There was a time when I thought my life would get a new meaning if I get an MBA tag after my name. Certainly I wasn’t content with two alphabets after my name “B.E”. No, I’m not saying bad about management education. It has its own merits and I’ve friends who’re MBAs and have been great performers in the corporate world. However, they’ve always been good, I doubt how much ‘value addition’ did the MBA education did to their lives. The recent failure of IIMs to conduct CAT 2009 smoothly makes me write this post and the thoughts in this post may not really reflect reality. Its just my analysis of the whole management debacle by IIMs.
CAT was very well managed paper based exam conducted by IIMs for many years. Last year, it was announced that CAT will be a CBT (computer based test). Everyone in the media was concerned about conducting CBT for over 250,000 candidates from all over the India. Its no doubt a herculean task. But let’s face it – the institutes that impart management training and are known to produce world class managers should have been able to manage the transition from PBT (paper based test) to CBT successfully. Apparently, they’ve failed.
I look at the failure to conduct the CAT online as the failure of IIM management. One may argue that the job of conducting the test online was outsourced to Prometric (the folks who conduct GRE). But then, something as important as CAT should have been tested at least 20 times before it went live. The last thing on earth any CBT taker would expect is to be asked to reboot his/her computer during the test! But there were many incidences like this all over India!
I personally never believed in any institutes’ ability to provide management education because my common sense tells me that management can’t be taught. I might be completely wrong. I believe management is an ability/skill that one must develop on his/her own own. You can do that through case studies and using your own sense of the situation. My argument is that if learning finance management really taught individuals all about managing money – all of the MBA finance would have managed their money to become the richest people in the world.
IIMs must be given the credit to bring the smarter folks from the country under one roof – which is a very important job. That’s why CAT is so difficult. People who crack it are already smart folks who just come together at IIMs, they are bound to get good, high paying jobs which I believe is justified.
The question is can institutes like IIM turn an average guy into a management expert?
–The Big K–