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IFIM Social Immersion Project review – helping students address social problems through research

Aug 16, 2016

IFIM Business School students presented their final observations and reports on the SIP (Social Immersion Project) on August 16, 2016 to a panelist of representatives of NGO’s and senior academicians.

At IFIM Business School, all the stages of the PGDM program are stepping stones which are called the Immersion Pathway. Every step on this Immersion Pathway will be streamlined through a process with a measurable outcome with continuous guidance from experts in the industry. The destination of the Immersion Pathway or the goal of SIP is to create solutions that will make Positive Social Change.

SIP Presentation
This year, the complete Immersion within the Social community enabled students to identify ‘issues of social concern’ in the community. The SIP program also provided them with introductory training and knowledge around Social Research, Design Thinking and Lean Start-up principles. Coupled with the accelerated learning of principles in marketing, finance, operations and management in the classroom, they were able to create sustainable business solutions. IFIM has tied up with NGOs who worked closely with students throughout the immersion program. The se NGOs were specialists in social research and solving social problems.

Mr. Mathai Kutty from World Vision India and Mr. Abdullah A Rehman from Anti-Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation are senior members of the NGO community influencing positive change in the society over the past decade who visited IFIM to judge the SIP presentations. Being one of the panel members judging the SIP presentations and reports, Mr. Kutty praised the dedication and efforts put in by IFIM students. He mentioned “SIP sensitizes students to the needs of a community and will enable them to identify real-time social problems through research. I am impressed that all the groups learned to design solutions for these social problems through their Techno Economic Viability (TEV) study, thereby enabling sustainable social positive and measurable impact - all this by completely immersing into the community.”

The students were judged on their presentation based on presentation style and innovation, body language, skills developed and content. The standout presentation belonged to Group 6 who researched on soil infertility and Jojoba cultivation. They not only identified the problem, but also undertook deep research, prioritized solutions and showed a clear pathway to reduce costs and maximize profits. They used the honeybee economy model which enables community members to help each other, and it is also easy to replicate. Another interesting observation was the accurate village demographics were identified through community meetings and door to door interactions.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Satish Kumar, Dean – Research & International Relations at IFIM said “SIP is an essential part of the program and this immersion will be continued in the years to come. Students who join corporates may come from a privileged lifestyle; they need to be sensitized to the needs of the underprivileged and socially backwards. Students become socially conscious and ethically responsible once they go through this immersion process.”

Previous batches of IFIM Business School have worked with Vision India for the ‘Smart village’ project which consisted of surveys and research, community issue identification and resolution and ‘visioning’ through the dream app. Through IFIM’s Shiksha Aadhar activity, they were also able to build trust among the surrounding villages of Bangalore near IFIM hostel and undertake the tedious village wealth ranking scale through community involvement and ownership with Vision India. They collected data on the income of households and made segregations such as below poverty line, low income, medium income etc.

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