MBA education is all about preparing you for future. However, the uncertainty of the future is the biggest challenge in designing and delivering an effective MBA programme. Owing to rapid changes taking place in this fact-paced business environment, a wide variety of MBA programmes have emerged in our country, ranging from specialization-based MBA programmes of most of the B-schools to super-specialized sectoral MBAs. Perhaps no other postgraduate programme in our country offers so many variants as an MBA.
The programme itself and its focus has also undergone tremendous changes in the past few decades. However, what has remained unchanged is that a typical MBA programme still focuses on furnishing a student with some hard-core domain skills (in the areas like Marketing, Finance, HR, Operations, IT/IS etc.) and some inputs on softer skills such as communication, presentation etc. However, the question that arises is – Is it sufficient? Is that all what one needs and will need in this dynamically changing environment?
Around the world, number of researches and debates on 21st century skill requirements have been carried out. And some of the most important skills that have emerged out of all researches and debates necessarily find a mention of Critical Thinking, Problem Solving skills, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Design Ability, ability to envisage and implement technology at business, to name a few. However, very few institutes in our country really care about these skills, forget about developing them in the students. Moreover, this largely happens for reasons that are most obvious to those who are in the business of business schools.
JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur is one such institution where the MBA programme has been totally redesigned and revamped. In its new avatar, it is called Pinnacle MBA – a fully residential two-year six-trimester programme. Pinnacle MBA @ JKLU offers the right blend of hard and soft skills and comes with a topping of 21st century skill requirements. And if that was not enough, the pedagogy is highly innovative and is totally outcome-based. In every course that a student undertakes, it is ensured that the learning outcomes are achieved. Plethora of hands-on exercises, experienced and highly qualified faculty from leading corporate houses and practitioners’ world, options to earn online certifications besides regular curricula, etc. make the programme apt for future business leaders.
A dedicated centre for enhancing soft skills of students has been set up under the name of Centre for Communication and Critical Thinking. The Centre works in close co-ordination with the constituents of the University, namely Institute of Management, Institute of Engineering & Technology and Institute of Design, to offer courses in the areas of communication and critical thinking. These courses seamlessly cut across domain and specialization boundaries and are offered to all management, engineering and design students in almost every term that they study at the University. Similarly, industry inputs are not just confined to sporadic guest lectures but there are full-fledged courses that are taught by industry professionals and practitioners. Transcending beyond the traditional 3Rs (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic skills), the Pinnacle MBA programme readies you to be ready for an uncertain world. Besides, the underlying education philosophy of the University, that of ensuring a value-based education for all, sensitivity towards environmental issues, mental and physical well-being, and an overarching goal of happiness, ensures that the student is not just job-ready but life-ready.
Dr. Ashwini Sharma
Associate Professor, Institute of Management, JK Lakshmipat University, Jaipur