Is an MBA necessary to be successful in business?

Is an MBA necessary to be successful in business?
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India has the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world; with a steady year-over-year (YoY) growth of 8-10%. Home to 55,000 startups, 34 unicorns, and 52 promising startups with a potential to become unicorns by 2022. India is a bustling land for startups and entrepreneurs with cut-throat competition at every stage. According to a Nasscom and Zinnov report, over 1,600 tech start-ups were registered in 2020, making it the highest ever added in a single calendar year.

With such hovering contention, you need to have an extra edge over your counterparts to succeed and to make it big in the current business scenario. So, with this notion, we CEVians, had a debate session on the topic  “Is an MBA necessary to be successful in business?”

Is an MBA necessary to be successful in business?


In favour of the idea:

  • An MBA program covers a range of concentrations or specialisations that allow students to acquire the fundamentals as well as expertise in a specific aspect of a business, such as finance, marketing.
  • You get to meet and interact with like-minded people; which is an opportunity to build a powerful network and connections.
  • This degree is not just theory, the curriculum involves various case-studies of real-life business scenarios.
  • It’s easier to gain relevant working experience for a person with an MBA because it is considered a valid credential among recruiters. While for a person without an MBA, it is a tougher task. 
  • Investors are more likely to invest in a firm if it has a person with credentials and experience. In case of lack of proven experience, having an MBA degree can bring better reliability for the firm.
  • After setting up the business, people with an MBA can plan the future strategic plans for stabilization and further expansion of the company.


Against the idea:

  • An academic degree doesn’t guarantee knowledge; practical experience is more valuable.    
  • MBAs are expensive; better to invest that capital in your business idea.
  • In today’s world, you can easily learn about the necessary concepts through readily available learning resources on the internet and MOOCs.
  • For professional networking and work-related opportunities, there are various business-focused social platforms like LinkedIn, AngelList, where you can easily connect with an investor or a recruiter.
  • An MBA will only help you manage risks or avoid unnecessary risks, but setting up a business from the ground is a completely different story which they cannot ‘teach’ in business schools.
  • MBAs were originally designed to meet the demands of ‘administering’ the business in the early 20th century. Since then, the specifics of customers and the business environment have completely changed.


A professional degree like an MBA can certainly help you in understanding businesses better; it is not mandatory. Nothing can guarantee success in your business. According to a report, out of every 5 business leaders, 2 do not have an MBA or a postgraduate qualification. This further ascertains the fact that pursuing an MBA or not, is explicitly a matter of choice.

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