This MBA programme at SOMTU aims to provide the students with knowledge to scale up their leadership and entrepreneurial qualities.
--BY BIJAYA LAXMI DUWAL
Jeetendra Dangol, PhD
Deputy Director, SOMTU
In this age of globalization,leadership qualities have become essential for individuals to have a competitive organizational and business advantage. True leaders not only lead their institutions to the right path but also put efforts in effective manners to take on the global arena.
With the settling of the prolonged political instability, Nepal is looking towards a horizon of economic growth and prosperity. Crucial to realising the economic ambitions and aspirations of the nation are the organisations with higher level of leadership. At present, only a few university level courses related to leadership development are being run in Nepali colleges and universities.
Considering the dearth of such programmes,the School of Management Tribhuvan University (SOMTU) has been running an MBA course in Global Leadership and Management(MBA GLM) since 2014 in collaboration with Handong Global University (HGU), South Korea.“The programme is designed to develop management and leadership skills in students for business and social entrepreneurship. It will not only help them become leaders in their organisations but also help to start their own enterprises”, says Associate Professor Dr Jeetendra Dangol, deputy director at SOMTU. He adds that the programme enables students to embrace social problems as opportunities for entrepreneurship rather than escaping or avoiding them.
SOMTU is an autonomous body which runs the programme on a cost recovery basis under the Faculty of Management of Tribhuvan University. SOMTU is the only business school to offer the MBA in GLM course in Nepal.“. “We have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Handong Global University of Korea to deal mainly with the issue of social entrepreneurship. Following the MOU, Korean delegates from the university visit us to support technically in the project camps of the course,” says Dangol.
Till now, 15 students of the first,and 17 students of the second and 20 students of third batch of MBA in GLM have graduated from the university. Most of them are running their own businesses while some are working for other companies.
The programme commenced in 2014, just two years after the establishment of SOMTU. Generally, an MBA course aims to produce managers. But, MBA in GLM aims at making one capable of starting entrepreneurship independently. “We initiated the course with the major focus on training today’s youthsto embrace entrepreneurship. The course provides them skills and solutions to business problems and opportunities to uphold strong ethical values and behavior in the global business environment. We guide them to become job-givers rather than job-seekers,” says Dangol, adding, “We believe that the course enables the aspiring and efficient youths to identify opportunities and apply their own entrepreneurship skills to address the social problems in the global business environment.”
MBA in GLM is an intensive professional as well as academic course. Dangol says that the objective of the course is to equip students with analytical capabilities and skills that enable them to start entrepreneurship addressing social problems."To accomplish our educational goal, we employ a variety of educational tools and techniques including in-house and international study tours and intensive faculty camps," he adds.
SOMTU is very conscious about quality education. It limits the number of seats for MBA in GLM the course to around 15 to 20 for each batch to ensure effective inputs to each student. Dangol reveals that the programme was started with 1,715 students in the first batch and coming to the current fifth batch also, only 17 students were admitted.“We consider that this generation is an agent for social change. So,our main focus is to train them in such a way that enables them to change society”.
According to Dangol, development comes along with social problems and such problems are to be solved gradually."We are highly focused on social entrepreneurship rather than business entrepreneurship for better performance in a complex environment. Operating sSocial enterprises mean running sustainable business to addressing social problems." Even developed countries today are focusing on social enterprises. According to Dangol, home-stay is the best example of social enterprise in Nepal that minimizes social problems by creating job opportunities and providing cheap lodging with homely environment to the tourists.
About the Course
MBA in GLM is TU’s own programme which is different from regular MBA courses. "We have courses like Economics for Global Managers, International Accounting and Reporting Systems, Social Innovation, etc which provide students with insights, analytical capabilities, innovative and creative solutions to business problems and opportunities," says Dangol. To maximize the global learning experience throughout the programme, the students are taken to ‘International Study Tour’ to South Asian or South-East Asian countries in their fourth camp. This lets the students to learn beyond the geographical boundaries.
The programme embeds the tour in order to provide international exposure to the students. Dangol says that the tour lets students think in global perspective on how international companies approach and operate the business. “Till date, the students up to the third batch have been taken to South Korea. Similarly, the students of fourth and fifth batches will also be taken to visit the Handong Global University, South Korea”, informs Dangol, adding, "In Korea, we take our students to different international companies like Samsung, Hyundai, Kia Motors, software companies and steel industries in Seoul and Pohang cities”, explains Dangol.
He says that SOMTU is looking for alternative destinations for international visits in the coming days. "Probably the next destination would be Thailand or Mongolia for the international visit of the course," he says.
MBA in GLM has a wide scope throughout the world because the course is focused on creating business opportunities and leading organisations. With growing economic activities, Nepal is facing various social problems. In such a situation, the value and the scope of the programme obviously get wider. Dangol says, "We have enough natural resources. To realisze the opportunity here and train today's youths with entrepreneurship skills, MBA in GLM appears to be the right course."
Subash Neupane, a first MBA in GLM batch graduate from SOMTU, is now running his business of consultancy services for research, programme development, information, and technology through MAXTECH Study and Services Pvt Ltd. He is the Managing Director at the consultancy. "The course helped me especially to manage my activities in a more systematic way. Also, it helped me to be more confident about my business activities based on the associated theories and explanations including the issues of ethical business," shares Neupane adding, "The course has provided me the knowledge and skills regarding local issues of the current business age. Neupane explained that the knowledge, skills, and attitude (KSA) that the course intends to provide to the students will be helpful for them to be successful ethical entrepreneurs.
According to Dangol, Nepal can learn many things from other countries regarding social entrepreneurship. Giving an example of Bangladesh, which converted its dumping sites into manufacturer of compost fertilizer, Dangol says that Nepal, too, has a huge potential to start social entrepreneurship just like in Bangladesh addressing social problems.
The main objective of MBA in GLM at SOMTU is to equip students with analytical capabilities and skills to enable them to do their own business or take up leadership positions in international business, multilateral agencies, and INGOs."Our target is to make them entrepreneurs just after the completion of the course. But the course also helps them become managers,” says Dangol.
Students graduating from any faculty can enroll in the MBA in GLM programme. However, students with the mentality of embracing entrepreneurship as a career are preferred for enrollment.
SOMTU announces the admissions for the course once a year in the spring through advertisements. One should have at least a bachelor's degree with a score of a minimum 45 percent or a GPA score of 2 out of 4 to be eligible for the course.
Students should pass a written test and a group discussion before they can be enrolled in the course. They are required to have studied and passed English as a subject of 100 marks in their bachelor's level studies to be eligible for the programme. However, those who haven't studied English as a subject of 100 marks but wish to join the programme are admitted on the condition that they will pass the subject from any stream affiliated to TU before receiving the MBA in GLM degree. International students from countries like the UK or the US where English is the official language can apply for the course even even if they haven’tn't studied English as a subject in their bachelor's level studies.
The total fee for the two-year MBA in GLM programme is Rs 590,000. “We have not provided scholarships because the orientation cost, international tour cost, project camp cost and the cost of all educational materials are managed from that total cost,” says Dangol. However, the school provides scholarships to some extent on merit basis in every semester to the students obtaining above 3.7 out of 4 CGPA just as a motivation.