Currently, due to the catastrophe, campuses are shut and
admissions are deferred (on March 24, the government of India announced
nation-wide lockdown until April 14 which has been first extended till May 3,
2020 and second extension till May 17, 2020). Initial efforts at coordinating
the economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic across B-schools have been
uneven. The major impact has come on the summer internships and final
placements [i]. B-Schools
work on a two way perspective in India, on one side, they are expected to produce
high-quality business managers and leaders and on the other side, they need to earn
profits for themselves. Thus, their effective positioning amongst their
stakeholders is very important.
If we look at the successful strategic focus of Indian B-Schools, they
are also not much dis-similar to other global b-schools. Indian B-schools are
emphasizing on quality in their student intake, research, faculty recruitment,
placements, and acquisition of other resources. But, are all the 3000+ B-schools doing so? It
is not, only a handful of institutions (top 100 B-Schools in NIRF Ranking) may be
doing it. The B-schools may also have a question on if they do it, will they
If we look at the history of successful B-schools in India, they
are built on differentiated strategies. For example, IIM Ahmedabad is more
focused towards consulting, corporate training and foreign collaborations[ii], whereas,
IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta positioned themselves as research-oriented
B-Schools. If we look at the strategy of private B-Schools, they positioned
themselves based on international accreditations, mainly AACSB and AMBA. Indian
School of Business (ISB) was the first Indian B-School accredited by AACSB in
2011 followed by TAPMI in 2012. Currently, 14 Indian B-Schools are AACSB
Accredited out of which 10 are the private B-Schools[iii].
Simultaneously, Indian B-Schools are also racing to position themselves as
research-oriented B-Schools. Many B-Schools have started hosting their journals
with international publication houses and some are in the race of doing so.
There are two ways Indian B-Schools can position themselves –
School of National Importance: School
of national importance have an option to position themselves and compose
‘Market-Based’ or ‘Customer-Based’ value proposition based on their teaching
practices, salary packages, number of years in existence, alumni network.
International B-School located in India: International B-Schools are more based on ‘Competitor’s
positioning’ and have a different value proposition keeping global outlook in
mind. Recently, Indian B-Schools have started positioning themselves based on
Research, International Accreditations, and Knowledge Creation (Publication
The current situation is the right time for Indian B-Schools to
re-position and give a new outlook to themselves.