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'Marketing MBA better than finance MBA'

July 14, 2005

The MBA degree is hotter than ever.

But have you considered which specialisation is the best?

illustrationWe threw open the discussion and received a barrage of responses from Get Ahead readers.

Some vouched for marketing, some for finance, some sat on the fence, others had off-beat perspectives to offer.

Here are some examples:

I believe marketing is important and more critical than finance in any business activity. Even the success of financial services (like banking and insurance) and products like loans and creditcards are dependent on how well they are marketed as there is not much difference in the interest rates and charges.
We can see how certain new generation banks like ICICIhavesucceeded in their marketing programmes. Though one cannot undermine the importance of finance, it is marketing that is essential for the success of any business enterprise.
As for job opportunities, the initial jobs are almost equally good in both streams. As one gets more experience, senior positions in finance generally demand additional professional qualifications like CA, CS, ICWAI and CFA. In the case of marketing,experience andresults matter --not additional qualifications.
-- K Srinivas, BITS Pilani, 1995

The big debate is not which one is better; it should be: what is the aptitude of the candidate? People who have an eye for detail and are research-oriented can go for a finance MBA, while those who have excellent communication skills and have an outgoing personality should opt for marketing.

The best choice according to me is neither finance nor marketing -- it should HR!
With an increased focus on people issues, HR guys have everything going for them. It is a fact that entry level jobs in HR are pathetic but, after twoor three years in the profession, one will findenough opportunities. There is an ever increasing demand for experienced HR professionals.
In fact, in the long run, they have much higher compensation levels/ better positions in management as compared to either marketing or finance.

What are the qualities one should have to make it big in HR? One would obviously need patience and perseverance. Someone who is passionate about resolving people issues will be the right candidate for pursuing a career in HR.
-- Raghav Rao, chief editor, HRudaya (montly e-zine by HRinIndia)

I thinka holistic business perspectivecomes fromexposure to all areas -- finance, marketing, operations, strategy, etc.

I guess this is whylearning is so comprehensive in those business schools where there is no rigid classification of subject areas into 'majors' and 'minors'. I think a B-school participant should get a chance to pick and choose subjects from different areas (finance, marketing, etc) and get an ideal mix for himself/ herself.

As they say, the big picture matters the most. The added advantage of having a balanced mix of electives is that one has the option to evaluate and choose from a diverse range of career options (say from FMCG sales to I-Banking).

One last thing -- I think this debate should also include systems as an option -- it should be finance vs marketing vs systems. Now, that would really motivate the systems guys to pour in their thoughts.

-- Anupam, IIM Indore, class of 2005. Currently assistant manager, CRM & Analystics, Mahindra British Telecom

The question is not 'which is better', but 'which is more popular'. The reason behind this is that the relative value of each MBA changes according to the type of market and its condition.

Is finance better than marketing? The answer is yes and no, as finance seems a better option in today's situation where the stock market is optimistic.

Finance people -- the bean counters, as they are called -- areviewed as pessimists. They will always tell you why the company should NOT go for theproposed plans. On the other hand, the marketing people -- the optimists -- will have no doubts about the success of these plans.

Hence, it's not strange that we always see F and M people coming out of meetings fighting with each other. But the moment onedoubts (as F people do)a well-planned step (which F people have), one is out of the market.

To drive home my point, in many a monopolistic and cost-driven market, the sharpest tool is finance. However, one should not forget every effort is being made all over the world to have competitive markets by restructuring these monopolistic markets (the electricity market in India, for example). So the name of the game is marketing rather than finance.

Every wannabe manager should keep inmind that an MBA in finance gives you the tools to analyse and expand your market, but not the marketing skills and tactics necessary for increasing your output.

Are you listening guys? The 'mind game' is going to stay, not 'mind calculation'.

-- Niraj Kumar, MBA -- Power Management. Currently with NPTI.

I don't think there is a need to have a debate on which specialisation is the best. Why forgotthey both arepart of management and hold different functions and styles without which nothing will work?

As for the clearer picture, one also needs to consider the thumb rule while getting a job -- what your ambitions are and what you have todo when choosing a specialisation.

The MBA you choose should alsodepend on your personal ability. If you are good at number-crunching, have a flair for juggling numbers and think you can manage the party well, then finance is the job for you. If you are creative and have a zeal to sell, then there's no doubt you should be in marketing. So you have to really assess yourself before you decide on your specialisation.

As far as the pay packet is concerned, it all really depends on whom you work for. If you are working for an Indian firm, chances are you would earn a little less than your counterpart at an MNC. But, again, that depends on the size of the company and your designation.

-- Deepak Patel, BBA, final year, Vivekanand Institute of Mgt Studies & Science, Aurangabad

What's your take? Is a finance MBA better than a marketing MBA? Or will any kind of MBA do? Do let us know.

Don't forget to add your age, educational qualification, the institute/university where you studied, what you are doing at present and your contact number.

The last date for sending in your views is July 20. E-mail us now!

Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 28

Sub: why narketing and why not?

i think mrketing is the best option to read rhen comparing to others but only for read as u read a interesting books but when ...

Posted by abhishek singh

Sub: MBA (Finance) or MS(Finance)

Please do brief me upon the differences between MBA(Finance) and MS(Finance).which is a better option to do ?

Posted by Rakesh

Sub: I am Surprised at all of you ????

Man all of you are saying marketing... Marketing ... marketing and all I am reading is good communication skills and sales .sales ... sales... Some ...

Posted by Bilal Ahmed

Sub: I more preferd to marketing than finance

Dear guys,when iam in MBA i gone through dual specilisation ie..fin & mktg. mY prefer always go throug mktg rather than fin.Because of is to ...

Posted by Shrinivas Daroji

Sub: Marketing Vs finance

Now a days i can see the individuals who has completed finance ,HR and computer science chooses their career as marketing.TO visit various companies and ...

Posted by T.Mahesh


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