World Class Education at Karachi Business School

Cambridge University's Judge Business School and Karachi Education Initiative are launching Karachi School for Business & Leadership (KSBL) in 2012.

Karachi Education Initiative, which is providing the initial core funding for KSBL, is a non-profit group of leading industrialists and businessmen of Karachi. The group has committed to raising a permanent endowment fund to support the education of deserving students at KSBL, as well as for the provision of resources, facilities and buildings required to create a world-class institution.

The school is headed by Dean Robert Wheeler III who has served at the Pennsylvania State University, University of Texas at Austin and Georgetown University in key positions like assistant dean and director of MBA program. Spread over three acres, the main campus of KSBL is now under construction on Stadium Road in Karachi. The construction phase will be over in July 2012 and the first group of students will be admitted in September. Initially, KSBL will offer a full-time, 21-month MBA program in general management only.

KSBL's MBA curriculum has been designed in collaboration with Judge Business School of Cambridge University in England. In addition to conventional teaching methods involving lectures and case studies, KSBL will use videoconferencing to let its students attend live lectures from American and British universities.

Wheeler told Express Tribune that the core faculty of KSBL would be of Pakistani origin with PhD degrees from foreign universities. “We’ll cut back on the administrative work that faculty is often required to do in Pakistan and encourage them to do applied research that could be used in the industry, government and business.” In many classes, especially those on entrepreneurship, Wheeler said more than one person would co-teach students via videoconferencing to provide them with a combination of academic and professional perspectives.

KSBL will join the ranks of other major business schools such as Karachi's Institute of Business Administration (IBA) and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) to deliver world class business education for meeting the growing demand for professional management in the industrial and service sectors of Pakistan's economy.

The history of advanced business management education began with the founding of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in 1955 in Karachi, Pakistan, in collaboration with the top-ranked Wharton School of Finance & Commerce at University of Pennsylvania. Additional help and support came from University of Southern California and USAID to set up facilities and train faculty.

As the contribution of agriculture dropped from 50% of GDP in 1950s to about 20% of Pakistan's economy in 2000s and Pakistan began to urbanize and industrialize, the demand for business professionals grew significantly, as did the number of schools offering business education. As of 2004, there were 87 business schools recognized by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, according to stats compiled by Dr. Jamshed Hasan Khan of LUMS. Of these, 28 were in the public sector and the rest in private sector.

The rapid expansion of business education has raised concerns about the quality of such education. The HEC is responding to such concerns by standardization of business curricula and accreditation requirements. A number of programs have been initiated by the HEC to improve business faculty, including scholarships for advanced training and education in Pakistan and universities in the West.

Business schools in Pakistan have produced highly competent men and women executives who have proved themselves by managing significant topline growth and increasing profitability in banking, telecom, FMCG, automobiles and other sectors in very difficult circumstances. I am optimistic that the addition of business schools like the KSBL will further enhance the capacity of future managers to deal with such challenges.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan's Demographic Dividend

FMCG Consumption Boom in Pakistan

Pakistan's Financial Services Sector

Pakistan's Growing Middle Class Consumption

IBA's Entrepreneurship Study Flawed

Pakistan's Media and Telecom Revolution

Pakistanis Study Abroad

Pakistan's Youth Bulge

Pakistani Diaspora World's 7th Largest

Pakistani Graduation Rate Higher Than India's

India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2011

Educational Attainment Dataset By Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee

Quality of Higher Education in India and Pakistan

Developing Pakistan's Intellectual Capital

Intellectual Wealth of Nations

Pakistan's Story After 64 Years of Independence

Pakistan Ahead of India on Key Human Development Indices

Working Women in Pakistan

Pakistan Youth Roundtable

Scholarships at Foreign Universities

Institute of International Education--Open Doors

UK's Higher Education Statistics Agency Report

Austrade on Education in Pakistan


Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Businessweek story about India's MBA test for evaluating job seekers:

In five months, the MBA will lose its status as a universally accepted credential for management jobs. In India, at least, b-school grads who want those jobs will also have to take a test.

On Feb. 20, the All-India Management Association (AIMA) will roll out the Management Aptitude Skill Test (MAST), a screening test designed to determine whether business school graduates in India are qualified for jobs, according to several published reports.

The details are a little sketchy, and my efforts to reach someone at the AIMA were unsuccessful. But AIMA President Sanjiv Goenka, told the Financial Chronicle that the test was designed to help students. “The idea is to give aspiring management graduates a level playing field. It is not always possible for companies to reach out to all the IIMs and other B-schools while hiring. In the process, talented students are left out.”

Here’s what I know about the new test. It’s computer based and 150-minutes long, and it will test the candidate’s “management aptitude, domain knowledge in areas of specialisation like finance, marketing, HR, international business, operations & IT and assess their personality traits such as leadership, handling stress, decision-making skills, stability and teamwork abilities,” according to the Economic Times.

The Times is reporting that a number of big employers are already on board, including the India-based operations of Deloitte, MetLife, Pfizer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Nokia, Lenovo, and TATA Communications. But the Financial Chronicle quotes an AIMA director general, Rekha Seth, as saying the number of companies planning to use the test goes well beyond that. “There has been overwhelming response from both companies and b-schools,” Sethi told the publication. “We are looking at 200 corporate endorsements and have already got 100 so far.”

It's unclear to me if the test will be required by these companies, as part of the application process perhaps, or if it will be optional. It's also unclear if the scores will be publicly available (so employers can mine the database for high-scorers) or if the candidates themselves can direct the scores to specific employers (similar to the GMAT and other standardized tests). Other unknowns include whether candidates with degrees from schools outside of India will need to take the test for Indian jobs, and if the test will be required for jobs in India only or for any position for which a graduate of an Indian b-school is being considered.
I think most employers, even if they sometimes complain about MBA grads who need to be retrained after they're hired, still assume that business schools, whatever their flaws, do impart the basic knowledge and skills needed to thrive in a corporate setting. (If they didn't believe that they wouldn't pay them six-figure starting salaries.) So I'm left wondering whether something like this, while it might make sense in a country where the quality of business school education is uneven, would be necessary or useful in the U.S. and Europe, where programs are more established.
In a perfect world (perfect from an employer's perspective) all candidates would have internships before a hiring decision is made, giving the employer a few months to put them through their paces. But it's an imperfect world. A test is an admittedly poor substitute for an internship, but is it better than nothing at all? Is it better than "Trust me, he'll do a great job"?
Koushal said…
Thanks for sharing such a nice topic on business school.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Op Ed by HEC Chair Javaid Laghari published in The Express Tribune:

There has been a quiet revolution in the last two years, particularly in improved quality, access and relevance, which are the cornerstones of the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

Quality is a ‘process’ and cannot be improved overnight by dialling ‘Q’. Quality enhancement cells have been established in 81 universities which will monitor and ‘own’ quality and report to the HEC’s QA (Quality Assurance) division. Six accreditation councils, including in business and computing, have been established, and these will accredit professional programmes. An institutional performance evaluation (IPE) process has begun, and by next year, the universities will be given a scorecard on good governance. For the first time ever, universities and programmes are being ranked as per international standards, and the results will be published by the end of the year. A two-day orientation of newly-appointed vice-chancellors (VCs), facilitated by two British VCs and one American university president, was organised — also for the first time — to inculcate leadership and to improve quality in governing higher educational institutes.

Accessibility to university education among the population is now 7.8 per cent, and not 5.1 per cent as implied by Dr Tahir, and we are well on our way to reaching 10 per cent by 2015 as per the education policy, despite a 10 per cent cut in higher education funding. Pakistan spends 1.7 per cent of its GDP on education, and only six other countries in the world spend less. Of this, 0.22 per cent is spent on higher education and not 0.3 per cent as the article incorrectly states. Under these circumstances, the HEC has done wonders!

What the writer fails to mention is the new emphasis on ‘knowledge exchange’. Ten offices of research, innovation and commercialisation (ORIC) have been established this year, and 20 more are in the pipeline to bridge the gap between university research and industry. With a 30 per cent increase in research publications and PhD dissertations in the last two years, a focus on relevant research and a new programme to establish incubators and technology parks, the Pakistani higher education sector is on its way to become an economic powerhouse in the next two years.

This is the soft and quiet revolution taking place at our universities which is already becoming visible and changing the lives of millions of youth who are the beneficiaries of higher education in Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a PakTribune story on US scholarships for Pakistanis to study economy & markets:

Twenty-two Pakistani scholars have been awarded a total of $490,000 worth of grants by the United States government for research on various fields related to economic development and markets.

The 22 winning proposals were selected from more than 180 research applications from all over the country and abroad. The selection was made by a 15-member committee consisting of internationally acclaimed scholars with extensive research experience in Pakistan and abroad, says a press release.

"This is yet another example of the US support for Pakistan's development priorities. We believe that this research will help lay foundations to the growth of Pakistan's economy, thus contributing to a more prosperous future for the people of this country," US embassy coordinator Richard Albright said.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an excerpt from The News on India-Pakistan management pros summit:

The first-ever Pakistan-India management conference will be held in Lahore next month to establish relations between management practitioners and professional institutions of the two countries and to share best regional practices and case studies from the corporate sector.

The two-day event, titled Dividends: Pakistan-India Management Summit, will be held on September 20-21 in Lahore, in which nearly 600 corporate and business leaders from the two countries are expected to participate.

Aman ki Asha – the Jang Group-Times of India peace initiative – is partnering the event with Nutshell Forum, in which participants will not just share their management experiences and challenges but also establish relations on individual and institutional levels.
“The two business conferences helped set the broader agenda and underlined the importance of peace and friendship between Pakistan and India for economic development and prosperity in the region,” said Shahrukh Hasan, the group managing director of the Jang Group. “This management summit will take this process a step forward as it will help professionals and their associations to directly build ties and links necessary to give shape to and practically implement the recommendations made at the Lahore conference,” he said.
Providing details regarding the forthcoming summit, Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, chief executive officer of Nutshell Forum, said that around 100 corporate leaders from India and 500 from Pakistan are expected to participate at the Lahore summit. He hoped that the summit would be a landmark event that will enable professional institutions such as AIMA, MAP, ICAP and the stock exchanges to establish direct links. Ahsan said he was delighted to partner the summit with AKA. “The response received from professional bodies in both countries has been beyond our expectations; the quality of speakers and delegates already confirmed will ensure that deliberations are of a very high level,” said Ahsan.

Other partners and supporters of the management summit are include the All India Management Association; Management Association of Pakistan; SHRM India; Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES; Pakistan Society for Human Resource Management; Marketing Association of Pakistan; India Society for Training & Development; Pakistan Society for Training & Development; Institute of Cost Accountants of India; Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Pakistan; International Advertising Association Pakistan Chapter and International Advertising Association India Chapter.

Ahsan said that the conference will provide an opportunity to Pakistani and Indian corporate leaders to share experiences and explore avenues of “knowledge cooperation for sustainable development”. “This will help promote bilateral relations and bridge the gap between the Pakistani and the Indian intelligentsia,” he said.

Among the broader topics of discussion at the summit will be leadership and strategy; technology; innovation and growth; sustainable economic growth; human resource and the workplace. The event is to feature in-depth debates, presentations, keynote addresses, breakfast talks, panel and roundtable discussions along with a cultural evening, an art exhibition, sightseeing trips to historical and modern places of interest in Lahore and a Pakistan-India golf match.

Amin Hashwani, the chairman of the organising committee of the summit, said that Aman Ki Asha and Nutshell Forum will achieve another landmark by gathering “the best of management thought leaders of the region and providing a forum for sharing the regional best practices and studies.”
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an ET report on SAP software business growth in Pakistan:

Seeing immense potential for growth in Pakistan like other emerging markets of Asia, SAP – a leading business solutions provider worldwide – is targeting 30% growth in its operations here as a new generation of qualified Pakistanis is more interested in increasing efficiency and productivity of their businesses.

The penetration of enterprise business software is going to increase in Pakistan as the new generation, which is taking over family businesses, is more tech savvy and inclined towards adopting innovative technological solutions, says Darren Rushworth, Managing Director of SAP Pakistan and Emerging Markets, in an interview with The Express Tribune.

“We are adding around 15 customers every quarter and are targeting 30% growth this year, which is big,” he said when asked if he was satisfied with the growth in Pakistan. “We are selling enterprise software, not toothpastes.”

Competitors of SAP in Pakistan are big names like Microsoft and Oracle, among others. SAP has 200 customers in Pakistan and its worldwide list of customers stretches to over 190,000.

Unlike most multinationals which include Pakistan in the Middle Eastern region, SAP counts Pakistan in its Asia-Pacific operations and views the country as an important emerging market in its growth plans in this region.

To a question about revenues in Pakistan, Rushworth said he could not give the figure because the company did not breakdown country-wise revenues. Last year, its global revenues were 15.4 billion euros.

Like most other countries, out of the 200 customers in Pakistan, 80% of them came from small and medium enterprises (SMEs), he said.

Responding to another question, he said, “the challenge we have in Pakistan is to have more trained partners. We are very much dependent on our partners here and this is why we will invest much in our partners to grow our business.”

SAP partners include IBM, Siemens, Abacus, ExD, NetSol Technologies, VMS, BI Solutions and Sidat Hyder Morshed Associates.

“Other than the big partners, we are also looking for small partners,” he said. “But since we need specialised partners, our search is for a niche market.”

Agreeing with the fact that Pakistan’s economy is mostly based on SMEs, Rushworth believes that SAP will continue to focus on such enterprises.

When asked about the impact of Pakistan’s slow economic growth on SAP business in recent years, he said, “I cannot draw a parallel between slow economic growth and our business.”

“I am not an economist, but what we saw in different markets is that we got business even in times of recession in different countries,” he added.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Express Tribune story on McKinsey's planned practice in Pakistan:

KARACHI: McKinsey and Company – the firm that invented management consulting is still considered the most prestigious outfit in the business – is thinking about setting up a permanent presence in Pakistan, though the precise date of when they will do so is uncertain.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the company has conducted considerable due diligence about creating an office in the country. Talal Malik, a McKinsey spokesperson for the Middle East region, declined to comment.

But several sources, including current and former employees of the consulting giant, say that McKinsey has believed for at least five years that the Pakistani market is big enough for its strategy consulting services, which are among the priciest in the world. Dominic Barton, the global managing partner of the company, specifically mentioned Pakistan as an area of interest for the firm in a post on the company’s internal blog in 2010.

And the company is no stranger to the Pakistani market. McKinsey has previously worked on several assignments in Pakistan for a variety of clients, including projects for Engro Corporation, the Punjab government, and the Karachi Electric Supply Company. Those clients were served mainly out of the Dubai office, though some personnel from its offices in Europe and North America were also deployed to locations in Pakistan.

McKinsey has also hired personnel from Pakistani business schools, including the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), though usually no more than one or two a year for its Dubai offices. Should the firm set up its offices in Pakistan, McKinsey is likely to recruit far more heavily on the LUMS campus.

According to several sources familiar with the company’s plans, there had been two main concerns for the company in setting up a Pakistan office: ensuring the safety of its personnel and getting “core clients”....
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an FT story on Pakistanis business school grads:

...“This (power cut) is the sort of challenge they don’t necessarily prepare you for in a business school,” says the HR manager, adding: “We want our managers to have their feet on the ground.” This message appears to chime with the thinking across many of the country’s corporate board rooms.
More than a decade has passed since the September 11 2001 attacks on the US forced Pakistan into an American-led global “war on terror”. The period of political and economic uncertainty that this war unleashed has visibly changed the business environment in the country.
While there used to be a large number of expatriates running a network of multinational companies, there are now far fewer and these have hung on only because of Pakistan’s large market size. Concerns have mounted over the safety of western nationals in the country, who are likely to be in greater danger of physical attacks or kidnappings than their local counterparts.
The security risk has forced an increasing number of companies to hold meetings in safer countries such as Dubai.
Perhaps in response to the scarcity of experienced managers from abroad, local banks and companies are seeking well-rounded Pakistani executives armed with MBA degrees. But they also want them to be able to cope with challenges such as the heightened security risks. Although there are a number of successful US-trained Pakistani managers, some with MBAs from top-ranked US business schools, domestically trained MBAs are in demand because overseas-educated MBAs of Pakistani origin often do not want to leave the west to take up a position.
First, many of them prefer to build their careers outside the country in North America, Europe or Asia, because they are attracted by more generous financial packages. Second, by staying abroad, many such graduates can evade the risks that accompany daily operations in Pakistan, such as the running of elaborate supply chains involving road transportation to potentially high-risk areas.
Pakistan’s business schools are seeking to fill the gap created by this trend and an increasing number of graduates from the country’s top two MBA programmes – offered by the Lahore University of Management Science (Lums) and the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) at Karachi university – are looking for opportunities within the country.
“Our MBAs are hands-down a better choice for any employer in Pakistan,” says Arif Butt, dean of the Suleman Dawood School of Business at Lums. Its MBA programme is based on a case-study approach adopted by the world’s leading business schools. Prof Butt says Lums graduates “can very easily and very quickly assume positions of responsibility and become corporate leaders. They know the [Pakistani] environment very well.”
Lums also offers specialist programmes such as a certificate in agribusiness to train individuals in modern management techniques for establishing businesses linked to Pakistan’s large agricultural sector.
Ishrat Hussain, dean of IBA and a former governor of Pakistan’s central bank, says the post 9/11 environment has allowed local business graduates to rise faster.
“Across businesses based in Pakistan, whether foreign-owned or local, the position of CEO is increasingly occupied by our own graduates,” he says. “For many employers, there is no difference [between hiring a Pakistani graduate from the top two schools or a graduate from a foreign MBA programme]”.
As Pakistan’s business schools are increasingly preparing their graduates for the local environment, attention needs to paid to the particular problems the country faces.
Aside from security risks, challenges include operating in an environment tainted by corruption and widespread tax evasion....
Riaz Haq said…
In addition to Prof Asim Khwaja at Harvard Business School, there are other notable Pakistani-American professors of business and economics at top universities in America. Prominent among them are two names: Prof Atif Mian at Princeton and Prof Amir Sufi at University of Chicago Booth School.

Mian and Sufi have recently written a book "House of Debt" published by University of Chicago Press.

Here are excepts of their thoughts as published in a Bloomberg piece:

The point is general: Housing is a service we must all consume, whether we rent or own. A decline in the price of housing services is a good thing for those of us who plan on increasing our consumption. If my home value declines, I should only feel poorer if I was planning to decrease my consumption of housing services or moving to a less expensive area.

So from a macroeconomic perspective, in a world without mortgages, falling house prices would have negligible aggregate effects. Some households would be richer and some would be poorer. But there is no reason to believe that there would be a large aggregate “housing-wealth effect.”

So why is housing holding back the economy? It is because most homeowners use substantial amounts of debt to purchase houses. Once we acknowledge that housing is a highly leveraged sector, the conclusions of the theory are totally different. In this case, there are a number of reasons why house-price declines will affect household spending.

First, the collateral value of housing is extremely important. Households can only borrow at a 3.9 percent, 30-year fixed rate if they have home value to back the loan. A severe decline in house prices takes away this channel.

Second, the debt associated with homes means a higher rate of defaulting households. This leads to lower credit scores and more foreclosures, both of which have negative effects on household spending.

And third, even for households that choose to continue paying their mortgages, the decline in home values will lead to deleveraging as homeowners struggle to improve their financial position.

The evidence overwhelmingly supports the view that high debt levels are the central reason that house-price declines negatively affect household spending. For example, our research shows that for a given drop in home value, a household cuts back on auto purchases much more if it is highly leveraged. We also find that the reductions in household spending in counties experiencing large house-price declines are far too large to be explained by a housing-wealth effect alone.
Riaz Haq said…
Reformer-in-chief: In conversation with Dr Ishrat Husain

Fahd Ali. What were the challenges you faced after taking over IBA in 2008?

Ishrat Husain. When IBA was set up in 1955, it was the first business school outside North America. Why the heck is it still so unknown outside Pakistan? To me, the challenge was that this institution should be one of the top institutions like the Indian Institutes of Management, which are household names abroad. Why isn’t IBA in the same league?

Also read: Jawwad S Khawaja—Poetic justice

Being a public sector institution, my first condition for taking on the job was that I would not allow interference from any political quarters. The second condition was that the government must give me the freedom to approach the private sector and charities to raise money because the government did not have the money [required to restructure IBA].

Ali. What necessitated IBA’s restructuring?

Husain. I wanted to put IBA among the top 100 global business schools and among the top 10 in the region. In order to do that, I had to realign its programmes with the best international practices that are also rooted in local circumstances. IBA also had to apply for accreditation with the international agencies. The changes were necessary in order to obtain those accreditations.

Ali. What was your restructuring strategy?

Husain. I enhanced the quality of the existing academic programmes and brought in new ones. I transformed IBA’s flagship MBA programme and aligned it with the best international practice: that everybody has to have a two-year post-graduation work experience before they can enrol.

When, however, we started the new MBA programme in 2010, the enrolment went down drastically — from 150 to 25. This was a big shock. Tuition fee collection declined substantially and many members of the faculty had no courses to teach, but I persisted. The market has now recognised there is a qualitative difference in graduates who join an MBA programme straight after a BBA and those who are now coming out of [the restructured] MBA programme. The new graduates are more mature. They are not chasing grades; they apply their knowledge to real world problems.


Ali. There is a focus on the social sciences in higher education these days. What do you think is the reason for that?

Husain. I presented a paper, Public Policy and Social Sciences, at a conference at the Government College University in Lahore about seven years ago. In that paper, I discussed the status of social sciences teaching and research in Pakistan. [My diagnosis was that] people who did not pass the civil service exam became teachers of history and social sciences.

But that trend has changed. Some of it owes to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) that has started investing in PhD programmes. Some very bright young men and women have gone to good schools abroad and come back with PhDs recently. We should have people who are conducting research on our political system, our social and economic problems and our history. We should have more Ayesha Jalals.

Also read: Raheel Sharif—The chief who could be king

[Social sciences] is also virgin territory: if you write about Pakistan’s historical, political and religious problems in a scientific manner, you will get published in the best journals. The critical mass has been created by the HEC and an incentive structure exists that induces young teachers to specialise in these fields.

The HEC also offers competitive research grants in the social sciences every year. You do not have to be part of a public sector university in order to compete for these grants. You can compete if you have developed a good proposal. The state is, thus, modifying its postures as far as research in the social sciences is concerned.

Riaz Haq said…
Consortium of #Pakistan #business schools formed to engage in #CPEC ops research. #China #FDI #LUMS #IBA #KSBL

A consortium of top Pakistani business schools was formed to engage academic sector for applied research on various industrial and business opportunities related to China Pakistan Economic Corridor and make this project, a real game changer.

The decision was taken in a meeting held in Islamabad today with Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal in the chair.

It was decided that the consortium will analyze the impact of Chinese investment in CPEC projects in the field of energy, infrastructure and industrial cooperation to ensure transformation of Pakistan into a new hub of trade for the whole world.

Addressing the meeting, Ahsan urged business schools to work for capacity building of provincial governments and chambers of commerce to ensure maximum benefits of CPEC.

He further instructed to develop linkages with top Chinese business schools and ensure exchanges of students and teachers.

The Minister said advised to upgrade universities libraries not only by acquiring Chinese publications but by translating them to make it available for local consumption to understand Chinese business practices, ethics and laws.

He said West, Middle East and Central Asian countries have already expressed to join CPEC so the consortium should propose a model to engage these nations for a true transformation of Pakistan into a geo economic hub.

It was also proposed that Chinese language should be included as a compulsory subject in all undergraduate programs in Pakistan. Deans of top Pakistani business schools also attended the meeting.

Riaz Haq said…

Sadia Profilevestment banker, development banker, financial sector regulator, family business leader and now entrepreneur. This is the career of Sadia Khan MBA’95D: first Pakistani woman to graduate from INSEAD and new president of the world’s most international alumni organisation. She explains how being an INSEAD volunteer has played a role in her own achievements – and how the IAA is working for the benefit of all alumni.

Salamander Magazine: Do you have a secret formula for success?
Sadia Khan: Initiative. Networking. Savoir-faire. Empowerment. Attitude. Diligence… Or, for short, INSEAD! And the best way to keep that formula fresh after graduating is to join the INSEAD Alumni Association. That’s why I’ve always been so involved at a national and international level. And the network feels more vibrant today than ever before.

SM: When you returned to work in Pakistan after many years abroad, there was no National Alumni Association… So you founded one! Why?
SK: Back in 1994, I had to fly to Dubai for my INSEAD interview, because there were no graduates to interview me in Pakistan. So I realised there was a need to galvanize the small but growing number of alumni there – and to provide a much needed networking platform for the younger generation. We started with 30 members in 2007, but managed to organise high-profile events for up to 300 people. The NAA has definitely helped to build the INSEAD brand within the country.

SM: You were an INSEAD volunteer before that, though. Had you already felt the benefits?
SK: I’d been actively involved with INSEAD since graduating. While I was based in the Philippines, I started interviewing MBA candidates and discovered that it not only kept me in touch with the school’s development but also gave me the chance to interact with the next generation of business leaders.

SM: How did you get involved at an international level?
SK: I was invited to become a member of the IAA Executive Committee as VP for Asia and communications in 2012. The highlight was probably heading up the implementation of the first Global INSEAD Day in 2013. The IAA model is based on teamwork and volunteerism and it was in that spirit that I took up my current role.

SM: How did you become the global IAA President?
SK: I have to admit I was taken by surprise when the search committee approached me earlier this year! It wasn’t a role I was vying for or even contemplating at this stage of my professional life. However, I knew there was work to be done right now in enhancing the value proposition of the IAA for our alumni, and there was a great team ready to support me in this role, within the volunteer community and within the school.

SM: Why do you believe the IAA is so valuable to alumni and to the school?
SK: An active alumni association not only helps to keep the alumni energised and engaged but also contributes tremendously to the positive branding of INSEAD. Through our activities, we not only get a chance to showcase the achievements of our members but also demonstrate our deep bonding with the institution. And nothing succeeds like success. The success of the alumni boosts the reputation of the school, while in turn the success of the school enables the alumni to bask in its reflected glory. Having a strong and active alumni network is a win-win for all.
Riaz Haq said…
Wharton, Berkeley, NYU Offering Online M.B.A.s for the First Time
More elite business schools try virtual degrees to lure graduate students

Starting next year, executive M.B.A. students at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania can earn the $223,500 degree from their living rooms.

After years of resistance, some of the country’s top business schools are starting virtual M.B.A. programs that require only a few days of in-person instruction. Wharton and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business said they would include options for executive and part-time M.B.A. students to take most coursework online in 2023.

This fall, part-time M.B.A. students at New York University’s Stern School of Business and the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business were given an online option for most of their classes. All of the programs will charge online students the same tuition as those who attend in person, and those online students will get the same degree and credential as on-campus counterparts.

The move to give students flexible location options comes as demand for two-year, full-time traditional M.B.A. programs has been dropping amid a competitive job market and growing concern about the cost of college.

“The pandemic definitely accelerated this in every industry,” said Brian Bushee, who leads teaching and learning at Wharton and also teaches accounting. “I would be surprised in 10 or 20 years if there were schools that only did in-person and did nothing online.”

Between 2009 and 2020 the number of online M.B.A.s at accredited business schools in the U.S. more than doubled, and schools added more fully online M.B.A. degrees over the past two years during the pandemic, according to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Recent announcements by Wharton and others mark a turning point for adoption of the degrees even at highly ranked campuses, school leaders say.


At Stern, even the students who choose online courses are required to take nine in-person credits, which can be completed on nights or weekends, or by doing an intensive weeklong session.

Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, which announced its online M.B.A. in 2019, graduated its first online M.B.A. students in August. The degree, which costs $24,000, follows a completely separate curriculum and costs far less than the traditional M.B.A. program. Online M.B.A students watch live broadcasts of professors and talk in small groups or on a virtual online forum. A 2021 survey of students found that 35% received a promotion since enrolling.

Many schools are still reluctant to make a reduced-price online degree because they fear such a product might eat up demand for their traditional M.B.A. programs, said Paul Carlile, who leads online learning at Questrom.

Halley Kamerkar, 36 years old, finished her online Questrom coursework in August and said hearing from fellow M.B.A. candidates in South Africa, Ireland and Miami was valuable.

Ms. Kamerkar, of Salem, Mass., said she thought about graduate school for a long time, but a study guide she bought for the Graduate Management Admission Test gathered dust until she learned about Questrom’s program with its $24,000 price tag. Ms. Kamerkar works in the nonprofit sector and only recently paid back her undergraduate loans.

“I did not want to give up my full-time career to take a step back and pursue education,” she said.

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