The Greater Need of the Hour: Management Education OR Management Skills?

The Greater Need of the Hour: Management Education OR Management Skills?

By Dr. Kisholoy Roy

Management education in the country emerged way back in 1960s when the first IIM was set up in Kolkata (then Calcutta) and so was the IISWM (Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management) at College Square in the same city. Years went by and it was found that there were many institutes that mushroomed in various parts of the country that were not just imparting the 2 years full time management education programs but also 3 year part time programs for working executives and also some la carte education programs in management like Diploma in Marketing/Advertising/Logistics and Supply Chain Management etc. However with the turn of the new millennium, it was observed that the craze or aspiration to do the MBA especially full time management programs was declining among the youth. The placements at most of the second rung b-schools was nothing much to cherish about. A graduate with certain years of experience in a field was treated at par to a freshly minted MBA graduate. This was the starting point of a mass scale realization that when it comes to a professional management program, it cannot be just classroom or lecture based. You just cannot keep weaving a fictitious world for your students where they are made to dream that they will step in after completing their education but they were required to experience the grind, the toil and soil of being a professional.eduskill

Since 2009, the decline in admissions at various b-schools across the county has been remarkable and this has made the management of various business institutes to sit up and recognize the importance of imparting skill sets to their students and not just education. Corporate connects, workshops, industry visits, greater emphasis on summer training programs and other internships at corporate have been the cynosure in management education so that skills do get nurtured apart from the knowledge base. A MBA in Sales and Marketing cannot just know the various sales models and brand management models proposed by Kapferer, Keller and Aaker but should also know about negotiation skills, listening skills, team building skills as these will allow the person to actually survive and prosper in the market. Workshops and internships during the course of the MBA program will actually allow a student to imbibe skills along with knowledge. When this happens, that is what is called the true and effective marriage of education and skills, also called Eduskills. Some of the leading entities in the country that have already woken up to the emerging opportunity are ICA, Parivartan, Shiksha, Globsyn and Eduskill Technologies to name a few.

Any business management institute, however great in terms of infrastructure and quality of faculty cannot survive if it does not recognize the absolute requirement to create skill-based managers which absolutely means that MBA education today need to be more skills based, out of the box, out of the class rather than in the class and white board based. It is thus not only education or only skills but Eduskills that will allow the germination of the next-gen managers in the Indian corporatesphere.