Thursday, April 21, 2011

'MBA in oil and gas will benefit Indian students'

International B-schools are making a beeline to enter the Indian market not only with general management programmes, but specialised MBA courses. The latest to join the fray was UK-based Robert Gordon University offering a programme in Oil and Gas management. University Director Andrew Turnbull tells Piyali Mandal that India is the second biggest market for them after Nigeria. Edited Excerpts:

Do you think specialised MBA courses will be popular with Indian students?
Yes. So far we have got remarkably good response from Indian students. I have already interviewed students in Delhi. We will then proceed to Mumbai. We are seeing a lot of interest from the Indian students for the oil and gas management programme.

Are you targeting a specific number of students in India?
There is no thumb rule here. At any given point in time we have at least 10-15 Indian students on our campus in Aberdeen pursuing full-time management programmes. After Nigeria, we get maximum interest from Indian students. We offer full-time courses, part-time courses and distant learning programmes. Overall, we have 200 students. In the full-time programme, we have two courses — the generic MBA and the Oil and gas management. The two full-time courses put together will have a capacity of sixty students and we don't want to increase the number. Oil and gas management is a specially designed course and we want to have only thirty students every year for it.

Isn't Rs. 13 lakh (Rs. 1.3 million) for your MBA course pretty expensive? And, what about placements?
Well, we offer scholarships too. The maximum we offer in scholarships is a waiver of half of the course fee and the minimum scholarship is £3,000. For the management programme in oil and gas our fee is Rs. 13 lakhs but for the standard management course it is Rs. 12 lakhs (Rs. 1.2 million). Students should have minimum three years of job experience in management-related fields. However, the average work experience of our students is six years. They study core management subjects and then they tailor the degree themselves by choosing electives in the second part of the first nine months. In the last three months they take up assignments with companies. They complete the project and submit a report by early September which is the final element of their degree. We have a 100 per cent placement record. Since, the MBA programme is for students with work experience, placement is not an issue with them.

What made you market this programme in India?
The MBA in oil and gas management is specifically tailored for the need of the oil and gas sector. With the energy market in India growing, companies like Cairn Energy and other international energy giants, are creating job opportunities for people. Here, a management degree in oil and gas will benefit the Indian students by not only exposing them to a world of opportunities but also give them a degree which will qualify them to work anywhere in the world. No one in the UK offers an MBA specifically for this sector. Aberdeen, UK, is the capital of oil and gas in Europe with an unending demand for skilled people. The programme is designed to provide experienced practitioners in the oil and gas sector with advanced business, management and leadership skills needed to function at a strategic level as a contemporary energy manager. There are hotspots for the industry in West Asia, Brazil, and Australia.

Do you plan to open an India centre?
No. We work in India through our agents. We go from city to city to select the right candidate. We recruit from any or all of them. At this stage we don’t intend to open an office. I am sure the Indian students also want to benefit from mixing with students from other nations.

Source: Business Standard, April 21, 2011

1 comment:

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