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Exec MBA: Fast-track to growth?

Posted on Friday, February 20, 2009

Instead of only hiring over-priced MBAs, HR heads are beginning to see the merits of allowing their existing executives to study and finish their studies side-by-side and absorbing them into higher positions. Ashima Sekhri delves into the details and the options available

Exec MBA: Fast-track to growth?Today for any professional working in an IT or a manufacturing firm, upgrading of work skills, typically refers to a degree in management and if the same is designed in such a way that the individual is taught ways and means of enhancing the global competitiveness of their employer, they become invaluable to the employer. This increasingly is becoming the thought behind actions of human resource departments, who are increasingly incentivising and facilitating higher studies for existing star-performers within their organisations.
Says Saumya Sarin, a recruitment consultant with ABC Consulting, a leading recruitment firm in India, “Why not! Instead of only hiring over-priced MBAs, HR heads are beginning to see the merits of allowing their existing executives to study and finish their studies side-by-side and absorbing them into higher positions. This breeds loyalty to the organisation, which is often missing in most of the fresh MBA recruits It also allows you to have resources at higher positions who already understand the organisation and thus there is no expenditure on them in terms of induction and training, which can be a very expensive affair.”
There are many institutes like Symbiosis Institute of Management in Pune and Institute of Management Technology (IMT) in Ghaziabad which offer three year and two year long correspondence programmemes for completing your MBA. This allows an individual to complete their management degree while working. The participants have to attend once-a-quarter classes and that too over the weekends. Assignments and projects are submitted online allowing participants to work at times of the day and weekends when they are  not working.
But doing a full degree course is not the only way to enhance your skills. There are many more options to enhance your skills sets, while studying. To cater to this growing mass of working executives, there are several institutes that offer executive development programmemes in specialist fields, teaching working professionals the art of global competitiveness and management. These courses are short duration and often range from a few days to a few months.  
  • One such institute, offering Executive Development Programmes or Management Development Programmes (MDPs) for working professionals, specifically in the area of international business, is the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Delhi. The institute, aimed at producing world-class managers for firms focused on foreign trade, was set up as an autonomous organisation to help professionalise the country's foreign trade management and increase exports by developing human resources; generating, analysing and disseminating data; and conducting research.  
  • The focus of all activities at Manthan, the MDP block at Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIML), is to give participants the perspectives required to revolutionise the way an enterprise achieves its objectives. IIML devises and designs customised tailor-made programmes, to the specific needs of the organisations both in private and public sector. These programmes pertain to general management and are aimed at providing skills to participants so that they are able to make their own organisations globally competitive in today’s business environment.  
  • ISB offers the ‘Managing Young Global Enterprises’ programme, in collaboration with INSEAD, for the duration of a 5-day workshop which aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of international business and provides a hands-on experience of managing international business operations. Other institutes such as NMIMS have a MDP cell, dedicated to identifying the needs of the working professional and aligning them to the needs of the expanding organisations. In keeping with the same, NMIMS, Mumbai, conducts programmes of duration of 1-5 days on management topics relevant to the industry, such as ‘Managing International Business’. These look at equipping the students with the knowledge to enhance their firm’s competitiveness in the increasingly competitive international business environment. 
“With so many options these days, I don’t see much point in leaving my well-paying job, taking a break for 2 years, and doing my MBA to come back for an uncertain job, which might or might not even pay me higher. Also, there would then be the opportunity loss of salary, earnings and promotions in these two years. I am much better off studying side by side, getting paid, getting my degree and then looking for a better and more suitable position within my existing company,” proclaims Bhavna Chatlani, a marketing executive in a multi-national bank in Mumbai.
Just like the IT and BPO sector have put India on the global business map; there are still many unexplored business segments that are likely to make India emerge a winner in this race to the top. Are you, as managers, equipping yourself with the requisite skills to fight the competition and make the environment healthy and make your company win? If the answer is ‘no’, think again.


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