25 May 2020, 16th AIMS Webinar on ‘Redesigning the MBA program for the future’ by Padma Bhushan Dr. Jagdish N. Sheth

Jun 30, 2020 | Posted by admin in Campus Corner, Events & Happenings, Faculty Talk   No Comments »

The webinar started with a welcome note from Dr. Sujata Mangaraj, Director, Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS), the host body of the webinar.

Prof. Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Former President, AIMS and Group Director, S. P. Mandali’s Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research (WeSchool) set the context by sharing the current landscape in higher education in the light of present pandemic times. He invited Padma Bhushan Awardee 2020 and Charles H. Kellstadt Professor of Business at Emory University, Dr. Jagdish N. Sheth, the key speaker to share his views on how B-Schools can grow and sustain in the rapidly changing environment.

After complimenting The Academy of Indian Marketing, AIMS and WeSchool for championing the theme of webinar, Dr. Sheth stated that COVID-19 will accelerate changes in the higher education sector.

Key excerpts from Dr. Jagdish N. Sheth speech:

Going with the webinar’s theme ‘Redesigning the MBA program for the future’, we aim to learn from the higher education sector in European and American parts for the Indian context.

MBA is the most popular master’s degree program in the U.S. The good news is,  MBA is more gender equal as compared to engineering, education and healthcare sectors.  MBA was designed for the enterprises. However, most MBA graduates have often joined consultancies.  The bad news is that in the U.S., the MBA applications have seen a significant decline in 2019.

Good Businesses Schools fail when they are unwilling or unable to adapt to the changes in the eco system. For e.g. The willingness to change comes from three areas – resistance to change comes from the existing culture. In one of my books, the self-destructive habits of good companies is when they are in denial and don’t recognise the reality. The second area of change is the leadership change. The third one is when you are dying, you are willing to try desperate measures to bring about a change and survive.

On the other side is the ability to change depends on the regulatory bodies and accreditation bodies which surprisingly come across as bottlenecks. So reform of regulation in the higher education is important.

Another aspect is the ‘process’ which makes a difference. Look at the way we recruit, we interview, we conduct exams. Once these are hard wired, it’s hard to change.

Infrastructure is a huge investment with classroom learning and IT infrastructure. Most MBA programs in India are residential and hence the challenge lies in the need of the infrastructure to be repurposed.

A B-School that is resilient is willing and is able to change. However, some b-schools are willing to change but are unable to change due to processes and regulatory body.

Changing external context

Digital change whether we like it or not, we will need to embrace it.

Remote learning is how we have survived in the lockdown.

Use of video conferencing and digital campus platforms have helped us assemble digitally for important meetings.

Today, the digital library reaches the student.

Non Traditional Competition- Most of us laughed when MOOCs launched. Today, Coursera has been quite successful. So is edX which is a MIT platform.

One second major competition came from MS Degree in U.S. when MBA in U.S. didn’t change its’ duration from two years to one year. Today, MS degrees in distance learning have come back to become popular. MS degree in Analytics is trending. Placements for these programs have been good despite the recession. Training is less on knowing ‘why’ and more on ‘how’.

Choices in higher education are now global.

A skill-ready graduate knowing ‘why’ is important as ‘how’; experiential learning and vocational technical management plays a role in career oriented job market.

In the U.S., the average cost of MBA programs, student loans, location and duration influence the affordability and accessibility of the program.

Geo political uncertainty in the COVID-19 phenomena will continue.

Investment banking will grow with major mergers and acquisitions, and more hiring will come from technology.

The coming time will see generalists Vs specialists in MBA programs.

Online MBA is the future.

The seminar concluded with Dr. Sheth mentioning that MBA program is still popular across the globe but there are contextual changes taking place. The adoptive mind-set is crucial in making MBA relevant.

In the Indian context, MBA is valuable as Indians value it socially.

Dr. Anil Rao, Sr. Dean and Sr. VP, Strategy & Branding, S. P. Mandali’s WeSchool, Bengaluru, gave a vote of thanks to the marketing guru Dr. Jagdish N. Sheth for sharing his views of higher education in U.S. and Europe and how Indian educational institutes can adapt to changes in the Indian context.

The webinar was supported by The Academy of Indian Marketing, and S. P. Mandali’s WeSchool for the Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) organised webinar.


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