Dayananda Sagar University (DSU), one of the top higher education institutions in Bengaluru, Karnataka, operates out of three campuses in the city – Kumaraswamy Layout, Hosur Main Road and Bengaluru-Kanakpura Road. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Engineering, Applied Sciences, Commerce & Management, Arts & Humanities, and Health Sciences through its eight schools, in addition to the MBBS programme at Dr Chandramma Dayananda Sagar Institute of Medical Education & Research (CDSIMER).
Of all these courses, DSU's MBA programme steals the limelight. But, why does it make a cut above the rest? Why should a student — an aspiring business leader with instinctive problem-solving and decision-making skills — pay a fee and enrol in a university when there are B-schools by the dozen in the country and abroad, sometimes standing cheek by jowl, teaching the same-old material?
Dayananda Sagar University’s forte is its excellent faculty — a pool of talent drawn from institutions like Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management, SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, the IITs and the IIMs. It is a dream come true for a student to be mentored under the tutelage of such scholars, and further be coached and guided by industry leaders in an unique industry led mentorship programme.
The university’s pedagogy is rooted in cases from the world’s best business schools, like Harvard Business School, MIT-Sloan and INSEAD, and the personal experience of the professors. Besides, the finest minds in academia and business from around the world are invited to talk to students. As American automobile icon Lee Iacocca famously said: “In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something else.”
At Dayananda Sagar University, that “something else” is superior managers and thought leaders who can deal with a complex, evolving world.
These are tumultuous times and the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic is proving a stern test for everyone. Around the world, the pandemic is becoming a long story of uncertainty forcing businesses and educational institutions to be creative, innovative and proactive. The looming question is not when the threat of coronavirus will ease but how to ensure the institutions are intact when the rebound happens.
The challenge, therefore, is to analyse and confront the obstacles, recalibrate equations and find ways for a new tomorrow. In tune with the new needs, Dayananda Sagar University’s management curriculum will now include an in-depth study of various challenges and problems that came to the fore during the pandemic.
In Dayananda Sagar University’s MBA programme, management concepts are interwoven with technology and data science that reflect in specialisations such as business analytics, artificial intelligence, and data-driven supply chain management. Importance is also given to industry needs — the foremost being quality of graduates. A comprehensive industry-preparedness programme of the university’s placement cell prepares students for great, sustainable careers. Professors are engaged in consultancy projects to create best practices for the industry in organisational behaviour, human resource management, technology management, supply chain management, and retail management. The DSU-Executive MBA programme has students from over 300 of the finest organisations in the world on campus — Airbus, Amazon, Accenture, Boeing, Buhler, Capgemini, Cargill, DHL, HP, HCL, INFOSYS, TCS, WIPRO — to name a few and is one of the most popular management programmes for working professionals in Bengaluru. The school is also supported by a unique Centre of Excellence in Supply Chain Management, which gives students an experiential understanding of the practice of supply chain management which gives them an opportunity to access cutting edge models and software.
These are hallmarks that support the university's motto that American philosopher John Dewey has famously summed up in a quote: “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself!”
There’s more in the bouquet to choose from. Dayananda Sagar Business Academy (DSBA), Kanakapura Road, offers Bangalore University-affiliated undergraduate programmes in Commerce, Business and Computer Application (BCom, BBA, BCA). In the same in a modern yet serene environment, a post-graduate MBA programme under Dayananda Sagar Academy of Technology & Management (DSATM) in affiliation with Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) in Belgaum, Karnataka, is also on offer. With a focus on developing global leaders with social sensitivity, DSBA augments university curriculum with employability skill, industry-driven certificate programmes, and personality development courses. NSS and NCC activities are also included to make students socially sensitive and proud citizens. DSBA was represented at the Republic Day parade in 2019 and 2020.
DSBA provides outcome-based experiential learning opportunities at affordable fees, too. Student involvement in internships, industry visits, live projects and dissertations, entrepreneurship activities provide exposure to real-time business. Frequently organised guest lecture sessions, seminars and workshops are not only learning platforms but also open up networking opportunities with industry leaders. Frequent training from CIL keeps students up-to-date.
Its Global Captivation programme at international universities is designed to provide global exposure and experience. Outbound training instils confidence and sportsman spirit among students. Yoga and Youth Empowerment Skills (YES+) imparts equanimity. Being a member of UN – PRME, DSBA imparts responsible management education.
At DSBA, training for competitive exams, professional exams and placements are all an integral part of student development. Students also enjoy inter-collegiate and inter-departmental sports and cultural competitions.
Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering (DSCE), at Kumaraswamy Layout, is known for its flagship two-year MBA course that offers dual specialisation. It is affiliated to the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU). Crafted to guide the students through a period of self-discovery, the ‘autonomous’ technology-centric curriculum and pedagogy promotes experiential learning and an outcome-based education while taking students on an exploratory journey. The goal of creating industry-ready professionals is sustained through a faculty comprising researchers and visiting professors from IIMs, IITs and the IISc, and subject matter experts from corporations across industry segments. DSCE has 20 modern, advanced laboratories and research centres across academic streams. Conclaves, summits, experiential labs and academic clubs are also a part of the MBA course. Project opportunities are offered for students to experience the implementation of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) in business. Students are put through a 10-week organisational study exercise of observing business processes, followed by a 16-week internship in a specialised area of their choice. The academic rigour culminates with pre-placement training.
With an alumni network of over 1,000 professionals, DOMS-DSCE has a proven track record of transforming students into industry leaders. Prithviraj Nair, an alumnus of DOMS-DSCE and currently a lead MarComm Strategist with Rane T4U says, “Since graduating from DOMS-DSCE, I’ve become a confident professional and have built a robust career as a communications strategist.” Ganesh Datta Lakkur, a learning experience curator at Xcelerator and an alumnus, chipped in, “My experiences as a licensee and curator of TEDxDSCE inspired me to become an educator. Since graduating from my MBA programme, I’ve embarked on a career as a life-skills coach and an academic programme curator."
All through Dayananda Sagar Institutions, the common thread is their teachers, high quality of students and placement opportunities. The MBA-BU programme of the department of management studies, established in 1998, is no exception. The programme is helmed by faculty whose cumulative industry experience is more than 150 years. They have published over 150 research papers in peer-reviewed national and international, including UGC- and Scopus-indexed, journals. Besides, top-flight chartered accountants, CFAs, entrepreneurs and military experts bring diverse skill sets to the classroom. The Chanakya Series of Business Lectures, a series of industry interface programme, give students the extra edge. In addition to that, pre-placement and industry preparedness involve over 100 hours of training by domain experts. The department has also signed MoUs with Finmark Trainers, NICT Computer Education and ICICI Centre for Excellence for conducting certification programmes. Over 100 top companies regularly visit the campus, helping nearly 90% of the students get jobs that carry pay packages ranging from Rs.4.5 lakh to Rs.10.5 lakh a year.
Reflecting on the time spent at the DSI Campus, an alumna Mitali Vadia, working as assistant manager with HSBC Global Banking, says, “We had the privilege of an amazing green campus with students from all over India who made my two years, an unforgettable journey! Faculties have put in all the efforts to groom us. Had a wonderful experience of learning with prolific corporate exposure that has allowed me to begin a successful and fulfilling career in finance."
That is not all. The Dayananda Sagar B-school kitty has more to offer. Students can go to Dayananda Sagar Academy of Technology and Management — among the 10 best B-schools by Knowledge Review. It is known for its academic rigour, robust industry interaction, and thrust on innovation and creativity. Nestled in a picturesque and hermetically quiet 10-acre campus close to the Art of Living International Centre, the management institute has an infrastructure with modern amenities that complement the goal to develop future-ready, socially-sensitive and environmentally-conscious frontline leaders, entrepreneurs, managers and professionals. It has partnered with about 17 companies to enhance the employability skills of students through an industry mentorship assistance programme. The hardwork pays off and it shows with record placements year after year. The department’s R&D centre helps scholars with their PhD projects. Students also get to interact with over 30 C-Suite professionals through webinar series, expert talks, conclave and symposia. “I complemented my academic work with an internship at Sagar Hospitals where I studied customer engagement techniques via digital channels. This laid the foundation for a dream role at McAfee,” says Chaitra M, an alumnus who is now a customer success manager with McAfee.
The Dayananda Sagar Business School (DSBS), Kumaraswamy Layout, offers a PGDM or postgraduate diploma in management. Approved by the AICTE, New Delhi, it was established in 2007 to meet the growing needs of management graduates in the corporate sector. With global standards, the programme offered is autonomous and has five specialisations: marketing, finance, HR, international business and business analytics. A faculty steeped in research shapes students into multifaceted professionals, using a bespoke curriculum as a helpmate. Overseas tours in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Thailand give students the exposure needed to understand global trends. A pact with five companies helps with internships, guest lectures, dissertation and final placements. Deloitte, Amazon, Reliance, E&Y, Future Group, ICICI are among the top companies that have hired DSBS graduates. “The projects, internships, and organisation studies that we undertook during our MBA programme provided me with vital exposure to the various facets of business organisation. With over a decade-long experience now, I can better appreciate that early initiation during my MBA programme,” says Sai Prasanna, marketing project owner, AP Moller Maersk.
Meanwhile, Dayananda Sagar College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Kumaraswamy Layout, in affiliation with Bangalore University, offers undergraduate programmes like BCom, BCA and BBA, in addition to postgraduate programmes like MBA, MCom and MCA. Last but not the least, Dayananda Sagar University’s School of Commerce and Management Studies pivots on the catch ‘em young theme, offering bachelor’s degrees such as BCom and BBA. The school, kitted out with world-class infrastructure, has an impressive faculty that hones the managerial and leadership abilities of students and gives targeted help to those who need it. Classroom instruction, case-based discussion, role plays, film shows, games, on-field projects, and company internships help students learn both the fundamentals and advanced concepts in commerce and management. It should come as no surprise that the schools at DSU/DSI excel in placements, paid internships, consulting assignments and its publications.
Now, one thing is clear in the complicated, sometimes contradictory, and often chaotic story of education in the time of COVID: that teaching and learning won’t be easy. So, how is each of the B-schools under brand Dayananda Sagar responding to market changes? The journey of getting used to a new way of life has surely been out of the ordinary. But the teachers, students and administration at the university are called workaholics by their friends for good reasons. To them, it’s a routine. And they know how much to tilt on a switchback, how many rapid strides to take or to slow down and how to market a penny to grow into a 100-dollar bill. As alumnus Somesh R., senior manager-marketing at Epicor Software, and an alumnus of DOMS-DSCE says, “Marketing was always my area of interest…now I take rapid strides in my career.”
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