In an interview with M Saraswathy, Sangeet Chowfla, President & CEO, GMAC talks about the rationale behind this agreement and the way forward for GMAC. Excerpts:
GMAC already has GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) under its ambit. What was the reason behind taking over NMAT?
We have been looking at the domestic market in India and have realised that the market for management entrance tests is fragmented. There are number of examinations that are conducted and these tests are primarily for the objective of elimination. They are not inclusive and many including women check-out of the system since they feel that they have no chance of getting in.
NMIMS developed the NMAT and it is psychometric technique based and also diverse than the other tests in the Indian market. It may not be perfect but is better than the other rests and already six other business schools have said that they will accept the 'NMAT by GMAC' scores.
'NMAT by GMAC' is a perfect example of the call for 'Make in India' by the Indian government. This involves us investing in an existing asset in India. We have made significant investments, not just in the initial acquisition but also in the candidate marketing, physical events to explain the benefits of management education in under-represented communities, especially those in the arts and undergraduate community.
Going forward, we would look at making the scores valid for five years similar to what us available for the GMAT exam. We will continue to enhance the test, be it through a longer testing window, by having a longer validity for the scores and providing online access to the test scores for the schools. We will continue to make new investments in new testing programmes and also look at expanding 'NMAT by GMAC' into other institutes in the emerging world and not just domestically.
Across the world, we are seeing a resurgence of MBA and even some markets that had seen some recession have come back strong. There is a direct correlation between growth intent and hiring MBAs in companies. There is a resurgence in demand due to the global recovery in economic growth.
GMAC would be happy to find mechanisms to collaborate on other such available tests in the management space. With this first formal agreement, we have shown that we are committed to be relevant to India and its management education space.
In testing year 2014 (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014), 28,325 test takers took the test in India. There is a 12 per cent increase in the number of GMAT test takers from TY 2013 to TY 2014.