Ahmedabad: Adopting a holistic approach, Samir K. Barua, the new director of the city-based Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Saturday identified four key areas he would focus on for the all-round development of one of India’s most prestigious business school.
Recruitment of quality faculty, creating requisite infrastructure for growth, raising finances to fund the infrastructural growth and searching for quality non-teaching staff would be his priority areas, Barua said in his first interaction with the media here after assuming charge of the B-school.
On the issue of financial autonomy, the director said an institute like the IIM-A ought to be financially autonomous after being in existence for over four decades. Barua, however, mentioned he was not averse to any funds pouring in from different quarters.
“We would like to be in a similar situation where we remain financially independent but funds are welcome from any quarter,” Barua said hinting that IIM-A was not also averse to taking funds from central government. IIM-A has not taken any funds for operational or capital expenditure from the Union government for last five years.
In a reply to whether taking funds from government would anyway hamper autonomy of the institute, Barua maintained he did not believe financial and operational autnomy were in anyway correlated. “We would however like to remain independent for our operational and capital expenditure,” Barua added.
As for sources for funds, he said the institute would bank primarily on raising money as consultancy fees for advisory services it provides to various private and government sector entities. IIMA could also look at raising money from IIM-A alumni, Barua added.
Talking about the student-faculty member ratio, Barua said as of today IIM-A had faculty strength of 85 and requires 15 more. ”The faculty ratio, to my belief, is one faculty member for 12-15 students. So there is a need for increasing our faculty strength,” he added.
As for correcting the pay imbalance for faculty, Barua said he would prefer to wait for the new pay commission to submit its report before taking a call on the issue. ”I am sure the new pay commission would take in to consideration all the aspects in making its recommendations in this regards,” the director said.
When asked whether he would continue policy of his predecessor Dr Bakul Dholakia of recruiting faculty members from abroad, Barua said time was right for institutes like IIMs to attract faculty from abroad. ”We would definitely like to recruit from global institutions if there is surplus available. It would be relatively easier to attract them in today’s context,” he quipped.