Nagpur companies take initiative in deploying MBA students for real work

Three fast growing companies in Nagpur namely Baidyanath Life Sciences, Puneet Super Bazar, and Rite Water (India) have selected eighteen (18) MBA students to work on real world projects at these companies under a highly successful program called Octave Business Advisory Group, or OBAG run by Octave Business School, Nagpur. Interestingly all these students are currently studying in the second semester of their PGP + MBA program at OCTAVE. Before taking up the responsibility of executing critical work for the above companies, the students prepared themselves by getting exposure to subject knowledge and practical experience of building a small business operation during their first semester under Octave Entrepreneurship Program (OEP). As a part of this unique experience, these students worked very successfully on entrepreneurship projects funded by OCTAVE. Each team was given a starting capital and were assigned mentors. Within a span of 3 months, almost all the teams generated revenues equal to four times that of the capital provided, indeed an impressive return on capital in a record time. Students gained valuable experience in connecting with potential customers, developing supplier relations, managing cash, creating marketing material and sales. Rarely MBA students reach this level of expertise and exposure within first 6 months at a business school. OBAG is first of its kind in India to be implemented by a business school. The genesis of the program is based on the real needs expressed by 100 HR managers about what they expect from fresh MBA graduates. The employers of MBA graduates have constantly complained about lack of practical knowledge among the graduates. OBAG is designed to meet the need of the industry. There are 3 stakeholders to make each project a success. Involvement of a senior manager or a director from the host company ensures that the project gets high visibility and priority inside the organization. Also, real value is in implementing the findings otherwise it would become yet another theoretical exercise. A mentor with industry experience is attached to the project. His job is to guide the team whenever they are stuck while promoting initiative taking among the team members. He also acts as a mediator between the student team and the host company director or the sponsor. Then the student teams, who are expected to be motivated, put in extra efforts and meet the objectives jointly set and accepted by all three stakeholders as above. It is a indeed a matter of pride that a business school from Nagpur has taken a lead in bringing next level of practical experience to MBA students while contributing significantly to local industries.