Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Micro-MBA: Capsules of re-learning for corporates

Anupam Desai, Senior Vice-President at agro tech firm Kesar Enterprises, donned the hat of a CEO for a day. The middle-aged professional had completed his MBA several years ago and used the real-life case study of a corporate chieftain to gain practical insights and business acumen.

Desai was participating in a strategy game at a ‘micro MBA’ programme, whereby he had to understand the concept of team building even as he donned a leadership role. His play acting and business simulations reinforced his earlier MBA curriculum learning.

He said he had got so involved in his daily assignments and projects that he forgot some theoretical part of his degree. He enrolled in a three-day programme to understand the changing dynamics of the industry. “These short-term courses help catch up on concepts that may be more applicable in today’s work space,” he said.

After the much-hyped short duration MBA programmes, smaller and cheaper ‘micro MBA’ programmes are gaining popularity among executives. Micro MBA courses are typically a three-day or a five-day affair and are very popular in the US. They cover subjects such as international marketing, entrepreneurship, quantitative methods of business and international political economy.

Also called ‘boot camp’ MBAs, these programmes were originally offered by companies such as McKinsey and Co and Booz Allen Hamilton to train fresher’s on business basics.

Though the market for certificate ‘executive education’ is very nascent in India, ThinkEducation, which has recently initiated programmes with the University of Stern NY, University of Rutgers NY and King’s College London, believes these programmes reinforce the core of the MBA curriculum. “We recently conducted a micro-MBA programme for executives. We had 60 participants from 26 Indian companies,” said Aditya Malkani from ThinkEducation Advisory Services, which was formulated about two years ago.

The courses are addressed by a combination of faculty from overseas universities and Indian colleges. Though distance-learning or correspondence MBA programmes are available at many recognised universities across India, the trend of micro MBA courses has not caught on in India. However, business schools such as the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and the Indian Business School (ISB) conduct short-duration MBA programmes.

Does the concept of ‘whirlwind’ education actually help participants grasp any concepts of the otherwise two-year MBA course? Malkani says, “The answer is yes and no. We cannot cover the two-year course in three days, but can manage to encapsulate the concepts in a shorter time-frame, especially targeting working professionals. We do brush up their concepts. The course is not for beginners.”

Participation fee for the micro MBA programme is Rs. 30,000 a candidate. This is about ten per cent of the fees of executive programmes conducted globally and is usually sponsored by the company who sends the executive.

Source: The Hindu Business Line, September 11, 2012

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