“When you make good kachoris, people will buy them. You don’t need to market it” – Exclusive Hangout with Prof.Ravichandran – Director of IIM Indore

IIM Indore has been in the news for various reasons. We managed to convince Prof.Ravichandran, Director of IIM Indore to do a Google Hangout with us!

In part 1 of this exclusive interview, he talks about various initiatives at IIM Indore and the rationale behind them.

He speaks very highly of his team that managed to build top-class infrastructure in record time.

He also talks about the challenges of maintaining academic quality across the many programmes offered by the institute and how he plans to address them.

When asked if the unique experiential courses offered to the PGP/EPGP/IPM students could be marketed better, he says that the current focus on execution has probably not allowed enough time to focus on promotion. He also believes that in the end students are the institution’s best ambassadors and they should ensure people know about it.

Prof. Ravichandran elaborately explains the much talked about IPM programme after Std XIIth. He speaks about teaching management in a social sciences setting. He also says that it is far better to work with younger minds and influence them with the right mix of subjects across various disciplines ranging from study of civilizations to literature combined with traditional management subjects.

He shares his point of view on placements and career opportunitites and believes that IIM Indore will be at its peak in 2 years. He also said that while he hopes that students at IIM Indore get the best possible career opportunities, the institution is in the business of imparting education and not in the business of being a placement agency. According to him, the best schools in the world do not have a placement process and Indian schools need to rethink the concept of a formal placement process.

He also said that IIM Indore will soon be accredited by AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). ISB is the only top school to be accredited by AACSB in India.

Prof.Ravichandran was accompanied by the Chief Administrative Officer of IIM Indore Colonel K Thammayya Udupa (Retired) for the hangout. He is also the Chief Vigilance Officer. He can be seen on the left of the screen during the hangout. The hangout was conducted by our founder and IIM Indore alumnus Ankit Doshi.

Watch Part I below (Edited)

Text Transcript to be available soon.
Watch Part II below (Edited)

Text Transcript to be available soon.

In the part – II of this interview, he reaffirmed his committment to establishing IIM Indore’s presence in the Middle East and Gulf region and also believes the PGP programme at Mumbai will bring great benefits to IIM Indore by connecting to industry in the financial capital of the country. In true Ravi C style, on being told that there is a lot of confusion among potential applicants about the two programmes at UAE and Bombay, he says “Confusion is the prerogative of an individual and they should be allowed to have that!”

On a personal front he shared insights on how life is different as a professor and as an administrator. He says that the toughest part of his job has been to bring about a change in the minds of the people.

He refused to talk about the achievements of his tenure and he mentioned that his vision is to be among the top schools in Asia in the next 5 years.

On the burning issue of high EMIs and the restriction on graduates to be able to take risks, he agreed that it was a real problem and that steps need to be taken to simplify this situation. He suggested that students should take up fields that they really want to enter even if it means taking a lower pay packet at the start. He said it is better for the individual in the long term.  In a ligther vein he suggested that PGP participants should marry fellow participants to ease the pressure on loans!

At the end, he wished all Interview call getters of IIM Indore luck and asked them to come and experience IIM Indore!


Read everything about IIM Indore here

10 Things that make IIM Indore special

Interview with IIM Indore’s Prof.Nambudiri

‘Utsaha’ – IIM Indore’s unique rural marketing festival

Meet Prasid Sreeprakash

Meet Saurabh Sengupta – Country Head, Zomato (India)


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Aayush Mazumdar

“When you make good kachoris, people will buy them. You don’t need to market it” – Coming from the director of an iim, thats a sorry statement, especially for one that teaches marketing.

Its basically saying that in a market, no matter what the competition, you don't need marketing – completely false assumption. Well good morning sunshine, rise up and smell the coffee – your institute is not even close to the kind of perfection required to harbour that kind of ill ambitious arrogance.

wonder why world's biggest companies don't think this way even when they have 60% of the market share commanding 30% profit. All of them must be stupid unlike IIM Indore.

Aayush Mazumdar

But have to give it to the guy for foresight.

A few things/Highlights to think about though
1) 120 students added every year – wow!
2) Online Classes soon to happen – Interesting but not necessarily good, you pay for real classes.
3) Another Eastern Europe / Eastern Asia Campus? My My
4) Parity in terms of Education across Campuses – Easier said than done – What about Placements?
5) IIM Indore will become Social Sciences Bent – Interesting Move.
6) Increasing Students directly Proportionate to Infrastructure Improvement.
7) Further Expansion of Programmes
8) Placement Process shall clearly become different in the coming years.

This guy will definitely leave an indelible mark in IIM-Indore's History. But will the marks be largely positive? The jury is still out on that one but I still wish him all the luck.


I think you haven't watched the whole video. The kachori statement is with regards to the advertising or promotion of the experiential learning programmes at IIM I for the PGP students. I find it a perfectly fine philosophy to not market (advertise it). The biggest brands in the world today rely on word of mouth and not advertising. When he says he prefers students and other people talk about it he is probably right. "Its basically saying that in a market, no matter what the competition, you don't need marketing – completely false assumption." The professor did not hint any such thing. This is your assumption and poor interpretaton of the professor's concept. You just read read the headline and commented. Either you have an agenda against the professor or against the institution.

You can use all the sarcasm in the world that you want but remember that Ravi C is a very revered name in the academic circles and among the students of IIM A whom he taught for over 25 years.

I don't know which business school you hail from but you are definitely behind the curve. Let me help you stay relevant in today's times. Read this presentation by Mahesh Murthy. http://www.slideshare.net/maheshmurthy/ro-i-in-so
Please do not get distracted by the title of the presentation again. Focus on the slide about Ad spend to revenue ratio and try and understand the concept. Chalo, at least we introduced you to something useful.

Aayush Mazumdar

wow – thank you for opening my eyes – I am going to get the insight directly from Mahesh himself – I am making sure that happens since you asked.

Also I have to give it to you, how you correlated two completely different concepts – Please reread what I wrote. I am not saying IIPM is the way to go but to say on WOM works as Marketing is absolutely and factually wrong.

Aayush Mazumdar

and beguiling me won't make facts as unfacts – read the second reply as well – if i hadnt see the video i wouldn't have been able to summarize it. can you conflict my summary?

Ravi C could be an excellent Professor and you could be his torch bearer in the army but that doesnt make everything he says or do as right. We have the right to agree or respectfully disagree to what he or you say.


I think my friend his focus is on imparting quality before marketing.
It's hard for a product which does not have an intrinsic value or which provides very little solution to the needs of people to exist in market and hence it requires marketing. Eg :- Pepsi, Coke & Lays which have created market for itself through rigourous marketing.
Have we ever seen an advertisement for Facebook or Google or for a product which is very unique.
So his focus was on being unique.
Marketing is secondary.


Once upon a time when i got selected into EPGP and was unlawfully titled as foreigner and asked for a dollar fee after they had already selected me and taken rs one lakh as fee, I asked the professor why when i still have only Indian passport and have only visited another country on work being looted in name of dollar fee, he quoted ” Sujith, You guys happily to go multplex and eat a five rupees pop corn for fifity rupees with no complaint, but when it comes to MBA you ask for explanation”. I fully understood his argument and decided not to take the course since I am not the kind who goes to multiplex to eat expensive popcorn.

I think this time the professor through this Kachori’s remark intends to say that his institution does not support any placement . You pay hefty fee and you are on your own. All they do is ask you to register with MaFoi consultants paying another popcorn fee .If you can sell your kachori , good for you and credit for the institute’s Kadai.


Superb comments Sujith. Yes its true that B school or for that matter any school is for education and is not a placement cell. Agreed. But then if a student is leaving a job of say 12.00 lakh and pays a fee of say 20.00 lakh, thats a 32.00 lakh investment. Making an FD of the same in 21 years it would become 1.28 crore anyways. The good education is definitely a qualitative term but EMI is definitely not. One has to be clear if education is more pretty or EMI is more ugly. If the quality of my education is good, but i cant repay the loan will the bank write the loan off? May be the school should have reduced the fees , paid the scholarships , arranged for professional placement services and impart strong skills and value system in students. A greatful alumni pool perhaps would have paid more in form of donation. I can’t see that culture in India even though list of IIM alumni turned CEOs is long….