Do you aspire to create impact, drive growth and lead organizations that transform the world around you? In all the complexity of markets, business and volatility, do you wish to be at the helm of affairs?
A management education brings you within reach of such roles during your career.
A) What is an MBA ?
An MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a post graduate degree recognized internationally and widely accepted as a passport to a successful career.
An MBA offers a range of benefits, including:
Business Knowledge: The MBA program and business schools give you valuable knowledge about business and all its related aspects.
Leadership Abilities: An MBA helps to set you apart from those who do not have such expertise and can make you a leader in your chosen field.
Networking: The alliances that you form with your classmates and the network that you create is deemed as one of the most important and valuable things that an MBA program can give you.
Traditionally the tenure of full-time MBA programmes has been two years. However, of late in Europe, full-time study can take anything from 10 months to two years to complete. The majority of European MBAs tend to follow the twelve month model.
B) How will it impact my career?
The MBA opens up newer avenues and provides the modern manager with tools and skills needed to identify new opportunities for organisational success. The fruits of this qualification are reaped by fresh graduates as well as practicing managers in both public and private sectors. The key limiter being obtaining the qualification from a reputable institute.
The broadbased understanding of business dynamics gained from the MBA helps in making the transition from roles hitherto limited by knowledge gained from the primary degree (engineering, arts, life sciences etc) to a management role. It is also useful to those who seek a change of career.
The fact that it leads to well-paid jobs and a more secure future has made it one of the most popular postgraduate programs.
In response to the current global economic scenario, reach and scale of operations are key factors to organisational viability and success. In response to this need, companies are increasingly becoming diversified and multifaceted, thereby augmenting the scope and need for an MBA.
C) When to do an MBA ?
The best time to do an MBA depends upon why you want to do an MBA.
You can do an MBA immediately after graduation if you want to kick start your career with a managerial profile with the best MNCs in India or abroad.
You can also do an MBA after gaining industry experience, as a MBA is about training you in business management, thus industry experience would prove beneficial to further sharpen your skills and propel your career faster. Students with work experience have an added advantage in pursuing MBA abroad as international B-schools consider work experience as major criterion for selecting candidates.
D) Career Options after MBA
There are three parameters that determine the career of management graduates.
These are :
The Institute The Specialization The Organization
With 1100+ B schools in our country, it is important to choose the right school so that it enhances job prospects in the short term and a career in the long term. One way to choose the institute is to check the campus placements during recession. In boom time it is easy to get students placed even for a not-so-well known institute. However, during recession when employers are more discerning, if a business school can get its students placed then it is 'The School' that one should aim for. The IIMs, XLRI, SP Jain, FMS, NITIE, IITs (Schools Of Management) are some of the institutes in this category.
On what basis should I choose my specialization?
Most B-schools have an introduction to all streams for the first year. It is in the second year of the course one has to decide on the stream of specialization. Hence it is recommended that one should keep an open mind to begin with and try to understand all the sts. However, if one already has industry experience, he can take a particular stream to enhance his skills.
Understanding various specialization
This is the key variable and a lot depends on one's interests and capabilities, as well as the institutes' resources. Let us consider each specialization in some detail. This should also throw some light on the functional areas.
Whilst the list of specializations offered by management institutes is expanding each year, the broad areas that students can specialize in are:
Marketing in its broadest sense is getting people and products together. This is the most popular specialization among students of management. It comprises four specific function areas :
|Sales & Distribution
The opportunities in Sales and Product Management are vast. However most organizations prefer their trainees to have sales experience before joining product management.
Advertising and Market Research are service sector activities. India has a large number of small agencies, and a few large agencies, often with foreign tie-ups. Most of the large and professional market research agencies are divisions or subsidiaries of advertising agencies.
The companies that recruit on campus are usually from industries such as:
FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods): Procter and Gamble, Unilever, Glaxo-Smith Kline, Pepsi, Nestle, Johnson and Johnson, Marico, Heinz, etc.
Consumer Durables: BPL, Blowplast, Godrej and Boyce, Maruti Udyog Ltd, Whirlpool etc.
Advertising and Market Research agencies: JWT, O&M, IMRB, ORG MARG, Lintas, Leo Burnett.
This function area is concerned with the efficient use of an important component of business - Money.
There are eight career paths in this discipline.
The same institution usually carries out Consumer Banking, Investment Banking, and Institutional Banking. These cover individual accounts, the management of securities (and other investments including foreign exchange dealings) and lending to corporate clients respectively. These functions tend to be highly specialized.
Most banks nowadays also have Merchant Banking subsidiaries or divisions. These largely focus on public issues to raise capital required by organizations. This field has also seen several non-banking firms entering, but their viability currently seems doubtful. While in the other three banking areas described above (i.e. consumer/investment/institutional) the foreign banks are the most aggressive and creative, the Merchant Banking divisions of Indian banks are currently rated the best.
Development banking falls under the purview of specialized institutions set up for this purpose, e.g. NABARD, IDBI, IFCI, etc. The mandate is to help the economy grow by aiding industrial growth. The focus here is very different from traditional banking and is extremely challenging. Recently, traditional banks like ICICI are also getting into micro credit financing.
Non-banking finance is of two types. One is through small, privately run specialized companies that are involved in leasing, hire purchase, or private banks. The other is through specialized public sector institutions concentrating on shipping finance, housing finance, venture capital, etc.
Finance professionals can also have challenging careers in companies that need in-house expertise and have departments for cost-control, financial planning, and accountancy.
International Finance deals primarily with global investments in the stock markets. Options and Derivatives' pricing is one of the key areas covered under International Finance. Generally top stock-broking firms recruit people with this background.
There are three broad career opportunities in this area.
|Human Resources Development (HRD)
HRD managers are involved in activities like performance appraisal, employee counseling, employee training and employee motivation. Their activities are directed towards development of people in their organization.
Personnel managers handle activities like recruitment, job definition, salary management and employee welfare. Nowadays, most organizations differentiate between Personnel and HRD managers.
Industrial Relations managers focus on labour management. With increasing politically backed labour / staff union activities, organizations require specialists in handling them. Students with law background are preferred in this area.
After consolidation and restructuring in the Information Technology (IT) sector, there is again a huge demand for software professionals and systems managers. For MBAs specializing in Systems, there are broadly four career options in this field:
Account Management / Project Management
Systems Depts of Organizations
Business Development / Sales & Marketing
Systems Consultancies recruit MBAs for their teams providing consultancy to their client organizations. They also recruit MBAs for business development functions.
Organizations specializing in hardware / software solutions recruit MBAs for Business Development and Sales & Marketing functions.
Information technology is an integral part of every business today, hence organizations require managers for their Systems Departments.
The advantage is that one does not need prior knowledge or experience in computers or engineering to specialize in Systems.
Some of the best System consultancies and IT firms that recruit on campus are PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Tata Consultancy Services, Patni Computer Systems, Polaris Software, Mindtree, Infosys, Wipro, etc.
Manufacturing is one of the most important areas for any product-based business. Management of large as well as small manufacturing companies involves various production and operational techniques and theories. These skills are especially useful for engineering graduates. The career options in this field are:
Supply Chain Management
The focus of Operations Specialists is not engineering problems, but managerial implications of engineering problems. The specific skills required are behavioural, technical, and statistical.
These techniques are largely applied to manufacturing organizations. There are a few consultancies that work with such organizations in this function area thereby offering attractive career opportunities to MBAs.
The range of career options for management graduates is definitely more extensive than the ones described above. Entrepreneurship, for example is an exciting, challenging, and rewarding option (not covered above) that is gradually becoming popular among students. IIM-A runs a special second year concise package for entrepreneurs, while other schools also offer special courses.
Excellent business ideas and sustainable plans enable funding from various venture capital firms in India and abroad.
The third and the most important parameter that determines the career of an MBA is the organisation he works for. Better organizations, with higher scope of operations, tend to offer a higher and more challenging learning curve.
Organizations can be classified by the nature of their business. The three broad areas are:
A brief description:
The focus of these companies is to sell products to individu-al consumers. Products are classified as fast moving (soaps, toothpastes); durable (washing machines, TVs) and non-durable, etc.
The focus of these organizations is selling products to other organizations. There is a wide range of products in this category, such as chemicals, computers, EPABX sets, forgings, plastics, power plants, etc.
Many organizations do not produce a tangible product, but perform a valuable function. Common examples of such service organizations are banks, agents, and accountants. This sector also in-cludes industries like exports, advertising, software, consultan-cy, and even the Planning Commission.
Undoubtedly, the IIMs offer best placements every year. The placements across all the IIMs are similar except for a few global companies preferring a particular institute. The average starting salary offered by the Indian companies to a fresh graduate is usually in the range of Rs. 6-7 lakhs per annum.
The highest Indian salary offered at the IIMs is in the range of Rs. 11-13 lakhs p.a. Some of the institutes publish the average salaries on their websites, which could be misleading. The average salaries may contain the figures of foreign salaries converted into rupees, and hence show a distorted figure. The median salary provides a clearer picture than the average salaries. You can also check the Institute Tracker at the IMS Website for institute specific information on Placements, Salaries / Remuneration etc.,
WHERE TO DO AN MBA:
The best way of selecting a Management Institute is to go for the best in the country. Going to the best institutes ensures quality education, competitive peer group, good facilities, great atmosphere to pursue your studies and obviously the best jobs. However, if one is not sure of any specific factor or if there is not much to choose from, then, the best way of selecting an institute is by its reputation.
Some of the factors that you need to consider while selecting the institute are:
It is important to ensure that the reputation of the institute is good. This could be found by talking to the alumni of the college or even getting information from people who have completed their MBA from other institutes. How the school is regarded by the employers in the country is another significant criterion for selecting your B-school. More often than not, institutes get mentioned in surveys that are conducted by many business magazines in the country.
A word of advice about the not-so-well-known, but recognized institutions: Graduates of the once lesser known institutes are now being readily accepted by the industry. The reputation of your institute matters only in your first job that the institute's placement cell helps to secure. In subsequent jobs, your performance plays the key role.
Profile of Peer Group:
One of the factors that contribute to your learning experience at any B-school is the peer group in the batch. Ensure that there is a fair mix of experience and educational backgrounds that will enable you to capitalize on and learn from the experiences of the other members of the batch. Average age, educational background, work experience, etc could be some of the factors you could consider to make a right choice.
The specialization that you wish to pursue and are most interested in should be a part of the "majors" in the institute. Going to an institute that does not offer what you want could be detrimental to your future career prospects.
Recognition - Degree or Diploma - PGP / PGDM / PGDBM / MBA:
The next point to consider is whether the institute is recognized by Industry.
The location of an Institute is not important for the premier institutes. Employers seek out the best institute irrespective of its location. However, for the others, it would be better if the location is near a commercial hub, so that even if employers do not visit the campus, the student has an opportunity to come in close contact with potential employers. Further, although these institutes may have very few permanent faculty, the school authorities can get industry specialists for teaching their students.
Campus and Other Facilities - Residential vs. Day Scholar:
Large campuses and in-house facilities give the institute an atmosphere conducive to better education. Hence it is important to see that they have the required facilities.
We have always maintained that institutes of higher learning should be residential programs. After all, the education from any of these institutes depends not only on the curriculum but also on the peer group and your interaction witnin this group. Further just perusing through the top institutes in the country like the IIMs, XLRI, NITIE and IITs one will notice that they are all compulsory residential programs.
No doubt, institutes like FMS are counted amongst the best in spite of lacking infrastructure facilities like a large campus or exclusive in-house residential facilities but then such institutes are very few in number. Given a choice, it is highly recommended that the student should opt for an institute with a residential rather than a day scholar program.