One Year MBA In Manufacturing – Good Option Or Not?


Santosh Kumar Sharma, an MBA (One-year Full-time Post Graduate Programme for Executives – Visionary Leadership in Manufacturing) from IIM Calcutta, delves into the pluses and minuses of pursuing the programme.

I have written this post especially for engineering graduates who have been extraordinary in their academics and are working with good companies at mid-level positions. In the post, I have used the word Type 1 & Type 2 many times that deserve an explanation.

Broadly there are two types of engineering graduates in India who look for an MBA:

Type 1 – These are students who start their preparation for a management programme from 2nd year of engineering and join the two-year PGP/ PGDM immediately after college or maybe after 2-3 years. The market is flooded with such kind of guys as the two-year programme has been in existence from a long time. These programmes are considered MBA equivalent as per Indian accreditation norms, but are accredited as a pre-experience courses for freshers called Masters in Business Management, by top global accreditation agencies. 

Type 2 – These are students who have already worked around for 3-4 years and then give a thought to acquiring an MBA. It takes around 1-2 years of preparation and then they get entry into an MBA college with around 4-6 years of work experience. (Sometimes work experience can go up to 8-10 years). Since the 2 year programme is not economically viable (or often irrelevant at their work experience level), such students prefer to go in for a one-year MBA program.

The opportunity cost (lost salary during the period of study) for a one year programme is almost half to that of a two-year programme for these people as they are already drawing a good salary.

When Indian engineering graduates join as GET (Graduate Engineer Trainee) in any good organization they are at the peak of their energy level. They generally enjoy this period as they leave behind college life and start earning money on their own. They don’t have much responsibility as they are bachelors and in a learning phase.

Companies also spend a lot of money and time on nurturing them. The problem comes when they complete 4-5 years on the job. They start thinking:

a) Are they meant for this engineering job only?

b) How much of engineering knowledge are they using?

c) Where will they reach if they continue working like this?

These people are usually doing well in their present organization but are always thinking what could further boost their growth.

This is the point when they start thinking about their next move and the most sought after career option which comes to their mind is an MBA. Without having much clarity most of them join the rat race and start their preparation to get entry in an MBA college.

But I suggest these types 2 guys to consider three important points before taking a final call:

1. Job Profile

Be clear about the sector or companies you are targeting after a one-year MBA in manufacturing. Some companies in India still have an old mindset and prefer to hire freshers with relatively less (0-3 years) or negligible experience whom they can mold into their work culture. They find it difficult to absorb the guys with 6-8 years of work experience at higher role (which is standard for an MBA, globally!). 

ALSO READ: Rs 25.51 Lakh Highest, Rs 16.93 Lakh Average Salary: 2015 Placements for IIM C’s MBA in Manufacturing

For manufacturing roles specifically, it becomes even more difficult for students as age and number of years of work experience play a major role in deciding hierarchy. For students pursuing a middle level role in manufactring, a role with consulting companies often becomes a more viable option. Since consulting companies charge their clients very high rates, they can afford to pay high salaries. Although, most of the companies recruit for the projects of foreign clients where salary in INR looks higher.

The irony is that many consulting companies project their young consultants as SME (subject matter expert) even without having any relevant practical exposure!

So please try to have clarity of role which you would like to target after your MBA. Better still, establish connects with the alumni of the college you are targeting and get a clear picture of roles which you are aiming for or which you should aim for.

2. Education loan

Most of the guys who get selected for a one-year MBA in prestigious colleges opt for an educational loan because most of them belong to middle class families.

should-i-do-an-mba-after-engineering-should-i-do-an-mba-or-msc-phd-one-year-mba-in-manufacturing-good-option-or-not-is-an-mba-worth-it-iim-calcutta-iim-c-pgpex-vlm-executive-mbaIn India, the rate of interest on education loans is on the higher side. It’s higher than the rate for a home loan, car loan and sometimes even higher than the rate on personal loans.

MBA grads are under tremendous pressure to work at any role which can earn them higher salaries irrespective of their area of interest because they are under pressure to pay off the loan.

The fat packages offered by companies generally comprise many long term benefits and in hand salaries aren’t nearly as spectacular. It takes a lot of effort to pay the loan EMI from your hard earned money.

So don’t expect much gain in your net in hand salary immediately after getting a job as major chunk of it will go into paying your loan EMIs.

3. Sacrifice of personal life

Type 2 guys are either recently married or about to get married. They sacrifice a lot on personal front as well.

a) Those who opt for one-year MBA without getting married are under tremendous pressure from their family/girl friend to tie the knot at the earliest after completing the course.

b) Those who recently got married rush through the time after marriage. Many of my batch mates (PGPEX-VLM 6th Batch) could not even plan their honeymoon and directly joined the program after marriage. Some of them were even forced to postpone their marriage.

c) Those who just became fathers missed the early days of their newborn baby. One of the guys of our batch could not attend the birth of his child. 

As shared, after completion of the PGPEX-VLM program, most of the people join consulting companies because only they can afford to pay salaries commensurate with their experience. But in consulting, it becomes difficult to manage the work life balance as one has to be on continuous travel and people hardly get any time to spend with their family.

Then they miss the luxury which they used to have with their previous employer!


The best thing about a one-year MBA in manufacturing is that you again get a chance to re-enter your college life. Those who are married enjoy the opportunity to lead a bachelor life again, though they hardly get time to enjoy. You also enjoy company of like minded people charting the next chapter in their careers.

At present, manufacturing companies in India fail to attract the best talent mainly due to relatively low salaries offered by them compared to service industry.

Several companies in India are still trying to figure out how to best utilize the experienced talent coming out of the one-year full time MBA at the IIMs and are establishing new frameworks for absorbing these people at senior positions.

But there are many initiatives going on for ‘Make in India’ under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership where we can expect a lot of investment in manufacturing in the coming days.

Japan has already committed billions of dollars investments in India, including a $12 Billion loan at a negligible interest for the much touted ‘Bullet train’ and another $12 Billion for the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

For the first time, Japan has planned to import cars from India. Maruti Suzuki India Limited has planned to import its newly launched Baleno hatchback to Japan.

So the future seems to be bright for manufacturing in India. MBA graduates can hope for the better opportunities in the management cadre in manufacturing in the coming days.

I hope my post will help the engineering graduates of India in taking their final call with a knowledge of all pros and cons around the course. If any of you have any query, feel free to get in touch with me – post your questions in the comments section below and I will do my best to answer them.

should-i-do-an-mba-after-engineering-should-i-do-an-mba-or-msc-phd-one-year-mba-in-manufacturing-good-option-or-not-is-an-mba-worth-it-iim-calcutta-iim-c-pgpex-vlm-executive-mbaSantosh Kumar Sharma, an Engineering graduate from HBTI Kanpur- 2004 (Chemical Technology-Paint) and MBA: PGPEX-VLM one year MBA program , has 11 + years of experience in Production, Project management, Operations Consulting & Technical Service with leading auto OEMs & tier 1 and tier 2. He is at present heading Technical Service after Sales at Spectrum Filtration.



    • Santosh Sharma on

      No, IIM Calcutta does not offer any scholarship for this program but one can take sponsorship from the company where he is working during application process.

      Financial Aid is provided to students in the form of loans.
      Loans: Student loans are available through a few leading financial institutions. Please check the relevant website for details contact [email protected]

  1. Niranjan Arunachalam on

    sir i’d be thankful if you can also throw some light on the entrance test that IIM-C conducts. is it similar to GMAT ?

    • Santosh Sharma on

      The duration of the Aptitude Test is 2 hours. The test comprises three parts. Part I consists of analytical ability, Part II verbal abilities and Part III engineering aptitude. There will be 25% negative marking in the Aptitude Test.
      There is no prescribed syllabus for the engineering aptitude section of the Aptitude Test. The idea is to test the candidate’s ability to apply some fundamental engineering concepts across various disciplines. Specific and advanced level preparation of any particular branch of engineering is not required.

    • Santosh Sharma on

      Average experience for current batch is 5 years and 7 months and 33% of them have international exposure.

  2. Santosh gud to put ur experience and thoughts to guide other fellows…im hopeful for a bright future in the manufacturing sector

    • Santosh Sharma on

      Thanks Saurabh. Hopefully we will see significant increase in contribution of manufacturing in India’s GDP in coming days.

  3. Sir , my name is kasim.s , I graduated in chemical engineering in 2004 batch , I have total year of experience – 11 years (1 year in SAP consultant , rest 10 years in production 4 years in mobile parts manufacturing , 4.5 years in TVs motors , now in Ti cycles of India ) , still now I am thinking of doing executive MBA by taking score of 680 in GMAT , at present my age is 35 , ( not started preparing GMAT) , pls advise me

  4. Santosh Sharma on

    Since you are from manufacturing background PGPEX-VLM is the best program for you but you have exceeded the upper limit of work experience. ( work ex required is from 4.5 years to max 10 years)
    Still you can try for this program if you could take sponsorship from your company. (there is no upper work ex limit for sponsored candidates)
    But you can apply for one year program in general management (PGPEX) offered by IIM Calcutta, PGPX by IIM Ahmedabad , EPGP by IIM Indore etc.
    Please make sure which kind of profile you would like to target after your MBA.

  5. Ritayan Chatterjee on

    Hi Sir,
    A great post at the outset….something that the Indian “Type 2” aspirant can very well relate to.
    I’ve been in a dilemma for a very long time regarding my options. My profile is :
    10th – 90
    12th – 84
    BE Mech (Manipal) – 7.15
    Total ex – 6 years as of May’16
    4 years in Punj Lloyd (EPC company) – Operations (Plant & Machinery)
    1.5 years in SPML (Water EPC) – Operations and Head of the Dep (Plant & Machinery)
    Recent (2 months and ongoing) – A new startup about to begin operations. (Role – Operations).
    My GMAT was very average – 650 (AWA- 5 ; IR – 92)
    My dilemma is that with this profile what are my chances of making it through a good 1 year executive MBA program in India. By the time I’ll enter college , my work ex will be close to 7 years.I understand that there’s no clear formula to evaluate the chances but i need to understand if i stand a chance and it’s worth the shot – or should i focus on MBA abroad (though not many good 1 years programs). Also if i do have a shot , what would be a better option for me – ISB or IIM exe mba and why.
    Pls advice.

    • Santosh Sharma on

      Since your are from manufacturing background and have substantial years of experience, I would advise you to go for one year MBA program which has focus on manufacturing.
      You may go with any of the institute-either ISB or IIM.
      Pursuing MBA from India or abroad , its your choice.

      • Ritayan Chatterjee on

        Thanks for your valuable reply. I am from the Construction sector. I agree to what you’ve said but what i want to know is that considering my profile and gmat score do i stand a chance even to get called for the interview.

        • Santosh Sharma on

          Professional experience and education are valued highly at top schools and GMAT is not the only criteria. You have very good profile and your GMAT score is good enough to get a call from ISB or IIMs. I advise you to put in your best effort in your essays, recommendations and MBA interview.
          All the best!!!

  6. hi sir

    i have a experience of 4 yrs in Automotive sector , I am in dilemma that should i go for 2 yr PGDM course in tier 2 college or wait for 1 yr and go for executive course. As you said profiles and salary offered in mfg, sector after 1yr is not good and one has to opt for consulting role, i want a change in my profile from operational to strategic role in any product base company , automotive is not a constraint so which will be good 2 yr or 1 yr.

    • Santosh Sharma on

      I will advise you to go for one year MBA from any premier institute instead of 2 year PGDM from any tier 2 college. In the beginning work for 2-3 years in management consulting then you can easily move to strategic role in industry of your choice.

  7. Sir I have almost five years of work experience in power sector. I have worked in two entire different verticals viz project management and commissioning of plant from greenfield. Still I am confused how much my profile is suitable for pgpex vlm program as it is mainly ly focusing on manufacturing sector that too mainly covers mainly automobile sector.

    Please put some light on it.

  8. Dear Santosh , First of all thank you very much for such a wonderful article. I am a typial Type 2 Categeory person working with one of the famous Inadian Automotive company .I work in automotive product development (R & D) from last six years.I am Basically a Mechanical Engineer with M.Tech from IIT Kharagpur .Now I am interested to change my profile into Management filed from Technical may be lack of Carrer Growth or Not able to meet my aspirations. My Question to you are

    1. In IIM A ,IIM B and IIM C in regular PGP crouse most of the recruiters are from IT company and Most of the Non IT background guys wont get placed is it correct. This happend with one of my collegue in IIA for 2015 student.

    2. In IIM C -VLM course how is the placement . I mean is 100% placement happens. Secondly I am currently having 10 Laks Plus CTC .is it possible to get jobs with better package than this. Because there is a need for having a clarity on Return on investment interms of time and Money with personel life sacrifice .

    3. people generally suggest ISB better than IIM for One year programmes as ISB has one year PGP as Flag ship programme contrary to IIM .Your Views on this please.

    4. Sorry to ask you agin about Financial matters . can we expect a good hike in current salary with this one year MBA programmes.

    Your Views and suggestions are most imporatnt for me before taking such a crucial decision. Thanks Alot in advance Santosh.

    • Santosh Sharma on

      Dear Viswa
      Please find my reply as below against your each point:

      1. Its difficult to place guys with relatively higher experience ( more than 10 years) irrespective of IT or Non IT background as there are few companies who recruit for very senior positions. Most of them prefer to hire at mid management level. In some cases few candidates find difficult to get placed as per their choice. your friend might be one of those cases.

      2. In IIM C-VLM placement has been always 100%. Every time few guys struggle for the placement at the end but till now every year there have been 100% placement. Mostly guys from metal background find it hard to get placed.
      You can easily expect at least 15 LPA . Please click below link to see the placement statistics of last year.

      3. For ISB vs IIM please check their sites for placement statistics. To get an idea please do some comparative analysis on fee vs return. As per my view ISB will be much better.

      4. Definitely one can expect good hike from these one year programs. But since decent amount of your take home salary will go in paying in your loan EMI, so don’t expect much jump in your net in hand salary immediately.

      I advise you to get out of your comfort zone and give your best try to get entry in one year MBA program.
      wish you all the best!!

  9. Biswajit Tamuli on

    Dear Sir,

    I am working as Assistant Project Manager in an EPC company with 8 years experience , since I am not related to manufacturing field, will there be any problems for placement?

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