Are B-Schools’ Students Productive? – By Dr. (Col.) A. Balasubramanian, President – Sri Balaji Society, Pune.

The simple and humble Anna Hazare, a former Havildar from the Army, has found his place in history. This living legendary once told me when he came to deliver a talk in SIMS, “Inspire these young children to at least vote in the elections.” He has none with him, no formal political party; no inclination to be in politics; no money power. No dedicated  cadre as such. Yet, he started with small initiative of uplifting his own village with total dedication that brought dramatic change in a village in Maharashtra which caught the attention of the world and awards. Govt of Maharashtra then wanted him to bring similar changes in many other villages and he emerged  and he got involved in the same as a consultant. At last, when corruption is rampant everywhere he has emerged as a crusader against the same. And, the entire country stood behind this Havildar turned social activist.

What are the lessons for the management students from this great Gandhian of our times?

1) Any sincere and dedicated effort will succeed provided one is systematic and determined towards a reasonable goal.

2) One must have patience and though being ambitious should not be guided by short cuts.

3) Issues should be relevant to the company and in-depth knowledge and research of the ‘issue’ is critical in decision making.

4) If you are convinced of anything relevant which is good for the organization, you can be the leading light and others will follow suit.

But, then, are the B School products conscious of what they are and what they ought to be? Are they acclimatized to the tough and challenging life of corporate world? Does our education system at school and college level effectively contribute towards this conditioning process? The answer, according to the surveys is a very big ‘No’. I am carrying out a survey of first class graduates of this country now for five years the sample size being around 5000. The survey reveals that up to school level, the attendance level is about 80%. It falls down drastically to 40% in graduation level. They ordinarily go to bed after 12 at night and get up generally after 8 am. These students are rated ‘very poor’ on general knowledge. Many of them have not heard of ‘pink’ papers. If you ask them, why they want to do a particular specialization, they have no answer. All that what they know is ‘they want a well paying job’. And they don’t want long hours of training in Institutes.

That is why the surveys say that only 7% of MBAs are employable. Here comes the real challenge of converting this kind of paper tigers into ‘real tigers’. And that is not simple teaching of few prescribed subjects. It will have to be an exercise for holistic development from scratch to end. Because the companies hire ‘talent’, ‘skill’ ‘knowledge’ ‘attitude’ not Seetha, Geetha or Mehek. B Schools thus have the major challenge of producing the right person to the right job at the right time. Having invested millions and billions they have no time for hand holding. The language there is “Perform or Perish”. If the MBAs and PGDMs realize this and utilize the two years productively they can be the winners. Industry is always ready to lend a helping hand to B Schools. 

You can interact with the current students at Sri Balaji Society (BIMM, BIMHRD, BIIB, BITM) here –