Do you know the man who shook up the banking world by launching India’s first prepaid card at Citibank? Meet Munish Sahrawat, President and Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences, who is spearheading MBA and other programs at Shoolini University. With 25 years of diverse experience in finance, education, and startups, he’s been a key player in big names like HSBC, Citibank, ANZ, and Ashoka University, showcasing his skills across India, the Middle East, and Hong Kong.
Not confined to the conventional, Munish’s COO roles showcased his prowess in Business Transformation, Operations, Human Resources, Project Management, and more. He navigated the intricacies of bank acquisitions and managed large-scale, multi-million-dollar programs, shaping the future with initiatives like Digital Transformation, Offshoring, and Automation.
Equipped with an MBA from IRMA and an Honours Degree in Journalism from the University of Delhi, Munish is a leader with knowledge and experience. Leadership development programs by Ivy Business School in Hong Kong and Duke University in Mexico furthered his skill set.
Venturing beyond the corporate boardrooms and academic lecture halls, Munish Sahrawat’s spirit of adventure led him to traverse 100 kilometres across the Sahara Desert — a feat undertaken for a noble cause — raising funds for Water Aid.
At Shoolini University, Munish guides management students through various academic levels, from undergraduates to MBA candidates and those immersed in research and executive education. His leadership at the Faculty of Management Sciences is a blend of dynamic vision and a narrative that transcends the confines of traditional education and business realms.
In conversation with Shoolini Impact, Munish shared his thoughts about the MBA program at Shoolini. He explained his vision of turning Shoolini MBA students into great leaders. Here are some interesting excerpts from the chat.
1. How did you transition from global initiatives in the corporate world to academia?
My academic journey began when I started working with Ashoka University, where I focused on creating interdisciplinary courses, such as combining computer science and entrepreneurship.
Previously, I have worked with three foreign banks worldwide and spearheaded large-scale initiatives in the corporate realm. These included a global learning transformation program that reached 250,000 employees in 70 countries.
On joining Shoolini University, I was genuinely impressed by the dedication of the founders and faculty. The commitment to research and focus on the latest academic trends is commendable.
2. What is the most important aspect of an MBA program?
In addition to a solid foundation in business disciplines, an MBA program should feel like a journey rather than classroom learning. It’s about gaining real-world experience through exciting projects, internships, and collaborative activities.
Moreover, a mix of students from different backgrounds in an MBA class is like a diverse toolbox. Each tool brings something unique, making teamwork more vibrant and problem-solving more creative. And who wouldn’t want to learn the tricks of the trade from seasoned industry pros? It’s like getting the inside scoop straight from the experts. Now, this is what makes a truly enriching MBA experience!
3. How is Shoolini MBA program different from those of other universities?
We aim to establish a top-ranked business school, becoming the institution of choice for those aspiring to build future leadership and human capacity for the industry. The fully residential MBA program at Shoolini is one of the best MBA programs in the country.
Another distinct feature is our innovative MBA Launchpad Sprint, strategically placed at the beginning of the two-year journey. With 20+ external speakers from diverse corporate backgrounds, the aim is to prepare students for the corporate world right from the start.
Through our mentorship program, mentors guide students throughout their MBA journey and beyond. This personal and professional support contributes to the holistic development of our students.
Shoolini holds 100% MBA placements record, with ‘Mission 130’ driving us to achieve 100% employability, including 30% great jobs. The curriculum, designed and mentored by industry leaders from renowned companies like McKinsey, PwC, and Citi, ensures that our graduates are industry-ready from the get-go.
Shoolini also offers 20 MBA Scholarships to eligible students. The application is accessible to graduates who have attained a 90 percentile in NMAT, an 80 percentile in CAT, a GMAT score of 600, or those who secure a position within the top 10 in the Shoolini Management Aptitude Reasoning Test (SMART).
Furthermore, we are enhancing our curriculum by gradually introducing real business projects, elevating our teaching methodology to a new standard. To provide additional support, we plan to introduce a full-time Business Communication and Career Coach dedicated to the MBA program. This will ensure that our students excel not just academically but also in their professional communication and career trajectories.
4. What is the biggest challenge facing MBA students today?
Beyond the fast-paced world, one big challenge for MBA students today is mastering the art of adaptability. Think of it like being a superhero who can navigate through different worlds. The ability to learn and unlearn quickly, coupled with a knack for staying curious and open to new ideas, is like having a superpower in the business arena.
So, it’s not just about being ready for the future; it’s about being a future shaper. Embracing change isn’t just a skill; it’s a mindset. That’s the kind of readiness that sets today’s MBA students apart!
5. What is your take on the future of online education?
Learning is a fantastic adventure, and online classes are like comfort, making it possible from anywhere. It’s like the magic of learning at home!
Now, let’s talk about combining the best of both worlds – online and in-person classes. Online classes bring incredible teachers and exciting content to your screen, while in-person sessions add that special touch of face-to-face connection and teamwork.
So, it’s not about choosing one over the other; it’s about creating a perfect blend where online and in-person learning come together to make the learning experience effective and enjoyable! It’s like offering students the best of both worlds on their educational journey.
6. How do you adapt your teaching methods to accommodate various learning styles, especially in the Management courses at your institution?
Our pedagogy incorporates a range of strategies and tools that cater to diverse learning styles. These include business case discussions in class that call for problem-solving, and real-life learning through internships. Group presentations encourage students to explore various team roles. Finally, our students can also learn through a mentorship program where they are attached to senior executives working in the business world.
Shoolini offers various MBA specialisations such as MBA Finance, MBA Marketing, MBA Human Resources, MBA Pharma and Healthcare, and MBA Business Analytics. These programs provide students a chance to choose their preferred areas of study, gaining practical skills for the real-world business environment. Recognised as the best university for MBA in India, Shoolini University focuses on creating an engaging learning atmosphere for its students.
7. How do you incorporate technology into your teaching?
From an operational point of view, we use an in-house Learning Management System (LMS) for teaching. Additionally, faculty members use audio-visual tools to supplement content.
There is much scope to incorporate more technology-based interventions ranging from simple Excel to more sophisticated analytical tools like PowerBI. In the long run, we want AI to personalise student learning based on their uptake and progress.
8. How do you encourage critical thinking & creativity among your students?
Critical thinking is dependent on building logical and analytical skills along with the ability to ask the right questions. Getting students involved in business case discussions or critiquing a particular strategy adopted by a manager is an excellent way to start developing critical thinking skills. Ensuring that the classroom is more discussion-oriented vis-à-vis one-way lecturing is essential.
9. How will Shoolini MBA program equip students for the global business landscape?
At Shoolini University, our MBA program prepares students for the global business environment through a Semester Abroad, MNC internships, and a curriculum focused on real-world global scenarios. This ensures they gain a well-rounded skill set and cultural adaptability crucial for success internationally.
10. What valuable advice would you offer to future MBA aspirants?
My advice to future masters in business administration graduates is to recognise and capitalise on the competitive nature of the business environment. In addition to excelling in classroom learning, actively seek opportunities for practical application. Engage in internships, projects, and networking events to bridge the gap between theory and real-world scenarios. The key is maximising both on and off-campus experiences, ensuring a well-rounded skill set beyond academics. This proactive approach will not only enhance your competitiveness in the job market but also prepare you for the challenges of the business world.