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We look for out-of-the-box thinkers

  Says, ASHUTOSH DUTT, Chairperson, Admissions, MICA. He talks about management studies, the qualities MICA looks for in candidates and how the premier B-school prepares them for the corporate life ahead.  

Q. What are the qualities you look for in candidates during admission in MICA?
MICA is known for its meritorious student body, and we achieve that by following stringent measures during the admissions. We at MICA look for the following qualities in candidates (in no order of importance)

  • Inherent ability to think out-of-the-box and apply it meaningfully for problem solving.
  • Strong inclination to excel in the areas of strategic marketing and communications as against doing a generic MBA.
  • iii. Highly motivated to learn and unlearn and relearn in a digitally enabled world of today.

Q. How does MICA ensure that it stands tall among India's top B-schools currently?
There are many things we follow to maintain a high standard consistently. However, if we have to list just three, they would be:

  • Our ability to stay ahead of the curve by identifying the growth areas of tomorrow makes MICA different. We launched a two-year course on Digital Marketing five years back when other institutes had not even heard of it.
  • We are again the only institute which offers specialisations like Marketing Analytics, Media & Entertainment Management, Advertising & Brand Management and Development Management & Social Enterprise in our two-year flagship PGDM programme.
  • Our focus on creativity and innovation is evident from our tagline - School of Ideas. MICA is the only school which not just encourages creative thinking while admitting students but also teaches as a structured course as part of its curriculum.

    Q. How does MICA prepare its students within just two years for a successful corporate life in the years to come?
    Our students are our strength. We call them learners and our faculty facilitators. So we treat them as grown up adults and involve them in a lot of decision-making related to them.

    In addition to this all our courses are developed from a practical point of view. Most of the 2nd year courses are delivered by industry experts. Each course makes them question the applicability of their learning. As a result, while students are building their conceptual knowledge, they do not lose touch with the industry - they are always corporate ready.

    Q. How does MICA assist its students when it comes to entrepreneurship programmes? We believe in fostering entrepreneurship and new ideas. We have set up a complete ecosystem to achieve this. Our in-house incubator works on the following two aspects to achieve this:

    • MICA incubators' own incubation and start-up support system.
    • Partner programmes with CIIE, TiE, Openfuel, Startup Weekend, where MICA incubator has been a co-organiser.

    Q. In today's highly competitive world, what gives most students the edge to outperform others?
    It is the ability to innovate and make it a way of life that will give a professional edge to students in life. All other subject matter related expertise is being imparted by one institute or the other. Some are better than others in achieving that. Not to forget, a lot of online programmes, which are also imparting meaningful knowledge. MBA colleges therefore need to keep reinventing themselves in order to remain on the cutting edge. MICA takes pride in the fact that our students are always ready to take the future head on.

    Q. Your words of advice for MBA aspirants...
    Keep your conviction about management studies strong, prepare well for CAT and MICAT and be yourself in the Group Exercise and Personal Interview stages. MICA is the place to be in - join it if you wish to be in the exciting world of Strategy Marketing and Communications.

    Albert Einstein’s IQ was estimated at 160, Stephen Hawking at 160, pop superstar Madonna at 140 and John F. Kennedy at only 119. But as it turns out, one’s IQ score pales in comparison to one’s EQ, MQ and BQ scores when it comes to predicting one’s success and professional achievement.

    Move over, IQ!

    Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85 per cent of your financial success is due to skills in what is termed “human engineering” — your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. This, then, means that only 15 per cent of that success is due to technical knowledge! Additionally, Nobel Prize winning Israeli-American psychologist Daniel Kahneman has determined that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price.

    With this in mind, instead of exclusively focusing on your conventional intelligence quotient, you should make an investment in strengthening your EQ (representing Emotional Intelligence), MQ (representing Moral Intelligence) and

    BQ (representing Body Intelligence). These concepts may be elusive and difficult to measure, but their significance is far greater than IQ.


    The most well known of the three, Emotional Quotient (EQ) is broadly a measure of your awareness of your own feelings and those of others, regulating these feelings in yourself and others, and using emotions that are appropriate to the situation, self-motivation and building relationships.

    For most people, EQ is more important than IQ in attaining success in their lives and careers. As individuals, our success — and the success of most professions today — depend on our ability to read other people’s cues and signals and react appropriately to them.

    “Your EQ is the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them,” says Howard Gardner, the influential Harvard theorist.

  • Categories of EQ

    There are five major categories of recognised emotional intelligence skills.

    1.    Self-awareness:
    The ability to recognise an emotion “as it happens” is the key to your EQ. Developing self-awareness requires tuning in to your true feelings. If you evaluate your emotions, you can manage them. The major elements of self-awareness are:

    • Emotional awareness: Your ability to recognise your own emotions and their effects.
    • Self-confidence: Sureness about your self-worth and capabilities.

    2.   Self-regulation:
    You often have little control over when you experience emotions. You can, however, have some say in how long an emotion will last by using a number of techniques to alleviate negative emotions such as anger, anxiety or depression. A few of these techniques include recasting a situation in a more positive light, taking a long walk and meditation or prayer. Self-regulation involves the following.

    • Self-control: Managing disruptive impulses.
    • Trustworthiness: Maintaining standards of honesty and integrity.
    • Conscientiousness: Taking responsibility for your own performance.
    • Adaptability: Handling change with flexibility.
    • Innovation: Being open to new ideas.

    3.   Motivation:
    To motivate yourself for an achievement requires clear goals and a positive attitude. Although you may have a predisposition to either a positive or a negative attitude, you can with effort and practice learn to think more positively. If you catch negative thoughts as they occur, you can reframe them in more positive terms — this will help you achieve your goals. Motivation is made up of:

    • Achievement drive: Constant striving to improve or to meet a standard of excellence.
    • Commitment: Aligning with the goals of the group or organisation.
    • Initiative: Readying yourself to act on opportunities.
    • Optimism: Pursuing goals persistently despite obstacles and setbacks.

    4.   Empathy:
    The ability to recognise how people feel is important to succeed in your life and career. The more skilful you are at discerning the feelings behind others’ signals, the better you can control the cues you send them. An empathetic person excels at:

    • Service orientation: Anticipating, recognising and meeting clients’ needs.
    • Developing others: Sensing what others need to progress and bolstering their abilities.
    • Leveraging diversity: Cultivating opportunities through diverse people.
    • Political awareness: Reading a group’s emotional currents and power relationships.
    • Understanding others: Discerning the feelings behind the needs and wants of others.

    5.   Social skills:
    The development of good interpersonal skills is tantamount to success in your life and career. In today’s always-connected world, everyone has immediate access to technical knowledge. Thus, “people skills” are even more important now, because you must possess a high EQ to better understand, empathise and negotiate with others in a global economy. Among the most useful skills are:

    • Influence: Wielding effective persuasion tactics.
    • Communication: Sending clear messages.
    • Leadership: Inspiring and guiding groups and people.
    • Change catalyst: Initiating or managing change.
    • Conflict management: Understanding, negotiating and resolving disagreements.
    • Building bonds: Nurturing instrumental relationships.
    • Collaboration and cooperation: Working with others toward shared goals.
    • Team capabilities: Creating group synergy in pursuing collective goals.


    The Moral Quotient (the index that measures moral intelligence) directly follows EQ in order of importance, as it deals with your integrity, responsibility, sympathy, and forgiveness. The way you treat yourself is the way other people will treat you. Keeping commitments, maintaining your integrity, and being honest are crucial to moral intelligence.

    Moral intelligence is the capacity to understand right from wrong and to behave based on the value that is believed to be right.

    There are seven main points that build someone’s moral intelligence, such as empathy, conscience, self-control, respect for others, kindness, tolerance, and fairness.

    MQ: Seven essential virtues

    Empathy: Identifying with and feeling other people’s concerns.
          Step 1: Foster awareness and an emotional vocabulary.
          Step 2: Enhance sensitivity to the feelings of others.
          Step 3: Develop empathy for another person’s point of view.

    Conscience: Knowing the right and decent way to act and acting in that way.
          Step 1: Create the context for moral growth.
          Step 2: Teach virtues to strengthen conscience and guide behaviour.
          Step 3: Foster moral discipline to help children learn right from wrong.

    Self-control: Regulating your thoughts and actions so that you stop any pressure from within or without and act the way you know and feel is right.
          Step 1: Model and prioritise self-control.
          Step 2: Encourage yourself to become your own self motivator.
          Step 3: Teach yourself child ways to deal with temptations and think before acting.

    Respect: Showing that you value others by treating them in a courteous and considerate way.
          Step 1: Convey the meaning of respect by modelling and teaching it.
          Step 2: Enhance respect for authority and squelch rudeness.
          Step 3: Emphasise good manners and courtesy — they do count!

    Kindness: Demonstrating concern about the welfare and feelings of others.
          Step 1: Teach the meaning and value of kindness.
          Step 2: Establish a zero tolerance for meanness and nastiness.
          Step 3: Encourage kindness and point out its positive effect.

    Tolerance: Respecting the dignity and rights of all persons, even beliefs and behaviour we may disagree with.
          Step 1: Model and nurture tolerance from an early age.
          Step 2: Instil an appreciation for diversity.
          Step 3: Counter stereotypes and do not tolerate prejudice.

    Fairness: Choosing to be open-minded and to act in a just and fair way.
          Step 1: Treat your peers and colleagues fairly.
          Step 2: Help those close to you learn to behave fairly.
          Step 3: Teach others ways to stand up against unfairness and injustice.


    The Body Quotient, which measures your body intelligence, is the final piece of the puzzle. It reflects what you know about your body, how you feel about it, and take care of it. Your body is constantly telling you things, but are you listening to the signals or ignoring them? Are you eating energy-giving or energy-draining foods on a daily basis? Are you getting enough rest? Do you exercise and take care of your body?

    These aspects might appear to be unrelated to business performance, but your body intelligence affects your work, because it largely determines your feelings, thoughts, self-confidence, state of mind, and energy level.

    What you really need to succeed

    It doesn’t matter if you did not receive the best academic training from a top university. A person with less education who has fully developed their EQ, MQ and BQ can be far more successful than a person with an impressive education who falls short in these other categories.

    Yes, it is good to be an intelligent, rational thinker and have a high IQ, but you must realise that it is not enough. Your IQ will help you personally, but EQ, MQ, and BQ will benefit everyone around you. If you can master the complexities of these unique and often under-rated forms of intelligence, research tells us you will achieve greater success and be regarded as more professionally competent and capable.