Learning from Indian Business Environment: career implications for Management students

There are several developments in the Indian Business Environment that have important implications for careers of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)/ Master of Business Administration (MBA) students. A few important lessons for the University affiliated college students are discussed in some detail in this article.


Certain important developments in the Indian Business Environment are extremely important for the Bachelor of Business Administration(BBA)/Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA) students. These lessons can be useful for such students in terms of getting prepared to face all the challenges ahead.

In the main, the BBA or MBA students need to be particularly bothered about a) Mergers and acquisitions and complications thereof b) Legalistic issues hampering the growth of businesses c) Nimble-footed and adaptable organizational roles d) Dynamism in all markets and e) Availability of a variety of managers and increased competition.

Mergers and acquisitions and complications thereof

The Modi group. The SPIC group of Chennai. The various groups of the JK group. All Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)/Master's Degree in Business Administration(MBA) University college students will do well to collect a lot of data about such groups. A few businesses have been sold off or they have ceased to exist. For example, today, the SPIC group is a shadow of its former size and success. Today, a relatively unknown group of the eighties is sitting pretty in real estate and a massive number of other businesses in Chennai. This group is called the Sriram group of Chennai, with a combined group turnover of over Rs. 60,000 crores. So, the big churning in the mergers and acquisitions space has already happened since the year 1991, the year of the beginning of economic reforms. These trends will keep on increasing in momentum.

Consequently, any BBA or MBA graduate who is keen on a career in the field of Marketing of Finance roles has to be prepared for these uncertainties and equip himself or herself in terms of skill-sets. This becomes particularly important for such students, as they lack the background of case-studies that are a way of life for the PGDM students studying in the branded B-Schools.

The data collected will be extremely useful to understand the nitty-gritty of really good exposure to Capital Markets and investment management in cities such as Mumbai. Even if the BBA/MBA student is employed in junior roles, such knowledge will help him or her to perform better. They will stay relevant and switch over to Corporate sector jobs within the same group. Alternatively, he or she can pick up an Executive MBA on a part-time basis and then manage to switch roles in a much bigger organization of repute. Employability is the name of the game. Regular employment is likely to be history and careers of any BBA/MBA graduate has to be necessarily spread over five or six organizations in even two or three different locations.

Legalistic issues hampering the growth of businesses

Take sugar for example. The rules and regulations regarding this industry are so complex. Mergers do not take place so easily in this business. Many organizations want to exit such businesses for several reasons. The trick for the BBA/MBA students is to avoid such organizations. However, experience in core businesses like Mutual Funds is worth it. This is because learning is bound to be significant.

Even those in customer-facing jobs will find it highly rewarding to work in roles that are different. Roles that can offer substantial learning in the process of taking decisions in equity research can be very useful; more so, if such roles are the ones that assist the Fund Managers to make crucial decisions. the MBA graduate would do well to stay on and the experience would land the person is far better jobs within no time and he or she can make it big. The trick is to take up jobs in FMCG, Mutual Funds, Corporate Offices, Field Sales, Advertising, and Supply Chain Management. These are areas where the roles will always stay relevant. There can be changes in the nuances of performance parameters that define such roles, but the roles will always present slots for those with the best of skills to grab such opportunities. These roles will surpass the legal complications that are applicable to certain businesses.

Nimble-footed and adaptable organizational roles

Guess why many MBA graduates from even branded B Schools want to get employed in Marketing roles in say, companies like Cavinkare? The reason is simple. The organization is famous for several innovative strategies that it uses in supply chain management, in building new businesses and so on; for example, it acquired the Ruchi brand of pickles and started advertising the brand so well; today the brand is so well known throughout the country. Being in such good roles can always help MBA graduates to gather vital practical experience. The organization is a flat organization and the MBA graduates get to understand quickly how promoters take decisions. The emphasis is on being nimble-footed at all times.

In the decades to come, the layers of decision-making that is often the main feature of the bigger Indian or the MNCs will also change; being nimble-footed will be demanded by these organizations as well. And the BBA/MBA graduates need to be aware of such changes in organizational roles at different levels.

Dynamism in all markets

This is another feature of all Indian markets. Since 1991, the market dynamics have changed dramatically. Take the car market for example.

Suzuki, with its Maruti brand, has got a car at so many price points. But the competitors are also closing in. They have good cars at different price points and the features of the cars are quite good. So, the customer has many choices. He or she can play around with the dealer and demand more discounts. Or he can act smart and try to temporarily postpone the decision to buy a car. The dealer would go after him and please him no end; such situations are not uncommon. The crux of the story is that similar situations would present themselves in every business and the complexities of the changes will simply baffle any MBA graduate. The trick is to stay calm and understand the different dynamics at play and act accordingly.

Availability of a variety of managers and increases competition

Take HR. Even today, most managers of manufacturing organizations with plants spread all over the country are quite serious about the heads of HR being legal experts to handle the maze of rules and regulations concerning the different manufacturing units. For example, settlements with labour, through organized collective bargaining practices is not an easy joke. It requires a big grounding with hard-core practical experience. Those who do not possess such experiences will be left out in the rat race. The truth is that some sort of trade union is likely to take place even in the IT sector and some judicial action will automatically ensure that this happens. When this development happens, only those MBA graduates who have experience will succeed. Those without such experiences will simply fall out of place. The MBA graduate will face terrific competition from the MSW graduates from the likes of the prestigious Madras School of Social Work or the Loyola College Chennai.

Those in Finance roles in Management, even at the unit level have to contend with competition from the cost or chartered accountants or both. Many in urban centres even have the CFA or CMA qualification to boot; this only increases competition everywhere. The BBA/MBA graduates should be aware of such competitors and equip themselves at regular intervals. Almost daily, in terms of understanding to evaluate himself or herself against the competitors.


The extremely complex ramifications of the changed realities, as they present themselves are good enough for any BBA or MBA student or graduate to understand and appreciate at any point in time. Learning from successful people is as important as it is to gear up oneself to face such challenges. The Indian Business Environment is likely to be similar to that in the advanced countries. The new rules of the game will start unfolding in the years to come. Careers of any BBA or MBA graduate will be closely linked to their capabilities in adopting themselves for the challenges implicit in the changes at any point in time.


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