AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW OF MR TALIB SYED KARIM

Director Academics & Business Support Centre Institute of Business Management (IBM)

KHALIL AHMED, Senior Correspondent
Sep 25 - Oct 01, 2006

Talib Syed Karim was graduated from University of Arizona, USA with Bachelors in Systems Engineering and Masters in Economics. As a graduate student, he had an opportunity to teach undergraduate students both micro and macroeconomics. Thus, his interest in Academia developed almost 22 years ago.

On his return to Pakistan, he worked for a financial institution for almost 11 years and then joined the Institute.

Outlining his professional background Talib said "It gives me a great sense of pride in the manner in which IoBM has developed into one of the best business schools in a short period of 10 years". It is the hard work of the Management, Faculty members and Staff ably supported by our Board of Governors which has allowed us to succeed in such a short period of time. However, our work is not done yet and a lot more needs to be done.

In January 1998, a bill was unanimously approved by the Sindh Provincial Assembly for establishing a University known as the Institute of Business Management in the private sector. At present, the Institute has established its three constituent colleges; the College of Business Management (CBM), the College of Computer Science & Information Systems (CCSIS) and the College of Economics & Social Development (CESD). The College of Business Management (CBM) is the first constituent college of the Institute, which became operational in 1995. For the last three years the Institute has been ranked as one of the top Universities in the private sector, both by the Higher Education Commission of the Federal Government and the Sindh Provincial Government.

Governor Sindh is an ex-officio Patron and a former Governor; Mr. Ashraf Tabani is the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Institute and also its Chancellor.

The Institute through its College of Business Management (CBM), offers a four year BBA (Hons) and a two year MBA degree programs with specialization in Marketing, Finance, Human Resource Management and Management Information Systems. Innovative Masters degree in Health & Hospital Management and Pharmaceutical Administration has also been introduced. A research degree, an M.Phil is also offered in Finance, Human Resource Management, Marketing and Management Information Systems. A four-year Bachelor of Computer Science (Hons.) and a two years master of Computer Science program is offered through the College of Computer Science & Information Systems (CCSIS). The College of Economics and Social Development offers pre-university programs in commerce and general sciences and has developed Honors programs in Economics, Finance, Mathematics, Statistics, Accounting, Media Management, Advertising & Communication Studies and Engineering Management. Preparations are well advanced for launch of programs in Urban & Environmental Management; Transportation; Telecommunications; Industrial and Construction Management.

The Institute puts emphasis on research and publishes Pakistan's only business policy and research journal the Pakistan Business Review. Students and faculty contribute regularly to its pages. A research seminar is organized on a weekly basis. The Institute is the only business school where foreign language courses, Arabic, French, Spanish or German are compulsory subject in the BBA, BCS and BS programs. The Institute has a competent and dedicated faculty with the majority holding foreign degrees.

Since 1998, more than 1800 students have graduated from the Institute. Most of them are placed in key positions in leading national and multinational firms including Citibank, ABN Amro, Engro, Berger Paints, Standard Chartered, IBM, ICI, Smith Kline & Beecham, Aga Khan University Hospital and Karachi Stock Exchange. Many graduates have proceeded for their post-graduate program to reputable universities in UK and USA. Harvard and NYU have accepted our graduates in their Ph. D. and Masters programs. More than 150 students go for compulsory internships every summer to national and multinationals organizations.

The Business Support Centre (BSC) of the Institute mobilizes professional education, training and research programs for serving the corporate sector to enhance both its profitability and contribution to the society. Support is provided in the areas of banking and finance, marketing, human resource development and information systems management.

The Institute has come a long way since 1995. Students on campus exceed 2500 and are on a large purpose-built campus at Korangi Creek on a 9-acre site. The Business College building is housed in a covered area of 57000 sq.ft. has been equipped with state of the art teaching equipment to enable the Institute to keep pace with the dynamic movement of the global market. All classrooms are equipped with access to the Internet and Intranet. All campus buildings are centrally air-conditioned and are self financed with no outside assistance or donation. A separate modern Administration and Business Support Centre building, with a covered are of 20,000 sq.ft. is operational and another building with a covered area of 22,000 sq.ft. is home to the College of Computer Science & Information Systems. A Convocation Centre was constructed in October 2002 and a Student Activity Centre building was completed in August 2003. A five storey Library building is functional since January 2005. Construction of a 100,000 sq. ft. building to house a School for talented children is under way, Intermediate and 'A' level classes has already commenced. Future plans include construction of a building to house the College of Economics & Social Development, College of Engineering Management and the College of Environment & Urban Development.

Our graduates are working in leading national and multinational companies both in Pakistan and abroad. They are making visible contribution to the growth and prosperity of the country. They have also gone for higher studies to UK and USA representing Pakistan as unofficial ambassadors. They have a deep sense of social responsibility and have contributed immensely towards the development of social sector. Our purpose of education at IoBM is to develop the overall personalities of students so that not only they have skills but they also become law-abiding citizen to society's development.

IoBM, is one of the first Business Institutes to introduce a full-fledged quarterly research journal. Faculty members and students are encouraged to publish their research, case studies and articles of interest in the journal. All full-time faculty members are required to work on at least one research project of their specialization in a year, for which they are provided technical and financial support.

Initially, IoBM's MPhil program was research based. But now on the recommendation of HEC, mandatory course work has been introduced. In this regard, we have re-introduced our program from this semester and several candidates have registered in the fields of Marketing, HRM and Finance.

We have already introduced innovative joint honors 4-year program in Accounting & Finance, Economics & Finance, Financial Mathematics & Statistics and Industrial Engineering & Management. Also, at Masters Level, we have introduced Media Management, Advertising Management and Industrial Management. In the years ahead, we plan to introduce an Environmental and Urban Management programs.

We see IoBM as a Center of Excellence in all important areas of Business and Management. For this purpose we are also introducing disciplines which are not lucrative or popular but are vital for the development of the country further we are making our presence felt in the region by introducing the Institute in the Gulf and Far East through innovative training and faculty exchange programs.

Both HEC and the Government of Sindh have introduced an inspection and monitoring program for all private Institutes of the Province. There is a benchmarking and all Institutes are required to meet at least the minimum criteria. This has enabled most of the Institutes to improve their facilities to meet the requirements. The inspection is on an annual basis and will ensure quality and standards for each Institute. Over the years only those institutions are likely to make in grade whose objects are higher than commercial consideration.

The number of applications we receive at the time of admissions shows a tremendous growth. This is an indication of number of candidates willing to go for higher education in this country. Higher education is an investment for a better future. As long as there is a growth in the country, employers will require more managers, engineers and other professionals to run their businesses. The other positive sign is increase in the enrollment of female students in professional Institutes.

With the population of the country at nearly 160 million, 115 odd universities are not sufficient to cater to such a huge market. HEC and provincial governments have done a good job to encourage more private sector universities by granting them charter. With good quality control, I am sure that we will require more such Institutions in future.

I think greater part of this question has already been answered. I just want to add that at the end of the day it is the employers who will assess each Institute through its graduates. If they are happy with those they are hiring they will continue to hire them from that particular Institute. Thus each Institute has to realize that by imparting education or collecting fees is not the end of the road for them. The reward is when its graduates are hired by national and multinational companies. It is good to know that both HEC and Provincial Government have introduced accountability and other requirements to check the quality of education.

My advice is what we inculcate in our students at IoBM, respect your parents, teachers, seniors and peers. Your parents have given lots of sacrifice to keep you happy and healthy. Teachers are your mentors and their guidance will remain with you for the rest of your life. It is just not the classroom learning that is important, but also discipline, ethics and other attributes that can make you into an efficient manager and a good citizen of this country.

ENROLLMENT BY AREA AND SECTOR

Enrollment at Universities/DAI + Constituent Colleges by Area and Sector during 2001-02

Sector

Distance Learning

Federal

AJK

Balochistan

NWFP

Punjab

Sindh

Public

89749

17791

1568

4110

25425

51071

42687

Private

-

02804

59

274

4569

10511

25656

Total

89749

20595

1627

4384

29994

61582

68343

2002-03

Public

108709

26305

1870

4374

27988

63945

43293

Private

-

3657

328

581

5298

13678

31719

Total

108709

29962

2198

4955

33286

77623

75012

 2003-04

Public

159257

31843

2005

5217

30815

86032

46959

Private

-

4720

379

564

5865

16749

32831

Total

159257

36563

2384

5781

36680

102781

79790

 


 

Enrollment at Universities/DAI + Constituent Colleges by Sector.

Year

Distance Learning

Public

Private

Total

2001-02

89749

142652

43873

276274

2002-03

108709

167775

55261

331745

2003-04

159257

202871

61108

423236

 


 

 

Share (%) of Public & Private Sector Universities/DAIs in Total Enrollment, Excluding Distance Learning Universities Classified by Area.

        Area

Public

Private

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

Federal

86.39

87.79

87.09

13.61

12.21

12.91

AJK

96.37

85.08

84.10

3.63

14.92

13.90

Balochistan

93.75

88.27

90.24

6.25

11.73

9.76

NWFP

84.77

84.08

84.01

15.23

15.92

15.99

Punjab

82.93

82.38

83.70

17.07

17.62

16.30

Sindh

62.46

57.71

58.85

37.54

42.29

41.15

Overall

76.48

75.22

76.85

23.52

24.78

23.15