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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 27 Sep 2012
Quality of Executive Programmes in India

When 50-year-old Rajendra Singh, a top honcho in a technology company, wanted to burnish his repertoire of skills, he went to one of the best management schools. His company spent 32 lakh for him to do an eight-week advanced executive management course at Harvard. "I know it seems like a great deal. But what I learned in terms of education was incomparable," says Singh.

Quality of executive progs in india

This education just got closer home with the recent launch of a Harvard classroom at Taj Lands End in Mumbai. While it's a quid pro quo for Indian students and renowned foreign management institutes, be it Harvard (HBS), Wharton or Kelloggs which have arrived in India, will it make a dent on the brand value of the IIMs? "IIMs will continue to be aspirational for India's top students. Why, many get into Ivy League colleges and don't get a foothold into the IIMs," says Debashis Chatterjee, IIM-Kozhikode director. "This is a brand we have built assiduously. Harvard sees India as a market, whereas the IIMs don't see education as a market." Strong words, but it's true that foreign courses don't exactly come cheap.

While a 4-5 day Harvard executive education course costs around Rs 2 lakh and each course of Wharton is more than Rs 1.6 lakh, IIM-Bangalore offers a five-day course for Rs 75,000. Nonetheless, Harvard and Wharton have marketed their executive education courses as exclusively meant for India. Harvard has even replicated its classrooms in Boston in Mumbai with amphitheatre-style architecture. "Unlike the traditional ball room type of classroom where all the students sit at one level, this amphitheatre helps in Harvard's case study method," says Rohit Deshpande, Sebastin S. Kresge professor of marketing, HBS. This participant-centred learning needs the instructor to facilitate debate by walking up and down the aisles, rather than the traditional Aristotelian method where the teacher instructs and the students listen.

Despite accusations of pecuniary motives driving these schools here, India remains vital for their global strategy. "This century is the century of Asia, and India is an emerging superpower. For many of my students at Harvard, India is the California of the 21st century," says Deshpande. Wharton came to India in January, offering three executive educative programmes in Mumbai and Gurgaon. A fourth will be added later this year. Vice-dean Jason Wingard says this is the ideal time for an India entry. "We offer career coaching and professional career assessment too," he says. "Wharton will help Indian business leaders with up-to the-minute research and best practices."

Its vice-dean of global initiatives Harbir Singh says there's "a growing emphasis on internationalisation in India. You can't maintain a competitive advantage without a global perspective." So will the IIMs change their strategy? No, says Chatterjee. "IIMs have their own system which is sensitive to changing global scenarios and is independent of what's happening elsewhere. Foreign universities will have to change according to the Indian scenario." Alex Manappurathu, chief programme officer at IIM-Bangalore, says they won't change as a reaction to competition either. "Our programmes are derived from the research, teaching and consulting work done by our faculty which is actively involved in latest business realities on a global basis," he says. "Further, IIM-B's executive programmes are among the largest in the Asian Executive Education segment."

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Courtesy: The Economics Times

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