Friday, August 05, 2011

IIM-Kozhikode plans to incorporate Ayurvedic spa facilities

Nitin Paranjpe works with a Delhi-based multi-national as a senior manager. He is a star performer, gets a lucrative package and a hefty bonus every year. He is also among the few the company is grooming as a future leader, and the 33-year-old attends management workshops and development programmes across the year. While the recognition is flattering to Paranjpe, the schedule tires him out.

The Indian Institute of Management — Kozhikode (IIM-K) has thought of a simple solution for Nitin and hundreds of other managers like him, who attend management development programmes (MDPs). The institute is planning to incorporate Ayurvedic spa facilities, by launching an Ayurvedic Wellness Centre, for those who to attend MDPs. IIM-K is in the process of building its new MDP Centre, which will have a wellness centre with a spa, meant for rejuvenation and focused on easing stress for senior management professionals.

The institute's Director Debashis Chatterjee says it make sense to bring Kerala's Ayurvedic heritage to the institute premises. "People from across the world come to Kerala to avail of such facilities. We think its makes good sense to offer such facilities to those who come to the institute to learn," he says. IIM-K is building an MDP Centre at an investment of Rs. 60 crore (Rs. 600 million) and will start operations in April 2012. Of the 140 rooms in the centre, 30 will be for company CEOs.

The institute is also consulting P R Krishna Kumar, Managing Director of Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (Coimbatore), who is known for his work in the Ayurvedic wellness and personal care domain. Mr. Krishna Kumar is helping IIM-K in setting up the Wellness Centre and providing trained personnel for Ayurvedic treatments. "A centre like this may require at least 10 people to start with. However , as the demand for services grow, we can make additions to the staff in future," he said.

Samik Basu, Chief People Officer at PepsiCo India liked the idea. Asked if he would send his people to such an institute, Mr. Basu said, "Everything else remaining constant, I would prefer it if my people go to a facility that offers rejuvenation facilities." Students, however, have mixed opinions about the service. Sajal Kumar, a second year management post-graduate student at IIM-K, says initiatives like these will help establish differentiation for the institute. "Ayurveda may be a traditional practice, but there are ways to utilise it in the modern world. Such drives will also help in creating a brand value in the years to come," he says. However, Sunil Gupta, who heads Avis India, a car rental company, says spa facilities on campus don't make too much difference to either him or his team. As for the destressing, only time will tell.

Source: The Economic Times, August 5, 2011
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