Admission season is in full flow in India and many students who have multiple admits are confused about which MBA programme to pursue. To help matters, we explore a common situation – deciding between the One year full time MBA courses at IIM A (PGPX), IIM B (EPGP), IIM C (PGPEX) and ISB ( PGP).
The choice of which school you go to is completely dependent on your own dreams and aspirations and your own unique profile so we do not intend to share a recommendation. However, we felt that sharing information could aid prospective students in conducting their own analysis of which business school is right for them.
Disha Chhabra, an alumni of the PGPEX programme (Class of 2013) shares information on the three programmes.
Note – IIM Indore‘s EPGP, IIM Lucknow’s IPMX , XLRI’s GMP and some other business schools which are pertinent to the discussion are not included in the analysis currently. We may add these schools to the article at a later date.
Admission time is back again. Like every year, a lot of lucky folks have received multiple calls from IIM A,IIM B, IIM C and ISB etc and are in a serious dilemma. It is a tough choice to make – a problem of plenty. But it is also one of the most important decisions of your life and it is natural to talk to people around and research the options before making this call.
Thanks to my book that traces the lives of students pursuing a one year MBA in India – My Beloved’s MBA Plans; off late, a lot of people have approached me seeking my advice on choosing one among the four business schools.
I may not be a subject matter expert and by no means do I intend to make this choice for you. With this post, I will try to present facts to the best of my ability and knowledge, based on my understanding and what I would have done if I had been facing a similar choice. What follows is my personal opinion and your opinion may vary depending on what is the key decision making criterion for you. So, I would like to keep this post as factual as possible.
First, if IIM A appeared in my list of choices, I would not have evaluated any of the other options. IIM A is the biggest brand in management education in India by a fair margin. The PGPX course from IIM A stands out in terms of its batch profile, brand value and global ranking (No. 11 in 2012 and No. 26 in 2013 in the Financial Times Global MBA ranking). So you are lucky if you get a chance to be there.
Now, coming to IIM B, IIM C, ISB, I am trying to do a factual comparison on some of the key decision making parameters. All the data has been either pulled from the college’s website or research papers on the topic:
|Criterion||IIM B (EPGP)||IIM C (PGPEX)||ISB (PGP)||Significance|
|Batch size||63||50||770||The smaller batch strength is an advantage both in terms of better student-faculty interaction as well as when it comes to placing students.This is inline with the higher work-ex requirements at IIMs as senior slots in industry are fewer.IIM B and IIM C, are similar as far as their batch strength is concerned.In general, IIM C is known to have a more diverse profile compared to IIM B which tends to have a higher number of engineers.|
|Avg. GMAT||695||705||710||The batch profile is important because of several reasons:1. Seeing this, one can gauge where one will stand among the peers if selected.|
2.This is presented to the industry during placements and helps companies decide if a particular campus is suited for the openings they have.
|Avg. work experience||9.5||8||5|
|Branding||Fairly active||Not so active||Aggressive & well known for its PR!||For a relatively new course (the one year MBA started close to a decade back in India) branding is extremely crucial. The industry needs to know and reminded of the USPs of one year courses – the only globally accredited MBA courses in India.Prospective aspirants have to take huge risks and have several questions in their mind. Branding and PR plays a important role in ensuring good roles on graduation.ISB is a clear winner on this front. Over the last few years, its info sessions across the country, industry connect activities, competitions have all ensured ISB is the first brand people think of when someone says one year MBA.|
|Class room contact hours||IIM C and IIM B – 800 to 900 hours, ISB – 680-700 hours||Gives a sense of the pressure you will face. IIMs tend to cram in more learning which has both advantages and disadvantages|
|Faculty||The faculty at IIM B and IIM C have been teaching the two-year PGP students for a long long time. They also have experience conducting Management Development Programmes (courses lasting a week or less for experienced professionals) and so understand difference between teaching freshers in PGP vs the students in a one year course. While the faculty at IIM B is known for their marketing courses, IIM C has finance oriented faculty.Coming to ISB, it has most of its faculty coming from several international reputed B-schools and hence brings with them a new dimension of international exposure in the class-room learning. Unlike business education in India which till date has been focused on the PGP (accredited globally as a Masters in Management meant for freshers), faculty abroad is used to teaching an MBA level audience. ISB benefits from this.|
|Course Alignment||Known for marketing||More analytics and numbers driven||No such known area of focus||This can help you decide based on the function you want to get into. If you aspire to be a marketing guru, choose IIM B.If you love numbers, go to IIM C (which boasts of India’s only fully-equipped finance lab).|
|Fees||23 Lac||18 Lac||25 Lac||The fees can be a big differentiating factor on the affordability front and in terms of an immediate ROI calculation|
|Accommodation and other facilities||Students stay outside the main campus and miss the fun of campus life.But Bangalore being a great city, amenities are not likely to be of any problem.||Beautiful campus! Situated on the out-skirts of the city and good medical facilities outside remain a cause of concern. A new hostel is under construction with better amenities for students.||Amenities best so far in India!On the outskirts of Hyderabad, Mohali||A big factor for people planning to move in with families.|
|Other avenues of personal development||Not much at IIMs. Students do not indulge much in other activities and tend to be mostly academically focused.||ISB scores here with a plethora of activities the students indulge in. Students party hard here!|
|Entrepreneurship||Thinking of doing something on your own post the MBA? Don’t even think twice! Go join ISB! IIM B and IIM C also have one off courses on entrepreneurship, but those are a grounding in entrepreneurship in name only.The entrepreneurship cell is also not that well developed.Many students coming out of ISB develop good business models and head to their own business instead of a job. IIMs tend to train you to be great managers but not great entrepreneurs.|
|Placements||While for many applicants, this remains ‘the most important criterion’ for selecting a B-school and tend to look at the immediate placements after the college to evaluate such an important degree, ideally this should not be the case.When it comes to IIM B and IIM C, they are at par with respect to placements. IIM B has a definite locational advantage being centrally located in the city of Bangalore, India’s IT hub.From whatever I understand, IIM-B is more adapted and geared towards placing people in the IT/ITES sector.IIM C shares an advantage for the manufacturing background folks as one of its other flagship course (PGPEX-VLM) attracts many hard core manufacturing firms.Having said that, most good companies visit both these colleges and recruit.On the other hand, ISB has such a huge batch strength that while the top 10% students get the best of jobs, the bottom 30-40% tend to struggle. At ISB, given the lower work experience of the class, similar to the situation in the PGP courses at IIMs, recruiters often rely on performance in the course as an indicator of future potential. At IIMs, extensive past performance of the candidate is seen as a better indicator of capability and marks take a backseat.The numbers: Average CTC in 2013 at ISB (middle 80%) – Rs 17,41,081, at IIM C – Rs 19,73,000, at IIM B – RS 26,18,186 An honest suggestion: a lot of us tend to attach too much importance to the numbers given in their placement reports. Numbers are subject to interpretation and hence my sincere and honest advice is not to rely too much on these.|
Ed – Also, no student gets the average CTC – its a notional number. The range is more important which can typically vary between 12 lakhs to anywhere upto 50 lakhs (domestic). Your number of years of experience has a bearing on what salary you command on graduation.A healthy hike though can be expected – students typically gain a hike between 40% to 100% after these courses.
An important placement parameter that often gets overlooked is the companies visiting campus. This determines the choice of roles available to candidates. This number is healthier at ISB where 423 companies visited campus in 2013. At IIMs this number is typically around 50-100 companies for the One year MBA.
ISB benefits from its head start over the IIMs here (ISB’s One year MBA started in 2001, the first one year MBA at IIMs started in 2005) and this reflects the depth of ISB’s corporate connect.
The bottom line is that each college has its own USPs. One may be easier on the pocket, the other may be offering more international exposure. One may be more tuned towards marketing, the other towards finance. Think first of what you feel is important for you and then choose for yourself.I hope the above comparison has given the readers some sense of what to choose and I have not left you even more confused.
Feel free to comment, criticize, suggest or ask for more information.
The author of this article besides being an alumni of IIM Calcutta’s PGPEX is the author of My Beloved’s MBA Plans – a first of a kind book that explores the lives of people pursuing a One year MBA at Indian business schools. The author can be reached at [email protected]
Disclaimer – The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Oneyearmba.co.in