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For business school graduates, the skill gap is a two-way challenge: students don't get commensurate returns on their investments, while the industry doesn't get qualified and properly trained future managers. A few exceptional schools, like IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, Faculty of Management Studies, and FORE School of Management, are making conscious efforts to address this issue. Recent studies on the current scenario in management education highlight this skill gap. For instance, according to the India Skill Report 2019 (an annual survey), only 36.4% of MBA graduates are considered employable. The assessment was carried out by testing a large pool of candidates on English, critical thinking skills, numerical aptitude, domain knowledge, and behavioural competence. MBA graduates appear to be losing ground consistently, given that the same survey has shown employability among MBAs falling by 6% over a 5-year period. There are many factors contributing to this decay: unscrupulous promoters setting up fly-by-night B-Schools, the presence of many non-AICTE certified programmes, inexperienced faculty body, and lack of industry exposure in the programmes. This has led to a deterioration in general standards that make graduates ill-equipped to face the real-life challenges that industry poses in a volatile and ever-changing world. Sadly, at the most basic level, many graduates also suffer from poor communication and technical skills. FORE School of Management, New Delhi has a long history of creating capable business managers. The various PGDM courses are AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) approved, NBA (National Board of Accreditation) accredited, and are equivalent to MBA as per equivalence permission granted by Association of Indian Universities (AIU). The institute is also accredited by SAQS. The current batch size is 180 for PGDM, 120 for PGDM in International Business, and 60 for PGDM in Financial Management. For each programme, the emphasis is on creating future-ready managers who are ready to contribute from the day they are recruited from campus. To identify and understand the skills required by employers, FORE remains engaged and involved. The B-School has created a forum where an employer's representative can experience the institution's commitment and communicate their knowledge of required skills. Curricula are maintained and improved through a variety of activities, chief among them being through meeting accreditation requirements, both at the national and international levels. By considering industry inputs regarding the skills and competencies needed, and then ensuring that such skills are incorporated into the curriculum and properly measured, a clear pathway can be created in which graduates can add immediate value to an employer's operations. On the academic front, FORE's courses focus on furthering practical learning through an optimum mix of lectures, classroom discussions, case studies, role-plays, group discussions, quizzes, and special sessions with industry and trade professionals, management games, sensitivity training, management films, industrial visits, industry interaction and, last but not the least, the International Immersion Programme. Students are encouraged to present their cases through individual or group presentations. A further opportunity is provided through the participation of students in various seminars and workshops. The endorsement for FORE's methodology comes from the recruiters. FORE continues to improve on its placements record. "The highest offer this year is looking upward of INR 32 lac per annum. New-age organizations are happy to find skill sets they are looking for. This placement session has been exciting with almost whole batch is already placed. The continuous efforts by faculty at FORE, to keep the pedagogy relevant to the workplace, has been rewarding. The average payback period is expected to be around 16 months", added Prof. Rajneesh Chauhan, Chair-Placements at FORE School of Management. He further shares, 'Over the past several years, we have been witnessing a steady growth in student placements. This is reflected in the continuous rise in the average CTC: 9 LPA (Batch 2014-16), 9.4 LPA (Batch 2015-17), and 10.4 LPA (Batch 2016-18). For Batch 2017-19, placements are almost over. Top recruiters from across sectors and industries have been visiting our campus. Every year we can attract new companies in addition to existing organizations. We have been receiving positive feedback from recruiters, who are hiring our students for diverse roles and responsibilities in different domains.' At FORE, students are encouraged not to rest on past achievements. They are always inspired to work hard and prepare well. The placements office works rigorously with the student body, Corporate Communication Division (CCD) to help the young learners distil their academic learning into practical lessons and sharpen their 'soft skills'. Since training in communication skills is woven into the curriculum, robust communication becomes a way of life for students rather than a skill to be learned just before interviews. It is the same with other skills like using spreadsheets or presentation slides. Moreover, the vibrant Student Council also helps students to hone their leadership, event management, and mobilization skills. This approach has enabled several past students to reach distinguished leadership positions working with multinational and Indian business groups in India and abroad. Guest Sessions with distinguished alumni and other industry leaders are another important source of gaining up-to-date knowledge for students. These sessions help students to keep in touch with industry, ask questions, and develop linkages with their curriculum. FORE's location in the heart of NCR helps the B-School to tap into a rich pool of speakers from manufacturing and services, and bureaucracy and the government. As Gagandeep Singh, Batch 2017-19, shares, 'I am absolutely thrilled to get an opportunity to work with a Fortune 500 company. This has happened because of my holistic development at the B-School. Now I am a more confident management professional.' Gagandeep had worked in Operations for almost four years when he decided to pursue the PGDM programme at FORE. If India is to deliver on its potential of being the growth engine of the world, we need to address the skill challenge by adopting initiatives that are learner-centric, inspire innovative thinking, and encourage life-long learning.
"I still remember the evening I made up my mind to study at FORE School of Management, New Delhi vividly. That one evening changed the course of my life and I can't even begin to put a tangible value on what FSM has given me in the last two years. I had a brief idea that it would be tough, but the challenges sculpted a new me; a person who is far more professionally and socially responsible than the business administration graduate who embraced FSM as the guide and mentor two years back. Making it to the top Institute had never been a challenge for me but making it to an Institute that didn't just offer education within the classroom walls but comprehensive corporate exposure and consistent industry interaction is what I had in mind when I applied to FSM for my PG education in Marketing. I received a better bargain and must say that my journey at FSM was indeed an unpredictably educating, inspiring and challenging one. There was not a single moment when I didn't feel driven. Some early morning sessions proved to be more grueling than others, but I found the all-nighters quite relieving. Throughout these two years, my sole motivation was to hone my marketing skills and earn maximum exposure to contemporary industry marketing practices along with the theoretical knowledge" says Shaina Sharma, a second year student, and FORE Connect member. What added to my journey was the action I witnessed as part of the dynamic student committees. I had zero idea that getting sponsorships, planning and executing new events; getting budget approval would occupy so much space behind the scenes. Of course, I will always remember how impressing the committee heads was harder than making it to FSM but as I pen my experience with my placement letter in my bag, I have to say that all my early morning alarms and all-nighters were worth the pain. "Being part of team Nexus's annual event - Genesis, I was given the responsibility of planning, coordinating and implementing the ideas at the annual fest - Genesis and to bring sponsorship for the fest. This whole event taught me to take ownership and responsibility of the event and to complete it effectively and efficiently. Being a member of Team Nexus and having the opportunity to lead this team is by far the best experience I've had in the past year and a half. The whole experience has given me a window to reflect and discover my true self" shares Zaki Zamrood, a senior member of team Nexus. "Becoming a part of the team FORE CONNECT will always be one of the best milestones of my MBA journey. Working with such an amazing team and being the glue between the college and the aspirants by actually becoming the "Face of FORE" has helped me grow as a person altogether" says Akshada, an FC member. She understood the knitty gritties of PR and art of handling it effectively with the importance of PR and social media in the current environment. FSM has several student committees that give students like me the privilege of choice. Based on where one's interest lies; a student can pursue any committee and actively participate to earn the practical exposure. While Anushka Agarwal applied to several communities, she had her heart set on the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development and thanks to the heart, brain, and soul she had put into the selection process, she got selected. The core ideas that the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development at FSM focuses on are innovation and perseverance as it's indeed tough for young, energetic and entrepreneurial minds to make it big in a market that's overrun by monotony and a severe lack of innovation. Learning Social Responsibility at FSM My friends, Saloni and Abhiraj decided to pursue business and marketing studies because they always wanted to bring about a change with innovation, technology, and social responsibility. Antar and Centre for Sustainable Development - the social committees at FSM have numerous tie-ups with NGOs and other organizations that work to bring a social change. Being part of this committee helped both of them to get an in-depth understanding of how the corporate sector, innovative entrepreneurship, and marketing can facilitate consistent growth of the society and open portals for a brighter future. While sharing his experience Aditya Kumar member of Corporate Interaction Division (CID) says "Playing a pivotal role in bridging the gap between the corporates and the Institute, our work leads us to the right people, connections and networks. Acting as a linking bridge between the past and the present, FORE Alumni Network (FAN) endeavors to build a better future. It connects a community of more than 5000 strong FORE family present across global and other divides. Providing a platform for the alumni to communicate and network with the faculty members, students, and the management, FAN thereby enhances the educational experience at the institute and also promotes the brand FORE in the business world environment. Various events like annual Alumni re-union JUBILATE, Rendezvous, Panchtatva, and a Sports event are conducted throughout the year shares Utkarsh Vidyarthi from Team FAN. "The students' council activities form an integral part of the management learning at FORE School of Management and are independently driven by the students. Students are encouraged to enhance their managerial, leadership and thinking skills by organizing a series of innovative events throughout the year. This aims at giving them the real-time experience of interacting with the corporate world, working in teams, planning and coordinating budgets, managing events and nurturing decision-making skills" says Prof. Basant K. Potnuru, Chair (Students Affairs). According to him the seminar course activities of the Student Affairs/Council is another key element for students in acquiring skills and knowledge that are not taught or covered in the regular curriculum. This is carefully designed to provide a platform to students with the objectives: a) to understand and form an opinion on the latest changes and issues in business, economy, and society; b) to interact with corporates to understand and bridge the gap between classroom learning and corporate practice; c) to enhance knowledge and confidence on various issues of relevance to face activities like GD and PIs; and d) to improve and practice skills learned. FSM is a thriving ground for a growth-oriented mind that's keen on pushing its own boundaries and accepting the management and business challenge. The session was grueling and the early morning classes taught us the beauty of appreciating 10-minute naps in between breaks. As we officially leave the FSM premises, we proudly want to say that we made the best decision of our lives by letting FSM pave a new, inspiring career path for us. Now that we have acquired a taste for the intense corporate climate, we are up for the challenge and ready to take on the professional life with fresh entrepreneurial ideas. We are FOREians!
International Business is undergoing a paramount transformation with the arrival of new technologies, shrinking boundaries, and the growing cosmopolitan culture. The Indian market itself has become a thriving ground for international talent and with the growing entrepreneurship in the Indian Subcontinent, the global demand for cutting-edge business solutions and inventive minds is on the rise. Among the leading Indian B-Schools, FORE School of Management has wholeheartedly embraced the wind of change and has fully committed itself to foster the sharpest minds in the business world with a special focus on the global business climate. The New Delhi Based Business School has trained young minds and launched the careers of many with several of its students heading the major departments across an impressive array of verticals. Recently, the FORE School of Management conducted an International Immersion Programme to facilitate a global and progressive learning environment for the students. In a brief programme spanning almost a week, IIP focused on providing students the international exposure and a platform for exchanging ideas and practices through streamlined lectures by the major academicians. The 2018 IIP had 5 highly specialized and cutting-edge courses: International Trade and Logistics which was specifically designed for the International Business group students. This course was conducted by Prof. K. Ravi Kumar Shaw, Chair Professor at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Disruptive Technologies which covered disruption in a holistic and comprehensive way to outline how eminent companies have leveraged this strategy for modifying their own, adjoining, and other unrelated industries. Finance & Technology which explained the latest technologies that are transforming the current financial industry. It covered the concepts of Digital currency and its implications, Bitcoin and Blockchain, ICO, The Rise of Ant Financial Services, and International payment transformation. Digital Marketing which helped students understand customer needs, channels, tools, and touch points. It also helped students in knowing how data is being generated and used to enhance the effectiveness of communication messages and advertising. International Competitive Strategies which deals with the challenges that managers face in accomplishing the organization's goal in competitive and uncertain conditions while deploying their people and internal assets to optimal effect. During the 2018 IIP, students visited various companies in Singapore like Grey Orange, Expara, Olam, and DHL as an essential part of their academic program. Technology group students also relished the first-hand experience of 3D printing at 3D Printing Lab of NTU. With a fully residential program like this, students sojourned at an excellent residential facility of Nanyang Executive Centre, part of NTU, Singapore. Making Global Professionals At Fore School of Management, the primary focus is on delivering the best, not second-grade or run of the mill education. Since the world's becoming increasingly global and connected, the dynamics of business sans geographic boundaries have evolved. The Fore School of Management is dedicated to pushing beyond the conventions and nurturing talent to encourage entrepreneurial and business innovation. Prof. Himanshu Joshi, Prof. in charge, International Relations says, "International Immersion Program at FORE is designed to give students an opportunity to learn the latest advancement in their respective field of specialization and deepen their knowledge about an increasingly globalized business environment. Five highly specialized courses developed by Nanyang Business School, Singapore faculty based on their intensive research experience are conducted over a week period for FORE students. Apart from the rigorous academic inputs, IIP provides insights into Singapore's Econo-political, business, social, and cultural life." With the 2018 IIP, PGDM IB students got the chance to interact with and learn from Prof. Patrick Gibbons, the Jefferson Smurfit Professor teaching Strategic Management at the University College Dublin who conducted the course for IB students at the Nanyang Executive Centre, Singapore. Prof. Gibbons introduced the students to some of the most ground-breaking International Competitive Strategies, designed to tackle the most formidable challenges that managers often face because of the unpredictable international business climate. International Competitive Strategies Course highlighted the pathways for managers who struggle with the changing business climate and illuminated methods concerning how they should deploy the business assets and resources to achieve the optimal output. PGDM 2016-2018 batch's student Akshay Sood recounts his brilliant IIP experience at NEC, Singapore. He journalized his IIP experience via a photo-story and remarked that it indeed brought him face to face with the challenging global business climate. Akshay mentioned in his photo story that it was curiosity and an insatiable hunger for knowing more that took him to Singapore and the moment he stepped on the massive campus of Nanyang, he knew that it was the wisest trip he had made. A brief trip, IIP 2018 from FORE School of Management, provided the students access to some of the most state-of-the-art amenities on the campus. Akshay, a promising IB student, added that the opportunity opened new doors for him and widened his academic and practical understanding of International Business and dealing with the challenges a global territory brings. A healthy balance of education and play Akshay spent six days with his friends and batchmates in Singapore, learning from the best and recounted how fruitful the visit to the several established companies like Expara, DHL, Grey Orange, etc. were. As part of the overseas academic program, the whole batch visited the 3-D printing Lab of NTU where they received exposure to the innovative practice and ideas. He recounted how this educational trip had been among the most fulfilling ones since he didn't just get the chance to explore the beautiful city of Singapore but also witnessed the technologically advanced marvel firsthand. Akshay and his batchmates particularly found the wondrous and comfortable stay at the Nanyang Executive Centre residential facility in Singapore and went onto exploring iconic Singapore hotspots like the Botanic Garden, Chinatown, etc. he added, "the city is such a captivating marvel with its futuristic take on technology and design! Moreover, it's perfect for kick-starting the cosmopolitan journey into international business as it embraces students' sans boundaries and with open arms".