Dr. Biplab Kumar Biswal, the Director of Kirloskar Institute of Management (KIM), attributes his success to a wealth of diverse experiences. Throughout his career, he has honed his leadership skills by working alongside people from all walks of life at all levels of the organizational hierarchy. He has never shied away from taking on new challenges and has embraced each opportunity as a chance to learn and grow. By cultivating self-awareness and leveraging his strengths to benefit his career, Dr. Biswal has become a master at building high-performing teams.
With a career spanning over 22 years, Dr. Biswal has made a name for himself as a dynamic and accomplished manager in both corporate and academic spheres. He is a skilled project leader, having directed numerous complex projects from concept to successful implementation. Dr. Biswal’s impressive track record includes launching the PLANETWORKZ program of NIIT across major towns in Orissa, as well as handling the Training & Placement for ICFAI for five years. He has also made significant contributions to academic institutions, having overseen academics and placement for Krupajal for two years and BIITM for four years.
Creating Student-Driven Institution
Dr. Biswal’s first month at KIM was marked by keenly observing the institution’s functioning style. He noticed that the campus was heavily influenced by a strict, staff-driven approach, which led him to focus on transforming it into a student-driven campus. Dr. Biswal says, “Today, KIM is a student-driven campus, and it runs better that way. If they cannot manage their college, how will they manage a business.” A student-driven approach fosters a sense of responsibility and ownership among students, which is crucial for their future success in managing a business. Dr. Biswal’s mantra for success, “Don’t Compete, Don’t Compare, Don’t Hate, and Don’t Judge,” encourages individuals to focus on their own growth and progress rather than getting caught up in unproductive and negative behaviours. His efforts have resulted in a more efficient and effective campus, where students are empowered to take charge of their own education and future success.
As the Director of KIM, Dr. Biswal faces a range of challenges on a daily basis. Tying people together is one of the most difficult and, yet, the most critical tasks. Some of the challenges that he faces include enabling students with social development, maintaining positive relationships with stakeholders, helping faculty members with their self-development, setting goals for employees, maintaining a peaceful work environment, gaining the confidence of both students and employees, providing maximum facilities for students, keeping up with new educational policies and changes in the industry, maintaining rapport with students and staff, and providing support for the betterment of the institution. Despite these challenges, Dr. Biswal remains dedicated to his work and strives to create an environment that promotes learning, growth, and success for all stakeholders.
A Modern B-School
KIM is a leading B-School in India, consistently ranked as A++ by Business India. Founded by the Kirloskar Group in 1991 in Harihar, Karnataka, it has a second campus in Talegaon Dabhade, Pune. Both campuses are AICTE approved and offer two-year fully residential Management programmes such as PGDM, Industry 4.0 and Global PGDM with a 96% placement success rate. KIM is known for its world-class infrastructure, academic excellence, and higher placement percentage compared to other colleges in South India. In 2021, KIM started its undergraduate program named Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management, which is affiliated with Davangere University and offers BBA and B. Com courses.
KIM, Harihar is located on a 6.3-acre campus along the banks of the River Tungabhadra. The institute is easily accessible by road and rail, situated on the NH48 between Bangalore and Pune. The campus has modern amenities, including air-conditioned lecture halls, syndicate rooms, a well-stocked library, computer labs, a gymnasium, and an in-house medical clinic. Sports facilities include a swimming pool, indoor games, and a playground. Separate executive-style hostels for males and females provide comfortable accommodation. The institute has a standby 125 KVA power generator and an internet facility of 75 Mbps provided by two service providers. Canteen facilities are available for students, staff, and guests.
Spearheading the KIM-way of Holistic Learning
Dr. Biswal believes that one of the major problems with Indian B-schools is their obsession with the West. He opines, “Schools often focus too much on metrics such as average salary and return on investment, rather than prioritizing the holistic development of students and ensuring they are rich in terms of content. Additionally, there is a tendency to use jargon when talking about employability, which can create confusion and miscommunication.” However, the Kirloskar Institute of Management has a different approach. Their motto, “विद्यां ददाति विनयं विनयाद् याति पात्रताम् | पात्रत्वात् धनमाप्नोति धनात् धर्मं ततः सुखम् ||” emphasizes the importance of knowledge and humility, and how they lead to capability, wealth creation, and ultimately, the upliftment of society.
Kirloskar Institute of Management focuses on creating knowledgeable, empathetic managers who contribute to the betterment of society rather than just chasing numbers and rankings. Under Dr. Biswal, the institute has achieved significant international collaborations, with over 10 partnerships with top-ranked universities in the US, France, Spain, UAE, and Malaysia. This has provided opportunities for course upgrades, international internships, and placements. “I have been able to pull up a three-tier institution to a premier institution in Odisha. With ICFAI, I have been able to facilitate multiple locations in India and set up B-Schools with repute. In KIM, within the last four years of my tenure, we have been able to get several important recognitions,” shares Dr. Biswal.
KIM has received numerous awards and recognitions for its excellence in education and innovative pedagogy. The B-School has been ranked among the top B-schools in India by various prestigious organizations such as Business World, Careers 360, and The Week. It has also received awards for its industry-related curriculum in marketing, leadership, and knowledge management. KIM has been recognized for its corporate connectedness, faculty profile, infrastructure, and accreditation and linkages. The institute has also received awards for its outstanding performance in virtual knowledge delivery during the pandemic. Additionally, KIM has been recognized as one of the top colleges offering business analytics by CEO Insights and India’s 10 Best Business Analytics College by The Academic Insights.
A Democratic Leader
Dr. Biswal is basically a democratic leader who has been able to build effective teams from existing resources wherever he has worked. He does not believe in having a group of his own and moving around with them. He pinpoints, “I keep my faculty members always motivated. I believe in recognizing their potentiality and giving them tasks in their field to bring out their best.” Dr. Biswal encourages them to work independently unless they need his interference. He has complete faith in his faculty members, and they keep him posted on their work.
Being insightful is a valuable trait that an educator can possess. Dr. Biswal believes that an insightful teacher can quickly and accurately assess student work and provide timely constructive feedback. “They evaluate student work based on understanding what is right and what needs improvement, rather than simply marking errors or giving praise. This approach allows the student to understand the reasoning behind their work and encourages them to think creatively.” According to Dr. Biswal, a good teacher always seeks to understand the student’s reasoning rather than just the answer. Through student assessment, the insightful teacher can evaluate their performance and identify improvement areas. “Ultimately, being insightful is a valuable trait for educators as it allows them to provide effective feedback and helps students to progress in their learning,” adds Dr. Biswal.
For his dedication and hard work as an academic leader, Dr. Biswal has received several awards and recognitions, including being recognized as one of Business Sight’s 10 Most Trusted Brands of the Year 2021, Asia One’s Global Indian of the Year 2020-21, and receiving the CSR Eminent Director of Leading Institute Award and the CSR Excellence in Higher Education Award from Competition Success Review. He was also awarded the Intellectual of the Year 2020 by Rifacimento International and the Asian Achievers 2021 award for meritorious achievements by Reguard Inc.
The Power of Good Education
Dr. Biswal’s student life was primarily spent in premium government institutions, which contributed significantly to his growth and development. During his school days, he was recognized as the “Best All-rounder student” for his exceptional performance in academics and extracurricular activities. His school provided him a platform to hone his communication and multi-tasking skills, making him more confident and stage-free.
During his college days, Dr. Biswal went to one of the best colleges in his state, where he focused on building strong fundamentals and conceptual clarity and emerged as a leader. He served as the Secretary of his department and successfully organized an International Seminar on “Emerging Trends in Finance.” In addition to his graduation and post-graduation, Dr. Biswal pursued three more post-graduations, one in commerce, one in law, and one in Labor Law (IR&PM), which added to his education and knowledge base. He credits NIIT for his technical proficiency and adaptability, which have helped him stay up-to-date with the latest technological advancements in his field.
Today, Dr. Biswal has a positive approach towards handling pressure and believes he performs his best when facing challenges. He follows healthy habits, such as meditation, eating healthy, and deep breathing, to calm himself down during stressful situations. He prioritizes his work and takes short breaks after completing tasks to avoid burnout. Dr. Biswal’s top priority is giving his best without any mistakes. He focuses on the present and stays organized to manage pressure effectively.
Dr. Biswal and his team at KIM are currently working on expanding the course base and aiming for international accreditations. They are also involved in multiple research projects with the industry and focusing on Industry 4.0 awareness across educational institutions in the country. “We have launched two new courses, BBA and B. Com, affiliated to Davangere University as per the NEP. Our first lot of students for both summer internship and course equivalence are leaving for different global destinations. So, we are closely monitoring the same to make it successful,” shares Dr. Biswal. KIM is planning for certification courses and expanding buildings to create a niche in the market with a focus on value education in management. “We are also planning to bring in a couple of innovative courses in the upcoming academic year through our global partnership,” adds Dr. Biswal.
Today, as an experienced academic administrator, Dr. Biswal would like to see several changes in the current business education system. One of the major changes he wants to see is an increase in the availability and accessibility of virtual learning platforms. He believes that it will make it easier for people to access education from anywhere and at any time. He also wants to create a scope for an interdisciplinary approach, where various departments collaborate and integrate insights from diverse fields. Another change he would like to see is the encouragement of project-based and experimental learning, where students learn through practical experience. He believes that classrooms should be made entirely computer-based, allowing for blended learning. Dr. Biswal wants to bring more flexibility to the education system by giving students more choices when selecting subjects. These changes would make the education system more inclusive and accessible to everyone.
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