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By most accounts, the past year has been quite terrible. Some of India’s biggest corporate entities remain mired in scam after scam. Business credibility has suffered a body blow in the twentieth anniversary year of economic reforms (which, by themselves, remain a process in deep freeze). Inflation remains high, defying a worried central bank and government. And then, if the recent numbers are anything to go by, even growth appears to be slowing down, precipitating fears that the “India story” is at risk. All this is worrying. Frankly, with most of the developed world in trouble, one doesn’t know yet how severe the impact will be on India.
But the difference from 2008 is the general air of knowing calm at play. That comes from a stronger belief in the India story, that it still has a lot of steam—take hiring, as one example. As for ethics, business has been quick to react to the criticism. People are now aware of the risks—they are being careful. No one likes going to jail. Part of this debate has also shifted to the B-school arena, where Outlook’s rigorous ranking—conducted by market research agency MDRA—comes as an invaluable guide. At a time when the very nature of the MBA is changing—exam systems and foreign universities to satellite campuses and disappearing colleges—our package presents the best of the lot. Finally, we also see how young managers can do “good”, a very valuable lesson today. As always, choose wisely.