Focus on academic rigor: Arvind Agarwal
A credible ranking will make employers more efficient in terms of where to invest our time and effort
The rankings that are available at present are not credible enough for the industry as there is often a commercial consideration attached to most rankings in India. This is quite clear in the way B-school ranks move up and down in subsequent rankings. As a result, most of us employers depend primarily on the ‘reputation of a B-school’ when short-listing campuses for placements. This reputation is mostly perception-driven and therefore, we waste a lot of time in identifying the most appropriate B-school for our business. In the absence of a credible ranking system, there is no option, but to visit and hire from the school, given its brand and high reputation in the country. For an employer, the top three criteria for choosing a B-school include academic rigor, corporate orientation and leadership development. Therefore, a credible ranking must provide appropriate information on these criteria to help employers make a more informed decision.
Many B-schools in India are more focused towards money making and placing students and this has led to academics being given the last priority by both students as well as the teachers. However, academic rigor is most essential for a great B-school, which is indicated by the student-teacher ratio and the quality of teachers. Secondly, B-schools must have corporate consideration indicated by the collaborations with leading organizations, quality of internships, quality of corporate projects and the opportunity to interact with industry professionals. And thirdly, there must be emphasis on leadership development. Today, employers choose a B-school on the basis of its branding or the general perception about a particular B-school. A credible ranking will help in identifying even a tier II institute, which is doing well and caters to developing the kind of candidates that we look for. A credible ranking will help in making employers more efficient in terms of where to invest our time and effort.