Thursday, 15 October 2015

Full Time vs Part Time MBA

mba colleges in mumbai “I have 3 years of work experience and now I am planning to enroll for MBA course to gear up for career in HR. What is a better option- a full time MBA OR a part time MBA Executive course?”

Someone asked me this question recently at a conference in Mumbai. The answer to this question is very subjective, and really depends on the priorities and constraints of that person. For example, not everyone can afford to cut off their supply of monthly income by leaving their job and study full time. But the question of full time vs. part time MBA is not just about sacrificing monthly pay cheque. There are other factors to be considered, and so I thought why not list out a couple of advantages and constraints of each of these options. The decision still has to come from the person asking this question, but as I always say- making an informed decision is any day better than blindly following a trend or following someone's ready made suggestion.

Learning Environment 

which is better part-time or full time mba
MBA Learning Environment
 Part Time MBA classes are conducted usually in evenings and over the weekend. During that time, which is by the way limited, classes are slightly fast paced as compared to full time. Other than assignments, projects and completing the syllabus, these students do not get much bandwidth to get involved in student organizations and extracurricular activities.

You might be thinking, so what? Extracurricular activities are not that important anyway- that's why they are tagged as 'extra'.
Learning environment of a good management institute comprises more than just faculty and syllabus. In fact, student organizations form a very important part of the learning ecosystem at the campus. Students involved in these groups get opportunities to develop leadership skills, hone their communication skills, improve problem solving ability and develop group/ team management skills. Full time management courses offer this most important benefit to the students.

Time Management 

difference between part time and full time mba
Time Management Challenge
Part time management course along with job adds third dimension to the much debated and delicately balanced work and home life. The pressure is not just to manage time for classes, but for completing assignments, projects and of course self study- all of which are integral to any management course. Good news is that these days many organizations which promote and support career development of their employees make provision for part time or flexible work timing arrangements.


Management institutes like Jankidevi Bajaj Institute of Management Studies which offer part time diploma courses and Executive Mba part time in Mumbai mandate prior work experience as one of the eligibility criteria that offers one very nice benefit to its students- a ready-made professional network for life. On campus full time courses also offer networking opportunities, but of a different nature. Students get to attend various events within and outside the University. And time being on their side, they can join and actively get involved with industry associations like Bombay Management Association ( BMA ) or other collegiate meet-up groups to expand their network.

Application of Knowledge and Skills
Students of full time MBA get to apply the acquired knowledge and skills in the industry during internships or after completing their course when they get placed. Part time management students who are also working get to apply their class concepts in real time. What about students studying part time but not working. Do they get internship opportunities? Make it a point to clear that from the admission department of the shortlisted management colleges, because it depends on the institutes.


Not all MBA specializations may be available in part time format. In that case you can consider part time diploma courses.


There are pros and cons of doing MBA full time versus part time. If the biggest advantage of part time MBA is that you don’t have to leave your job for your career development, then I think nothing beats the benefits of the rich learning environment and opportunities of overall personality development that full time MBA students get. After all, MBA is not a degree where only subject knowledge matters. Leadership qualities and effective communication skills are as important as the subject expertise in MBA.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

MBA Career in Online Retail

mba in retail management mumbai

Career of MBA in retail is not just about managing retail chains, as any naive retail management student would imagine. Retail has transformed thanks to the wave of e-commerce and has brought with it a tide of exciting opportunities for MBAs. 

Pick any Indian business newspaper any day of the week, and chances are that you'll find at least one piece of news related to e-commerce. It could be about Flipkart opening new fulfillment centers in Indian cities, or on how Apple plans to sell around half of its new phones in India through the online route.

Online buyers have become comparatively more comfortable with mobile technology, thanks to constant sale offers by e-retailers to increase their market share. What buyers see is just that they are getting attractive deals and offers, convenient modes of payments and fast delivery. But to materialize this, online retailers are reinventing almost all business processes and working out innovative business models for everything from sourcing to logistics. They are evolving at an unprecedented pace and for that they need people who can take a holistic view of the business, master a range of functions and help the retailer innovate. That's why these companies are recruiting MBAs with specialization in various fields.

Career in Retail- MBA Specializations

mba career in retail

Firstly, have you thought why are these fast evolving and competitive retailers are flocking to management institutes and recruiting MBAs? Industry perceives MBA program as providing a comprehensive coverage incorporating all the important subject areas and teaching management techniques for handling business operations in a highly dynamic and competitive environment. Since technology has changed the consumer behavior and expectations, hence there has been a need in the market for young, tech savvy strategic thinkers.

To have a career in retail, options are not limited to MBA Retail Management specialization, but also in operations, supply chain, logistics and even data analytics. But retail on the verge of being disrupted by digital wave and digital being predominantly data driven, I think every MBA student eyeing this sector must build data analytical skills like marketing analytics, consumer analytics, merchandising and planning, demand and supply chain or predictive analytics. Today, there has been a paradigm change in the way savvy retailers connect with their consumers and meet their demands thanks to big data.


Players in retail sector especially in the online space need analytical thinkers who can understand business as a generalist and employ cross functional expertise. This is an exciting time to be in retail, offering long term cross functional exposure and growth opportunities especially to MBAs. MBA course is designed to train students to take a holistic view of the business and at the same time allows students to specialize in their area of interest. As far as MBA specialization is concerned, retail management, supply chain, logistics, sales and marketing, operations or even business analytics has huge scope to build a career in retail.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Career options after MBA HR Specialization

As an MBA HR intern or fresher, you get to try on different roles in human resources and eventually you find a fit for a HR role to specialize in. So before you apply for HR internships or placements or even for MBA HRM course, take a closer look at various functions performed by HR department in organizations. That would give you a better idea about the career options after MBA HR or any other human resource management course.

I can take you through a cut and dry list of functions of human resource which you may or may not be able to relate to as beginners. So why not get a perspective of HR roles as an employee of an organization and let’s analyze at what stage you, as an employee, can benefit from the functions performed by HR. 

MBA HR Mumbai
HR Function: New Employee On-boarding

When you are new to an organization, on first day usually, you are given information about the organization structure, its culture, work environment, facilities, policies, etc. That’s a part of new employee on-boarding, and one of the functions of Human Resource department.

I remember fresh out of the college on my first day at work, HR had organized an orientation session. All freshers were introduced to various heads of the department. We were briefed about medical and other benefits, leaves, compliance, dress code, work environment, facilities etc. HR had also cracked some great bulk deals with two banks to help us open new zero balance salary accounts ;) So yes, on-boarding new employees- fresher and laterals- is an important function of HR. After all, you as an employee don’t want to join a new company and feel lost in your initial days. Similarly, HR wants to ensure that this new employee- employer relationship starts off on the right foot. 

MBA Human Resource Management colleges
HR Function: Policies

As I mentioned above, you will get introduced to company policies as part of your on-boarding process. But who created those policies? The owner/ founder of the organization? It is not a one person’s job. HR helps create corporate policies and procedures. These policies cover all aspects of the functioning of the organization from recruitment, hiring, compensation, benefits, for workplace challenges and even managing discrimination issues. It is certainly not a routine job, but on ongoing process involves meeting specific regulatory requirements, etc.

If you are already a MBA HR graduate or any equivalent course or even considering pursuing this MBA specialization, you can map the business/ corporate/ labour laws section of the syllabus to the policies created by HR. 

Roles of HR
HR Function: Training & Development

Now that you have joined this organization, someone needs to make sure that you are equipped to meet the basic competencies of the job. Of course, to get this job you exhibit some skills, but skills also need to be honed through training from time to time. Training and Development is one of the key functions of Human Resource department. For example, as a fresher you would have academic knowledge, so your organization could put you on to some training to give you the industry mold to get started. Consider another example where an experienced professional in your team wants to acquire some new skill to be able to do a particular task at work or a colleague undertakes some training to upgrade her skill set to move to more senior role.

Employees need training sometimes on specific topics to meet the basic competencies for the job, sometimes as a part of the growth plan for promotions or even as a part of the overall professional development program. HR training and development team looks for learning opportunities in every-day activity and facilitates the same. 

career options after MBA HRM
HR Function: Employee Engagement
Let’s now fast forward to the time when you are not new to this organization anymore. Over a period of time, you develop an emotional and functional commitment to your organization. But this enthusiasm, energy and commitment need to be maintained so that your performance levels remain high. The motivation and urge for innovation needs to be upped from time to time. That’s where employee engagement programs help organizations and is also handled by HR department. 
MBA Specialization in HRM
HR Function: Recruitment & Hiring

What you’ve read so far was just to give you an idea of the roles of HR and how and when the benefit of these HR functions reaches the employees. Before I wind up, let’s imagine that your fictitious team needs to hire one more person and you have been asked to initiate the hiring process. What would you do next? Directly go to LinkedIn or job portals and start hunting for candidates? Employees contact HR Recruitment team when they want to open a new job vacancy in the organization. 
Career options after MBA Human Resource Management
HR Function: Compensation & Benefits

HR recruitment department then prepares the final job description, posts on relevant job portals, scan applications, schedule interviews. For selected candidates, they prepare the job letter with compensation and benefit details and coordinate their joining dates. Then on their joining date, HR help in smooth on-boarding of new employees taking us back to our first point from where we started.

Summary of HR Functions


Role of HR when understood can give a clear idea about career options after MBA HRM or any equivalent diploma course. These HR functions can be performed by being a part of the internal HR team of the organization or as an external HR consultant. Execution can be handled by HR specialists in that role or by HR generalists who can perform multiple HR functions by working closely with specialists.

Friday, 11 September 2015

HR Quotes

Human Resource Quotation # 1

"Human Resources
Isn't a Thing We Do.
It's the thing that
Runs our business."
-Steve Wynn, Wynn Las Vegas

Human Resource Quotations

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Quotes on Education

Education Quote #1

You educate a man,
You educate a man.
You educate a woman,
You educate a generation.
-Brigham Young

Quote on women education

Education Quote #2

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam learning quotes
Image source
 "Learning gives Creativity,
Creativity leads to thinking,
Thinking provides knowledge,
Knowledge makes you great."
-Dr. A. P. J Abdul Kalam

Educational Quote from APJ Abdul Kalam

Education Quote #3

"What we learn with pleasure,
We Never Forget."
-Alfred Mercier

Educational Quotes

Educational Quote #4

"Intelligence plus Character-
That is the true goal of education"
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Educational Quotes

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Operational challenges in Retail Management

I’ll approach operational challenges in retail from two aspects [1] Customers [2] Products. This article is intended for those who wish to pursue career in retail and are looking for some sneak peek information to find out if retail management is indeed challenging and worth committing to. Here the scope of discussion is limited to operational challenges. If you’re keen on exploring employee related challenges in this sector, I’ve also attempted to share my HR experience in HR Challenges in Retail Management article which I wrote some time back. 

As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be dividing my thoughts on two levels- [1] Customer and [2] Products.

Operational Challenges Part 1: Customers


Merchandising gets customers and is a good starting point to analyse operational challenges. In a retail store, if customers get what they need, the variety that they’re looking for and they find those desired products displayed just at the right place so that they don’t miss it, then credit goes to the in- store retail merchandiser. That means the challenge here is to understand the customer's needs, the current market, and season’s forecast before buying stock. Also, merchandisers buy stock in right quantities, then business makes good profits. Stock that leads to unmanageable inventory is sure to lead to losses for the store.

Store Ambience

Before entering a store we often observe the window display, if it is pleasing we look forward to entering the store expecting that the store would be equally appealing. But what if it isn’t? If the store looks cluttered, where clothes aren’t stocked properly, the store staff isn’t welcoming, would you even feel like buying anything from there?

The customers are of utmost importance for any retail setup and ensuring a positive atmosphere in the store is one of the major tasks of a retail manager. The store manager takes care of things such as getting the products properly arranged, no cluttered look or foul smell in the store, keeping the floor clean, ensuring that the customers are met and their queries attended to etc. The feel of the store, its ambiance is of equal importance as the customer must find it easy to meet his requirements. Pleasant fragrance in the store, good music and courteous staff makes way for a perfect buying experience to the customers

Security and Safety

Like merchandising, safety and security is actually for products, but I want to associate this retail management aspect with nasty shop lifting customers. Inventory shrinkage or loss of products can be caused at different stages for different reasons. For example, while manufacturing, there could be loss of raw material, or while transporting products, employee theft and last but not the least customers who steal from stores.

Shop lifters think that stealing one chocolate or a pair of socks is no big deal for the retailer’s account book, but the collective loss of the retail industry on the whole is really huge. That’s why store managers use security devices and CCTVs, bar codes and tagged products (try taking tagged products out of the store and the beep- beep will alert everyone around). Well the challenge is that in spite of these measures, retail industry is still incurring losses due to in- store theft

Customer Service

Attending the customers, giving them feedback, answering their queries, looking after the refunds and returns and assisting them in shopping is necessary operation for a retail manager. In today’s times, it’s all about customers. Challenge is to always put customer at the centre of the retail business and yet manage other operations. Solution requires having less but well trained staff, giving better customer service. It sounds good in theory, but practically it is not so simple to implement. 

Operational Challenges Part 2: Products

Supply Chain Management OR SCM

Operational Challenges of retail management

Products that you as a customer see on shelves have a journey of their own. It is a process in itself to ensure that products reach the store where customers can buy. Look at the product you are buying. Manufacturing it required raw materials, maybe different parts got prepared in different locations, and then finished product got transported from factory to stores via distributors, wholesalers, etc. There are operational challenges involved at each of these retail management steps and at many more stages which are not described here.

For example, there are multiple departments involved in this supply chain. When these departments function on their own, without effective collaboration and communication, there are losses at various levels.

Then dependency on manual processes affects operations in a big way. ERP offers a solution in one way to automate processes in SCM. But ERP itself is a double edged sword. There are organizations which have failed miserably after moving to ERP systems due to various reasons which I think deserves a separate article!

Next example is that of fast changing trends or new innovations putting huge pressure on retail supply chain, leading to new sources of procurement of raw materials or just-in-time production models to cater to multiple markets and channels to name a few.

Stock and Inventory Management

This topic is also a part of supply chain management.

Stock and inventory management is a crucial part of running a successful retail business. And here is why. When stock is purchased it is with the intention of being sold. But what if stock is bought more than your estimated customer’s demand? What would happen if the merchandise is out of trend? Who will pay for a commodity that fails to meet the quality standards? It all would lead to dead stock, ultimately leading to a huge loss to the store. Hence, it is necessary to stock the right quantity of good. A retail manager must ensure that the items are stocked properly in quantity as well as quality.

Also, merchandise is stocked in the warehouse. One also has to see that the travelling time to transfer good from the warehouse to the store is less. This helps in the smooth functioning of managing the goods and would also prevent any kind of tampering of the product that is at higher risk if the distance is more, rough roads, climatic conditions etc.

The challenge lies in stocking the correct quantity and to make sure that the stock it delivered safely to the outlet. 

Educational Background for Freshers

Operations in Retail Management is a challenging career. As a fresher, to pursue career in this sector you can opt for an Operations Management course or MBA in Retail Management. Check for colleges that offer these courses. Also, check the syllabus and the duration to compare retail management courses.


This is by no means an exhaustive list of operational challenges in retail management, but just enough to give you an idea. As you go deeper exploring each of these topics in detail, you’ll discover more complexities especially in the context of modern retail with the boom of e commerce and different business models like brick and click.

Despite these challenges, the retail sector in the country is booming and attaining great heights. FDI in the sector would play a major role and enable a takeoff of the modern retail in the country. Emerging market economics have ensured that the modern retail sector will reap the benefits and be an attractive sector for investments as well as employment.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

How to compare MBA vs. Diploma and other HR Courses

HR courses in Mumbai

Have you decided to pursue a career in HR? Or are you still contemplating with the thought of whether to pursue it or not? Or is it that you wish to, but don’t know which HR course would be right for you? 

Your queries are valid. With a number of courses offered in HR, by various colleges, it is a tad bit difficult to decide which one to go for. This is one of the crucial decisions of your life, and it is important that you consider every aspect of your career, such as job prospects, remuneration, growth opportunities etc. before arriving at a decision.

I come from an HR background. After spending a long stint in the area with training and recruitment, I thoroughly understand the predicament students go through while choosing a course.

To make your decision easier, I have attempted to describe the role of Human Resource in an organization, the key characteristics that this role demands and HR courses which you can evaluate before you enrol.

Role of HR

Quotation for Role of HR
Role of Human Resource

The strength of an organization lies in its people and HR professionals are the ones responsible to drive the employees to give their best. Every organization, to succeed needs well trained and highly productive employees. However, it is easy said than done. Right training, creating a need for excellent work, building highly productive employees leads to success of an organization. But to attain this it is important to have a person who understands the employee as well as the employer. That’s where an HR comes into the picture.

One of the key roles of HR is of identifying the apt recruitment sources and utilizing the recruitment potential of the organization. The common roles that are part of any HR professional job profile are hiring employees, organizing training sessions for the employees, taking care of the compensation, enhancing company’s human resource and other such activities. The HR is the key person who evaluates the employee’s performance, introduces policies that would churn the best out of every employee, organizes training and workshops as per the requirement of the organization. 

  • Dealing with diversity 
  • Build the right culture for the organization 
  • Upgrading the existing HR policies 
  • Enhancing employee engagement and developing their potential 

About Courses in HR



MBA Human Resource Management is the most preferred course by students and professionals who wish to pursue a career in HR, or professionals who wish to get better opportunities in the field. MMS HRM and 2 year P.G. Diploma HRM are equivalent to MBA HRM. These are comprehensive courses, which cover all areas of HR. The subjects include all aspects of management, human resource management, fundamentals of labour laws and application, management audit, corporate governance, CSR and corporate leadership etc.

PGDHRM- One Year

One year PG Diploma in Human Resource Management course is a special management program with clear focus on in-depth understanding of HR concepts.

Usually management institutes state full time work experience of minimum 2 years as one of the eligibility criteria for admission.Also, many institutes offer this course as a part- time curriculum hence you can for this if you are a working professional.


MPMIR is Master of Personnel Management and Industrial Relations a course that emphasizes more on developing relations between a employees, employer, trade union and government. Compare industrial relations to human resource, which usually limits the management to employees and the employer.

Industrial relations focuses on providing job security, creating working conditions for maximum output, developing employee relation policies, administering collective bargaining agreement or labour contract and rectifying any employee relations issues for smooth functioning of an organization.

MPMIR is also a two year management course.

HR Ceritifcation Course

Human resources certification course programs provide an in-depth understanding of the specific tasks involved in HR like performance management, talent acquisition, etc.

The certification course is of great help if you come from an experienced background.


Carefully consider aspects that make a successful HR. Question yourself whether the HR profile excites you, do your own research, talk to professionals. Even if the job prospects are good, if the role sounds exciting, if the remuneration is as per your expectation; it is also very important to have passion for ones chosen profession. And if you think you fit the bill, then just go for it.

Understand which course suits your academic background and would be beneficial for you. The duration, course syllabus, eligibility are some aspects that you need to check before you enroll or start preparing for entrance exams. Check for colleges that offer the above course or related course and the placements provided.