In a globalised scenario, with many MNCs opening offshore subsidiaries, this niche area holds a lot of promise for graduates, especially those with a commerce background.
To meet the demand for professional managers, universities and institutes have introduced master’s programmes in international business or foreign trade with focus on international finance, international marketing, international trade, intellectual property rights, insurance and risk management etc.
One should choose MBA or postgraduate diploma programmes with specialisation in international business (IB) or the Master of International Business courses offered by reputable institutes, business schools and universities.
Some universities offer M.Com. with specialisation in international business, which is different from the MBA (IB) or MIB programmes.
The latter are focussed on international business, while M.Com. deals with commerce too. They have different syllabi and course structures. The MBA programmes help to develop a general set of management skills, in addition to specific knowledge related to international business.
The MBA (IB) programmes provide comprehensive coverage of important areas and disciplines relevant to international business. These focus on equipping students with knowledge and expertise required to deal with the corporate world in issues such as international marketing; economic analysis; international logistics; cross-cultural management; management of multinational companies; global business information system; export-import system; international regulatory environment and strategic management.
The syllabus covers management concepts; management accounting; foreign trade policy and management; international marketing management; international business; business statistics and research methodology; international trade and monetary systems; international business law; international accounting; international financial management; international marketing logistics; foreign languages (German, French and Russian); international management strategy and policy; international comparative management; import management; organisational behaviour; and personnel management.
Graduates in any discipline with at least 50 per cent marks are eligible for admission. Selection is based on entrance examinations, group discussions and interviews. Some universities and institutes consider scores in the Common Admission Test (CAT) of the Indian Institutes of Management, Xavier’s Admission Test (XAT) and Management Aptitude Test (MAT) scores for screening applicants for the group discussion and interview.
• The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, a deemed university, is one of the prominent institutions offering the MBA (IB) course. Graduates in any discipline are eligible for admission. Selection is through a national-level entrance test, group discussion and interview. Details can be had from www.iift.edu
• The Department of International Business (School of Management) of Pondicherry University, Puducherry ( www.pondiuni.org/dep_intntlbusiness.html), conducts the programme. Graduates in any discipline with at least 50 per cent marks are eligible. Selection is through a national-level entrance test, group discussion and interview.
• The Business School of Punjab University, Chandigarh ( www.ubschandigrah.org), conducts the programme for graduates or postgraduates in any discipline with at least 50 per cent marks.
Selection is based on the scores in the Common Admission Test (CAT) of the Indian Institutes of Management, group discussion and interview.
• NMIMS University, Mumbai ( www.nmims.edu), offers a MBA course with specialisation in international business. Graduates, with 50 per cent marks in any discipline, are eligible. Selection is based on an entrance test (NMAT), group discussion and interview.
• The Department of International Business and Commerce of Alagappa University, Karaikudi-630 003, offers MBA (IB) and e-commerce programmes for meritorious graduates in any discipline.
Many universities and institutes offer the programme to train meritorious graduates for a career in international business and foreign trade. Some of them are:
• Gitam Institute of Foreign Trade, Visakhapatnam ( www.gift-india.org).
• The Department of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics, under Delhi University. Graduates in any discipline with at least 50 per cent marks and those who have appeared for the final degree examinations are eligible to take the entrance test ( www.mibdu.org).
• PSG Institute of Management, Peelamedu, Coimbatore ( www.psgim.ac.in). Meritorious graduates in any discipline are eligible for admission.
• Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad and Nagpur. Selection is based on CAT score. Meritorious graduates in any discipline are eligible ( www.imt.edu).
• Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.
• Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur.
• Himachal Pradesh University.
• University of Rajasthan.
• Kurukshetra University.
The syllabus includes principles of management; international economics; organisational behaviour; international marketing; financial management and accounting; consumer behaviour; international financial management; import management; international marketing research; corporate strategy and business policy; international business law and taxation.
The Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA), Loyola College, Chennai-600 034 ( www.liba.edu), offers a two-year, full-time postgraduate diploma course in management with specialisation in international business. Graduates with at least 50 per cent marks in any discipline are eligible for admission. Selection is based on the XAT score.
The Lal Bahadur Sashtri Institute of Management, New Delhi ( www.lbsim.edu), conducts a two-year, full-time postgraduate programme with international business as one of the specialisations.
Those who pass these programmes can become import-export and investment advisers; foreign sales representatives; international business consultants; business executives; and so on.
Import and export companies; consulting firms; international non-governmental organisations (NGOs); and shipping and airline companies are some of the employers.
Professionals trained in international business are much sought after in countries such as the U.S, the U.K. and Australia where many big multinational companies have their corporate offices.