IIM Kozhikode to launch MBA in liberal studies and management

IIM Kozhikode to launch MBA in liberal studies and management


NEW DELHI: IIM-Kozhikode will start a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) program in Liberal Studies and Management next year, in what is perhaps a first among the country’s premier management schools.

The full-time two-year management course will give students a grounding in subjects like philosophy, economics, literature and sociology, said IIM-K director Debashis Chatterjee.

The program, which will start in June next year, will accept 20-25 students in its first batch. “The world is changing very quickly… it requires people to decode culture and technology. Data needs to be made sense of,” said Chatterjee.

The program would merge the job-worthiness of an MBA program with the academic rigour of a master’s degree at a university, the director said.

“What is expected from managers in the market is now changing,” said Narayanan Ramaswami, partner and head (education and skill development), KPMG India. The market needs managers who can bring in the “softer” elements of management – like how to work with machines and people together, stress management, etc.

Earlier, managers needed to extract efficiency from their teams, but now there are machines to do ultra-efficient tasks. Ramaswami said such courses are bound to be developed, and, in fact, “a dose of liberal arts” is needed in all MBA courses.

Instead of just teaching tools and techniques, the program would aim to teach students how to think. It will equip students to think critically and deconstruct data by orienting them in history, philosophy and sociology. “We want a synthesis of pure academic knowledge and its application in industry,” he said.

There were “murmurs in the market” that people with specialised skills who can think out of the box are needed, he said. The institute was aiming to be “future-ready” by developing fresh talent that the market had not yet explicitly asked for, but will in future, Chatterjee said.

Clearing the Common Admission Test, or CAT, or GMAT will be one of the eligibility criteria for the course, but with other selection criteria being different from regular MBA programs.

IIM-K will also introduce an MSc program in finance in 2020. Chatterjee said current MBA programmes are not in-depth enough, and the institute wanted to “create a classical banking and financial brain” in students through the program.

This, too, would be a two-year program with a small cohort. The director said the the curriculum for both courses has already been decided, with international consultations.

The institute has already started recruiting faculty for both courses, with ex-faculty from Oxford, Visva Bharati University and other universities from the United States being roped in.

KPMG’s Ramaswami said that the finance element of banking had now become important, and very few universities offered banking-led courses. He said more banking curriculum needed to be introduced in commerce courses as well.