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Few takers for Indian B-school faculty posts

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Pratik Bharti
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Unhappy Few takers for Indian B-school faculty posts - November 22nd, 2007

Indian management institutes, which are constantly looking for world-class faculty, are feeling the heat from their counterparts in Singapore and other western countries.

Consider this. India's best paying B-school -- Indian School of Business, Hyderabad -- made offers to five international faculty members in the past three years. All of them chose to join management institutes in Singapore because of the fat pay packets.

ISB pays its professors salaries that are five times more than an Indian Institute of Management professor. This means if an IIM professor's monthly salary is Rs 54,000, his counterpart at ISB would draw Rs 2,70,000 a month.

Even the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad) is not immune. In March this year, IIM(A)approached a French professor to join the institute but the deal fell through.

Said a professor from the institute, "We face competition at various levels. There is a large pool of Indian students who get PhDs in management from US universities and we are trying to approach them to join us. But given our pay scales, it's nearly impossible."

Another institute, the Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, has had a similar experience. Though it refuses to share the numbers, GLIM's Executive Director S Sriram said, "Some professors showed great interest in joining us but later declined the offer. We, however, make offers to professors through our personal network."

A professor in the US draws between $4,500 (around Rs 1.8 lakh) and $7,000 (around Rs 2.8 lakh) a month. This income excludes consultancy fees from corporate assignments.

Another key issue that prevents these professors from joining an Indian B-school is government interference.

Besides, many top management institutes like INSEAD, France, and the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business have opened campuses in Singapore that also manage to attract these professors.

Said ISB Dean R M Rao, "At ISB, we always look for faculty who would have strong inclination towards research. As a process of recruitment, we write to various international B-schools. Also, our selection team from the Kellogg School of Management and Wharton School go to conferences where professors make presentation."

Rao added that offers for a faculty position are made if areas of academic interest match. "But for the past few years, we have been facing a challenge from B-schools in Singapore," he admitted.

The resident to international visiting faculty ratio at ISB is 25:75. The institute plans to make it 50:50.

The good news, however, is that several NRIs and people of Indian origin have expressed an interest in joining Indian B-schools because they want to shift to India. Indian B-schools, of course, look forward to this.
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