A good b-school

 

I was always an ideal inattentive student, distracted by everything other than the teacher(wayyyy) in front of me. It felt like I was scuba diving in a sea of thoughts and this trend unfailingly continued during my b-school days too.

During those days, one thought that showed up most of the time was about the b-school itself. Everyone around talked about rankings, admissions and b-school popularity. So I thought and thought and thought and came up with this –

“B-schools teach strategic management, marketing, advertising, leadership, business plans, cost and resource management and statistics; all of them claim to have top notch faculty; then why don’t these guys just use all those books, statistical tools, analyses techniques, diagrams and group dynamics to sit around a table and come up with the best ideas to show up in the top schools list.”

 

Whew! Waaw! Suddenly I felt like this unique, intelligent, street smart girl who needed no more b-school gyan!! Alas, that should have been the last living cell in my brain!

But, if you think of it, what really makes a good b-school? Why do the IIMs and ISBs deserve top rankings? It is not the age of the institute, because IIMA is 30 years older than ISB. It is not about the collaboration with international universities, because TAPMI wouldn’t figure in the list then, nor is it the metro location because IRMA’s sprawling campus in Anand is 75kms far from its nearest city, Ahmedabad.

Let’s see if answering some simple questions will help us.

Q) When does a business or a business school do well?
a) When its stakeholders are happy

Q) Who are a B-school’s stakeholders?
a) Companies and Applicants

Q) What do companies want from B-schools?
a) Smart graduates with managerial expertise to fulfill company needs

Q) What do applicants look for in a b-school?
a) Anything that can prepare them for company expectations

Q) How does a b-school attract companies?
a) sell the quality of the other stakeholder, the students
o How?
Select the right candidates
Groom them to prepare for the challenges of industry

Q) How does a b-school attract applicants?
a) sell the quality of the other stakeholder, the companies visiting the campus
b) sell the grooming facilities and techniques being provided to prepare them

Q) How to match the needs of the two stakeholders?
a) teach management fundas – good faculty
b) provide sufficient teaching aides – good infrastructure
c) provide exposure – create base for interaction of stakeholders
d) create premise – for stakeholders to trust in the school

With so much competition around, it is never easy for a b-school to shoot up in its ranking; but i believe, the answers to such simple questions that is the idea behind the very existence of a b-school should not be forgotten in the process.

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Crash, boom, bang!

It has been a while since I posted. Just like our stock market, I crashed! The reason being the market itself. I spent few days finding out the possible reasons and how worse it could get and guess what, I am still as optimistic as ever.

The sensex is down more than 5000 points compared to the highest level it attained towards the end of 2007. Evidently it is a big blow to the traders, investors, funds, IPO’s and most of all to the tempo in the country. The Finance Minister has been trying hard to keep the optimism levels from going down far too much by assuring that our growth rate for the coming FY08-09 is posed at a very promising rate of 8.75% (There has been many statements with a different rate each time, but this one seems to be the final projection).

Now, what really happened?
Recession in the US which is caused by words declared as used the most number of times last year – “subprime crisis”, lies at the root of the problems. In simple terms, ‘subprime’ means loan given to a person who is not eligible for it, because of his low creditworthiness, income or any other unhealthy financial situation. Ironically these loans are given to the same person at a rate higher than the market(reasoning- risk involved). Since US real estate valuations were blown out of proportion and were simply not affordable by subprimes, there developed a crisis. This in turn created lot of pressure in the banking industry that indulged in a lot of subprime borrowing and did not have enough funds to lend to businesses and other consumers who needed them for growth. So slowly the economy began to dip and then crashed. Businesses didnt do well and large number of employees were laid off. Incomes and consumer demand fell and since many countries in the world depend a lot upon the US, exports being the main share of their GDP, those economies also crashed. India was among the least affected as our exports to the US are comparatively less.

There is a reason why our stock market took some time to take the hit. Towards the end of 07, there was a lot of optimism in the our market due to large purchases by institutional buyers, foreign investors, excellent performances by some large cap and mid cap companies, promises and prospects reflected by the Government and a lot of hype. This lead to an illogical overvaluation of stock prices; illogical because they were high not as a result of the company doing well but as a result of speculation. It was like a bubble that had to burst at some point in time. After the Subprime, lot of American investors started pulling away their investments from other countries. This, in hand with the rising oil prices and blow to the software industry, in terms of declining projects, employee lay off and rupee value appreciation paved way to a much needed correction.

This is more or less like a world correction and a lot of people including me are still optimistic because our nation has all eyes focussed on development and stability. This is an opportunity to buy shares of promising companies.
Corrections like these are just nature’s way of telling us not to get carried away but to focus and do things the right way!

(to read more about subprime crisis check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subprime_Crisis )