MBA - one of the most prestigious and sought after degree in the world has seen a lot of depreciation in value in recent times - at least among us Indians. The MBA aspirants numbers in India have shown a steep fall and the general sentiment toward the degree is turning negative. A recent survey revealed that only 21 out of 100 management graduates in India are employable. Leading Digital entrepreneurs for one are having a gala time showing their distrust for MBA’s with job descriptions that showcase “Non-MBA” as a qualification.
A few possible reasons why digital entrepreneurs Hate MBAs:
- The Management Angle: MBA education is geared towards solving problems of large corporations with process driven outcomes. Startup environment is highly chaotic and ground level operations driven. MBA may take some time to adapt to this environment which the digital entrepreneurs detest.
- The Risk Angle: Entrepreneurs believe in things a lot of conventional thinkers don’t. MBAs are conventional thinkers, steady high achievers unlike entrepreneurs who thrive on highs and lows of creativity, risk and innovation.
- The CEO Angle: Digital enterprises are low investment, low barrier to entry markets. If the digital entrepreneur is a dropout or has no educational degree and has made it big without any higher education, he thinks the degrees are useless. How else could he become so successful otherwise?
- The VC Angle: Most digital entrepreneurs detest Venture capitalists and venture capital firms are filled with MBA’s. Draw the correlation there. ;)
- The Consultant Angle: MBAs crunch numbers analyze and do well as consultants than people who get their hands dirty and execute. Annkur Agarwal, Co-founder at Pricebaba.com said “MBAs think a lot of the bigger picture and lose ground reality. Any business has a future that it has to build, but the need of the hour can be different. Being a consultant instead of a problem solver is an issue.”
- The Course coverage Angle: It was only a few years back that prominent universities realized and integrated ‘Internet’ into the MBA Course structure; a reflection of which is the gap a Digital Entrepreneur sees, in the knowledge paradigm, while interviewing an MBA.
Guy Friedman, CEO, HigherNext.com said “Ignorance within digital entrepreneurs is the key reason. How many folks who criticize the MBA grad have actually looked at the programs, courses and experience? Academically, you actually learn a lot. Go sit through a finance, accounting and marketing class and see if it's all fluff for you. The myth of the "jargon head" who is an empty suit is largely false”.
However, there are numerous other digital entrepreneurs with a MBA degree who have made it large.
Ajit Balakrishnan – CEO, Rediff.com is an MBA from IIM Calcutta; Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Founder of Naukri.com is an IIM Ahmendabad alumnus and Satya Prabhakar of Sulekha.com fame is an MBA from the University of Florida.
If the digital entrepreneur and MBA synergy is to work, MBA’s need to work upon being more hands-on. The MBA may need to churn those ppts and excel sheets to show a realistic picture but also be as passionate as the founder entrepreneur and take the plunge blindly whenever required. Learning the digital language, multi-tasking and results driven execution at a fast pace are the need of the hour and today’s MBAs need to cope quickly with it in the start-up environment.
That being said, MBAs are highly competitive, career focused, super-achievers when compared to the average Joe. They enter the corporate world armed with excel skills, case study exposure, simulated environments and best practices. You may hate an MBA, you may love an MBA, but you can never ignore them and the way the track record of highly successful MBAs goes, you will embrace them with open arms as your business scales.
Kartik Raichura is a seasoned entrepreneur well known in the start-up circuit. Kartik founded ManagementParadise.com in 2004 with a hope to extend a helping hand to management students. He started working full time on Management Paradise from 2009. He has been a nominated judge for various business plan competitions, speaker at academic events and inaugurated e-cells at reputed B-schools. Kartik earned his PGDBM from Welingkar Institute (India) in 2009.
*Image Credit for Story Slide: Google Images