Indian Management Education at Crossroads

Last Updated - February 20 2018

VIT Vellore

“MBA programs should innovate constantly addressing the changes in the Macro-environmental factors of business”: Prof. Sudipto Bhattacharya

Once upon a time, MBA used to be one of the most coveted degrees that top corporation used to seek from academia which would drive corporate reorganization, product innovation, and marketing as well as the implementation of new styles of leadership. The management grads were a symbol of a new culture and anyone serious about a career in business management aspired to earn those three letters – MBA.

But with time, as it happened with many other disciplines of knowledge, the sheen of the MBA degree with conventional specializations seemed to be waning away. Focus should be on Co-operative and rural management, Real-estate management, Healthcare management, Event and leisure management, Travel and Tourism Management, Hospitality Management, Sports management, etc. and interdisciplinary programs like Heritage management (Civil engineering, Architecture and management), Information Technology Management (IT and Business Management), Public Policy Management (Sociology, Political Science, Economics and Business Management), Environment and Biodiversity management (Biosciences, Environmental law and business management), etc. In my opinion, MBA programs should change and innovate constantly addressing the changes in the macro-environmental factors of business thus opening up a plethora of options for niche management programs or specializations.

MBA Curriculum should address Global Issues

The MBA courses should address more global issues like International relations, Cross-cultural management, Globalizing Economies and Political Diplomacy, Managing business in emerging economies, etc. This will ease the transition of the students from institute to a workplace which has already emerged into a global one with nationalities from across the world. The intake for B–schools should look out for students with various academic backgrounds and from diverse cultures, preferably forming an international crowd which fosters cross-cultural hybridization of ideas, beliefs, and social order.

Both the MBA and BBA program from VIT Business School, VIT, Vellore, and Chennai address the issues of Global Career building. The school boasts of a pan-India student community besides Chinese and African students as well as few exchange programs in collaborations with foreign universities of repute. The international immersion program equips students with cross-cultural sensitivity and many of them choose to clear a dual degree with the University of Michigan, the partnering university in the USA.

Distressed trend which has emerged in the Management Academy

A post-graduation degree in certain disciplines of graduate study doesn’t provide much as far as employment is related. The learning becomes more holistic in nature. Once MBA candidates with work-experience come to study the program, they can understand and relate to the application of the different management concepts dealt in the class. Though at times an MBA degree can be a savior for job-seekers the specific competence requirement for studying the course is some exposure in the professional world. Though VIT University’s Business School is an equal opportunity educational service offer, but in the course curriculum emphasis is more on learning from the fields, markets, and real-time businesses.

How can the Learning Process be Clearly Explained without Changing the Atmosphere in the Classroom?

The technology-enabled classroom with dialogue, debate, discussion, and delivery should be a vibrant and market-driven one. Simulation, scenario building, management games, project-based learning, etc. Industrial visits and interactions with corporate captains can lead to an insight into financial management techniques, managing human resources with diverse manner, skill, and knowledge, quality management in production, lean manufacturing, etc. are gradually becoming the order of the day. The management academic deliveries should not be confined in the four walls of the classroom and should be even taught in small groups at shopping malls to study buyer/shopper behavior, seller’s unique selling propositions, the economics of scale and scope, brand positioning, co-branding, etc. Course curriculum should be embedded with team working, stress and time management activities which will result in business-ready professionals. The learning should not necessarily be via lectures but can engage learners in experiential learning mode.

Courses focused on Family Business Management and Entrepreneurship should be provided as Separate Programs.

Definitely one of the best options still for the seasoned MBA graduates after substantial work experience or scions of business families is entrepreneurship, which promotes the cause of economic development and inclusive growth. B-schools housed in campuses of Universities with Engineering and Technology programs should have Incubation Centers for Techno-preneurship, Bio-entrepreneurship, etc. The national-award winning VIT-TBI (VIT-Technology Business Incubator) at VIT with resource pool from different engineering and bioscience school adequately supported by entrepreneurship educators and mentors from Business School creates congenial ambiance for entrepreneurial ideas to implementation.

Emphasis should be on Developing high Human Values, ethics, and Environmental Concerns.

The last word in any business management course is that it should give due emphasis to developing high human values, ethical and moral standards and environmental concerns arising out of various business procedures among the learners. VIT Business School engages students in socializing with tribal and underprivileged and orienting students to the inclusive development of the immediate society.

About the Author: Prof. He can be reached at sudiptobhattacharya@vit.ac.in. Sudipto Bhattacharya, Ph.D., Associate Professor – International Business, Entrepreneurship & Strategy Area, VIT Business School, VIT, Vellore, is a Certified Startup Mentor from London Business School and Certified Entrepreneurship Educator (with Honors) from STVP, Stanford University having 7 years of industrial experience followed with 14 years of varied experiences in teaching graduate and postgraduate business programs.


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