Business Not As Usual
Philanthropic programmes. Niche courses. Novel teaching methods. Top B-schools are reshaping themselves to create managers for the future.
Vivek Sinha, 29, was one of the first management students in the country to attend a ‘flipped’ classroom lecture. As part of his MBA from the Indian School of Business at Hyderabad, Sinha attended a course in entrepreneurship where students could listen to lectures on smartphones, tablets or laptops at their own convenience and class time was used only for peer group learning. First implemented by the Columbia Business School in the US, the flipped classroom method is just one of the many ways in which Bschools are trying to reinvent management education today. With 231 Indian management institutes having applied to All India Council for Technical Education for closure between 2011 and 2013, and 94 having shut down this year, innovative twists to the traditional MBA structure and teaching style have now become necessary to stay afloat in a struggling economy.
With unemployment on the rise and job interviews getting tougher, it’s important for course curriculums to be adapted accordingly, says Mukul P. Gupta, director of Management Development Institute, Gurgaon. “Students no longer need only an excellent theoretical grounding but also need practical understanding and hands-on experience,” he adds. Books and lectures alone will not make great managers. Group discussions, collaborative learning, international exposure and interactive activities have an increasingly important role to play in the classroom today, he says.
Be it an exercise in money making, where students from Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi, successfully convert Rs 7,500 into Rs 1.20 lakh using smart sales tactics, or a philanthropic mission at XLRI, Jamshedpur, to spread awareness on financial literacy in nearby villages, B-schools are ready to make learning both fun and relevant. With many institutes also planning to add niche programmes and specialisations to their portfolio, MBA aspirants can look forward to exciting new opportunities in emerging fields such as global mining, hospital management, water management, logistics and retail in a brave new world.