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KMA played a major role in shaping the management sector of Kerala

Birender Singh

Birender Singh

The Kerala Management Association (KMA), one of the top management associations in the country, was founded to promote education and training in industrial administration and business management in Kerala. It is a founding member of AIMA (All India Management Association), New Delhi. KMA was established in 1957 by a group of dedicated and enterprising management leaders. As a catalyst for promoting the entrepreneurial climate in the state, KMA has spearheaded concepts on management mantras. For more than half a century, Kerala Management Association has played a significant role in promoting and disseminating contemporary management principles and practices. In an exclusive interview, KMA Senior Vice President, Ms. L. Nirmala tells us more about the organization and its plans. Excerpts:

What is KMA’s role in Kerala’s management sector?

Nirmala: As a non-profit organization, KMA is a major force in shaping the current management community in Kerala. It organizes many programs to educate present-day managers. Its members belong to the management community and the entrepreneurs in Kerala. It helps to bridge the gap between them and encourages the managers to perform better.

KMA acts as an umbrella organization. It brings together corporate houses, business heads, and doyens of the industry. It offers its members a platform to learn new trends and contemporary management practices. Our members get the chance to listen to, learn from, and interact with a broad range of world-known business and management personalities. Experts from different domains of knowledge share their knowledge in our programs. We provide a platform to our members for networking and establishing contacts within the management profession.

KMA organizes various types of activities. What are they?

Nirmala: A wide range of activities/meetings are organized under different committees. The major activities are the Annual Management Convention, Seminars, Training Programs, Lecture Meetings and Panel Discussion, the Manager of the Year Award, Young Managers Contest, the KMA Excellence Awards, the CEO Forum, the Management Students Forum, the MSME Forum, the Sector-Specific Initiatives, and the Women Managers Forum. In addition, KMA publishes a Management Journal.

Typically, KMA conducts five to six events in a month. Evening Lectures are held regularly. Eminent speakers from the corporate world and the public sectors are invited to address KMA members on a topic relevant to management. These lectures are free and open to the public. KMA also organizes tailor-made training for member organizations upon request.

What about the “Manager of the Year Award”?

Nirmala: In 2001, during the presidency of Jose P. Philip, a new award called the Manager of the Year Award was instituted to recognize and credit dynamic and result oriented managers who stand out from their peers. The selection was made by an eminent jury constituted specifically for this purpose. The award is usually given at the Annual Day Lecture. “Manager of the Year” is now one of the most sought-after awards.

What is the “Management Education Program” all about?

Nirmala: “The Diploma Course in Management”, conducted by the All India Management Association, attracted young managers from across India, and KMA decided to assist the local participants thereby offering periodic lectures. During the year 1992-93, KMA started a nodal programme by taking management education into institutes of learning. Later, KMA was designated as one of the examination centres. It was done by organizing evening lectures and discussions on the campus of the School of Management Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology, and the Rajagiri School of Social Sciences.

For the first time in India, KMA came up with an innovative scheme of “Consortium MBA” in 1993-94. It involved partnering with AIMA and Devi Ahalya University in Indore. Responses to the programme were immense and courses began in August 1994. After two batches, however, the course had to be discontinued due to technical reasons. KMA was also a Nodal Centre at Indore University and AIMA for the Executive Doctorate Programme in Business Administration. It signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2001 with PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore to jointly offer a one-year Postgraduate programme with them. As more Business Schools were established in the state, these programs were discontinued.

KMA started a custom Post-Graduate Diploma in Training and Research Management Program in collaboration with Indira Gandhi National Open University to mould and develop quality faculty for Management Institutes in Kerala. This was started in the year when the KMA President, Mr Sunil Zacharia, took office. A significant number of students have passed out of this Diploma program.

Who can become a member of KMA?

Nirmala: KMA offers membership under different categories and each category has specific eligibility criteria. The membership categories are Corporate / Associate Corporate Membership, Individual Membership, Individual Life Membership, Individual Life Membership for Senior Citizens, Student Membership and Combined Membership.