De­mand for Spe­cialised MBA Grad­u­ates on the Rise Here

‘Spe­cialised courses make sense for those who are look­ing to up­date their skillsets and com­pe­ten­cies’

The Economic Times - - Saturday Feature -

Varuni Khosla & Brinda Das­gupta

New Delhi | Ben­galuru: When Bharti Air­telsetoff to­hire­fresh­man­age­ment­grad­u­ates this year, be­sides premier B-schools it also vis­it­edMum­bai’sNa­tion­alIn­sti­tu­teof In­dus­trial En­gi­neer­ing, which of­fers spe­cialised pro­grammes in ar­eas such as in­dus­trial en­gi­neer­ing and in­dus­trial man­age­ment.

The coun­try’s top tele­com op­er­a­tor has in­creased­its­fo­cu­son­hir­ingy­oung­tal­entin­spe­cialised spa­ces, said Srikanth Balachan­dran, global chief hu­man re­sources of­fi­cer at the firm. “We gauge the ap­ti­tude of the stu­dent and sift out the ones we need for our area-spe­cific roles in pri­mary stages us­ing con­tests and on­line regis­tra­tions. We also hire from cam­puses like NITIE,” he said.

Air­tel is not alone. While full-time gen­eral MBA re­mains the most con­sid­ered pro­gramme type among re­cruiters, there is in­creas­ing de­mand for spe­cialised man­age­ment grad­u­ates, and a host of man­age­ment schools across the coun­try now of­fer spe­cialised courses in ar­eas rang­ing from lo­gis­tics and sup­ply chain man­age­ment, to oil and gas man­age­ment.

Ac­cord­ing­touni­ver­si­tiesand­busi­nesss­chools, spe­cialised pro­grammes make sense for those who al­ready have some spe­cific ex­per­tise­an­darelook­ing­toup­dateth­eirskillset­sand com­pe­ten­cies to grow in the cho­sen area.

“Veryn­iche­p­ro­grammes­likethese—forin­stance, the one in con­sult­ing man­age­ment — will help a stu­dent spe­cialise in how to deal with clients, re­ports and var­i­ous bench-mark­ing skills very much from the start,” said Ni­tishJain,pres­i­den­tatSPJainS­choolofGlobal

Man­age­ment. The in­sti­tute of­fers spe­cialised de­greesin­l­o­gis­tic­sand­sup­ply­chain­man­age­ment and con­sult­ing man­age­ment.

Utpal Ghosh, pres­i­dent at Univer­sity of Pe­tro­leum and Energy Stud­ies, said, “The MBA seg­ment is get­ting over­crowded at sev­eral lev­els, and in­sti­tutes and stu­dents are look­ing to find dif­fer­en­tia­tors. A lot of stu­dents are look­ing for sec­tor spe­cial­i­sa­tions at an early stage.”

The univer­sity of­fers spe­cialised man­age­ment courses in oil and gas, avi­a­tion, in­fra­struc­ture man­age­ment, ports and ship­ping, and power. Chi­nese multi­na­tional Len­ovo is among the com­pa­nies look­ing to hire can­di­dateswith­spe­cialisedMBAde­grees.“In the last year, our re­quire­ment for them has shot up in the ar­eas of an­a­lyt­ics busi­ness in In­dia,” said Rohit San­dal, HR direc­tor of the PC­mak­er­inIn­dia.“Weal­so­havea­mar­ket­ing hub which does cre­ative work for our Europe and US of­fices. These kinds of roles can be filled­well­byspe­cialisedMBA­grad­u­ates,”he­said. Len­ovo is con­sid­er­ing vis­it­ing spe­cific cam­puses to re­cruit those with de­grees in an­a­lyt­ics, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mar­ket­ing next year, San­dal said.

Adarsh Khan­del­wal, direc­tor at ad­mis­sion con­sul­tancy and coach­ing firm Col­legify, said aris­ingnum­berof stu­dentsinthep­asttwoyears have ap­proached the firm “with plans to pur­sue spe­cial­ist MBA pro­grammes”.

WeS­chool, or Wel­ingkar In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment, of­fers spe­cialised MBA de­grees in ar­eas like ru­ral man­age­ment, re­tail man­age­ment, sports man­age­ment, and health­care man­age­ment. “We are soon plan­ning to roll out a spe­cialised MBA course in sports man­age­ment, and have been in ex­ten­sive talks with some top in­sti­tutes in Aus­tralia to dis­cuss how this can be taken for­ward,” said Uday Salunkhe, group direc­tor at WeS­chool. “Right nowweare­fo­cusin­gonget­tin­goure­cosys­tem ready, we will prob­a­bly roll it out as a short­term course and there­after make it a spe­cialisedMBAde­gree.”

Chen­nai-based Great Lakes In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment, too, of­fers a spe­cialised pro­gramme in busi­ness an­a­lyt­ics.

Some ex­perts, how­ever, feel that the rush for spe­cialised MBA will lose steam in the years to come. Dis­han Kam­dar, deputy dean of aca­demic pro­grammes at The In­dian school of Busi­ness, be­lieves that in the long run stu­dents will only opt for generic MBA pro­grammes.

“At the end of the day, you want to be­come a lead­er­fro­ma­man­ageran­daspe­cialisedMBA mayno­tal­lowyouto­honethat,”he­said.“This (de­mand for niche MBA) is the cur­rent trend and the need for the gen­eral MBA grad­u­ates will still ex­ist,” Kam­dar said.

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