(from left) Prof. Dheeraj Sharma, Minister V Muraleedharan and Consul General Dr Aman Puri during the valedictory day of the 19th World Congress of the Academy for Global Business Advancement in Dubai on Sunday Image Credit: Sajila Saseendran/Gulf News

Dubai: One of India’s most prestigious business schools is planning to open a centre in Dubai to offer a postgraduate diploma for working executives in the GCC region, it was revealed on Sunday.

The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Rohtak aims to offer a blended course in management from January 2024, Prof. Dheeraj Sharma, director, IIM Rohtak, said in an exclusive interview with Gulf News.

Speaking on the sidelines of an international conference in Dubai co-hosted by the institute, he said: “We’re hoping that we will have the first batch inducted this year to start early next year. So, we are hoping that the classes will start in January. And for that, we have now come to identify a place where we can have classes here.”

He added: “When you have an executive programme for working professionals, I’m sure that there’ll be a small contribution to the growing economy of definitely the UAE, and particularly Dubai.”

Prof Sharma said the blended mode will cater to the flexible schedules of the working professionals, with majority of the classes conducted online in the evenings and weekends.

“We will have them come to our Rohtak campus three times a year, each term for a few days… maybe a total of 15 days and we will have a similar number [of classes] here [at the Dubai centre].”

Prof Sharma said Dubai was chosen as the ideal location for its first overseas centre because the IIM Rohtak used to receive many candidates from the GCC region for similar short-term courses.

“We also have a very large presence of faculty which comes from the Middle East. We get about 40 to 50 faculty members every year from this region to come and teach our students,” he added.

read more

Arabic course

Prof Sharma said IIM Rohtak is the largest IIM in the country in terms of number of students. With a 200-acre campus about just 90 minutes from New Delhi airport it is also building another campus just 20 minutes from the International Airport. Arabic language is offered in the first three years of the five-year integrated BBA-MBA programme.

“So our graduating students will have prowess in Arabic language. We see a lot of synergistic activities here between our institution and the educational institutions in the UAE, particularly in three domains. One—education for the Indian diaspora, second—education for the working executives, and third—training and executive education for the government officials of the UAE where we can help them reorient themselves and become more oriented with latest management techniques.”

Prof Sharma said the Indian Consulate in Dubai and the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi were liaising with the UAE authorities to facilitate the establishment of the Dubai centre of IIM Rohtak.

The 19th World Congress of the Academy for Global Business Advancement (AGBA) was held in Dubai on May 20 and 21. Researchers from 32 countries presented more than 250 papers at the conference with the theme 'Business and Entrepreneurship Development in a Globalised and Digitalised Era'.

Minister's remarks

The conference had the presence of eminent speakers like V Muraleedharan, Indian Minister of State for Ministry of External Affairs; Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai, among various other academicians and dignitaries from across the world.

Muraleedharan told Gulf News that the Indian government extended support to efforts taken by its premier institutes such as IIMs and IITs (Indian Institute of Technology).

“It will benefit students here as well as many other countries from the region also... We have an IIT coming up here [in the UAE]. These developments show how India is taking the leadership role in various realms related to education,” he said.

The first overseas campus of IIT is coming up in Abu Dhabi.

During his keynote speech, he emphasised the importance of regional cooperation for global stability and highlighted the substantial impact created by India during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing over 280 million doses of vaccines to over 100 countries along with medical equipment and medicines to over 150 countries.

Citing that India’s G20 presidency prioritised unity, inclusivity, and decisive action for the betterment of humanity under the theme 'One Earth, One Family, One Future', he said it also saw active participation from African nations. Meanwhile, the Voice of the Global South Summit, led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demonstrated the country’s commitment to inclusive progress for all, he added.

COP28 and CEPA

“With India’s strong focus on sustainable development and its track record of fostering ecological balance, we eagerly anticipate the upcoming COP-28 Summit to be hosted by the UAE at Expo City Dubai. Together as regional partners, we see the COP-28 Summit as a platform to deliver practical solutions, to achieve tangible results and drive impactful outcomes.”

Speaking about India-UAE relations, the minister said "it is a shining example of what cooperation between two like-minded nations with immense technological, financial and human potential can achieve".

He added: “The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement [CEPA] between India and the UAE stands as a testament to our commitment to fostering stronger economic ties and capitalising on the potential of collaboration. It represents a strategic cooperation that embraces the principles of openness, inclusivity and mutual benefit.

This agreement, negotiated and finalised in just 88 days reflects the deep trust and rapport between our two countries. Building upon this spirit of collaboration, the I2U2 group comprising India, Israel, the US and the UAE, has set the stage for a resilient alliance in this rapidly changing times driven by economic pragmatism and multilateral cooperation. This cooperative framework stands as proof of stability amidst unpredictable global trends.”