MBA sounds big, for it is taken as the ultimate threshold for a leap into the business world. More and more students seem tempted with the social and corporate recognition that comes with the degree. But is the programme creating entrepreneurs or desperate jobseekers in Nepal? How do students take issues like access to capital and resources? And what new business areas have they identified? The Kathmandu Post talked to some students from the Ace Institute of Management (Graduate School) for their realisations, facts and opinions. Excerpts:
Is MBA education preparing you to become entrepreneurs or jobseekers?
Entrepreneurs for sure. MBA is a practical course which makes you learn, realise and explore. It further helps you to expand your network as you meet friends from different backgrounds. You learn to communicate and develop interpersonal skills. But it all depends on how much you can get out of it.
MBA is a facilitating platform. It encourages you to identify and employ your analytical skills. But it also largely depends on what you want to do with all that you learn. If you don’t implement anything, there is nothing the qualification alone can do for you. It is important to have clear career goals.
MBA is a platform to build business analytical skills, enrich one’s knowledge and learn to cope with real-life situations that crop up while doing business. Most of us do not have hands-on experience in real working environments; but with internship and practical orientation from our instructors, we really benefit and know what to expect after we graduate.
MBA includes courses like entrepreneurship that really encourage us to become entrepreneurs. In totality, the course helps you develop analytical and decision making skills even under stressful situations.
When I started MBA, I had thought of getting a degree and finding a good job. I had this feeling that investing in a business, taking risks and working like crazy wouldn’t be worth it. A stable job with a regular source of income sounded better. But after more than one and half years into the course, I no longer want to be an employee.
After completing BBA, I had two choices—join MBA or go abroad. But sticking to the former choice has turned out to be the right decision for me. From experienced faculties, project work and internship, I have gained valuable insights into business activities.
Like other starters, I had also thought of joining a bank after completing my MBA. But as I learnt more and more about analytical and decision-making skills, I grew more confident about starting my own venture. Now I feel like why should I seek employment when I can create it.
I wasn’t sure what to do with MBA when I enrolled for the course. It was just like I had completed BBA and the next step was MBA. But now, when I look back and reflect upon what I have learnt so far, I feel a gush of confidence to start something on my own. My network of friends has widened the amalgam of business secrets from east to west.
Most of my family members are involved in business. I have implemented a couple of ideas in my family business which have worked out quite well. Moreover, there are 30 students in my class, and they are going to join 30 different organizations, which means I will have a wide network of friends and colleagues.
What about access to capital and resources?
There is a lot of idle cash lying around with people who receive remittance money. Poor mobilization of funds by banks and financial institutions is the sole limitation for access to capital. But they are also hard-pressed to find appropriate and profitable investment avenues. That means there is enough potential to find capital.
I think capital is a big problem. Banks and financial institutions don’t provide loans without collateral which is a big enough limitation for access to capital for those who don’t have collateral. What’s happening right now is that friends are teaming up and combining their savings to start a venture which often invites problems due to capital inadequacy.
What are the prospective business sectors that you would like to venture into?
One of the businesses that I think holds huge prospects is providing housekeeping service to apartments and housing colonies. I have already done a survey on its market potential which showed that it is quite in demand and lucrative. It’s an untapped sector. Organic farming is another sector that holds immense potentials.
Due to busy lifestyles, most people are not able to take part in religious rituals. That apart, many people don’t know where to get the items required for such rituals like oil lamps and leaf bowls. Demand for these goods is very high in Kathmandu. I have already done a survey on its market potential which is huge.
I think there is enough scope in event management. I am basically talking about a company which supplies even Brahmins for pujas, weddings and life cycle ceremonies. An event management company of that nature and scope can make millions. I also feel strongly about a boutique specializing in designer clothes for pregnant women.