Contributed By: Yash Pratap Singh
Picture Credits: Chandrasekar T
It has been a year with India’s a la carte business school – the third IIM of the country, i.e., IIM Bangalore. The welcoming, warm, and professional space warped in grey stone and lush green surroundings, IIM Bangalore, has been a dream institution for a soul like me. It was only last year when in June, I entered the hallowed portals of the place known as the #PlaceToB. I penned my thoughts about being captivated by the charm and effuse of this pristine campus in the Silicon Valley of India. Well, known as the Doshi’s marvel (as Padma Shri and Pritzker Architecture Prize awardee, B V Doshi is the architect behind this beautiful campus), it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful colleges in the country and unquestionably the most beautiful IIM campus.
A part of the holy trinity of IIMs, i.e., ABC, IIM Bangalore, is one of the most sought after business school campuses of the country. From the NIRF to FT, and the QS rankings, IIM Bangalore continues to dominate the top spot in the country. The tales of extensive academic rigor, to having world-class faculty, from amazing infrastructure and facilities to iconic alumni network are all known. But, after having spent a year at this place, I think it has much more than meets the eye. Here are a few things that remain etched in my mind as I miss the place to ‘B,’ locked down in my house pursuing my summer internships virtually.
- Pristine campus: The IIMB campus is the most beautiful place, something that everyone misses when she/he steps out of it. Encapsulating the varied flora and fauna, the creepers on its grey stone walls. The pavements packed with rustling leaves shed from the trees, the arching canopy along all the roads—the comfort of the mustard cafe, or the tea at the Prabhakar stall. The Harvard styled classrooms to the comforting forest pathways. Every nook and corner of this 100-acre campus along Bannerghatta Road (South Bengaluru) is something worth cherishing and adoring. Whenever I was stressed, be it from the academic hustle or the competition, or be it the intense summer placement weeks, a walk inside the campus has been an elixir to the stress. And lying down at the Open Air Theatre (OAT) at dawn with the morning dew is a common night out routine.
- Sports Infrastructure: Business school campuses are known for their academics, cases, networking, and other business jargon. Sports are not something that one looks at when one evaluates or opts for a business school. However, it is when one enters the rigor of the classes packed with quizzes, assignments, cases, presentations, resume preparations, and whatnot, that one realizes the need for having a court to vent out and relax. IIMB offers the state of art sports infrastructure (tennis, squash, basketball, badminton, volleyball courts, to the swimming pool, table tennis rooms, football, and cricket fields). For a badminton enthusiast like me, sweating it out during the evenings at these courts used to be one of the best moments after hectic schedules.
- The location: IIM Bangalore sits in the silicon valley and IT-capital of India. Right across the campus are glass buildings housing some of the big names. It allows the university to be frequented by business leaders time and again. In our marketing-101, we had ITC food division head, to Google H/W India head coming for our lectures. In our strategy course, we had the Urban ladder co-founder to one of the entrepreneurial course hosting a guest lecture every week. Moreover, apart from the proximity to major firms located in Bengaluru (minus the traffic within the city ;)), it is the climate that offers a more soothing experience. The pleasant weather of Bengaluru frequented with its bouts of rains followed by a foggy morning on the campus, adds to the beauty dimension. The climate often offers you comfort to concentrate well and handle the rigor with much more ease.
- Curriculum and pedagogy: IIM Bangalore follows the most updated curriculum giving students an exposure to all dimensions of management. The delivery follows a structure via a mix of theoretical, conceptual learning, guest lectures, and case-driven (cold call) classes. Some courses are entirely case-driven, whereas some have a combination of regular lectures and cases. The entirely case-driven pedagogy can get students by surprise. A mix of it gives the student the opportunity to decipher and tackle the cases and the various prisms of managerial concepts more strongly.
- The people: I guess it is the most crucial part of this place or any other place. Before entering, I had often heard about the hectic and rigor of IIMs. I had also heard that “at IIMBs PGP2s (second year PGP students) have got you covered.” The statement held its water once we entered the campus. IIMB is a pleasant place with welcoming yet professional people. The PGP2s have got your back at IIMB. From the day you enter to onboarding, resume guiding, navigating the courses, to summer placements, and every other thing on the campus – the PGP2s are there for you. It is a matter of culture and legacy that this campus beholds. A legacy of being known for its professionalism yet being supportive and caring. A legacy that has been passed on from batch to batch. One realizes the importance of it when one encounters the pace at which IIMB moves. The meteoric pace often overwhelms the students. However, when you have folks to knock up to and reach out for guidance, it becomes easy to navigate it. It is something extraordinary about this place to B.
Well, one can keep talking about IIMB for longer and longer. It is not just a place but an experience that gets etched in the brain. It is an experience that is profound and refreshing. As the cliche goes on the campus, “neither the stone walls forget you, nor can you forget these stone walls which held you.” It can be easily called as a differentially unique, ‘once in a lifetime experience’ that one would cherish forever.
Yash and Chandrasekar are students of PGP 2019-2021 batch of IIM Bangalore.