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BW Businessworld

Editor's Letter: India’s Future Leaders

A long look at the performance of management education institutes in the country, along with the latest trends in education, demands of the industry, global challenges and the future of management education, among other things

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The present times are best described by Bill George, author of Discover Your True North, who said in an interview with BW Businessworld, “We need leaders who can lead through crises because we are not going back to stable times. You need a clear vision, like a sailor not losing sight of his vision, because we are going to be buffeted by high winds.” This statement expresses the key mantra used in the BW Businessworld B-School Rankings to assess the performance of business schools today. 

While each generation would like to believe that they had the toughest of times, the Covid moment perhaps becomes a defining one in crisis management, including that of the higher education sector.  How effectively were our B-Schools able to wade through this crisis? What innovations did they usher in to keep the academic calendar going and to sensitise their students – India’s future managers – on how to deal with uncertainty? How are they preparing students to be the leaders Bill George describes? The rankings also reflect the commitments of these organisations to sustainability.

In the ensuing pages, we bring to you a range of perspectives on these and other issues. We have spoken to directors and deans of institutes, some long-established and yet willing to change with the times, and others who are second-generation institutes, but are doing remarkable work. We have spoken to a few alumni, who are now the who’s who of the corporate world or entrepreneurs of repute. We have also interviewed HR Honchos to learn of the expectations of the corporate world from B-School pass-outs and what B-Schools need to do more to align with industry needs. 

Some interesting findings came to light. For example, IIM Ahmedabad, a torchbearer in management education and among the three most coveted institutes, realised the need to speak to the youth of the day and revamped its website, making it more engaging and compatible with formats such as smartphones. At the other end of the spectrum, decade-old IIMs like the one at Kashipur, are taking confident strides and equipping students with 21st Century skills. The Director of IIM Kashipur says he is confident of being able to “stand with the bigger and older IIMs”.  

The credibility and acumen of the B-Schools in India, does to a great extent, determine the quality of leadership that India will have in future. Read our findings and expert comments of industry analysts in the ensuing pages. Of course, the special issue also offers all the regular columns and features that you look forward to.

Happy Reading.

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Magazine 19 Nov 2022 b-schools