Bridging The Gap Of Learning And Exposure Through International Immersion Program: An Account Of Visit To Greece By IIM Raipur Student
Classroom teaching and field exposure if aligned hand in hand can create invaluable synergy in learning and developing tacit management skills.
Among the different academic programs conducted by IIM Raipur, Post Graduate Program for Working Executives (PGPWE) is specially designed for working executives in a way to fulfill the requirements and challenging demands posed by ever dynamic business needs across the world and nation by sharpening the management skills and evolving a better leader inside the executives. This is one of the most popular academic programs due to its unique concept, design and features and thereby attracts bright, enthusiastic and high-initiative professionals of various streams from different parts of the country. Apart from regular classroom teaching, it consists of international/rural emersion program as an integral part thus providing an opportunity of learning beyond classified boundaries of classes. In order to provide an understanding of macro-level dynamics and the unfamiliar economic environment in an international arena, the students of IIM Raipur are immersed for two weeks in a selected international academic institute, thereby creating a full value creation among the students from international exposure aspect. IIM Raipur has got an excellent collaboration with reputed international business schools situated across the world.
Based on the criteria set by IIM the students of academic session 2014-15 traveled to ALBA Graduate Business School, Athens Greece for two weeks. The objectives of the program were to impart all round learning, experience and overall exposure.
Typically our day at ALBA college started with a well planned schedule from morning 9.30 AM to till 5.30 PM with faculties from different discipline sharing the knowledge of the country and explained about Cultural and heritage, economics, strategy, marketing, human resource, literature and Banking. This facilitated us to understand their culture, vision and human values during formal and informal sessions. The brainstorming session which led to the comparison of overall European and Asian economic aspects was a real eye opener and some exciting conclusions were drawn which made our thought process grow richer over the international domain. As Greece is undergoing severe economic crises, the European Union is keeping a strict vigilance on the overall dynamics and along with International Monetary Fund, providing necessary financial support to overcome. In order to cope up with prevailing economic crises, the Government of Greece is thereby making strategy via policy changing, promoting reduced public spending to increase savings. With the in-depth and insightful discussion with faculties, industry persons and entrepreneurs; agriculture, tourism and shipping emerged as key industry drivers. Like India, Agriculture is one of the major players in Greece economy. Among the different cultivations, olive and its ancillary products are considered as best in quality across the world. Tourism is another robust source of earning in foreign exchange. Greece as a whole and its capital Athens are of historical importance and natural beauty pull many foreign tourists which ultimately contribute to the GDP of the nation. Greece has an advantage of being strategically located on global map whereby shipping industry has got an advantage. The sea ports are an important corridor for transportation to a European country and Greece Island, thus providing another source of revenue.
After completion of each technical session, site visits were scheduled to companies from different domains including Cement, Pharma, IT, Incubator centers etc. It was accompanied by the insightful presentation made by top officials and department heads of the companies that provided head enriching substance for learning. Further, sharing of success factors along with reasoning of doom phase of the company helped us to critically analyze the factors of success and failures.
In our program at ALBA, the exclusive interaction session with a group of 7 to 10 new entrepreneurs with startup business was a confidence building moment. To convert the dreams generated during the professional study and thereafter converting into reality and bring the business model to market was a unique outcome of the interaction. In spite of the fear of failure in business these entrepreneurs had a big spark of hope and inquisitiveness to become successful in business.
A well-planned knowledge cum fun oriented day excursion trip was organized by ALBA to acquaint us on the historical significance of monument of Athens. We visited Acropolis and its Museum, Zapeois, National Parliament situated at Syntagma Square. The concept of Amphitheater and Olympic game originated from Greece during Roman civilization. We were amazed to find a great deal of spiritual and architectural similarities between Indian and Greek ancient cultures. Also, another interesting feature of the country was the high energy driven guard of honor is performed during the time shift change in the Parliament which is always open for the tourist visit. The transportation facility of Greece is equipped with timely and frequently connected metros, trains, trams and highly sophisticated public buses. Be Punctual and to be on time was one of the greatest inherited features of their culture. We also enjoyed Indian food in a couple of Indian restaurants.
Our international immersion ended with a family lunch hosted by Dean along with faculties and staff of ALBA and after group photograph, we dispersed carrying tons of memories of our short association. Talking about the country, I’d say Greece is the cluster of beautiful and exotic islands and we were fortunate to visit this country and learn some important lessons from their culture and way of life.
This article is written by Shashank Saurabh. He is an a Post Graduate Program for Working Executives (PGPWE) student of Indian Institute of Management Raipur, Chhattisgarh.