Many kids or most kids should I say aspire to do their MBA. Sadly the MBA degree in India has too damn high a standard deviation. From the top range IIMs to the ones at the bottom, the gap is too much.

The question is – if you are doing your MBA or have done your MBA, what are the things that you can/ must learn to keep yourself  “employable” ?

Let us look at some skills:

Economics: Happily or sadly basic economics -Microeconomics – supply, demand, pricing, costing …etc. are basic managerial skills that you need to learn. Unfortunately the MBA syllabus includes this in a very small proportion, and the importance is rarely brought out to the kids. So when a MBA passes out, he can throw a lot of jargon, but cannot understand basic economics. It is a must and will hold you in good stead as you go on in life.

Mathematics and Statistics of Business: When your boss says we need a 50% margin – you need to understand that to get a 50% margin on sales, costs have to be increased 100%! Simple things like telling a client ‘Sir we cannot give you a 10% discount, but we will absorb the Service Tax in the bill’ is so damn stupid,    and sadly I have seen some kids do it. So to understand costs, adding up, inventory costs of slow/non moving stocks sitting in the godown….you need to understand basic business maths and statistics. 

Costing: Sad again, but I have met many cost accountants who are unable to value a service – or price it. How to quote for a service is something which cost accountants with 3 years experience have struggled with. This is sad, and not at all acceptable, so go and learn your basics of Costing. It is an absolute MUST.

 Communications: Many of the kids think that communication skills means making a good ppt and being able to read from the slides. Sorry good communication comes from knowing the subject. If you are going for a meeting with say Tata Motors knowing that Nano has not done as well as they expected, knowledge of brand names of JLR cars, the fact that Ta Mo results are good because of China sales, ….are BASIC which help you carry on a conversation. It hardly matters whether you are selling an XBRL software for its return filing or designing new visiting cards. 

Financial Planning and Financial Management: if you are an operations or marketing major, please remember that the data will come to you from an accountant in his speak. So learn his language if you have to speak / communicate to him. As you go higher in life you will hear more such speak like ‘Return on net worth’  kind a words. It helps you largely look at ‘Reward to Effort Ratio’. Once you learn this life may become easier even when you are seeing the sales data on an aggregated basis – and you will know which ratios to concentrate on!

Excel, Power Point, MS office, Other tools: Many business tools like CRM kinda software is quite popular, and sadly companies do not include teaching you all this during the induction. If you come well prepared (most people do have better rudimentary knowledge than what we had, but learning formally WILL give you a huge edge). If you are looking for a job as a research analyst, a lot of data crunching abilities will be called for – the better you are at it, the better.


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  1. True,

    I agree with subra.
    I am from IT, i did PGDM, but it has given very low ROI on the investment i did for doing PGDM.

    I also personally believe business maths. & statistics are very basic essential skill for a MBA candidate should have.

  2. Dr M Chandrashekhar

    My experience. Promoters who sink big money in their ventures believe only on MBAs, even in Healthcare. IIT/IIM or MBA from US.

    One of my bosses, CEO of our Hospital,was MBA in HR with 25 years in ICI ( Paint Industry) & no experience in Hospitals & Healthcare. He was quite lost initially but learnt the trick of the trade fast in 6 months & became fluent in medical terminologies & we started calling him Dr–

  3. I have met MBAs who communicate like this:

    “The Ashok has passed MBA from Kanpur University and the Sunil has passed from IIT”

    Horrible communication and emailing skills, but very cunning and devious to the point of cheating on the sales talk.

  4. very true.
    i have also done mba from a college claiming to be ranked 40th in india by businessworld. but the practical knowledge was far less.
    the universities preparing the syllabus just try to put everything into mba, with some very basic things not focussed well.

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