Recently, I had to travel to Kolkata for a short trip. While going there, thought, should visit Praxis Business School. While I have spoken with multiple stakeholders associated with Praxis in the past and have heard good things about the course they teach, You can never equate the experience of visiting campus with phone discussions!!
Then, I called the Praxis Business School management and they were more than happy to have me there.
First impressions: a small and cozy campus
At the first impression, Praxis looked like a cozy little campus. The classrooms, the management offices and the staff room, everything was under one roof. This also meant high accessibility: I could see the teachers and students interacting with each other freely, But more on this later!!
First stop: interaction with the dean and associate dean
The first thing I did was meet Professor Srinivas Govindrajan (dean) and Professor Charanpreet Singh (associate dean). Prof.. Govindrajan is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and currently serves as Visiting Professor at IIM Calcutta and IIM Raipur, in addition to being the Dean of Praxis. Professor Singh, Secondly, is an IIT Kanpur alumnus who completed his MBA from the University of Iowa and has been a part of the business world for 20 years before joining Praxis. He is a visiting professor at IIM Raipur.
With a cup of tea, we discussed how Analytics became a focus area for Praxis and how the first version of the program came about. Below are some interesting notes I made from this discussion:
- From its inception to date, the program has had ongoing input from industry partners such as PwC and ICICI Bank.
- The program is a rigorous program of 12 months that includes 3 months of internship in the industry, which becomes a job for most candidates.
- Unlike other part-time programs, Praxis owns the placements for its students. That's the metric against which both Professor Singh and Professor Govindrajan were tracked..
- The program is designed with the vision that students leaving the program can take any of the career paths: consulting roles or hands-on data scientist roles.
In our constant effort to create professionals for the changing requirements of the industry, we launched the Business Analytics program in 2011. We were pioneers in formal training in analytics in the country and to date we are the only Business School that offers full-time face-to-face classes. program in analysis and takes charge of the placement process. We have increased the batch of 8 in 2011-12 To over 30 in 2014-15. Our program is constantly evolving, in line with the rapidly changing analytical landscape, and our connection to the industry has grown significantly in the last 4 years. While our program is ranked among the 5 best analysis programs in the country, We have also introduced analytics as a specialization in our flagship business management program from 2 years.
-Teacher. Charanpreet Singh, associate dean, Praxis Business School
The course designer and program director – Prof. Prithwis Mukherjee:
There were enough references to Prof. Mukherjee during my discussions with Prof. Govindrajan and Prof. Singh. I almost wanted to meet before I met him. As soon as I met Professor Mukherjee, I knew I was talking to a person who not only has immense industry experience under his belt, he is also a hands-on data scientist.
Prof.. Mukherjee is a former student of IIT Kharagpur, was a Director at IBM and had served as a partner at PwC prior to joining Praxis. He enjoys coding himself and has experimented with almost every open source tool available today. From setting up a Hadoop cluster to running recommendation engines for web applications, Mukherjee has done it all. I almost hope I have the same hunger for knowledge, when I have as much experience as he has!
Going back to the program, the philosophy that Professor Mukherjee has adhered to when designing the course is to cover a lot of breadth and focus on practical exercises. Here are some more details I discovered while spending time with Professor Mukherjee:
Contents / course structure:
The complete course at Praxis is divided into 4 quarters, and the last 3 months are dedicated to the internship. The curriculum during the 3 quarters was exhaustive with more than 500 hours of classroom interaction, much more than any other course has to offer. The course begins with a workshop on Excel, Basic concepts of R and Introduction to SAS and ends with modules on data visualization, text mining and NoSQL databases.
As you can see, the course covers a wide variety of topics in a short time, so if you plan to take this course, Get ready for 9 months of intensive learning!
Tools covered during the course: SAS, R, Python, RapidMiner, Hadoop, Excel y Table
The Business Analytics program at Praxis Business School is a perfect combination of statistics and data science together with its application to business.. Classroom sessions taught by highly experienced teachers, followed by a little self help, guarantee a fantastic start to your career as an analyst / data scientist. The course also takes into consideration advances in the field of data analysis by constantly reviewing the curriculum and organizing invited lectures by senior industry executives..
The experience at Praxis for me has been very satisfactory and it has been the most productive moment of my career.
– Apuroop Pullabhatla, data analyst at Abzooba, Praxis Analytics Batch de 2015
Other faculty members:
Here is a link to the profile of all main and visiting teachers. It's a good mix of people from some of the best educational institutes and professional organizations. Around the 35% of the course is taught by people in the industry, Meanwhile he 65% it is taught by internal teachers.
The culmination of the course – placements
Probably the most important metric for a course like this is the placement ratio. At the time of posting this, Praxis has managed to locate 25 of 30 students (like in 27th April 2015) of the current outgoing batch. The process is still ongoing, so the number may change slightly. Some of the companies that hired this season were HSBC, Genpact, Karvy, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, KieSqaure Consulting, ICRA Techno Analytics y Happiest Minds. The salaries of placed students have varied from 4 lakhs a 12 lakhs pa (CTC).
I think this is a great achievement and a good reflection of the property shown in Praxis. With increased awareness about this course, this number should only increase more.
As part of my career aspirations to switch to Analytics, I was looking for a solid platform that could equip me with all the necessary tools and techniques to prepare for the industry and opting for the praxis business analysis program turned out to be the right step.
AseemDatta, Assistant manager (Analysis area) – Genpact, Praxis Analytics Batch de 2015
The best part: Interaction with Bengali students and sweets!
Once I had my interaction with the Dean (s) and the Program Director, the time has come for what I love the most: interact with students. I spent about half an hour with a faint batch of Praxis and tried to understand their experience. Here is what they had to say:
- Most of them were satisfied with the program and would recommend it to people entering the analytics industry..
- As expected, various tools and techniques covered during the program period. Students were widely satisfied with the coverage and pedagogy.
- The program is intense as the course covers a wide spectrum of tools and techniques. But the faculty is very accessible and always there to help students..
At that moment, time was almost running out. The campus was fine to 3 hours from the airport. I couldn't say no to the delicious Rasagullas that were offered along with the lunch, so i took them and then i went to catch my flight.
General verdict / My recomendation:
I would recommend Praxis as one of the best full time deals currently available in India. It is ideal for people with less than 5 years of experience, who can start with hands-on roles in data science and analytics.
For people with more experience, It is a complicated situation. The course definitely provides the learning, but the analytics industry in India has yet to accept very experienced people who are making a career change towards analytics. Having said that, the best job on campus this year was earned by a candidate with 7 years of experience. Then it can happen, but you're risking a little.
Another point worth mentioning here is the cost of the course. Priced at INR 4 Lakhs, I think the course offers a lot of value.
I left Praxis with great satisfaction. I see a team dedicated to creating one of the best full-time offerings for people interested in pursuing a career in Analytics. The course has continually evolved to keep up with the high demand from the industry.
I thank the Praxis management for being a generous host and for those juicy Rasagullas and I promise to host them when they visit Delhi.
If you have more questions about this course, I will be more than happy to share my views and perspective on. If I don't have the answer myself, I can surely try to get it too.