15 December 2019

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Crafting Talents for the Real Corporate World

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Vani Bajaj is an educationist set to envision a change in the current higher education scenario. Holding the position as Chief Mentor of International College of Financial Planning and International College of Fashion, she believes that the education system of India largely disappoints graduates who aspire to be professionals in the corporate world.



“It is true that many are doing well, but when taken as a whole, there is a good deal of brain drain in our country” says Vani. Many Indians go abroad to pursue higher education and eventually settle down there with attractive pay packages. But on the other hand, those who are unable to afford overseas education s settle down for a mediocre life. She asks what will be the future of the country if the crème de la crème is moving out of India.

As this issue taunted her right from her college days, she was focused to do something in the education segment. A topper in her college for all three years of graduation, Vani got graduated in “small business management”.  Being from an entrepreneurial family, her first stint was with her family owned garment export house. “It helped me a lot learning to manage people, dealing with international buyers, handling operations and more” says Vani.

After marriage she initiated and headed the customer care division of Bajaj Capital in 2001. The dream of giving back to the society clubbed with the passion for a successful entrepreneurial venture, led her further to venture and lead the International College of Financial Planning and International College of Fashion, backed by Bajaj Capital. At International College our main focus is on creating ethical professionals and entrepreneurs who lead to the true wealth creation for the nation” says Vani. Their specialised programs MBA in Financial Planning, MBA in Financial analysis and MBA in Fashion Entrepreneurship are unique ones. The latest feather in the cap has been an undergraduate program in Fashion Entrepreneurship.

“This is one institute where the student’s opinions and feedbacks are given more priority than anybody’s and corrective actions are taken to the best of the ability” explains Vani. “We have always focused on fulfilling the need of the industry by giving them fully trained and highly knowledgable candidates. Our business model is not of random growth by just increasing numbers, but we concentrate on quality. We keep our batch sizes small, and with emphasis on performance of both student and faculty” she continues. What they have been doing is to give the student not only a strong theoretical base but also vast practical exposure through internships, guest lectures, industry visits and there is a constant flow of industry expert advise from Bajaj Capital to the students. To top it the faculty at ICFP is usually from the industry with a strong academic background.

The institute was set up by Bajaj Capital as its CSR initiative 11 years back, recognising the financial services revolution and dearth of talent in the industry. “The herds of graduates and post graduates coming out of B Schools couldn't simply cater to the specialised needs of the corporates. It was with this need that BCL brought the financial planning standards board to India to disseminate the CFP certificate, in the finance industry” says Vani.

The idea of highly specialised education was new to India and the acceptability of financial planning as a concept was also low when they started. “But over a course of short time and with a huge acceptability of our students by the corporates, we quickly overcame any obstacles and have been able to do good work consistently” says Vani. Other challenges are more of the slowing down of economy rather than industry. “Students are a little vary of investing time and money on post graduation. They feel they rather get into a job. However what they do not realise is that after few years there comes a stagnation point for under graduates where all yours peers are highly educated individuals” explains Vani. They offer a solution to these candidates through distance learning program's.

International College manages their expenses through student fees. If incase there is any deficit, it is met by the parent company. Their future plans are to widen their horizons outside India and to come up with a vast range of products specifically for the corporates like training solutions to their employees.  “With a team dedicated to create on line content , we have all our program's available in the distance and e learning  mode where a student can do our program's from anywhere in the world. All one needs to do is meet our admissions criterion and enroll” says Vani. At present they have campuses in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata and admissions centre in Pune and Hyderabad.


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