This is the best time to do an MBA – says Hirdesh Madan, Co-Founder of HitBullsEye | Interview by PaGaLGuY

This interview is an excerpt from a detailed conversation between the Co-Founder of Hit Bulls Eye (Coaching Centres), Hirdesh Madan, and the Founder of PaGaLGuY, Allwin Agnel. 

Hirdesh Madan is a serial entrepreneur with well over 20+ professional experience in establishing and managing successful business ventures. His entrepreneurial journey started from Chandigarh with Bulls-eye – an educational venture in 1998. Bulls-eye has trained 100,000+ students in the last twenty years. He co-founded Edu-tech venture Hitbullseye in 2013.

We had an exclusive interview with Hirdesh Madan, Co-Founder, and Anil Sharma, Vice President of HitBullseye. This is an excerpt that dives into the discussion amidst the Covid-19 pandemic we all are in and revolving around the future of test prep centers, the future of MBA, and some advice & tips for all the MBA aspirants. 

  • Having spent close to 20 years in the teaching and education domain, how and what impact do you think it will have on the MBA Education domain? 

In my journey of 20 years, I have already seen an economic depression in the year 2008. Going by that trend, we certainly feel that the impact on the Education Industry will be positive. The primary reason being unemployment will be at an all-time high and the job opportunities will be staggering low. With such a scenario, the MBA aspirants will only end up squandering the valuable time looking for job in the minimum available pool of opportunity.

Since the majority pool of MBA aspirants comprises of Graduates and Freshers, this is the right time for them to consider doing an Upskilling Course or a Post Graduation. This will allow them to upgrade their resume. By the time they graduate, the market will stabilize resulting in more opportunities for employment. This also pushes the aspirants to look for unique courses like Disaster Management, Managing Cash Flows in Crisis, Portfolio Management, Insurance, etc. 

  • With the Pandemic Situation gripping its root in our country, how do you think the test prep centers should evolve their teaching methodology? 

Well, the idea of Test Prep Centres was primarily attending the offline classes at the designated centers. Thanks to the evolving technology and us being pushed to such pandemic situations, things will have to change. Sticking to the conventional and traditional methodology will not be beneficial for any of the parties involved in the process of learning and teaching. 

We have started the online mode of coaching at all our centers. This is done by enabling every individual to get on board online with proper guidance and ensuring that none of the aspects and topics are left uncovered which was otherwise possible tracking in the conventional method. The staff and teaching faculty are well-trained and well-equipped to the advanced technology and methodology adapted which makes the process much more efficient and simpler. 

  • Have you come up with an online mode of delivery or a hybrid mode for coaching the candidates across the country? 

For now, the online mode of delivery is on and going on in full swing across the country. The decision on hybrid mode or offline mode will be taken once we know the regulations passed by the Ministry of Health Department. 

  • We’ve noticed that students find it tough to engage in online programs – what are your suggestions or ideas to create more engaging online programs?

The biggest challenge in the online mode of teaching is the interaction and keeping the students engaged. Whereas the accountability of every student does play a major role in addressing the entire online training, we have taken several steps and measures to improve the engagement:

  1. Integration: We have integrated the in-classes practices and activities within the online class 
  2. Leaderboard: Track the students progress based on their inputs and control their  activities 
  3. Real-time Interaction: Real-time quizzes and assignments submission. 
  4. Reduce Duration: We have reduced the number of hours to maintain the attention span of the students during the class 
  5. Staggered Classes: Since the class duration has been reduced, we have increased the number of classes and arranged them in a staggered schedule. 
  • Do you feel that test-prep will go purely online in multiple exams? What is your opinion?

Well, the right thing to quote will be – The Test Prep centers will be forced to go online. This will be in line with reducing the fixed operational cost for all the test prep centers without compromising on the quality of teachers and the coaching designed for their students. The offline (physical) centers should be used for multi-purposes for effective usage of investment and space. 

  • Any last-minute suggestions for aspirants planning to Join MBA this year? Would you recommend the aspirants to join the MBA program this year or defer their plans for the next year?

They should definitely join the course this year. The two-year course will enable them to upgrade their skills in a time when the economy is healing and is in the process of revival. If you are planning to defer the plans for next year, the pool of aspirants would be huge and the competition will be even higher and tougher. With a limited pool of opportunities and the whole gamut of aspirants aiming to get themselves a job will be a lot more challenging in the upcoming cycles. 

Ignore the news, focus on getting the right information about your college deadlines, and waitlist. Speak to the right set of peers and officials to gather information. Rely on official confirmation and websites. This is the period of blossoming! 

  • Do you expect the CAT/MBA numbers to go up or down due to the current situation?

There is a possibility of the number of aspirants increasing this year. Due to the current situation, there are a lot of youngsters who have lost their jobs or have got a reduction in their salaries. Additionally, fresh graduates will find it difficult to find a job in this situation in the market. This is simply because of the pandemic situation, the industry has a limited budget and with that limited budget, they would want to spend on hiring an experienced and an expert to deliver the results rather than hiring a graduate where a significant amount of budget would go in training and upskilling.

This is the best time to invest in pursuing a post-graduation as they have quality and un-distracted time during the lockdown to prepare and give their best shot at the competitive exams. All the Best! 

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