Why doing an MBA is an excellent career move today?

Hello readers!

When Kamlesh(Cofounder, Bfactory) and I joined IIM Ahmedabad in 2009, MBA was primarily a fancy ticket to a high paying corporate job in Finance, Sales & Marketing, Operations, Consultancy or HR. Today, MBA got some extra wings too! In this article, we will discuss how MBA as a program and as a career has evolved in the next gen techno-info decade which swept us all into new realms of possibilities. So, sit back, relax and read!

Ever since the liberalization of the Indian economy in 90s, MBA has always been a hot shot program for Undergraduate students looking for Post Graduation career opportunities. Let’s start by looking at evergreen advantages of MBA. Basically, the evergreen pointers on Why MBA?

MBA as a program:

  1. MBA as a program trains on different functions (Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Corporate Finance, HR, Operations, Niche sectors etc.) and different aspects of entrepreneurship and business management.
  2. MBA creates a pseudo-corporate environment on campus – You get study group assignments and presentations. You get exposure to leadership talks and pre placement talks from companies and experts. Basically, you get trained for the corporate life ahead by building on your team skills.
  3. MBA trains you on problem solving skills. Case study pedagogy trains on informed decision making. You structure and present what you analyze. That in turn builds you presentation and communication skills. While working on cases, you learn how “teachers with industry experience” and your “peers with diverse backgrounds and experiences” think and tackle situations. This exposure is priceless.
  4. Diverse live projects, knowledge fairs, internships and academic-industry interface have always been key elements of a good MBA program. These again, train you on identifying your niche as you take pivotal steps in your career journey.

MBA as a career:

  1. MBA gives you an opportunity to get into business leadership careers – general management or functional.
  2. MBA gives you an opportunity to earn good in sectors/functions that you find interest in.
  3. A good MBA is a masters degree and brands you for life.
  4. MBA trains you on management and opens up opportunities to start up with confidence and network.
  5. A good MBA makes you a global resource: you can land jobs in any part of India or the world!

Well, things talked above have been at the heart of every MBA aspirant since long! Now, let’s dive deeper into how MBA has evolved over the past 10-11 years, the era which we fondly refer to as “The Bfactory Decade” ! We will also see how MBA in India makes more sense today than ever before! 

Indian MBA in 2022, an overview:

The types of roles that exist today are far more diverse in terms of variety and structure. Earlier, post MBA roles used to be highly structured in terms of career hierarchy planning and growth. Today, apart from those typical corporate roles, there exist additional unstructured and entrepreneurial roles in the plethora of start ups that have gained prominence over the past decade. A young 25 year old can take up a GM or a CXO role in an early stage startup and pursue passion for risk taking and exploration right from the word go! These opportunities and roles have become highly mainstream today! Right from Sharks in Shark tank to Top Governors in RBI, MBA graduates have risen to the forefront of creating impact in the country! (Left to right in pic below: Mr. Raghuram Rajan, IIM A alum | Ex. RBI GovGen, Mr. Ashneer Grover, IIM A alum, Shark Tank Judge, Founder, BharatPe)









In terms of types of roles; analytics based, product management based and project management based roles have gained more prominence in India in the past decade. Technology startups are on a boom. To quote one of the Sharks, “Startups today can be technology based or technology enabled”. So, fin-tech, agri-tech, ed-tech, health-tech and so many other reformed sectors have come to the forefront of the corporate job market! In addition, Indian entrepreneurs in India/US etc. have successfully created analytics firms which are fighting neck on neck in niche sectors with global analytics giants. Product and analytics roles are everywhere today! Good startups with additional certification programs have sprung to facilitate careers in these roles. A lot of opportunity in unstructured roles come today in the public sector and politics/media too! MBAs are in demand, not just in a typical bank or FMCG set up, but everywhere!

The difference in opportunities today is not just in terms of employment, but also in terms of employment creation. Freshers today are able to reach out more to the increasing numbers of Incubators, Angel/VC set ups to start ventures in different spaces. Creators are now not just the few rich corporates, but the larger enthusiastic business minded section of the nation. The creation funnel has been inverted. MBA gives you enhanced power to become a business creator, not just in terms of learning, but also in terms of business networking and fundraising opportunities. Becoming a forerunner or creator in business was majorly seen as a CEO,COO role a decade or so back. Today, look at the acronym CXO! You can be a leader in product – CPO, a leader in technology – CTO, a Chief Business Officer – CBO, a CHRO, a CFO/CMO(Finance/Marketing) and lots more. You can be diverse in qualities and interests and take leaps in career to become creators in the business world. These times are good!

The overall environment for corporate/business roles has become more favorable too. The number of good MBAs passing out every year in India has grown big time in the last decade. When we joined IIM A in 2009, there were 7 IIMs, today there are 20. Most other top colleges like XLRI, NMIMS and many others have opened new campuses too! So, with many more seats, the opportunity to get into a top B school is far better now! Look at the economy as well: Indian GDP around the year 2009 was +- $1.3 trillion; today it is moving towards $3 trillion – a 100% or more increase. India got it’s first startup unicorn in 2011. Today there are 100+ unicorns in India! Makes all sense that business creators, managers and leaders can rise and shine more and more today!

As more innovative sectors and roles keep coming, diversity and “different thinking” demands continue to grow in the industry. Today, IIMs and most other top B schools have started taking measures to ensure diversity in intake in terms of gender, academic backgrounds and lots more. The entire ecosystem has become more flexible and pragmatic over the past decade. Live projects, semester wide industry related assignments etc. have grown in stature in B schools. Academic programs at B schools have incorporated the new tech and project based courses. One of the major fun elements of doing an MBA is that it helps you keep up to date with the trends in the industry!  The rise in scope of MBA jobs coupled with the opportunity for business creation has made these times really favorable for Masters in Business. Overall, The present is good and the future books brighter!

To get some basic idea about B school programs and placements, you can explore these links as a sample – https://www.iima.ac.in/web/pgp/programme/academic-calendar, https://www.iima.ac.in/web/pgp/placements/placement-process

So, is MBA a good program/course/career? I believe, Yes it is! It empowers you to explore your strengths and then decide on a career accordingly. Is MBA a good bet today? Of course, Better today than ever before!

I hope you found this article insightful.

Best wishes for your career!

Thanking You

Rahul Anand

Cofounder and Director, Bfactory

PGDM 2009-11, IIM Ahmedabad

Quora profile: https://www.quora.com/profile/Rahul-Anand-51

Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rahul-anand-a834691a/

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