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Thursday, January 3, 2008

What is the secret of my energy?

What is the secret of my energy? Horlicks. What is the secret of Veronica? Ahh…sorry for derailing the conversation…I wanted to ask what is the secret of IBA’s success…as the premiere business education provider of Bangladesh? I, neither studied in IBA, nor am a teacher there, nor have ever employed IBAites…but yes, I have surely worked with them and many of my friends and relations are infact IBAites. Whenever I have tried to investigate the secret of their successful job placements and career progression by posing questions like ‘As a graduate of IBA, how and why do you think that you are better?’….answers mostly were confined in ‘We are better because we are better’, ‘We are not better, we are the best’, ‘We are better because the rest are idiots’ etc. So my probe didn’t see much headway with the Direct Interview method. Arranging FGDs was never possible as most of the IBA grads are busy with jobs or switching to better jobs, they don’t want to be bothered by external curious airheads….me that is. So being unable to get into the ‘sacred cult of IBAites’, I stood at a distance and tried to derive clues from here and there. May be you can help me put the missing puzzles in.

I think the teachers and management of the Institute tried to apply the business theories to the Institute itself first even before they started preaching it to the students. Infact it will not be wrong probably to argue that perhaps it was only one or two dynamic visionary teachers who saw merit in positioning the Institute as the best in the country from early on. They advocated on behalf of their students to the multinationals of Bangladesh. They nurtured the brand of IBA in such a way that other private players like NSU, IUB were caught napping. I am not sure whether there was or is any expectation of personal gain in terms of cash, kind, status, fame, affiliation or anything else, but the effort surely paid off. I don’t know how the business schools in private universities conceive the branding of their education. Perhaps they have left the job of job-hunting for their students only, while they are busy with their ‘own career prospects’. No wonder IBA teachers must be doing that as well, but the foundation laid down by them has certainly given rise to a snowball effect, by virtue of which, the next generation IBA students and their destiny in the job market is automatically taken care. Now the question will remain, how long will IBA will be able to maintain this monopoly as far as the quality of business education and business graduates is concerned.


Anonymous said...

with due respect to the opinion of RED & GREEN,i would like to contradict his statement.The answers given by the IBAites at the interview board show nothing but 'self-obsession' or their brand conciousness. Before i could know a IBAites,i used to have the similar opinion about bangalee'.but most recently i found them(@ various job interviews n @work place) not smart enough to be a business graduate in the very first place. now my calling' not smart enough' doesnt mean that they don't look like bolloywood star Salman Khan niether they wear Raymond shirts/suits but its more of corporate smartness where you need to speak the common international language with decent pronunciation. many will disagree with me on the attire front. but to their information,the business schools abroad taught how to dress-up @ work/office or in business conferences.the IBAtes i have come accros were unaware of what is 'formal(meeting,conference,sunday,monday,tuesday wear),semi-formal(tuesday/wednesday wear) and casual(Thursday wear)dress-up at office.They ended up replying rather that they used to attend their classes in chappals n round neck t-shirt in thier sluggish jeans n cargos.they keep going this culture even at the top corporate houses in the country(mostly telecommunications).

having all these flaws how can they even better?forget about THE BEST!

business schools in bangladesh has a long way to go interms of academic structure,cut-down the overtly expensive tuition fees,campus to walk down n group study under tree,dynamism,arranging practical sessions with corporate bodies etc.

ZI said...

Dear Anonymous,
Its a very discrete observation on my fellow IBAtes. People you have come across are 1/2% of total IBA population and you can not stereotype an institution and all its members against such percentile. Its simply unfair.

You mentioned about English speaking, dress up and all. After working in 4 multinationals in Telecom and Oil & Gas industry I have come across people who are VERY well dressed with their polished English accent BUT not at all efficient. Instead of hard work they survive only by means of pampering their bosses. I am sure you have also come across such people.

You have also mentioned about business schools abroad. Yes many top Western business schools have curriculum on dress code and etiquette. But the context of the topic was Bangladesh!! Please check results of any competitive exam (be it Govt or private job) of our country and you will be delighted (hopefully!) to witness the success rate of my fellow IBAtes. That is what we call smartness isn't it???

Having said that I don't discard your opinion on the importance of dress up and all. Its important BUT not as important as being efficinet or knowledgeable.


Alphacygni said...

There are a couple of things that work for IBA
1. Being the first to be in the business of business education! IBA has the longest history of creating business grads in this country. Long before the market even woke up to the concept of business grads! True that the BBA program is only about 14 years old but don't forget IBA was producing MBAs long before that! Being the first in the game definitely has an edge and did contribute in a strong way when IBA started its BBA program.

2. Being able to attract the cream: One must give a big credit to the selection process that IBA follows. Firstly it gets a pool of talents that is not accessible to most other institutions. Secondly it has such a competitive entry process that only the fittest go through. Honestly when I look at my classmates from my class, I can say that these guys would be doing well even if they graduated from other departments of DU or any other institutions because they always had a sound foundation and they were BRIGHT!!!

3. High penalty for bad performance: In IBA the only time you get a chance to retake a course is if you fail. And if you fail even one course, there is no way you can make up for that during your 4 years of college. Flunk a course? You graduate full one year later. There is no second chance. Either you get your act together or you are asked to take a hike. That can put a considerable pressure to perform consistently. That training goes a long way when these guys enter into the professional arena.

4. Brand Pride: Another thing is the pride of brand identity that almost everyone who comes into IBA has. That fuels guys to maintain a standard of performance.

All said and done, I think it is also important for IBA and IBA-ites to realize that things are evolving. IBA grads are ambitious and unfortunately in many instances have allowed the ambition to blind strategic career planning and execution. I am alarmed by the fact that in the industry there are skepticism about the stability of employment tenure when it comes to IBA grads especially BBAs. Also a lot of universities especially NSU, EWU, BRAC, AIUB etc. are more and more assertive and organized about getting their grands and their brands out into the market. So IBA better wake up and smell the coffee!!!

Exchange Marketer 3 said...

Just curious, does IBA have an entrepreneurship module in their curriculum.Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

please check out the link to get your answer.