The one-year Post Graduate Programme (PGP) in management at the Indian School of Business (ISB) is “carefully-crafted to provide practical industry applications with a rigorous, cutting-edge, research-based curriculum,” says ISB Dean Dr Rajendra Srivastava.
ISB’s linkages with the industry, alumni and government provide a well-rounded exposure to the students, he adds.
As for a comparison of ISB with the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Srivastava points out that IIMs are modelled on a totally different construct.
The profile of the students itself is different with the students joining IIMs right after their graduation while ISB has people who had already gained valuable professional experience, having worked for several years aiming for a top managerial or leadership profile after the MBA.
At the Business School, it translates to better informed class discussions and learning as those with professional experience ask harder, more relevant questions.
Their experiences contribute to the learning of others. A concerted emphasis on learning based on current research at ISB translates into societal impact apart from classroom learning which very few management education institutions in India could claim today, he says.
Asked why ISB doesn’t participate in National rankings of business schools, Srivastava says the success or failure of any educational institution is predicated on the success of its students or alumni and the thought leadership it generates.
On both counts, ISB has an impeccable record. Several of the 7600 plus alumni are placed in institutions of international repute with more than 400 in CXO positions. Add to this a similar number are entrepreneurs who are creating both jobs and wealth for others.
More than 1000 alumni are working in 41 countries and these are better measures of success than many of the rankings. However, ISB participates in the FT rankings where it does very well. (It was ranked 33rd in 2015 with an average weighted salary of $126,554 and salary increase of 131%).
ISB graduates also do well in placements, obtaining the second highest ratio of outgoing versus incoming salaries in the world, he says.
The school has adopted a core strategy in evolving as an institution of repute with an emphasis on research. It is a clear leader in India on research published in leading journals – and the only Indian institution of higher learning (across management, engineering, medicine etc) to be ranked within the top 100 in the world, Srivastava claims.
About lack of any Indian institution figuring in top 10 list, he says while some of these institutions have been in existence for decades, the emphasis at most Indian management education institutions is on campus placements and teaching insights that remain western in nature without a local context.
Several of the institutions figuring in the top 10 list have a heavy research focus, synonymous with new ideas and a more challenging learning environment.
When Indian institutions start contributing to global thinking, they will influence evolution of management practice. They will have to change by learning to work across boundaries and by being context driven.
Srivastava is of the view that the Indian education system remains highly regulated and there is a need for more flexibility. Unlike Western schools which are highly autonomous and enjoy a great degree of individuality in crafting their curriculum, Indian schools are less creative if they are dependent on state support.