Best Executive MBA in India – Complete Application Guide

By Shikhar Mohan, Founder, OneYearMBA.co.in

Executive MBA in India – four simple words that have created enough confusion to confound even the most diligent MBA aspirants around. Some common questions surrounding the course are:

What do you mean by Executive MBA?
What is the difference between an executive MBA and an MBA?
Is an executive MBA better than an MBA?
Which executive MBA is best in India?
How do I apply for an Executive MBA?
What is executive MBA India?
Is ISB better than IIM?
What is ISB MBA?
How good is IIM Executive MBA?
What is the eligibility criteria for executive MBA?
Which college is best for Executive MBA?
How do you get into executive MBA?
Is Executive MBA same as regular MBA?
Does Executive MBA help in India?
What are the requirements for an Executive MBA?
Who qualifies for an Executive MBA?
Does Executive MBA provide placements?
Does Executive MBA have placements?
How much GMAT score is required for IIM Executive MBA?
Which executive MBA program is best?
Is GMAT required for executive MBA?
Can I do MBA without GMAT?
Is GMAT mandatory for MBA in India


In this Executive MBA in India guide we will answer these and many more common doubts regarding this course.

Table of Contents

  • What do you mean by Executive MBA?
  • Executive MBA vs MBA I Executive MBA vs One Year MBA in India I Executive MBA vs Two Year  MBA
  • Is an Executive MBA better than an MBA? Which is better – PGDM or Executive MBA?
  • Is a One Year MBA better than a Two Year MBA? 
  • One Year MBA vs Two Year MBA guide
  • Best Executive MBA courses in India 
  • How do I apply for an Executive MBA?
  • How good is IIM Executive MBA?
  • What is the eligibility criteria for executive MBA?
  • Does Executive MBA help in India. Does Executive MBA provide placements?
  • How much GMAT score is required for IIM Executive MBA?
  • Executive MBA scholarships

What do you mean by Executive MBA?

Executive MBA in UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France…anywhere else on the earth – An executive MBA is a course pursued by executives to enhance their career prospects. This course is typically pursued by senior executives with 10+ years of work experience alongside work – while they continue to work full time as executives – hence the course is called executive MBA – a MBA course for executives.

Executive MBA in India – In India an Executive MBA is most commonly used to describe a One Year Full Time MBA. This branding is unique to India much like 1 million gods and 10 different climates! India has a unique take on things and we even have a bollywood anthem celebrating this. The ‘It happens only in India’ song below has Govinda celebrating the unique aspects of life in India. Well he can add Executive MBA to the list.

Since one year full time MBA course in India are pursued by people who have worked for a number of years prior to the course, MBA institutes and the common man has branded them ‘Executive MBA’ courses.  

In this article we will provide clarity and information on both formats of the course.

Executive MBA vs MBA, Executive MBA vs One Year MBA – Quick comparison

Parameter One Year MBA/ Two Year MBA  Executive MBA
Format Full-time

Residential campus based programme – participants leave their jobs to attend the course


Participants continue to work full-time while learning

Duration One Year MBA or Two Year MBA Typically completed in 2 years or more
Who is it meant for Mid level professionals with 3-10 years work experience Senior executives – meant for VPs, CEOs, GMs with 10-20 years of work experience
What it helps you gain
  • Learning
  • A network 
  • Brandname on the CV
  • Significant jump in salary
  • Change in location is possible
  • Change in role is possible 
  • New job offers in other companies
  • Learning
  • A network
  • Brandname on the CV
  • Fills gaps in knowledge
  • Makes the candidate more marketable within the company
Eligibility 3+ Years of work experience for most 2 year MBA courses globally

5+ years of work experience for most 1 year MBA courses globally

Typically 10+ years of work-experience is needed by reputed Executive MBA courses
Entry  Tough as nails. a lot of competition for the limited seats for both 2 year and 1 Year MBA courses

A kick ass GMAT/ CAT/ GRE score for the top institutes is needed

Good academic record

Clarity of vision captured in essays etc

Comparatively relaxed entrance criteria

Typically GMAT is not required

Profile based admissions

Expense Fee for One Year MBA & Two Year MBA India ranges between INR 5 lakh to 30 lakh

The fee for similar courses in USA, Canada & Europe range between INR 30 lakh to 1 Crore

Most Executive MBA courses are more expensive than full-time MBA courses and start at INR 30 lakh plus.

The reason for this is that the participants are often sponsored by their companies

Who pays for the course Typically the individual pursuing the course Many individuals pay for the Executive MBA, but most candidates are sponsored by their organisation
Intake Usually 2-3 major admission intakes a year  Typically follows a rolling admission model with batches starting after a gap of every few months
Geographies the course is strong in Globally – India, Europe, USA, Australia, Canada Primarily outside India – USA & Europe
Placements  Most institutes offering a 1 Year MBA offer placements assistance to the students  No placement assistance is typically provided since most candidates are sponsored and engaged with a company already


Is an Executive MBA better than an MBA? Which is better PGDM or Executive MBA?

Is Thanos more powerful or a chainsaw? Is Trump better than Captain America? If those questions doesn’t make sense, neither does it make sense to compare an Executive MBA with an MBA. As our analysis above shows, both are entirely different courses. One is meant for mid-career professionals looking to make a quantum leap in their career, the other is meant for senior executives looking to embellish their CV with a brandname, full in knowledge gaps for senior roles, and become more marketable at their existing job.

That said, most companies assign more value to a Full time One Year MBA or a Two Year Full Time MBA as the rigour of entry and rigour within the course is higher than in an Executive MBA. 

Entry to Full time MBA courses requires a high GMAT score, multiple rounds of evaluations by admissions committees and a far better academic record than that demanded by B-Schools for admissions to their Executive MBA courses. 

Since students study full time on campus the quality & quantum of peer learning in a full time MBA is also higher.   

Read more on Executive MBA in India vs One Year MBA in India.

Is your real question – Is a One Year MBA better than a Two Year MBA?

Given the confusions surrounding the branding, maybe you intend to learn how a One Year Full Time MBA compares to a Two Year Full Time MBA?

Comparison between One Year MBA in India and Two Year MBA In India

Parameter One Year MBA in India Two Year MBA in India/ 2 Year PGDM in India Significance
Format Full time Full time
Duration 12-15 Months 2 Years
Class room hours 650-700 800
Meant for experienced professionals with 3+ years of work experience freshers with 0-2 years work experience The one-year full time MBA’s placement process is better equipped to place experienced professionals as opposed to the placement process of the two-year PGP at business schools in India as the bulk of the two-year PGP students, on an average, have less than one-year of work experience and almost forty percent of the students have zero work experience, most of the companies that come to recruit two-years PGP students offer them management trainee profiles
Time to discover yourself yes no


The key benefit offered by the one-year full time MBA, we believe, is that the course gives you time to discover yourself before you manage others. In Indian society the pressure to rise above the neighbor’s kid is a constant one. The one-year full time MBA at business schools in India, by adhering to the original mission statement of an MBA as defined by the Association of MBAs – to “enhance and develop previous relevant experience” – gives you on an average five years to pursue what your heart desires
Accreditation as per international norms MBA Masters in Business Management – not MBA Candidates pursuing a one-year MBA receive a qualification that is recognized globally as an MBA as opposed to the qualification earned through the two-year PGP course which is recognized as a Masters in Management internationally – a course for candidates without work-experience.
The goal of the degree To help experienced professionals transition to leadership roles To help fresh graduates gain a grounding in business management Don’t head into an Two Year MBA in India expecting managerial slots. Most MIM graduates land assignments as Management Trainees.
Learning environment Class has extensive experience Class has little work experince which impacts the level of discussions With close to 1000 years of collective corporate wisdom available in a typical class of 100 candidates in a batch of a one year MBA, the peer learning that the course offers is amazing.
Opportunity cost 1 Year 2 years The opportunity cost of a one-year full time MBA is half that of a two-year MBA programme. You save one year’s post qualification salary and join work faster.
International immersion yes no Students of the one year MBA typically spend one term abroad which helps them gain an international perspective of business
Learning pace Fast paced Relatively relaxed The two year course gives you more time to absorb concepts.
Recognition in companies Awareness rising as the course started 10 years back in India Established – 40-50 years legacy The industry in India has well established frameworks such as the Management Trainee programme to induct the graduates of the two year course into the workplace – this makes the placement process smoother. Hiring in senior roles out of the 1 Year MBA is however also becoming a standard practice in new age companies.
Typical roles on offer Vice President, General Manager, Senior manager Management Trainee
Companies hiring New age companies in IT, E-Commerce Old school FMCG, FMCD companies
Fee Higher Lower The fees for the one-year course at the IIMs, for instance, ranges between Rs 14 lakh and Rs 25 lakh. The two-year course is subsidized by the government and the average fee across the IIMs ranges between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 35 lakh. The fee at Indian School of Business (ISB) for the 1 Year PGP is a whopping Rs 34 Lakh!


Read about each of these aspects in more detail in our One Year MBA vs 2 Year MBA guide:

  1. One Year MBA in India – Best one year MBA courses, fees & how it differs from an Executive MBA
  2. 1 Year MBA vs 2 Year MBA – Difficulty of getting into the course
  3. 1 Year MBA vs 2 Year MBA – Class room composition & quality of learning
  4. 1 Year MBA vs 2 Year MBA – Placements 
  5. 1 Year MBA vs 2 Year MBA in India – Global Rankings
  6. 1 Year MBA vs 2 Year MBA – International immersion
  7. 1 Year MBA – Fee at top courses

Executive MBA Ranking

The Top Ranked executive MBA colleges in India For Working Professionals & Part-time MBA Programmes 

Executive MBA from FMS, University Of Delhi

FMS – Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, North Campus

  • Qualification – Executive MBA/ PG Degree
  • Format – Virtual Classroom | 2 years
  • INR 1.00 Lakh Total Fees
  • Rank #6 by Business Today 2017
Executive MBA from IIM

Executive MBA from IIM Kozhikode – Indian Institute of Management (IIMK)

Course – Executive Post Graduate Programme

  • Qualification – PG Diploma
  • Format – Virtual Classroom | 2 years 
  • Fee: INR 10.00 Lakh total Fees
  • Ranking – Rank #8 by Business Today 2017

Executive MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, Symbiosis International, Khadki, Pune

  • Qualification – Executive MBA
  • Format – PG Degree | Part Time – Classroom | 24 months, Weekends Program 
  • AICTEApproved
  • Fee: INR 3.96 Lakh Total Fees
  • Rank #48 by The Week 2016
NMIMS School of Business Management (Narsee Monjee), Vile Parle West,  Mumbai
  • Course: Executive MBA – PG Degree
  • Format: Part Time – Classroom
  • Duration: 15 months 
  • Rank – Rank #11 by Business Today

How Do I Apply For An Executive MBA?

The Executive MBA is for professionals with a number of years of work experience. The part-time nature of the program allows them to remain fully engaged with work and pursue studies outside the office hours.

Here, we will provide you with a ringside view of Executive programs in India and details on the various options available at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) besides the private institutes, eligibility criteria, the fee and how to submit your applications.

IIM Ahmedabad: ePGP

IIM Ahmedabad offers two-year e-Post Graduate Programme in Management (ePGP) for working executives and entrepreneurs that combines online and classroom learning. The participants should have a minimum of 3 years of full-time work experience (after completion of graduation) as on December 31, 2018.

The applicants should be 24 years or above (born on or before December 31, 1994). They should have at least a Bachelor’s Degree/CA /CS/ ICWA, with at least 50% marks in aggregate or equivalent CGPA, awarded by any of the recognized Universities.

Shortlisted candidates (on the basis of score obtained in CAT/GMAT/GRE) will be invited for a personal interview at the IIMA campus or in other cities as decided by the Institute.

For the ePGP 2019-21 Batch, the Application Start Date is February/March, Application Closure Date May 31 and Personal Interview in June/July 2019. The Campus Module will stars at IIMA on September 23 and Studio Module on October 3. The program fee will be Rs 20,00,000.

FMS: MBA Executive Program

The Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) at the University of Delhi has a two-year evening MBA Executive program. The applicants should have pursued at least a three-year Bachelor‘s Degree program after 12 years of formal schooling having secured minimum 45% aggregate marks or equivalent grades.

These could be in any of the disciplines such as Arts, Commerce, Social Sciences, Law, Sciences, Mathematics/ Statistics, Medicine, Engineering or Technology. Additionally, she/ he should have at least five years of experience as an executive or an administrator in a commercial/government establishment/registered organization after passing the Bachelor‘s degree examination.

Experience would be determined as on the 1st April of the year of admission. Candidates should be either sponsored or produce a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to pursue the program from his/her present employer.

FMS also offers an MBA Executive (Health Care Administration) Program. The applicants should have a Bachelor Degree with minimum 45% aggregate marks or equivalent grade in any discipline such as Medicine (MBBS)/BDS/BAMS/BUMS/BHMS or Master Degree with 55% marks in Biotechnology/ Genomics/Genetics/ Nursing/ Bioengineering/ Alternative Systems of Medicine/ Paramedical Discipline/Pharmacology/ Anthropology/ Zoology or an examination recognized as equivalent.

The candidate should have at least five years of experience as an executive or in an administrative position in a public or private or autonomous/ registered Health Care Organization or in Health Sector after acquiring the Bachelor‘s degree.

The annual fee is Rs 50,000 plus Rs l1,000 (Library Fee) payable in two equal instalments of` 25,000 each for both programs. All candidates have to register using the online registration system available on www.fms.edu for filling and submitting the applications.


The Indian School of Business (ISB) offers the Post Graduate Program in Management for Working Professionals (PGPpro), a weekend Executive MBA (EMBA) equivalent program. It allows specialisation in either Finance or Marketing. This is the first program from ISB to be offered outside its Hyderabad campus in Bengaluru, Delhi (NCR) and Mumbai.

The applicant should have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification in any discipline, full-time work experience of between 5-12 years. The online application form can be completed over several sessions. You will be able to save and review the information before final submission of the completed application.

You should also scan and upload the following documents along with the application. These are a colour photograph, Passport, Academic Certificates–Bachelor’s Degree Certificate & Mark Sheets/Transcripts (for all semesters/years), Class 12 Mark sheets/Transcripts.

Professional evaluations should be submitted, preferably online, as per the prescribed format. For employed applicants, evaluations should be requested from the current manager and the most recent previous manager.

Self-employed applicants may get evaluations from business associates like your customers or vendors. In case of any doubt, please write to the Admissions Office before making a choice.

IIM Kozhikode: EMEP

IIM Kozhikode launched the Executive Management Education Program (EMEP) for working executives. Participants have the flexibility to choose the classroom centres based on their city of residence/work.

The executive education program offers a two-year post-graduate diploma program in management and one-year post-graduate certification programmes in Operations, Marketing, Finance, Strategy, IT and Human Resources which supports the working professionals and executives to enrich their knowledge in the area of expertise.

XLRI: Postgraduate Diploma in Management

It is an AICTE approved the three-year part-time weekend program in business management for Working Executives and Business Owners. It is a rigorous program of 900 contact hours. Participants should have a minimum of two years of work experience in executive/supervisory roles.

They should have a three-year Bachelors’ degree or its equivalent in any discipline from a University or a Deemed University. Candidates who have completed the four-year Bachelors’ degree in any Engineering discipline from a University or Deemed University are also eligible to apply. They must have a score of 50% or more marks (or its equivalent GPA).


The Post Graduate Executive Management Program (PGEMP) at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan SPJIMR, Mumbai, is a 21-month program conducted in a modular format. It is tailored specifically for middle-senior management executives with more than 5 years of work experience, who are unable to take a break from their jobs and attend school full time.

The AMBA-accredited program has a format that ensures minimal absence from the workplace – a total of 60 days on campus over 21 months (9 days residence on campus every quarter).  Participants get to apply the learnings on campus immediately to their workplace through a host of application assignments and a major Capstone Project.

Most participants are company sponsored executives from SPJIMR’s partner companies from diverse sectors. The program is also open to self-funded applicants.

IMT Ghaziabad: PGDM part-time

PGDM – Part Time is aimed at working executives who are looking for a jump in their career but wish to complete their MBA without leaving their job. It involves regular, weekly classroom interactions with the faculty at IMT campus.

Approved by AICTE and accredited by AACSB, it is designed to impart conceptual, communication, business and management skills with a focus on developing business leaders and change agents who should be ready to take the leadership roles after the completion of the program.

Participants can opt for either the weekend mode or alternative weekend mode. They will have to check-in into the campus on Friday evening and check out on Sunday evening. Accommodation on campus will be on payment basis. The program also has an optional international immersion on payment basis.

The candidate should have a Bachelor’s Degree in any discipline with 2 years of work experience after graduation (one year in case of Post -Graduation or those with professional qualification). You will be evaluated on the basis of a written assessment exercise and personal interview. The application fee is Rs 2000. The program fee is Rs 6 lakh, payable in six instalments.

IIM Indore: Post Graduate Diploma in Management for Executives in Mumbai (PGP-MX)

The two-year, alternate weekend Post-Graduate Diploma Programme in Management for Executives (Modular)-PGPMX, offered in Mumbai, is designed for working executives and entrepreneurs.

It is equivalent in content and rigour to the regular Post-Graduate Program in Management (PGP) and the classes are facilitated and taught by the same faculty.

SIBM Pune: MBA (Executive)

The MBA (Executive) programme at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM) Pune has been designed specifically for working executives at a more advanced level in their career. The classes take place on weekends at the campus. It offers a choice of six specialisations in Marketing, Finance, Human Resource, Operations and Supply Chain, Analytics & Information Technology and Innovation & Entrepreneurship with a rider that at least 10 students should have enrolled for the specialisation.


Executive Master of Business Administration program (EMBA) has a flexible curriculum design offering program completion option in a fast-track 15 months or 24 months duration. It is a learner-driven credit-based E-MBA program. Participants can register for a module as per their convenience subject to completion of pre-requisite courses.

Specialization is available in areas of Finance, Marketing, HR, Information Systems, & Operations to refashion managers well-endowed in a particular functional area. Dual specialization option available to those who want to specialize in two disciplines.

The student is required to complete 58 credit courses for this program. This includes 24 core courses and 12 electives, along with a dissertation which is the equivalent of 4 full credit courses.

How good is IIM Executive MBA?

The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are recognised to be world-class institutions with reputed faculty and high standards of teaching, attracting the cream of MBA aspirants. Apart from the full-time programs, the IIMs run various Executive courses of various durations, including some very short ones just for a few months or weeks.

The ePGP at IIM Ahmedabad, launched in 2017, combines online and classroom learning. Jayant Pai, who works at Ppfas Mutual Fund, answering a query about the programme on Quora, says he was part of the cohort for the inaugural ePGP batch (2017–19).

He says it is virtually a mirror image of the flagship 2-year PGP Programme with some differences like it being a hybrid model interspersed with campus visits that can be pursued parallel with work commitments.

“There is no compromise on the rigour involved, be it in the form of attendance requirement (80%), class participation or performance in the assignments/ exams. In fact, it is very demanding in terms of hours that one has to invest to prepare for quizzes, assignments and exams,’ he says.

The inaugural batch, comprising 49 students, was selected on the basis of their GMAT/CAT/ IIM Admission test (IAT) scores followed by the performance/evaluation in the post-exam interview.

The curriculum is designed and conferred by the globally acclaimed faculty members, with an array of professional experience in research and teaching. The IIMA’s ePGP pedagogy is benchmarked with global standards in management education thus providing participants with expertise that are vital in today’s knowledge economy.

The first batch of ePGP has come from across the nation, representing a balanced mix of age, gender and work experience. The participants have a broad spectrum of career backgrounds in industries that include Health & Pharmaceuticals, Finance, Real Estate, Government, Banking, IT and E-commerce. They have an average of 10 years’ experience.

In another reply an anonymous user says, As regards market value,  as per the IIMA website, format and design of this course ePGP seems more about career progression than placements- website clearly mentions “no placement support” for this program.

IIM Kozhikode’s Executive Management Education Program (EMEP) for working executives offers participants the flexibility to choose the classroom centres based on their city of residence/work. It also has a two-year post-graduate diploma program in management and one-year post-graduate certification programs in Operations, Marketing, Finance, Strategy, IT and Human Resources.

IIM Indore’s Post Graduate Diploma in Management for Executives in Mumbai (PGP-MX) is a  two-year, alternate weekend Post-Graduate Diploma Programme in Management for Executives (Modular)-PGPMX, offered in Mumbai.

According to Anindita Debnath, who was part of the 7th batch of the program, the course is structured keeping in mind that the students have been working for at least 5 years and thus come with a practical understanding on different topics.

The curriculum is taught by faculty who fly down from the main IIM Indore campus. This ensures that the teaching standards of this course are very comparable to the people who attend courses on the main campus

The course is designed in such a way that it is up-to-date covering subjects such as social media marketing and organisational perspectives as part of your main curriculum. It also aims to focus on strengthening your foundation – You are given preparatory Harvard Business School courses, to ensure that everyone is up to speed and well prepared for the rigour of the course.

The class profile is very diverse, ensuring that you network with people who you’d have never interacted with otherwise. It promotes a peer-to-peer learning structure, with discussions and different perspectives. IIM-I organises guest lectures and sessions from industry experts.

IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta also offer a wide range of part-time executive education options.

On the positive side, an Executive MBA at the IIMs provides you access to top-notch faculty, the IIM brand name on the resume and an alumni Id. However, there is no placement assistance offered in any of these programs.

More updates soon on:

What is the eligibility criteria for executive MBA?

Does Executive MBA help in India. Does Executive MBA provide placements?

How much GMAT score is required for IIM Executive MBA?

Executive MBA scholarships

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