Coimbatore Management Association (CMA) is collaborating with the industries, institutions and a training company to provide training material for MBA graduates, to make them industry-ready.

While it is a given that there is a gap between the demand of the industry and supply from institutions in terms of industry-ready manpower, it is also a known fact that the stakeholders are doing their bit, albeit in small steps, in bridging this gap.

For its part, the Coimbatore Management Association (CMA) is collaborating with the industries, institutions and a training company to make management students productive from the day they step into office.

Without being too ambitious, the CMA is preparing training material to develop managerial talent for some specific industries, which can be used alongside the syllabus in the final semester. Knowing that preparing training material at one go for all the industries is not a realistic task, the association is taking baby steps focussing on two or three industries, to begin with.

All this is the result of a workshop on ‘Creating a Roadmap for Developing Necessary Talent in MBA Students' organised by the CMA recently, bringing together representatives of the industry and B-schools. At the workshop, TMI Group executive chairman T. Muralidharan moderated the discussions between the industry heads and educators to arrive at logical conclusions that could be converted into a concrete action plan.

“There is an increasing fear that MBAs are not getting placed at the right salaries. This is based on the premise that increase in the number of B-schools has not resulted in increase in quality. The workshop's focus was on getting ideas to make the management graduates productive on day-one,” Mr. Muralidharan said.

While there is much hue and cry that the syllabus of B-schools is not meeting the requirements of the industry, the disturbing truth came out that many institutions were not even completing the syllabus.

“The B-schools were erroneously focussing on soft skills, while the path to take was ensuring specific skill-sets based on specific industry requirements. Another find was that there is no problem in attitude among the students. They are eager to perform. Are the campuses providing them enough to make them perform?” he asked.

Director of PSG Institute of Management R. Nandagopal who attended the workshop said it was wrong to generalise the employability of management students as there are 4,000 B-schools in India.

“Employability of students should also be categorised in levels. All companies do not focus on the same skill sets. Hence, it is difficult to train students in all skill sets. If we are looking at making students productive from day one, companies should spend time in institutions helping students develop these skill sets,” he said.

Based on the deliberations, the CMA is working out an action plan. S. Mani, Joint Secretary of CMA and Dean, Corporate and International Relations of Sree Saraswathi Thyagaraja College, Pollachi, said the training modules for developing managerial talent required for certain small and medium scale industries were being developed with the help of the industry, TMI e2E Academy and CMA trainers.

“We are getting the material ready so that this can be used for final-year students who will pass out in 2013. The training will be offered to management students during the course of the final semester during weekends or in some other suitable module. Those who complete this programme will receive a joint certificate from TMI and CMA,” Mr. Mani said.

According to Mr. Muralidharan, imparting training in specific skill sets could yield better results if students made up their minds in the final semester about the choice of industry they would pursue their career on completion of their course. “Then it is possible to train them effectively for job profiles related to that particular industry,” he noted.