“An increase in 2.18 lakhs applications in CAT 2015 was not for nothing,” says Dr. Kamal Ghosh Ray, Director VJIM 

Dr. Kamal Ghosh Ray, Director, VJIM is a much-respected name in the world of academia and an expert in the field of management education. Given his years of experience, he has seen the industry evolve, the economy go through its ups and downs, and management education adapt accordingly. Hence it’s interesting to know his take on avenues for management students in today’s global market and buzzing economic scenario. In this interview he offers valuable insights for management aspirants who can shape their futures by making the right start of enrolling for a top notch program from a reputed institute.

Right at the onset Dr. Ray shatters the myth the number of applicants for CAT and thereby management programs, is decreasing in the recent years. He clears the air as he says, “Decisions of management aspirants are more informed and independent of parental influences. There is also an increase in potential management candidates choosing to work rather than study further, which means only seriously interested candidates are opting for management programs today. And in spite of above reasons, the number of CAT applicants has increased to 2.18 lakh candidates for 2015.”

Dr. Ray also cites the NASSCOM Start Up report 2014, which states that there are 3100 start ups in India, which is now the third largest hub of entrepreneurs. A large number of these start-ups are promoted by graduates. But according to him, the important element to remember is that management education itself has evolved tremendously in the last couple of years. “Earlier it was more about learning Western theories to have a global horizon but now we are utilizing global practices in the local context. Today, western authors writing management books have an Indian co-author, which stresses on the growth and focus on local context,” he adds.

Talk to him about the opportunities for management professionals in the future and pat comes the reply, “Two industries are experiencing major business disruption; publishing and teaching. They are seeing the impact of digitalization, which I have seen closely being a part of these industries. As management education evolves, the brick and mortar B Schools will thrive as long as they make the most of the technological advancements and use them to create an experiential learning environment for students.” Dr. Ray also believes the trend of working executives joining management programs in large numbers will also be prevalent in the near future.

As far as the placements are concerned, Dr. Ray reminds aspirants that Finance and Operations functions are becoming more focused and specialized. While these streams dominate placements, offers from start-up companies have also increased. But he believes one area that needs to catch up with the West is Indian Management Journals. “They are still in nascent stages and thus don’t attract best papers. That’s why top B School professors choose to publish in international journals. But that will also change after Indian journals start getting listed in internationally recognized databases,” he ends on a hopeful note.