First, it was all about creating a supply for existing demand, then the customer became king and the market reformatted itself to cater exclusively to customer needs. Now it’s all about individual attention. “To illustrate, in the market-based economy, when the demand was high and supply scarce, the motto was: go out and build and people would consume as much as you could build. Then, with competition, it changed to build and attract customers. Then came the time to build according to customer needs, while still serving a large customer base. Now, the market is focused on identifying the needs of specific customers and delivering a personalised product/service to attract and retain them. As you can see, the education provided should be reviewed in a particular context and accordingly equip people with the tools they need to succeed at a particular time,” says Jain.
Change is the only constant now, says Tiwari. “We operate in a world that is changing fairly rapidly and the fundamentals of businesses, geo-politics and nations are changing very rapidly and dramatically. Education needs to be ahead of the changing times and the impending changes that businesses face.” Quite naturally, management education needs to stay ahead of the game. Geo-politics, emerging markets, the new consumer, resource scarcity and climate change are some areas where tectonic changes would be changing the face of the global business environment and as such, management education should prepare the current and future business leaders accordingly, he adds.
For a top global b-school, innovative thinking is the order of the day if the competition has to be kept in check, says Swami. “Global degrees are always ever-changing in terms of curriculum, delivery and focus areas. So I think the biggest advantage of global degrees is that they are always dynamic, whereas (and purely based on my interaction with Indian MBAs) that is not the case with most Indian b-schools, including even the IIMs,” he adds.