Thought Leadership


This is the fourth Pillar of the Seven Anchors of IFIM 4.0 which include others like Grooming T-shaped professionals aligned to Industry 4.0, Holistic Development, Enhanced Learner Success, Internationalisation, Impact to Business and Society and Industry Integration and Skills Enhancement for Professionals.

The challenge for any business school is to create value for all its stakeholders especially the students and their prospective employers. It is therefore essential for the business schools to adopt a strategy that tightly links teaching and research orientation of students to enable them to be lifelong learners. However, it is critical for a business school to position itself on the 2*2 matrix shown below.

IFIM Business School has positioned itself as a “Professional School” (please refer Figure 1.1 below) which emphasizes teaching pedagogy and organizational impact in preference to scholarly impact and research on the vertical and horizontal axes. It is, therefore, the positioning our Business School assumes that is aligned to our vision of nurturing continuously employable professionals. As per Pillar 1 mentioned above, IFIM Business School is focused on grooming T–Shaped professionals aligned to industry 4.0 with career opportunities in new-age industries.

A certified Business School should also ensure research practice orientation. It is essential that the Business School produce Intellectual Contributions (IC) and also provide Thought Leadership (TL) in the areas required by business. Such research outputs should not only be relevant for students building depth in a knowledge area but also found relevant and leading edge by Corporate Leaders and Practicing Managers. This approach will ensure that the Management domain Research remains relevant and useful to Practitioners for finding good placements as well as remaining curious and for ongoing learning for maintaining their edge.

To quote Peter Lorange of IMD in his book : Thought Leadership meets Business

“Relevant, practitioner-oriented research: There must be a strong research commitment, which is translated rapidly into teaching and ultimately into thought leadership in teaching. Furthermore, the research needs to be relevant to practitioners; it is no longer enough to teach conventional “old truths.” Although academia often looks down on research that is more eclectic, this is often exactly the kind of propositional knowledge that practitioners can under- stand and can learn from in the two-way lead and be led process.”

Areas of Focus for Thought Leadership

A defining feature of any good professional school is how it is making difference through its research activities and thought leadership so that the school becomes a respected authority in the area. IFIM Business School has identified three distinct areas for thought leadership. IFIM Business schools aims to create, develop and disseminate ICs in these three areas that have impact on practice, teaching and scholarship.

The three areas of Focus in Thought Leadership for IFIM Business School are as follows:

  • Service Excellence
  • New age startups / Industries
  • Business Responsibility & Sustainability

To develop thought leadership in the identified areas, faculty are collaborating with NGOs, Industry, other academicians and students from executive programs to develop ICs in the three identified areas with the objective of becoming expert in those areas. The Thought Leadership model is given below:

Figure 1.4: Thought Leadership Model (IFIM Business School)

To encourage though leadership and create the ecosystem for industry relevant research, Research Resource Centre has following objectives:

  • New Knowledge Creation through the IC activities of the faculty and Centres of Excellence.
  • Supporting the IC Activities of the faculty and the Centres for establishing thought Leadership in the impact areas of a) Practice, b) Scholarship and c) Pedagogy, to ensure maximum impact and visibility of the faculty & the Business School.
  • Leveraging our international partner school relations, international faculty and scholars in residence to strengthen and promote joint research with IFIM faculty members.
  • Promote high impact industry relevant cutting-edge research and publish ICs.
  • Organizing workshops and seminars with participation from leading Academicians & Scholars.
  • Dissemination of Research through Working paper series which will lead to publications.
  • Enhancing employability (linked to the mission of the school) and Innovation quotient of students through active participation in RI and Research Activities across the Centres of Excellence.
  • Working closely with Centres of Excellence for development of thought leadership by providing required support.
  • Ensuring & Exceeding Targets required for qualifications of International Rankings & Accreditations.
  • Revamping and Repositioning of IFIM’s FOCUS journal into a Practice Oriented Research Journal

Centres Of Excellence

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better” - Pat Riley.

In order to become great leaders, it is absolutely essential to inculcate, within students, the habit of striving for the best. In areas of stiff competition - ability, attitude and endurance are true indicators of a student’s potential.

As these factors become our area of focus, IFIMB enhances a student’s learning experience by further improving given facilities.

Each centre is steered by a Chairperson who is elected among the faculty members.

Centre for Continuous Employability

The Centre for Continuous Employability assists students with career counseling, placements and internships; in addition to managing alumni, corporate relations and innovations in Executive Education.

Centre for Continuous Employability

The Centers of Excellence in Entrepreneurship Development helps students and aspiring entrepreneurs with training, mentoring and incubation of start-ups.

IFIM Business School aims to be the most sought after destinations for quality management education and hence in line with this vision, the centers of Excellence for Entrepreneurship Development envisages the following:

Vision: The center aspires to be one of the most sought-after destinations for budding entrepreneurs. The center envisages the percolation of entrepreneurial mindset across the institute leading to a thriving ecosystem for nurturing entrepreneurship.

In line with the mission of IFIM to nurture holistic, socially responsible and continuously employable professionals, the institute’s agenda is to create an ecosystem that allows students to develop into enterprising citizens. This entails creating opportunities for students to learn, experiment and execute their ideas for business ventures that add value to their own environments.

Mission: The Center aims to build an empowering ecosystem that freely admits and nurtures candidates with entrepreneurial mindset by helping them set-up ventures, learn from experiential pedagogy and obtain access to legal, financial and mentoring support.

In pursuit of building such a system, the centers of Excellence - Entrepreneurship Development (COE - ED) at IFIM will pursue the following objectives –

  • Increase number and strengthen quality of entrepreneurial activities on the campus (short terms and long term ventures, campus ventures, talks, panels, workshops etc) to allow percolation of entrepreneurial focus across all programs.
  • Cultivate an ecosystem of supporting mentors, financiers and legal aids.
  • Develop instructive programs that enable budding entrepreneurs to make educated decisions.
  • Develop innovative pedagogies for training entrepreneurs.
  • Develop intellectual capital in the area of entrepreneurship in terms of research, study materials and instruction materials including but not restricted to cases, exercises, activities and simulations.
  • Develop a self-sustaining incubation center.

The CoE – Entrepreneurship Development pursues its objectives in three main verticals -

  • An important pillar of the center is the intellectual capital developed by means of courses and programs offered by the institute. The center aims to attract entrepreneurial minds through the specialized courses offered to students inclined towards entrepreneurship. The idea is to nurture and kindle these minds in to setting up and growing ventures.
  • The central pillar of the center is the incubation center which facilitates and houses the potential start-up entrepreneurs to experiment with their ventures.
  • The third function of the center is to develop a network of experts as mentor, advisors, funder to help incubatees with successfully launching their ventures.

Centre for Continuous Employability

Centre of Excellence in Banking (CoEB) aims at (i)Imparting of knowledge on the best banking practices for the students and the industry, (ii) Taking lead for research activities on the contemporary banking topics and (iii) Carrying out proactively knowledge dissemination in banking related areas at national and international platforms.

CoEB endeavours for imparting of knowledge on the best banking practices embedded with the latest regulatory guidelines and theories. A new Course for the 1st time by any B-School in the country, “MSME Financing” (F316) was designed and on approval from Board of Studies, has been introduced in the year 2019 for PGDM 2018-10 batch. This

course focuses on the issues & challenges for MSMEs; the financing options from traditional Banks & Financial Institutions; and other financing instruments available for MSMEs.

The center is continuously engaged in research activity and has 15 publications within its fold by Dr. Rajendra Kumar Sinha (Chairperson). In addition, various activities undertaken as hitherto will continue to be pursued with vibrancy and focused efforts. Activities relating to Index on Service Excellence in banking services have been undertaken. A presentation to SBI, HDFC Bank, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank has been made on pilot survey in Retail Banking Index on Service Excellence.

In addition, the Centre of Excellence in Banking, IFIM Business School has been accredited by Indian Institute of Banking & Finance (IIBF) and signed a MoU with IIBF on 27th November 2019. Also, under the guidance of the centre, a super-specialisation in Banking for PGDM 2019-21 batch is launched.

Centre for Continuous Employability

The Centers of Excellence in Business Analytics helps people understand how to manage large amounts of data and subsequent pattern analysis, opening up a plethora of career options like business analysts, data scientists, information analysts and project managers across verticals.

Centre for Continuous Employability

The V.B. Padode Centre for Sustainability provides a forum for students to undertake CSR and community projects.

The main activities in this area include the Social Immersion Program (SIP), Unnat Bharat Abhiyan, Shiksha Aadhar, Kanyathon, and the provision of scholarships to deserving candidates in the flood affected district of Kodagu, Karnataka.

Unnat Bharat Abhiyan: Adoption of 5 Villages in Kolar District In April 2018, IFIM Business School registered with the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) of the Ministry of

Human Resources, New Delhi.

The launch of the Abhiyan in New Delhi was attended by the chairperson of the V.B. Padode Centre for Sustainability, IFIM Business School. As part of the requirements of this scheme, IFIM Business School adopted the following 5 villages in Kolar district: Settiganahalli, Mylandahalli, Gangapura, Thirumalakoppa, and Koothandahalli. Partial census data has been collected from these villages by IFIM Business School students, using the forms provided by UBA. IFIM Business School had also touched base with Shri J. Manjunath, I.A.S., Deputy Commissioner, Kolar district. UBA requires registered education institutes to work closely with the district administration to develop the communities in their adopted villages. 5 SIP student groups did their immersion in the 5 adopted villages of Kolar. Their study will be given to Child Relief and You (CRY) which will be helping develop IFIM's adopted villages. CRY has been given Rs.9 lakhs/- by IFIM Business School to be used for developing Kolar.

Shiksha Aadhar: Shiksha Aadhar is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity in which students volunteer to tutor under-privileged students from nearby village. The library of the IFIM hostel is used for this purpose. The students also provide stationary, books, emotional support and mentoring to their wards.

2018 – 2020 batch

  • No. of Shiksha Aadhar sessions conducted: 216
  • No. of volunteers from IFIM: 16
  • No. of students covered: 28

Centre for Continuous Employability

Centre’s Mission: ”To serve as a catalyst for fostering service excellence in multiple domains through stimulating and supporting (a) research scholarship, (b) managerial action, and (c) pedagogical innovation, pertaining to service excellence.”

Accomplishing the Centre’s Mission

The aspirational vision for the Centre, besides the launching of the aforementioned iSEI, is to serve as a catalyst for bringing together and facilitating interactions among academic scholars, companies and students (who are would-be managers and/or

scholars down the road) with the goal of promoting and nurturing service excellence in multiple areas.

This Centre can be envisioned as a three-pillared structure, with the Centre’s vision atop the structure and supported by three interlinked pillars: (a) research scholars from academic institutions, (b) practitioners from various industry sectors and (c) students being trained at academic institutions. Consistent with this three-pillared structure supporting its vision, the Centre’s broad objectives are three-fold, focusing on knowledge creation, knowledge dissemination and knowledge implementation in the service-excellence domain:

  • Foster ongoing research that leads to new theoretical, managerial and pedagogical insights pertaining to service excellence (knowledge creation)
  • Propagate those insights through publications, presentations, press releases, etc. (knowledge dissemination) and
  • Enable application of those insights to (a) stimulate further scholarly discourse and research (e.g., through research symposia and conferences); (b) improve managerial practice in various organizations (e.g., through consulting assignments and practitioner forums); and (c) enhance student learning (e.g., through case studies and class projects) (knowledge implementation)
Learn More

Convergence 2020

Convergence is IFIM Business School’s Annual Conference and this year, keeping in line with the goal of focusing on research that has an impact on Practice and Practicing Managers, the Theme of Convergence will be ‘Service Excellence – Theory & Practice’. Efforts are being made to ensure that at least 70 percent of the participants are from prestigious Business Schools/Institutions.

The following keynote speakers and panel members will take part in Convergence 2020

Panel Members

  • Dr. Jayanthi Thanigan-Associate Professor-TAPMI
  • Prof. Sanjeev Parashar-Dean Academic-IIM Raipur

Keynote Speakers

  • Prof. Andrea Ordanini- Bocconi University, Italy
  • Prof. K. Sivakumar- Lehigh University, U.S.A

The Journal of Service Management which is an ABDC ‘A’ ranked journal is associated with the conference and will publish the best papers from the conference after a screening process.

Learn More



IFIM’s FOCUS, the management journal, is being brought out by the Institute of Finance and International Management (IFIM) with a view to facilitate effective dissemination of information with regard to various management issues and problem-solving methodologies relevant for practicing executives as well as for academicians working in the field of management. This is to foster a better understanding of the theories and practices of management. More specifically, the coverage will include discussions on theories and concepts, problem solving through consultancy assignments, research papers based on industry studies or on findings of research projects executed and case studies as an important tool for getting an insight into industry practices and to understand the need for adopting an integrated approach to problem solving.

The following could be some representative topics or focus areas for writing an article:

  • Services marketing.
  • Strategic issues, discussions, approaches about different functional specialization
  • Operations management.
  • Logistics and supply chain management.
  • Papers focusing on globalization issues.
  • E-business and e-marketing.
  • Business process outsourcing.
  • Environmental management systems.
  • Service operations management.
  • Entrepreneurship and small business management.
  • Computer applications.
  • Human resources management.
  • Insurance, health, infrastructure management, etc.
  • Financial management.
  • Case studies related to the above topics.
  • Review articles on state-of-the-art topics, issues, subjects, concepts, strategies, techniques and management approaches.

Guidelines for authors are available at Sample paper for IFIM’s Focus

Frequency of publication: Biannual - April/ October

Annual subscription for authors are available at Focus subscription

Views expressed in the articles are those of the respective authors. IFIM, Bengaluru does not accept any responsibility and do not necessarily agree with the views expressed in the articles. All copyrights are respected. Every effort is made to acknowledge source material relied upon or referred to, but IFIM’s FOCUS journal does not accept any responsibility for any inadvertent omissions. Except as authorized, no part of the material published in IFIM’s FOCUS may be reproduced or stored in retrieval systems or used for commercial or other purposes. All rights reserved. Copies of published material from the journal may be obtained on prior permission for limited and specified reproduction sought on payment of prescribed charges.

The Refereeing Process

All articles received by the journal will be checked for plagiarism and only articles with below 15% plagiarism will be considered for the next stages of review. All articles will then be reviewed by the Chief Editor for their appropriateness and completeness in terms of the requirement of the journal. Articles, that meet the committee’s basic requirements, will be blind reviewed by two referees conversant with the subject. Once the papers are cleared by the referees, they will go for final publication in the journal. This is keeping in with the standards stipulated by any international refereed journal.

Advisory Board

  • Mr. Sanjay Padode, Secretary, Centre for Developmental Education, Bengaluru
  • Dr Atish Chattopadhyay, Professor and Director at IFIM Business School, Bangalore
  • Dr. Eileen Peacock, Member of Board of Governors, IFIM Business School Bengaluru, Former SVP and Chief Officer Asia Pacific at AACSB International
  • Dr. R. Natarajan, Associate Dean, W.E. Mayberry Professor of Management, College of Business, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, USA.
  • Dr. Angappa Gunasekaran – Dean, California State University, Bakersfield (USA)
  • Dr. M. R. Gopalan, Member of Board of Governors, IFIM Business School Bengaluru
  • Dr. Prakash Apte, Ex. Director, IIM Bengaluru
  • Dr. Pankaj Chandra, Ex. Director, IIM Bengaluru
  • Dr. S. Sadagopan, Director, IIIT-Bengaluru
  • Dr. C. Jayachandran, Professor & Director, Center for International Business, School of Business, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
  • Dr. Namjae Cho, Director, Digital Business & Management Center, HIT, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea
  • Prof. John Bicheno, Reader of Operations Management Department, Business School, University of Buckingham, U.K.
  • Dr. Paul Swamidass, Director of Thomas Walter Center for Technology Management, Auburn University, USA
  • Dr. R. Balachandra, Professor, Information, Operations and Analysis Group, College of Business Administration, Northeastern University, Boston, USA

Review Board

  • Dr. Hooshang M. Beheshti, Professor of Operations Management (Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Promotion Management (ABDC ‘B’), Radford University, USA
  • Dr. B Rajesh Kumar, Professor/Program Chair-EMBA/BSBA, Institute of Management Technology, Dubai
  • Dr. H. Gazi Ozhan, Professor of Economics, Ankara University, Turkey
  • Dr. Meral Ozhan, Professor of Economics, Hacettepe University, Turkey
  • Dr. Soumendra K. Dash, Principal Risk Officer, African Development Bank, HQs, Tunisia
  • Dr. R Bremananth, Associate Professor and Head of IST Department, Sur University College, Oman
  • Dr. Aykut Hamit Turan, Associate Professor, School of Management, Sakarya University, Turkey
  • Dr. S Porkodi, Faculty Member and Coordinator – HR, Department of Business Administration, Higher College of Technology, Oman
  • Dr. Sridevi, Professor, Department of Finance, IFIM Business School, Bengaluru
  • Dr. Nina Jacob, Professor, IFIM Business School, Bengaluru
  • Dr. Rajendra K Sinha, Professor, Department of Finance, IFIM Business School, Bengaluru
  • Dr. Asha Prasuna, Professor, Department of Economics, K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai
  • Dr. Bijay Krishna Bhattacharya, Associate Professor, Department of Finance, School of Economics and Commerce-Adamas University
  • Dr. Sangita Dutta Gupta, Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Entrepreneurship IFIM Business School, Bengaluru
  • Dr. Shaji Kurian, Professor – HRM, IFIM Business School Bengaluru
  • Dr. Sasmita Giri, Assistant Professor, Department of Finance, IFIM Business School Bengaluru
  • Dr. Charmi Shah, Assistant Professor, Department of Finance, IFIM Business School, Bengaluru
  • Dr. Arun Kumar, Assistant Professor, Department of Management, BITS Pilani
  • Dr. Rema Gopalan, Assistant Professor, IFIM Business School, Bengaluru
  • Prof. Sonam Subhadarshini, Assistant Professor, Trident Academy of Creative Technology
  • Dr Kalpana Sahoo, Assistant Professor, Department of OB & HRM, XIMB, Bhubaneswar
  • Dr. Susmita Chatterjee, Assistant Professor, Maharaja Manindra Chandra College, Kolkata
  • Dr. Sunali Talwar, Freelancer, Germany

Editorial Board

  • Dr. Kalyan Sankar Sengupta – Editor In Chief
  • Dr. Rema Gopalan - Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Parvathi Jayaraman - Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Vandana Misha - Assistant Professor

Submission Guidelines: Detailed guidelines for authors are available at

Soft copy of manuscript can be mailed to or

Note: Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Contact Address:

Mrs. Gayathri Kumari
Research Coordinator
Research Resource Centre

IFIM’s FOCUS International Journal of Management
IFIM Business School
#8P & 9P, KIADB Industrial Area, Electronics City Ist Phase
Bengaluru - 560 100.
Tel: 91-80-4143 2813/891, 4143 2800.
Fax: 91-80-4143 2844.

Design Thinking & Innovation Incubation

Introduction to the Design Thinking Course

The scale, scope & speed at which change is happening today is unprecedented. We need to constantly find newer ways to cope up which this change both at an individual & corporate level.

Management students often find the transition between undergraduate education and management education as an interesting & challenging step. Despite of having basic exposure to corporate world during the undergraduate years, students and corporate both demand a much higher, wider & deeper understanding of business / management world view with regards to work culture, work practices, work ethics – a much richer management skill, thinking & attitude. At the same time the demands on skills for success in 21st Century corporate world have changed; newer & diverse practices of innovation, creativity, networking, presentations, collaborations, problem solving, decision making gain currency in current times. Management schools tend to orient the students towards the same, however, an intervention is desired that can helps students gain these insights on their own i.e. through experiences, and, apply the learning to come up with strategies & tactics towards an enriching 2 years at the management school and corporate tenure.

Design Thinking believes (and has been proven) that the people who face problems are the ones who hold the key to their problem’s answer. Design Thinking is a Human-centred problem-solving tool which emphasize on Empathy, Collaboration, Cocreation and Stakeholder feedback to unlock Creativity and Innovation, which devises feasible and viable Big Idea/solutions. The key to the process is empathizing with the users to uncover unmet needs by understanding their beliefs, values, motivations, behaviours, pains, gains and challenges and to provide innovative solution concepts. Over the last decade Design thinking is addressing this very need of management and has become the buzz word in management circles & corporate world as a potent process / tool to successful outcomes. Design thinking works at the intersection of human needs, technological feasibility & business viability thus providing meaningful solutions to day to day as well as strategic needs of different levels of management in an organization. Since most of the participants are students with low or medium working experience, thus, the programme shall focus upon sensitizing and developing design thinking as a contextual problem-solving mindset & skill.

The program provides understanding & hands-on exposure to:

  • Design Thinking process & its various stage tools & techniques
  • Exposure to corporate world expectations, gain self-understanding with regards to 21st Century Skills & Competencies needed by corporate world Participants shall tread through a systematic & sequential process of design thinking i.e. the 3 broad stages of
  • explore, experiment & express; that will nurture original thinking, decision making, problem solving, use of material & medium, understanding and adapting to scenarios, connecting & communicating – directly resulting into understanding of these competencies.
  • Design Thinking and its various stages (as general process & specific stage tools -techniques) as a management resource for diverse scenarios & disciplines.
  • Design Thinking for Innovation in Organizations

Introduction to Innovation Incubation

More change has taken place in the last century than in the total history of mankind. This change, totally unprecedented in speed, scale and scope, has posed challenges in new dimensions to managers, professionals and entrepreneurs who have to confront and conquer it.

These are the challenges of Achieving Growth, Overcoming Competition and Delivering Fulfilment. The 21st century has witnessed unprecedented scenarios in the realms of technology, information dissemination, media, and communication. The service industry has taken rapid precedence over industrial and agricultural development; industrial development has begun to proliferate into hitherto developing and underdeveloped nations. All these changes have led to shorter attention spans, reduced shelf life of products, expectation of faster results, and rising pace of life in general; consequently, values and ethics have begun to alter at all levels.

Current initiatives of the central & state government of India, such as, Make in India, Digital India, Start up & Stand up India, Skill development campaigns have shown the direction and supported industries in this direction, however, the life line to achieving this is change, change management, innovation are rooted in the contribution that higher education institutions can make to the entire ecosystem.

Academic institutions thus need to become agile and relevant in order to survive & thrive in these changing times. Institutions can no longer wait for the industry to dictate the emerging skill set, but must be proactive in partnering, aligning resources and tailoring opportunities to achieve a direct and measurable impact. In fact it’s the academic research and development work that should be the guiding light for industry.

At the same time, academic institutions should provide the global best practices set within the local cultural centric creativity of the regions to its students in order to support them in acquiring the adequate skill, thinking and attitude to gain meaningful employment and significantly contribute to the industry & society through personal & professional values & ethics.

Over 20 million graduate every year : India along with China sees the largest number of students in the world graduating every year. With 54% of population below 25 years of age India is amongst the few countries in the world having the largest segment of young (student) population.

These students come for varied socio-cultural- economic strata of the country. There is a clear distinction of higher education streams chosen by the students based on both availability of higher education in their regions as well as the prevailing mindset.

Whereas 70% of Indian populace resides in small towns and villages this large segment of students think quite differently from the other group residing in Tier I & II cities of India.

The traditional streams of education that seemed to be the stable professions till now have begun to show signs of saturation. This is visible from the emerging statistics such as,

  • 1 million engineers are struggling to get placed in an extremely challenging market.* Somewhere between a fifth to a third of the million students graduating out of India's engineering colleges run the risk of being unemployed. Others will take jobs well below their technical qualifications.
  • 20% management graduates are unemployable and 13% fail to find jobs.**
    Source: * ET Bureau **TNN

Two of the biggest concerns before the contemporary India

On one hand are certain top institutions of the nation that propel highest quality of education resulting into meaningful employment for their students – these institutions face an interesting challenge of quality research and innovation that enables them in competing with the very best in the world i.e. How do we create an enabling and sustaining ecosystem around change, path breaking research and innovation? How do we usher in a mindset of entrepreneurship , a culture of experimentation, risk taking, dreaming big and creative thinking, tinkering, problem finding and solving, deep thinking etc? How do we encourage more patents being filed from our institutions? On the other hand there are a vast majority of higher education institutions that are struggling with providing employment and employability skills that raises the standards of salaries.

Unemployment and Unemployability

1 out of 3 young graduates are unemployed in India. There are several reasons for the same however the top three reasons for not having found a job include

  • Lack of industry or functional experience (47%),
  • Not being able to find a job that paid well enough (29%),
    While 29% felt overqualified for jobs on offer.

The unemployment rate in the age group 15 to 24 years was estimated to be 18.1 per cent
47% of graduates’ unemployable for any job

  • Not more than 25 % of the graduates could apply concepts to solve real-world problems.
  • 75% of technical graduates and more than 85% of general graduates are unemployable by India’s high-growth global industries, including creative industries. Source: Press Trust of India

* Source: According to Labour Bureau’s “Third Annual Employment & Unemployment Survey 2012-13”.

Key achievements of the Previous Year:

Design Thinking & Innovation Exhibition (DTI)

The DTI exhibition was coordinated by an internal faculty group from different specializations under the guidance of Dr. Atish Chattopadhyay, Director, IFIM B-School. 49 student groups worked on solutions to "real-life problems" based on their interactions with their customers. These organizations were D-Mart, Village Hypermarket, Bounce, Puma, Max, McDonalds, LensKart, Decathlon, JK Tyres to name a few. Our students visited these organizations and identified real-time challenges related to satisfaction of customers. They worked on these real-life problems under the guidance of their mentors and equipped with the tools and methodologies imbibed from Design Thinking classes, they arrived at innovative and effective solutions. The solutions also received appreciation and some of them were also implemented by these firms.

All the 49 groups of students and their solutions were assessed by experts and professors from different specializations related to Marketing, innovation and Entrepreneurship. Finally, three groups were selected as finalists and the First winner group Ms. Arju Jain and Team (Village Hyper Market) received a scholarship prize of Rs. 25,000/- sponsored by HDFC Credila.

Research Incubation (RI)

The RI initiative of IFIM has been recognized as one of the top 15 initiatives of Asia-Pacific region by AACSB. We find a high correlation between students' performance in Research Incubation and their success in final placement. RI projects help students understand business problems better and appreciate the variables to impact the business outcome. This in turn helps them articulate better.

The below figure depicts the RI Program Objectives at IFIM Business School as articulated by the Management team.

The Research Incubation (RI) programme at IFIM Business school was set up to integrate the three main stakeholders: students, faculty and industry practitioners in line with the IFIM axiom 'learning by solving'.

The objectives are as follows:

  • Expose the students to current literature relevant to the project /business problem
  • Analyse the given situation and understand the process of research design
  • Understand the process of collecting/ gathering relevant data
  • Analyses and visualization of data to draw meaningful insight
  • To understand feasibility of proposed solution

Fig 1.2: RI Program Objectives

Fig: Steps of Research Incubation

Research Incubation has helped students in achieving their career goals in terms of job opportunities in leading companies like HDFC, Yes Bank, Nielsen, Moody’s Analytics to name a few. A strong correlation has been observed between RI score and placement opportunities.

Key achievements of 2019-20

  • Identification of 4 key areas of focus for research and thought leadership.
  • Integration of RI, Super Specialization, IIP and SIP areas for working on the research papers.
  • Overall publications (research papers, Case studies, Book chapters, conference presentations improved from 55 in 2017 to 85 in 2018 and 101 in 2019.
  • Students publication were 35 papers in 2017-19 and 28 in 2018-19.
  • FDP and mentoring on Research by Dr Parasuraman and Prof Suraj Commuri.
  • Research Incubation featured in top 15 initiatives of Asia Pacific Region in AACSB ‘ Innovations that Inspire’ series
  • Research Incubation was shortlisted for presentation at Indian Management Conclave held in New Delhi in August 2019

Request For Problems (RFPs) & Learning by Solving

This need for relevant research projects is important as there is a big concern about the employability of MBA graduates as aforementioned. Employers worldwide are concerned about the problem solving capacity of MBA graduate. To address this concern and maximize the academic value, a business school should find ways to impart problem solving skills by making the students work on real life industry projects.

Keeping this in mind, IFIM Business School has introduced a ‘Learning by Solving’ approach. As part of this unique pedagogy, students work on a problem provided by industry partners. School approached the industry for what we call ‘Request for Problems’. Many business enterprises like Scripbox, Sahamati, Davinta Finance and Bosch to name a few provided us with problems.

IFIM Business School is providing the students unique opportunity to work on industry problems and also helping the faculty to remain contextual. However research in IFIM Business School like any other private institute in India is funded by the fees of the students unlike international institutions which are funded through endowments. It is therefore imperative that students who are our primary stakeholders should benefit from the research undertaken. The challenge is how to make research useful for the students which can enhance their career opportunities by bringing in industry relevance. Another important challenge is to have faculty group who are current and contextual in terms of industry practices to make teaching relevant. IFIM Business School has been able to achieve that by integrating the three main stakeholders-Students, faculty and practitioners to address the challenges and to achieve an alignment with school’s mission of nurturing continuously employable professionals. The outcomes of these projects are cases or research papers which again can be used for teaching. Thus research aligned with practice can add to teaching. The whole process of ‘Learning by Solving’ is given below

Figure ‘Learning by Solving’ process in IFIM

Senior executives from companies bring forward and discuss ways to handle difficult and complex challenges that their companies are facing. These challenges are often instrumental in further shaping the research agenda of the faculty. Propositional knowledge meets prescriptive knowledge. Business schools must make sure that professors are active in research and must present their ideas in a pedagogically meaningful way in class.

The problems could be from FinTech or MarTech domains.


With the advent of technological advancement, the implication of Fintech on financial services industries has touched a new pinnacle, particularly in Asia, where the size of the market is twice as large as that of the global average (McKinsey, 2019). One of the biggest disruptors in the financial industry over the last decade or so has been Fintech. While FinTech has revolutionised sectors such as personal finance and banking, there are still a few places where its potential has not been utilised. The major area where the application of Fintech has been considered as instrumental are: payment processing, block chain technology, alternative financing, (AI)-powered investment services that leverage machine learning (ML) algorithms to generate automatic investment strategies tailored to user portfolios, and internet of things (IoT) to name a few.


In the last decade marketing processes have undergone a generational change, and have impacted online and offline retail, customer experience management, sales and distribution, service management and failure, product launches, last mile connectivity, bottom-of-the-pyramid markets, to name a few.

What is in it for the Partnering Organisation?

  • Re-skilling / New Skilling of executives with Professional Certification
  • Possible Solution to an Internal Business Challenge
  • Relevance and currency of their functional skill inventory
  • Encouragement and retention of top talent by providing a rich learning experience in a top global institution.

What will be the cost of the Program for the Executive Sponsored by the Partnering Organisation?

  • The chosen executives will not be charged for the academic delivery certification, they will only need to bear the travel and stay expenses overseas.

Request-for-Problem Template

In the initial phase, sponsoring organisations can get in touch with us with the following information.

  • Potential Area of Challenge:
  • Name of executive/s attending the Masterclass:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Data Handling: Data from your organisation shall be used under supervision of your corporate executive who is part of this programme and with the supervising faculty. Data will be handled in compliance with IFIM’s Information Security policies.
  • Travel and visa: The expenses for travel, visa, and stay of your executive to our partner institutions for the international immersion part shall be borne by your organisation.
  • Duration: The entire programme is modular spread over December/January 2019 till June 2020. Your executive shall be part of the complete duration of the programme including three weeks in London/Virginia.
  • Format: The programme starts with the Masterclass by an internationally reputed academician of two days duration. This will be followed by online instructions related to the knowledge areas and 3-weeks immersion at the partnering institution.

How to join?

Organisations desirous of joining this programme can write to:

Fintech Area: Prof. Parameshwar H. S at

Martech Area: Prof Rajesh Kumar at