Vivekanand Business School

“MBA should be more and more experiential; we should promote live projects, live cases, and fieldwork. The whole idea is to make education as experiential as possible, follow the practice of learning by doing as this will take us far ahead.”

Pagalguy team has a candid chat with Dr. Sandeep Bhardwaj, Dean of Vivekanand Education Society’s Business School, to gain insights into the future of MBA education in 2023. With over 17 years of academic experience and 17 years in the industry, Dr. Bhardwaj brings a unique perspective to the field. He discussed his thoughts on the future of the MBA degree, job market trends, business schools’ challenges, and the vision for management education at VBS. 

1. You have been associated with MBA Education for a significant time; what inspired you to pursue a career in academia, specifically in business education?

I was an industry practitioner in the marketing division of a global company in Dubai. When I came back from Dubai, I realized that the kind of talent we were recruiting in Indian companies as well as abroad needed improvement. Even though the students had a solid theoretical grasp, they lacked soft skills. As a result, I knew I needed to make a difference and impact the lives of the youth by passing on the skills and knowledge to a new generation. This prompted me to put my heart and soul towards the growth of my students. Even though I didn’t have any prior knowledge in academics, this very aspect drove me to incorporate my corporate experience into the students. 

2. What are your thoughts on the future of the MBA degree in the current business landscape?

The value of an MBA remains unchanging, as it remains one of the most sought-after degrees. However, the industry and corporate world are evolving, and MBA programs must adapt to stay relevant. In 2023, institutions that are quick to embrace change will be best equipped to prepare students for success in the dynamic business landscape. This means updating the curriculum to reflect the latest industry trends, such as AI, ML, and sustainable energy. To be valuable to corporations, an MBA must address the needs of niche sectors, like healthcare, Fintech, etc., by equipping students with the skills necessary to drive change in these areas.

3. What are the current challenges faced by business schools, and how can the Indian management community address them  effectively?

The significant disparity between the skills demanded by industries and what business schools provide is a major issue many MBA graduates face; it is crucial for business schools to integrate industry and academics, as this will better prepare students for their future employment market.

To achieve this integration, business schools should actively involve industry professionals in skill training for faculty. I believe this collaboration will benefit students by providing them with practical knowledge and skills and the industry by creating a highly skilled and job-ready workforce. Additionally, it will close the gap between the industry’s expectations and the student’s abilities, fostering a productive and harmonious relationship between the two.

4. What is VBS’s vision for MBA education in the coming future, and how do you plan to stay ahead of the curve?

At VBS, we are committed to providing our students with industry-relevant education and have several programs lined up to achieve this goal. The first program, “Parichay,” is an outdoor program designed to enhance social skills and teamwork through games and team-building activities. This program is modelled after corporate outbound programs.

Our next program, “Sell-On,” is a unique initiative where students are tasked with selling products made by NGOs. This program aims to develop selling and communication skills while fostering a sense of social responsibility. The profit from the sales is then donated back to the NGO.

Our institute also offers hands-on programs, such as visiting corporate firms and conducting video interviews with senior HR. This practice provides students with valuable communication and interview experience and has received positive feedback from both students and senior HR.

5. How would you describe your leadership style & how you approach decision-making?

In one line- I am a people person. I don’t push my authority on others, and as far as my decision-making goes, I am very consensual. There are times when you have to assert what is to be done, but most of the time, it is a group that is making a decision, as it helps me make decisions with a diverse set of perspectives. 

 6. According to you, how should one measure academic and professional success?

Speaking from a subjective lens, I’m not particularly eager to equate work with life. I believe that life is much bigger than work, and your career is one part, just like family and individual health. I consider that all three pillars need to have a balance that helps people realize their happiness in all fields and not just one. 

7. Who, according to you, is an ideal MBA aspirant? (what qualities do you look for when selecting a student for PGDM at VBS?

A candidate with a wide knowledge of the subject is an ideal candidate. In my opinion, MBA is a horizontal degree that encompasses topics from various fields. So someone with a bigger world perspective is considered a better leader. As a leader, you are not a technical person anymore; you need to understand what’s going on in the internal and external world and quickly make decisions for the company’s benefit. As a result, we emphasize good critical thinking abilities, quick decision-making skills, and entrance test scores. 


Conclusion: Any kind of change is scary to a human being. Yet, Dr. Bhardwaj went from corporate to academia and continued to improve the lives of students for 17 years. This challenging yet rewarding task didn’t only stand as a testimony to Dr. Bhardwaj‘s excellence but also led to upskilling of thousands of students. 

VBS is accepting applications for the upcoming PGDM batch 2023-25 – APPLY NOW 

Connect with the PG community at VBS to receive first-hand reviews and insights from alums, current students, and admissions for 2023-25; join:[Official] Vivekanand Business School – PGDM College in Mumbai | PGDM Admissions 2023-25 | PaGaLGuY 


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