Modern India is a podium for global entrepreneurs who dare to dream

Prof. Aditya Singh, Director at Athena School of Management, explains how the graduate school inspires the next generation of Indian graduates to be global change leaders.

In short

Celebrating excellence

Millions of Indian graduates dream of getting admitted to the Indian Institutes of Management and the Indian School of Business. However, the number of applications and high standards of eligibility criteria make it really tough to secure a place. 

An alternative to these vanguards of Indian management education include globally acclaimed private Indian graduate schools.

One such private school is Athena School of Management, located in Mumbai – the financial and commercial capital of India. 

When we at MBAGRADSCHOOLS interviewed Prof. Aditya Singh, the Director of Athena, it was with a deep sense of pride that he described the program’s global exposure. The school has also done a hat-trick in being recognized for the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and Business Graduates Association (BGA) Excellence Awards. “This makes us the only Indian business school in history to be nominated thrice in a row,” he tells us. (08:01)

Adapting to fast-paced growth

The world is changing very fast, and according to Aditya, business programs should keep up with this exponential growth.

Talking about how the Athena operates, Aditya says, “There’s a whole new breed of business schools, such as Athena School of Management in Bombay, which is built on the nature of applied knowledge, of experiential thinking, of international exposure, of global connections, of global networks and making our learners feel that you don’t come to a business school to study, you come to a business school to learn. And studying and learning are two very, very different things in the end.” (04:53)

Producing global Indian entrepreneurs for the future

Aditya and Athena understand the necessity of fostering an entrepreneurial culture in a nation of 1.5 billion people. “The fact of the matter is you cannot provide jobs to 750 million young Indians,” he says. (02:54).

Thankfully, the younger generation is not waiting for others to give them work experience. According to the latest Economic Survey conducted by the Indian government, India has become the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world, after the US and China. The nation produced a record 44 startups-turned-unicorns in 2021. 

On those unicorns, Aditya says, “They have all created wonderful opportunities for investors…and to other stakeholders but most importantly for fellow young Indians by giving them opportunities to go up in new sectors, giving them ESOPS [Employee Stock Ownership Plans]… And making them feel that, yes, they have a say in their own destiny in the future.” (02:45)

Offering global opportunities

As it stands, an increasing number of Fortune 500 companies come to India every year to hire. This means that there is a growing demand for global managers with MBA degrees. Realizing this trend, MBA grad schools in India have consciously developed strategic international alliances with esteemed grad schools in the west to give their students a global perspective.

“We have international exchanges, faculty, and research agreements,” Aditya shares. “Athena offers a very exclusive and very unique Masters in Global Luxury and Brand Management in partnership with the Rennes School of Business in France…and these students work for a couple of years at least in Paris.” (14:45)

Stressing the international opportunities that Athena provides, Aditya adds, “Athena has become a passage for global exposure for students from India, and we hope that we become a passage the other way around, where international students also get an exposure to what is happening in the fastest growing economy in the world – third-largest by PPP, fifth-largest now by GDP.” (16:13)  

Aditya also hopes students will get to know India’s “1.5 billion people with a very diverse culture where every hundred kilometers your food, your language, your dressing, your culture, everything changes… Unity and diversity, that’s India for you.” (16:40)

Collaborating to create solutions to global problems

In the wake of globalized problems, graduate schools across the world should work together to bring about change. MBA programs should have student exchange programs, faculty visits, and an exchange of ideas, which are imperative to surviving in the ever-shifting global world order. 

As Aditya rightly says, “Your resources are finite, global warming is coming, geopolitical challenges after a 30-year hiatus are back…we are running out of time. So unless you collaborate and work together, you cannot make an impact.” (06:23)

Focusing on sustainability

There’s a pressing need for sustainability training in organizations, and graduate schools can facilitate that. Having an MBA that provides training in sustainability and sustainable leadership helps graduates to gain a deeper understanding of renewable business practices. Aditya emphasizes, “Today Athena works a lot globally on sustainability with partner schools across the world… It’s not an option, it’s not a choice.” (13:27

He considers it a mistake that many business leaders still see sustainability as a social imperative when it is also a business imperative. As he puts it, “It is now a way of life. We create the leaders of tomorrow, so we’ve got to make sure that we inculcate these values in our students today.” (14:19)

Athena School of Management is new on the scene of Indian business schools, but it certainly has a lot to offer. It’s easy to understand why Prof. Aditya Singh sees a promising future for India. In the eyes of Aditya, modern India “definitely gives a podium to entrepreneurs who dare to dream.” (03:40)

You can find out more about the MBA program, by reaching out directly to Athena School of Management ambassadors.

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