All About SPJIMR's Global Management Programme (GMP)

Nidhi Bahl updated on : 22 Nov 2016

Dr. Debasis Mallik, Head, GMP, SP Jain Institute of Management Research (SPJIMR) talks about the Global Management Programme (GMP) and management education in general.

Dr. Debasis Mallik, SPJIMR

In an exclusive interview with, Dr. Debasis Mallik, Head, GMP, SP Jain Institute of Management Research (SPJIMR) talks about the USP, admission procedure and placement of the Global Management Programme (GMP), which aims to offer international exposure to the students in the European countries.

The duration of the programme is 12 to 18 months. As part of the programme, students will have to spend 6 months at SPJIMR campus and the remaining 6 to 12 months at any of the top 4 B-schools campuses in Europe with Electives, Internships and Graduation in Europe.

Given below are some excerpts from the interview:

Q. What is the USP of SPJIMR’s Global Management Programme? Why should a student opt for SPJIMR?

A. The Global Management Programme (GMP) is one of its kind, in India. The programme was conceptualised in 2009. The first batch was inaugurated in 2010 with funding from the European Commission. It opens up opportunities for participants to study at SPJIMR and then continue the programme at our partner schools in Europe. We have four partner schools – ESB Business School, Reutlingen University, Reutlingen, Germany, EBS Business School, Oestrich-Winkel, Germany, IESEG School of Management, Paris/Lille, France and Nyenrode Business Universiteit, Breukelen, Netherlands. Each of these partner schools have been carefully chosen, given their track record, global ranking and industry interface.

While the participants are in India (i.e., at SPJIMR) they are provided rigorous language training (approximately, 10 hours a week) in German, French and Dutch. This is one of the key advantages of the programme, as language is an important component to ensure success in Europe. General management subjects that are a part of SPJIMR programme architecture include – Economics, Quantitative Methods, Accounting, Financial Management, Marketing, Operations Management, Organizational Behaviour, Project Management, Strategy, Design Thinking, Simulations and so on. The European schools mentioned above accept the credits acquired from the GMP programme for particle fulfilment of their MBA or MSc programmes.

After the completion of the MBA/MSc programmes, it becomes easier to crack internships, which lead to jobs in Europe. Hence, the unique blend of SPJIMR and our partner schools, engage participants in such a way that they are market-ready in the European context. Apart from this, the large base of alumni spread across Europe also contributes to helping with internship and job opportunities for juniors. These are some of the differentiating factors of the GMP programme.

Q. Could you brief us on the programme structure and curriculum?

A. The GMP programme architecture has been discussed in the earlier questions. The credits earned from the 6 months of the GMP programme are accepted by the four partner schools as partial completion towards the MSc/MBA degree they offer. Hence, the GMP is a pre-requisite for the completion of their degrees. After completion of GMP, it could take anywhere between 6 months to 18 months to complete MSc/MBA degree, depending on the programme and the school that a candidate selects. In most cases, internships are not considered within the programme architecture, as the duration of completion of the same may vary from 2 months to an year. Under exceptional situations, it can extend beyond a year.

Q. What are the conditions that candidates must fulfil to be able to enrol for the programme?

A. The minimum eligibility for the programme depends on whether a candidate chooses the MSc track or the MBA track. It also depends on the level of subscription for the programme, as well. For all schools, the minimum eligibility is a graduation and a CAT score of 80 percentile or a GMAT score above 550 or an equivalent GRE score. In addition to this, barring ESB Business School (which requires 2 years of work experience) all schools ask for a minimum of 3 years of full time work experience to be eligible for MBA track. However, for the MSc track, work experience is not mandatory.

Q. What is the selection process for the programme?

A. If a candidate fulfils the eligibility criterion, (s)he will be called for interviews at the SPJIMR campus on March 31 or April 01, 2017. Candidates will be requested to attend the information session where representatives from each of the partner schools will be clarifying queries of the candidates. Following this, there will be a minimum of two rounds of interviews, depending on the number of preferences that the candidate has opted for.

Q. What is the total number of student intake and the fee structure?

A. The maximum total number of student intake for GMP is 80. As the stringency of accreditation is low for the MSc programs, the proportion of acceptance across EBS, IESEG and Nyenrode is higher compared to the MBA programs. However, ESB does not provide any MSc track – their upper limit for intake to the MBA (International Management) program is 20.

Q. How many applications have you received for the programme so far?

A. We have not yet opened up our online application platform for GMP. Last year, we received 4,500 applications for the GMP program. The previous year the number was 2,800.

Q. What can a student expect in terms of placements after the completion of the programme?

A. After completion of GMP, participants will be completing their MSc in Management or MBA from one of the four partner schools in Europe. The process of placements hence follows more of the European style than Indian. The European job market does not follow “hire and fire” policy like it is practiced in many parts of the world. Labour laws being very stringent, they are often very careful while hiring. Hence, they prefer to take candidates as Interns, before going for a full-time employment commitment. Having said that, all schools provide services to help students in their Internships and placements.

Q. What kind of advantages can a student have by pursuing this course?

A. The purpose of starting with this program was to improve our presence in Europe, increase the number of alumni in Europe, and globalization of the Institute. This program provides a unique opportunity to establish in Europe, with or without a prior work experience. It provides competitive program architecture that blends across continents, international perspectives to management, offers global exposure, instils confidence and helps students to improve their marketability. It is structured in such a way that the process can facilitate the end result. Approximately, 75 per cent of the students who enrol for GMP end up with a job in Europe. Few of them do return back to India, being forced by family or health constraints. However, it often takes a while to get a job, as Internships precede full time job offers.

Q. Global exposure VS industry connects – which is more important?

A. One is complementary to the other. If global exposure does not open up doors for better industry connects, networking opportunities, exposure and experience, it does not manifest in terms of good industry connects. Also, global exposure helps to build self-confidence, self-reliance, appreciate cross-cultural sensitivity, perspectives of looking at things differently, and above all, how things work differently in developed nations.

Q. Considering that the dynamics of management is changing, what are the new age MBA programmes/specialisations that have a bright future in India?

A. The way management education is imparted in Europe is different from that in India. Partly, this has to do with the accreditation of professional bodies like AACSB, AMBA and Equis and partly – with the FT ranking of the business school.

In general, business schools in Europe do not accept candidates for MBA without 3 years of work experience, barring a few examples. For candidates who wish to still pursue management education with a lesser work experience join MSc programs in Management. In other words, the minimum eligibility for MSc in Management is 0 to 3 years of work experience and for MBA it is 3 or more.

MSc in Management is considered to be more rigorous, focusing more on concepts, in-depth understanding of the subjects, coupled with internships, master thesis and project submissions to make students ready for the industry. In Europe, unlike the US model, the urge to join MSc in Management is higher as it opens up several doors to the corporate world.

However, an MBA degree in Europe is more a General Management degree. The target is to help candidates get jobs in middle-management cadre.
Hence, MSc is Management in Europe provides a vast portfolio of specializations, which MBA does not. Some of these specializations include – Real Estate Management, Automotive Management, Business Analytics and Consulting, Accountancy & Control, and so on. Needless to say, the usual specializations like, General Management, Finance, Marketing, etc. also exist.

We believe this is the way in which “new age MBA” is headed to. The market for such MSc/MBA programmes is lucrative, both in India and abroad.

Q. MBA in India VS MBA abroad. Your opinion?

A. Again, it is not easy to compare MBA in India with MBA abroad. Largely, it depends on the mindset of the candidate and what (s)he is expecting to achieve in her/his career. If the purpose is to build a global career, then certainly an MBA from abroad is beneficial. However, just it is in India, the institution awarding the degree is crucial. An MBA from India, in general, does not lead to a global career. Hence, a dual programme that has best of both worlds, works exceptionally well. In India, the typical mindset of recruiters is tuned in favour of 2-year MBA programmes. The concept of 1-year MBA is gradually picking up. However, a shorter duration programme with dual degrees, that would require a student to spend 6 months in India and the rest of the time (ranging anywhere between 6 months to 18 months) abroad, is at a nascent stage.

An MBA from Europe followed with an Internship provides a very rich platform for international jobs in Europe. However, in US or other non-European countries, internships may not play such a vital role.

Q. Often, we have students who are confused between choosing course vs college. What should be the correct approach?

A. We are aware of this issue. Hence, on the dates of admission interviews we invite our alumni to talk to prospective candidates, in an unbiased manner to help them take informed decisions. We also have dedicated information sessions with all the program directors across all the business schools. They also participate in the interview process and get involved in selecting the students who will join the GMP batch and eventually join their schools in Europe.

Q. To be a successful professional, what attributes should a student possess/ inculcate?

A. This is a very difficult question to answer. SPJIMR has always focused on management education that provides a platform for learning using classroom and non-classroom initiatives. We try to inculcate the attributes that can help them become successful business professionals. We try to ensure that they are humble with a learning attitude through practice. We enable them understand how important it is to learn from prior mistakes and move on. We believe in holistic education that transforms our students to behave ethically, with social sensitivity. We help them become disciplined, down to earth and helpful. Our students believe in competition and collaboration with a right mix as the situation demands. We do believe these are some of the essential characteristics that can make a professional successful.

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