SPJIMR gets US$1,63,000 GMAC MET Fund Awards in second round of Ideas to Innovation Challenge

 | April 17,2012 12:19 pm IST

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), owner of the GMAT exam and the leading membership organization of graduate business and management schools worldwide awarded Bharatiya Vidya Bhavans S P Jain Institute of Management & Research a US$ 1,63,000 grant to fund implementation of Abhyudaya a program through which the first year MBA students mentor underprivileged children..


The GMAC Management Education for Tomorrow (MET) Fund has awarded more than US$7.1 million in grants to 12 organizations across six countries in the second round of its Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Challenge.


Schools and organizations developed their grant proposals in response to an earlier phase of the i2i Challenge, in which individuals were invited to answer the question, What one idea would improve graduate management education? In total, 17 of the 20 winning i2i concepts, which were announced in January 2011, will be implemented by the organizations that were awarded today.


Abhyudaya is a year-long program through which the first year MBA students at the S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR) mentor underprivileged children in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation schools of Mumbais K-West Ward. The mentoring program aims to address urban poverty and foster social responsibility and character development through experiential learning among business school students. GMAC will fund the educational components of the program, which will be mandatory for all MBA candidates.


Character Building Experiential Learning through solving a big problem of Urban Poverty


Abhyudaya is a Sanskrit (an ancient Indian language) word, which means welfare and growth of all. It is pedagogy to prepare tomorrows business leaders who are sensitive to underprivileged section of the society. In the K S A framework, business schools of today need to spend more efforts in developing the right attitude. This is best done through experiential learning.

Replicable to suite the local need this 1st year MBA curriculum aims at solving the big social problem of urban poverty through education as an enabler.


The first year of the MBA curriculum focuses on General Management learning. If future, as a senior manager, the management graduates will have a role to be a mentor, a guide and a coach to his/her juniors. Mentoring can best be learnt by doing. Knowledge of the subject is the first step. Correct assessment of the strength of the men tee, his/her need is important. Preparing a mentoring plan based on the SMART goal and executing it over the year gives a management student a real life experience. He/she is guided by a faculty facilitator. Students reflect on their experience of the mentoring process through diary writing. They learn the mentoring skills, communication skills, time management skills. Interacting with Sitaras and their parents they learn the art of expectation management and developing relationship based on trust. Adaptability, creativity and patience add to the character building exercise. During this mentoring period MBA students develop empathy and experience the Joy of giving.


Mentee are called Sitaras (stars).They are selected through a rigorous selection process from the schools where the children from the bottom of the pyramid study. A number of activities/ programs are undertaken for Sitaras and his/ her family, academic and medical support, yoga, music and sports for their holistic development.


As the future managers, marketers, entrepreneurs, MBA students study Sociology of poverty to get insights in socio-economic, political dynamics and the family fabric of the urban slums.

A midterm review of the mentoring plan under the faculty guidance helps student take corrective steps (if any) to attend the mentoring goal. Closure of mentoring program culminates in preparing a note on Mentoring Continuous for the next batch of Mentors. Students reflect on the years learning.


Through the support to the Sitaras over 8-9 years Abhyudaya aims at lifting families out of the clutches of poverty. Management education becomes the means to solve the big problem of urban poverty is the big idea.


The i2i Challenge was created and managed by the GMACs MET Fund, a US$10 million initiative to advance business education around the world.


Twenty-five proposals from seven countries were submitted in the second round of the challenge, which ran from January to December 2011. The grantees include business schools and organizations in the U.S., Canada, Spain, Italy, India and Botswana. SPJIMR is the only grantee from India.


The foundation of the MET Fund has been that GMAC starting with the GMAT exam and culminating in this phase of i2i grantsshould be investing in and giving back to management education and its institutions. And not just giving back, but giving back in order to move management education forward, said David A. Wilson, president and CEO of GMAC. The power of these grants is in the implementation of ideas that can reshape and revitalize management education worldwide, and that acknowledge the critical role that management education plays in training and developing business leaders who can have global impact.