Management Education Scenario
any MBA aspirant why he wants to do MBA and the answers follow
predictable lines. Everyone wants to work in a multinational company
and earn a fat salary, or is preparing for it since friends are into
it. Few actually know what to expect from the profession. Almost
everybody talks of a cousin or friend who has made it big in some
company or the other.
It is no wonder that the average student
and even people in other professions and jobs have caught the MBA bug.
When making money has become the central objective of life, who wants
to be stuck in a career that offers less?
Lack of information
and counselling results in young people applying in hordes whether they
have the aptitude or not, and the mushrooming of sub-standard
institutes catering to the demand, which provide MBA degrees that can
only be described as worthless. Very often, a person finds that the MBA
degree does not get the promised job in the multinational and
frustrations arise. Moreover, if every MBA were to be taken by the
multinationals, who would work for the Indian companies, some of which
are as good as, or even better, than any multinational?
education in the country can roughly be divided into four groups. At
the top are the reputed institutes and some university departments
which have maintained the high quality of their education. The second
rung institutes are those started by industrial houses, which offer
some surety of a job after the course. The third rung are university
departments which have not been able to impart quality education but
can provide jobs in regional industrial groups. The fourth rung are
those institutes which have neither the advantage of low fees of a
university nor the backing of an industrial house. In recent times, a
number of academics, retired people, politicians and others have
started such institutes which remain essentially money making devices.
institutes should one, apply for? Obviously, the competition for the
top institutes is great, since eveybody wants to do the MBA from one.
There is no surety of getting in. It is, therefore better to spread
risks and apply for institutes which are lower down also. One should
not apply to many of them, since each application costs about Rs 1000
and applying to all would mean spending a small fortune. Depending on
one's ability and confidence, one should select one or two institutes
from each group and apply accordingly. Of course, the prospects and
jobs decrease as one goes down to the lower rung institutes.
also have a problem in assessing an institute. There are several
yardsticks available and one should not go by the beautifully printed
prospectus that they have. Some important considerations are: whether
the institute has a permanent faculty and whether the faculty is
professionally qualified. Many institutes depend on contractual, part
time faculty members. The commitment of the part-time teacher is never
total. Others depend on researcher-type teachers who have no idea how
real businesses operate. What is required, instead, are people who have
a practical orientation and experience.
One should also check
which jobs the institute is able to get for its graduates. Usually,
some students geet good jobs using their own contacts, which the
institute then prints in its prospectus. It is important to see how
industry rates the institute.
Unfortunately, the student has
no way of getting this information. There is no rating agency and each
institute makes tall claims about its degree. The All India Council of
Technical Education (AICTE) has given its approval to many institutes
without going into their merits. This has caused great problems for
students who have no yardstick to go by except the AICTE approval,
which does not mean a thing. The situation is further complicated by
the fact that some are worthless institutes; recently some of them have
been sent notices by the MRTP? Such institutes not only have very high
fee, but use the 'NRI Quota' to circumvent the law on donations and
only take in students who can pay more. The degrees awarded by them are
Training for the corporate world
these are not questions that bother the MBA aspirant. Clearing the
entrance test and joining the course are the immediate hurdles and it
is commonly believed that once a person gets in he will most certainly
become an MBA. Contrasted with courses for Chartered Accountant or
Company Secretary, where some people get caught in the trap of
rrepeating groups of papers, the MBA is a safe option.
surprisingly, the sense of achievement in the MBA student is very high.
The course becomes one huge ego trip. Many students do not spend as
much time on their training as they should, thinking that the MBA stamp
will take them through jobs. This is only partially true. No company
takes a person for his label alone, but for what he can contribute. The
MBA is chosen for his professionalism and his training, his skills and
his ability to manage. The two years of training are therefore best
spent in acquiring these skills.
How are these skills
acquired? First, it requires gathering knowledge and insight. Many
students are used to their undergraduate classes where notes are made
and some questions are mugged up near the exams, which is enough to see
them through. The management course is unlike any of those courses.
Application of knowledge and not mere bookish knowledge is required.
That is why the good institutes by emphasis on case discussions and
The student must learn everything that may
be required in business situations. A good personality should be
developed. Unfortunately, many lower-rung institutes and university
departments do not have facilities for personality development or
teachers trained in group methods. The result is a stunted MBA which no
good company would liketo touch. It is thus important to do the course
from a reputed institute.
The bad institutes do not insist on
hard work simply because they are not committed. There is emphasis on
partying and having a good time. Many institutes in Delhi and elsewhere
are known for such activities. To hide their shortcomings, they have
collaborations with fancy sounding foreign universities and introduce
exotic courses like yoga, spiritualism and "Eastern Management". One
institute advertises a golf course and swimming pool on its campus. The
corporate sector is usually not impressed by such gimmicks.
students come to grief when they find that their expensive diplomas are
not good enough to get them jobs. In many institutes, the toppers get
the good jobs but the average students have to accept lower offers.
Youngsters who believe that merely the MBA label is a ticket to the
good life face serious adjustment problems and frequent change of jobs.
The MBA, in fact, should be treated only as a time to prepare for the
Qualities to be acquired
good institute, on the other hand, puts pressure on the students to be
on their toes and updated in their subjects at all times. Graduates
report that in certain semesters they get very little sleep, so hard is
the pressure to perform. Tests are announced at the last moment when
the students are preparing to sleep, so that a person must be updated
in all subjects at all times. Case studies enhance the applicability of
concepts and theory to real life situations. This results in a person
acquiring professional competence. Ultimately, the MBA must be seen as
preparation for entry into the corporate sector.
spirit must also be developed. A corporate career is not one for
comfortable jobs and the sooner a person acquires the competitive
spirit, the better off he will be.
Since any job in a company
will require a person to make presentations and to convince others, a
person must learn presentation skills and be a natural leader. Ability
to take good decisions under pressure is also required. Many skills,
such as quantitative analysis, are learnt from books but analysis of
business situations is also required. This is done through case
The summer training is another method of using the
knowledge in real life situations. The training should be used as an
opportunity to prove oneself and some meaningful work should be done.
Professional competence is rewarded when the summer training results in
an offer of a permanent job on completion of the degree. In this way,
many students find jobs during their summer training, much before the
actual completion of their course.
A student must keep a level
head even though everybody he meets says that clearing the entrance
test was a big achievement. The real achievement is to come after two
years when jobs are required. The years in the institute should be
utilised to learn the skills in the best possible way. If the student
is not busy enough, the MBA degree will be worthless even though it may
have a fancy name.
of the myths that students have is that they will become senior
managers the moment they complete the MBA. Certain companies have found
that expectations and ambitions of MBAs are difficult to meet and they
have taken policy decisions not to hire fresh MBAs. Though the MBA is a
coveted degree, it becomes important to keep a level head and keep
one's expectations low. According to the hype, an MBA is a senior
manager, but fresh MBAs are usually taken at the level of management
trainees. Initially, some low and tedious work may have to be done.
a student is not reconciled to this, frustrations are bound to arise.
Job hopping is common, which ultimately hurts the career of the
youngster. Further, the company too has its expectations from the
management graduate to whom it is paying a high salary. The second part
of the article will describe what is expected of the MBA in a company.
Somewhere, the expectations have to be reconciled for the high growth
career of management to be a success.
Opportunities in Management
expansion of Industries in India has opened new vistas for excellent
opportunities of careers in management. New Economic Policy of
liberalisation and decontrols has increased the demand for managerial
personnel in the corporate sector. Advent of multinational companies,
which has just begun, may further increase the quest of the industrial
sector in all fields of management like Finance, Production, Marketing,
Personnel and Administration.
The careers in management offer one
of the best remuneration package in the country, particularly in the
private sector. Recent decision of the Government to raise the upper
limit of monthly salary to the managers to Rs 50,000 has made careers
in management even more attractive. In addition to best of the salaries
offered by this career, it also offers outstanding developmental
opportunities to enable the competent and dynamic managers to rise to
the level of Chief-executive. Several Indian professionals today are
working as Managing Directors in many multi-nationals. Management
professionals from India are also in good demand in international
market. Private sector today offers rapid advancement to
result-oriented professionals. Excellent perks are offered which may
include free accommodation free conveyance/attractive conveyance
allowance, CPF, leave travel concession, medical
Those who prefer Public Sector
Undertakings (PSU), may join these undertakings at several levels. The
managerial hierarchy and pay-structure in most of the PSU's is
pre-determined and also includes some perks, though not as attractive
as offered by the private sector.
Areas in Management Services
Finance, Production and Personnel are the four major areas in
management with each having several sub-branches. Marketing Management
includes sales, purchase, international marketing (exports-imports),
advertising, marketing strategy, materials management, consumers'
behaviour, market development and research. Financial Management
includes all the aspects relating to finances, investments, financing
decisions, portfolio management, project management, working capital
management, international financial management, etc. Production
Management takes care of Production methodology, costing, operations
research and quality control etc. Personnel Management deals with the
most complicated aspect i.e. management. It looks after the areas of
Human Resource Development (HRD), recruitment, training,
management-union relations, labour and personnel policies, organisation
behaviour, management of change and general administration.
degree of Master in Business Administration (MBA) is considered to be
the gateway to careers in management. While choosing the area of
specialisation in management, the candidates must gauge their aptitude
for a particular aspect of management. Candidates with commerce
background usually go in for Financial Management and the technical
graduates with science or engineering degrees usually choose Production
Management. Rest of the candidates choose Marketing Management or
Personnel Management, depending upon their aptitudes and flairs.