Industry expects more from B-Schools

Prof. Shubhasheesh Bhattacharya
Faculty Member
ICFAI Business School
Plot No 5, Equity Tower, Sanghvi Nagar Road, Aundh
Pune-411 007

As per the opinion poll published in Times of India, Pune recently, 60 % of the students feel that syllabi of the professional courses are not in tune with industry 1.

The issue is very relevant when we have to answer the question: why is it that one MBA gets a job offer of Rs. 6 lac per annum and another MBA struggles hard to secure a job fetching him even Rs. 1 lac per annum? One of the reason for this is relevance factor of the syllabus, as required by the industry.

Here on this issue, we also need to consider few more points. For example, are we talking about the syllabus of  the course of a Govt. aided University ? Or, are we talking about syllabus of the course of any run of the mill institute. Or, are we talking about syllabus of  the course of a particular educational institute which really means business, which has intention of value-addition, one which has organisational mission of excellence in educational service, which intends to compete with top class educational institutes, which is sensitive to the needs of the industry and is flexible enough to design & redesign it's course as per the requirement of the market and industry.

Educational service providers, basically fall under three categories.   

1st  category :  Govt. aided Universities. Except a few of these universities, which are maintaining top class quality in educational service, others are functioning with typically bureaucratic, rigid, inflexible approach. Such universities are least bothered about having syllabi of the professional courses which are in tune with the industries.

2nd category :  Some private institutes which have mushroomed in last few years, they are said to have focus on 'making money', rather than focussing on 'excellence' as educational service provider. Such institutes have least concern and sincerity about updating the syllabi of professional courses, that meets the needs of  the industry.   

3rd category : There are some private institutes/ universities which really mean business. They are not mere teaching shops. Faculty in such Institutes put lot of effort in Research Work and hence continuously improve the quality of teaching.  They are sensitive about the needs of the market, industry. They treat the students as the ambassadors of their institutes. They put-in lot of effort for value-addition in their students, which will be useful to the industry. They spend a lot of energy & effort in industry-academic interface. Hence, they are very proactive, flexible, always ready for changing & updating the syllabi of professional courses.

ICFAI University is one of such Universities/ Institutes, which falls under category 3. In the ranking of B-Schools in India, ICFAI Business School is ranking 1st  among University Business Schools. Industry feels motivated and activated to interact with such institutes. Such institutes get full support from the industry, in turn.

B-Schools need more number of industry -experienced faculty. Most of the Indian B-schools fail to attract good faculty and most of them who teach do not have any industry experience. Not only that, most of them do not make any efforts to get over this drawback through keeping themselves updated on whatever is happening in Indian business.

It has been observed that B-school students do not have positive attitudes towards behavioural courses such as business ethics, human resource management and organisational behaviour etc.

Students seem to view these subjects as impractical in today's corporate world. This attitude towards the behavioural sciences seems puzzling given the fact that CEOs and recruiters have expressed concern over lack of social skills and relatively poor attitudes among the newly recruited management trainees. The fact remains that the top corporate organizations are increasingly moving towards & encouraging it's employees to have ethical practices, value –based management, harmony with environment etc. In other words, corporates are expecting high level of soft skills in management trainees. So, in order to meet the expectations of the corporates, students just can't afford to ignore the behavioural aspect of work-life. 

On Industry-Institute interaction and on Research by faculty, Prof. Balachandran says that 2  :

(i) There is an urgent need for developing healthy relationship between B-Schools and Industry for mutual development and evolving cases in management practices.

(ii) Motivating faculty to write papers on diverse subjects and make presentations before knowledgeable audience drawn from the Industry and leading business schools'.

'Dr. Shabazz says business-school faculty will be vital to curriculum changes. "We have to convince faculty that this whole idea of the Internet economy is making a difference in their disciplines. Some of them don't frankly see that yet. They feel that it's not really impacting them on this level yet. It's going to take a gradual process to maybe change the way they look at it," Dr. Shabazz says 3.

Today, the basics are very clear : Relationships between industry and well-meaning institutes are getting strong. Such institutes are busy preparing quality products (i.e., the students, who have got the real value-addition to serve the industry and who are in demand in the market). Industry is also benefitted by tying-up with such institutes and getting supply of high quality human resources.

References :

1.  Opinion Poll, Times of India/ Education Times Dt. 14.12.2004

Prof. Shubhasheesh Bhattacharya
Faculty Member
ICFAI Business School
Plot No 5, Equity Tower, Sanghvi Nagar Road, Aundh
Pune-411 007

Source: E-mail May 18, 2005


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