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Need to Become Global in Nature

Apart from basic of business education, students must be acquainted with the changing international political scenario. In the next, five to six years business schools will have to focus on the market for continuing education

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Apart from basic of business education, students must be acquainted with the changing international political scenario. In the next, five to six years business schools will have to focus on the market for continuing education

ONE of the main features of business education in India is the enormous proliferation of institutions, especially in the last five years or so. This has been largely a response to the expansion of the Indian economy and consequent huge demand for managerial staff in the corporate sector. In addition, there has been a manifold increase in the number of private-sector business schools, many of which now are effectively competing with established, premier business schools. However, given the great demand for business education, many new business schools are expanding mainly to fill the gaps left by state-owned universities, which are only able to accommodate about 25 per cent of college-going students.  

It is also now clear that most business schools have concentrated on getting as many students as possible in the lucrative market for business courses while ignoring the essential pre-requisites of long-term business education. It is now necessary for Indian business schools to frame a response to competition, especially from schools located outside India. Given the current recessionary conditions in the market, long-term survival of business schools will depend on their ability to reinvent themselves in a number of ways.   

First, increasingly, institutions need to become global in nature.  In particular, as low fertility rates in developed countries lead to a decline in a cohort of students in the college-going age groups, many of the top business schools in developed countries are going to compete for the growing numbers of Indian youth looking for managerial education. In other words, the mere existence of a business school is not going to lead to increased enrollment as competition from outside eats into the pool of students available. In India, this excessive unplanned growth of discipline has been seen in the engineering area, where many institutions are now closing down due to lack of student demand.  

The second pre-requisite for meeting competition is the reform of basic curricula and programmes. By and large business schools curricula of India tries to cater to the needs of the Indian corporate sectors only. This is a mistake as not merely the corporate sector but also students have a global profile. In other words, apart from basic of business education, students must be acquainted with the changing international political scenario.

Third, it is clear that in the next five to six years business schools will have to focus on the market for continuing education. This will require a reorientation of approach from the long-term programmes (2 years MBA etc.) to short-term programmes in new areas like AI, data analytics etc. as mid-level corporate executives grapple with changing global competition in new information.

Fourth, business schools must look long-term at faculty research.  The current focus on teaching faculty is insufficient and greater and greater emphasis has to be placed on research.  The best business schools in the world boast of faculty who are researching cutting edge issues in business education. This research finds its way to the teaching programme and defines the difference in students from A and B level business schools.   This long term focus on research has been sadly missing in most Indian business schools.  

In general, any institution of learning has three areas to focus on: teaching, training and research.
Existing business schools have largely focused on the first and neglected the other two areas.
Global competition will ensure that only those institutions that focus on all three areas are likely to survive in the coming decades. 

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.


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Manoj Pant

PROF. MANOJ PANT, presently Director, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) has been a Professor of Economics and Dean, School of International Studies in JNU. Prof. Pant was teaching Economics in Delhi University since about 1975 and has been a guest lecturer in IIM, Lucknow; IIFT, Delhi; University of Lucerne, Switzerland; and a visiting scholar at the Deptt. of Economics, Columbia University at Massachussets, USA. He has also been the Economic Advisor and Consultant to the Govt. of Nagaland since about 2002. Prof. Pant has presented more than 45 papers on issues relating to trade negotiations, investment and competition policy in International and National Conferences in India and abroad. He has also written 40 publications in national and international refereed journals and four books. Prof Pant has been a Columnist for India’s leading financial daily, The Economic Times and also writes in the Financial Express and Mint business papers. His fields of interest are International Trade Theory, Foreign Investment, Competition Policy and the WTO.

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