Post-Graduation in Management is a program that trains corporate professionals on the nuances of doing business, not for short term profits alone but sustained returns and long-term growth of firms.The future of any business relies upon strategic planning, irrespective of economic fluctuations. The skill to grow the business multi-fold can be acquired from an MBA program. Thus, an MBA program is always high in demand for business professionals.

However, given the circumstances across the globe, and what condition the economy is in, Is MBA the right option for a student who is aspiring for a corporate career? The economic consequences of COVID-19 induced lockdown in India are estimated to be a loss of about ₹25-30 lakh crore, and growth is precisely 1-2%. What will happen to businesses in India? Will they survive? Will people retain their jobs? These questions baffle an aspirant who wants to pursue an MBA. 

After the lockdown is lifted, the pivotal agenda of the government would be to revive the economy, and especially for the MSME sector as it holds maximum contribution to the national economy. The government has already made cash available in the hands of farmers, unemployed, and rural folks. After the lockdown is relaxed,more resources will be made available to the people. This will enable them to spend on goods and services. This step will help boost demand, which, in turn, will help revive the economy.

Large companies will be able to revive much more comfortably compared to MSME firms  because of their sheer size, reserve resources, and volume of operations. White goods companies may face temporary problems, but to begin with, they will depend on their reserve liquidity, take less profit, and will retain workers. This will help them gain loyalty of their employees. They will adopt innovative approaches to do business. They will deploy their resources skillfully and strategically and adopt cost reducing techniques. As demand starts picking up, the loyalty of employees will pay off and they will work for more hours in a week. This sector will be slow for about a year or so. But it will revive and pick up a good pace.

Food and pharmaceutical companies are already in operation. There will be further surge in their businesses once the lockdown is lifted. They will use more IT related automation. E-commerce is expected to pick up further as people would like to shop online more. Telemedicine may be introduced in India, and may prosper as people would like to consult doctors online.IT is a sector that has seen increase in demand even during lockdown, and will see further growth in their businesses as more and more companies and educational institutes will introduce IT-related automation.Real estate and manufacturing will be given immediate momentum by the government's investment in construction and infrastructure to bring the economy into immediate and accelerated revival. Fresh capital would be infused in these sectors to boost their revival. By the time these benefits nurture these sectors and resuscitate them, there would be a need for more blue-collar and white-collar employees.

This implies that all sectors would be given the necessary impetus by the government to give full throttle to the economy which has long been strained because of a very fragile financial sector. With this impetus and stimulus package from the government, there would be a surge in the need of professionals who would need to think innovatively to lead businesses out of the grey and shadowed period of COVID-19.

Generally, all sectors will demand more qualified- MBAs and Engineers - to cope with increased demand within a period of one or two years. I expect great opportunities opening for India because of the successful handling of the dreaded CORONA-19. It may not be wrong to predict that many multinational companies may shift their businesses from Europe and China to India, given its resilience in handling a pandemic which hit the developed countries much harder compared to India. 

Given this scenario, it is predicted that there would be incremental demand for MBAs and Engineers over the next two-three years and hence it is an ideal situation to be exploited by students wherein they can prepare themselves to grab the opportunities that will strike them in a year or two. Hence this proves the already existing significance of an MBA Program more so in the post COVID-19 resurrection era.

Written by Prof IM Pandey
DG, Delhi School of Business-VIPS TC
 Former Professor, IIM Ahmedabad