On Wednesday, MBA students around the world light fireworks, dance and feast on Indian culinary delights in celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of light.
The ancient festival, which goes on for five days, signifies the victory of good over evil. India is its focal point, with Hindus making up almost 80% of its population according to 2011 Census data.
The MBA is the holy-grail for aspiring business leaders in India. Corporate India is on a hiring spree, with Indian firms hiring huge numbers of MBAs in e-commerce and consulting in particular.
Three Indian business schools made the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking for 2015. The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad ranked is highest at twenty-sixth; the Indian School of Business followed close behind in thirty-third; the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore sat comfortably within the top 100.
Yet with US and European schools dominating the higher rankings, huge numbers of Indian MBAs look to study internationally.
In 2012, the London School of Business and Finance even offered a special Diwali Scholarship for its MBA program.
Ambitious Indian professionals studying abroad have helped spread Hindu culture, ensuring that Diwali is enjoyed by MBA classes in schools around the world.
London Business School celebrated Diwali early this year with more than 500 students enjoying a Bollywood DJ mashup. The festivities, thrown by the school’s India Club, included Bollywood-style dance-offs, Indian culinary delights and awards for the students dressed in the best Indian-style outfits.
Oxford Saïd students are set to experience an Oxford ball with a cultural twist next week, as the Bhangra dance group and Britain’s Got Talent finalists Signature provide the Indian-themed entertainment.
ESSEC in France is famed for its Diwali celebrations. In the past, students have experienced traditional Hindu ceremonies: song, prayer and dance. Earlier this year, the ESSEC India Association put on a Diwali Night, attracting more than 100 students.
In North America, MBA students at Canada’s Ivey Business School celebrated in fashion with Indian art, music, dancing, traditional henna tattooing, and a Bollywood-inspired dance act, while Harvard’s India student group plans its largest event of the year this friday Friday, promising a top Bollywood DJ.