THE NEED FOR BUSINESS SCHOOLS IN PAKISTAN

By Dr. ABDUL WAHAB
Aug 16 - 22, 2004

There are no two views about the fact that management is the most important resource. The effective use of other resources entirely depends upon good management. The basic reason of backwardness of countries is mismanagement at macro and micro levels. Effective management is a process through which societies achieve their goals even if resources are limited and environment is hostile.

In view of the importance of management in the developing countries like Pakistan good managers are badly needed. Backwardness in itself provides opportunities for improvement. The job opportunities including self-employment for graduates of business schools are unlimited. Recently a parent was expressing his concern about over-supply of business graduates in Pakistan and the resulting difficulty of absorption of such graduates. When this writer told him that the increased supply (not over supply) of business graduates will bring down their prices (salary) then even medium size organizations will be in a position to afford to hire business graduates.

The parent expressed his shock over the idea that MBAs will work in a small business manufacturing sweets (mithai). He was told that tremendous potential exists for improving hygienic conditions, packaging and promotion of sweets (mithai) in Pakistan. Recently, such a manufacturer has started opening chain stores and by use of modern promotional devices is achieving success. One should remember that all the giant multinationals like Unilever, Singer, KFC and McDonalds started on a small scale.

The scope for attracting foreign students is unlimited. Pakistan is losing an excellent opportunity to earn foreign exchange and to improve its image. With government and private partnership good business schools can be established. Alternatively, the capacity of existing good schools can be increased. This requires planning on the part of government and public sectors.

The environment in western countries particularly the USA will become more unfavourable for foreign students from Muslims countries. Such students can be persuaded to study business management and other disciplines in Pakistani universities.

The apprehension about mushrooming of business schools is based on misunderstanding of the nature of demand for such graduates in Pakistan. Efforts must be made to maintain a minimum standard of education.