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Is an MBA right for you?
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March 28, 2007

Part I: Opting for online MBA? Read this!


Which is a better course -- MBA (Finance) or Chartered Accountancy (CA)?


According to Charanpreet Singh, associate dean, Praxis Business School, "If you wish to become an investment banker or a treasury operator, then you're better off with a Masters of Business Adminitration. But if you wish to stick to corporate finance and accounts, then chartered accountancy is great."


These and other related questions were answered by Singh during a chat on March 21.

For those who missed the chat, here's the transcript.



Usman asked, why is so much hype created for MBA?

Charanpreet answers, Dear Usman, good question. I really don't know why, but I do think this hype has to stop. I guess the current growth in the economy, huge demand for trained personnel and hefty pay packages have made MBAs popular.



prasannaail asked, Hi... am planning take up MBA course from ICFAI distance education learning....i finance...since am into accounts field it will help me in my career growth.

Charanpreet answers, Dear Prasanna, I think it will. If you haven't yet taken a final decision, maybe you should shop around a little more and see the global options for distance learning as well.


Somidh asked, is EPBM from IIM-Calcutta recognised by the industry for the working executives having only graduate degree ?

Charanpreet answers, Dear Somidh, yes it is.



manshu asked, Good evening Mr Charanpreet, My name is Himanshu and I have completed my MCA degree in 2004. I have been working since September 2003 and in last 3 and half years of my working I have seen my profile changing from a desk person to more a public face of my organisation. I have been handling client interaction internationally, involved in strategic partnership building etc. Right now I am looking for a career move and before that I am thinking of a formal B school training for which I have already short listed an executive course offered by IIMB on General Management Programme for IT Executives (GMITE). I am seeking for a suggestion as if I should go for this course at all? Will this course help me for getting a right kind of job etc?

Charanpreet answers, Dear Himanshu, you seem to have given this a lot of thought. I would suggest looking at an Executive MBA that is not just for IT executives, unless you wish to stay in IT all your life. But, if you are happy in the IT field, then I suggest you go for it.



imran asked, i am pursuing my PGP in finance and marketing. Tell me, with a full time experience in technical petrochemical field is it possible to get a job in the same field abroad?

Charanpreet answers, Dear Imran, I don't know which B-school you are pursuing this from and whether global companies visit your campus. In any case, you can apply on your own as well. The other way is to join an Indian company with interests abroad or a multinational company with Indian operations.



abhishek asked, Sir, if we compare MBA Finance with CA, which is better?


Charanpreet answers, Dear Abhishek, that depends totally on what you want to do in life and what interests you. If you wish to become an investment banker or a treasury operator, then you're better off with an MBA. But if you wish to stick to corporate finance and accounts, then chartered accountancy is great.



shweta asked, sir can u let me know which all b-schools in India accept GMAT score?


Charanpreet answers, Praxis Business School and the Indian School of Business. If you are a Non Resident Indian, even the Indian Institutes of Management accept a GMAT score. So do other B-schools.



Brij asked, What is expected from an MBA grad, say in a Marketing (Manufacturing) function?


Charanpreet answers, Dear Brij, I guess you mean marketing of industrial products. Well, for starters, the MBA graduate is expected to understand the fundamentals of industrial marketing, interpret industry and company data, make presentations to clients, understand the technology behind the products and articulate the same at various forums. He or she should also have the ability to work in a team.



muruli asked, Sir, I have passed out in 2002 as a mechanical engineer, then worked for 10 months. Completed 1 year PG course. After that joined a company through campus interview. Worked for 1 year in that company and joined another company. As I am not satisfied with the work, left that company and now working for a company, where I am ok with the kind of work I am doing. I want to get into management field. Have got good academics and extracurricular activities and doing social work and total work experience is 3+ My question is how far my profile is suitable for doing MBA.

Charanpreet answers, Dear Muruli, absolutely! The B-schools and the industry would be happy to have someone like you pursue an MBA. I say go for it.



gopiswaminathan asked, i have 15 yrs of IT experience and now Principal Systems Analyst in NIC, Govt of India. Can u tell me MBA will do good for me to try in some management position?


Charanpreet answers, Dear Gopi, I think it would be a good idea for you to pursue a one year Executive MBA course.



chitresh asked, Hello there, can you tell me if I do a MBA from private institute it will be PGDBM not an MBA masters degree and tomorrow if i want a PhD it will not be accomplished by the same? Do industries too make such discrimination? Please answer...


Charanpreet answers, Dear Chitresh, if you have a four-year bachelor's degree (like engineering), you can anyway do a PhD. Otherwise, if you do an MBA from a private, non-AICTE approved B-school, you will not be able to do a PhD. The industry does not discriminate. Students of ISB, which is non-AICTE approved, get the best salaries today.



MBA asked, Is MBA mandatory for all in order to get better managerial posts?


Charanpreet answers, Dear MBA, no, but it may just help!



Poonam asked, I am working with an internet comp, i am planning to get married and will be travelling abroad, how will an MBA help me?


Charanpreet answers, Dear Poonam, I don't know whether you have any plans of working once you are married and go abroad. Also, I know people who have done their MBA simply because they enjoyed learning.



Padmaiah asked, Good evening Sir, i am software consultant. I am planning to do an Executive MBA just to enhance and add value to my career growth on part time.Could you pls advice.


Charanpreet answers, Dear Padmaiah, just go ahead and pick a top b-school like IIMs or ISB. You will benefit a lot,



Sunil asked, How do you rate an MBA from IGNOU?


Charanpreet answers, Honestly speaking, not very high. But I guess it's better than nothing.



rekha asked, hello sir i am graduate in BA and i am working in cement company, i want to do MBA, please suggest me?

Charanpreet answers, Dear Rekha, the country is full of B-schools. All you need to do is take the entrance tests, do well in them and then apply. Hope you get into a good B-school.



Hemaa asked, Am trying for US MBA fall admission of 2008. How early should I clear my GMAT and when should I clear GMAT? PLs advise.


Charanpreet answers, Dear Hema, I think you should clear GMAT immediatedly. Applying is a tedious process and it's better to clear your test and have your score and then decide which B-schools are okay for you. Decide before September-October at the most.



MBAMBA asked, Hello Mr Charanpreet, I have 4+Years experience in Semiconductor industry. I would like to go for MBA in order climb the corporate ladder in IT company. Does this experience fetch me a seat in good university (in USA)? Which is the right specialisation in MBA? What should be corresponding GMAT score?


Charanpreet answers, Dear MBAMBA, your experience is very relevant for an MBA. However, your specialisation will depend on what you wish to do in life after the MBA. Also, you still have to get a good GMAT score to get admission to a good university/ college, a 700 + score is good.



Shashank asked, Are the B-Schools in Australia good enough when compared with that of USA for full time MBA? What will be the average cost for tuition fee?


Charanpreet answers, Dear Shashank, no. However, a really good school in Australia would be better than a poor one in the US. Also, Australian schools are making an impression in the global scene. Further, the average cost of education is much lower in Australia. All in all not a bad idea to study Down Under.



chau asked, How is SIBM, Pune? What do you say to MBA Information Management offered by SPJain, job prospectswise, that is?


Charanpreet answers, Dear Chau, both are good institutes. Again, an MBA in information systems is a bit restricted and good for those who wish to stick to this line forever. Unless you are very sure, it's better to do a regular MBA and specialise in IS.



d asked, I have done my MA in Economics. Now, I have completed my MBA in Marketing and Finance as specialisation. What type of job profile is better for me in future?


Charanpreet answers, Dear d, what kind of a job do you want to do? Your qualifications open up a huge number of options. It's up to you to choose the field of work that makes sense to you.



samyboy asked, hello sir...i have already done my MBA in marketing and also a pg-diploma in banking & finance. I have an work exp of 1.5 yrs...currently I'm working in a software co as a marketing guy. I'm thinking of pursuing sum other mba or sum course which would help me. Can u suggest sumthing which i can do in US/UK ??


Charanpreet answers, Dear Samyboy, I think you have studied enough. You can't keep doing MBAs. Usually people do one and that's bad enough! If you wish, you could do a PhD.



Ambrish asked, Hello Charanpreet, My query is: I have work experience of 6 yrs in IT. I am BE in Electronics and Telecommunication. From beginning I am quite keen in going for MBA but being eldest in family and few responsibilities, I couldn't. But now thinking of going for part time/correspondence. Could you update me if its right time to go for it. I am 29 yrs old working in Gurgaon Haryana. Secondly which one is better: part time, correspondence or full time? (I mean the executive MBA for working professionals wherein i will take a break of a yr and go for it). Also will there be any future prospects in it as I don't have any non-technical experience until now i.e. no team handling or management work, I haven't done till now. Although I am very very good in my communication skills and in developing relationship with people. Kind Regards Ambrish


Charanpreet answers, Dear Ambrish, you should opt for a full time one year programme. Anything else will mean compromising on what you are capable of achieving in your career.



gaurav_lohiya asked, Hi Charan, I have more than 3 years of experience as a software engg. I want to do an MBA from either top 15 institutes of India or from some good US/ UK university. Please suggest me which one is better I've attempted CAT thrice, every time got more than 95 %ile but missed my target institutes narrowly. So pls give me ur advice.


Charanpreet answers, Dear Gaurav, I don't know what your target institutes are. Today, the job situation is such that you don't need to be in the top five or six institutes necessarily to get a great job. Also, the quality of students in the kind of institutes that you would have rejected last three years is very good. So don't throw away opportunities unless you are prepared to wait till you get that 99 score. A good US university would mean a great GMAT score, lots of money as well as great experience.



kapil asked, hello sir how do you find market after four year for MBA passing out in that year? Will current bull continue?


Charanpreet answers, Dear Kapil, I see no reason why it shouldn't.



rah asked, my friend has got admit from SIIB ad tapmi results are awaited. Do you suggest SIIB or tapmi? I am asking this coz average pay pack for Siib is greater than tapmi but tapmi has a better rank than SIIB? why is that so?


Charanpreet answers, Dear Rah, I would go with the programme and not the average pay package.



Ramjee asked, Dear Sir...I have around 6 years of exp in IT industry. Would you suggest doing an MBA from ISB at this point would be a good idea? Also let me know about executive MBA programs? How good are they?


Charanpreet answers, I think it would be a great idea.



Partik asked, I am just out of high school after finishing my 10+2 in commerce. I will eventually immigrate to US later in my life. But right now i want to do my studies here in India. Can you please suggest some career options? For MBA, what courses should i take from now in my undergraduate course? thanks


Charanpreet answers, Dear Partik, study what you want to. The beauty of the MBA course is that any graduation degree is good enough.



ASHWINI GULATI01 asked, hi Mr Singh, its nice to talk with you thru Rediff. I am mechanical engineer from MLNREC, Allahabad and due to some reasons I could not completed my mba from CAT or regular. I have just completed my MBA fro simbi, Pune thru d' learning. i am more into bilateral business b/w India-Korea. I have sufficient time in office to upgrade myself. Kindly suggest me how I should proceed and which is best for me?

Charanpreet answers, Dear Ashwini, you have already done an MBA, so do whatever reading you think will keep you updated. If in the future you feel like it, you may want to do a one-year fulltime MBA.



Sanjeeb asked,  I am a chemical engineer completing my BTech this June. Would be joining a software company. Want to go to finance sector after doing an MBA. What action will you suggest me? Should I work for 2-3 years then go for MBA or I should try after 8-9 months of experience only? Also suggest which colleges I should apply for I am joining a company for 3.0 LPA now. Please answer :)


Charanpreet answers, Dear Sanjeeb, you can do an MBA at any point in time. Since you have already started working, maybe two years later would be a good idea. When you are ready for the MBA you can decide which colleges make sense and for what duration.

Part I: Opting for online MBA? Read this!


Charanpreet Singh is associate dean, Praxis Business School, which is being launched in association with XLRI this year. He has a Bachelor of Technology in mechanical engineering from IIT-Kanpur and an MBA from University of Iowa, USA. He was country manager, marketing, at HP before joining IMS to set up Praxis Business School in Kolkata.

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