Published: 30th May 2017
He once made MBA students polish the shoes of strangers for money. But Arijit Roy is still his students' favourite professor. Here's why!
Arijit Roy doesn’t think twice about getting his students to try funky and interesting ways to learn how to apply management concepts to real life — like shining the shoes of random strangers
Years after graduating from school, the teachers that we remember fondly are the ones who encouraged us to think ‘out-of-the-classroom’ and learn beyond our books. Arijit Roy strives to be that kind of teacher. One would think that this would be impossible, especially for a management professor but Arijit, who is an assistant professor in Marketing at Acharya Institute of Management and Science (AIMS), Bengaluru stands a good chance of proving that wrong.
So what does this 32-year-old do that’s different? Arijit has tried different methods to provide his students with a holistic education. The ‘shoe polish’ project is one that stands out, where Arijit got his students to polish the shoes of strangers on the road and earn their money. “This was challenging as many of the students had to fight against their inner demons, get down to the ground and understand the difficulties that people face to make a living, and that people should never look down upon others however menial their job may be,” explains the MBA graduate who did his PG Diploma in Management at AIMS.
Arijit’s primary motive to even consider teaching is that he always wanted to help those like himself — those who had no mentors or idols growing up — and he hopes to be one. “People go on the internet to find someone they can aspire to be. I want to help these students with some guidance. Also, these students end up choosing the life that the world chooses for them, instead of trying to find their true calling,” he says.
I’m very passionate about social issues and try to integrate them into all the activities we do, so the students also learn important values
Arijit Roy Assistant Professor, AIMS
Arijit is one of those rare teachers who does not try to act superior to his students and wants to be on an equal platform with them. “I believe that students already know the subject and only need some guidance, which I feel that I can provide,” he says. In his endeavour to make the teacher-student relationship more beneficial to both, he has designed a new system where the teachers can gain easier access to online material that will enhance their teaching techniques and also ensure that students are accessing and learning from this material as well.
“In order to boost my subject knowledge, I would watch videos online and read articles too. I know of other teachers who do the same thing and realised that it should be made available to all the teachers so that they can make classes more interesting and keep them students engaged. So I decided to come up with a system that does just that,” he says, talking about the ease with which teachers should be able to access material to better their knowledge.
He also tries to include an interesting feature in all his activities — like when the college hosts a business day where the students are required to run a business for a day. “I get them to pitch their ideas like a real business plan and try to get investments from the professors and other college staff. They are then put through various tasks to test their talent and the profits are donated to charity,” he explains.
In his endeavour to make the teacher-student relationship more beneficial to both, he has designed a new system where the teachers can gain easier access to online material that will enhance their teaching techniques and also ensure that students are accessing and learning from this material as well.
Besides business plans and marketing, Arijit is also into short films and video-making, and he encourages his students to dabble in it as well. “I’m very passionate about social issues and try to integrate them into all the activities we do, so the students also learn important values,” he says. He hopes to continue serving the student community this way.