The Great Indian MBA Blues

Did you know, that the most common GMAT applicant profile is IIM?

IIM has become an acronym for “Indian IT Male.” Hardly surprising then, that the largest chunk of students in any Indian B-school today comes with some experience in the IT/ITeS industry. A glance at the placement records of the premiere B schools reveals that the IT/ITeS industry still have a heavy appetite in terms of number of students they recruit. Put the two together and B-school seems like a shunting in your career in the IT industry, where you come out of one mass recruiter and go back to another just to be a better paid version of what you were even without the MBA. If you are one of those people who are looking to join a B-school, quitting your present job, because you feel that you don’t belong to that particular industry – then this particular piece of information would definitely induce a fair amount of fear and doubt in you. After all, what you really want to do is investment banking or branding.

The main reason for this fear is the misconception about the kind of profiles a company may offer to fresh MBAs. For example, will an IT company recruit only for IT (pure systems) profile? Why not let’s think otherwise.

In any organization, all departments are present, and each one is important in their own way. Look at it this way – what is a consultant at KPMG (IT) doing? Is he in the IT industry? Or is he in the Financial Services domain? If you were doing brand management for IBM, are you an IT guy or a cool brand-guru? If you were coding for the next version of EA Sports’ Soccer game, are you a cool gamer or are you a programmer? The finance team of Larsen & Toubro Limited is bigger than some of the smaller banks in India. The marketing team at BMW works in tandem with the Product design team.

In any organization, there are no water-tight silos in which Marketing, Finance, Operations, HR, and Systems work separately. The higher you go up the corporate ladder; there is a greater demand for cross-functional knowledge.

So where does this fear originate that your job would not be what would make you happy?

The reason for such fear is that when we join a B-school, we come in with some vague ideas about what the terms Finance, Marketing, Operation, Systems and HR imply. As students gets exposure to all the various portions (it would be unfair to call them branches – all of them are the stem) of Management in first year, the lines that separate them smudge a bit. In fact in our experience at TAPMI, at the end of the first year, we have realized what we did not know about every portion far outweighed what we did know. Based on these partial ideas about different streams, students come in with preconceived notions about what they shall specialize in and what subjects are going to shape their futures.

Hence, while it’s good that B-School aspirants come with some preference about the stream/portion they want to specialize in, it is strongly advised to them to look for quality education in all specializations and a healthy learning environment before they look at the placement figures.

The world is yet to figure out the way to stop a person from doing well at what he/she is passionate about doing.

– Subhayu Roy & Sumit Saurabh (Batch 2009-2011)

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5 thoughts on “The Great Indian MBA Blues

  1. “The world is yet to figure out the way to stop a person from doing well at what he/she is passionate about doing” – Fully agree with it !

  2. MBA need not be simply linked to Business Management and Placements. Any sharp or logical mind need not be an Engineer or an IT guy. Let us not draw certain logical (or illogical) conclusions that IT = Engineer = MBA = Success and so on.

    We read that several Indian or Foreign MBAs have even entered Indian Politics in recent years. May be today’s situation demands such intelligent brains like what was IAS and bureaucracy. And the latest example of a TAPMIan taking up IAS too. To me, it is all about brilliance, talent and application of all the learning to real life situations. The division about specialisation in Finance, Marketing, HR or others is only some comfort that one chooses to handle the problems in the day to day working life. Finally, it is General Management – be it in administration, politics or business. And, I firmly believe in Professionalism in every field.

  3. Confucius said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

    Subhayu Roy & Sumit Saurabh said “The world is yet to figure out the way to stop a person from doing well at what he/she is passionate about doing.”

    Both are as true now as it was millions of years ago and as it will be 5000 years from now.

    I have been following my first love since I was 17, did BBA with specialisation in Marketing in what was one of India’s few Government backed BBA programs back then with 36 general seats when everyone around was abuzz with either Er or Dr, Worked with Marketing for a year, Read and Wrote about Marketing and Want to marry my first love in the near future 🙂

    Economics and Hence Investment Finance is my hopeful concubine or other lady, because I think the only way to get rid of poverty is using sound Economics. I believe that no business degree is complete without sufficient knowledge Economics because we live in a world which asks us to take decisions by taking everything into account which automatically means economics plays a very vital part. I have noticed a lot many times that successful business men understand Economics really well and this is something that a lot of business schools don’t teach in enough depth.

    By the way, If my statistics are correct then the Indian IT Male has been a thumbs down this year in most international B-Schools applications and this has started to create a buzz in the market.

    Also, MBA needs de-glamourizing in India for the right reasons of what it is and what its suppose to do otherwise it will just become the naked fire for the moths.

  4. While your motivation to go back to college may in fact be driven by your current conditions, you cannot let those who evaluates your application know that. By no means let decision makers think you’re just trying to get away from the uninviting job market. The application materials must paint your pursuit for the MBA as part of an intentional career path approach. Do not forget those compelling reasons why you want an MBA, why you want to study in the particular program you are applying to, and a clear explanation of your career goals. MBA is the only recognized and fully accepted management qualification in the India and many other countries. The course is designed for both students and professionals who wish to upgrade their management skills and qualifications to become successful businessman and business manager in future. I have found a link where anyone who wants to have their MBA from India and looking for the address of different mba colleges Indiahave.
    http://mbacollegesindia.org is the link where I found the list. There are also some admission related articles in the site, which may help the Indian students a lot.

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