India has over 3500 B-Schools but only a handful are recognised across the globe. On the other hand, the top 30 American and European B-Schools have established a reputation across the world. These schools offer their students a strong dose of ‘Character Building, besides teaching them Business Management. Corporates insist that the young people they recruit as executives, must be imbued with the right values. This helps students to understand that corporate life in todays ‘VUCA World is tough and also requires perseverance, agility and discipline, besides the domain knowledge. This enables the top global B-Schools to radically transform the thought processes of the students and differentiate themselves significantly from the crowd.
Another aspect which corporates focus on is practising diversity during their recruitment processes. Several decades ago the author of this piece, met the top management of a leading company headquartered in Delhi. He noticed that 18 of the 20 top management staff in the company, were from North Indian states and there was only one woman vice president. The best companies have since started taking affirmative action, towards establishing a diverse managerial team. The best B-Schools also ensure that they get students from across all the Indian states and have been consciously working towards improving the gender balance, in the students they enroll. The elite B– Schools have now also stared enrolling students from Europe, UK and the USA. This certainly helps to enhance the diversity factor and the students get a better understanding about global markets, as they interact with students, from different continents.
There is another important aspect on which the best B-Schools have started focusing. They ensure that at least 80 percent of their faculty have served in top-management positions, in leading companies. It is only when managers have served in top management, do they develop a holistic understanding of how the different Business functions – Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Operations and Strategic Management, collaborate towards achieving success, in todays highly competitive market place. Only such faculty, drawn from top management of global enterprises, can imbue the students with ideas, which enables them to develop a superior understanding, about the business world. The best B–Schools have started ensuring that they select faculty, who can deliver a better understanding of business processes, which distinguish the best global companies from the mediocre ones.
It is also important to ensure that the learning in a superior B-School is not limited to the classroom lectures from their faculty. The best B-Schools ensure that every month, they get a sprinkling of industry leaders of the best companies in the country, to come and interact with their students. When students impress these Corporate Head Honchos, during these interactions, they get invited for projects and internships, in these companies. This enables students to get a much better understanding of the challenges faced by industry, in todays business environment. This will enable them to quickly start delivering superior value, in the organisations they join, soon after earning their MBA degrees.
Finally, the intelligent business leaders, across all continents have accepted that protecting the environment, is a critical need, if we have to save the Planet Earth, for the generations to come. This message has been learnt, by the best B-Schools, as well. As such they ensure that students are imbued not just with traditional functional knowledge, but they also participate in lectures and dialogues on Green Marketing, Green Finance, Green Manufacturing and Green Human Resource policies and practices. Students from ‘Green Business Schools are therefore getting better placement opportunities, then the ‘Run-of-the-Mill MBA Schools as they are sensitive to the environment and display their sensitiveness to the triple bottom line, which is Profits, Environment and the Society at large. It is clear to most businesses that consumers of products and services will vote with their wallets significantly in favor of companies that are contributing towards making a carbon free environment.
The best B-Schools in India have been focusing on all the above aspects which is enabling these institutions to deliver quality managerial talent to organisations in India and abroad.
The author is Gurdip Anand, chairman, Universal Business School.