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MBA specialisations: The road less travelled

Archana Mohan & Chitra Unnithan  |  Ahmedabad 

Whistling Woods International, an initiative of acclaimed film maker Subhash Ghai, is introducing a two year MBA degree in Media and Entertainment, for the first time in India, in association with

The two year MBA programme in Media & Entertainment will have specialisation in Film, Broadcasting, New and Interactive Media and Event The first year of the programme would be conducted at the campus in Bangalore, covering all general subjects and media case studies.

The second year of the programme will consist of a hands-on training at the Whistling Woods premises located at Film City, Mumbai. The MBA in Media & Entertainment will be granted by on completion of the course.

The country is witnessing the coming up of many B-schools, offering interesting courses in programmes. After the Indian Institutes of Management, the country is all set to welcome the first Indian institute of Vine and Wine.

To be set up by the University of Adelaide, Australia, in association with India's largest wine-making company, Champagne Indage, the institute will be set up on a 100 acre land with an investment of Rs 100 crore near Pune. The degree will be awarded by University of Adelaide and would be valid all over the world.

"This will help the industry to provide with trained technicians, laboratory workers, wine makers and viticulturists to work for the growing Indian wine market," said S G Chougule, chairman, Indage Group of Companies.

Young enthusiasts with a knack for business but not willing to pursue a regular MBA are getting attracted towards these more specialised courses, which offer an opportunity to follow their passion, besides earning the degree.

The booming oil and gas industry, where the requirement of trained professionals is at its peak, has led the government and corporates to set up full-fledged universities in petroleum management. After University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun, the Gujarat government promoted Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) has launched Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU) at Gandhinagar.

The university has received support from Mukesh Ambani, CMD of Reliance Industries, who has accepted the post of the university's first president. Encouraged by the response to these educational institutions, the government has decided to set up the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology.

The university would be set up with an estimated capital cost of Rs 435 crore which would be met partially through budgetary support of Rs. 285 crore and Rs.150 crore from the Oil Industry Development Board.

While the trend may be new to India, universities abroad are already taking the demand for niche MBA quite seriously. Universities abroad offer a variety of MBA specialisations at top business schools, where you can choose from Corporate Social Responsibility to Wine Management to even Football Management.

While the University of Liverpool's MBA (Football Industries) has given marketing executives to the football industry, San Diego State University, in association with San Diego Padres, offers an MBA in Sports Business Management. As a graduate of this MBA programme, the students are expected to join the ranks of sports managers, marketers, and team consultants.

Back home, industry insiders attribute the emerging trend to the unique demands of the growing economy. Talking about the need for this unique specialisation, Meghna Ghai Puri, president of Whistling Woods, says, "The film industry is very unique and it is growing, with a lot of corporates like Birlas and Ambanis investing in the media industry today.

The managers and leaders of our country also need to learn about media and entertainment in order to know what is expected of them from the industry. So, while Manipal University will give lessons on MBA, we plan to give media inputs to the students. A specialisation is very important in MBA, as it gives a headstart in the industry one is going to work in."

Besides the MBA badge, a specialist MBA can give the students a helping hand in their career. For instance, Hyderabad-based Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance (IIBF), which currently offers online diploma programmes in Islamic banking and finance has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of Hyderabad to work on the possibility of offering a two year Post Graduate Degree in Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance.

Dean of IIBF, M A Majeed Zubair, who is all set to commence the two year management course, attributes the creation of such a programme to a lack of any such programme in the country. "Atleast 14 students this year, who are studying for their post graduate mangement studies at the IIMs in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, IIPM and other top institutes have parallely taken up our Post Graduate Diploma in Islamic Banking and Finance due to the tremendous potential in the Islamic Finance domain in India, " said M A Majeed Zubair.

The industry is more than willing to lap up students with specialisations. "Since there are very few qualified instructors on Islamic finance in India, we have to invite international scholars and Islamic law practitioners from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Malaysia, "said Zafar Sareshwala, Director of Ahmedabad-based Parsoli Corporation, which launched India's first Islamic index.

First Published: Wed, June 11 2008. 00:00 IST