Brand Champion of the Day- Rahul Choudaha, PhD, DrEducation.com

A few weeks ago I was invited to connect with Rahul Choudaha via LinkedIn.com. After reading his bio and realizing we had many things in common, I gladly accepted. That opportunity led to a telephone call whereupon we shared our respective experiences with brand and enrollment management in higher education. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Rahul in person in New York, where we furthered our dialogue and philosophies about higher education in India and the United States. Today Rahul takes time out of his busy schedule to share with us his experience as a brand champion for the Indian School Business.

Rahul_Choudaha (3)

"Recently, Indian School of
Business (ISB), Hyderabad
launched it executive MBA program at the price tag of US$ 53,800 or (INR 2.5m). This is arguably the most expensive educational program in India. To put in perspective, one
could buy five Hyundai Accent sedans for INR 2.5 million. Likewise, ISB’s flagship program—one year MBA—costs nearly $40,000. How could ISB command such a premium pricing?

"The case of ISB becomes even more fascinating when one considers the pace at which ISB gained global prominence. Foundation stone for ISB was laid in 1999. Ten years down the line, ISB ranks among the world’s top 15 business schools (Financial Times 2009). ISB has emerged as an inspiration for Indian higher education, especially in the private sector. Given that educational brand building process takes significant amount of time and resources, how was ISB able to achieve so much in a short span of time?
"The secret lies in its ability to create compelling brand positioning and well-aligned delivery mechanisms. Dean Ajit Rangnekar of ISB in an interview with Business India identified the biggest challenge for a new institution as the 'absolute clarity on how it [educational institution] intends to position itself in the market". He advised "a new institution to stake a new, real position (not an advertisement creation) that clearly distinguishes itself from others.'

"ISB clearly articulated its positioning to be a world-class institution and accordingly aligned all its strategies—products, pricing, people and processes. For example, ISB partnered with global B-schools like Kellogg, Wharton & London Business School and even flew visiting faculty from these schools to teach the courses. Likewise, ISB adopted the US admissions standards and required GMAT scores for admission to its MBA program.

"ISB’s positioning inspired stakeholders in engaging with the institution building process. The stakeholders included accomplished Indian faculty working in global B-schools and wealthy donors from industry. The stakeholder engagement would have failed if ISB had not remained committed to its positioning.

"It is easier to make one incremental innovation, however, radical innovation in a price conscious, regulation driven Indian education market is truly remarkable. ISB case proves that education brand building requires clear articulation of positioning so that institution can build a coherent and successful brand over time."

Rahul Choudaha, PhD
Rahul, thanks for sharing your insights and experiences from your work with the Indian Business School. It is obvious that you are a forward thinker and an asset to the global higher education community. I look forward to continuing our dialogue. Please stay in touch with us.

Rex Whisman
Brand Champions Blog
For more of our conversation, visit http://www.dreducation.com/

No comments:

Post a Comment