Extraordinary situations need extraordinary measures. With the unprecedented scale and unique response strategies, COVID-19 pandemic has given the world a realization that our current way of life many nor work. One of the significant areas where we saw substantial scale reformation is education. “The slow pace of change in academic institutions globally is lamentable, with centuries-old, lecture-based approaches to teaching, entrenched institutional biases and old classrooms. COVID-19 has nudged and pushed the education and led to surprising innovations,” opines Dr Santhosh Koshy, Chairman, Koshys Group of Institutions.
For Koshys Group of Institutions located in Bangalore, COVID-19 has however become a catalyst to search for innovative solutions in a relatively short period. Dr Koshy adds, “We have shifted completely to a virtual college where we can easily reach to each one of our students during this lockdown. All our classes are running online and our teachers are covering their syllabus with ease.” The institute uses technology platforms like Google Classrooms to conduct internal exams and the students regularly submit their assignments online. “At present, there are not many effects of COVID-19 on Koshys concerning the knowledge distribution,” pinpoints Dr Koshy.
Indeed, the higher education sector across the globe has reacted in a solidary manner and continued the delivery of knowledge and skills using new learning modalities – from live broadcasts to virtual reality experiences. Koshys Group of Institutions has been using this an opportunity to develop skills that are needed in this unpredictable world. Informed decision making, creative problem solving and perhaps above all, adaptability, are few to name among them. “To ensure those skills remain a priority for all students, resilience must be built into our teaching systems as well. Most importantly, we shall prepare our students to become a socially responsible citizen,” shares Dr Koshy.
At Koshys Group of Institutions, social responsibility does not stay as a theoretical concept inside the classroom. The institute meeting this unprecedented moment with a renewed sense of purpose about its role in the community. “We want to contribute in some way to the war effort. We have been providing groceries to the migrant workers, cab drivers, daily wage laborers as well as giving masks and gowns and other protective equipment for front-line health-care workers,” shares Dr Koshy. The college is also reaching out to our neighbouring village called Bagalur to provide each family with basic food items like rice, daal, potato and many more. Dr Koshy adds, “Our Digital marketing team is continuously working on social media platforms to spread awareness and educating people about basic do’s and don’ts about COVID-19.”
Making an Education Establishment that Matters
Established in 2003, Koshys Group of Institutions is now considered a premier institute for management and nursing education in the country. Since its inception, the institute has been achieving the set milestones year after year in every sphere of education including academics, placement, industry interaction, corporate training and extracurricular activities and many more. “As the global competition is heating up, our educational philosophy is found on the belief that the students should not only be professionals in their chosen careers but also well-rounded personalities. They must be knowledgeable with high professional and ethical standards,” explains Dr Koshy. Today, Koshys Group of Institutions strives to nurture its students to emerge as corporate leaders and entrepreneurs who can face challenges and contribute to the world.
Although Koshys College of Nursing, which was established in 2003, had become a leading academic institution dedicated to educating exemplary nursing professionals, Koshys Institute of Management Studies had its share of challenges in the beginning. Dr Koshy recalls, “It was in 2010 when we started an MBA program. In the 1st year, we had only 12 students and among them, 3 finally did not continue. So we ended up with only 9 students.” Many of his friends and experts advised Dr Koshy not to continue with an MBA program anymore as the MBA market was not very promising at that time. However, Dr Koshy was not among those who would give up soon. He adds, “I had full faith in my vision and intention, as I wanted to give an affordable MBA college to the society that will have all facilities that a good MBA college usually has. I discussed with my team and found that we all are on the same page. We all believed we could do it.”
Learning from the mistakes they did in the beginning, the team under the leadership of Dr Koshy sat together and planned out a road map for 2011. “We worked really hard that year and in 2011, we had 102 admissions. From 9 students to 102; that was our turning point. That year itself, we were awarded the Best Promising Business School in India by Competition Success Review,” proudly shares Dr Koshy. The institutions have had hardly any setbacks after that. Today, Koshys Group of Institutions trains the students well to meet the international standards in their fields to be successful in India and abroad.
Most of the faculty members at Koshys Group of Institutions are research degree holders. They actively engage in curriculum designing at the university level. “Our faculty members use a variety of teaching strategies like a lecture, discussion, seminar, brainstorming, problem-solving, workshops, self-learning approach and many more. We Impart Experiential Learning in Teaching where faculty must update their knowledge for EL Application as Teaching Aid,” explains Dr Koshy.
Establishing High Expectations and Clear Goals
Koshy Group of Institutions is a place where students need to meet high expectations. In fact, there is a reason for setting such high standards. Dr Koshy states, “When expectations are transparent, students know where their learning is headed and are motivated to get there because it seems possible: the path is visible. Working towards daily, weekly and yearly goals give students a purpose and a meaning for the hard work that they do.” In this mission, the institute has provided all the facilities including study skills unit, peer support and tutoring programs, counselling, career services, clubs and societies, course-specific facilities and many more. “We also impart Nine Window Matrix Model, which is an idea-creation tool that ensures students for innovating or developing new ideas,” adds Dr Koshy.
On the other side, as Industry-Institute collaboration, Koshys Group of Institutions involves a diverse set of activities, resulting in a variety of outputs. “The success of any type of institute depends on the various parameters like participation of industrial personnel in a seminar, involvement in curriculum design, summer training of students in Industry, technical problems as projects, consultancy to Industry, involvement in the teaching process and many more. It usually results in a percentage of students being placed in the Industry, better ranking in accreditation and feedback from the employer on the alumni,” explains Dr Koshy.
Koshy Group of Institutions has many collaborations with Industry, thereby narrowing the divide between theory and practice. Dr Koshy claims, “Our students will have a smooth transition from academics to the professional world, as we have trained them in interpersonal skills, communication skills and leadership skills, which provides a link with the potential future employee.” Placing the students in this turbulence is a big task. However, the institute has come up with a strategy called Talent Stacking. “We are continuously training our students on the key qualities of Talent Stacking like strong written and verbal communication skills, solid emotional intelligence, sales experience, public speaking skills, programming skills, strong persuasive abilities and social media skills. Training is a part of our timetable and it starts from the day a student enters into the class for the first time,” shares Dr Koshy.
Operating in the hug of young entrepreneurs in India, Koshy Group of Institutions understands that an MBA is not only for getting a proper placement but also for establishing a startup. The institute has an Incubation Center where students are free to submit their business ideas. The team of experts at the centre would scrutinize these projects and give the required corrections and advises to make it workable. “If their project is selected by our team, we arrange investors for them and provide all sorts of support to make their project stand on its own feet,” pinpoints Dr Koshy. My Dhobi App, Book Search (library App), and Lib Soft are some of the students’ startups that are already working successfully in the market.
While the uncertainties in reopening the educational institution continue, Koshy Group of Institutions is ready for both virtual and real-time class. Interestingly, they are planning to open a couple of new colleges. “This year, we are coming up with an animation institution named Koshys Animation and Media School and one new nursing college named Bangalore Little Flower College of Nursing. Including these two colleges, we shall have 6 colleges under the banner of Koshys Group of Institutions. With all your blessings, we hope to have more colleges under our banner shortly,” concludes Dr Koshy.
Dr Santhosh Koshy, Chairman
A passionate human being committed to bringing quality health care for all – he founded Koshys Hospital in 2002 and Little Flower Hospital in 1998. Since inception, he has brought together some of the most excellent Doctors across specialities and developed Koshys into a Multi-speciality Hospital to provide quality health care to patients. With over two decades of experience, he is a highly respected paediatrician in the medical fraternity.