What Is Your Reason For An MBA?

The biggest drawback of the Indian mentality is evaluating every decision with a pure tangible return on investment. Unfortunately, this also extends to the education system and the decisions we make related to education. MBA is the most prominent victim of this mentality. With even the B-Schools succumbing to this undeterred Indian mentality by making placement statistics their unique selling point and also inflating them using a lot of creativity, it has become a norm to look at the MBA decision from the pure perspective of how much the starting salary will be after 2 years vis-a-vis what it is right now.

Hence, it becomes necessary to be sure about why you want to do an MBA. The most common reasons why people do an Indian MBA are as follows:


If it is purely for a salary bump, then it might work for a few years but will not be sustainable beyond that as no amount of money will be enough. Also, the chances of being disinterested in the job and being solely interested in how much it pays are very high which will affect your salary raise. So it is not a wise choice if you are doing it only for the money; unless you want to follow Chetan Bhagat’s strategy of using MBA as a backup option of earning money and then following a profession like writing which will not guarantee you monetary returns.

The Pursuit of Challenging Work:

Many people are dissatisfied with the kind of roles offered to them based on their current qualifications. They wish to pursue more challenging roles for which MBA is mandatory and there is no way to circle around it. So if you want to change your line of work completely and try something new, then this is a viable option. However, it is advisable to have significant knowledge of the kind of roles that you will get post-MBA and whether any of them really interest you (since the cost involved in an MBA is pretty high).

Frustrated with Current Work:

This is very common in India especially with IT engineers who are bored of their coding job. They are so frustrated that they are willing to do anything to escape from the unending tyranny of their job. So they pursue an MBA with the hope that the grass will be greener on the other side. This also works out in most cases as the work you get post-MBA is challenging and dynamic with an adequate compensation. And in most cases, the hatred for the current job is motivation enough to ensure high commitment towards MBA.


Then there are the rare few who have always wanted to do an MBA. They like pretty much everything about this profession including the lifestyle, the money, the status, the job roles, the challenging work, etc. But what separates them from the rest is that they are more excited about the 2 years of the course than about the life after those 2 years. And if you are in this category, then there is no convincing you out of doing an MBA!

It is futile to ponder over the cost-benefit analysis of an MBA. If you are planning to do it from a Top 10 B-School, the loan will be repaid within a couple of years post-MBA. The number of doors that an MBA from a top institute opens for you are unparalleled in any other qualification in India. So if you make it to a top B-School using viz-a-viz strategy or with your hard work, dedication and are sure about which of the aforementioned categories you fall in, then you will not regret your decision irrespective of the cost-benefit analysis.

Amol Aranake

Chartered Accountant May 2016 IIM Bangalore PGP 2017-19


One comment

nishant vurla

Thank you so much Alok for such a wonderful article.
It really made me contemplate on my reason for MBA and now I am having a more clearer picture.
Please keep writing