Why B-School Ranking Surveys are important?

  • Mr. A. Sudhakar, Head Human Capital & CSR - Dabur
  • Oct 30th, 2017
Why B-Schools ranking surveys  are important

To understand the importance of B-School ranking surveys, let’s look at it from various stakeholders’ perspective, and even before coming to that, It will be important to understand the present situation in India. With more than 2000 B-Schools in the country, it is increasingly difficult for the stakeholders to come to a logical and data based conclusion. If we discount the top 20 B-Schools in the country, there is a high amount of opacity and thus there are higher chances of a decision going wrong. Considering aspirants and parents, when they plan about taking admission in a particular B-School, there are chances that they may be mislead by infrastructure or the various appealing advertisements. Thus, in order to enable fair decision process for them, the B-School ranking surveys play an important role. Looking from corporate recruiter’s view point, once again the sheer number of B-Schools in the country today are mind boggling. Forget about the hitherto unknown colleges, even the burgeoning number has made it difficult to comment with conviction about the new IIMs. 
Further within the corporates also there are old companies like Dabur, TATAs, Birlas, which by their sheer history of campus engagement over decades have developed their own insights about the quality of a campus. On the other hand, for new companies on block, they don’t have even these legacy insights to help them decide on campus hiring plans. For them the various B-School ranking surveys play an extremely critical role to help them shortlist the campuses. Even for old companies when we go beyond tier 1 campuses, the fast changing dynamics forces us to rely on B-School ranking surveys. 

Mr. Ambati Sudhakar, Head – Human Capital & CSR in Dabur India Limited

About Mr. Ambati Sudhakar: Mr. Ambati  Sudhakar is designated as Head – Human Capital & CSR in Dabur India Limited, fourth largest FMCG Company with annual turnover of over Rs. 8000 Crores.  His current role involves overseeing the HR function in overseas entities of Dabur spanning continents of Asia, Africa, Europe and Americas where Dabur has presence both in manufacturing and marketing of its products.  He is part of the Management Committee (Mancom) of the company. 

Mr. Sudhakar has done his Masters Degree in Social Work from Delhi School Of Social Work, Delhi University. Besides this, he has completed his Bachelors Degree in Law from Delhi University and Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations from Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan. Mr. Sudhakar is also a Certified ICC-International Coach, accredited by International Coaching Community. Mr. Sudhakar has over 40 years of professional experience spanning in companies like Ranbaxy, Ernst & Young and Dabur besides others.  

Career2NextOrbit: What as per you should be the few parameters B-School ranking agencies should keep in mind while evaluating campuses?

Wearing my recruiter hat, the first and foremost factor is the grooming process of students which is externally manifested by the intellectual capital and academic excellence of a B-School. When I refer to these 2 terms, I mean that the quality of faculty plays a paramount role. However, what also plays an important role is the way students are groomed towards corporate readiness with live projects, summer internship, corporate led workshop, application oriented courses, etc. 

Taking an example in specific context of Dabur, if I come across a Sales and Marketing student who is unaware about digital marketing or unable to appreciate e-commerce players as a challenge, I have serious doubt about his/her grooming process. 

The next most important point is the input quality as this also determines the level of peer learning and healthy competition which will exist in a B-School resulting in win-win proposition for all. 

That is why we even prefer to hire top 5%ilers from relatively low ranked B-Schools than picking up middle %ilers from a higher ranked B-School.

Career2NextOrbit: Sir, in that case, what are your views about the importance of leadership in a B-School?

When I talk about the quality and involvement of faculty, you need to appreciate that they are driven by top leadership of Dean and Directors in their respective institutes. Unless and until an institute is ably guide it and provide it a vision by the leader, the individual faculty cannot do anything. It is a cascading effect where in the Director/Dean, must lead from the front. Any casual behavior, or callousness at the top is bound to seep into the system and will have damaging effects. 

Career2NextOrbit: What are your views about present day rankings in the country? And in specific about NHRDN B-School ranking of which you have been an integral part since inception?

It is not easy to comment on B-School rankings in general as most of them are carried out by good publications/newspapers. However, I would like to share in greater detail about NHRDN ranking which I have seen from very close quarters. To be honest, when we were doing it for the first time, even I had my own set of apprehensions but thanks to the collective wisdom of corporate and academia greats like Mr Dwarakanath, Dr Pritam Singh, Dr Rajeev Dubey and others, very soon it has evolved to be a very robust and structured process. With the decision makers from industry being an integral part of it, it has been easy to integrate their suggestions almost on a real time basis. The validation visits of the research team accompanied by corporate stalwarts have been a clear differentiator and have evoked confidence among all stakeholders. Last but not the least, NHRDN with its member base of almost 15000 top professionals is a right platform to carry out this study. However, I would also like to share that one area where we need to work more is about increasing the visibility of this ranking process and to let everyone know how thorough and robust the entire research process is. 

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