Mera State Mahaan - Regionalism at IIMs


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Dipak Rane

Nice article. One thing I like about this write up is that the writer has not tried to sugarcoat this bitter truth anywhere. Yes this is a reality. Sad thing is that it runs equally deep, if not more, in well educated people. Though I think, we have adopted federalism. In one way it is good and we need to respect that. 'Nationalistic' feeling should not end up in disrespecting or demeaning regional tongue/culture. But the way we see this kind of Groupism as mentioned in case of top consulting firm, I don't think it has to do anything with anything with respect or any greater good thing, it is plain selfishness. What worries me is it's acceptance level. It is everywhere and not even considered as wrong. Regional facebook groups do seem a not so harmful idea. But yes, it can become a platform for promoting such regional/cast based emotionally charged calls. Still it can be a good idea if they are well regulated. More difficult thing here is to find ways to tackle it, as it is quite clear that education is not the one.

26 May, 2012 |


I will be joining IIM this year,so I don't have any such experience.But since I have work ex.,I experienced similar regionalism in my company.Initially it was limited but later on it became ugly.Our VP used to change senior management every year.It resulted into drastic results for company.He projected many people from other states as scapegoats,transferred them onsite,severed their families & ultimately ruined their personal & job life.After 1 year,the whole senior managment was from one state.Middle management was from other state & rest of the employees from one state.I won't mention the names of the states as it will fuel heated discussion here.I faced severe politics,ill treatment from them just because I was from other state.But I observed one thing:If you have guts,& show your business potential,then you will get better role.Sometimes,sandwiched management in which reporting is to people belonging to different states is helpful as it stops favourism & halts promotion process.I certainly don't expect my batchmates to be biased on the basis of a region.Let us see...hoping for the best!

26 May, 2012 |


nice..i agree completely..regionalism has truly and sadly become inherent in our, job, competition..its everywhere..donno really wht can be done abt it though..

27 May, 2012 |

Neutral Junta

While I agree to some extent on what you have written, I also feel you have been too critical about regionalism. When the batch size if small like less than 200 , you have the opportunity to interact with many. However when it grows to sizes such as 400+ its really difficult to interact with everyone. There regionalism provides a bridge to interact with 40-50 of the same region. However if someone restricts himself to only that group its bad and shows narrow mindedness. I know how coteries'(wont name which region) formed at certain colleges help students to win elections easily even when hardly people know the guy or girl. This is because of strong affiliation to a group. If you take regionalism as a kind of mentor-ship thing without restricting your horizons its not bad. Where it becomes bad is when you seek undue advantage or favor someone based on it.

27 May, 2012 |

+Read Replies (1)

Ankit Doshi

I have made clear what I think is harmless and what is not in the article. I don't think what I have written suggests that there should be any restriction on mentorship or using regional connect to create a bridge.

28 May, 2012 |


Is it really that different from trying to increase the count of people from your alma mater in your organization which is also widely considered as a good enough reason to give somebody preferential treatment?

27 May, 2012 |

+Read Replies (1)

Ankit Doshi

While I accept your point and agree that BSchool nepotism is not good either, there is a difference between 'getting access' and outright bias in favour of someone. In most mature corporate organisations, you may get access to people because you come from the same region or share a common alma mater, but final selection will depend on approval by multiple people and qualification of certain basic criteria on ability/past performance/strength of relationships etc.

28 May, 2012 |


yeah India is such a diverse country and that's why we call it a subcontinent,which provides a the best learning experience. People try to be in comfort zone(for their own reasons) by forming groups(remember : unity is strength) ,be it regional or caste or class or college whatever based. And i don't think people in IIM's are forming regional groups in a narrower perspective ,they may be having their own set of reasons for forming groups,but if interest groups are contributing positively its a good phenomenon.

31 May, 2012 |

Hemant Shrivastava

I would not take such a paranoid view about the phenomena; but with my tongue- in- cheek can say that such things do happen and we see this all around-see a group of benagalis, punjabis, tamilians, kannad-name it and you would find that birds of the same feather flock together. Yes admittedly a cosmopolitan background is supposed to obliterate such parochial identities, but alas this is not to be! The writer must acknowledge that it is too human, what with all our foibles, whether you are in a B-school or not. Not very long ago a nation was up in arms against the world on racist ground. However strong your intellectual predilections be it is but natural to fall prey to such emotions-hope i am not sounding too apologetic about it but the point is that let us not be carried away by it. aTake it with a pinch of salt.Yes such vigilant citizenry would force such divisive issues to run subterranean.

2 Jun, 2012 |

tanay gurjar

People have an inherent trust and get along more easily with people from the same region as them. Also in B-schools, where students live away from their families for a cpl of years, they get attached to the linguistic credentials of a batch mate (this happens more so in the case of freshers, i have seen).....the only thing is that this comfort zone should not take the shape of favouritism later on....and also this thing is more prevalent in certain communities more than others...although nothing against them, but i guess the explaination lies in their culture being a bit more different than the average "indian" culture that we all can relate to!

23 Jun, 2012 |

sumit Singh

So true!! any central level educational institution...the most beautiful part is the cultural diversity. This cultural diversity is a natural phenomenon,as the best or the most competetent people of a group make it to the institution. Interaction amongst such a group enriches the group as a whole. But as i have always seen many/most people try to look for regional similarities as they feel more connected to such peers in a group, even though this habit is just a way to escape interaction with an unknown group which could be all together better than the regional group the person belongs too. Recently i was going through a video posted by INSEAD singapore campus by the admissions committee on youtube and it showed that INSEAD does not place more than one student from a particular country in a study group, so a particular study group in INSEAD has all students from different regions. I think thats a real test for group work and great way to develop team work remove and regional bias. Maturity which helps to do away with regional bias can be attained by a person only when he/she leaves a group and decides to go out alone and feel free to meet and understand people irrespective of such biases.

21 May, 2015 |