The S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, one of India’s top management institutes, has a rich legacy of being a pioneer in promoting sustainable practices, through both education and non-education efforts. It has acquired the reputation of meeting societal needs of under-managed sectors by offering unique, purposeful and relevant initiatives.
As one of the first Indian signatories of PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) – which is the UN Global Compact’s initiative to transform management education, research, and thought education leadership globally – SPJIMR hosted the 8th PRME Asia Forum in its premises in December 2018. This forum, which was the first of its kind to be held in India, brought together advocates of responsible citizenship, management, and leadership from universities, corporates, civil society and management institutions across the Asia-Pacific region.
This rich heritage is being furthered by OJAS XI, the flagship management symposium of SPJIMR. Now past a decade of its existence, OJAS has created a niche for itself as a management festival with a difference, and this year promises to be no different. Scheduled to be held from January 10-12, this spectacle of splendour has been exemplary in its efforts of achieving sustainability through management practices and initiatives.
The efforts to be ‘earth-friendly’ begin with the preparations for OJAS. Each member of its 118-member committee strives to ensure that minimal material is used in the design of the festival. The use of paper and other such material is kept to a bare minimum – online registrations and email invites are small but pragmatic examples of such minimalism. Recycling is a big part of decorating the campus; for example, used plastic bottles from the PRME Forum held in December as well as previously discarded glass bottles from the campus canteen have been used to create the décor. Old newspapers have also been used in a similar manner.
Another initiative that falls in line with OJAS’s sustainable practices is the organizing of a Free Medical Camp for the tribals residing in Sanjay Gandhi Nation Park (SGNP), Mumbai. Held in October 2018, the medical camp was conducted in multiple settlements (padas) in SGNP. A team of doctors and OJAS’s very own volunteers served 50+ patients in the vicinity, to a great response, and the OJAS team plans to conduct several such medical camps in the near future. It is for good reason, therefore, that OJAS has received UNESCO’s patronage for its pioneering work in sustainable development initiatives.
In order to inculcate the idea of sustainability and solving societal issues in management students, OJAS organizes a competition called Sahyog, a case study competition that allows students to touch upon the lives of the economically and socially backward section of the society. By giving students the chance to apply their business acumen to social issues in order to recommend solutions to the people, Sahyog creates a space in which the idea of giving back to the society is nurtured.
If there is one section of the society that needs to be treading on the path of sustainability, it’s the youngsters. Through various events and activities, OJAS aims to inspire and educate the generation how to build a better and safe world which can only be achieved through sustainable efforts. In this manner, OJAS XI has continued to be the torchbearer for SPJIMR’s vision – to combine international business and management ideas with Indian ethos, in order to create managers with a global outlook