Great Lakes Institute of Management

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Great Lakes Institute of Management
Great Lakes Official Logo.jpg
Motto Global Mindset. Indian Roots
Established 2004
Type Private business school
Dean Dr. Bala V Balachandran
Postgraduates 300 (2009-10)
Location Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
12°34′24″N 80°08′24″E / 12.573471°N 80.139862°E / 12.573471; 80.139862Coordinates: 12°34′24″N 80°08′24″E / 12.573471°N 80.139862°E / 12.573471; 80.139862

Great Lakes Institute of Management (also known as Great Lakes) is a business school with campuses in two metros Chennai and Gurgaon (Delhi NCR).

The institution, a brain-child of the US-based management guru Dr Bala V. Balachandran, aims to fill the vacuum for a top-flight business school in Tamil Nadu and put it on par with the three other southern states that boast of top-rung management institutions: Indian Institutes of Management in Bangalore and Kozhikode and Indian School of Business in Hyderabad.

The institute was founded by Bala (he is also the co-founder of two very reputed B-schools, ISB Hyderabad and MDI Gurgaon) in 2004. Great Lakes has earned the accreditation of AICTE.

Great Lakes Institute of Management has a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Stuart School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, USA. The Yale-Great Lakes Research Center has been established with the objective of pursuing advanced research in management in partnership with Yale University of the USA.[1] The institute has entered into an MoU with the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysia, Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, and IIT Madras for academic exchange programs.

The PGPM Course at Great Lakes is the only One-year management course in India approved by the AICTE.

The average work experience of the students is more than three years and the institute considers GMAT (average of around 670), CAT (average 96 percentile), or XAT (average 95 percentile) scores for admissions.

Great Lakes announced its strategic partnership with Educomp, a leader in the e-Learning industry in India, on May 6, 2011. Great Lakes in association with Institute of Energy Management of Research (IEMR)[2] launched its Gurgaon Campus.


Chennai Campus[edit]

Great Lakes inaugurated its new campus in April 2009 at Manamai Village, on East Coast Road.

Great Lakes campus

Great Lakes Institute of Management’s green campus is very close to the famous shore temple of Mamallapuram, 50 km from the city of Chennai. The sprawling new campus is erected on 18 acres (73,000 m2) of land; the first phase that has been completed has a built-up area of 165,000 sq ft (15,300 m2). Great Lakes will be creating history, as the state-of-the-art campus houses environment-friendly and a green buildings. There are blocks dedicated to research, faculty offices and housing, administrative, student residences, recreation centers. Great Lakes is planning to establish campuses in other parts of India in the near future.

Great Lakes campus has been awarded "Platinum" rating by Indian Green Building Council. The institute’s design concept derives itself from its tag line: “Global mindset – Indian roots”. It aims to generate in students a sense of social responsibility. The design reflects the basic essence of simplicity, humbleness and clarity of thought.

Recognizing the importance of introspection for self-development, the Green Campus provides for an introspective Zen garden around which facilities like the library and Alumni Alcove are arranged. Areas like the garden of activity and garden of tranquility provide much-needed lung space. The campus recycles all its water and waste and uses a lot of reused and recycled products as some of the measures towards making a sustainable and green campus.[3]

Gurgaon Campus[edit]

As part of its plans to expand its presence across India, Great Lakes Institute of Management got into a strategic partnership with Educomp Solutions,[4] a leader in the eLearning space in India, on May 6, 2011. Educomp has announced an investment of Rs. 150 crores over a period of five years. After this announcement, Great Lakes launched its campus in Gurgaon, Haryana in collaboration with the Institute of Energy Management of Research (IEMR) which will now be known as Great Lakes Institute of Energy Management and Research (GLIEMR). GLIEMR now offers a course in Energy Management Executive MBA program

Academic programs[edit]

The one-year full-time Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) is uniquely designed to deliver customer-centricity, meritocracy and corporate ethics. It facilitates students to understand the interactions between the functional areas of a business system and thereby appreciate the need for developing cross-functional perspectives in business. Great Lakes works in close partnership with the industry in shaping the curriculum. The curriculum is reviewed periodically to keep it in sync with the needs of an ever-changing and evolving market place.[5]

Some of the highlights of PGPM:

  • Students are required to do a Chinese language (Mandarin) course during the first four terms. Along with the language, students are made aware of Chinese culture, personal and business etiquette.
  • Students are motivated to learn the inner truth of corporate social responsibility by experiencing the pleasure of giving back to society. Student groups identify social organizations in and around the city and spend a minimum of three hours every week during the first four terms working along with these organizations to bring about enduring changes in their lives.
  • Every student is required to do a real-life study under a faculty member's guidance. This empirical study is an individual or group project spanning the entire year, and is worth six credits. The coordination with respect to this empirical study is handled by the Yale-Great Lakes Center for Management Research.[6]

Post Graduate Diploma in management (PGDM): The program has a clear focus on emerging economies and their growth. An AICTE approved program, PGDM offers a unique and nonpareil coverage of the economies of China, Far-East, Latin America and Africa in comparison to the India growth story. The PGDM has been designed by the Great Lakes Academic Advisory Council, which comprises the best in the world of managerial academia. This in turn has been streamlined with inputs from the Institute's illustrious Business Advisory Council, to keep it in sync with the needs of an ever changing market place. The course helps the students to develop into business-ready managers, capable of responding to complex business requirements that arise in a changing global business environment. It is a two year course with a total intake of 120. Some of the highlights are:

  • Emerging economy centric curriculum
  • Foreign language learning [Mandarin]
  • Experiential learning through simulations
  • Exposure to latest curriculum with faculty from across the globe
  • Entrepreneurial incubation
  • CXO mentoring for every student
  • Internship with Indian companies having operations abroad
  • Karma Yoga project to build socially conscious managers
  • Tie ups with Schools in Emerging Economies, Europe & USA
  • Faculty & student exchange programs across the globe
  • MOUs for consulting, knowledge exchange with leading global schools
  • Short term international immersions
  • SAP [Semester Abroad Program]
  • Term structure in sync with international schools
  • Sharing of online resources with global schools

The Post Graduate Global Executive Program in Management (PGXPM) is Great Lakes' answer to unfolding global changes in business perspectives. It helps to lift one's career beyond expectations with an international life-changing experience. This six-term, rigorous, fully mentored program takes the work experience of the participants into consideration and focuses on sets of core courses in Finance, Marketing, Operations, Technology and Human Resource Management. The Institute looks for high performance middle / senior / manager with strong leadership potential for PGXPM.[7] Some of the highlights of PGXPM:

  • Rigorous 1500 hours learning time over seven terms. Each term is about 1.5 months.
  • Top faculty from US, Asian and Indian B-schools
  • Rich peer environment
  • Course content tailored to suit global business environment
  • International study tour.
  • Empirical research, a unique approach towards management education
  • Diverse class cohort with immense peer learning opportunities

Events and conferences[edit]

  • World renowned Management Guru and thought leader Dr. Ram Charan flags off Great Lakes' 10th anniversary celebrations. Great Lakes presented "Leadership in turbulent times" by Dr. Ram Charan as a part of the Great Lakes Global Thought Leader Series (GTLS).[8]
  • Great Lakes Institute of Management presented world renowned Marketing Guru and inventor of 4P's of Marketing, Dr. Philip Kotler. Dr. Kotler elaborated the architecture of modern marketing methods to the Great Lakes' students.[9]
  • The Yale-Great Lakes International Conference aims to promote, facilitate, and advance India-centric management related research. The Centre comes out with its own publication, Great Lakes Herald, a half-yearly journal of research articles.[10]
Dr. Bala, dean, with Anu Aga, ex-CEO-Thermax at SWIM '08
  • Successful Women In Management (SWIM), an initiative by the students of Great Lakes which aims to identify and recognize successful women from various walks of life. The highlight of the endeavour is the SWIM event consisting of talks by eminent guests, panel discussions, quiz competitions and the release of the SWIM magazine. Over the past years, SWIM event has been presided over by eminent women leaders including Kiran Bedi and Anu Agha.[11]
  • L’attitude 13° 05’, the flagship event of Great Lakes, is a national level inter-collegiate festival with events like paper presentations, business plan presentations, panel discussions etc., in which teams from B-Schools all over the country converge and present their ideas. It also builds a platform for them to network with future leaders from other premier business schools. In 2007 L'attitude saw speakers like Dr. Y. V. Reddy, ex-governor, Reserve Bank of India and Shailesh Rao, country head and MD, Google. For the 2011 version of L'attitude, former Indian president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was to be the guest of honour.[12]
Dean Bala and Prof. Sriram, executive director, with B. Muthuraman at HR Conclave '08
  • Human Resource Conclave was an event initiated in 2008. It brings together stalwarts of HR field who discuss and share industry-specific perspectives on the theme of the event. Great Lakes HR Conclave 2008 had speakers like Shri Prem Chand Gupta, Honorable Union Minister for Corporate Affairs, B. Muthuraman, managing director, Tata Steel and Chandrasekaran, president and MD, Cognizant Technology Solutions amongst others.[13]
  • An International Study Tour is organized every year to go with the Institute's motto of "Global Mindset, Indian roots". The class of 2009 visited Singapore and Malaysia where they interacted with international B-Schools, industry and government.


  • Great Lakes was placed at rank 16th at par with JBIMS and MICA by a Careers360 CNN-IBN survey.[14]
  • It has been placed in cluster 3 colleges along with IIT-B, IIT-D, MDI (HR), IMT (Ghaziabad), SCMHRD, SIBM, TAPMI, IMI, XIM, NMIMS, GIM,SIBM by Career Launcher ranking.[15]
  • Careers360 magazine has considered it to be mini ISB in one of its articles "Is it a miniature ISB?"[16]
  • Business World magazine has ranked Great Lakes 15th in intellectual capital and 18th in overall rankings in its 2010 B-School rankings published on 28 June 2010.[17]
  • India Today in an article "Indian Versus Foreign" (October 10, 2005) stated "The umbilical cords for both GLIM and ISB bond them to elite US institutions like Kellogg and Yale. Their curriculums are modelled after those of top global B-schools".[18]
  • Business India best B-schools surveys 2010 ranked Great Lakes at the 19th position amongst Indian B-schools.


Dr. Ratan Tata at Great Lakes Institute of Management
Indra Nooyi at Great Lakes Institute of Management
Dr. Philip Kotler with dean Bala, at Great Lakes

The dean of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Dr. Bala V Balachandran, handles the Managerial Accounting course. Even during his professional commitments in the US, he tries to remain connected with the students by his weekly e-mails. The executive director is Prof. Sriram who is supervised by Bala.

Though owned by Bala, Great Lakes is a section 25 company run along professional lines with a board consisting of majority of independent directors. Great Lakes has managed to get the consent of many leading personalities of the corporate world for their name in Business Advisory Council. These corporate leaders, who facilitate a strong connection and interface with the industry promote the institution by permitting the management to use their image in a fitting manner in their advertisements. The objective is to ensure that the course curriculum appear to reflect the changes in the business environment and equips students to meet emerging challenges. The list of Business Advisory Council members is on the institute's website.[19]

The Academic Advisory Council develops a solid foundation for management thought. Its objective is to ensure that there is a sound academic base that students can constantly draw from during the course of their careers and establish a core foundation for decision making. The list of Business Advisory Council members is on the institute's website.[20]


External links[edit]