So, development is necessary,” said XLRI director Father E. Abraham, while addressing alumni members at the annual homecoming.

The alumni members have set up an endowment fund of Rs 6 crore. A sum of Rs 10 lakh has already been deposited with the fund to enhance the brand value of XLRI. Alumni members are looking at more research work, management development programmes, support for student activities, faculty strengthening and improved infrastructure with the funds.

The XLRI Endowment Fund (XEF) will be used with the consent of the XLRI board of governors but it will have a secretariat, a fund utilisation committee and a sub-fund utilisation committee to decide on the ventures. A presentation was also given on the workings of XEF, though things are yet to be finalised.

Plans are already afoot to set up new campuses in Calcutta, Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar as these places are more feasible than Jamshedpur.

Accessibility, along with visibility, is one of the guiding reasons now.

“Land acquisition is the major problem, so things need to be chalked out. Nothing is finalised because of accessibility problems. Also there is a lot of work we do here but that is not noticed outside,” said Father Abraham.

Low visibility is a problem for many. While most B-school rankings put XLRI in the top five positions, the board of governors is still not happy with the current rankings and is working out a strategy to compete with other B-schools, especially Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta.

“The competition is mainly with the three IIMs. Otherwise, we are the best private B-school. Also we are managing well as compared to the funding that IIMs receive from the central government. We would try to chalk out ways and strategise to see how we can develop,” added Father Abraham.

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