Impact of CoViD-19 on MBA Students

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Impact of CoViD-19 on MBA Students

In the past few months, from sharing memes on CoViD-19, to the time it instilled fear in my heart when I saw empty roads and public places, I think a lot has changed and a lot is going to change soon. Let’s be a part of this global case study encompassing economics, science and politics.

Here we will take a look at how CoViD-19 will affect the 2020, ‘21 and ‘22 batches of MBA.  But before that let’s identify the sectors that have been worst hit by the pandemic – Automotive, Transportation, FMCG, IT, and Banking. The IT sector is mainly dependent on exports and clients like the US, which themselves are impacted badly. Employees in IT will need to develop skills accordingly and improve collaboration while working from home or else they’ll be hit the most.

BFSI is indirectly involved in everything, as falling demands and reduced cash supply will force people to default or reschedule loans. And we have monetary and fiscal policies at hand, but they are also interdependent on a large number of unknown-unknowns including global supply chains, oil prices, and socio-political environment that may take concrete shape after the pandemic is over. We also have some sectors which will bloom like pharmaceuticals, edu-tech startups, and e-commerce firms (provided they ensure high levels of hygiene).

With international organizations and leading consulting firms being marginally positive on the growth of India (because it is a consumption-based economy) than the rest of the world we can see better turnaround in later years.

Now let’s have a look at how the situation will affect the MBA graduates.

The 2020 Batch

The Bad

I believe this batch will face the strongest headwinds. There are already a number of sectors which have announced compulsory unpaid leaves and many are trying to cut down on costs. Given the scenario, I believe that there are chances of current offers being deferred to next year – second rounds of salary negotiations may even take place. This will also involve a major shift in roles and responsibilities as they will get blurred, and due to the economic slowdown, people might have to handle multiple dimensions.

The Good

I think this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the batch to add diversity to their skill sets, which will also help them in the long run, as this is expected to be the worst recession after 1930’s.

The 2021 Batch

Let’s shift the focus on current 2nd year students. I think the demand for Business Development Executives, Operations Managers and Marketing Professionals will increase and by the time they will start working, things would be much better. But because the sentiments are lower they will have to take the cut in terms of salary expectations and roles. In addition to that, some prominent firms have stopped hiring from the current year, so they may have to compromise on the choice of brand as well.

If the lockdown extends, there can be online classes and exams, a teaser of which we have already seen.

The 2022 Batch

I think by the time 2022 batch comes on-board, most of the effects of this pandemic would have been mitigated, and both the country, as well as the world economy, would be coming back in shape. In that scenario, some normalcy regarding placements can be witnessed. We might also expect better hiring prospects.

Common theme

I believe all these effects can be serious and far-reaching if the pandemic is not handled properly and, as the economy does not work in silos, repercussions could be huge.

This might have given you some idea about the after-effects of this pandemic. Till it recedes, stay safe and stay healthy.

 

 

Stories from the Field: FIM with a Medium Scale Enterprise

The Field Immersion Module (FIM) at IIMN is a 3-week long module that allows PGP students to get first-hand experience of how small and medium scale enterprise function, before taking up managerial roles in larger organizations, through summer internship and final placement. These enterprises are from different sectors like manufacturing, agribusiness, government and infrastructure and rural development, and are based in different regions of Maharashtra such as Nagpur, Aurangabad and Nashik. They are either for-profit or not-for-profit organizations. Students are given a chance beforehand to choose their areas of interest. This programme is quite helpful, not only for inexperienced students but also for experienced students who get the opportunity to work in an entirely new domain.

My partner and I started our FIM with NICE Imports, which is a partnership firm and a subsidiary of NICE Software Solutions, located in IT Park, Nagpur. NICE Imports acts as a third party helping in the smooth import process of different grades of waste paper from suppliers outside India to paper mills in India. Since it was a new experience, it was quite surreal for me but on the other hand, I was excited about the new experience.

Before FIM officially started, my partner and I visited the partner organization to learn about our problem statements and discuss their expectations from us. Subsequent to that, we divided our three-week schedule in such a way that we devoted the first few days to understanding the business process followed by the organization. In the next two days, we initiated one-on-one interactions with all the employees to understand the bottlenecks they faced in the current process. The second week was completely dedicated to gaining hands-on experience by working on their software platform and getting a thorough understanding of the documentation they deal with on a daily basis. The last week was much more invested in working out all possible options to remove the bottlenecks we explored through primary and secondary research, and preparation of our final presentations.

While most of us have worked in organizations prior to joining IIMN, obtaining an insider’s perspective into the working of small and medium enterprises was a new learning, that we got from the FIM. It allowed me to apply the knowledge I had gained in the first two terms, to real-life scenarios, and enabled me to draw valuable learnings from it.

Stories from the Field: FIM with a Farmer Producer Organization

I believe that continuous application and testing of the concepts which we learn, enhance our learning experience. I consider myself lucky to be a part of such a learning experience. For my field immersion module (FIM), I worked for a start-up working on onion issues in Nashik. The start-up was headed by a team of young entrepreneurs who have the drive to work on social issues and provide solutions through innovation.

Through my FIM, I got the exposure of the onion crop value chain and the various players involved in it. I got an opportunity to work with a farmer producer organization (FPO), which is offering support to the farmers in the Nashik region by assisting them with the production techniques to be used and also with the procurement of the produce.
While working for the problem statement, I had regular discussions with my partner, and we identified a few markets which can provide multiple revenue options to the farmers. After thorough research, we also proposed a waste management method that is feasible and can add value to the firm and farmers. We also helped the firm with social media promotions and budget estimations.

As the firm I was working for was a start-up, it was operating under a start-up-incubator that had been guiding the firm since its inception. The start-up incubator had a great culture where anyone with a business idea could turn it into a viable product through their guidance and support. It was a great experience for me because of the daily interactions I had with the innovators in the incubator. It ignited a spark in me to work on an idea that I have and turn it into a business solution (which I am currently working on).

As I mentioned in the beginning, FIM has provided me with a platform to apply and test the concepts I had learned in the classroom. It has given me the confidence required to survive in the business world.