How the B-school experience makes new managers savvy

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The Capability Maturity Model is a method used to refine the software development process. It has five levels. In 1999 Infosys became the first Indian company to be certified to the highest level. It could have been projected as a competitive advantage. But, Infosys NR co-founder Narayana Murthy shared the company’s experience of the certification process with its Indian competitors.

The students dissect the decisions made by companies and entrepreneurs. The aim is to ensure that newly created managers do not freeze when they need to be decisive.

What a nice man, you must be thinking. But didn’t he give up his advantage by doing so? The short answer is no. “Letting other Indian companies excel has led Western companies to pay attention to India and has helped increase the overall Indian market share including that of Infosys,” said Sathya Pramod, Founder of KayEss Square Consulting and former CFO of Tally Solutions. Murthy did what the leaders do. He saw the big picture and acted wisely.

Can such wisdom be taught? After all, Murthy, one of the most admired global business leaders of our time, didn’t have an MBA. Moreover, by definition, it should not be possible to teach wisdom. Yet this is essentially what the b schools are trying to do. “Smart is a person who learns from experience, but wise is a person who learns from the experience of others,” said Dheeraj Sharma, Director of IIM Rohtak. “For the managers of tomorrow, their own experience is important, but the experiences of those who have led before them are also important.

This is why b-schools and alumni swear by the case method. The emphasis on case studies in top schools b allows students to benefit, in effect, from the experience of others. Students dissect and discuss the scenarios faced and decisions made by businesses and entrepreneurs around the world. The aim is to ensure that newly created managers do not freeze when they need to be decisive.

To better understand the case method and its advantages, let’s look at the example of Bajaj. The 90s were a difficult time for Bajaj. “The first big challenge came in the form of the Honda Activa,” said Sathya Pramod. “It was a sleek gearless scooter with an electric start button. He quickly made gear scooters obsolete and the iconic Chetak ceased production in 2005. ”Although Bajaj attempted to retaliate with the Kristal in 2006, it never really took off and the group left the segment of scooters in 2009. (It would come back with an electric version a decade later.)

But, Bajaj was not giving up; it has just repositioned itself to focus more on motorcycles. It paid off. In 2011, the Pulsar, launched in 2001, held a 47% market share in the 150cc and larger segment, according to Sathya Pramod. But, the competition was on its heels. To hold them back, Bajaj would have to be drawn into the low-margin game. Thus, he once again changed direction and decided to pursue leadership in exports.

The momentum to become a global brand had started in the 2000s. Indeed, according to Sathya Pramod, in 2007, the brand sold three times more Pulsars in Colombia than in India. But, the increased attention has made Bajaj the best-selling motorcycle in countries as diverse as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Philippines. In 2020, Bajaj was selling more vehicles abroad than in India.

The two strategic turns mentioned above were major decisions, in particular the choice to leave the scooter segment; this would have been unthinkable in Chetak’s heyday. But Bajaj’s management acted quickly and reaped the rewards for their decisiveness, which Sharma said was the most important aspect of management. Examples like these help broaden students’ perspective and show them the importance of being agile and having the willingness to disrupt the way things are done.

“It is very important that there is an archiving of knowledge,” said Sharma. “Today’s business leaders should strive to document their methods and processes so that tomorrow’s business leaders tap into this knowledge bank. Organizations must facilitate the means by which today’s knowledge can be captured, disseminated and used by generations of leaders. Not to mention that for a mid-level manager in their twenties, knowledge of precedents and role models is vital. During a crisis, this would help them react effectively and anticipate the opportunities that might follow.

So even as we slowly emerge from a global crisis and wonder aloud what a post-pandemic world would look like, managers are already talking about how the crisis has accelerated digital adoption at scale. world of about seven years. And, of course, the opportunities that have created or are likely to arise soon.

B schools are also well aware of the changing global environment and know that they need to keep updating their curriculum and methods. Therefore, students can certainly expect to benefit from what managers and entrepreneurs around the world have learned from Covid-19. In the following pages, THE WEEK provides an overview of lessons learned from the pandemic and industry experience.

Senior correspondent Abhinav Singh spoke to alumni of some of India’s top bachelor’s schools who now hold leadership positions in companies across all segments. They talk about transforming themselves to deal with the fallout from the pandemic as well as the experience of settling in the midst of blockages. In addition, they share their views on the market. For example, Lamborghini’s Indian director Sharad Agarwal explains how the company brought a luxury brand to small towns.

They also talk about their own experience in b-school and how it has helped them in their careers. Many have insisted that the b-school experience gives you a network of reliable talents and potential collaborators. For example, Ravi Kallayil, who started his shoe company Plateo after a 15-year stint at Nike, says the person he partied with the most at b-school is now his biggest investor!

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