Busi­ness Not As Usual

Phil­an­thropic pro­grammes. Niche cour­ses. Novel teach­ing meth­ods. Top B-schools are reshaping them­selves to cre­ate man­agers for the fu­ture.

India Today - - INSIDE - By Son­ali Achar­jee

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.

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