Here’s what PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi thinks is wrong with current MBA programmes

Find out are the current MBA programmes inadequate in creating future business leaders at

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi

Synopsis: PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi has termed current MBA programmes as inadequate in creating future business leaders. According to her, lack of focus upon technology is degrading the quality of management graduates being produced by top B-schools across the world.

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi is an inspiration and an icon for MBA aspirants across the world. In fact, she has motivated a generation of female MBA aspirants to join top MBA colleges in India and emerge as world class business leaders.

However, during a recent interaction, she has termed the current MBA programmes on offer at top B-schools in India and abroad as inadequate. During an interactive session at Fast Company's Innovation Festival on November 1, she said that the contemporary syllabus / curriculum of management programmes are ‘outdated’ and needed a desperate upgrade.

Her criticism of MBA programmes was primarily aimed at the design of the syllabus which tried to incorporate as many as 50 case studies within a single semester. She also felt that lack of focus upon technology as part of the MBA programmes further alienates the management students from the real life business situations that they have to handle after earning their degree.

While talking to Fast Company editor-in-chief Robert Safian, she said, "I don't know why we can't teach five or six cases, focus on each case for a week or two, and really get to understand the business aspects, the economic aspects, the political aspects, the environmental aspects."

Further elaborating on the subject, PepsiCo CEO said that concentrated focus upon the limited number of case studies will help MBA students to get an in-depth understanding of the "multi-faceted and complex" nature of business.

Another strong criticism against existing MBA programmes came in the form of lack of focus upon technology and computer sciences. As per Ms Indra Nooyi, computer science is the new foreign language and is deemed to be a vital asset in the arsenal of a business manager.

Concluding the session, Ms Nooyi said due because of the high number of case studies being included in the curriculum “We have these kids who don't know anything about business in great detail.” This leads to MBA graduates thinking that they have a credible MBA degree but all that means is that they have good education but lack the basic knowledge that is required in the business world.

Both these issues needed a very hard look from business schools across the globe at their curriculum as there is a better way to teach management courses, said Ms Nooyi.

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