Business specializations: Cracking the code

As the core courses draw to a closure, it’s that time of the year when students pick and choose their electives. The process of choosing specializations, however, has always baffled me. Is it really worthwhile to concentrate on a specific business area or should students prefer an all-encompassing business education? There are choices, and when there are choices, there are trade-offs.

The juggle and balancing acts have already begun in the EPGP classroom. While, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore makes sure that you are spoilt for elective choices, students are supposed to exercise caution to assess the right mix of subjects – both in terms of content and work load. The question comes back then. Is it time to go pro in a particular specialization or be the jack of all trades? Personally, I prefer the latter.

The question here really is this: if I want to go into business development then why will a major in sales & marketing not suffice? Probably it will. Nonetheless, let’s take a more detailed look.

Let’s say I want to sell a phone. Not just that, let’s say I want to give iPhones & Samsungs a run for their money!  How about I target my potential customers after knowing their detailed behavior through business analytics? How about I cut down on the manufacturing & inventory costs, and pass on the benefits in terms of reduced prices? How about I am able to forecast demands and able to optimize my production & stabilize the supply chain? And finally, how about I don’t manufacture phones on my own? Can I not outsource and acquire an already existing market player?

Welcome to strategic intelligence, operations management, big data analysis, mergers & acquisitions among many others in the world of business intelligence. It is this blend of multi-dimensional view of businesses that makes the mere process of selecting and rejecting electives a remarkable journey on its own. As we are brace ourselves for a transition from core business principles to specializations, the dilemma of striking the right balance between what to choose and what to let go continues.

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