Excel from rural India

100XLRI Balanced approach: Students at XLRI.

XLRI stays current while sticking to its roots

  • THE STUDENTS can better understand underserved markets and empathise with THE RURAL POPULACE.

The Xavier Labour Relations Institute was established in 1949 in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand (then Bihar), by the reverend Quinn Enright, SJ, who visualised the institute as a partner of independent India’s development and growth, with a vision of “renewing the face of the earth”.

Over the years, XLRI has carved a niche for itself and has consistently found itself among the elite business schools in India. This seems all the more impressive for a private school far away from the metros. “We strive to have students from diverse backgrounds, to the extent possible,” said Sunil Varughese, chief brand and sustainability officer. The institute focuses on getting students who are willing to understand the socioeconomic aspects of global challenges, which are important for upcoming corporate managers. This focus, claims the institute, is unique to XLRI.

“XLRI’s presence in Bharat (in the rural belt) gives its students a first-hand experience of non-metro, rural India and the challenges that our less privileged citizens face on a daily basis, even when it comes to meeting basic needs,” said Varughese. The students have a better understanding of the underserved markets and can empathise with the rural populace.

However, they are not deprived of a world-class curriculum and facilities. The institute constantly scans the developments in the business and social sectors, and tries to bring in and implement changes accordingly. The new XLRI campus, which is a contiguous extension of the existing campus, and spread over seven acres, was inaugurated last November.

The new learning centre on the extended campus has 26 state-of-the-art classrooms—which can seat more than 2,000 students—and is designed to create spaces that support innovation and encourage lively discussions.

Said Varughese: “XLRI strives to nominally increase the fees every year and avoids huge jumps, unlike the IIMs. As XLRI is a private B school, it does not get any government grants. However, given the constraints, it still offers scholarships to deserving students and our fees for the two-year postgraduate diploma in business management is still a bit lower than the fees at IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta.”

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