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Sunday, September 7, 2008

MBA in Spain

IESE intensifies its Indian student ties

Aassociate professor at Spain's IESE Business School, University of Navarra, talks about the school's MBA programme and a steady increase in applications from India

In 2005, the IESE Business School beat its peers to emerge at the top of the Economist Intelligence Unit's annual ranking of full-time MBA programmes. Since then the school has seen a steady stream of MBA-aspirants from India make a beeline to its hallowed gates.Today IESE gets six applicants per-seat and as far as Indian applicants are concerned, the ratio is 25:1.

Velamuri, who has taught at the IESE for four years and is currently at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), China on a leave of absence from the former, is not surprised at the increase in interest. If anything, he says, it should have come sooner as IESE has been consistently figuring among the top 10 B-schools worldwide. Besides, there is another reason as to why IESE has finally opened up to Indian students. "In the past, the school wasn't very confident of placing Indians as labour laws in continental Europe were, and continue to be, quite difficult," explains Velamuri.

Unlike in the US, where an MBA student can get an OPT (occupational professional training permit) that allows him to work for a year, in Europe the company that hires a student has to sponsor him or her for a work permit. This is a lengthy process. "We are constantly saying that this is a mistake and that we should actually encourage human capital to stay in the country," says Velamuri, adding: "But despite that, today, we feel more confident of placing Indian students." And for good reason too, as the global demand for Indian MBA students has gone up. "Now, we can easily place them in either investment banks in London or consulting firms elsewhere in the world, or even back home in India because the salary difference between India and Europe is no longer as big as it used to be," states Velamuri.

IESE is also working towards intensifying its engagements with India and other emerging markets. "We already have a partnership with the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, for the 'Inside India Executive Education Programme'. Further, for the second class of our 'Global EMBA Programme' we are planning to launch a two-week module in India," informs Velamuri. The Global EMBA will now have five modules in Spain, one in New York and one in India.

Also on the anvil is an Emerging Markets Centre (EMC). "The centre will focus more on practice and not so much on emerging market research, as there are already a number of centres across the world, both in business schools and otherwise, that are generating some very good research on emerging markets both, at a micro and macro level," says Velamuri. The EMC will focus on developing courses on emerging markets that can be included in the MBA curriculum and on developing short-term executive programmes on emerging markets.

Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group

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