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  Area of Specialisations    
Finance    Human Resources    Marketing    Operations   Systems Management

Finance

There are a very wide variety of options available for an MBA with specialization in Finance. Today, an MBA with a Finance Specialization learns a variety of subjects like Corporate finance, Costing, Budgeting, International Finance, working Capital management, investments and securities etc.

With increased financial liberalization a wide array and wide variety of jobs are available to an MBA with specialization in finance. He can be working in the corporate Finance function of a major manufacturing Organization looking after management of funds for that corporate, working out working capital limits of the corporate and dealing with Banks and other financial lending institutions etc.




















A finance MBA has an option of working with leading banks or with leading Non banking Finance Companies or leading Finance Companies other than Banks. He also has options of working as a securities analyst or working with brokerage firms and dealing in buying and selling securities. Operations in the security market or the stock market is the biggest industry in India. With increased opening up of the Indian Financial market and increased international money pouring into the Indian Stocks the option available for MBA Finance are endless. Same is true of a person dealing in Foreign Currency transaction either in bank of in a manufacturing Company.

But here is a word of caution: jobs of security analyst and that of Foreign currency trader are high pressure jobs which at times lead to significant stress and even, to a so-called 'burn out'. However, these jobs offer exciting job-content and tremendous job satisfaction in addition to the best pay packets.

The skills required to be a good finance professional are that you should be good with numbers, and should be a keen learner because finance has a lot of interface with accounting, auditing, different laws and acts (like companies law, Income tax act, etc.) and hence he should also be able to remember and understand a lot of these. A combination of MBA Finance with C.A is supposed to be the best.

All in all, an MBA in finance offers a highly challenging job environment and a very stimulating career, which is highly rewarding as well.

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Human Resources

Human Resource Management is specialized function dedicated to the entire gamut of activities concerning people. Very broadly, the Human Resource Management area can be divided into three areas.

Plant Personnel
This is concerned essentially with dealing with the working environment in the factory premises. Creating and maintaining healthy and positive industrial relations is the primary responsibility of plant Personnel. The activities include recruitment, payrolls, appraisals, administration, and all matters concerned with the workers' union. A stint in Plant Personnel offers exposure to handling issues which are very sensitive such as discipline, union negotiation, etc. In a way, Plant Personnel in HR can be considered equivalent to an exposure to Sales in the area of Marketing. Successful tenure in the plant for a Personnel Manager not only enhances one's self-confidence and prepares one for greater responsibilities within the organization but also provides opportunities for rapid career growth.

Corporate Personnel
Encompasses all HR activities in the corporate set-up. The employees here include all managerial and supervisory staff. Policy making for the entire organization is one of the important contributions of Corporate Personnel.

HRD
This encompasses all strategic issues concerning HR. These strategic issues deal with a long-term vision of the organization in areas like recruitment, staffing, organization structure, work environment, employee retention, and a host of other activities. An HR professional graduates to top management responsibilities in about 8 to 10 years or more based on the size of a company.

Skills required to do well in this area include :

  • Ability to understand and deal with people of all levels
  • Ability to cope with unstructured situations
  • And the person should have the 4 Cs
    • Creativity
    • Calmness
    • Conceptually sound
    • Convincing ability
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Marketing

In sales & Mktg., there are 2-3 areas where an MBA is recruited for

  • Sales Management - responsible for achieving of sales target of an area
  • Brand Management - responsible for successful management of brands through various strategies and achieve market share.

Usually companies put the trainee through a period of sales (2-3 yrs) and then move him / her into Brand. In sales, a trainee reports to an executive or an Area Sales Manager who in turn reports to the Regional Manager. After one year, the trainee becomes a Sales Executive with 2-3 Sales officers reporting to him/her

In marketing, some companies put the trainee on a Brand where he/she is assisting the Brand Manager for an year, after which he/she is given independent charge of a Brand, and is designated as Brand Executive and reports to Group Product manager or the Marketing Manager.

In sales responsibilities include

  • Achieving sales targets set for the year
  • Mobilizing resources - co-cordinating for stocks, advertising budgets etc, for achieving the above.
  • Planning and implementing tactical plans for the year in the territory.
  • Executing special schemes / promotions
  • Managing various channels of distribution like distributors, dealers, showrooms
  • Supervising the CFAs (which are the stocking points) with respect to their adherence to company norms.
  • Reporting and communicating with other departments in the region and with the corporate head office.
In marketing, the skills are required:
  • Ability to plan and execute marketing ideas
  • Ability to develop ideas which lead to growth in sales
  • Ability to mobilize resources to achieve the set objectives
  • Communication skills - written & Oral
  • Interpersonal skills
  • High energy levels and enthusiasm to work
  • Analytical skills
And the responsibilities for a marketing professional include
  • New product development from concept generation to launch
  • Pricing
  • Advertising and promotion
  • Market research
  • Sales forecasting and planning on an on-going basis
  • Developing marketing programmes
  • Devising special promotion schemes

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Operations

'Operations' in the management world encompasses almost all the areas that reflect the efficiency of the organizations in the area of background work and execution. It includes inventory management, vendor development, purchasing management, and also a few other areas which demand multi-disciplinary skills viz. supply chain management, enterprise resource planning and also all cost optimization initiatives.

Depending on the type of organization, one might be responsible for a few activities / regions in the initial stages and consequently growing up to handling broader areas. A typical career would see one handling a few plants/ vendors initially, followed by the responsibility for an entire factory and eventually undertake a more strategic view like global sourcing / alternate materials / imports etc. but, at each stage there is a lot of responsibility and risk.

The skills required for any of the above jobs are integrity, ability to negotiate, ability to remain calm in the toughest of situations (there is a fire almost everyday, somewhere) and lastly good coordination skills coupled with technical knowledge.

In the present context, not many organizations demand for operation management specialization (vis--vis marketing / finance etc.) However, emerging areas like BPR (Business Process Re-engineering), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), supply chain management, which integrates all functions offer a great scope for a cross functional specialist with operation management exposure.

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Systems Management

Systems is almost synonymous with computers. Actually, though, the latter are only a means to achieving the end. For instance, even a paanwala at the street corner has his own system of running his business which includes procurement, stocking , display, sales, cash management, etc. However, due to the sheer volume of transactions of various kinds in a large organization, systems are developed and maintained with the help of the latest Information Technology (IT) tools.

A specialization in IT offers scope for a career in many areas in the industry.

The options could be Project Management in a software development company like Infosys, TCS, etc., or sales and marketing in IT companies like Tata - IBM, Wipro, Infotech, etc.

An engineer - MBA with a sound understanding of business concepts in seen as ideal for the job of a project manager in software development activities, such as developing an on-line network with company distributors across the country. A fresh MBA starts at the level or a software development engineer (almost at par with an engineer or an MCA) and is actively involved in coding. However, the rise is much more rapid for an MBA who can reach the project management responsibility in 2 to 3 years.

Large Manufacturing Organizations Systems activity is a support function which is responsible for custom - development of IT solutions in all areas, from automating attendance punching to putting daily sales and distribution data on-line, to developing Enterprise Resource Planning solutions.

The skills required are the following:

  • Good Analytical Skills
  • Project Management
  • Team Work
  • Quest for knowledge
  • Good communication
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