Monthly Archives: February 2012

MBA Quality Gap: MYRA Dean

Management education in India is best characterized by the huge gap between the demand for high quality education and the ability of the majority of institutions to supply it. While there are over 3500 AICTE approved business schools in India, they vary widely in terms of their infrastructure, pedagogical approaches, faculty training, and student placements upon graduation. Although a few selective institutions have built stellar reputations based on these dimensions, their admissions standards limit entry to a limited number of exceptional students.

For example, there are almost 250,000 aspirants for the nearly 4000 seats at premier schools such as the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) or the Indian School of Business (ISB). It is therefore natural to wonder about the quality of education offered to those students who narrowly miss making it to these institutions, but who nevertheless represent some of the best talent available anywhere in the world. Not surprisingly, a multitude of disparate private institutions have entered this burgeoning market, which is valued at over $600 million per annum and is growing at over 10% per year. It is estimated that 100,000 students graduate from these private institutions annually. Unfortunately, their knowledge and qualifications range from world class to so poor that they can’t distinguish between gross or net profits. If you look at the business school scenario, 80 or 90 per cent of education is through private schools. Of that, just 5 or 10 per cent are delivering quality education, says Shobha Mishra Ghosh, director, higher education department, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), (Barkhausen 2010).

The primary reasons for such a dismal state of affairs are the supply side bottlenecks: the lack of qualified teachers; inadequate infrastructure and computing facilities and; poor quality pedagogical materials. This is particularly unfortunate. These talented students, with a well-tailored education can make a real difference to the business climate in India.

In the current economic climate, business schools have an obligation to design courses that re-shape the very meaning of enterprise. In this environment, students are taught not to merely seek, evaluate and seize entrepreneurial opportunities, but to acknowledge their duty to preserve the human and natural resources that nurture and allow such entrepreneurial opportunities to flourish. This requires managers to disavow the market mantra of privatizing profits while socializing risks and embrace societal well being as integral to the business. The most effective method for achieving this goal is for students to witness first-hand the impact of entrepreneurship on the lives of others.

At MYRA (www.myra.ac.in), we have designed an innovative curriculum to achieve these goals. We are uniquely positioned to provide an outstanding business education offered by distinguished academics from leading schools across the world and have distinguished themselves through exceptional research and teaching (http://myra.ac.in/faculty-and-research). This clearly distinguishes us from most business schools in India. We are one of the very few institutions in India whose faculty has the credentials to back such a claim. Other differentiating factors include:

1) An eminent advisory board consisting of individuals who have leadership positions in international corporations, research institutions, universities and non-profit agencies (http://myra.ac.in/governing-board)

2) Qualitatively different admission process commensurate with the quality of our faculty and advisory board.

3) A focus on sustainability and development with a concerted effort to move away from the widely held principles of shareholder value and emphasize the triple bottom line (3BL) principles that are re-shaping management education today.

4) A unique practicum experience that requires every student (working in teams) to conceptualize and prototype a new product that can solve the needs of consumers, including those in village mentored by our faculty who have significant international and national experience in helping students capstone projects.

5) A refreshingly different and futuristic campus designed by award winning architects that fosters collaboration and new thinking

This practical experience, in conjunction with our innovative curriculum, will differentiate our students and enable them to face the challenges confronting Indian managers now and in the future. We invite you to be part of this exciting and innovative journey and hope to welcome you on campus before too long.

Dr. Rajiv K. Sinha
Founding Dean, MYRA School of Business, Mysore
Professor of Marketing and the Lonnie Ostrom Chair
in Business at the W. P. Carey School of Business,
Arizona State University, USA