What are India’s top IIMs doing to prepare students for the digital age? – Business Today

In 2012, when PepsiCo’s brands were losing market share, CEO Indra Nooyi brought in Mauro Porcini as Chief Design Officer. His brainchild, Pepsi Spire—launched in 2014—was an instant hit and helped boost share prices. A touchscreen soda fountain machine, Pepsi Spire let users mix soft drinks to create their own flavours without moving their cup from one lever to another. This example displays an innate ability of figuring out what consumers want, oftentimes what they do not know they want, which is something that is required of management graduates today.

“Companies are looking with regard to two important ingredients in people—the capability to understand technology and how that will be transforming lives; and the ability to go into the minds of the consumer. Then, how you integrate the two, ” says Errol D’Souza, Director of IIM Ahmedabad (IIMA). Call it innovation, thinking out of the box, critical thinking, design considering, problem solving or solution creation, all have become more relevant today. Says Archana Shukla, Movie director of IIM Lucknow (IIML): “More and more work is now done by advanced software, leaving only problem-solving regarding the administration. But the particular nature associated with problems has now changed due in order to the integrated network from the physical environment and digital landscape. ” An added dimension is usually that VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity plus ambiguity) has become the order of the day.

So, how do you prepare future managers for the VUCA world filled with unstructured problems? Agility, a good umbrella term for skills required to overcome the VUCA world’s challenges, is a key ingredient intended for managers leading the businesses of tomorrow, the country’s best B-schools and businesses agree. “Post-Covid, while companies continue to think and implement long-term strategic plans, there is a need to be a lot more agile about certain decisions. For instance, clients we work with possess to revisit decisions due to external shocks such as supply chain uncertainty, geopolitical developments, changes in commodity prices, etc . So, companies and consultants have in order to be adaptive and all these elements come to bear a lot more, ” says Sankar Natarajan, Managing Director plus Head associated with Recruiting at consulting firm BCG India. Adds Varun Nagaraj, Dean of S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR): “The pandemic exposed to the whole world that somebody falls sick somewhere and, suddenly, the prices associated with auto rickshaw parts go up. Therefore , an appreciation for people who can operate in that kind of a world offers gone up. ”

Institutes are going about preparing students to get unfamiliar plus shifting situations in different ways. D’Souza says IIMA provides introduced courses on innovation, including one on ‘Innovation, Live! ’, a hands-on, practical course aimed in developing a student’s ability to arrive up along with out-of-the-box solutions, understand development methodologies and learn corporate decision-making processes. “In the last few years, we have been thinking a lot about divergent thinking, where there are different solutions to a problem. This has become central in order to quite a few courses operating on the campus, ” he says. For SPJIMR, one way is to focus on options in core courses. “For example, inside human resources, how do we introduce a diversity, equity, inclusion solution in Afghanistan or even in a company that’s like that? ” says Nagaraj. IIM Bangalore (IIMB) is emphasising upon digital, data and ESG-related skills to help students catch early trends in external modifications that contribute to VUCA. “If you see a change within demand, or you see the new trend towards a new technology, or a person see some other consumer or social trend, the focus on information will help students realize these kinds of changes, ” says Rishikesha T. Krishnan, Director of IIMB.

Then, associated with course, B-schools are responding to the pandemic-led acceleration of digitisation of businesses. IIMB has introduced a new core program on electronic businesses this year, whilst electives like gamification, Web 3. 0 and Metaverse respond in order to some of the latest technology trends. IIMA has started courses on digital strategy and transformation, and digital marketing. “The traditional way of marketing or strategy or even managing HR are almost all changing. Real-time data regarding what employees are doing is useful to understand how giving the day off in the middle of the particular week may improve productivity, ” states D’Souza.

Consulting major BCG India, 1 of the largest recruiters at the top B-schools, recently launched ‘BCG X’—a vertical to bring together more than 2, 500 electronic and AI experts, tech designers plus builders globally to service client needs, as the nature of companies these people consult for is also evolving. “We do a lot of work with large start-ups now, which are usually digital-first businesses, ” states Natarajan, adding that the new vertical has a mix of individuals with specific functional and domain expertise, but also requires management and consulting skills. Similarly, the consultancy firm furthermore started a ‘Climate & Sustainability’ hub at its Delhi office this particular September. “This is critical because it is definitely on the agenda of most of our large clients. This centre brings together the particular capabilities all of us already had. It also gives an opportunity pertaining to specialists in those domains to be hired and create particular teams, ” he admits that.

However, ESG plus sustainability have mostly remained buzzwords within the industry as organisations are yet to fully understand how in order to compute their own business value. Very few firms have created separate verticals or reporting structures for these roles. Agreeing, D’Souza says large and medium firms are questioned on this, despite India being a price-sensitive market. “We are usually responding to it, ” he says, including that IIMA’s courses upon green financing and sustainability do find takers. “Companies are not looking for durability managers. They want a marketing or a corporate finance or even a product manager who understands sustainability issues. All of them need in order to have adequate understanding to be able to integrate this into their particular business decision making, ” he claims, adding that will they have got ensured that ESG-related topics are made part of the core curriculum.

But in the particular midst associated with this fast-changing and rapidly digitising globe, questions are growing louder about the relevance of a two-year management programme. In 2022, applications to premier US institutes, Harvard Business School and The Wharton School, declined 15. 4 per cent and 13. 9 per cent, respectively. “The changing planet has a lot associated with new opportunities and there are those for whom the two-year programme is not ideal, either for students or for the particular recruiters. So, we need to diversify. We are changing the portfolio of our basket, ” says IIM Calcutta (IIMC) Movie director Uttam Kumar Sarkar, referring to a combination of one- plus two-year programmes as well as online, offline and hybrid programs. “The capacity of the programmes will have in order to change accordingly, ” he adds.

In India, an estimated 3, 000-plus B-schools produce a lot more than 300, 000 management graduates every year. But not more than 10-20 per cent are employable, according to some estimates. BT-MDRA’s own ranking of the best B-schools in the country offers 281 institutes participating. But even within them, the particular differential in the overall scores of the top-most and bottom-most schools can be a wide 622. nine points. IIMC emerges on top with a good overall score of 902. 8, while IMS Company School, also from Kolkata, finishes away the list with an overall rating of 279. 9. The particular top 11 schools have retained their positions, while the next 50 show minor fluctuation in their ranks. These pages profile what the top five schools are doing right, and exactly how they will plan to get ready managers associated with tomorrow. As they say, chaos is certainly another word for opportunity and it looks like students are in meant for both in equal measure.

Here’s a look at the top 5 B-schools in Indian, and what makes them great:

1. Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta

When Uttam Kumar Sarkar joined IIMC in 1997, management education in the country was mostly confined to the core theories of marketing, finance and human resources. India’s nascent economy was thinly connected with the global economies plus the influence of worldwide management practices on local professionals has been rudimentary. Years later, since he steers the institute as its Director, Sarkar and his team associated with management pundits face the vastly different world. The Indian economy is now deeply associated with global economies and, thus, more susceptible to the particular massive volatilities that the world of business currently finds itself in. And the administration courses possess undergone a sea change as newer avenues of business—new age start-ups in the particular fields of e-commerce, digital tech plus Metaverse—have quickly emerged over the past few years. Within spite associated with that, IIMC continues to enjoy its position from the best and not without having a reason.

According in order to Sarkar, the key to its continued success lies in its capability to gauge emerging trends and challenges earlier, and incorporate necessary changes in its program. Sarkar, who has a PhD in computer sciences plus engineering from IIT Kharagpur and provides been teaching management information systems designed for years, says IIMC’s pioneering initiatives over the years have yielded rich dividends—both for the particular institute and its college students. While it was the first B-school within India in order to introduce a tech-focussed management programme more than 20 years ago, now IIMC is well equipped to arm the future management leaders with the course on business analytics in collaboration with Indian Statistical Institute and IIT Kharagpur. “The rate with which things have transformed over the past five years is much higher than what a single can absorb. This program has been intro duced to counter that challenge, ” this individual says.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, when cam pus hiring experienced taken a hit, IIMC carried on to place 100 for each cent of its students within the first few days of its placement week. To avoid inconvenience to the employers and to the placement cell, the committee now allows only a select few companies that it finds fit as per demand among its students. “It is the students who right now choose the recruiters since the need (for IIMC graduates among recruiters) is much higher than the supply, ” will be how Sarkar puts it. While earlier students were a lot more inclined in order to choose investment banks plus consulting firms, of late they are increasingly opting for start-ups. — Arnab Dutta

two. Indian Company of Administration, Ahmedabad

AT IIMA, the batch that graduated in 2022 saw 190 firms visiting the campus for recruitment. For learners with prior work experience, there were 36 firms through diverse sectors such as technology, banking, consulting and analytics, that hired students through the lateral process. Overall, BCG made the maximum 47 offers, followed by Accenture at 32. Among expense banks, Goldman Sachs led the pack with six offers, adopted by Bank of America at four. Speaking of consumer goods and general management, the particular highest number of offers were made by Tata Administrative Services (TAS) on six, with HUL, Mondelēz and Emaar at three each. IT consulting was prominently led by Struktur Consultancy Solutions (TCS) along with four offers.

According to Errol D’Souza, IIMA’s Director, the placements have improved over the past couple of years. “The job roles are better and the compensation is on par with worldwide standards. This is the function associated with the recruiters’ understanding that will they may be getting candidates who are trained well and have holistic administration experience, ” he states. IIMA has a long list of illustrious alumni across industries—K. V. Kamath, Madhabi Puri Buch, Harsha Bhogle, Vineeta Singh, Deep Kalra plus Raghuram Rajan to name just a few. The institute has moved in line with the times to make it more relevant in a changing world. Anuj Kapoor, a professor of marketing, speaks in the inclusion associated with areas such as aug mented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), Internet 3. 0, Metaverse and other futuristic technolo gies in management education. Pointing out that this need is usually at two levels, he or she says the first and immediate priority will be making these a part of the particular curriculum. “The second is the need in order to prioritise delivering education within an immersive environment want Metaverse to stakeholders outside our MBA classrooms, that is, executive schooling participants. ”

Apart from this, brand new cases plus articles have been added in order to existing technology-elective courses like AI and marketing. “We also have a few offerings dedicated to Web 4. 0 and Metaverse to be floated inside the coming months. Our institute is usually taking steps in equipping MBAs and executive education participants in Metaverse and highly advanced technologies, ” says Kapoor. — Krishna Gopalan

a few. Indian Company of Management, Bangalore

AS IIMB moves to capture industry’s changing requirements, digital, durability and entrepreneur ship are usually its concentrate areas. Accordingly, it has launched a course for electronic; ESG is currently integrated into an existing primary course; plus programmes upon entrepreneurship are being further strengthened. Rishikesha T. Krishnan, Director of IIMB, believes the notion of product management is definitely fast altering in the digital world. As digital businesses collect data constantly, managers will be expected to use data in order to tweak item offerings and features based on demand, lead product innovations, and furthermore experiment with pricing. The company features the new core course on digital businesses this 12 months, while electives like gamification, Web 3. 0 plus Metaverse respond to a few of the latest technologies trends.

In the case of sustainability, IIMB feels all associated with its MBA students need to have got a basic understanding of ESG issues, so that they are able to integrate them into their decision-making. “That’s why we all made sure that ESG-related topics proceed into the core associated with the programs. I don’t think people are looking for sustainability managers. What they are looking for are managers that are also wired to take care of sustainability problems in their own decision-making, ” he admits that. IIMB also produced entrepreneurship a compulsory part of the MBA training course about 5 years ago, and uses simulations and games to develop entrepreneurial skills in students. “Students should become able in order to identify possibilities, imbibe the growth mindset, which can be looking at various ways at growing not only the business, but the people they function with, plus imbibe typical entrepreneur traits such while quick execution, design thinking, and being able to fail fast and learn quickly, ” he adds. The particular institution will launch a digital entrepreneurship programme in 2023, its golden jubilee year. – Binu Paul

4. Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow

Boasting over 600 entrepreneurs from its alumni community and several venture capitalists (VCs) and consultants, Archana Shukla, Movie director of IIML, is puffed with pride. North India’s top B-school also maintained its fourth position within the BT-MDRA India’s Best B-schools rating in 2022. The B-school has the proud tradition of entrepreneurship from the very first set. “One in our graduating classes had nearly 20 per cent of our own graduates setting up their very own firms. The culture is set right in the campus, with our business owner alumni conducting sessions just for students who are joining the particular campus, correct during their particular induction. Students also run many ventures on the campus like clubs, committees, mess halls, restaurants, merchandise shops, among others, ” says Shukla. In the VUCA world, which is full of difficulties, greater risks, increased volatility and uncertainties, Shukla says the same scenarios do not really get repeated every day. Thus, she says, there are ever-new challenges that company leaders plus managers encounter at just about all levels of business functions. “With the transforming circumstances, we need in order to develop and nurture dynamic capabilities, ” says Shukla, pointing out that design considering has evolved to strengthen companies’ ability in order to address complex problems. “Building a design thinking perspective in management education is critical to developing capabilities of complexity reduction, reflection, and proactive problem-solving amongst students, ” she maintains.

With business increasingly adopting technologies such as a good AR, VR, Web a few. 0, Metaverse and other futuristic technologies, IIML too is experimenting with these types of. “Due towards the Covid-19 outbreak, we saw educational institutes adapt in order to the online mode of education and learning by implementing various technology methods to host classes, deliver live/recorded lectures and also con duct exams, ” states Shukla. “Thus, it made institutions open to trying several long term technological solutions. No wonder inclusion associated with AR/VR plus other this kind of technologies will come in handy in many aspects of management training for example performing a factory tour and understanding different business procedures, operations plus production scheduling more clearly, ” she says. India is certainly seeing a wave associated with start-ups that have several founders from B-schools. With IIML fostering entrepreneurship among college students, an example is Taniya Biswas, the 2013 alumna of IIML who runs a start-up named Suta. The sustainable clothing brand focusses upon sarees, blouses, lehengas and other ethnic wear. Says Shukla: “Aspiring entrepreneurs have got actively shown interest inside the training programmes, which could enable them to develop and hone skills essential to evolve an innovative approach to address real-world issues and gaps. — Neetu Chandra Sharma

5. H. P. Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai

From NASSCOM’S President Debjani Ghosh to Bacardi’s CEO Mahesh Madhavan, Mumbai-based B-school SPJIMR’s network associated with notable alumni is endless. Founded in 1981, the institute’s student-centric approach has worked well for this. And Varun Nagaraj, who else took charge as Leader in September 2021, attests to the fact that the particular relationship between the faculty as well as the students of this institute is “incredibly surprising”. “We’re the smallest in terms associated with our student intake. Here we have the students staying linked to the faculty plus continuing that will handholding through an instructional point of view. It’s something I have never seen in any some other university, ” says Nagaraj. He adds that another thing that works for them is the selection criteria. “As compared to many other company schools, we now have a more balanced selection scheme. You will actually see a wider spread amongst our students inside terms associated with their cut-off scores. We will have people with lower scores because all of us found something interesting about them or even they might be the ones that can adapt to change, ” he adds.

Adapting to change in the VUCA world is the biggest differentiator of how nicely an start and the students perform. One of the strengths of SPJIMR is based on its approach associated with balancing traditional management principles with con temporary abilities. “VUCA is all about something you’re confronting for the purpose of the first time, and new circumstances call for new options. Sometimes, B-schools get hung up in what you would call ‘the jargon of the day’: whether it’s AI, analytics or design thinking, ” he says. For Nagaraj, basic principles like critical believing, scientific reasoning, philosophy associated with science, systems thinking, etc., which are needed for advancement, are eternal: “They are certainly not a tool or a technique; these are key principles of how people should believe if they want to be innovators. I think that is what business schools should focus on. ”

The key, this individual says, is to keep a fine balance between fundamentals plus the skills that one will require on Day One on the job. “You have to expose your students to today’s technology, because which is what they’re going in order to do on Day One, however the employer is also hiring them with regard to Day 10 and Day time 1, 500 at work, plus that will certainly be a lot better if their principles are strong because the particular current systems would have changed by then, ” he says. Over the years, there have been programs like cloud computing that have stood the test of time and topics like Internet 3. 0 which have not. “Business schools introduced a Web three or more. 0 class in 2018 and pulled it out in 2020. I’m certain some schools are introducing courses upon Metaverse right now. But the key will be to stick to the basics. I’m a strong advocate for that focus on fundamentals within management education, ” he admits that. — Prerna Lidhoo