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Management education in for strategic shift

V. Rishi Kumar

ISB sees big opportunity in customised courseware for corporates

Research would be the new thrust area for the ISB and other management institutes in India.

Hyderabad , Oct. 5

The Indian management education is in for a paradigm shift in terms of offering one-year MBA programmes even as the courseware would get increasingly customised for specialisation and research.

While the two-year courses would continue, patterns show that experienced professionals are opting for one-year courses.

What started with the ISB's one-year course about five summers ago, will now be offered by some Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), and other B-schools are following suit. The one-year course compresses time.

The Dean of Indian School of Business, Professor Mendu Rammohan Rao, told Business Line about interesting patterns in management education and increasing focus on customised courses for corporate entities, executive programmes for working professionals, and accent on research initiatives.

As the economy opens up and foreign universities line up, which could be by 2009, more global B-Schools would tap the opportunity in India.

An industry-driven initiative, ISB has strategic partnership with Kellogg's, Wharton schools and the London Business School. From a start up, it has become self-supportive. Industry watchers such as Mr B. Ramalinga Raju of Satyam, say the ISB's rise is perhaps a case study in entrepreneurship. Coinciding with the five-years, a global logistics meet, to be hosted at the ISB, would be inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.

What started with 120 students, has grown to 418. It is set to expand its intake to 560 to 600 and the faculty strength to 45. Prof Rao said "we have made significant strides in the initial phase and would enter the growth phase. This will mean expanding student village and creating a convention centre. The ISB has invested over Rs 250 crore and is set to invest up to Rs 100 crore in infrastructure."

No comparisons

With regard to placements, ISB students cannot be compared with the IIMs. They come in with more experience. Last placement season, about four students crossed the Rs 1-crore mark creating new benchmarks.

"The ISB has exchange programmes with 26 schools in nine countries and plans to increase this to 35. We would like to attract more foreign students. We cannot offer an MBA degree as in the US and the UK. Unlike IITs, which were created by an Act, even IIMs too cannot offer an MBA degree," he explained.

Customised education for corporates is one big opportunity. ONGC, LIC, M&M, GAIL, and few banks are accessing this programme.

Research would be the new thrust area for the ISB and other management institutes in India.

IT Centre of excellence

The ISB three centres of Excellence — Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship, Centre for Analytics and Finance (supported by Goldman Sachs Foundation), Centre for Global Logistics and Manufacturing (Hero Group and TAFE), and the fourth Centre for Information Technology and Networking Economy, with focus on interdisciplinary research, has been set up.

To this two more— Centres on Strategic Marketing and Leadership and Change Management are to be added.

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