"Lack of a unique strategy” is the primary reason for poor visibility of tier-II and tier-III B-schools. By trying to imitate the top B-schools in the country and elsewhere, the teaching and learning process in these (tier-II and III) management schools gets diluted and the necessary knowledge and skills is not translated either to the professors or students, notes K Senthil Ganesh, Managing Trustee, RVS Institute of Management Studies and Research.
Excerpts from an interview:
What in your perception ails the not-so-renowned B-schools today?
The present MBA curriculum and delivery model has its roots in the western world. Top B-Schools prepare students to take up general management roles, which gives them exposure to business functions such as finance, marketing, human resources, operations and information technology.
More importantly, the top ranked schools insist on work experience before admitting the candidate. They impart “case-based teaching” or teaching through simulations. All this requires both the teacher and the student to have advanced skills and practical experience.
There is a dearth of experienced faculty in the less-renowned institutions, excepting visiting faculty in select schools. Further, these schools do not attract the cream – either staff or students. As a result, many say professors are not up to the mark and managements not progressive, managements and professors, in turn, blame the students citing a lack of vision.
How do you think this issue can be addressed?
It is not as if we cannot overcome some of these inherent quality issues. The primary reason, as we understand it is “lack of a unique strategy”.
According to management scholars “Strategy is all about making the right choice”.
If we claim we have a strategy, we should have explored all the choices available, should have consciously taken a position or stand so as to serve customers better, add value to them.
For instance, a restaurant chain such as Annapoorna, Anandhas or Saravana Bhavan primarily serves quality South Indian food to a certain segment of customers. Fine dining restaurants like That’s Y Food or Taj or Le Meridien serve different food to different customers. They have all tailored their activities to serve customer requirements. They do not compete head-on with each other to become the best in all categories, but try to become unique in their chosen segment.
What is your strategy?
We have devised a programme “Winning Aspiration”, which aims to help engineering, commerce, computer science and maths graduates enhance their skills by giving specific specialisations tailored to their undergraduate background and current industry expectations. Our programme is oriented towards Techno Manager Specialisations. Solving business problems using technology is the in-thing today. A huge pile of data is available, but people are not able to comprehend/ relate the data.
How have you managed to take it forward?
We have adopted a blended learning model. The curriculum and teaching material is prepared by industry partners. The Business Analytics curriculum is prepared by IT giant IBM. They train our staff and give the necessary software as well. We also have an industry training partner who teaches the courses in a “Block Format” along with our professors, who have already been trained by IBM.
A similar model is in place for finance with FinShiksha, accounting with a panel of chartered accountants, digital marketing with Trainedge and logistics with CII.
Our teaching-learning approach prepares students progress in the competitive business world. Since our strategy helps students Learn, Excel, Achieve and Prosper, we have coined it as “LEAP” model.