Influencing Change - Role of MBA Students in Building an Inclusive Society

Published in Human Resources Articles category by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: November 28, 2012

Mahatma Gandhi once famously said "in a gentle way you can shake the whole world". Coming from one of the pioneers of world civilization there must be some merit in this statement however innocuous and impractical, it might seem to be in present scenario. Every person is capable in his own right as to make an impact on the society if he desires so.

This just requires a change in attitude and shrugging off the empathetic nature that has plagued people’s mind set over the years. And who better to lead and initiate this change than the people who are especially trained in the field of ethics and leaderships-The MBA students.  A out of the box thinking is encouraged and inculcated among them from the very beginning and it equips them with a clear mind set free of the typical societal innuendos and stereotype mentality. So they can definitely be more proactive in working towards building a more ‘inclusive’ society and its betterment at the same time.

‘Inclusive’ is the buzz word everywhere these days especially when you constantly hear it coming from the economist prime minister of our country. He regularly speaks of “inclusive growth” and the need for it. First we need to understand the true sense of this word. Inclusiveness  in essentially todays’ context means a society which is unbiased and progressive at the same time. If we discount the present global economic slowdown which has affected India’s growth  also ,India was one of the fastest growing  economies in the world( in fact inspite of the slowdown currently India is in top 5 fastest growing economies). But this growth has failed to reach the poor India read rural India. The rich–poor divide is growing and every effort to bridge it has turned futile. As a result the benefits of the growth has just stayed confined to board room meetings & drawing room discussions and terminologies like GDP and fiscal deficit are just matters of academic interest. Thus there is all the more emphasis laid upon inclusive growth where the benefits of the growth trickles down to the poor farmer sitting in Vidharbha . Now the million dollar question arises how MBA students both pursuing can play a part in country’s development and contribute towards reducing if not removing the inequality plaguing our society.

To begin with let’s look at a problem which in my opinion is the single most prime reason for this problem. The Public Distribution System or better known as the faulty and inefficient PDS is the last thing a populous country like India needs. There is no dearth in production of food grains or in government distribution policies or in demand for that matter. As we all know demand side of the economy in India is doing fine whilst it the supply side which is ailing and needs corrective measures. Every day we hear tonnes and tonnes of food grains rotting outside storage rooms  and railway platforms. This is nothing sort of a cardinal sin in a country like India where a third of the children are malnourished and half of the country goes to sleep with a empty stomach.

So MBA students especially Operations and supply chain management people equipped with the right requisite knowledge can bring in all their expertise to remove the supple constraints and de bottleneck all the lagging operations. Ensuring food to every poor house who are entitled to get them under various government schemes will be the first step towards ensuing a truly inclusive society where the benefits reach to every household and not to a privileged few. So hiring talented operations and SPM guys would be a good proactive step towards our goal. Food security Bill presented by the government guarantees food for every house and to ensure this is done efficiently and in removing logistics constrains MBA students could prove to  be a boon. 

Secondly another major problem the poor villagers staying in the interiors of our country is a lack of market and reach where they could sell their hand made traditional products and handlooms. As we know India is rich in cultural heritage and over hundreds of years every diverse culture soaked in their own tradition have developed crafts and skills which are unique in their own way be it in the field of textiles be it pottery or be it hand woven decoration items each unique in its own way . Here the people who have specialized in marketing field can be of immense help. With their creativity and honed marketing skills they can really tap on the true market potential of such products in urban and foreign markets where the artists get the deserved and optimum value for their products . This way we can stop people migrating to urban areas for employment and also help in saving the dying traditional arts of our country.

Thirdly another major area of concern and problem relates to the finances. All boils down to money at the end of the day. There is nothing more precious for the poor hardworking labourer or farmer than the hard earned money. But in most cases he has no clue what to do with that money, how to save that or where to invest that so that he gets a better return from it in future.  When they need loans they don’t know where to go and with less or no security they are often turned down by banks and thus fall easy prey to moneylenders. Here MBA in finance students can be of help and by working especially in the ignored microeconomic sector they can help in the upliftment of society. Also young dynamic MBAs are required in finance ministry where with their new school of thought they can infuse some life in to the various reforms that are presently stalled in the name of policy paralysis.

Thus we see MBA students have a huge amount of potential to make India realize its vision in the long term and there are enough evidences to show that after the era of farmers, scientists , politicians this era can truly belong to MBA guys who can shape the destiny of this wonderful country and  “shake” the world albeit in a gentle yet strong way.

This article has been authored by Abhishek Sahoo from SJMSOM, IITBOMBAY.

Views expressed in the article are personal. The articles are for educational & academic purpose only, and have been uploaded by the MBA Skool Team.

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