For the first time, an Indian Institute of Management is launching an executive MBA programme which will not only confer a dual degree/diploma but also involve a 'joint-learning’ process across four different schools from around the world. IIM Udaipur is going to kick-start this different execuive MBA programme from January 2013.
Hoping not to become just another executive MBA line-up, this one, while being a broad-based one, will specialise in Global Supply Chain management. The other three schools which will conduct the programme almost simultaneously, are Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, US, Universidad Puebla in Mexico (UPEAP), and Tianjin University in China.
In years to come, if this programme turns successful, the dual degree and four-school teaching concept will be extended to the PGP course as well.
Speaking exclusively to PaGaLGuY.com, director of IIMU Prof Janat Shah said that while discussions to this effect were being held since a year, it has only been a few days that the structure got finalised and all the permissions came in. The dual degree programme (in which Purdue University will offer a degree and IIMU will confer a diploma) has been through layers of discussions and sought different types of approvals. Being the first of its kind, it took time for the sanctions to come in. Though an IIM does not have to technically apply for a sanction from the Ministry of Human Resources (HRD), it has to seek an endorsement from its Board, which consists of a few members from the HRD ministry.
Prof Shah said that Purdue which specialises in Supply Chain Management has been conducting such programmes across universities for years now. “This time it decided to extend to BRIC countries and also include Universidad Puebla in Mexico,” he added.
According to Prof Shah, the key take-away of this programme will be the direct global exposure. “Not only will my students learn from international faculty but they will also be sharing classroom space with students from the other three countires, which will enrich the learning. Besides, my faculty will also get a chance to teach international students in an a global environment.”
About when asked why the emphasis on supply-chain management, Prof Shah said: “Supply Chain Managers are responsible for synchronising the flow of products, information and finance between their organisation, suppliers and customers in a way that adds value for the end consumers of their products. In the hypercompetitive world of today, supply chain managers are increasingly part of their strategic management teams that work to competitively position their organization and their supply chain in a global marketplace.”
Prof Shah claims the ample research and study has gone into the market-viability of this idea and also the job prospects post the course. It was only when IIMU and Purdue were convinced that there is a future, were the first steps taken. Ironically, none of the four schools are going to be pushing for internationnal placements right away and will think of them only after the course stabilises.
According to the schedule worked out, the course will span 15 months and be broadly divided into four modules. The first and fourth modules which will extend from January to April 2013 and January to March 2014, respectively, will be held in Udaipur. Modules 2 and 3 which begin in June 2013 and go up to December 2013 will be held at Purdue University. It is at Purdue that students from all four school will be seated in the same classroom.
Students can choose to do his or her internship from any of the four participating countries. IIMU faculty will also jointly work with faculty from the other three schools during the internship. Incidentally, IIMU had advertised in The Economist for faculty a couple of weeks ago. The institute is presently studying some 15 applications, many of which are from China and Korea.
The intake for the first batch is about 15-20 students and preference will be given to executives possessing a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent (in any discipline) and relevant work experience of a minimum of 30 months. The selection of the students will be done jointly by IIM Udaipur and Purdue University, using GMAT scores, essays and panel interviews.
Those with fewer months of experience but extremely talented may also be absorbed in this course. According to Prof Shah, applications will be invited from mid-October onwards and final offers will be made beginning of November.
But wait, none of this will come cheap. Cumulative costs are a steep Rs 20 lakhs plus, which is what IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Bangalore executive pogrammes charge, so also the Indian School of Business for its flagship programme. While justifying the costs, Prof Shah said that if internships have to be done abroad and also a semester has to be conducted on international shores, expenses will be on the upper side.
To break up the expenses, while the Purdue stint costs USD 20,000, (exclusive of living expenses which will work out to an additional USD 5-6,000), the Indian stint will cost Rs 5,00,000 lakhs, which is also exclusive of living expenses.
Students do have a choice of not undertaking the international stint but they will be discouraged from doing since it forms an integral part of the course. According to Prof Shah, loans should be readily available since the fees are in the same range as IIMA or IIMB’s executive programme fees.
When asked whether the initiative will also net IIMU international students, Prof Shah said that it was not the intention at this stage but may be later. When reminded that a similar marketing venture between an Indian school and three other Asian school has not met with rocking success so far, Prof Shash said that this programme will evolve over time and change depending on the needs and trends in the market.
This new initiative is a bold new step by the IIMU considering that it is one of the newer IIMs. Yes, it has been a trend among the IIMs and other b-schools to start executive MBA programmes but whether the costs justify the content in this case, only January 2013 will tell.
Questions that come to mind are,
1. If one has to do an executive MBA, why do it from a new IIM, why not one of the older ones or other good schools already in the fray.
2. Is a dual degree/diploma as rewarding as made out to be? Do job prospects turn brighter after a dual certification?
3. Though a general executive MBA programe, the emphasis is on Global Supply Management. This might automatically restrict applicants.
4. Since exchange programmes are a done thing in schools these days, will a stint at Purdue excite, even if it means sharing a classroom with students from Mexico, US and China
5. Should IIMU have waited to get its own campus before looking at global programmes?