Setting aside the conventional wisdom of having a serene campus away from hustle and bustle of city life, this B-school sits right in the middle of work places. Having successfully completed the ‘pilot’ of a new matrix of management education in the past two years and sending out its first batch of graduates this year, Bridge School of Management, is an emerging concept that may hold a promise of 100 replications.
As you enter the cyber-city, Gurgaon situated Bridge School of Management, you wonder if you have to its corporate office or campus. It is actually the later. There is a philosophy and a strategy behind this design. The B-school has taken a conscious decision of only taking in working professionals, so their classroom or school must not look and feel a different place. Moreover, it is conveniently located from the point of view of commenting, evening classes, eating places, etc. Spread on about 10,000 sq feet the multipurpose campus is completely wireless and by the way without a library. According to Rajesh Puri, CEO of Bridge School of Management, the whole idea is put the student in an ambience and mode where s/he where there is no need to for him/her to leave job for adding new qualifications.
Tracing the journey of the institute to some years back, Puri, explains that The Birlas owned HT Media Ltd, the publisher of widely read Hindustan Times, Mint and Hindustan (Hindi) had obtained a license for setting up a university but after a lot of thinking and expert advice , came up this innovative idea. The company tied up Apollo Global, Inc of USA. A brain-child of Dipak C Jain, former dean of INSEAD and Kellog School of management who was also instrumental in setting up of ISB Hyderabad, Bridge School of management came up on the premise of linking education to industry. “This kind of education is in demand from corporate, can be scaled up with the use of technological interface and even replicated elsewhere without the usual hassles of setting up a huge campus,” he adds.
The first steps the school management took were to undertake an engagement with about 100 companies to understand their skills requirements to customize a standardized Harvard curriculum. The course is being taught by industry professionals, who act more than teachers as mentors and coaches. The B-school as of now offers three courses. An executive MBA of one year duration costing Rs 2.5 lakh, a course program in predictive business analytics in association with Northwestern University, USA (priced at Rs 3.5 lakh) and ACCA (London) certification course for accounting professionals.
“Our programmes enable corporates to invest in education and encourage employees to upgrade their competencies. This improves engagement with their organization and saves the wasteful expenses of attrition and fresh recruitments. It also helps upgrade the relevant managerial, functional and soft skills of employees thus enhancing their productivity,” he adds.
Centres are fully equipped with state-of-the-art Apple Imac desktops, meeting rooms, socializing and networking areas to learners allow interaction and look like an extension of the workplaces. The centre is functional at conveitn hours, 9 am till 10 pm all days of the week, including Sundays. The pedagogy of programmes incorporates the best global practices and inputs from leading academicians and faculty.
The promoters of the school are keen to take it to more cities as they believe beneficial education has to be taken to masses and hope in next 10 years, the school will have presence in 50 centres across India. A welcome contribution to India growth story today and beyond!