“Tomorrow’s need will be for purposeful leaders, not merely a manager or a good bean counter. B Schools need to understand that – they need to partner with industry and offer their students exposure to real-life environments to ensure they are equipped for the challenges that lie ahead.” These are the words of Dr. Sanjiv Marwah, Director, JKBS, a leading business school in North India. A renowned name in the world of academia with years of solid industry experience, he is also an active member of Strategic Management Forum, an IIM consortium supported organization. Dr. Marwah shares his thoughts on the role of B Schools in creating future leaders and how JKBS leads its students on to the right career path.
Dr. Marwah believes that B Schools need to work on helping students develop character and enthusiasm, in addition to imparting academic knowledge. Moreover, they should be exposed to different thoughts and viewpoints in order to ensure that they are aware of leadership ideas. JKBS, backed by a renowned industrial house, is trying to do just that. “Firstly, we have a strong faculty base where most members are from IIMs or IITs,” he explains. “Industry-interface is an important ingredient in the training process that we have tried to maintain since our inception in 2006.” Besides the regular Marketing, Finance, IT, HR, International Business (IB), Retail Management specializations, JKBS also offers short-term courses in interesting fields.
Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Rural Marketing and Corporate Governance are some of these programs that Dr. Marwah talks about. The efforts of the institute have paid dividends as it has maintained a 100% placement record. While that might be a draw for students who want to pursue management programs, some still struggle with the MBA vs PGDM dilemma. He clears the air as he says, “Fundamentally, in the corporate scenario, both PGDM and MBA are equal. They can both lead you towards lucrative careers, but in the long run it’s your capability and efforts that count. A PGDM has its advantages because it is designed with management-centric knowledge of the markets, in keeping with the latest trends to make students ready for the industry.”
The PGDM programs from various B Schools can also focus on dynamic teaching pedagogy to create a holistic learning experience for students. For example, case studies have become an integral part of management education today and offer students valuable insights into real world situations. Speaking on the benefits of the case study approach, Dr. Marwah explains “Case Studies boost a student’s understanding of management concepts by providing real-life examples. In this way, students get exposed to actual working of businesses. Case studies offers a practical way of driving an academic point, reflecting the reality of managerial decision-making in the corporate world. Case studies also build the student’s interpersonal and communication skills as they learn to articulate, argue and defend various perspectives.”
According to Dr. Marwah, while the goal of creating effective managers is important, it is also vital to help create entrepreneurs who can be pillars of the society. Honing an entrepreneurial bent of mind in its students is something JKBS has always focused on. He encourages those with entrepreneurial dreams to realize them and make a difference by being job makers rather than job takers. Dr. Marwah encapsulates this idea with his concluding words: “Startup companies are challenging and rewarding at the same time. Irrespective of whether you generate wealth or not, startups are an attractive opportunity to build skills and cultivate networks. Those who want to work for start-up companies can also go for it with the objective of gaining tremendous exposure.”