The world is surrounded by 10,000+ brands; how they come into existence, survive and eventually flourish is great mechanics in itself. There is an ethos that one creates, the products that one offers, the business ethics that one adopts, and the customer services that one provides, amidst other things. In a considerably unstable, unpredictable and hyper competitive environment, firms have to plan and execute innovative winning strategies for survival, growth and progression. If one is looking to pursue a formal application of modern business practices, principles and theories, to facilitate smooth, effective and efficient running of a business, paving way for achieving competitive advantage in the market place, the below synopsis will help to make an informed decision:
What is Business Management?
The number of courses one ends up doing in a business management course is somewhat daunting, rigorous and challenging. There has been a serious debate with regards to the soundness, importance and relevance of studying a diverse range of subjects being covered in a MBA or equivalent program. A typical two year course would consist of about 30 subjects being covered within a span of 4 semesters. The challenge is that in the first part of the program, one is exposed to the foundation concepts, and thereafter the student community has the freedom to choose their areas of interest/ specialisation and thereafter make their choice concerning the elective modules.
In general – the three most preferred disciplines are Marketing, Finance, and Human Resource Management – while Operations Management and International Business have also gathered prominence, the opportunities for new entrants are somewhat limited. The core foundation courses include basics of accounting and finance, research methodology, marketing management, financial management, human resource management, organisation behaviour, quantitative techniques, statistics, operations management, managerial economics, and strategic management. After the successful completion of these courses, the students have the choice to select the elective modules under various streams of specialisation they have opted for.
A degree and diploma course in Business Management comprises the basic foundations courses which are covered in the first year, followed by a two month intensive internship assignment with a corporate, and finally in the second year, students get the opportunity to select the elective modules pertaining to several areas of specialisation namely marketing, HR, and finance – to name a few.
Since, the number of subjects is really vast – there is scope for overlapping and duplication of course coverage. Also, considering the time constraint, there is no in-depth coverage of courses–but only general cosmetic and peripheral knowledge is acquired, as a consequence of which, the students remain confused and lack clarity or focus. This is where the institutes and universities located in UK and Europe have a distinct advantage- as the focus is on the key essential modules with major thrust on project based, application oriented learning and students specialising in different streams, get the opportunity to work in meaningful corporate projects. What matters is an updated contemporary curriculum, outstanding faculty pool, strong industry – institute engagement and the background of students. The redeeming feature is that instead of concentrating on too many subjects, one tends to focus on a few subjects in real depth and thus have the opportunity to deep dive into the rigour of the course. This system makes the learning more complete, systematic, holistic and beneficial for the student fraternity.
Business and Management is comparable with the more commonly offered Bachelor of Business Administration (or 'BBA') programme in the Indian subcontinent. By virtue of both the courses imparting the skills and knowledge pertaining to management and entrepreneurship, there are a number of portions where the curricula overlaps. The difference, however, remains in the fact that all academic input for Business Administration at ISBF comes from LSE, and is hence significantly more analytical and applied in nature than most BBA programmes offered in the country. This also makes Business and Management a much better stepping stone to pursue an MBA in future, with its entrances (CAT, XAT, GMAT etc.) requiring high levels of quantitative and analytical abilities.
What are the various business management courses in India?
Several universities offer postgraduate degree and diploma programs concentrating on various streams to enable students to remain more focused, attentive and deeply associated. One specialises in various streams like management, finance and economics, and subjects that are strongly correlated to that field of specialisation are discussed in great detail. Besides, there is a great push on students undertaking internship projects, adopting application oriented learning methods, multi-disciplinary approach to learning, accepting project based learning etc. The number of subjects is relatively less, but the coverage under each module is substantial, rigorous and voluminous. The foreign universities also provide a platform for dual country global exposure through the development of proper faculty student exchange programs, course migration policies, and international internship prospects. Thus, the advantage lies in focused learning, international exposure, appropriate domain knowledge and facilitating the student’s global career progression.
What does it entail to have a degree in Business Administration and Management?
A student enrolled for a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management course can expect three- or four-years of study, with some business schools and universities offering an extra year for the student to study abroad or to get an in-company experience. Some institutions offer their business administration and management degree as a BSc (Bachelor of Science) instead of a BA (Bachelor of Arts). One can pursue Business Administration and Management degree either in a highly specialised subject, or as a generic course that includes a variety of aspects concerning business. The choice of a particular course depends on one’s career goals. However, most students go for a generic course at the undergraduate level to gain essential foundation in multiple aspects of the business world before choosing a specialisation. From Master’s level onwards, business management degrees are usually more focused on a particular aspect of business, with some flexibility for students to opt for a combination of courses to match their individual interests. Business Administration and Management courses lay strong emphasis on the practical application of theory, through the use of a variety of learning tools such as case studies, role playing, practice oriented activities, decision making and problem-solving tasks, presentations, project and team work, and also internships.
What is Business Management all about?
Business management is all about managing products, resources, assets, people, material, etc. to ensure that the business is operated effectively and efficiently for building, sustaining competitive positioning. “CHANGE” is what is pivotal for success – as consumer behaviour evolves over time, technology is upgraded, the competitive pressures heighten, the strategies of firms cutting across all business functions have to be changed, modified, aligned and customised with the changing environment to fetch superior financial returns and maximising stakeholders returns.
Considering an organisation structure developed on the basis of multiple divisions and functions – the strategies, actions are created in each department and executed using the resources of the firms. The challenge is identifying what these strategies are, how has the environment been scanned to identify the threats and opportunities, what are the inherent strengths and weaknesses of the organisation, what is the business model, how is the business being conducted to fight threats and overcome weaknesses, what are the components of the financial plan, marketing plan, HR plan, IT plan, operations plan, etc., and how strategic key decisions are taken for driving organisation excellence. Basically, Business Management is not managing an organisation as to where it stands – but how well it is administered, governed and controlled to fetch positive results in the long run.
What subjects are needed for Business Management?
In order to be eligible for admission into Business Management undergraduate degree course, one must have successfully completed their 12th class studies. Besides, individual institutions prescribe their own entrance requirements including written tests and interviews for the purpose of such admissions. One must also be proficient in Mathematics and English communication.
Why does one want to study Business Management at ISBF?
The BSc Business and Management Programme offered at ISBF under the academic direction from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) prepares one fittingly for the demanding world of business and management. LSE is known as a leading school in the world for social science studies with a multi-disciplinary perspective, and this programme makes the participants familiar with a wide range of subjects that look at business and management analytically and critically. The programme enables the students to explore, understand and appreciate the inter relationships between business and management issues from the perspective of a number of social science disciplines.
What this means is that the courses offered through the programme, address the problems and solutions of today’s globalised world of business and management holistically. So, one will no longer merely learn concepts in accounting, finance, marketing or human resource as discrete sets of knowledge; rather more importantly, one will learn to analyse their collective role in the success of business and management in a competitive market scenario. One will, thus, acquire the ability to think independently about business and management decisions and gain a degree which will be valued by employers looking for people who can demonstrate logical and quantitative reasoning. Importantly, one will acquire the cultural sensitivity required to learn from issues and experiences relevant to one’s local environment. Consequently, the degree will equip the participants with sufficient entrepreneurial and managerial skills needed for undertaking their own/family business either locally or globally.
How many subjects are there in Business Management?
While pursuing the course at ISBF, the following is the Standard Route for an Undergraduate degree from the University of London in Business and Management:
Standard Route 100 courses
Four courses from the following:
Selection Group M:
What kind of jobs can one get with a Business Management degree?
One of the critical decisions one takes after completing high school and undergraduate education is to pursue a course in management. Mainly, young graduates with an ambition to strive in the corporate world – decide to harness their skills sets, dexterity, creativity, talents, managerial expertise and business acumen, and the most obvious choice is a degree in Business Management. All other fields of specialisation including courses in engineering, science, history, politics, etc. provides rich exposure to acquiring domain knowledge in diverse areas and gain insights on several aspects related to their respective fields of study, but equally important today is the ability of young graduates to work in groups, develop team work spirit, and apply business principles and concepts in real life situations to steer their respective businesses to new heights of excellence. The successful completion of a degree in business administration and management comprises adequate industry work exposure along with building of theoretical foundations, equipping young graduates to build commercial acumen, develop managerial capabilities, exploit core competencies, and adopt creativity for coping with the challenges of the new millennium. It is of vital importance to develop necessary skills for paving the way for guiding organisations to new directions, and administering business functions for enabling organisations to build and sustain competitive advantage in the market place.
The tricky situation which India witnessed in the early 2000s is that business schools mushroomed across all corners, sought approval from universities, doled out study materials, and with leniency in the admission process were given basic minimum guidance related to management principles. This resulted in an oversupply of MBAs who faced massive difficulties in securing employment opportunities due to massive skill gaps. We all need to realise that acquiring a business management degree by itself is not sufficient and adequate – only those universities/ institutes which emphasise on rigorous application based learning systems, follow enriching curriculum, possess outstanding faculty pool and have strong industry –academia interface are places where it is worthwhile to seek admission. And for quality sustenance, focus on recruiting students having fulfilled stringent selection criteria.
The Business Management degree offers various fields of specialisation and the prevalent jobs depend on one’s areas of interest. Students specialising in marketing have the option to work with diverse range of companies encompassing the following functions and work profile:
Students specialising in accounting and finance have the option to work across investment banks, commercial banks, NBFCs, corporate finance department of established enterprises, risk management departments, banking and insurance sector, financial research firms, mutual funds, capital markets, accounting firms, KPOs, BPOs and performing a plethora of functions comprising the following functions:
Students specialising in human resource management can work across HR consultancy firms, executive search firms, corporate training and a wide range of enterprises executing HR responsibilities comprising the following attributes:
An interesting point is that securing employment is a passport to entry in an organisation- but the management graduates have to demonstrate their knowledge, capabilities, confidence, imbibe on adoption of best business practices and contribute significantly for achieving successful career progression.
How much money can one make with a business degree?
The past experience of MBA graduates is not particularly encouraging – especially for those graduating from universities/institutes which lack the depth, rigour and variety in terms of the quality of education. As a consequence, several MBA graduates who pass out are found unemployable and even if they secure jobs, they are not satisfied with the same pay as graduates from other universities, apart from working at a rather disappointing and monotonous job profile. With an oversupply of MBAs – the market was highly saturated and placement opportunities suffered a setback in the past, but with the economy rebounding and opening up to various avenues of employment, the job market for MBAs and students pursuing the PG diplomas in management, finance, and economics has improved considerably.
In the early 2000s – the average salary of MBA graduates ranged from Rs. 2– 3 Lakhs – but this has changed over time considerably. Besides, the best corporates and MNCs do not prefer to hire students having a business degree from premier institutes only as the cost of labour is incredibly high. Nevertheless, organisations do prefer hiring students having good calibre, who are pass-outs from leading, reputed institutes; given the cost of education estimated at a minimum of Rs. 8- 10 Lakhs for a good business degree, the average salary offered is in the range of Rs. 5- 6 lakhs, hence enabling the student to recover the investment cost within a span of two years. A well-structured business management degree or diploma from a reputable university has great value even today, as employers look for the best talent and are willing to pay encouraging salaries if they identify students with knowledge, passion and the drive to perform. So, what matters is a sound institute having a track record of providing a rich experience, and strong placement records. At the initial stage one could be offered a salary between Rs. 4.5 – 5.5 lakhs, and if one’s performance is encouraging, the salary levels witness a staggering jump. In most universities, apart from the average salaries as indicators, a few odd students with outstanding academic and work abilities are able to secure employment at exceptionally high salaries.
Students having work experience tend to pursue international executive MBA degree or Master’s degree in Management, Finance and Economics. This is highly rewarding as mostly the students are sponsored, and having upgraded their skills, they are able to seek lateral entry in MNCs or are absorbed by the same organisation at a higher position and salary. However, considering the exorbitant cost of higher education abroad, the cost may not be recoverable in the short term, but in the long term, it pays off. It is worthwhile for candidates to work overseas with leading MNCs for gaining work experience and inculcating the best business practices in their home country.
Student fraternities who obtain a business degree from formidable reputed institutes have tremendous potential to accelerate their career progression – both in terms of profile, variety of work and also in terms of their salary escalation. In short, the prospects are great as long as one’s learnings are significant, value adding and encouraging. Investment in education and recruitment opportunities, in the long term, rewards heartily.