Why should the MBAs learn Chinese?

The B-schools students are learning Mandarin, the official language of China, with several private MBA colleges and even some of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) offering the language as part of their curriculum.

While IIM Calcutta, Bangalore and Shillong offer Mandarin as an elective in their post-graduate diploma courses, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, has made the language a compulsory subject in all eight terms of its post-graduate course. At Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) in Mumbai, students are required to learn either Mandarin or Spanish as a foreign language.

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Other front-line B-schools in Mumbai including the S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research and SIES College of Management Studies, have also introduced Mandarin Chinese courses as an elective. Chinese language enthusiasm is spreading across the country. Amity B-school, Delhi and the Fortune Institute of International Business have also introduced Mandarin. Down south in Chennai, Mandarin is a compulsory language at the Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM), where students are also taught the history and culture of China.

Knowing a foreign language helps during placements — the final goal for many students. And knowledge of Mandarin puts students at a great advantage over the others.

According to Goldman Sachs’ BRICs report, China along with Brazil, India and Russia will dominate the world economy by 2050. China is already the second biggest economy in the world, having bypassed Japan, and is on its way to replace the US as the biggest economy.

Employment prospects for Chinese literates are on the rise not only as Expat Managers, but also as Teachers, Translators in IT, Pharma and Chemical companies; Translators for movie titles, Scientific research projects; as Customer Service Executives in Call Centres; Interpreters; Tourist guides etc, and a fresher can earn a starting salary of around Rs.50,000 per month. After garnering some experience, the sky is the limit in terms of remuneration.

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