Indian MBAs setting a Global Benchmark

With intake in the MBA programs almost doubling in the past few years, the management scenario in the country is experiencing rapid and dramatic changes.

At a discussion on recent trends, Thillai Rajan, Associate professor, Department of Management Studies, IIT-Madras, said management institutes in India were moving towards globalisation of their programs by tying up with premier institutes abroad and offering two-way exchange programs for students.

Talking about innovation, Mr. Rajan said there was an expansion, both horizontal and vertical, in management education. A range of courses, including one or two-year programs, weekend courses, executive programs and distance mode of education, were indicators of horizontal expansion.

To expand vertically, the management institutes had started offering other postgraduate diploma programs such as software enterprise management and public and policy management at IIMs.

The premier management institutes had also started focusing on research programs, he noted. Many MBA programs were India-specific with more case studies relevant to the Indian context.

There were courses for specific needs like a program on booming foreign trade or stagnant agricultural sector and so on.

Is the Indian MBA comparable to a degree from abroad in terms of value for money?

An Indian degree gave better perspectives and opportunities as most of the action happened in India, Mr. Rajan said.

“Many students who pursue MBA abroad come back to work in India as the Indian scenario is now very competitive with rapid development and market expansion.

But a student who has studied here would have a better understanding of the ground situation, challenges and have a better exposure to the opportunities open,” he said.

Asked whether an Indian MBA graduate is competitive, compared to his global counterparts, Mr. Rajan cited the example of foreign companies that recruit MBA graduates from India.

“Many Indians head international organisations, so India has started setting a global benchmark.”

On Indian institutes lacking specialisation in the non-government sector, Mr. Rajan called NGO studies a niche specialisation.

“India has a long way to go before they can provide this kind of specialisation. Various other specialisations such as telecom, retail and IT are provided by Indian institutes and so we are going in the right direction before we provide specialisation in the development sector,” he said.

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