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Focus on Long-term Goals, Set Defined Targets

As the centre for world economy shifts to Asia, India should take advantage and prepare itself for becoming a global hub of management education

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With the legacy of IIMS and a few other premium private B-schools, India boasts of providing a vibrant management education ecosystem. These schools have half a century-long history of exceptional quality and accomplishment. However, so far Indian B-schools have been insular and have by and large operated only in the local market. 

I feel that India is well-positioned to take advantage of the opportunity to innovate and turn itself into a hub of excellent management education for the world. It is more important now since Asia is likely to become a significant economic player globally. But for that to happen, Indian B-schools need to have a long-term orientation and a robust strategy in place. 

The ‘Asian’ Advantage
Asia holds an enviable position in the global economy today. By 2040, our continent will top 50% of the worldwide GDP in nominal terms. Indian B-Schools should not miss this window of opportunity. Management institutes in other Asian countries like China, Hong Kong and Singapore are setting outstanding examples for their Indian counterparts.

CEIBS in China is a worthy study in this regard. Facilitating a joint venture between China and Europe, this business school has demonstrated that management education can cater to both local and global needs. The concept of “China depth and global breadth” has set them apart. CEIBS and other leading B-schools from Hong Kong and Singapore can become role models for India. 

Institutes need to have long-term goals that can help them go global. International accreditations like AACSB and EQUIS will put us alongside top B-schools from Europe, Asia and North America. Preparing for these accreditations will also encourage the institutes to develop systems and processes at par with global standards for all aspects of education, including curricula and pedagogy; recruitment and composition of faculty; research and publications; diversity and structure of student body; and extracurricular activities. Similarly, B-schools should consider setting up structures to facilitate their participation in rankings like QS and Financial Times (FT).

Going forward, it is essential that as a country we have a defined target. The first aim should be that by 2030, at least 40 business schools (20 IIMs should take the lead) get the prestigious global accreditations and should find a place in FT Masters in Management (MIM) ranking. Currently, there are five. Young schools like IIM Indore and IIM Udaipur featuring in the FT MIM 2019 list, along with IIM A, B and C is a good start, which should encourage all top schools (public as well as private) in the country to work towards this goal. 

Similarly, we should target and have at least 10 Indian B-schools in the FT Global MBA rankings by 2030. Management institutes in India need to work towards this collective target. India’s lead in the global management education domain would enhance India’s soft power. 

As the centre for world economy shifts to Asia, India should take advantage and prepare itself for becoming a global hub of management education. To capitalise on our unique position, we need to establish rigorous systems by taking inspiration from the leaders in management education in India and internationally. Institutes need to have long-term strategies that can help them gain international accreditations and a place in the global rankings. The B-schools in the country should not miss this great opportunity.  

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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Janat Shah

The author is Director, IIM Udaipur

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