To carve out a successful career in the future, management aspirants have to be on the lookout for emerging market trends such as increased automated and digitised services, a rise in sustainable living and novel forms of media and financial products. Students should ask themselves what skills they need to acquire to cope with these changes.
With globalisation being the way forward in the world order, all these new market trends fall into the complex territory of International Business, which has primarily dealt with global commercial laws and practices along with an eclectic combination of cultural studies and international politics and relations. The discipline, designed to create global business thinkers, needs to expand its scope.
With heated debates regarding nuclear power or the ongoing energy crisis due to the Russian-Ukraine conflict, it is evident that international solutions are needed towards energy security, and that, more importantly, the way forward needs to be green energy. Thus, B-Schools not only need to expose students to emerging areas such as energy studies and ESG but also create a robust technology-based pedagogy.
Perhaps, one of the most significant forces behind the required investment for the impending research and development of new energy sources could be a scientifically-trained business thinker. Sustainable projects have been regarded sceptically due to the lack of scalability in terms of consumer goods and services. But scientifically trained International Business thinkers can draw from both their scientific competence and expertise in International Business to think strategically and identify the scalability at an international level.
On the technology front, an astute International Business thinker could weigh in with global perspectives in operations and trade. Moreover, he/she can also guide companies to develop culture-specific features in their products and thereby increase potential consumer engagement. With marketing and advertising also relying heavily on technology, a student of International Business can bring in cultural perspectives to create customised campaigns and use AI and ML for personalised consumer engagement.
Another industry to watch is the Fintech sector. With the advent of blockchain, cryptocurrency and NFTs, this is now a niche industry but has the potential to grow and become very common. In such a scenario, International Business students will have to tackle complicated global tech and trade laws. Beyond financial consultancy, a multi-faceted expert could contribute to the development of new financial tools that could contribute further to the democratisation of wealth that Fintech has already triggered.
Additionally, a unique feature that management students can bring in is sensitive and responsible leadership, which results from the humanities-infused learning in International Business. This can help bring about a sensitive and healthy ambience across industries.
The challenge that B Schools are likely to face will be in accommodating the vast range of qualities required in a single programme. A way forward could be to encourage students to pursue dual or multiple specialisations offered through a technology-enhanced pedagogy and make International Business a truly multi-disciplinary course.
The writer is the Director, SIIB Pune