A different lens: Moving up the ladder with biz education and liberal arts

Tania Tauro, 27, has just started her new job at Tata Trusts. The young Vedica scholar who was clear that she wanted to remain in the development sector worked for two NGOs – both in Mumbai - in the past but left as she felt she needed to hone her business knowledge and understanding.
 

Now after her 18 month MBA programme, Tauro has joined Tata Trusts and is working in the partnerships team. She is working on the India Health fund, which is working on pool funding mechanisms to eradicate TB and malaria in India. With her salary having risen three fold from what she was making prior to the programme and having her parent’s house to live in, Tauro is very comfortably off. She is excited at the opportunity to work at Tata Trusts and to use the knowledge she has gained through her MBA – a unique blend of a business education with a large liberal arts component.

 

After her engineering from BITS Pilani and having worked with an analytics firm in Mumbai, Mayuri Dixit did the Vedica programme. She has now joined Google in Hyderabad. While she continues to work in analytics, she feels on her own her chances of joining a company like Google were very slim. The programme also exposed her to a whole new range of ideas and thinking that her engineering degree couldn’t have.

 

While she remains committed to the area she started with, she reels off names of girls who have managed to make career switches post the programme. 27 graduates of the first batch of Vedica scholars – all of whom have now been placed - have seen a sharp jump in salaries too. The average salary for the incoming batch of girls was Rs 4.8 lakh and as they leave – post their MBA – this average has shot up to Rs 10 lakh. The highest salary package is Rs 22 lakh (cost to company).

 

But more than salaries, the programme has helped many girls find what they really want or are suited to do.

 

Take for instance Gouri Rajagopal. She graduated with an engineering degree from the NIT in Trichy in 2014. After working for a year with a data analytics firm in Bangalore, Rajagoal decided to go in for the Vedica programe. She has now joined 9.9 Media founder Pramath Sinha to work on a project in the social sector. Till she joined the programme, Rajagopal felt that she couldn’t have a full-fledged career in the development sector as engineering and various science streams was her only exposure. “Now I know it’s possible to have a career in the social sector – something I have always been passionate about”, she says. Rajagopal is living alone in Delhi and says her salary is adequate enough for her to live comfortably.

 

Saloni Agarwal finished a degree in physics from St Stepthen’s college before working for a year with a school in Hyderabad. Agarwal was passionate about teaching and taught at a school for under-priviledged children even during college. After one year she decided to join the Vedica programme – a great blend of “management, arts and leadership”. Vedica helped her find her real strength. “I realized I had a head for numbers and a natural aptitude for finance”, she adds. Now she has joined IFMR Capital in Chennai at a salary that is three times what she was earning at the school.

 

The women-only 18 month residential MBA is targeted at getting more women into the corporate work force and preparing them for the inevitable challenges they will face in their careers. The founders say that many women who work hard to build their corporate careers often tend to leave after marriage and in particular after they have children. That’s one of the reasons one sees very few women in the corporate space in India – especially at senior levels. “The idea is to help women sustain their careers even after these milestones”, says Anuradha Das Mathur, one of the founders of the programme. How successful the programme is in achieving its ultimate goal we will only know a decade from now.


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