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Can We Make MBA’s Future Ready?

Dr. Sesha Iyer
Director-S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research
Friday, February 27, 2015
Dr. Sesha Iyer
If we look at the Mission Statement of Management Schools, we often see: "Making managers who are future ready," "Developing socially sensitive, responsible business leadership," "Managers with Indian spirit and Global outlook" and so on. When the world is changing at accelerated pace, how to make managers future ready? Making managers who can address current issues is indeed challenging. Recently a Director from Larsen & Toubro was discussing with the students at SPJIMR about the impact of fall in crude price on the Indian Economy. Apparently India is benefitted by the reduced import bill for crude and the corresponding fall in the current account deficit. However, looking at corporate entities with global business especially with oil producing countries, one derives a different picture. With U.S. and Latin America becoming oil-producing countries, economic power is getting re-aligned.

For any business/academic conclave, the favorite topic today is "Business Strategy in Digitalized Economy." Technological innovations and its application to business are disruptive, throwing out challenges to existing business and opening up opportunities to the creative individuals and organizations. Internet of things, mobility, growing e-literacy and e-platforms connecting the world are re-writing the way business is done. Value chains and supply chains are undergoing transformations. Retailers are entering e-tailing and e-tailers have started keeping inventory and entering logistics. India with high diversity, good demographic advantage and people with entrepreneurial capabilities arising out of adversity and dare needs; has the potential to be a key player attracting the attention of the whole world.

Another interesting change is the narrowing difference between the NGO's and corporate entities. Large corporate houses are setting up public trusts and charitable societies and have started addressing social issues. Number of NGO's growing in size and activity, surpassing many big corporate houses is on the increase. Today there are NGO's with net worth more than Rs.10,000 Crores and annual revenue exceeding Rs.1,000 Crores, offering products and services, which were the playing field of MNC's. It is not only Sankara Netralaya, Arvind Hospital, Muruganatham's, Sanitary Napkins, Nano Car or Nano houses, Pharma products, but the range is increasing.

Many e-commerce platforms tie up with handicraft corporations, bamboo corporations, handloom societies, self help groups, and other NGO's. The world market is getting thrown open to individual entrepreneurs and free lancers.

Digitalization is helping sustainability and inclusive growth. Information sharing on real time basis between sellers and users will help reduce inventory, make the supply chain lean. Resource utilization will improve by risk pooling by aggregation. Leveraging on the resources and knowhow of suppliers and customers and co-creation of value with customers will be the key for success. E-Governance has started showing signs of better transparency and reduced corruption.

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