By Manishankar Chakraborty
Plethora of Career Options- The students of today have a plethora of career options to choose from. Gone are the days when the conventional opportunities like medicine, engineering and subject related research and higher studies used to be the only alternatives. The transformation happening across the globe, technologically, economically and demographically has fuelled newer vistas and the career horizon has broadened like never before. Opines, Lt. Col. G. R. Rao, an ex-defense personnel and now a renowned academic administrator with Icfai National College (INC), Hyderabad, LPG (Liberalization, Pravatization and Globalization) has been the icing on the cake for most of the emerging economies like India. The gamut of career opportunities thrown wide open, owing to these developments have been tremendous'. Ifone goes for a flash back of the Indian economy prior to the opening up of the floodgates, one can very well understand the metamorphosis this transformation has done in India and all around the globe. All these have led to more and more companies setting up shops in overseas destinations, which until now used to be and immune market for foreign investors. To manage business operations or even not for profit ventures like UNICEF, CRY and other philanthropic causes optimally, a need was felt for professional managers Things went to such an extent that the services led economy across the globe led to creation of various knowledge sectors like Information Technology, Information Technology enabled Services, Biotechnology and many other, which started to redefine management practices Opportunities coupled with competition made the entrepreneurs believe that one need to possess more than plain vanilla business acumen to survive in this cut throat era. This finally culminated in management being crowned as one of the most sought after career option, in spite of the fact that many other new avenues like fashion designing, modern art, engineering and technology with novel branches of study sprang up. The aspirants were ecstatic to choose from a galaxy of options, which was not even dreamt about by their fathers of forefathers.
Management – Need of the Hour
Management as a discipline was the need of the hour, primarily because all companies across sectors be it new economy or ald economy, started to focus more on potimization of their resources, scems to have that competition edge. Jack Welch, the famous business leader and management guru from General Electric had shown the way as to how management practices can turnaround even ailing business organizations into profitable and viable Strategic Business Units (SBU). Media mogul, Rupert Murdoch brought in new paradigms into and industry which lacked a professional and modern day toch. Warren Buffet redefined the world of retail and corporate investors by devising newer methodologies pertaining to investment in the capital market. Even drop outs like Bill Gates founded an empire in the form of Microsoft Corporation, enabling him to be the richest person planet for years together. Not to be left behind, even Indians joined the fray by leveraging her English speaking professional non-professional graduates, strategic geographical locations and booming economy. For the first time 'Made in India' brand became a household name, courtesy stalwarts like Azim premji, Narayanamurthy, Ramalingam Rahu, kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Wipro, Infosys, Satyam and Biocon fame respectively. Indian management executives along with the technocrats from the prestigious Indian Institutes of Management and Indian Institute of Technology became the cynosure of eyes of Fortune companies and leading global head-hunters. It was all because Indians were able to prove themselves against all odds, and the ones who were offered the right platform with the requisite resources, excelled manifold, Sabeer Batia pioneer of Hotmail, Vibha Rishi of Pepsico, to name a few. This culminated in Indian talents providing their respective employers more value for money and Indian were preferred to such an extent that the word 'BANGALORED' was part of the global lexicon. The Americans went hammer and tongs against outsourcing, when one of their presidential candidate Kerry made anti-outsourcing a key election manifesto. Management at the end of the day proved to be the fine line separating the new generation practitioners from the preachers.
All those Glitters are not Gold
The refreshing and motivating environs all around paved way for many a new generation entrepreneur to cash on the business opportunities. This led to mushrooming of engineering and management institutes all across the country, detrimental to the 'Made in India' brand. Everyone wanted to was themselves in the flowing river, thereby fly by night operators were the order of the day. However, there were institutes which leveraged their prior expertise of functioning in a metro to expand their operation at the pan India level, only to provide opportunities to the opportunity starved students at the district, town an taluka level. It was not because the metro based companies wanted manpower from those areas; it was indeed compelling on those organizations to search for greener pastures in the rural market as urban markets were gradually getting saturated.
Lack of awareness about programs in management and allied subjects, ways of grading a business school, unable to know and analyze key ingredients in a successful management institute resulted in many a parent-student duo bite the dust by investing huge sum only for getting a MBA degree, which could not fulfill their aspirations. All high decibels, glossy advertisements and the associated marketing blitzkrieg by the education marketers compelled many to take a hasty decision which was nothing more than a waste, in terms of resource investments and returns gathered. Pronoy a business graduate from a run of the mill institute, in Bangalore, felt cheated when he commented his hopes were not even if the would have done a plain M.Com. This was not the case with Sundaram who felt that since he could not walk into any of the Ivy leagues like that of IIM's or any other top notch institutes, he had no other potion, but to settle for the next best, which he did. It was the tenacity and ability to stretch that extra hard, which gave him an opportunity to join a leading blue chip company. Through his own effort.
Transformations over the years
Management as a career option has undergone lot of changes over the last decade or so. The initial few years was nothing more than acquiring the MBA degree only for a slight cosmetic edge over their plain graduates peers like that of Arts, Commerce, Science or engineering. However, all those started changing, once the competition in industry started to hot up. Thinking on ones feet, go-getting attitude team playing ability, embracing concept of learning, unlearning and relearning become the foundation of any and every program of management. What finally resulted was a confluence of various academic disciplines and their application and practicality started to gain momentum. These and few more similar parameters were the separating variables, which differentiated chaff-from the grains (read as successful and unsuccessful organizations). One has to say that although management and its concepts existed since ages, the need to recognize and study as a separate course was felt only in the recent past. It was primarily because one needed to thrive against all odds, as is often the case, with increased competitions and Indians given the right stage and backup to perform always thrived in such resource constraint set up. To know more read the biographies of Dhirubhai Ambani, Karsan Bhai Patel, Narexh Goyal and the end less list of management stalwarts who have proved that Indians can formulate their own business models, concepts and theories which can even supersede the concepts of the west. Indians declared their arrival at the global stage and management was one of the attire she worn.
Author is Faculty at Tirpude Institute of Management Education (TIME) and can be reached at- [email protected]