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Focus More on Global Leadership

Given that some of the students in some of the Indian schools would cerebrally be as good as anyone else in the world, the Indian schools need to prepare them better and more holistically for global careers

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The proliferation, of B-Schools in India has created more MBAs. However, the quality standards seem to have dipped. With “acche din” still a mirage and the Make in India campaign yet to pick up steam, the hopes of many fresh business school graduates to get to big jobs may be elusive in the near term. By extension, getting into global leadership programmes will also be cases of few and far between.

Though many schools have adopted variants of global pedagogy, use various western case studies, allow students international exchange programmes and even access global faculty, the Indian B-Schools are not factories for global leaders. Many who have got into global leadership roles, whether of international companies or major Indian global firms would actually have more to thank their work experiences rather than their B-school education.

Most schools are still hiring people on largely analytical strengths than behavioural dimensions that would support global leadership. The class composition is not adequately heterogeneous on many campuses, global cultural perspectives barely understood and attributes that build for a truly global experience rarely honed. Doing a few courses and case studies of situations across the world does not prepare one for global leadership.

Many schools also suffer from faculty who lack appreciation of any global leadership nuances. This is a big handicap in building perspectives in students of global careers. Language courses are typically missing; courses on cross- cultural sensitivities and etiquettes are usually non-existent. It thus is not natural for many global companies to look at most Indian B-schools as natural feeders to their global programmes.

Given that some of the students in some of the Indian schools would cerebrally be as good as anyone else in the world, the Indian schools need to prepare them better and more holistically for global careers. Things are much better today than some years back. As more alumni get to global leadership roles, there is more inspiration that will flow back to the campuses. Leveraging such alumni to talk about what it takes to be a global leader will help students and faculty alike. They can help co-design courses that expose students to issues that prepares them better for global leadership.

Accessing more global faculty, broad basing curriculum design, deeper relationships with global business schools will help enhance the global brand of many business schools. Some that have been able to earn their stripes already have a fair interest with firms, both Indian and overseas, to hire for global opportunities.

The challenge is to systematically build scale and design for meeting the growing need for global leaders. Those that help corporates shrink their own efforts at this will reap a smart harvest; the others will shrivel and fade away. The B-schools in India have to make their choice.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Prabir Jha

The author is global chief people officer, Cipla

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