The SP Jain School of Global Management launched its fifth campus in London recently. The other four campuses of SP Jain Global are in Mumbai, Sydney, Singapore and Dubai. In an interview with HT digital after the launch of its London Campus, SP Jain President Nitish Jain spoke on the idea behind the launch of its new campus, future of business education and much more. Here are the excerpts from that interview:
What is Idea behind opening a new campus in London? How does it help students in India?
SP Jain is a student-centric school, and if students love to go to study in London, we had to give them an opportunity. Our London school extends our global model to the fifth campus and it is in conjunction with our other campuses in Dubai, Singapore, Sydney and Mumbai. London is one of the top destinations where students want to go.
Students from India can study in our campus totally in London in a brand they can trust that is SP Jain. They can also study in multiple cities. Today Indian students are going to our schools abroad in Dubai, Singapore, Sydney and now they can also go to London to study and look for jobs. So students can avail of a multi country model. Students studying in our London campus, can stay on and look for a job there and also get global exposure during their stay. Our unique model, because of our own campuses in these countries (not a franchise), helps us to co-ordinate and synchronize the learning, even if one goes from one city to another. That is the real strength of our school.
How do you look at the future of business education?
We follow what companies require. Education does not drive business; it is business that drives education. Businesses today are looking at technology as central to their growth (digital transformation). Digital is changing the name of the game in every industry. This is the trend today. The focus of our MBA is now 30% technology, but the focus is on decision making and now we have changed it to data-driven decision making. When we use data for decision making there is 80% possibility of taking the right call. Companies are looking at data analytics, big data to make decisions and our students are well trained in doing that. Many other institutions have not been able to incorporate data analytics into their main curriculum.
What is the USP of SP Jain school of Global Education?
The USP of SP Jain is the philosophy on which the school has been founded. If businesses have gone global then business schools should also go global, because companies look for global talent. The more globally exposed one is, the more profitable he can make his company. That is the philosophy behind our school and that is why we set up our campuses in four countries in the first 11 years of our existence, and now after stabilizing our operations we have launched a fifth campus in the UK. We are now ready to compete with the best management schools in the world.
What skills and attributes can students studying at SP Jain expect to achieve?
A person who joins SP Jain will be totally transformed during the course of his studies. In both our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, we work towards achieving this end. We do this through the way we organize our classes. The faculty is expected to know the names of students even before we start the classes. We make students learn by challenging themselves every day, which develops their critical thinking, confidence and communication skills.
The students are much more engaged in our classes than many other business schools (even more than some of the reputed ones). Before every class we provide pre-class videos to students. These videos, created by us, give students a background of what is going to be taught in the class. So students at SP Jain come to the class much more engaged. Students coming to SP Jain can expect a complete transformation in their personality and skills, which will lead to jobs.
What is your vision for SP Jain? Where do you see this school in the next five years?
SP Jain is a 21st century school and we are a future oriented school. We try to anticipate the future and keep moving the target along with that. First our target was global learning, then we introduced technology and now it is personalized learning. We are changing our targets as per the industry trends. In one word, what I can say is that we believe in relevant education, which will lead to employability.
What will be the kind of fee structure for students who will join SP Jain’s London campus?
The fee structure (tuition fee) charged in London will be similar to that charged in our other campuses. Students need to pay for their own accommodation and food. You will be surprised to know that the accommodation costs in the UK can be even lower than in a city like Dubai.
Do you provide scholarships to students? What is the criteria for providing scholarships?
We provide scholarships between 10% to 100%. Need is a basic requirement for providing scholarships. But there are a lot of needy students too. So the selection then moves to merit. We look at merit and then look at diversity. If we don’t have students from a particular field or profession in a batch, then we will prefer to give a scholarship to a person from that field so that he can bring diversity in the class. Diversity adds to the quality of discussions in a class. Business is all about these discussions that we have and study groups we make during the course of learning.
Can you tell us about internships and placement opportunities available to students at SP Jain?
All our students are required to do four months of internship. Students at our UK campus can do their internship either in the UK or anywhere else in the world. We help students in finding internship opportunities but they need to crack the interview. All our students get internships. Our placement record is very good and we are well-known for this.
What kind of attributes and skills today’s managers must have?
If you ask me for one particular attribute, it has to be agility. This agility is going to differentiate successful people from other people. All other normal skills like communication, technical skills etc are anyway needed. I am here only highlighting the one most important attribute.
What is your advice to management aspirants?
Aspirants need to have focus. You cannot stay confused for a very long time, if you want to be successful. Do not choose something you don’t have passion for, but once you have decided, you need to have the dedication to see it through. As soon as you have the focus, your life will get a new start.