© copy JaviZ / Raul Men
India’s SGM English Medium College of Commerce and Management, (SEMCOM) was established in the year 1997. Located in Vallabh Vidyanagar in Gujarat State, SEMCOM is affiliated with Sardar Patel University. The school offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in business, management, and information technology. Additionally, SEMCOM has been accredited with the highest grade "A" twice in one decade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, India (NAAC) due to its highest quality standards in education. Although SEMCOM has been in existence for a short time, it has already established a reputation for providing world class education and producing top quality graduates. SEMCOM has been selected to receive the BID Quality Crown Award for 2015.
Gujarat State, Cradle of Indian Independence
Gujarat State is well known for producing one of India’s most famous native sons -- Mohandas Gandhi. According to Louis Fischer, “Gandhi’s greatness lay in doing what everyone could do but doesn’t.” Mohandas Gandhi was born in Gujarat state in 1869. His childhood upbringing included a strong inculcation in values such as pacifism, mutual tolerance, non-injury to living beings and vegetarianism. Gandhi was educated in London as a lawyer and moved to Natal, South Africa in 1893, where he spent the next 20+ years. He quickly became involved in the struggle against racial segregation, founding the Natal Indian Congress and participating in nonviolent resistance to the registration law for Indians in South Africa.
Making a Difference at Home
Upon his return to India in 1916, Gandhi continued to practice nonviolent civil disobedience, resisting the British colonial authorities, leading peaceful strikes and protests, and spreading a message of self reliance to India’s poor. In 1921 he became head of the Indian National Congress, and began agitating for complete political independence from Great Britain, using such techniques as a boycott of British goods and institutions and civil disobedience. He was jailed for 2 years as a result. By the early 1930’s, however, instead of arresting him the British began to negotiate, and made concessions on economic conditions, caste status, women’s rights, and autonomy.
One of Gandhi’s most famous early protests, and one which graphically demonstrated the unjustness of British rule and the absurdity of some of its laws, was the Salt March of 1930. It was inspired by the Salt Act of 1882, which made it illegal for anyone to collect or produce salt except for authorized British nationals. Starting with a group of about 80, Gandhi characterized his 240 mile walk to the sea as a traditional spiritual march. Using the publicity as an opportunity to gather support, he arrived at the coast with more than 12,000 followers, who began to make salt in defiance of the law.
The British did not have an adequate response. Allowing such a well organized protest to continue gave more and more political space to those who wanted independence. On the other hand, coming down hard on the protestors for the simple act of making salt seemed like an exaggerated response which would cost the good will of loyal Indians. Furthermore, salt was a commodity that everyone, even the most poor, used. Focus on the unfairness of the British monopoly on its production brought into sharp relief how repressive the law was.
During the first years of WWII, Gandhi helped lead the “Quit India” movement to pressure the British to leave India. The movement’s leaders, including Gandhi, were arrested and spent most of the war in jail, and Gandhi’s wife died while imprisoned at the Aga Khan Palace in Pune. The British finally realized that India was no longer governable, and moved quickly to withdraw once the war was over.
India gained its independence, but the British insisted on dividing the colony into Hindu and Muslim sections. Gandhi opposed this plan, and after the partition advocated for the payment of restitution to Pakistan for territory it lost in the division. Gandhi was assassinated in 1948 by Nathuram Godse, who was opposed to what he believed to be Gandhi’s naïve and dangerous rapprochement with Muslims.
During his lifetime, Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times but he never won it. Unlike the other Nobel prizes, it is awarded for activities carried out during the prior year, and like the other prizes, posthumous nominations are not allowed. In an apparent tribute to Gandhi, however, for 1948 the Peace Prize was not awarded for lack of a “suitable living candidate.”
Practical Business Education
SEMCOM provides a focused course offering to students who are serious about obtaining real world skills that they can apply immediately after graduation. All of its degree tracks give students practical exposure to business through industrial visits, internships and externships as part of the course curriculum. Particular emphasis is given to enhancing presentation skills and other managerial skills, and students typically find themselves in summer training for System Study and Business Process Study in live business environments, enhancing learning and networking opportunities in their field. Currently, students can choose from among the following course offerings:
BBA IT Management
The BBA IT Management program offers specializations in Human Resource Management, Marketing Management, Financial Management, & International Business.
B Com (Bachelor of Commerce)
The B Com program offers specializations in Accountancy and Management. The coursework includes training in computer technology and prepares graduates for Chartered Accountancy and other postgraduate study tracks.
BCA (Bachelor of Computer Application)
The BCA program prepares students for careers in Information Technology, Software Engineering, Systems Analysis and Design. It is the most laboratory intense program at the school, and provides students with hands on experience in Software Development and Networking.
Master of E-Business
As with its undergraduate programs, the Master’s Degree curriculum is focused on the practical and pragmatic. The two-year postgraduate degree program affiliated with Sardar Patel University is often attended by mid and upper level managers in important businesses who are interested in advancing their career through world class education. The focus of the E-Business program is on sharpening students' managerial skills with new perspectives while developing up to the minute competencies adapted to a rapidly changing business environment.
SEMCOM understands that clear communication in business is a crucial component of Total Quality, and provides the resources necessary to make sure that all students have an adequate baseline competence in English. Therefore, it operates a non-credit English Enrichment Course for first and second year students of B Com, BBA and BCA in Written Expression, Spoken English, Vocabulary and Language Games, Correct Usage, and Reading and Listening skills.
The school has also invested in infrastructure to ensure success. The Information Technology Centre is equipped with three computer labs with power backup and boasts a 1:1 computer- student ratio, along with a Wi-Fi network running on shared bandwidth. The Information Resource Center and the Bhaikaka University Library provide support to the project and research work of students with online and offline resources, and audio video equipment. Additionally, students can take advantage of the Human Resource Development Center, a sophisticated language laboratory with state-of-the-art technology and meeting space where students can practice leadership, presentation and communication skills. © copy JaviZ / Raul Men
Apart from real world experience in business organizations, SEMCOM sponsors and organizes a Best Business Idea Contest with cash prizes for students who show particular aptitude in ingenuity, leadership, creativity & innovative thinking for business. The BID Committee was particularly impressed with the design and execution of this contest, and the fact that students are able to reap financial rewards for their ideas while still in school.
Other innovative programs sponsored by the school are the E Business Summit; the Paper Presentation Competition where both students and faculty members compete; the Technofest Competition broken down into categories for Best Programming, Best System Analyst, Best Technofinder, and Best Website Designer; and the Ad-Making Contest. Students are also encouraged to participate in extracurriculars such as the Youth Festival, held in collaboration with the Sardar Patel University. Here, students can show off their abilities in Clay-Modeling, Collage-Poster Making, One Act Play, Mime, Public Speaking, and Classical Dance.
A critical measure of success is the opinions of the students themselves, and testimonials from SEMCOM’s consumers shed light on the level of Quality, Innovation, and Customer Service that the school provides. Some quotes from executive level graduate students are the most direct endorsement any school can receive: "SEMCOM provided the greatest return on my investment to obtain the job and career I aimed for with my MEB Program”"I joined Sandesh Group as an HR Executive. Special gratitude goes to the faculty at SEMCOM.""To be successful everybody needs a great boost with fundamental knowledge and to get that join SEMCOM's Master of E-Business.""I must say that this course – Master of E-Business, along with excellent coaching provided by all faculty members has helped me choose various professional track. I would love to see myself as a student at SEMCOM again!"“The practical knowledge I gained while at SEMCOM via interaction with faculty, presentations and outside professionals / entrepreneurs inspired me to be an entrepreneur.”
Finally, students at SEMCOM have the opportunity to take advantage of exchange programs that the school makes available with other Universities abroad. Currently, exchanges have the chance to study at Georgia Southwestern State University, Myers University,Vancouver Island University, and Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation
Because of its commitment to continuous quality, innovation, and customer service, SEMCOM has been selected to receive the BID Quality Crown Award for 2015 at the convention in London.
ABOUT BID AND THE INTERNATIONAL QUALITY CROWN AWARD:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.