India's rapidly growing economy and post-recession resilience have convinced students from countries such as the United States, Canada, France, Spain and the United Kingdom to take up MBA programs at leading Indian business schools such as the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and Indian School of Business (ISB).
For Spanish telecommunications engineer Daniel Gomez, India's progress on the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) front prompted the move to ISB in Hyderabad. India is the perfect example of how the power of ICT can be harnessed to promote sustainable growth, he says, hinting at the leap frogging impact that telecom and mobile communications has had in transforming the economy.
A key driver of growth, ICT has been used by ordinary people in India to better their lives and grow their businesses. For instance, silk weavers in Karnataka have learnt new ways to produce silk by watching online videos. Milk collection has been digitized in Gujarat in order to help poor farmers, and women have been given basic computer education across the country to help them manage micro enterprises.
India's draw for business students
India's rapid transformation from an agriculture-based economy to a knowledge economy has been an interesting case study for engineers such as Gomez. For people like me, who are working in the field of Information Society, India's development into an information and knowledge economy provides numerous examples of government policy implementation, social entrepreneurship and corporate initiatives aimed to bridge the digital divide and bring technology to the forefront of industry and progress, says Gomez.
While Gomez was drawn by the country's evolving ICT sector, James Beeson, another student from the United Kingdom, was impressed by India's focus on quality management education and the reputation of the Indian Institutes of Management. An economics graduate from the University of Birmingham, Beeson had qualified as an Associate Chartered Accountant and is the Chief Financial Officer of United Water Corporation, a water group that owns and operates waste water and water supply facilities in Shanghai, China.
I believe the experience at IIM Ahmedabad has helped me enormously, says Beeson. The courses widened my understanding of areas of management in which previously I had little knowledge such as marketing, operations and organizational structure. This helped me look at management problems from a more holistic perspective. I also had the added advantage of being able to reflect on issues of strategy, corporate culture and organizational structure.
Foreign students make up nearly five per cent of the student strength in most Indian business schools. In ISB's class of 2010 for instance, 20 out of 579 students were international admits.
Vinoo Urs, Regional Director for India at Duke University, Fuqua School of Business India says, No nation can thrive without the collaboration and competition that result from conducting business internationally. As the world economy becomes ever more interconnected and interdependent, it's vital for business leaders to become globally competent. Exposure to a number of viewpoints and business practices is an integral part of India's success as an emerging world economic power.
Indian nationals staying at home to study
Surprisingly, it is not just foreign nationals such as Gomez and Beeson at business school campuses across the country. Indians living abroad are also making their way back home in search of quality management education. Take the case of Chandrasekhar Goda, currently enrolled in ISB's MBA program. An entrepreneur based in Chicago, Goda's company provides supply chain management solutions to the health care sector.
I was looking for a school that matched my goals, says Goda. As I am from India, I was looking at Indian business schools and ISB was the perfect choice. Apart from the fact that the school was located in Goda's hometown of Hyderabad, Goda realized that an MBA degree from one of India's top business schools would add an edge to his résumé. Since I already had a footprint in the United States, I wanted a chance to further my education in India at a time when so much is happening in the economy. ISB's class of 2010 had 67 non-resident Indian students in a class of 579.
Goda is happy with his choice of school. The pedagogy is of a very high level, the faculty and peer group are above average. While entrepreneurship remains top priority, Goda wants to undertake a short stint in the consulting and private equity sector while in India.
Clearly the tide is turning. By providing challenging education and career opportunities to individuals such as Beeson, Gomez and Goda, India's 'brain-drain' crisis may well be a thing of the past.
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