St. Francis Institute of Management & Research PGDM: Instilling Exceptional Managerial Skills in Future Managers.
St. Francis Institute of Management
St Francis Institute of Management

“To manage is to forecast and plan, to organize, to command, to coordinate and to control. To foresee and plan means examining the future and drawing up the plan of action.”

Do you know who has cited this great quote for managers worldwide? It indeed is Henry Fayol, who is still a renowned personality in this highly advanced corporate world! He is considered by many as one of the great managers of all time, and he mentioned 14 management principles in his book ‘Administration Industrielle et Generale’ for being a good manager in any organization. He is also known as the ‘Father of Modern Management Theory’.

Today, modern-day managers follow his principles and learn more management pedagogies, and students start gazing at various courses related to management and end up finding MBA as the best course for management studies. However, in changing business paradigm, there are other specialized management courses, i.e., PGDM, which have been introduced for aspiring future managers moving ahead in the 21st century and newly introduced web3 transition.

Similarly, have you ever wondered why there is a need for a PGDM course? And how MBA and PGDM courses are different from each other when both the courses help you to indulge managerial skills?

However, the major difference between the MBA and PGDM programs is the approval, since MBA is approved by the UGC (University Grants Commission) and PGDM is approved by the AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education). Moreover, the curriculum of MBA is fixed, whereas PGDM provides practical-based learning to the students.

Although, after acknowledging this fact, many prominent management institutes have now begun promulgating the PGDM course in various specializations. Thus, the St. Francis Institute of Management and Research PGDM recognized the demand for management studies in India and established its institute in 1901.

While perceiving the fundamental need for the studies, Bro. Paulus Moritz, the Founder of the institute, aimed to provide management education to poor and underprivileged students.

In an Interaction with The Knowledge Review, Bro. Alphonse Nesamony, the current Chairman of the institute, shared his valuable learnings and experiences throughout his educational career and also notified us of the future goals of the institute.

The Story Behind the Institute

In 1901, Franciscan Missionary Brothers Rev. Bro. Paulus Moritz founded the Congregation of the Missionary Brothers of St. Francis Group of Institutions, and its International Organization is headquartered at Borivali (West), Mumbai. The institute was established with the vision of reaching out to poor and underprivileged students.

Bro. Paulus Mortiz was appointed as the first Superior General of the Congregation of the CMSF. He had tirelessly worked for the welfare of the brothers and the missions, where his famous dictum was: “As long as you look after the poor, God will look after you!”

It was a relentless pilgrimage for him and his early companions in the mission of the Lord, serving the poor and needy at all costs in the villages of the entire country wherever they had been called to from 1901 till date, the inspiration of the then founder still continues in the Brothers’ Love and Service to the Indian people and beyond.

Starting missions all over India, guiding the brothers through many vicissitudes and storms for more than four decades, Bro. Paulus Mortiz relinquished the office of Superior General in 1941. He was called for his eternal reward on 19th November 1942 after a brief illness, which he joyfully accepted as a prelude to his heavenward journey.

A Pedagogical Scholar

Bro. Alphonse Nesamony is the current Chairman (Head of Administration) of St. Francis Institute of Management and Research PGDM. He completed his education in fields such as Dip. Philosophy and Theology, BA, MA, PGDM (General Management).

After completing his education, Alphonse also worked abroad in Germany for eight years and Switzerland for two years as an admin executive and regional councillor. After that, he taught in the (North- Zone) institutions for eight years and previously worked in schools, hospitals, higher education, and province administrations for 24 years.

He has been a member of professional bodies like IMC (Indian Merchants Chamber Association) Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Education Promotion of India, ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) and All India Christian Higher Education and Xavier Association of Management Institutions.

Creeds and Insights of the Institute

While highlighting about the institute, Alphonse enlightened us with the vision and core values and ethics of the institute and cited the vision and mission-

To flourish as a seat of learning of international standards for developing an entrepreneurial class of value-based industrial leaders empowered with techno-managerial competence to sustain innovation for building a global business of the future.”

Making the vision, the institute has a mission and strategy to fulfil it. While asserting the mission, Alphonse said, “To enter the realm of globally successful B-schools by imparting value-based education for creating responsible and thoughtful citizens who would lead the world by example and excel through innovation, an entrepreneurial spirit and a humanitarian attitude.”

While conversing about the quality policies of the institute, he also shared the Program Educational Objective (PEO) Statements and asserted that,

  • To impart knowledge of basic and advanced concepts of Business Management and application of their tools and techniques for local and global business practices.
  • To equip the students with techno-managerial skills and entrepreneurial skills to progress as business leaders and entrepreneurs.
  • To instil students on socially acceptable values and business ethics for developing responsible citizens.

Indian Business Education Increasing its Economy

Education is one of the most important factors for the economic development of any country. Professionally groomed and trained employees are the backbone for the growth of the business and industrial sector of any country’s economy and progress.

Business education in India has served as an anchor to the progress of the business sector. The reputation of Management Schools has significantly grown and contributed to creating humans as a right asset and indulging ready-to-work skillset in Indian students.

It has been further seen that globalization in India is pushing the transitions in education, and thus, business schools are striving hard to provide quality education to students.

With the onset of COVID-19, the use of data-driven digital platforms has increased and changed the landscape of education across the world. The business education model in any country requires a balanced blend of technology and the economy.

Indian management education is grooming students globally as various B-schools have incorporated one foreign language and preached human values or cultural studies for students to understand the dynamics of people and their behaviour across the world.

While saying so, Bro. Alphonse further said, “The recent AICTE initiative to collaboration with companies to impart training to students is supporting the industry requirement of exposure to practical experience that is helping students to develop their analytical skills.

He further adds, “The Indian education system has undergone a massive change and the growth prospects. The system can completely transform the future of business education in India. With the various approaches and initiatives taken by UGC and AICTE and adapting flexibility and industry tie-ups would create students with high calibre and skills.”

Dynamic Changes in Global Education

SFIMAR adopts student-centric techniques to impart practical skills in their teaching and learning pedagogy for their PGDM program. The institute has strong industry tie-ups and collaboration, which made them adopt dynamic programs that are competitive to impart quality education.

While highlighting the dynamic changes Bro. Alphonse enlightens us with a few of the institutes’ features which make the SFIMAR’s PGDM an outstanding program, and the features are as follows-

Dynamic Curriculum- The institute has a robust and industry-connected Academic Advisory and Board of studies for updating the syllabus as per changing business scenarios.

Experiential Learning- Let students practice learning from failures using simulation and management games. The experience of taking management decisions and getting to debrief the results will sharpen their implementation and teamwork skills.

Ownership and Leadership- Create opportunities for leadership strategies that motivate and inculcate ownership of responsibilities. Let students build on their abilities to take independent decisions.

After sharing the most valuable features which make the dynamic changes, Bro Alphonse stated that “Business schools should take advantage of autonomy being provided under the NEP to develop innovative teaching and learning methods in close collaboration with industry leaders in order to provide productive and employable resources.”

He further added, “According to late Dr S Radhakrishnan, the First Vice-president of India and a renowned teacher guiding the motto of an education system, and that should be the development of personality and faith, formation of character, cultivation of social, moral, and spiritual values.

Ultimately the combination of both hard domain skills and soft skills would transform students into resources that meet the requirement of industry and draw respect from society.”

Advancements in Management Education

The PGDM Three Dimensional (3D) is one of the most coveted programmes launched in the year 2012. Since the formative years of its inception, the institute has been consistently striving to produce industry-ready graduates who can perform leadership roles in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) environment.

While sharing the gigs that majorly created a positive impact on society, Bro. Alphonse said, “The mission of SFIMAR’s PGDM Programme is ‘Creating Transformational Leaders’. We aim to create well-developed leaders with functional, sectorial and leadership orientations”.

Functions which make the 3D PGDM Programme of the institute stand out-

  • Project-Based learning enables the student to develop intellectual and innovative abilities that help them to think pragmatically and act swiftly to implement application-based knowledge in problem-solving complex organizational issues.
  • Regular industry interaction with experts drawn from the industry brings knowledge related to contemporary developments in their respective fields.
  • International industry visits increase knowledge about Global firms and best management practices. In-bound field visits to best-in-class organizations foster the learning process through observation and obtaining knowledge of excellent practices.
  • Highly affordable and subsidized fees provide the opportunity to students from diverse social compositions to benefit from the unique.

Many essential functions enrich the 3D PGDM Programme of the SFIMAR.

Inducing Growth in Learning Environment

After noting the impact of the PGDM course, Bro. Alphonse also shared the institutes instilling growth in their learning environment and mentioned a few learning activities with us-

Peer to Peer Learning– A peer tutor concept boosts the classroom learning process and makes it more interactive and interesting.

Mentoring- SFIMAR allots a mentor to each student, which transmits informal knowledge, and social capital and also provides emotional support to the students. The Mentor helps them to get relevant work, career, or professional development.

Guest Lectures- Students get an opportunity to learn from the real-life experience of the speakers. The institute encourages bringing in alumni as guest speakers, which helps in strengthening the bond and getting sheer confidence by hearing from them.

Project Based Learning- To leverage the advantages of this teaching-learning method, the institute initiated a ‘Project Based learning approach’ in its pedagogy in the academic year 2016-2017. This approach was introduced at the Institute’s IDEA Meeting (Meeting of Innovation & Development for Excellence in Academics) at the beginning of the academic year.

These are the few activities of the institute, and many essential ones have been induced to enhance their learning environment, such as Preparatory Sessions, Counselling Facility, Orientation Programme, Student Engagement/Capacity Enhancement, Analysis of Data, Eminent Speaker Series, Collaborative Learning, Experimental Learning (Summer and Winter Projects).

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