General Manager: What He Does and How to Become One?



01 March, 2024

General Manager: What He Does and How to Become One?

“Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.” – Steve Jobs

Remember the duty of a class monitor during your school time? Do you remember the responsibilities class representatives handled when the teachers assigned them tasks that they further announced to their class? Well, general management pretty much works on the same lines where a person takes orders from the skookum of a workplace and then assigns the duties to the subordinates.

Better workflow? Yes. Favourable for all? Indeed! Enhanced communication? Obviously. Supreme management? Absolutely!

The world is dominated by numbers, finances, industries, and rapid growth. Want an excellent career? Want to choose finance and high-paying job roles? Go for accounting. Endless opportunities? Choose international business. Irrespective of the field you choose,  the involvement of general managers is essential. They are the ones who handle the affairs of an institution to execute the highest-yielding measures to achieve the desired goals.

What is General Management?

Imagine a place where different sectors perform particular functions. They all have a superior authority that receives instructions from the highest authority, takes time to understand the needs and responsibilities and then assigns duties to different departments accordingly to achieve a set of goals within a specific period with utmost productivity and efficiency. That is how general management works in the simplest terms.

Cleartax defines a general manager as an individual responsible for overseeing the revenues, operational costs, and daily feels of a company. Their role is subordinate to the highest position of management at the company but handle different departments at lower levels. The responsibilities and job profiles of a general manager first depend upon the domain they are working in and vary across different industries.

Who is a General Manager?

Also called a GM, a general manager is an executive who is responsible for handling several operations within a department and works consistently towards improving efficiency and maximising the profits of a company. He or she is the head of many small divisions that directly report to the head of the organisation.

A General Manager performs the duty of a head of smaller teams and has to give specific direction, oversee the functioning of subordinate managers and workers, and be involved in training employees and creating a professionally beneficial environment for all. They are expected to come up with strategic business advice and plans based on the company’s goal for either short-term or long-term periods.

How to Become a General Manager?

Since a general manager encompasses the all-in-one role of working in organisations that usually deal with finances, international business, accounting, etc., they need to be highly knowledgeable and expert in their particular work. Not only do they need to handle the affairs within an organisation but also have to develop networking with the other industrial sectors, customers, sellers, etc. They are a part of the administrative functions, the financial department and the general operations of a company.

Qualifications Required to Become a General Manager

To become a General Manager, the bare minimum qualification is a graduation degree. Even though you can pursue graduation in any field, it is conventionally suggested to pursue a graduate with a degree in Economics, Finance, Accounting, Mathematics or Statistics since it gives the edge in terms of the management skill set required in the profile of a general manager.

An MBA is generally the perfect choice of degree for most people and is also suitable for securing the post of general manager. Choosing professional courses will equip you with the comprehensive knowledge of various fundamental principles such as accounting, management consulting, financial analysis, etc.; all of which will help you in your job role.

Additionally, there are several one-year short courses or diplomas that further build your knowledge of management and help you amplify your management comprehension.

Experience Required to Become a General Manager

The job profile of a general manager is an executive post that one can achieve after years of experience. Only a person with significant calibre and ample industrial knowledge can directly secure the post of General Manager. The career path of a General Manager is usually from working at subordinate levels and then gradually moving up the ladder to the executive post within the organisation.

Skills Required to Become a General Manager

The general and central rule of being a professional is to know the requirements for a job profile. Clarity on your job profile makes your daily tasks easier and builds a platform with knowledge and merit.

Following are some of the skills that a general manager requires in his daily life to excel professionally.

  • Time-management
  • Organisational Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Networking
  • Financial Modelling
  • Software Knowledge
  • Statistical Skills
  • Analytical Abilities
  • Task orientation
  • Data Analytics
  • Risk Management
  • Presentation Skills

General Manager: Role & Functions

A General manager is responsible for handling day-to-day operations within an organisation and has to work in collaboration with the external and internal sectors within a workplace. Though the role of a general manager depends upon the type of the particular management job they are doing, the general role is to maintain a network, handle different processes, keep a data of suppliers, customers, competitors, and also keep an eye on the latest trends, the press and often the public sentiment.

John P Kotter, a famous finance expert, led successful research between 1976 and 1981 in nine different corporations. Upon his close observation and data drawn at the end, he stated that general managers only become successful when they influence the fellow members in a positive way, are quick in decision-making, understand the urgency of the tasks and take action accordingly and stay away from giving orders in an old -style traditional sense.

The day-to-day functions of a General Manager include:

  • Keep track of the budget and expenses of the company:

    One of the objectives of a General Manager is to achieve data of ROI and help generate high revenues for the organisation. A General Manager is responsible for preparing a budget for the company’s resources.

  • Keep track of the market:

    The duty of a general manager also includes observing the market shares for different products, and various lines at inventory levels, exploring different possibilities of acquisition within the industry and understanding products or businesses with the potential to flourish within a particular timeline.

  • Oversee the organisation:

    A general manager is involved in several duties within an organisation like handling the financial affairs, day-to-day operations and adapting to new changes. They also play a key role in reorganising, ensuring employee productivity and excellence and making sure that the workflow is being conducted in an ethical and fair manner.

General Manager Salary in India & Future Scope

The job profile of a general manager is one of the highly reputed in India, with multiple rewards and accelerated career growth opportunities. It is a well-paying job that has boundless growth. One of the most lucrative aspects of this job is the high salaries that general managers receive.

  • Average Salary of a General Manager: INR 35.5 LPA
  • Highest Salary of a General Manager: INR 59.9 LPA

Source: Ambition Box


A General manager is a specialised executive with an all-inclusive knowledge of various departments, the work-flow, the technology, and the processes. They handle both monetary and non-monetary resources with an approach to maximise the profit and revenue of the company. They are involved in operations with maximum productivity as their goal. The demands of the role keep changing, and one has to be highly adaptable to survive and let the company score in all conditions.

Afterall, Ian Holmes as Pascal stated in the movie Big Night quotes the same,

“I am a businessman. I am anything I need to be at any time.” 


Q1. Can a CA Become a General Manager?

No, unfortunately as per the legal rules, a CA can not venture into any other field than chartered accountancy if he/she takes upon the role.

Q2. Which stream is best for a General Manager?

Any graduate can enter the field of general management. One of the most pursued courses presented, one can go for an MBA to enjoy the highest perks of having a professional management degree.

Q3. Which degree is best for General Management?

If you are looking to make a career in General Banking, you can go for any of the specialisations offered in an MBA course since the first year usually gives an overall idea of how the management functions across several industries. For the second year of the course, you may choose a special subject you would like to specialise in.

Q4. Is an MBA required for a General Manager?

Not necessarily but having an MBA is definitely a better option. The management course walks a learner through the theoretical and practical knowledge of the field that helps build acumen and skills to excel in the field professionally.

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