Time and again, those at the helm of companies across sectors have deplored the ‘unemployability’ of graduates which many of the country’s colleges churn out. For instance, last April, IT lobby body Nasscom said of the yearly 5,50,000 engineering college graduates, only 25 per cent was immediately employable. Manipal Global Education (MaGE), arm of the Manipal Education and Medical Group that runs its campuses abroad, is now looking to step into this gap by setting up various training institutes of corporate education.
In his first interview after his appointment as chief executive officer and managing director of MaGE, Vaitheeswaran S said the idea was to use the platform to drive the group’s growth in India.
By corporate education, Vaitheeswaran is referring to the Rs 1,100-crore entity’s programmes in India that look to make graduates industry-ready, such as the ICICI Manipal Academy for Banking and Insurance, a joint venture between ICICI Bank and the Manipal group, which offers an MBA in banking and finance. Tie-ups with Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are already in place for one-year postgraduate diplomas in banking and finance. A similar programme with Andhra Bank will be launched next month.
|BUILDING A TALENT BANK|
|* Tie-up with ICICI Bank for MBA in banking and finance, and partnerships with Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Bank of Baroda for one-year PG diploma in banking|
|* Courses focus on developing domain knowledge, soft skills, personality and leadership skills|
|* Plans to set up institutes that will train graduates for infotech, manufacturing and BPO industries|
This model, explains Vaitheeswaran, who will take over the position of managing director from Anand Sudarshan on July 1, focuses on domain knowledge, soft skills and personality development and leadership skills. “Unlike in the past, where education was centred first in the metropolises and later in cities like Pune and Ahmedabad, more and more students are now passing out from places all over the country, including tier-III cities. Students from smaller towns are as bright as their counterparts in cities, but they lack confidence and soft skills, among other things. This is where our institutes come in,” he says. The group has started with banking institutes, but plans to extend the model to other verticals such as infotech, manufacturing and business process outsourcing (BPO).
Corporate education, though, forms a small part of MaGE’s revenues, around 55 per cent of which comes from its five campuses abroad. The first of these was a medical college in Nepal, set up by Ramdas Pai, the son of Manipal University founder
T M A Pai, in 1994. This was followed by the Melaka Manipal College in Malaysia in 1997, a campus in Dubai in 2000 and the acquisition of American University of Antigua in 2008. The latest addition to the fold is a multi-disciplinary campus in Kuala Lumpur, the Manipal International University. Apart from corporate education in India, Dubai and Malaysia are what Vaitheeswaran has identified as “high engines of growth”. Talks are also on with the Sri Lankan government to set up a campus there. Currently, there are around 3,000 students in MaGE’s campuses abroad.
The other big project in the pipeline for Manipal Education and Medical Group, the holding company, is a five-university cluster, which is being looked after by Mohandas Pai, the non-executive chairman of MaGE and former Infosys chief financial officer and HR head. Of the five, the university in Jaipur is already up and running, while talks are on to set up campuses in Bangalore and Orissa.