Fusion MBA

July 20th, 2010

Rohit Verma, a student at IILM – Business School New Delhi landed at Royal Estate through campus placement. In a brief time of one-and-a-half months, Verma was promoted as sales development manager and got a 50-per cent hike in salary. He is based out of Delhi now.

Nitish Madhur, a student of Rai Business School, New Delhi who graduated in 2006 joined Dabur through campus placement. After his 30 months experience he moved to Fab Miller. Currently, Madhur is with Pernod Ricard India, as a key accounts manager.

Both Verma and Madhur are fusion MBA grads. Their career best states that to get a foot in the door what matters is your managerial skills, how best you market and prove yourself during the job interview. Developing yourself during the two years MBA program is important.

A management programme is skill enhancement platform, which doubles your employability, facilitates a student with opportunities to meet the corporate requirement. The focus should be on the process, the quality of the delivery and then learning outcome of it.

MBA programs that combine full-time interactive classes, with a regular employability skills development programme and standard industry interaction and industrial visits, though the mode of degree is in distance learning, are gaining acceptance and popularity among B-school students.

Such fusion MBA programmes providing in-face interaction on a daily basis are quite similar to conventional MBA programs.  B-schools offering such programmes provide their autonomous certification besides providing an MBA degree through some reputed university affiliation. And the cost of this MBA is almost equivalent and sometimes more than a traditional MBA program.

This is because business schools running fusion MBAs do every sort of academic activity and industry related activities to stay at par with any regular MBA program.

Currently, hiring managers do not differentiate much between an MBA/PGDBM in regular mode and these fusion MBAs, unless the student fails to prove his mettle in either case.

Seeking views from one of my friends who is an HR manger at an MNC revealed that a full-time program with training programs and other live projects definitely has its own value. As long as it is not correspondence, which has rare contact classes, fusion programs are almost equivalent to a traditional MBA.

Recruiters feel that ultimately it all depends on the fact that how a candidate proves his strengths and eligibility for the job s/he is applying for. If s/he turns out to be most appropriate, then management learning from a government recognized institue or an autonomous institute can be overlooked.

There are enough examples of students who pursued MBA through ‘fusion’ mode and are have found ready acceptance in corporate.

The author is Director, IILM - Business School, Mathura Road, New Delhi

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Entrepreneurs or Managers?

July 12th, 2010

Some time ago I had an intern working with me who always asked me if he should start his own business.

I don’t know why, but I would always find it difficult to give him a straight “yes” or “no”. The intern had the drive and the zeal. But somewhere he still questioned his own abilities to become an entrepreneur. Probably he would succeed, only if he didn’t have temporariness, frivolity.

But who decides what it takes to become an entrepreneur? The entrepreneur himself?

Sample this. Arvind Pani, a BTech from NIT Rourkela has had extensive experience working for various companies. Having seen the nature of the corporate ladder, Arvind was convinced that that was not the path he wanted to tread. Entrepreneurship was his childhood dream and he started his own initiative to make unique software products based company. In a short span of time his organisation, Reverie Technologies, has established credibility in a niche segment. In 2009, their firm made it to the final list of companies under the ‘Power of Ideas” initiative driven by The Economic Times. Their organisation is contributing significantly to certain standardisation initiatives for mobile phones in India where they are working closely with TRAI and COAI.

Pani says that for becoming an entrepreneur, there are 3 traits that are absolutely essential-

a)      Extremely high ability to take risks.

b)      Hatred for straight-jacketed and conventional thinking.

c)       Put one’s entrepreneurial mission and passion above everything else as No.1 priority; including prioritizing above one’s family.

Rest of the traits can be acquired. But without the above three traits, entrepreneurship can lead to a disaster.

True. An entrepreneur is on his own, with his ideas and his successes and rewards are his own too.

Mitul Rustagi, a very successful manager in corporate India and currently the Director-Business Development, Automotive Experience, India Johnson Controls India Private Limited  says a good manager is one who is definitely accountable - will deliver to all assigned tasks, meeting all expectations for the assigned  tasks.

However, a good manager, 80% of the time (by Pareto’s principle), may not be a good entrepreneur.

For being entrepreneur, Rustagi feels an individual needs to take a step ahead and be “responsible” for the entire gamut of business - deliver results that are essential for the business outside his assigned tasks, a fact Pani agrees to.

Every successful company would have a unique collection of these manager-cum-entrepreneurs. One would find that these people are very well aligned to the vision of the corporation and are the people moving very fast within the organisation.

Somewhere all those I spoke to feel entrepreneurial zeal is innate to a person, but can be learned. One of the reasons why IIM – Ahemedabad always encourages students to take up entrepreneurship as a career. Probably it is one of the very few campuses that allows students to take a career holiday so that they can try their hands at their own ventures. In case the students decide otherwise some time later, they can always come back to avail the placement facilities on campus.

The author is Director, IILM - Business School, Mathura Road, New Delhi

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