In the field of business education, institutional collaborations have played a significant role, especially during the last two decades. Last Sunday, I watched a show on CNBC called Lessons in Marketing Excellence. Essentially, it featured the final round of a competition for B-School students across India conducted by CNBC and Hindustan Unilever Limited. The show especially provided an ironic commentary on how the education we provide in Indian business schools and the general eco-system of Indian business are boxing us in and curtailing even a tendency to innovate.
There are many MBA colleges opened in every street in the city of India and it is very difficult for the students to differentiate between colleges which are good or best. So because of that anyone can do MBA from any college by giving a high amount of fees. The one main major issue here is the b-schools are becoming placement agencies, so the students rather than concentrating on studies, they concentrate only for placements because of this mindset sometimes they will not be good at concepts also and which will lead them nowhere in this entire worlds. The main reason why Indian b-schools fail to make it to the top league globally is their inability to attract globally renowned faculty on a full-time basis and also the lack of full autonomy covering all aspects of their operations. With a significant expansion of the international student exchange programme, most premier institutions like IIMs have a significant number of international students on their campuses practically during the entire academic year.
Many institutes are evolving these days and lot of students are attracted towards them by their placement ads and prestigious MBA tag. But still the real standard of study is maintained by some of the institutes only. Example here is, as the students of most general B-schools are seen assalesmen in their training or as agentsof various finance companies. The increased number of schools and passed out students has reduced the value of a MBA degree.
India is a big booming economy in the world today. Every major company, wherever it is based, will want to know how to do business in these countries. Indian b-schools are best equipped to teach this. India also has a terrific opportunity to innovate new business solutions to societal problems of the disadvantaged people, e.g., skills development, healthcare for the poor, affordable housing, etc. These business models, if successful, will open new opportunities for global businesses to serve the over 4 billion poor in the world. Indian b-schools have to effectively market these opportunities to the aspiring MBA students.
Till we find our self-confidence, our own voices, and brand Indian ways of innovation that go beyond the stereotypical jugaad that seems to be our only answer to innovation, we will have to remain content with aping others and making the same mistakes that the others made — others, who incidentally are not brighter than us. Yes, there exists several areas of improvement, where most of them are work in progress.