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Posted at: Oct 10, 2018, 12:42 AM; last updated: Oct 10, 2018, 12:46 AM (IST)CAREER COMPASS: MBA IN BUSINESS SUSTAINABILITY

With focus on synergy

With focus on synergy

Sapna A. Narula

In a rapidly changing business environment, the stakeholders now demand that businesses should operate ‘with a purpose’. With the change in Companies Act and firms coming under purview of corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mandate, the demand for sustainability and CSR professionals is also growing. The firms require trained human resources to chalk out plans and carry out activities   pertaining to CSR and sustainability. 

This has led to a rise in demand of professionals who are trained to integrate environmental and energy concerns into businesses. They should be equipped with emerging skills such as sustainability, CSR, business analytics, design thinking, social entrepreneurship, innovation etc. At the same time, there is demand for quality management professionals trained in traditional management disciplines.    

At this juncture, it is very important that universities and premier institutes focus on training and nurturing human resources in niche areas where industry needs them. Sustainability is one such sector for which Indian corporate demand trained professionals. Placement records of the last five years confirm the trend. In fact, such careers are more promising given the vacancies for professionals, who are sensitised and trained to apply environmental concerns to business decisions. 


Many premier institutes in India and abroad are running MBA programmes with focus on sustainability. A student having bachelor's degree in any discipline with English in Class XII is eligible to apply.

The candidate will be shortlisted based on CAT/ MAT/ GMAT/ CMAT/ XAT scores. Candidates who have not appeared for the above exams can take the concerned university’s common entrance test. Candidates with more than two years of relevant work experience may be exempted from requirement (2) above depending on the discretion of the selection committee.

The course, MBA in Business Sustainability, focuses on developing and grooming individuals to look at the sustainability challenges, as opportunities which could be harnessed for value creation — both economically and socially for businesses. The students are mentored and groomed beyond conventional management curriculum. This programme includes conventional management subjects, as in other business schools, and also teaches sustainable development through subjects that offer management students a strong foundation to address rising sustainability needs of businesses.

Career scope

Those with MBA in Business Sustainability can explore a career is the field of oil & gas, consultancy, IT, market research, textile, cement, agribusiness 

and education. Students can also work in domains like sustainability department, environment, health and safety (EHS) department, strategy, energy consulting, sustainability consulting, sustainability reporting and green marketing. They can also opt for conventional profiles like marketing, finance, operations, IT, consulting. 

For business’ sake

To steer the resource-sensitive world towards success, TERI has introduced MBA in Business Sustainability. The programme comprises case studies, field visits, term exams and usual classroom lectures. Seminars, guest lectures and discussion forums are also a part of the curriculum.  

A path to chart

A few entry level profiles are

  1. Sustainability managers/ consultants
  2. Research analysts
  3. Finance officers
  4. Financial modelling experts
  5. Communication & outreach managers 
  6. Product/ brand managers
  7. CSR managers
  8. Project managers
  9. Business associates 
  10. EHS officers
Be your own boss

Besides their demand in the industry, these professionals can also start their own enterprise in the upcoming fields related to business sustainability and ensure that they become job providers. The quality human resource coming out of these well-designed programmes ensure the country’s sustainable and equitable progress.

—The writer is HOD Business & Sustainability TERI Institute of Advanced Studies, New Delhi


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