Indian business school IMT joins forces with Vlerick for degree in banking and financial services

Last year, the Indian Institute of Management Technology (IMT) searched a strategic partner in Europe for developing a Post Graduate Degree on Management focused on Banking and Financial Services. That they found Vlerick was no coincidence, as is apparent from our conversation with Professor Asish K. Bhattacharyya, Director of IMT Ghaziabad, and Marion Debruyne, Dean, Patrick De Greve, General Director, and David Veredas, Professor of Financial Markets at Vlerick. 

IMT Ghaziabad collaboration

Why did you start looking for a partnership with a European business school?

Professor Asish K. Bhattacharyya: “Well, our IMT campus in Ghaziabad near Delhi receives some 20,000 applications for 700 places each year. For the Post Graduate Degree on Management focused on Banking and Financial Services (PGDM-BFS) in particular, we selected forty talented students with a background in economics and engineering from a huge group of applicants. Our students are the future leaders in banking and financial services, so we want them to look beyond India. To be able to offer them not only a strong programme, but also an open view of the rest of the world, we decided to collaborate with a renowned business school in Europe.”

“Our students are the future leaders in banking and financial services, so we want them to look beyond India.” Professor Asish K. Bhattacharyya

Why did you decide to contact Vlerick Business School?

Professor Asish K. Bhattacharyya: “After a thorough analysis, we decided that Vlerick is a perfect fit for us for three reasons: Vlerick has an excellent reputation in the area of banking and financial services, a high ranking among business schools in Europe, and also a high ranking in the field of banking and financial services in particular. In December 2018, one of our colleagues visited the School and came back with a very positive impression. This confirmed the image we had of Vlerick.”

December 2018 wasn't that long ago. How did the first contacts go?

Marion Debruyne: “Incredibly well. Considering that the programme has been launched on 4 June 2019, everything has gone very smoothly. We immediately noticed that IMT was very well prepared and already knew a lot about Vlerick, even before they contacted us. As a result, we were able to get to work very quickly: an excellent example of efficient international cooperation.”

Patrick De Greve: “We also immediately found that there are many similarities between Vlerick and IMT. We are both leaders in our regions, and both have entrepreneurship and action learning in our DNA.”

What exactly is the programme about?

David Veredas: “The Post Graduate Degree on Management focused on Banking and Financial Services (PGDM-BFS) is a two-year full-time programme with an extensive curriculum. It combines courses on banking and financial services with courses on general management and digital transformation. The PGDM-BFS is managed by a team in each country. Both teams have worked closely since February. The Indian team is responsible for marketing the program and recruitment of the students, as well as placement. The Belgian team is responsible for the programme’s architecture and development and will also monitor the quality of the learning process. Our Vlerick faculty and experts will take care of 30-40% of the teaching, so Vlerick’s commitment is very high.”

IMT Ghaziabad collaboration
From left to right: Patrick De Greve (General Director Vlerick), Marion Debruyne (Dean Vlerick), Anoop Sareen (DGM - Administration IMT), Asish K. Bhattacharyya (Director IMT Ghaziabad), Rakes Kumar Arora (Counsellor Embassy of India), Rein Robberecht (Senior Learning & Development Consultant Vlerick) and David Veredas (Professor Vlerick).

What does this collaboration mean to you?

David Veredas: “My team and I are very excited to be part of this. When two business schools join forces and work in depth on a structured programme around banking and financial services, we can truly offer a course that combines global knowledge with local reach. This strategic partnership of a European and an Indian business school will prepare students to act locally and think globally.”

Patrick De Greve: “Indeed, internationalisation and diversity are essential in today’s business education landscape. IMT Ghaziabad and Vlerick Business School are both actively seeking collaborations with strong international partners.”

Marion Debruyne: “Moreover, India is very interesting to us as a major, relevant player on a global scale. Demographically, it is very different from Europe: there are many young people in need of training. Demand far exceeds supply, as Professor Bhattacharyya has already pointed out. It is also good for us to have a partner in the field from whom we can learn a lot. The fact that we can integrate Indian case studies into our courses is an enrichment. Of course, it is also a pleasure to work with people who are as passionate as we are.”

Professor Asish K. Bhattacharyya: “That's right. In addition to Vlerick's strengths in terms of content, we are also enthusiastic about this partnership because we feel a cultural click. I am convinced that our cooperation will go far beyond this programme and that this will benefit both schools.”

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