India Inc learns to teach

Feb 27 2011, 13:26 IST
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SummaryThe business of management education is coming of age as employers become more and more choosy, looking for managers who can hit the job running. No longer does a management degree or diploma guarantee placement.

Whether it’s Gautam Adani’s infrastructure institute or Kishore Biyani’s Future Innoversity, business houses seek to overcome manpower shortage in sunrise sectors by getting into niche business management education

The business of management education is coming of age as employers become more and more choosy, looking for managers who can hit the job running. No longer does a management degree or diploma guarantee placement. Indeed, gone are the days when one course met the requirements of all recruiters. Today, sectoral or niche management courses are becoming the need of the hour. With over 3,700 institutions offering management degrees and diplomas, it’s the USP they bring to the table in terms of sector specialisations, which is going to be the new game changer.

Says Bakul Dholakia, former director of the country’s top-rated b-school, the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad and currently the vice-chairman and director of the two-year old Adani Institute of Infrastructure Management (AIIM): “Personally I believe that as competition increases across sectors, the differentiation in management education will not only proceed in the direction of quality, but also sectoral or niche specialisation. Industry is now looking for people with solid management knowledge combined with the ability to apply it to specialised areas.”

Not surprisingly then, when thrown the gauntlet of creating a world class b-school by Gautam Adani, chairman of one of the country’s largest corporates in the infrastructure space, the Rs 35,000-crore Adani Group, Dholakia chose to “transplant the culture, pedagogy and approach to education and training inculcated at IIMA” to create a management school specialising in infrastructure, the “fastest growing sector of the economy”.

But why infrastructure? Recounts Dholakia, “Between 1988 when Gautambhai laid the foundations of the Adani Group as a partnership company and 1998 when the first vessel berthed at Mundra Port, he faced many challenges, the most formidable of which was to find trained managers for the diversified projects he planned to execute.” In the global trading business that Adani was in, finding people who understood both infrastructure and global trading was almost impossible. “At that time, Gautambhai had to resort to recruitment of suitable young managers who were willing to invest substantial time in learning infrastructure management on the job.”

It was with this in mind and foreseeing a huge demand for qualified managers in the infrastructure sector, which as per the estimates of the Planning Commission needs an aggregate investment of more than $ 500 billion over

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