There has been a rise of more than 250 percent in the number of Indian students going abroad to study in the last few years. This astonishing fact has been revealed in the study conducted by researchers from one the most reputed B-schools in our country. The study highlighted the lack of good institutions in the country as one of the reasons behind this flight and also growing competition for limited seats amongst the existing institutes. Since the MBA program has its roots on the western soil, these universities offer a more rounded or global business school experience, and equipped students all over the world to be more effective players on the global stage. It has become a utopian dream for many of the Indian MBA aspirants from a middle class family to go abroad and acquire this prestigious degree from reputed B-Schools.
However, with changing economic scenario and growing disposable income in Indian families who can afford education abroad and the unbelievable cost multiplication of acquiring an MBA in India without the commensurate improvement in quality of education have made the ratio of MBA seekers in India and abroad tilted in favour of the latter. Moreover, the management education system is much more evolved and matured in developed countries than in India. It can be argued that those countries have a superior quality of education system and thus have a quality intake of students. In our country, the IIM and IIT experiments are notable for the quality intake of students but rest of the institutions fall very short in achieving it.
Classically, the factors such as school's reputation, ranking, faculty, curriculum, placements, fees, infrastructure and location are parameters in the evaluation process. Practically, there is only one criterion – PLACEMENTS. Even placement could be a symptom or indication of the cause. The cause being – how high the institution is held as a place for immense talent that is delivering value-for-money to the company at the earliest. FMS, University of Delhi, with a modest infrastructure, hence, is far ahead of many "Taj Mahals" of B-school education. What matters is the quality of the student that an institute attracts and nothing else.
Getting an admission in the 'best' MBA colleges is as tough or easy as ever notwithstanding the changes in test patterns, profile preferences and so on. This is in reference with less than ten B-schools in the country. However, when it comes to "good" B-schools, which is an alternate choice for many MBA aspirants who could not secure a seat in the 'best' institutions, the demand and supply are almost equal. There is plethora of seats in our country that can admit every student even when they are laying on the edge of minimum required criterion to study MBA. Any one disagreeing with this is playing into some gallery or the other or she/he is yet to realise the truth. From a students' perspective, this is a good development provided they continue to be discerning while seeking admissions. Still, the only enabler for a successful career is the performance on the job and not the tag of+ being an MBA.
There is a wide spectrum to reach on top
Any MBA is not equal to an MBA from a top B-school and it can be safely assumed that any MBA aspirant today can get an MBA degree. They can literally buy it by throwing money along with one/two years of life. It is true for every B-school except the oldest institutions that were established 30-40 years ago. In the private space, there is no exception. Therefore, it would be wrong to argue that an MBA can be a career enhancement move and ensure growth into upper management. A CA, ICWA or sales professional without an MBA degree can all succeed based on their performance. MBA is just one-step among the career pyramid, which has many staircases. It is true that MBA was the prima donna among careers during the last 20 years. While it will continue to be among the better career options, there are many other ways in which youngsters can reach the top. Civil service is back in vogue. Banking careers already are attracting the brighter youngsters even from the MBA seeking demography. Legal career is a sunrise sector and is already robbing IITs and IIMs of some great talent. All this is excellent news from a student's perspective.
A student is agile and mobile enough to discern opportunities with no undue loyalty or favour to a particular career. Therefore, law, banking, civil services, IT, design, fashion, foreign languages, media, and several others will compete harder with MBA than ever before. The student should be guided more by his or her own interest, aptitude and personality-led preferences and not by what is "HOT" in the market. A Dilip Chhabaria or Ritu Beri or Rajdeep Sardesai or Sreedharan or Soli Sorabji did not come from a B-school! (Taken from an email interaction with Sarath Syam)