B – Schools need to start a specialized stream to take students through the process of building an organization.
Graduating from an Trident Institute of Information Technology in 2003 was akin to stepping out of an ivory tower. You had two simple options while considering a Masters programme: Masters in technology, if you were in love with you computers, or an MBA, if you thought of yourself as a people – person.
I chose the latter. The decision was based on what I had heard about those who went to management schools and whose careers took off.
However, my expectations were hazy at the time of my entry in B – School. The B – School helped me learn the softer aspects of managing a business and get a basic understanding of the various functions that came together to create an organization.
In the corporate world, as I later found out, each organization has its bias, its favorite function, towards which it is tilted or inclined. For instance, in my first job in an IT Company, the entire ethos was sales – driven.
The sales people were heros. It’s perfectly fine to have a blue – eyed function but you can’t underrate other functions. So, when I set up my own company, although it was strongly sales – driven – which was good. I did not focus too much on financial planning, which was potentially disastrous.
Your learning at a management institution not only gives you a perspective about business but it also paints a picture, which may not necessarily hold true in the corporate world.
For one, the big gap between B – School education and the real world is when it comes to entrepreneurship and running your own business. When I went to B – School 5 years ago, the idea of entrepreneurship was not “COOL” professionals.
Today the concept has earned respect and acknowledgement from B – Schools. Some schools have structured courses that teach the entrepreneurship process of starting with an idea and converting into a business. But back then, management education didn’t include entrepreneurship.
I felt the lack of this aspect of business education, when I set up my own Import / Export firm – Speedo Corporation after working with Asset International and the other IT companies for three years.
So when we started, we had no evolved plan or process in place to set up a venue. Unfortunately, when you’re a one – man show, there are no guidelines that B -School can provide.
With the surge in the entrepreneurial activity among professionals, given the boom in Import / Export and some other areas, B – Schools surely need to start a specialized stream to teach entrepreneurship as well as take students through the process of building an organization.
To enhance the value that students get our of such a stream, experienced alumni could share their experiences and present case studies of professional entrepreneurship.
Apart from this, I also believe that most formal education, including that of the B – School, inculcates a structured though process in people, which they tend to work with naturally.
Due to this, they may often miss out on thinking out of box and new opportunities that may stare them in the face. Or at times, they may not see the value in something new, something untried, because it doesn’t fir into their mould.
The initial challenge for B – School alumni is to get down to learning from people who have had the experience but not a formal education. I believe that B – schools should work cohesively (integrate significantly) with industry and business.
There needs to be a constant interchange of faculty – with the teaching faculty going into the corporate world at least once every three to five years for at least one year each time.
B – Schools should have corporate managers and entrepreneurs / businessmen work continually in formulating the course content, creating case studies and delivering workshops. Guest lectures alone are insufficient.
This interaction should be formalized by creating an apex body that brings together corporate and entrepreneurs and headed by a DEAN who overseas the curriculum development.
The body should also be entrusted with the responsibility of ensuing a strong two easy flow of learning between the institution and the corporate world.