Alumni place wishlist for 2014’s One year MBA before new IIM I Director


The new year will see a new director at IIM Indore (IIM I). Prof. Rishikesha T. Krishnan, Professor of Corporate Strategy & Policy at IIM Bangalore (IIM B) takes charge on January 1, 2014. The alumni of the One year MBA (EPGP) at IIM Indore are excited at the development and have high hopes from the new director. They hope he will build a momentum around the One year MBA at the institute, which is the first course at IIM Indore to meet global norms for an MBA courseThe One year MBA, aimed at an experienced audience, is relatively new in the panoply of programmes at IIM Indore, which till 2009 focused primarily on a two-year PGP programme targeted at fresh graduates (Masters in Management as per global accreditation criteria), and, therefore the course needs nurturing. IIM Indore has taken steps in this direction – the institute recently introduced a spate of changes in the design and content of the course

To contribute to this process and with new beginnings in mind, did a brainstorming exercise with the five classes that have graduated the One year MBA at IIM Indore since the course’s inception in 2009-10, followed by a survey that captures aspects of the course that need improvements. On the eve of the new year, we share the results of the survey which are relevant to not just the course at IIM Indore but to One year MBA courses at almost all business schools in India. 

                                                                                                                                      Top 10 areas of improvements in the One year MBA at IIM Indore

1. Realigning the academic calender with the hiring cycle 

IIM Indore currently follows a September to July academic calender for its One year MBA. Most business schools in India instead follow an April to March cycle for their One year MBA. The April-March cycle is aligned with the campus hiring schedule of companies in India. The class graduating in July from Indore tends to miss out on certain positions due to this.

2. Changing the nomenclature of the course from Executive Post Graduate Programme to One year MBA/ equivalent alternative

The branding of the course has created a lot of confusion. Students & recruiters often perceive the One year full time regular programme as an Executive MBA (a part-time programme). The inclusion of the term ‘executive’ in the name of the course causes all this confusion. Even the press is confused. (read: Business Today confuses One year MBA with Executive MBA)

The confusion is ironical because the One year MBA is the first MBA in India to meet global accreditation norms that are followed by business schools such as Harvard, Wharton and Kellogg. (read: Executive MBA? No. India’s first globally accepted MBA? Yes!)

Why is this change important? From the viewpoint of the students it is fairly clear that less than optimal branding affects recruiter perception. But there is a far more important reason.

An MBA course worldwide is a post-experience programme. In India, students rush into management education after graduation without gaining any work-ex. If a perception is created that the ‘MBA’ is the two-year course and that the One year MBA is some sort of specialized executive course, it will end up defeating the task of creating MBAs as the world understands the term as well as rob Indian students of a chance to find their calling before they head to business school. (read: 16 lakh salary good for a 21 year old? A surprising answer on Quora)

3. Flagship status for One year MBA along with two-year PGP

The IIMs have not defined the criterion for calling a course a flagship course. However, a quick glance at key features of the two courses reveals that the One year MBA seems a fit candidate to represent the institute in India and globally:

  • The One year MBA’s intake is based primarily on the GMAT, which is used by top global business schools, such as Harvard and INSEAD
  • Like international business schools, the One year MBA follows an evolved admission process which considers many facets of a candidate and gives the GMAT score only a 20-25% weightage in order to admit well-rounded talent
  • Across the world, business schools tend to award flagship status to their MBA course. IIM Indore’s One year MBA meets global norms for an MBA while the two-year PGP course is a MIM programme as per global norms. (read: Deccan Herald says the One year MBA is the first MBA in India)
  • The placements gained through a One year MBA are at senior levels, such as Vice-president and GM as opposed to the placements gained through the two-year course, which, in line with Masters in Management programmes worldwide, places students in management trainee profiles
  • The average placement salary after the One year MBA is higher than the average placement salary gained through the two-year programme (read: Placements light years ahead)
  • The course admits amazing candidates, who, on an average, have seven years of prior work-ex. Students admitted to the course include IIT grads, CA’s & doctors. (read: A class that lives up to global standard))

XLRI, one of the oldest schools in India and one that offers both a One year PGDM-GM (previously GMP) and a two-year course in management (PGDM-BM) has already made this transition. It has conferred flagship status on both these courses.

flagship IIM Indore EPGP One year MBA changes improvements 1 yr full time executive MBA

The placement brochure of the One year MBA at XLRI proudly proclaims the course’s flagship status

4. Aligning the placement cycle with that of two-year PGP laterals

The two-year PGP follows two placement cycles – one for the bulk of the participants (70-80% of the batch) who have less than one year of work experience and another for ‘laterals’, who have 3-4 years of work-ex. Clubbing the PGP lateral placement with the One year MBA placement would benefit both courses by reducing separate effort to reach out to recruiters. The move will also present recruiters with a wider choice of candidates.

5. Sensitizing recruiters and companies to the course

This one needs no explanation. For companies used to recruiting management talent at the entry level, inducting MBA talent is a huge change. IIM Indore and other business schools in India need to work with the HR department at companies to create induction programmes at a senior level the same way Management Trainee programmes were created to induct the talent emerging from the two-year PGP programmes in India.

6. Entering the course in the Financial Time MBA ranking

The Financial Times (FT) ranking is possibly the most respected MBA ranking in the world. The One year MBA by virtue of its experienced class is eligible to participate in the MBA ranking. Financial Times requires a course to have graduated four batches to participate in the rankings – IIM Indore qualifies on this count too.

The FT ranking will endow IIM Indore’s One year MBA with a globally accepted recognition of quality and help the course reach out to a global audience. IIM A’s One year MBA (PGPX) and ISB’s One year MBA (PGP) have already made a mark in the FT rankings. (read: Ranked among top Global MBAs by Financial Times, London)

7. Applying for AMBA accreditation 

The Association of MBAs, UK is the world’s premier accreditation body. It is the only global body that accredits courses instead of business schools. The MBA courses of business schools such as Harvard, INSEAD, Stanford, Wharton are AMBA accredited.

In India, very few schools have managed to get the AMBA accreditation. Of the schools that have applied, IIM Lucknow, MDI & S P Jain, Mumbai have received MBA accreditation for their One year MBAs. (links – (, ( & (

The MBA accreditation by AMBA will help IIM Indore’s One year MBA attract international students.

8. Extending the academic calender to 12 months from 10 months

With almost 670-750 contact hours crunched into a span of a year, the One year MBA at IIMs is taxing as is. IIM Indore’s One year MBA wraps up even faster in 10 months. Students feel that the additional two-months will help them absorb concepts in greater detail and also give more time for on campus activities such as participating in student clubs and sports.

9. Establishing an entrepreneurship cell and a seed fund 

Indian business schools have an abysmal record of fostering entrepreneurship – most students enter a job after graduation. Schools in USA and Europe, on the other hand, have a deep focus on creating businessmen rather than managers.

At Stanford, for instance, MBAs have the opportunity to partner with alumni to develop and launch businesses through the school’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES). The CES also offers students specialized advising sessions from experienced entrepreneurs and executives. Aspiring entrepreneurs can apply to work in the Stanford Venture Studio, where they interact with other students who have similar interests.

These processes have achieved their aim. In 2013, Stanford’s graduating class founded 32 startups which received a combined funding of $980 million!

A lot of One year MBA students at IIM Indore have an interest in starting something on their own. A entrepreneurship cell on the lines of Stanford’s cell could help these students realize their dream.

10. Increasing interaction with the industry

IIM Indore already conducts a strategy conclave every year in Mumbai where One year MBA candidates interact with industry heads. Luminaries such as Deepak Parekh, Chairman of HDFC and R Gopalakrishnan, Director, Tata Sons, G. M. Rao-Chairman and Managing Director, GMR have been guests at previous events.

More such interactions will help the One year MBA batch foster ties with the corporate world.

Methodology: A qualitative survey was carried out to elicit key areas of improvement, followed by a quantitative survey that captured votes for each option generated in the qualitative section. Respondents were free to vote for multiple options on the survey. The options that received the maximum votes were listed as The Top 10 areas of improvement in order of the number of votes received. 


  1. On point 2, In place of 1 yr MBA….. Fast Track MBA or Regular MBA for Executives

    Somehow, One Yr MBA is not convincing to me……….EPGP seems better to me, in that case, as by One yr MBA , its not self explanatory, however EPGP is self explanatory but confusing due to other variants in the mkt…….

    • Hi Geeta, I i understand where you are coming from however i have a slightly different view. I agree with the solution presented above – the students are right on asking for a reworking of the course nomenclature as One year MBA or One year PGP in current context where you have a two-year PGP programme also claiming ‘MBA equivalent’ status as per AIU’s notification. One year MBA is a globally accepted nomenclature at schools such as Kellogg, U.Pitt, etc which offer both a one year MBA and two-year MBA. ISB also follows this model and calls its course a One year PGP.

      Since an MBA is meant for an experienced lot so there is no need to clarify this in the branding for one-year course by saying MBA for executives etc – this just confuses things as word ‘executive’ in course nomenclature is reserved for part time programmes. The confusion in reality stems from the the confusing status of other courses in market such as PGP which is infact a MIM course as understood globally as shared in the article.

      This situation is not tenable. Business schools should decide which accreditation they will follow – the global one or the Indian one. I think following global norms should be the roadmap for Indian business schools looking to reach a worldwide audience.

      I therefore think that alongside the EPGP programme the PGP course should also be rebranded in line with their accreditation status ( Since these are MIM programmes as per global norms a good step would be to –

      1. Rebrand one year course as MBA or equivalent in IIM parlance
      2. Alongside rebrand two-year course as Masters in Management

      Then ‘One-year’ before the name of the one-year course is no longer required in this case. Some other schools that already practice this nomenclature are and

      • One year MBA very convincing seen in the context of working professionals. There are publications with titles, Ten Day MBA and Six Day MBA in the market. Are we not capsuling the MBA if moving down further from one year MBA ?

  2. Hi Admin,

    Did you discuss these with institute ? or Did you provide the feedback to them? What was there reply?


    • Hi SM,

      As per our knowledge, the students did share the wishlist with IIM I authorities and the school has responded positively.
      Some steps have already been taken to address the points raised by the alumni.

      The current students of the batch would have more information on this.
      If you like, you could ask them this question on the IIM I forum thread and we are sure they will be able to answer this in greater detail.

      • Shikhar, unfortunately we are left gasping for information about action on any of these items. Very little of these points seem to be implemented. Can you help our concerns reach the appropriate authorities (Rishi sir himself perhaps) ?

        In particular these issues are of grave concern and haven’t been adressed –

        1.) The Jan-Feb period being spent in international immersion. This is the peak period of placements for all one year MBA’s in India and we spend this time visiting US. Can we move this to the Apr-May or May-June period so that we can utilize the Jan-Feb period in college interacting with placement officers.

        2.) Lack of companies coming on campus for placements. A stark comparison between IIM Bangalore & IIM Indore EPGP courses. The response from industry for the 2014 passout batch has been extremely lackluster. Being students with similar GMAT / industry backgrounds, placements are miles apart between these 2 colleges.

        3.) The course is still a 10 month course for the 2015 batch. Can this be extended to 12 months asap given the alumni demand.

        More than willing to discuss this in person and explain my points if you need details.


  3. Hi Raju,

    Thanks for your well thought out suggestions!

    As per sources, IIM I has taken cognizance of the alumni feedback and among the first steps it is considering is reworking of the academic year from Sept-July to an April-March cycle from next year (Class of 2015-16) The international immersion at University of Austin will in all probability move to Sept/ Oct going forward.

    More on mail. Cheers!

    • Thanks for the update Shikhar. While it is great news for future aspirants, the current Class of 2015 might still suffer. We are proposing moving the international immersion program to term 5 or 6 so that atleast we as a class of 2015 can be in campus during the crucial Jan-Feb period to garner maximum placements. While we understand the external dependance on UT Austin, we believe given the receptive management that we have at EPGP, this is achievable if we move sooner rather than later. Could you kindly share your email so that we can discuss this offline. My mail Id is aabircrazy at gmail dot com

  4. Hi Admin,

    Can you please forward me the same mail??
    Also Please let me know your mail id . I am having some questions and I want to ask you those over mail.

    With regards,

  5. Hello,

    its nice to see that talks are going in right direction to change the academic cycle and change international immersion time frame.
    I know cycle is sept to june for next batch (2014-2015) but Is there any plan to change international immersion cycle ?
    If we know international immersion is hampering placement cycle then IIM must take steps to move it to other month. @Admin, Could you please share more info to me at pravin22jd at gmail dot com ?

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