BT’s MBA ranking mixes up Executive MBA and One year MBA


Business Today has come up with its 2013 ranking of MBA courses in India. The 2013 ranking breaks new ground by separating the ranking of One year MBA courses in India from the two-year PGP courses in India – this is a good step as the One year MBA in India (the only MBA in India as per international accreditation) and the two-year PGP (a Masters in Management course as per international accreditation) are two very different courses. Kudos to Business Today for this step and for coming up with a detailed ranking which will benefit many students. 

There are certain aspects of the report however that have the potential to confuse students about the fast emerging internationally accredited MBA courses in India – the One year MBA. The report bundles Executive MBA (part time course for executives working in full time jobs) with One year full time MBA (full time residential course for candidates with work experience as mandated internationally as eligibility for an MBA degree).

The One year MBA course offers students in India for the first time an MBA degree as the world understands it. We feel that Business Today’s report, unintentionally, creates an image of the two-year management course in India as the primary and ‘legitimate’ form of an MBA, when in fact its is not accredited as an MBA at all by global institutions. 

This misrepresentation in our view could push students into rushing into management education after graduation instead of working for a few years and finding their calling before heading for an MBA, as academicians recommend worldwide. 

In the interest of students, most of whom are already confused by the terminologies at play, Oneyearmba.co.in attempts to clarify certain aspect of the Business Today report.

Article Excerpt

“This year, programmes of less than two years – such as those offered by Indian School of Business or ISB, Hyderabad and Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai – were not included, because we wanted to separate the regular two-year programmes from the specialized executive programmes.”

Link to article – (http://bit.ly/articlelink1)


The One year MBA courses in India are not ‘specialized’ courses which is a term reserved for sector specific MBAs such as MBA in HR, or MBA in finance – courses different from the mainstream general management focused MBA offered at business schools.

The One year full time MBA instead is the first and only MBA in India as per international accreditation awarded by Association of MBAs, UK – the only global authority that accredits courses instead of institutes.

This accreditation has not been imposed on Indian business schools, it has been sought by them in order to increase their global standing. The One year MBA at Indian business schools has achieved this aim for the business schools by finally gaining for the institutes an MBA accreditation. The two-year PGP course, with a class largely consisting of freshers, doesn’t meet global eligibility norms for a course to qualify as an MBA. 


Neither is the One year MBA an ‘executive programme’. An executive programme is a part time programme. The One year MBA demands work experience like its global two-year and one-year MBA counterparts but that does not make it an executive programme.

While the man on the street may not know any better and may call a One year MBA an Executive MBA, ‘colloquial usage’ should not be elevated to the status of ‘fact’. Even in the case that colloquial usage of a word or phrase is used as a quote in writing, it is appended by ‘sic’ to indicate that this words used are not the proper usage of the world and contain a misstatement of fact.

To clarify the status of the One year MBA in India as a full time regular MBA programme, we are sharing Oxford Said’s programmes page which clearly lists the types of programmes on offer.

You can read about the flagship One year MBA at (http://bit.ly/15ZZTe0). The class profile of the One year MBA at Oxford is available at (http://bit.ly/16We2cO) and clearly shows the class has 6 years of average work experience. So is the Oxford One year MBA an executive programme/ Executive MBA/ MBA for executives? No, none of these nomenclatures fit and the Executive MBA is an entirely different offering at Oxford. You can read more about the executive course at (http://bit.ly/19GsLsA). 

Oxford is not alone here, all business schools around the world follow this terminology. Sample HULT’s programme page (http://bit.ly/1bkG4wd). You will notice a One year MBA, an Executive MBA and a Master programme. While the One year MBA is the same course as the One year MBA in India, the Executive MBA is a part time course. Also worth pointing out is that the Master course mentioned on the page (alternatively accessible here (http://bit.ly/1hJFh9M) is the same course as the two-year PGP offered in India – meant for a class without work experience.

To clarify further, a full time MBA and an Executive MBA are different courses not because the Executive MBA demands past work experience and the full time MBA doesn’t demand it – no, both demand it. But while a full time MBA, whether of one year or two-year duration, is a full time residential programme, the Executive MBA/ Executive course is a part-time course meant for students who are working in the daytime as executives – and are therefore ‘executives’ at the same time as they are pursuing their MBA.

Some people might wonder why we are we insisting on the usage of the correct nomenclature for the One year MBA? How does it matter if you call a course an Executive MBA or a One year MBA? Doesn’t a rose by any other name smell just as sweet?

We feel terminologies do matter, especially when a concept is still new. The usage of terms like Executive course, Executive MBA, MBA for executives is creating a perception in the minds of students that the two-year course in India is the legitimate full blown management degree and that the One year full time MBA course in India is some sort of specialized option for mid career executives looking to kickstart their career and who ‘missed the bus’ after graduation.

This is both funny and tragic. Here finally is an MBA in India that is in sync with an MBA as the world understands it and students and, surprisingly, in some cases the press too are none the wiser for it.

Article Excerpt

“The Ahmedabad and Calcutta IIMs both launched their executive MBA programmes in 2006′

Link to article – (http://bit.ly/articlelink2)


This point has been made earlier however pointing this out again as the potential impact of this mix up is huge. IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Calcutta do not offer Executive MBA programmes. They do however offer One year full time MBA programmes.

one year full time mba

A graphic in Business Today. Executive Programmes or MBA? 

Article Excerpt

“Unlike courses abroad – especially in Europe – most mid-career MBAs in India require professionals to take a year’s break from their career.”


Any full time course requires a a break from work. So whether its a full time MBA abroad or in India, a candidate will need to leave work to join the course. On the other hand an Executive MBA is a part time course, and so whether in India or abroad, candidates pursuing this course continue to work full time in jobs.

The conclusion drawn by the article seems to have been arrived at from mixing up the One year full time MBA course in India with Executive MBA courses abroad.

Article Excerpt

“Unlike the IIMs, ISB does not offer placement services for executive MBAs. One reason is that many participants’ employers grant them time off from work so they can attend the programme”


ISB does offer placement support for its One year full time MBA (PGP) just like IIMs provide support for their One year full time MBA (PGPX/EPGP/IPMX/PGPEX) as both courses attract self-sponsored candidates.

ISB does not offer placement support for its PGPMAX programme which is a part time course (Executive MBA). Similarly, IIMs that have a part time MBA, such as IIM Indore which has a weekend programme called PGPMX, also do not offer placement support for that programme.

Article Excerpt

Many Indians are opting for executive MBAs from B-schools in other countries, such as INSEAD in France and Queen’s School of Business in Canada’s Ontario province. INSEAD offers a Global Executive MBA and the Tsinghua-INSEAD executive MBA. The programme takes place on three campuses in Europe, Asia and West Asia


Good points here. But because the article covers One year full time programmes and Executive MBA courses in the same narrative and uses the two course names interchangeably, there is a possibility of students mistaking the One year programmes in India as similar to the programmes described at INSEAD & Queens.

To clarify, the programmes at both INSEAD and Queens mentioned in the article are part time progammes and are different from the flagship One year full time MBA at the institutes.


Read more on this subject 

Deccan Herald says the One year MBA is the first MBA in India

Executive MBA? No. India’s first globally accepted MBA? Yes. 

FT ranks IIM Calcutta’s & IIM Ahmedabad’s PGP in MIM ranking. MBA aspirants take note

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