“The person who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The person who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever seen before” – Albert Einstein
In an era where technology has made easy the availability and accessibility of various mass produced products and services, consumers are wanting to express their individualities and identities through customization and personalization. A lot of this has been made possible and popular by social media platforms through the use of algorithms using likes and preferences of users to personalise the feeds and recommendations for users. Various e-commerce sites, NEWS Apps, audio and video streaming platforms like Spotify and Youtube respectively, have brought into focus the concept of personalisation and customization. In fact, a recent McKinsey article of 21st Nov 2021 with the title How to make it personal, states that “more than 70 percent of consumers now consider personalization a basic expectation”. The question to ponder about is whether these concepts can be extended to the education sector and specifically for designing a customised and personalised MBA programme for each and every student opting for this course of study.
With the growing necessity for customised experience sought by Millennials and Gen Z students, and modular education sought by senior professionals wanting reskilling and networking opportunities, it is imperative that the management education sector prepares itself to cater to the requirements of the students and their high aspirations for being employment ready, and for an industry and its stakeholders that is witnessing paradigm shifts in their ecosystem.
Concepts such adaptability, agility, competition, digitalization, disruption, flexibility, new emerging areas, substitute products and so on – which were once applicable only to the mainstream industry – are now equally valid for the management education sector.
With a legacy of 40 years, K J Somaiya Institute of Management has been at the forefront of management education and continuously reinventing it’s offering to cater to industry’s needs and students’ hunger for quality education. Keeping in tune with the changes, from the upcoming MBA Batch 2022-24 onwards, the Institute will be offering an MBA with 5 Majors (Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Data Science & Analytics and Operations Management) and 11 Minors (Data Science & Analytics, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Financial Services, Human Resources, Integrated Marketing Communications, International Business, Management Consulting, Marketing, Operations Management and Retail Management) specializations. This will create a vast canvas of opportunities for the students and they can pick and choose their areas of study and create their unique permutations and combinations from the several Major and Minor options being offered at the Institute. These Major – Minor combinations will help the students in developing distinctive skill sets for charting their own career paths. Along with this, the Institute conducts multi-disciplinary MBA Healthcare Management and MBA Sports Management programmes for these high growth industries which require professional managers and for students who have specialized profiles suited for these programmes. The MBA Exec and MBA Part Time are for mid-career professionals.
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The post COVID economy has also thrown up employment and entrepreneurial possibilities in emerging areas like edtech, medtech, agritech, logistics and supply chain, e-commerce, use of AI and ML in conducting businesses, green energy and so on. The entire educational value chain must be geared up to provide choice and flexibility to the student community which in turn should serve the needs of the end consumers – and that is the industry and community. Self-learning should also lead to the creation of self-employment and providing employment opportunities to others. Industry 4.0 requires fresh enthusiastic minds bubbling with creative energy. As a leading business school in India, we are committed to training and developing managerial talent that can take on the challenges of a disruptive world faced with black swan events like the COVID pandemic.
Students are the biggest stakeholders of the education system and they should be given the freedom and flexibility to exercise their choice and chart their own career paths based on their interests and available employment opportunities. Students joining educational institutes come from all over India and abroad, and are from distinct socio-economic backgrounds and geographic regions, with their unique knowledge, skills and ingrained cultures and sub cultures. Student mobility is a major trend due to the rising awareness and importance of quality education. And there are different forms of intelligence and educational institutes must provide opportunities and platforms which the students can utilize to develop their individualized identities and skillsets.
Located in a lush green campus in the heart of Mumbai, K J Somaiya Institute of Management believes in providing ‘Freedom of Possibilities’ to achieve the aspirations and dreams of the student community. For us, the student can come from any knowledge stream and at different stages in their career – for acquiring basic and advanced qualifications, and also to fulfil their re-skilling requirements. The mantra for the Institute is to provide platforms to the student community to customize their MBA journey in order to ‘BE DISTINCT – As It Opens Vistas of Opportunities’. That ‘Knowledge Alone Liberates’, is demonstrated in action and spirit at the Somaiya Vidyavihar.
Director and Marketing Professor, K J Somaiya Institute of Management
Dean – Faculty of Management Studies, Somaiya Vidyavihar University